"Limelight" is an episode of Criminal Minds starring Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster, and Shemar Moore. The auction of the contents of a self-storage facility in Philadelphia reveal a possible serial killer in the making.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... David Rossi
... Emily Prentiss
... Derek Morgan
... Dr. Spencer Reid
... Jennifer Jareau
... Penelope Garcia
... Aaron Hotchner
... Jill Morris
... Kat Townsley
... Unsub
... Stu
... Auctioneer
... Dwayne
... Shawn Overholt
... Medical Examiner


When the contents of a self-storage facility is sold, the new owners find a number of pictures, drawings and notes that suggest that there's a possible sadistic serial killer in the making in town. The case is complicated by a local FBI agent who sees the incident as an opportunity to become famous... Written by J. Rieper

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TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 January 2008 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the victim's car is hit from behind by the killer's van you can see the cameraman's hand and camera when she looks behind her. See more »


Aaron Hotchner: Broken home, poverty, trade school, petty crime, lewd behavior. The whole profile is here black and white.
Emily Prentiss: That's a small consolation.
Aaron Hotchner: How many is he up to?
Jennifer Jareau: Seventeen.
Emily Prentiss: They haven't even gotten through to the 2006 pile.
Aaron Hotchner: Has he told us where to find the remains?
Jennifer Jareau: No, he doesn't speak, he just points.
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Sweet Beliefs
Written by Cyann & Ben
Performed by Cyann & Ben
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User Reviews

'Criminal Minds' in the limelight
8 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

Not one of my favourite Season 3 episodes like "Elephant's Memory", "Lucky", "Lo-Fi" and "Seven Seconds". For me, while slightly better than still-not-bad-but-somewhat-bland episodes like "Identity", "About Face", "3rd Life" and "Birthright", "Limelight" is one of the season's lesser episodes.

There is a good deal to like. Visually, "Limelight" is a typically well-made episode, it's stylishly shot, tightly edited and lit in a way that's atmospherically gritty but also classy. The music is suitably haunting and melancholic, very fitting with the episode's mood, not enhancing as such but never distracting. The direction is alert but also accommodating.

"Limelight" is smartly and thoughtfully scripted too, and that there was more development to Rossi was appreciated and what's more the development on him is fascinating, sees him maturing more and brings sides to him that weren't seen before when first introduced. The story is mostly compelling, with a unique modus operandi, a freaky opening and some edge of your seat moments. There are a number of character delights, Rossi and Jill's relationship dominates and is advantaged by the perfectly pitched chemistry between Joe Mantegna and Andrea Roth, but just as much are the chemistry between Rossi and Hotch, which is business-like and realistically-direct, and Reid's adorable and very funny eccentricities. Prentiss and Morgan also work really well together.

All round the acting is very good, Joe Mantegna and Thomas Gibson are marvellous and Roth does the best she can with her material. The creepy is underused but suitably repellent.

However, the case does have its slow stretches where the story loses tightness and gets bogged down in talk. Some of the team take too much of a back-seat, especially JJ who is mostly background here.

Biggest problem with "Limelight" is the character of Jill. It was clear what the episode was trying to do in making her a younger version of Rossi, but she just comes over as arrogant, obnoxious and careless in her risk-taking. Her indifference towards the outcome of the case and her obsessive actions (i.e. false evidence) in the episode was almost like she was involving herself for fame's sake and not because she wanted the case solved and one strongly suspects her as the unsub in places.

In conclusion, pretty good but didn't blow me away. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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