Criminal Minds (2005– )
7.7/10
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6 user 1 critic

Mayhem 

As the city is on high alert, the team begins to believe that they have made a mistake with the profile and that everything the terrorists have done so far may in fact just have been diversion for something even bigger.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... David Rossi
... Emily Prentiss
... Derek Morgan
... Dr. Spencer Reid
... Jennifer Jareau
... Penelope Garcia
... Aaron Hotchner
... Kate Joyner
... Detective Brustin
... Detective Cooper
... Lisa Bartleby (as Moe Daniels)
... Ben Abner
... Sam
... Shelly
... Colm Lagan
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Storyline

The BAU now believe that the subway killings were conducted by several people as part of a larger terrorist plot, those killings just a test for a wider mass attack to come. But a car bomb has just exploded close to the New York FBI headquarters, that car belonging to Joyner. Just outside the vehicle, Hotch is injured with a severe ringing in his ears from the explosion, is shocked, but is alive and mobile. Joyner on the other hand is severely injured. She knows her chances of survival are slim as the emergency responders were previously ordered not to attend such incidents because of the possible terrorist second wave hit. Garcia catches some interesting images at the bomb site which could compromise Hotch and Joyner's safety. The team do not yet realize that other things beyond what Garcia saw on camera are far more dangerous to Hotch and Joyner and the population of New York in general despite the team feeling that the car bomb is just too minor an incident in and of itself. The ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

24 September 2008 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the last episode that SSA Dr. Spencer Reid carries a 9mm Glock 17. He switches to a .357 Smith and Wesson model 65-3 in a very unusual appendix carry See more »

Goofs

The show opens with the subway shooter walking away with his right shoulder adjacent to the subway wall. When Hotch is reviewing the surveillance tape, the shooter is walking away with his left shoulder next to the subway wall. See more »

Quotes

Aaron Hotchner: [opening quote, voiceover] "Never think that war, no matter how necessary nor how justified, is not a crime." - Ernest Hemingway.
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Soundtracks

Criminal Minds
Composed by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

 
A let-down after "Lo-Fi", but not a bad episode
27 August 2016 | by See all my reviews

"Lo-Fi" was a brilliant finale to Season 3, the season's most tense and boldest, and one of the season's best episodes along with "Elephant's Memory", one of the whole show's most poignant.

Season 3 isn't perfect, with the early episodes having to cope with troubled circumstances, especially the abrupt departure of Gideon/Mandy Patinkin and having to find a replacement quickly, but while there was some initial shakiness (such as the somewhat awkward introduction of Rossi) it did surprisingly well considering. To me though, it was a long way from a mediocre or forgettable season, "Elephant's Memory" and "Lo-Fi" were brilliant and "Children of the Dark", "Seven Seconds" and "True Night" had many great things.

"Mayhem" had a lot to live up to and had a tough act to follow. Cliff-hangers continuing into the next season, meaning starting with the finale of the previous season and continuing with the succeeding season, have had mixed execution on 'Criminal Minds'. "The Fisher King Part 2" was on the same level of "The Fisher King Part 1" and two of the show's best episodes, while "The Longest Night" (one of the better episodes from personal opinion of the hit-and-miss Season 6) was an improvement over "Our Darkest Hour".

Even if being superior or equal to "Lo-Fi" was not expected, and would have been a big ask, there was the expectation that it would be almost as good. Unfortunately it was nowhere near as good, being a quite good but flawed episode which was a let-down compared to the brilliance of "Lo-Fi".

There are good things here. Production values are stylish, gritty, dark and audacious, while the music fits very well and has atmosphere and melancholy. "Mayhem" does start off incredibly, and does have a good deal of tension (such as the carnage of the bomb, which is superbly chaotic and has urgency, and Morgan's subway scene) and was also moving, actually did care for what happened for Kate which was great for a short-lived character.

Intelligent, taut and smart writing always helps, and "Mayhem" does have that, and the direction has urgency and spaciousness. The acting is very good all round, actually did think that care and genuine emotion for such a horrible situation was incredibly obvious.

At the same time, "Mayhem", while not devoid of tension and suspense, does lack the mounting-tension-up-to-terrifying-heights and bold risks of "Lo-Fi". Too much of it feels unresolved, some subplots don't feel as complete as they could have been, only showing what happened to only a few unsubs/terrorists and neglecting the others felt like a cop-out and the ending could have been better rounded off. "Lo-Fi" had no pacing issues at all, but "Mayhem" felt somewhat rushed and like a longer length might have helped.

On the whole, not a bad episode, just not to the same level as "Lo-Fi". 7/10 Bethany Cox


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