Criminal Minds (2005– )
3 user 1 critic


A serial killer targeting couples stages their bodies in a way to make their deaths look like car accidents.


John Gallagher


Jeff Davis (created by), Debra J. Fisher | 2 more credits »

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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
William Mapother ... Ian Corbin
Robyn Lively ... Abby Corbin
David Andrews ... Sheriff Bruner
Wil Wheaton ... Floyd Hansen
Jack Laufer ... Harold Sanders
Joe Unger ... Bobby Jones
Sherry Weston ... Betty
Price Carson ... Owner


A serial killer who targets couples rapes and tortures the women psychologically and physically and kills the men by blunt force to the head leaves the bodies in a car on a road to make it look like a car accident. While the BAU are investigating, a couple in a motel somewhere find themselves trapped in a pure nightmare... Written by J. Rieper

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


During the first crash, the truck jackknifed before hitting the car. It was not animated or digitally created; a stunt driver put the truck into a full controlled jackknife in front of the camera. See more »


The trucker who hit the car in the beginning said that he was "South of Sin City(Las Vegas)" which is in southern Nevada. When in fact they are in the vicinity of Reno and Carson City, which is actually in northern Nevada. See more »


Emily Prentiss: Well Roadside motels definately go on my list.
[When Reid gives her a funny look... ]
Emily Prentiss: Of things to never do again.
Dr. Spencer Reid: You have a *list?*
David Rossi: [to Reid] You *don't?*
See more »


Rock 'n' Roll Train
Written by Malcolm Young and Angus Young
Performed by AC/DC
See more »

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User Reviews

An unsub's paradise is his victims' torture
18 February 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Season 4 is a very strong contender for the best season of 'Criminal Minds'. A season with so many classics (like "The Big Wheel", "Zoe's Reprise" and "Conflicted" to name a few), some of the best of the whole show, and one where even weaker episodes such as "Demonology" and "Catching Out" are still watchable and much better than the worst episodes of Seasons 6, 9 and 11.

"Paradise" is not the season or show at its best, but even with an idea that is not that original in concept (with eerie similarities to the likes of 'Psycho' and 'Vacancy') it does a very good job on the whole executing it. Maybe some of the pacing could have flowed a little better in places, with occasional draggy stretches towards the start and parts of the script slightly tighter, but actually other than lacking the extra something that makes the best 'Criminal Minds' episodes so good there is not really much to criticise "Paradise" for.

Visually the production values are without complaint. It's very well shot and lit and is overall stylish, gritty, classy and atmospheric. The music is moody in the haunting and melancholic sense and fits well, without either enhancing or distracting from it. The direction keeps the momentum going but lets the case breathe, and most of the pacing is breathe especially in the latter parts when the tension builds.

It's a mostly well-written episode too, thoughtful, solid in flow and well balanced between case and team dynamic. The story makes up for its lack of originality for its skin-crawling, unnervingly dark tension, especially in the climax, where one is really reminded of a horror. The profiling and detective work is great.

Love the team dynamic as always, like with Garcia's refreshing humour and Rossi's sympathetic and sassy air. Unlike one of the previous reviewers (and this is not the first time this criticism has been seen and stated), it was not a bad thing for a very intelligent human being like Hotch to not be perfect and make mistakes like we all do. One can see his mistake as a big one, but actually, while the viewer knows the truth before the team does, bear in mind that it is not the first time in the show's history, nor the last or worst, for the unsub to be clearer to the viewer before them and in those cases any fore-shadowing is much more obvious, to me the unsub was actually very believable as a normal innocent person (as any signs of them being the unsub happened after the meeting Hotch had no reason to suspect) and that was what made them easier to trust and what made them so creepy.

Acting is very good as ever. All the regulars are without fault, while Wil Weaton is frightfully eerie, even with minimal screen time he still makes Floyd a memorable character.

In conclusion, not a 'Criminal Minds' classic but a very good episode. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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