Criminal Minds (2005– )
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A hitman targeting people in some way guilty of children-related crimes brings the BAU to Rossi's home town.


Karen Gaviola


Jeff Davis (created by), Dan Dworkin | 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 Sadler ... Ray Finnegan
Lawrence Pressman ... Judge Schuller
Vincent Guastaferro ... Det. Gil Hardesty
Cynthia Watros ... Heather Vanderwaal
D.B. Sweeney ... U.S. Marshal Sam Kassmeyer
Leith M. Burke ... Jerry Sorum (as Leith Burke)
Cliff Weissman ... Drew Sandweiss
Tom Ohmer ... Bosola


The BAU are called to Commack, Long Island where Ben Vanderwaal, the third and latest victim of a serial killer, has just been found dead. Each victim was bound, then shot through the head and heart. The two male victims were also mutilated postmortem, but each with a different body part missing, whereas the sole female victim thus far was extremely emaciated prior to death. Rossi requests to stay behind at the office rather than go to Commack since this is his small home town, a part of his past that he does not want to revisit. His request is denied by Hotch since Reid is still not cleared to travel from his injury sustained in the "LC." case. Once they arrive in Commack, the BAU find Heather Vanderwaal, Ben's wife, who was beaten at the scene of her husband's murder but not killed herself. Information from her, and other information from Garcia and Reid, form a connection between the three victims. Each was involved in some aspect of child abuse, Vanderwaal's not yet a matter of ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

7 October 2009 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


At the police station, Rossi makes the statement that since the barrel of the gun was not rifled, the bullets would have had little velocity. This is incorrect, as rifling has little effect on muzzle velocities and that effect is detrimental. Rifling imparts spin on the projectile and is meant to stabilize the projectile in flight. Bullets fired from a smooth bore weapon would have minimally higher velocities, given the same caliber and powder charge. See more »


Penelope Garcia: [to Hotch via webcam with Reid] I got something that might help us with that...
Dr. Spencer Reid: Technically *we* have something that might help us with that.
See more »


Criminal Minds Theme
Composed by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

Decent episode if lacking the extra something to be great
21 January 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Season 5 is not as good as the first four seasons, but is a mostly well done season, with most of the episodes being decent to great, some outstanding ones and some misfires.

"Reckoner" is one of Season 5's decent ones, better than the likes of "The Fight", "Hopeless", "The Performer" and "Parasite" but inferior to "100", "...A Thousand Words", "The Uncanny Valley" and "Mosley Lane". "Reckoner" is decent and does a lot right, but just lacks the extra something for it to be even better.

As always, the production values are very high in quality, with some of the most stylish and atmospheric camera work of the season that gives the episode a suitably dark, ominous tone. The music is haunting and melancholic, and the direction shows good direction of the actors and mostly solid pacing.

The script is intelligent and thought-provoking, with a great job developing Rossi and some welcome humour with Reid and Garcia. The story is interesting enough, and held together by the team's tight and adorable bond, the touching chemistry between Ray and Sean and especially the awesomeness of Rossi, whose story is gripping and beautifully interwoven with the case without overwhelming it. Love Garcia and Reid, a more professional Morgan and the interrogation stuff is intriguing.

Nothing can be faulted with the acting either, Joe Mantegna brings a perfect amount of the bad-ass and the soft-heart. Matthew Gray Gubler and Kirsten Vangsness are amusing, and there are great supporting star turns from Vincent Guastaferro (good balance of eager and bemused), Cynthia Watros (bringing tension and pathos to her role), Lawrence Pressman (suitably world-weary and vengeful) and from William Sadler and Glenn Keogh.

On the other hand, "Reckoner" could have had more tension and suspense, the production values set the tone wonderfully but the tension and suspense could have been more consistent. This would have been helped by slightly tighter pacing (at times) and more development and personality for the hit man unsub (the Judge was handled pretty well though, though still not among the most interesting) which was sketchy at best, his fate at the end was a bit of a damb squib too. While the team chemistry and personalities were done very, very well, there could have been a little more of Hotch and Reid.

In summary, decent if lacking greatness. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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