Criminal Minds (2005– )
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While tracking a family annihilator, the BAU must seek advice from "The Fox," one of the most horrific killers from the team's past who has an ominous message for Agent Hotchner.


John Gallagher


Jeff Davis (created by), Simon Mirren | 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
Neal Jones ... Karl Arnold
Andrea Thompson ... Field Agent Anne Hudson
Kristina Klebe ... Miranda Dracar
Neill Barry ... Captain Joseph Downey
James Fallon James Fallon ... Prof. James Fallon (as Jim Fallon)
Lorin McCraley ... Garrett Pain
Maria Maestas McCann ... Samantha Forester (as Maria McCann)
Sydney Sweeney ... Dani Forester


In Hampton, Virginia, the Downey family is murdered and buried in their backyard while the family patriarch, army Captain Joseph Downey, is deployed in Iraq. A similar mass murder of a military family while the father was on military deployment occurred a year earlier. Prints lifted at the murder scenes indicate that it is the same unsub. The unsub appears to be copying the murders committed by Karl Arnold aka The Fox. The BAU worked on the case of The Fox four years earlier. The unsub has tried to contact The Fox in prison. Hotch and Prentiss interview The Fox to try and understand his motivation so as to understand the unsub. Based on some information received from The Fox and by the way the bodies are laid out in their grave, the BAU have a clearer profile of the unsub, who is not a copycat of The Fox and who is not the person who tried to contact The Fox. The Fox has some parting words for Hotch about who tried to contact him. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 November 2009 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


James Fallon, who himself has the neurological and genetic correlates of psychopathy, has been categorized as a "pro-social psychopath", an assessment with which he concurs. He is lecturing about psychopathic brain changes which he is a professor of and expert on. See more »


Emily Prentiss: I encouraged him. Oh. I flirted with him. Made it personal. Getting intimate with a killer is... so different
Aaron Hotchner: It's what we do
Emily Prentiss: [Nods yes] Yeah, but... there's no fixing how I feel right now, is there?
Aaron Hotchner: No. But you helped the case. And you did what you had to
See more »


References Criminal Minds: The Fox (2005) See more »


Criminal Minds Theme
Composed by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

One of Season 5's gems
10 July 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

"Outfoxed" is not as good as "The Fox" (which introduced Karl Arnold, one of the most prolific, interesting and sadistic serial killers 'Criminal Minds' has ever written), then again it is difficult to be close to the same level as one of the show's best written and best ever episodes, but it is still incredibly good and one of Season 5's gems.

It's the interactions with Hotch, Prentiss and Arnold that make this episode work particularly well. Arnold's dialogue is just as chilling as in "The Fox", even though he is not committing murders here and is incarcerated he still has that sadistic edge. Neal Jones again, even if looking a little different, does exceptionally, not just in the delivery of these chilling lines, and of the relishing of the inappropriateness towards Prentiss (reminding one of Jacob Dawes in Season 1's "Riding the Lightning") but also his delight at Hotch's fright and despair at the end of the episode is spine-tingling.

Prentiss and Arnold's interactions also have genuine tension, tells so much about both of them and the case and has surprising nuance. It is agreed that Paget Brewster's acting here is truly phenomenal, Prentiss was always one of the high-points of 'Criminal Minds' but Brewster delivers some of her best acting here with a multi-layered and moving performance that does bring tears to the eyes. Also love the chemistry between Prentiss and Hotch, reminding one of how strong the BAU team are and how well they get on together and are supportive of one another. Thomas Gibson brings his usual stoic seriousness to Hotch, and between Hotch and Arnold, the acting of both Gibson and Jones at the end being one of the more subtle acting highlights.

The rest of the team don't shine quite as well, which is a shame, but they are not side-lined either and they are still interesting and true to character, no dumbing down or out of character moments. The mystery is diverting, with an unsub that one hates but feels sort of bad for, very good tension and suspense if not quite as much as "The Fox", interesting profiling and a twist reveal that nobody sees coming in a million years (it is left to the imagination as to how the "admirer" knew that the team would go to Arnold, as it's not clear in the episode, but in no way does it bring the episode down). The very end is a bit abrupt and could have been rounded off a little more.

Writing is tight, tense, harrowing and has some emotional impact, and it's all solidly paced and directed. Although Jones, Gibson and especially Brewster give the best performances, absolutely nobody is bad. As always "Outfoxed" has a real sense of slickness, atmosphere and high production values and the music is well-suited to the drama without enhancing or distracting from it.

On the whole, a gem from Season 5 if not quite one of the masterful ones. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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