Criminal Minds (2005–2020)
4 user


A serial killer known as the Road Warrior is gunning down blonde women on roads in Orange County, California and the BAU suspect that the victims are surrogates and that it's only a matter of time before he kills the real one.


Steve Boyum


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




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Paget Brewster ... Emily Prentiss
Shemar Moore ... Derek Morgan
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Thomas Gibson ... Aaron Hotchner
Mitch Pileggi ... Norman Hill
Meta Golding ... Jordan Todd
Gina Torres ... Detective Thea Salinas
Danny Nucci ... Burke Manning
Elaine Hendrix ... Judy Hannity
Faith Ford ... Vanessa Hill
Rudy Moreno Rudy Moreno ... Victor Alvarez
Brie Gabrielle ... Sasha Hill


Middle aged Caucasian blonde women are being gunned down on the freeways around Los Angeles. Based on victimology, the BAU determine that the women are surrogates for someone in the unsub's life, probably his wife or former partner. The unsub is feeling emasculated, this feeling onset by some specific traumatic event, but precipitated by perceived attitudes toward him. However, the killings are getting progressively brazen, where the BAU believes the unsub will eventually kill the real blonde woman in his life, and the children associated with that relationship. When the team locate the unsub, it may be too late. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In an odd coincidence of casting, both this and the previous episode feature actors who co-starred on Murphy Brown. Faith Ford played Corky Sherwood, and Joe Regalbuto played Frank Fontana. See more »


The unsub shoots out the driver's side window on his first victim's car, then when the car flips, the window is intact again. See more »


David Rossi: [closing quote, voiceover] "There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were." - President Dwight Eisenhower.
See more »


References Goldfinger (1964) See more »


A Well Respected Man
Written by Ray Davies
Performed by The Kinks
See more »

User Reviews

A nail-biter
23 November 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Having just re-watched "Normal" after a long time, while not quite among the best episodes of one of 'Criminal Minds' better and most consistent seasons it is certainly better than the likes of "Demonology" and "Catching Out" and much better than the vaguely indifferent reaction from first viewing long ago.

Two things are especially good. "Normal" contains one of Season 4's most visually striking and quite frightening, nail-biting in its intensity and horror-like suspense, opening sequences, and also for me one of the most visually striking and frightening opening sequences in the whole history of 'Criminal Minds'. Mitch Pileggi is remarkable also as the unsub (especially in the climax, which had an ingenious twist), he creates uneasy chills but at the same time because of the case being so tragic this is an unsub we feel a great deal of sorry emotion for.

"Normal's" story is compelling throughout, not letting one down at all after such a promising opening. Pacing is taut and fluid the entire time, and not only is there palpable suspense and tension, but the psychological elements are horrifically disturbing as they ought and emotionally some of the episode is tearjerker-inducing. Especially in the climax which was both scary and quite heart-breaking. The script on the most part is very well written, with a lot of thought and emotion, as well as the odd bit of humour. A favourite was the very humorous "endless supply of 3 things" exchange between Salinas and Reid.

All the acting is great, lead and supporting, Pileggi being particularly note-worthy. Visually, "Normal" looks great, being especially eye-catching at the start and the grit, atmosphere and class is maintained through the whole episode's duration. The music is haunting and moody, not always adding but never distracting. The direction as always is solid.

Criticisms are very few here. Can understand about a few finding the "happy" ending sappy and out of place for such a gritty episode, personally thought it was quite sweet and while a bit jarring tonally there are worse cases in the show in other episodes (speaking as a big fan). The only things for me actually that didn't strike me as right were the very forced and empty attempt at empathy at the end with Morgan towards the unsub (both the line and also, for someone usually so tough with criminals, that side to Morgan at that point just didn't feel right from that particular character at that particular time and aiming it at the last person he would usually do), and the dull and ill-fitting character of Todd.

Overall, a nail-biter of an episode that was almost among the season's best episodes but doesn't quite make it. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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USA | Canada



Release Date:

17 December 2008 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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