Criminal Minds (2005–2020)
3 user

The Black Queen 

When a murder investigation opens in San Jose, Garcia is forced to delve into her past as a hacker and reconnect with her former boyfriend to help the BAU solve the case.


Tawnia McKiernan


Jeff Davis (created by), Breen Frazier




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Shemar Moore ... Derek Morgan
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Jeanne Tripplehorn ... Alex Blake
Thomas Gibson ... Aaron Hotchner
Paulo Costanzo ... Shane Wyeth
Jeffrey Combs ... John Nichols
Erik Passoja ... Sam Russell
Clifford Morts Clifford Morts ... Bob Cooper
Caroline Whitney Smith ... Kathleen Miller
Jackie Joyner ... Rhonda
David Salsa ... Lt. Mike Sommers
Rayna Tharani ... Marguerite Churchill


In 2004, the BAU traveled to San Jose, California for two reasons. One was to recruit Garcia, a hacker at the time, who was known in her circles as the Black Queen and who was given the choice of the job or prison. The second was to investigate the murders of eight prostitutes. Although he didn't fit the profile exactly, a man named Sam Russell then admitted to the eight murders, he who is now on death row at San Quentin, his execution scheduled in two weeks. However, the San Jose Police Department computer system was just hacked, and Russell's files stolen. The anonymous messages the SJPD received from the hackers are that Russell is innocent. Garcia believes the hackers are a vigilante justice group called Star Chamber, Russell who used to be a hacker himself and who Garcia knew online. Russell also now recants his admission of guilt, he stating that he was drug addled at the time, with the lead investigator, now retired Det. Bob Cooper, feeding him drugs to satisfy his habit in ... Written by Huggo

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Did You Know?


The phrase "flarpy blunderguff" is made up. They hinted it was a sexual act involving food (cheetos in this case) and edible body paint. See more »


The BAU is re-investigating whether a California serial killer is actually guilty of the crimes he confessed to in 2004 because he is set to be executed in two weeks, yet California has had a de facto moratorium on executions since 2006, so unless Criminal Minds takes place in an alternate reality, there's no way California would be carrying out an execution in 2014.

Even if California were carrying out executions, it is unlikely that someone who was convicted in 2004 would be executed so quickly. As of 2013, there were more than 700 individuals on California's death row, some of whom had been convicted in the 1980s. Even if the individual had chosen not to appeal his sentence--and in this case he has--there is a lengthy automatic-appeals process that would likely see other individuals, who have exhausted all their appeals, executed before him. See more »


Alex Blake: Hackers have signatures?
Penelope Garcia: Sometimes. Usually it's a message in the code to let other pros know, "Hey, this one was me." And in this case, the signature matches the DOJ hack, and it is, "Happy Fun Meow Meow."
Jennifer Jareau: Sorry, what?
Penelope Garcia: "Happy Fun Meow Meow."
David Rossi: What the hell does that mean?
Aaron Hotchner: It was Garcia's signature before she joined the BAU.
See more »


References The Star Chamber (1983) See more »


Criminal Minds Theme
Composed by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

Suspicious voting
4 October 2019 | by Jackbv123See all my reviews

As of this writing in October 2019, literally just over half the star ratings are 1 star or the worst rating possible.

1 star ratings are almost always based on anger at something and it is usually one single point rather than the episode or show as a whole. And when you see an unusually large distribution of 1 star, especially if the bulk of the ratings are much higher, then there is usually some ballot box stuffing going on. It happens often enough on IMDb.

I'm at something of a loss to see what the trigger for this might be. Is it the sexual harassment issue? Maybe. If it is negative reaction to the fact Garcia and Morgan have that going far too much (which is probably true), then why punish this episode? If it is a reaction to the process of an employer policing such actions, that is more understandable but it is an unfair reaction. Such policing is necessary even if some people think it is difficult to apply fairly. For a show that has had unsubs do almost anything horrible imaginable, and some things even unimaginable, it is hard to imagine what else might be causing this rating reaction.

I enjoyed this episode. I enjoyed learning more about Garcia even if some contradictions to earlier episodes resulted. I loved her entrance as Black Queen. There was some decent profiling.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Release Date:

15 January 2014 (USA) See more »

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Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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