Criminal Minds (2005–2020)
5 user


The team chases a sniper in Des Plaines, Illinois who for some reason only wounds his victims.


Ernest R. Dickerson (as Ernest Dickerson)


Jeff Davis (created by), Andrew Wilder (story editor) | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mandy Patinkin ... Jason Gideon
Thomas Gibson ... Aaron Hotchner
Lola Glaudini ... Elle Greenaway
Shemar Moore ... Derek Morgan
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Timothy Omundson ... Phillip Dowd
Marcus Giamatti ... Dr. Barry Landman
Paula Newsome ... Detective Shea Clavin
Tony Denison ... Weigart
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Tim Halligan ... Dr. Erstadt
Nike Doukas Nike Doukas ... Cheryl Marston
Thomas Lumberg Jr. ... Scott McCarty / SWAT #2
Matt McColm ... SWAT #1


Contrary to popular belief among many of the BAU, Reid does not know everything. He does not know how to shoot very well as he has just failed his latest firearms qualification. His lack of shooting skill is in marked contrast to the man the BAU are tracking and who the FBI coin a L.D.S.K.: long distance serial killer. In Des Plaines, Illinois, an expert marksman, unseen and in various seemingly unconnected locations during the middle of the day, has been shooting multiple people from a long distance. The target is always shot in the abdomen, all but one of the victims thus far having survived. The BAU determine that the marksman is purposeful in where he shoots his victims. Beyond a basic profile, they know that he has had specialized gun and shooting training. This means that he was, or still is, a police officer, news that does not sit well with the Des Plaines Police Department who are assisting on the case. Gideon comes up with a theory on the middle of the day shooting times. ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Body Count: 11. See more »


The final quote given by Hotch is 'Nothing is so common as the wish to be remarkable.' He states that this is a quote by Shakespeare, but in fact, it is by Oliver Wendell Holmes. See more »


Jason Gideon: Nietzsche said, "The irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it."
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Referenced in Criminal Minds: Ghost (2020) See more »


Criminal Minds Theme
Composed by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

The case of the Long Distance Serial Killer in one of the greatest episodes of 'Criminal Minds'
26 November 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

While there were a few underwhelming episodes, like "Blood Hungry", "The Popular Kids" and especially "Machismo" (also thought "Derailed" was uneven and could have been better), Season 1 was a mostly solid season and showed a personal favourite showing huge promise early on.

Most of the episodes in Season 1 are pretty good to outstanding. "L.D.S.K" for me has always been one of the top 5 best of the season (along with "The Fox", "Riding the Lightning", "Charm and Harm" and "The Fisher King Part 1", remember "Plain Sight" incredibly fondly too) and one of the show's greatest episodes. At the time, the concept of long distance serial killers (snipers) was a new idea for 'Criminal Minds' and is still one of the concepts least re-visited.

Immediately standing out was the quality of the storytelling and the character development. The story is gripping throughout and is riddled with tension and suspense, as well twists and turns that keep coming, so when you think you know the answer or have solved the case another you're shocked again. It is also one of few 'Criminal Minds' episodes to not reveal the identity of the unsub or show a shred of suspicion against him until late, making for one of the most pulse-pounding and nail-biting climaxes in 'Criminal Minds' history. Anybody who loves 'Criminal Minds' for the profiling, pathology and the psychological delving in the criminal's mind will not be disappointed at all, all of that's here and in sizable amount, integrated beautifully into the story.

As someone who has always loved Reid, who always has been one of the show's most interesting, endearing and most well-developed leading characters and one of the few reasons why Season 11 was still stuck with (Season 12 is still in early days but have yet to be wowed), "L.D.S.K" was a delight because it develops him and his gun qualification dilemma beautifully that one roots for him from the get go and doesn't stop until the last second. Loved his chemistry with the rest of the team, especially with Hotch (like a no-nonsense boss/loyal friend), Morgan (like a sympathetic and protective big brother) and with Gideon.

The writing is superb, especially in the closing scenes. It really delivers on the tension in the climax, with Hotch's story being so convincing that you are very close to believing him while still aware of what he's planning, while also on the humour ("you kick like a 9 year old girl") and emotion ("I'm proud of you").

Visually, "L.D.S.K" is gritty and stylish but also classy. The episode also contains some of the most effective and mood-enhancing music scores of the season, such as the James Blunt song at the end. The direction lets the action breathe but the momentum is kept alert too. The acting is excellent, especially from Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson and Mandy Patinkin. Even Lola Glaudini's fine.

Overall, one of the greatest episodes of 'Criminal Minds'. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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USA | Canada



Release Date:

2 November 2005 (Canada) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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