Criminal Minds (2005– )
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The BAU team travels to San Francisco to investigate the murders of several homeless men and teams up with a separate group of BAU operatives who are working another case they think is connected.


Richard Shepard


Jeff Davis (created by), Chris Mundy (teleplay by) | 3 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
Forest Whitaker ... Sam Cooper
Michael Kelly ... Jonathan 'Prophet' Simms
Matt Ryan ... Mick Rawson
Beau Garrett ... Gina LaSalle
Jason Wiles ... Ben McBride
Jason Brooks ... John Vincent Bell
Lesley Fera ... Leslie McBride
Alexa Nikolas ... Jane McBride


The BAU's latest case takes the team to San Francisco, California. For each of the last three years at the same time of the year, three homeless men have been found murdered in three consecutive days, after which the murders stop. Each is killed execution style but show signs of blunt force trauma prior to death. The first of the murdered homeless men this year has been found, meaning that the BAU expect two more over the next two days unless they can find the unsub. Although he has direct orders not to get involved by Strauss, Special Supervisory Agent Sam Cooper, a former BAU member who now heads his own hand picked team, asks Hotch for a favor: he wants his team in on the case as he has a theory. He has noticed that immediately after the three murders, a father and his teen-aged daughter have also been found murdered, which he feels is connected. He suspects there is currently a missing father and daughter which no one is looking for in connection to being ultimately murdered. ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

7 April 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is Jason Wiles' second appearance on Criminal Minds. He appeared in the season 2 episode "Psychodrama" as the Unsub. See more »


The team is supposedly working in San Francisco, but during the nighttime surveillance scene, a large neon sign for the Rosslyn Hotel is clearly visible. The Rosslyn Hotel is in Los Angeles. See more »


David Rossi: I actually think San Quentin was nicer.
Jonathan Simms: Yeah, trust me, it's not.
Dr. Spencer Reid: What do you mean?
See more »


Criminal Minds Theme
Composed by Mark Mancina
See more »

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User Reviews

Now beats "Hopeless" as the worst episode of Season 5
24 November 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Used to introduce the spin-off 'Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour', one of the biggest problems with "The Fight" is that it doesn't feel like 'Criminal Minds' at all, one of the few Season 1-5 episodes to have that problem (even the previous lesser episodes didn't make this mistake.

It is more like 'Suspect Behaviour', except even worse than the show itself and less compelling. Considering that 'Criminal Minds' is actually a great show at its best and that I was never able to get into 'Suspect Behaviour' and do think that it is one of not many short-lived shows where its early cancellation was justified, this is very much a bad thing.

There are things that just about salvage it from being completely execrable. Do love the chemistry between Hotch and Prentiss, and think that Thomas Gibson and particularly Paget Brewster give the best performances in the episode. Jason Brooks is also effective as the unsub, and the rest of the BAU though underused are good. The pathology and the unsub's story have intrigue, even though much more could have been done with them. The scenery is quite nice and the music is haunting enough.

However, the acting of the 'Suspect Behaviour' team is poor, with only Michael Kelly trying. Forrest Whittaker is terribly and shockingly inconsistent, at points he goes completely through the motions (slurring words and all) and at other points he clearly over-compensates for the poor writing, the authoritative personality is overdone and then any empathising or emotion is delivered with a face of stone. Again, this is not a good thing due to that they dominate the episode while the BAU mostly are sidelined with Reid, Morgan and JJ barely in it.

Further disadvantages include trying to cram far too much in too short a time, making things severely underdeveloped and confused, and having too many characters that are either uninteresting or given short shrift. Hated the insufferably annoying British character Mick, a strong contender for the single most annoying character of any Season 1-5 episode, with Matt Ryan winning the dishonourable award of giving the episode's worst performance. As well as his rapport with Prentiss, with saw some truly cringe-worthy dialogue.

"The Fight" saw a rare case of an early season episode to have really sloppy and often embarrassingly bad writing and to have jumpy and amateurish camera work and editing (almost as bad as that of "The Thirteenth Step"). The story is erratically paced, with parts being rushed due to doing too much and many others dull due to being impossible to invest in or engage with it. Much of it is convoluted too while good ideas are not given anywhere near enough development, while the direction is disorganised and heavy-footed.

All in all, while "Parasite", "The Performer" and especially "Hopeless" were not good episodes of Season 5 "The Fight" is worse than all three. At least the first two didn't make the mistake of not feeling like 'Criminal Minds' at all, while "Hopeless" wasn't quite as badly affected with one of its biggest mistakes being that it was unsub-heavy and done pretty poorly. 4/10 Bethany Cox

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