While the BAU looks for a vigilante killer on the loose in Cleveland, Rossi is concerned when his former Marine sergeant goes missing and heads to Los Angeles to find him. Also, the secret ... See full summary »

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Clifford Walsh
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Carl
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Helen Clark
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Clarence
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Madison Davis (as Alexis Peters)
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Storyline

While the BAU looks for a vigilante killer on the loose in Cleveland, Rossi is concerned when his former Marine sergeant goes missing and heads to Los Angeles to find him. Also, the secret JJ has been keeping from the team may be catching up with her. Written by MissFortuneCookie

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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22 January 2014 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Trivia

The first episode of Criminal Minds to be directed by cast member Joe Mantegna, who plays David Rossi. See more »

Goofs

When the "Unsub" esters the building to the meth dealers, he has his two hands in the pockets of his coat, but when Hotch and Blake are looking at the surveillance video, the "unsub" has a gun in his right hand, and of course, out of his pocket. See more »

Quotes

Jennifer Jareau: [talking to the phone] I don't know, Cruz. We could be here another day or two. Look, just send me a secure contact number and I'll get back...
[sees Hotch and Reid coming]
Jennifer Jareau: Okay, yeah. Well, you tell him Mommy misses him. Talk to you soon.
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Soundtracks

Guiding Light
Performed by: Foy Vance
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User Reviews

 
Joe Mantegna: The 'Criminal Minds' directorial debut
13 April 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When on form, and even better at its best, 'Criminal Minds' is one of my most watched and most re-watched shows and is a personal favourite. It is nowhere near as good now, but there are still good to great episodes made every now and then when the show doesn't forget what it's about, but Seasons 1-5 was its prime period.

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 9 generally is one of the weakest 'Criminal Minds' seasons, and due to a wider divide between the best and worst episodes one of the show's most inconsistent.

There are some good/great episodes like "Gabby", "The Caller", "Angels"/"Demons", and also underwhelming ones such as "Mr and Mrs Anderson", "The Inspiration" (the show's worst season premiere)/"The Inspired" and two of the show's low-points "200" and "The Black Queen". "The Road Home" is neither among the best or worst. It is a decent episode but also was left wanting, notable for being the 'Criminal Minds' directorial debut of Joe Mantegna. Generally he does a good job, though it's nowhere near the directorial debuts of Matthew Gray Gubler ("Mosley Lane") and Thomas Gibson ("All That Remains"), mostly exceptional episodes and among the best of their respective seasons where one can't believe that they had not directed a 'Criminal Minds' episode before.

Visually, the production values in "The Road Home" 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, Mantegna as said does fare well. The script has some very thought-provoking and often leaves one surprised and shocked.

Team interaction is delightful, like the strong assertiveness of Reid at the end and Rossi and Hotch's bond, and the profiling is cohesive, doesn't feel underused and doesn't have as much baseless conclusion jumping as too many Season 6 onwards episodes. There are a few twists and turns, there are some moving moments in the Rossi subplot thanks to the heartfelt and beautifully played chemistry between Rossi and Harrison and there is some tension and suspense.

Performances are very good from the regulars, particularly from Mantegna, while John Gries is genuinely frightening in a subtle way and Meshash Taylor plays Harrison beautifully.

However, the case does feel rather predictable with some derivative elements, and let down by the cheesy motivations of the unsub and the rather too melodramatic ending.

Despite some moving moments, there is too much of the Rossi subplot. It does verge on the heavy-handed and feels too much like filler. JJ's subplot is not particularly interesting and somewhat soap-operatic.

Overall, decent but not great. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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