The BAU goes to Morgan's old neighbourhood in urban Chicago in search of an UnSub targeting middle-aged men, and a clue leads Morgan to believe that they are after someone connected to the man who molested him as a child.


(as Felix Alcala)


(created by), | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Keith Tisdell ...
James Barfield
Sheila Goode (as Nadege August)
Anthony Rango


Two men are savagely killed in the working class neighborhood of South Chicago, Illinois, Morgan's old stomping grounds, with a third victim by the time the team arrives in the area. There are no signs of sexual assault, although all victims had their pants and underwear pulled down to their ankles. There is the same written message at each crime scene, "Look Up to the Sky", which Morgan recognizes as the mantra of Carl Buford, Morgan's childhood mentor who molested young boys including him when he was a child. The team believes the unsub is one of Buford's former victims who is killing men acting as surrogates for Buford. Morgan may be the key through his personal knowledge to the team finding out who the unsub is, which may include confronting Buford himself, as well as the salvation for many of Buford's other victims, many of who, like Morgan, suppressed their victimization. Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

3 April 2013 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


| (flashback sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The team presents a profile of the killer as having an "extreme form of borderline personality disorder," which Reid defines as the "borderline between anxiety and psychosis." This description came into common usage in 1938, and continued through the 1960s and 1970s, but had fallen out of use by the time the DSM-III was published in 1980. See more »


Derek Morgan: Baby Girl! See if the owner of the convenient store had any military defensive training
Penelope Garcia: Oh, I will, as long as you promise to bring my future mother-in-law peach cobbler!
Derek Morgan: As soon as we're done here, I promise
See more »


In a Sentimental Mood
Composed by Duke Ellington
Lyrics by Mann Curtis (as Manny Kurtz)
Performed by Chris Vadale
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User Reviews

For darkness restores what light cannot repair
24 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.

"Restoration" along with "The Lesson", "All That Remains" and "Broken" one of the best episodes of a very much variable Season 8. "God Complex", "The Good Earth" and "Alchemy" were also among the better episodes, while the rest of the season consisted of mostly average to decent episodes and some mediocre ones like "Magnificent Light", "Through the Looking Glass", "The Replicator", "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Magnum Opus".

This episode, despite being very well received on most websites, has garnered a much more mixed reception on, with people showing a dislike for Morgan as a character and why this particular chapter in Morgan's life was re-visited. To me, while there are a few good to great Morgan-centric episodes, Season 2's "Profiler Profiled" to this day is still one of the best episodes of that season and of the show and of all the Morgan subplots the sexual abuse at the hands of Carl Buford one has been by far the most interesting and very much relevant, which is most likely why it was re-visited.

Visually, the production values in "Restoration" 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, with some well-timed humour from Reid and Garcia to contrast with the story's darkness and a closing voice over that couldn't have summed up the episode more perfectly. The story has tension and suspense with a dark case and skin-crawling tension between Morgan and the returning Buford and it is often very poignant, Morgan's speech being one of the show's great tear-jerkers and the stand-off with the unsub is quite powerful. It's also heart-breaking to see how many people were completely broken by the repellent actions of one man, and the writers did a great issue addressing a sensitive and still very much relevant issue with tact, sensitivity and candour.

Despite being Morgan-centric, the rest of the team still have moments to shine, function cohesively as a team and the profiling and case-solving some of the season's most satisfying. Wouldn't have said no to more Rossi, who is side-lined pretty much apart from the odd exchange, but Garcia's bubbly humour and Reid's explanation of Borderline Personality Disorder (classic Reid that).

"Restoration" has a compelling case with an unsub that while never condoning his actions one kind of feels sorry for. Actually it's Buford that the viewer hates much more, just when you think he'd repented very quickly you see, like with the ice-cream exchange with Morgan, that he hasn't changed a bit personality-wise. The tension between him and Morgan is brilliantly done.

Acting is very good, Shemar Moore explores many emotions with impeccable nuance and Julius Tennon is skin-crawlingly creepy as Buford. Everybody is fine, but these two are the ones that shine and quite rightly. Other than the under-using of a couple of BAU members, my only other complaint is that Buford's fate is a little anti-climatically handled. On a side note, that the Replicator subplot didn't feature was a good thing from personal opinion, if included it would have felt out of place.

Summing up, an excellent episode and one of the season's best. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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