When bodies begin turning up in the cornfields of Indiana, the team must catch a pack of serial killers targeting exotic dancers.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Chris Salters
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Michael Kosina
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Scott Kagan
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Stephanie Wilson
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Gregory Wilson (as Grant Albrecht)
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Tara Dice
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Jonah
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Meredith Joy
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Storyline

In separate incidents, three exotic dancers have been found dead in corn fields in Johnson County, Indiana. The women were abducted following their shift at work on a Friday night, and killed sometime at the end of the weekend on Sunday. The latest victim, Meredith Joy, had the DNA of two people under her fingernails, meaning that there are at least two unsubs. In reviewing the site where Meredith's body was found, Morgan and Rossi determine that there are probably three unsubs who are locals since they seem to know the area well. Another dancer, Stephanie Wilson, has just been determined missing, leaving the BAU less than two days to find the unsubs before she will be killed. As the BAU come up with profiles for the unsubs, Garcia finds an interesting connection of the case to the sheriff's office, Sheriff Salters with who the BAU have had a problematic relationship. Meanwhile, after the unsubs see reports of the murders on the television news, the true nature of their relationship ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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3 November 2010 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The TV in the bar is set to Channel 3. Johnson County gets Indianapolis-area TV stations. In the Indianapolis market, there is no Channel 3. This is likely intentional, set up to avoid any similarities to real TV stations. See more »

Goofs

Rossi says to "Check the entire state; Fort Wayne to Evansville," for the suspect. Evansville is the southernmost big city in Indiana. However, South Bend is the northernmost big city, not Fort Wayne. See more »

Quotes

Aaron Hotchner: Has Stephanie Wilson's father arrived?
Sheriff Jeff Salters: He's waiting in the conference room. He's pretty messed up about the whole thing.
Aaron Hotchner: That's understandable.
Sheriff Jeff Salters: I just don't get it. You know how many strippers and prostitutes I saw get beaten up and raped when I worked the city? Sometimes it's like they're asking for it.
Aaron Hotchner: Nobody asks for this, Sheriff.
Sheriff Jeff Salters: Not consciously, anyway. Shall we go in?
Aaron Hotchner: I think I'll speak to him alone.
Sheriff Jeff Salters: Look, I call it like I see it.
Aaron Hotchner: These women are victims of heinous crimes. I won't have ...
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Soundtracks

Heading East to Get West
Performed by The Rockford Mules
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User Reviews

 
Twisty, complex and thoroughly engrossing with great supporting cast work
8 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

'Criminal Minds' had several high points in Seasons 1-5. Season 6 onwards also had high points but significantly less frequently, and the overall standard became hit and miss with a wider divide than before between the seasons' best and worst episodes.

Season 6 saw well-done episodes such as "Hanley Waters" (one of the season's best unsub performances in Kelli Williams), "Into the Woods" (creepy with one of the show's best child performances of unusual naturalism and complexity), "The Longest Night" (a season premiere that improved on the previous season's season finale) and "Remembrance of Things Past" (confused portrayal of Alzheimers aside, this was powerful and chilling stuff).

It also saw mediocre or worse episodes like "Today I Do" (very blandly derivative of 'Misery'), "25 to Life" (didn't start off too badly but fell apart after the identity of the unsub is revealed) and especially "The Thirteenth Step" (one of the biggest examples of a 'Criminal Minds' episode that didn't feel like 'Criminal Minds'.

"Middle Man" is one of Season 6's better episodes, and there is actually very little wrong with it. Only two things and they are minor. It has been criticised for being overly misogynistic (all due to some disparaging comments made by a character that is clearly intended to be disliked by the viewer from the get go) and trying too hard to show empathy for the unsubs (despite the awful nature of the crimes, only the leader is properly evil), but these are criticisms that isn't really agreed with by me. The scene where the team are discussing details of the case in the presence of security was unprofessional and careless, in a situation that was potentially dangerous and could have cost jobs or even lives if being watched. While the supporting cast's acting is some of the best of the season, Grant Albrecht is a little unconvincing and wooden.

However, Robert Newman sinks his teeth into the hostile sheriff role, and really relishes playing an unpleasant character, giving the character so much juice without overdoing it and turning into a cartoon. The unsubs are truly interesting here, so well performed, analysed and developed that seeing a lot of them was in no way a hindrance, and all three are up there with Kelli Williams and Tim Curry as the best unsub performances of the season. Michael Grant Terry is particularly brilliant as Chris.

The acting from the leads is typically very good indeed, no complaints there. There are some lovely moments, such as Garcia feeling more positive about her role, Reid's hilarious "I'm from Las Vegas" quip and Hotch showing his authority and firmness towards the sheriff, one cannot help cheering seeing somebody standing up to such a character.

Great profiling too (some of the best-written of the whole season), where one sees the team working as a cohesive unit with great individualistic psychology into the unsubs' minds, no over-reliance on technology and no conclusion jumping (things that eluded a fair few episodes in Season 6). The writing is very thought-provoking and tight, and the story is tense and suspenseful with lots of shocking twists and turns (including one big twist that was a huge surprise) without being confusing. The atmosphere evokes chills sometimes too.

Visually, as always with 'Criminal Minds', "Middle Man" is stylish and atmospheric, while the episode is also hauntingly scored, tautly paced and solidly directed.

All in all, a very good episode and actually almost great. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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