When the BAU is called to Kansas City to investigate a series of murders, a tense reunion ensues between Blake and her father, a retired police captain, and her brother, a detective, who must work together to help solve the crime.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Damon Miller
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Detective Scott Miller
Tom Vincent ...
Ronald James Underwood
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Daryl Barnes
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Laurie Patterson
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Harold Ramsey
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Dr. Liz Montoya
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Charles Gates (as Jake Miller)
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Storyline

While concluding a case with the team in Los Angeles, a case where she receives a minor bullet wound to the arm, Blake receives a telephone call from her father, retired Kansas City police detective Damon Miller, about the murder of a middle aged man which he believes is the latest in series of murders conducted by the same unsub. He believes this murder is tied to the murder of a pair of teens one year ago. Beyond the overkill beatings inflicted in both sets of murders, there are no ties between the two on the surface. Blake's father is able to convince KCPD to invite the BAU, which does not sit well with Blake's brother, KCPD homicide detective Scott Miller, especially as there is animosity between the siblings. Although Blake wants them to take the case, she implies that she is not looking forward to returning to Kansas City itself, where she has not been in five years, and where family demons about which she has never mentioned to the team reside. As the team works through the ... Written by Huggo

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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11 December 2013 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Garcia is giving the team information about how many kids have died at Jefferson High, she says: "It's like Sunnydale". This is a reference to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The town in Buffy is called Sunnydale, and the high school is Sunnydale High, built on a hellmouth, which led to a lot of students being killed, hence the reference See more »

Quotes

David Rossi: Hey? You're sure you're okay?
Alex Blake: Oh yeah! It's nothing.
Dr. Spencer Reid: A couple of inches to your right and he could have hit your brachial artery. All things considered you were extraordinarily lucky.
Alex Blake: Yeah, luck had nothing to do with it, I'm practically bullet proof.
David Rossi: Yeah, I heard that about you.
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Soundtracks

Precious Stone
Written by J.R. Richards and Jason Koiter
Performed by J.R. Richards
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User Reviews

 
Solid if slightly disappointing
9 February 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'Criminal Minds' is another one of my most watched and most re-watched shows. It has always been interesting to see which episodes still hold up as good or more, which fare better or worse on re-watch and which still leave me cold. It is one of those shows that has enough good to outstanding episodes to make it a personal favourite.

Season 9 has always struck me as one of the most wildly variable and weaker seasons of 'Criminal Minds'. There are great episodes such as "Gabby", "The Caller" and "Angels"/"Demons", the first two being two of the best 'Criminal Minds' episodes of the latter seasons (post-Season 6). Season 9 however has also had two of the show's low-points "200" and "The Black Queen" and its worst season premiere in "The Inspiration", "Mr and Mrs Anderson" also underwhelmed. Then there are many episodes that fit in neither extreme and range between average and solid.

"Bully" is one of Season 9's solid episodes, though closer to being one of the season's better episodes than the worst. While a lot of good effort went into developing Blake, who features heavily here (perhaps a little too much in places), and any questions one has about her in previous episodes are answered, the whole father and brother relationship and conflicts isn't quite as interesting as it could have been. Her chemistry with her brother is entertaining and tense, but her father is a little underwritten and not as compelling. Jeanne Tripplehorn, Brennan Elliot and Tom Bower all give good performances and work well together this said.

To me, the climactic scenes were written a bit too conveniently and patly. The outcome of the case is not that hard to foresee and shows an unsub giving up too easily and what were dilemmas and conflicts before were too quickly and easily resolved especially in this case with so much time gone.

However, "Bully" is a typically very well made episode. It is very stylishly filmed and atmospherically lit. The music is haunting and melancholic, fitting very well with the episode's mood while never quite enhancing but never distracting. The direction lets the story breathe while still maintaining the momentum.

"Bully" is also smartly and thought-provokingly scripted, and despite Blake dominating the team are still interesting, serve a point, function well and are not side-lined (certainly not to the extent of "200" and "The Black Queen"). Could understand Morgan's anger and hurt (being a character who has gone through the same thing as Blake) but also why members like Rossi and JJ defended Blake. Loved the team's genuine concern for Blake too. The very final scene with the barbecue is somewhat sappy but also adorable and a fond reminder of how well the team get on together.

The case is a tense one but also very sad. Also found myself relating to the subject, having suffered merciless bullying myself in school, have felt its damaging effects (still do) and have always felt strongly about it being taken much more seriously than it is. Despite the crimes, and in no way can one condone his actions, did find myself feeling a pang of sympathy for the unsub without feeling like the episode tried too hard to do it.

All the acting is very strong all round.

Overall, solid episode though had potential to be better than it turned out to be. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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