The BAU heads to Austin to investigate victims found there with their watches set inaccurately, a clue which may connect the crimes.

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Cast

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Paul Westin
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Mitchell Ruiz
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Connor Drake
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Dr. Ellsworth
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Will
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Detective Edward Sanchez
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Doug Warn
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Isabella Grant
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Storyline

The BAU travels to Austin, Texas where three separate murders have taken place, the victims being two young women, and one young man. Each was last seen at a large but different social gathering. All three victims were savagely beaten, however the two women were stripped naked, while the first victim, the male, was re-clothed after being beaten while naked. Upon further investigation, they learn the male victim was a closeted homosexual, leading the team to believe that the unsub is a repressed homosexual who murdered the female victims after not being able to perform sexually with them, and murdered the male victim after feeling guilt after having had sex with him. When a fourth victim, another male, is discovered, another emerging piece of evidence is the exact same style men's watch placed on the last two victims, both watches deliberately set at a different time than what is actual. The team has to uncover the meaning of the watch and the time to which the watches were set to ... Written by Huggo

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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20 February 2013 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The University of Texas is referred to as "TU", which is a derogatory term used by their rival Texas A&M University. See more »

Goofs

The second victim is found in an area with mountains in the distance. There are no mountains in central Texas. See more »

Quotes

Alex Blake: [opening, voiceover] "The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are stronger at the broken places." - Ernest Hemingway
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Soundtracks

Madness
Written by Matthew Bellamy
Performed by Muse
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User Reviews

 
"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are stronger at the broken places."
23 February 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

With 'Criminal Minds', some seasons are better than others and every season has a mixture of outstanding, great, very good, good, average, mediocre and bad episodes. This said, lesser episodes of Seasons 1-4 (with possible exception of "Machismo") are better than the lesser episodes of Season 6 onward.

Season 8 did see a sizeable number of mediocre episodes, but also ones that were very good and showing signs of greatness. As far as Season 8 episodes go while not one of the very best 'Criminal Minds' episodes, "Broken" is one of the season's best. It's on par with "All That Remains", "The Lesson", "God Complex", "The Good Earth" and "Alchemy" and much better than weaker episodes like "Magnificent Light", "Through the Looking Glass", "The Replicator", "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Magnum Opus".

Visually, the production values in "Broken" are without complaint. It's very well shot and lit and is overall stylish, gritty, classy and atmospheric. The music is moody in the haunting and melancholic sense and fits well, without either enhancing or distracting from the atmosphere. The direction keeps the momentum going but lets the case breathe.

The script is very thought-provoking and often leaves one moved and repulsed. The story is one of the season's most compelling and is along with "All That Remains" the Season 8 episode that comes closest to "classic" 'Criminal Minds'. Meaning actual profiling (which is very well written here and sees the team working cohesively and like they really wanted the case solved, rather than conclusion jumping and relying too much on Garcia to provide the answers through her computer system), much less focus on gratuitous gore and shock value mini-horror film-style, and more twists and psychology.

Loved the team interaction and the character moments, the highlights being Reid solving the meaning of the watch times, the chemistry between Reid and Morgan and the powerful prison scene between Hotch and Isabella Grant (Hotch's vocal takedown of this low-life was one of the most satisfying moments of any episode from the later seasons). The case is a compelling one, with tension, suspense and emotion aplenty, that has a mix of familiar elements and things done differently, with an unsub that while not condoning his actions we feel sorry for and one of the more interestingly developed ones. The camp stuff is truly harrowing and makes the skin crawl, it may go a little too far in the heavy-handedness at times but it sure does make its point, and the flashbacks are creepy.

The acting is very good all round, Matthew Gray Gubler, Shemar Moore and Thomas Gibson being even better than that and we have a chilling and moving unsub. Other than the occasional heavy-handedness, my only real complaints are that Blake still feels cold and underdeveloped and the "season-long unsub" subplot could easily have been excised because it didn't add much at all (only feeling like an attempt to try and make Blake more interesting).

Otherwise, "Broken" is a very good episode and JJ's opening voice-over quoting Ernest Hemmingway sums up the episode aptly. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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