When married couples fostering young children end up being killed in Seattle, the BAU team looks for an unsub with a maternal-yet-murderous instinct. Also, Garcia fears a possible proposition from Kevin.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie Hallman
Tommy Brown
Foster Mother
Det. Paul Clarkson
Polly Cole ...
Karen Wilson
Julie Parker
Abby Miller


The BAU is called to Seattle, Washington, where two couples have been murdered execution style in their respective homes. There is no sign of forced entry in either case, there was no sexual assault, and the gunshot wounds were muffled by the use of a pillow. By the time the team reaches Seattle, a third couple has been murdered with the same MO. Each couple were upstanding citizens and community minded. The team learns that a common link between all three is that each belonged to the emergency foster parent list. The team surmises that the female unsub has access to that foster parent list, and has either lost a child herself or is infertile and wants a child. They also surmise that she is killing in lieu of a child not being in the home at the time of entry into the home. But when the team learns that the same child was recently in each home, they know that the unsub is the birth mother. When they find out her identity, they learn that her mission is not one solely of getting back ... Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

14 March 2012 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


John Bain, who plays 16 year old Tommy Brown, was actually 27 when this episode aired. See more »


When Hallman's third victims pull up to their house in a Cadillac, the brake lights (and taillights) turn off when the car is turned off. Actually, a GM vehicle will turn its reverse lights on when the car is turned off (as well as its headlights and taillights), then turn everything off when the doors are locked. This Cadillac is not shown doing that. See more »


[first lines]
Maggie Hallman: [voiceover] Everyone says that love happens when you least expect it. I guess it's true, because when I met you, love was the last thing on my mind. I'd find myself sneaking out to see you. I'd put fancy makeup on just to make you smile. I still feel the touch of your skin. You help me get through every night. You give my life purpose. That's why no matter what people try to do... Nothing is going to keep us apart.
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User Reviews

A contender for Season 7's low-point
15 August 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As a great fan of 'Criminal Minds' especially Seasons 2-5 (Season 1 also had some great episodes like "Riding the Lightning", "The Fox" and "The Fisher King"), "I Love You Tommy Brown" personally was a big disappointment.

For me, although a divisive episode with a good deal of people who enjoyed it thoroughly and others who consider it one of the show's worst episodes, it is a lesser episode of the show and a contender for Season 7's low-point but there are definitely episodes that are much worse.

"I Love You Tommy Brown" isn't completely dishonourable. It's very skilfully made, with lots of style, class and atmosphere, and the music score has a haunting and melancholic vibe as ever and the theme tune hypnotic. While this is one of very few episodes of 'Criminal Minds' that disappoints in the acting, this reviewer always does find Matthew Gray Gubler a joy to watch.

Unfortunately, there could have been more of the BAU and more of a bond between them, and apart from Gubler the acting weirdly feels detached and disinterested, Paget Brewster and Joe Mantegna have performed much better before and have very little to do. This is particularly true of Thomas Gibson, acting with such stoic seriousness he looks like he wants to be elsewhere. There is also definitely an imbalance, with too much of Garcia and Morgan (with the subplot between them and with Kevin almost farcical) and not enough of characters more interesting.

What's more, neither Morgan or Garcia are likable in this episode. Garcia is pretty shallow and annoying here (one really does feel sorry for Kevin), not saying her decision was wrong but it was a waste of a much more realistic, less overly-flirtatious and sometimes veering on creepy one between her and Morgan. Even worse is Morgan, who is a jerk and very out of character, far too cold, very rude and his reaction just unnecessary (again sympathy for Kevin is very much in order).

The story just didn't engage me either. The unsub is revealed too early, which takes away from the tension and suspense, and it takes too long for the team to solve the case in a case where links are easy to spot and obvious but overlooked. What's more, the unsub's story plays too much of a parody and makes one feel really uncomfortable, and the unsub herself is not one you either hate or sympathise with, further disadvantaged by a vastly overacted performance from Teri Polo, with dreadfully over-the-top line delivery and it was almost like she thought she was in a comedy or something.

Writing throughout is sloppy and out of sync, and the directing is pedestrian.

On the whole, very disappointing. 4/10 Bethany Cox

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I am sorry but I have to defend Thomas Gibson... Josabeli
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Quality dropping remarkable. Josabeli
If the ratings drop enough is there a chance they'd bring Gibson back? Cursedchild13
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