The team attempts to catch a killer who preys on families while they are supposed to be on vacation.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Jason Gideon
... Aaron Hotchner
... Elle Greenaway
... Derek Morgan
... Dr. Spencer Reid
... Jennifer Jareau
... Karl Arnold
... Eric Miller
... Dr. Rachel Howard
... Frank Fielding
... Haley Hotchner
... Penelope Garcia
Chane't Johnson ... Barbara Raleigh
... Allison Crawford
... Chris Crawford


Married Maryland couple Chris and Allison Crawford and their two children, Sam and Emily, are found dead in their home in what looks to be a murder-suicide. The BAU know that it isn't as another area family, the Millers - also a mother, father, son and daughter - were found dead in their home one month earlier in what was originally deemed a murder-suicide. The other connections between the two sets of deaths are that the families were found five days after the start of what was supposed to be a family vacation. Both sets of vacations were never taken, yet the bodies were found less than a day postmortem. The first suspect is Eric Miller, the deceased Reese Miller's ex-husband and the biological father of the two deceased Miller children. The BAU try to find a connection between the two families and a possible connection between Eric Miller and the Crawfords. Also, they may have some substantial leads when they discover a secondary cell phone account under Allison Crawford's name, and... Written by Huggo

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TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 November 2005 (Canada)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Guest stars Tony Todd and Bonita Friedericy would later play the bosses of Chuck Bartowski in Chuck. See more »


It is mentioned that Karl Arnold and his wife had been divorced for 5 years. However in Arnold's "family photo", there is no age difference between the photos of the kids and them in the present. See more »


Jason Gideon: Karl Arnold, he has a boy and a girl, just like the Millers and the Crawfords.
Aaron Hotchner: Target family will be the same.
Dr. Rachel Howard: How could I not have seen it?
Derek Morgan: Well, because he's that good. If he wasn't, we would have caught him sooner.
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Referenced in Criminal Minds: Outfoxed (2009) See more »


Criminal Minds Theme
Composed by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

One of the best-written episodes in the entire history of 'Criminal Minds'
10 July 2016 | by See all my reviews

Season 1 was mostly a promising start, though with its slow parts and a couple of not-so-good episodes ("Machismo" for me being one the show's low-points), of a show that got better and better until becoming hit and miss from mid-Season 6 onwards.

"The Fox" is one of the season's best episodes along with "Riding the Lighting", in the way that "Riding the Lightning" was one of not many 'Criminal Minds' to reduce me to tears (also cried in "100", "Nelson's Sparrow" and "The Longest Night") "The Fox" is along with "Mr. Scratch", "The Lesson" and "North Mammon" one of the show's most intense and frightening. This said, there are some funny moments too on 'Criminal Minds', with a contender for the funniest being Morgan and Reid's prank war in "Painless".

It is also one of the best written and best in general episodes of the entire show, that is of course from personal opinion. As always with 'Criminal Minds' it is atmospherically, stylishly and audaciously made, and also solidly directed, tautly paced and with effective use of music that's haunting without being intrusive or melodramatic.

As aforementioned, "The Fox" is also brilliantly written, the profiling, procedure aspects and delving into the minds of the suspects helped make Karl Arnold here one of the show's most interesting, memorable and quite frightening serial killers along with George Foyet (the most prolific), Billy Flynn and to a lesser extent Frank Breitkopf). One gets chills with Karl Arnold's dialogue here, some of the most chilling of all the episodes along with the unsub's dialogue displaying his lack of remorse and refusal to take responsibility in "North Mammon" and any dialogue uttered by George Foyet especially in "Nameless, Faceless".

The story takes its time to develop, with a lot of talk and not much action, but still gives us enough absorbing information without bombarding us with too much (a danger with a show that has episodes as short as they are). The crimes, like the unsub, are organised and meticulous, which helps add to their shock value, and the episode is high in intensity and suspense, more so than any other episode in Season 1.

Characters are very well done. Much has been said about Karl Arnold, for good reason, but even so early on the BAU team have personalities very well-established (though JJ becomes more interesting later on) and gel very nicely. Never been a fan of cold and sometimes annoying Elle or Lola Glaudini, but both are fine here. The acting is very good, with Neal Jones exceptional as Arnold.

In conclusion, really fantastic episodes, one of the best-written episodes of 'Criminal Minds' but also one of Season 1's best and one of the show's best in general. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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