When a follower of a well-known motivational speaker is murdered, the team suspects the speaker himself.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Barry Flynn
Carl Finster
Detective Harrison Chen (as Matt Yang King)
Davis Cooper (as Rico Anderson)
Dr. Marcy Frome (as Kelly E. Smith)
Rena Tracey
Ursula Burton ...
Cynthia Strobl
Ricky Lopez


The BAU heads to Seattle, Washington, where two people have been stabbed to death in their respective apartments, each crime scene which had the blood scrolled message "hear your evil see your evil". The team discovers that both victims attended a presentation by motivational speaker Barry Flynn, and the second victim, Cynthia Strobl, was one of the privileged few in the audience who was singled out by Flynn for a one-on-one session following the public presentation. They also learn that Flynn himself has gone into hiding for the day, a ritual he has on show days, and not even his manager knows where he is. Flynn becomes a suspect, until evidence shows that he too has been targeted by someone, probably the unsub. They have be figure out the connection between the unsub and Flynn to hopefully find a still alive Flynn. Meanwhile, Garcia tries to figure out why Morgan refuses to go to a swanky British Embassy gathering which to honor his father's old partner. Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

28 November 2012 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Derek Morgan: [closing, voiceover] "The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for." - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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User Reviews

Magnificent is not the right word to describe "Magnificent Light"
2 September 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Despite being negative lately with the show recently, 'Criminal Minds' was a firm favourite from the beginning. Which makes it so frustrating that it became hit and miss from Season 6 onwards with Season 11 being particularly disappointing.

Seasons 1-5 did have some underwhelming episodes certainly ("Machismo" and "Honor Among Thieves" being notable examples") but all the show's worst episodes were from Season 6 onwards (especially "200" and the worst of Season 11). Season 8 has been a hit and miss season, "God Complex", "The Good Earth" and especially "The Lesson" for examples were good, but "Through the Looking Glass", "The Replicator" and "Magnificent Light" were mediocre at best and "Zugzwang" was let down by the biggest slap-in-the-face ending of the whole show.

"Magnificent Light" wasn't a completely bad episode by all means. It is very well made, made with atmosphere, style and class. The music is haunting and with an air of melancholy. The regular actors do try their best despite lazy material and the disappointing way most of the characters were written, while Patrick Fabian and particularly Raphael Sbarge make the most of shallowly written roles. Did find the victim's calm attitude rather than clearly fearing for most victims' lives somewhat refreshing, though some may not like this.

On the other hand, the writing is unfortunately quite lazy here, Morgan and Blake's theories on the quote induced a massive face palm, Blake's was particularly stupid and showed a lack of research on the writers' part. Garcia's obsession is also poorly written, and feels very unnatural within the story as well as making Garcia behave out of character. Garcia was a ray of sunshine in the earlier seasons, the latter seasons often saw her as a pale caricature, that is the case here. The ending feels out of place, the whole thing with the car was more Shemar Moore than Morgan and the whole stuff with Morgan belongs more in a soap-opera, it didn't feel right within the story.

Blake still isn't fitting in, and still feels cold and disconnected, liked her more later on in her two season stint but she took a while to get used to. The team often generally feel underused or out of character, while the leads do do their best they understandably do flounder at times. The story never really comes to life, and lacks tension and suspense, while Flynn and the unsub are not very interesting, Flynn is pretty shallow actually. Most of the support acting apart from Fabian and Sbarge is wooden.

All in all, when describing "Magnificent Light", magnificent is not the right word. 4/10 Bethany Cox

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