The team travels to Glendale, Arizona to search for an increasingly devolving killer.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Wallace Hines / Jesse Gentry (as Fred Koehler)
Carla Hines
Sgt. Lynne Johnson
Heather Clarke
Corin Todd (as Lauren Lee Denham)
Mike Hardy (as Rob Silverman)
Emma Coleman


Since Strauss' death, Hotch has been doing double duty. He has been asked to fill her position permanently - the only member of the team who he has told being Rossi - which he is seriously considering, if only to provide more time to spend with Jack, and to prevent an outsider from putting an unwanted administrative eye on the team. He will have time to contemplate this potential move when the team travels to Glendale, Arizona on their latest case. Two single, young women in individual cases were found in parks, each raped, shot through the heart, and placed in a praying/begging position postmortem. A third victim is found by the time they reach Glendale and a fourth shortly thereafter. Beyond the third victim being married, albeit separated from her husband, the team finds other similarities, namely that the victims were forced to eat human flesh, all from the head. The team believes that there is one single human head being used, that belonging to whoever the unsub's first victim ... Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

25 September 2013 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Jeanne Tripplehorn was only supposed to do season 8, but fans loved her so much that CBS decided to keep her for season 9. See more »


In the chase scene, the cars have both a front and back Arizona license plate, but the state of Arizona only issues back license plates. See more »


Aaron Hotchner: Yes, they did talk to me about the section chief job.
Dr. Spencer Reid: Do you want it?
Aaron Hotchner: I know what I don't want is an outsider coming in and questioning every move that this team makes. I told them that I'd think about it.
Jennifer Jareau: So what happens if you accept?
Aaron Hotchner: Means this would be my last case in the field, but nothing's been decided. As soon as I figure out what to do, you'll be the first to know.
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Spoofs Hogan's Heroes (1965) See more »


Theme from Criminal Minds
Composed by Marc Fantini and Steffan Fantini
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User Reviews

Not that much inspiration here
26 November 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"The Inspiration", as far as Season 9 episodes go, is marginally better than "200" and "The Black Queen", which will always to be to me two of the show's low-points.

Admittedly, this is not saying much. Season 9 had a few great episodes like "Gabby" and "The Caller", but "The Inspiration", along with its follow up "The Inspired" is one of the season's weaker episodes. A disappointing season premiere? Definitely, arguably 'Criminal Minds' worst season premiere. To me actually the only below average one while the other season premieres ranged from decent to outstanding ("Extreme Agressor", "Doubt" and "The Fisher King Part II" being the best).

Getting the good things out of the way, there is nothing to complain about in the production values. Even in disappointing episodes, the production values are nearly always good (with a couple of exceptions like "The Thirteenth Step" and "The Fight"), and as ever "The Inspiration" is made with grit, style and class. The music is hauntingly moody and the acting is good. All the leads are on top form, and Fred Koehler and Camryn Manheim do their best with what they were given, though Manheim has little to do and Koehler does valiantly but the way the unsub is written and made to behave has left me cold by him.

While the script didn't do much for me, there are three good bits, Reid's talking about the killing and mating of the praying mantis (which is not for the faint hearted), the funny line from Reid about the Prius and the team talking about who will replace Strauss and whether it would be Hotch, a lovely moment in an episode where generally there were not enough little character moments/nuances in the team.

However, the story just didn't grip me, and a clear case of the writers running out of ideas. It managed to be really lacking in momentum and was atmospherically pretty bland. Sense is replaced with gratuitous shock value that wasn't explained anywhere enough to justify why it was there, it just reeked of confusion and trying too hard to shock and be creepy that it came over as uncomfortably strange. The beginning was anti-climactic, and the somewhat over-familiar twist just came out of the blue and also one that begged of needing to be found out about and explained earlier, especially when it was easy to figure out to the viewer once hearing of the behavioural oddities.

The unsub wasn't that interesting in personality or development and wasn't that menacing, on occasions more goofy. Don't get me started also with that scene on the wall, as much as 'Criminal Minds' is a personal favourite of mine there is a list of the most laughably cringe-worthy scenes of 'Criminal Minds' and that scene ranks high up there.

On the whole, disappointing season premiere with little inspiration or sense. A real sense of running out of ideas with a lot of confusion, from parts begging for explanation that never comes (especially the whole praying mantis thing), uncomfortable weirdness and gratuitous shock value (doesn't matter if a few times, does if the episode is practically a gore-fest and has no explanation for it). 4/10 Bethany Cox

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