When a series of tornadoes hits Kansas, the BAU is called in to investigate bodies of young boys that turn up in the aftermath of the storms. Also, work pressures cause tension on JJ's home front.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Travis James
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Lieutenant Beasley
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Fran Meredith
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Damon Weeks
Elijah Trichon ...
Gary
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Shaun Rutledge
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Storyline

In the span of a week, the dead and beaten bodies of two Caucasian mid-teen boys are found in the aftermath of tornadoes in Wichita, Kansas. In addition, different body parts are missing from each boy, and each boy was a runaway who made money through street hustling. After dismissing the notion of the unsub wanting the authorities to believe the storms caused the pre-death trauma, the BAU determine that the tornadoes in and of themselves are part of the reason for the unsub's murder spree. After more bodies with different missing limbs are found, the BAU begins to figure out exactly what the unsub is planning on doing with the taken body parts. They get a break when there is a witness to the abduction of another teen-aged boy, albeit one with a stable family life. This latest act shows the team that the unsub is nearing the completion of his task which will take him, and by association them into chasing yet another tornado. Meanwhile, JJ and Will are having problems based on JJ's ... Written by Huggo

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9 November 2011 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the episode is from Wizard of Oz. The bad guy's last name is Gulch. In The Wizard of Oz, the bad girl in Kansas has the last name Gulch. See more »

Goofs

The UNSUB's RV has an Oklahoma license plate on the front. Front license plates are not used in Oklahoma. Plus, the plate has no month or year sticker. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Travis James: Tucker, no. Don't. Tucker, no. Tucker, no. No. Get out!
[wakes up]
Travis James: Get out. Get out.
[bangs a box]
Travis James: It's coming, man! It's coming!
[brings a man out of the house trailer]
Travis James: It's beautiful, ain't it? The wrath of God himself! Just wait, man!
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Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Come On
Performed by Mushroomhead
Courtesy by Megaforce Records
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User Reviews

 
'Criminal Minds', marital strife, Frankenstein and tornadoes, oh my!
22 October 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"There's No Place Like Home" is yet another example of 'Criminal Minds' doing something differently, and while changes of paces for the show have varied in execution this is a case of it not working. It is also another case of 'Criminal Minds' being strange and mostly bungling it.

As far as Season 7 episodes go, "There's No Place Like Home" is one of the weaker ones, with "I Love You Tommy Brown" being the season's low-point. The season started well and "Painless" is certainly memorable for Reid and Morgan's hilarious prank war, but too many of the episodes have ranged from middle-of-the-road average to not being much to write home about.

It isn't an awful episode by all means. The highlight is Reid's explanation of the correlation between air turbulence and plane crashes. It was a wonderful laugh-out-loud moment, and the great dialogue in this scene was made even funnier by Reid's hilariously deadpan delivery and Rossi's every bit as priceless reaction. Garcia also shines with some fun one-liners and her sensitivity. "There's No Place Like Home" scores very highly in the production values as ever, with a lot of style, class and atmosphere. The episode is also hauntingly and melancholically scored, and the acting from the leads is very good, Matthew Gray Gubler and Joe Mantegna being particularly strong while AJ Cook makes the most of JJ's subplot.

However, the story just didn't really connect with me and indicates that the writers ran out of ideas and creativity. JJ's marital strife subplot had potential and it is a situation that many can relate to, but it is a subplot that has been done much better before in the show with Hotch. Here with JJ, it felt like a re-hash, but, while it was brilliantly and powerfully done with Hotch and felt really genuine, here it had a try-too-hard vibe and didn't feel as powerful or as genuine, partly also because it felt both skimmed over and stretched. This said, Cook does do a very good job and Henry is adorable. Josh Stewart as Will however just felt like background, real potential for the character to grow but there was not much to him. Absolutely get that this is character development and that it's necessary to stop the characters from being human robots at work, but it definitely could have been done better than this.

As for the case itself, it was rather weak. Profiling is barely there and neither is the suspense. Instead it has a thinly sketched unsub (a big problem for one revealed early on and with reasonable prominence), and a very strange mix of Frankenstein-trying-to-bring-to-life and a premise for a slightly more polished SyFy Channel horror, both lacking in tension, suspense or any kind of atmosphere and it just got silly and ridiculous. Got nothing out of Alex Weed's acting either, the character exudes little development or menace and Weed just felt too bland and also on the camp side. The script has its moments but generally is just too muddled.

Overall, a few good moments, high production values and as ever solid performances from the leads saves "There's No Place Like Home" from doom. But not quite enough to save an episode that's strange, silly and muddled, with a case and unsub that just didn't connect and a main character subplot that was too much like a much less effective re-hash of a previously beautifully done one from earlier on in the show's run.

4/10 Bethany Cox


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