Criminal Minds (2005–2020)
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The Performer 

The BAU team follows a trail of murders that seems to align with the tour schedule of a rock star.


John Badham


Jeff Davis (created by), Holly Harold | 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
Gavin Rossdale ... Dante / Paul Davies
Eddie Jemison ... Ray Campion
Ian Anthony Dale ... Lt. Detective Owen Kim
Inbar Lavi ... Gina King
Tonya Kay ... Tara Farris
Netta Most Netta Most ... Erin Hickman
Justin Grace ... Jeff Mundy
Ashleigh Sumner ... Marcia Masters


Tara Ferris is the third and latest female victim killed in two weeks in the Los Angeles, California area where the victims are beaten by blunt force trauma to head, not sexually assaulted, but drained of their blood. By the puncture wounds on the neck and the saliva found near the puncture wounds, the killer is mimicking a vampire. The BAU discover that a connection between all the victims is their worship of a goth/vampire singer named Paul Davies, whose stage name is Dante. A message scrawled on Tara's arm also points to a connection to Dante. Although a suspect since a victim's car is found at his home, Dante asserts that his public persona is solely an act and that he has disdain for people who worship his music. After interviewing him, the BAU learn that he doesn't quite fit the profile of the killer. The BAU also discover that part of their profile of the unsub is incorrect when they receive lab results of the saliva. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The case JJ teases Reid about, with Lila Archer the celebrity who was being stalked, was in episode 1x18 "Somebody's Watching." See more »


Prentiss casually mentions that she attended Georgetown University. But in her first appearance in Criminal Minds: The Last Word, she specifically tells Hotch that she attended Yale. No mention is made of ever having transferred colleges. See more »


Derek Morgan: Garcia, all these people drink blood?
Penelope Garcia: Au contraire. They mostly just dress up like Prentiss did in high school and they make believe. It's all kinds of delicious
Dr. Spencer Reid: It's not the same thing at all. As a matter of fact, I... I... we should refer to this unsub as vampirist, not a vampire. And they would be attracted to the subculture merely for it's professed worship of blood
See more »


References A Clockwork Orange (1971) See more »


Evil Eye
Written by Lions
Performed by Lions
See more »

User Reviews

Well, it is different, but it isn't one of the season's better episodes
28 September 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

For me, "The Performer" is one of Season 5's weaker episodes along with the very bland and just scraping average "Parasite". Not awful but not great, a brave attempt to do something different but it doesn't quite come off.

Starting with good things about "The Performer", as always with 'Criminal Minds' it looks great, psychedelic in colour and darkly atmospheric. There are a few moments of haunting music, and of the writing the standout was that terrific scene at the end between the team, that was very funny and very sweet and shows very well how strong a bond they have. Some of the in-jokes were a lot of fun and didn't feel too out of place.

Gavin Rossdale is excellent as the prime suspect, and the episode in the early stages does well in making the viewer believe it was him responsible. His relationship with his manager is touchingly depicted too. The acting is very good across the board.

However, the case does lack atmosphere, is quite slight and over-stretched-feeling and while one always welcomes a big revelation twist this one was not that surprising, in fact it's pretty easy to figure out too soon. Profiling is also always welcome, and is a large part as what makes 'Criminal Minds' so great, but there isn't quite enough here and didn't serve as much point or interest as it should have done.

Also did not buy the whole thing with JJ going to the house alone, which was not plausible in a situation that desperately required back-up straight-away and practically was a suicide move. It also takes her a long time to get there, whereas it took the rest of the team nowhere near as much time, that was contrived and the lack of explanation didn't help matters either.

'Criminal Minds' has had many times where it tries to do things differently with varying success. "The Performer" is an example of one that doesn't quite work, with the atmosphere feeling over-the-top and the methodology of the killings very strange even for the concept. The music has its moments but has a tendency to be too intrusive.

In conclusion, not one of Season 5's better episodes. For great episodes of the seasons, stick with "100", "...A Thousand Words", "The Uncanny Valley" and "Mosley Lane". 5/10 Bethany Cox

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USA | Canada



Release Date:

11 November 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Performer See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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