Criminal Minds (2005– )
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It Takes a Village 

The BAU team is at a crossroads as they are questioned by a Senate Committee for their retaliatory actions in the wake of Prentiss' loss, but an unexpected familiar face could help them win their case and keep the team together.


Glenn Kershaw


Jeff Davis (created by), Erica Messer | 2 more credits »

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Episode credited cast:
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
Timothy V. Murphy ... Ian Doyle
Mark Moses ... Senator Cramer
Jayne Atkinson ... Erin Strauss
Ursula Brooks ... Chloe Donaghy
Robin Atkin Downes ... Lachlan McDermott
Conrad Bluth Conrad Bluth ... Declan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Pallotta John Pallotta ... SGT Manuel


It's been seven months since Prentiss' death, and three months since JJ returned to the unit to fill Prentiss' empty position. Ever since Prentiss' death, Morgan had been working to find and capture Prentiss' murderer, Ian Doyle, first unsanctioned but then within the scope of the team but still without any government authority. It is because of that unsanctioned nature that the team members individually are appearing at a senate committee hearing into the case, which led to the death of two agents. Morgan felt the best way to locate Doyle was to locate his son, Declan, who Prentiss spent the better part of her post-Interpol life protecting. Morgan did find Declan. But Declan went missing shortly thereafter. The team didn't believe Doyle kidnapped Declan, but rather enemies of Doyle's did. Hotch decided that one person could have special insight into the case, and made a unilateral decision to bring her in much like the unilateral decision he made without the team's knowledge seven ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 September 2011 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


As of this episode, SSA Aaron Hotchner is the only male member of the team that carries a Glock 17 See more »


The senator asks JJ at the beginning of her testimony if her team was reduced to 4 members. She replies that yes, it consisted of agents Rossi, Morgan, herself, and technical analyst Penelope Garcia. Flashbacks throughout the remainder of the show clearly depict that Doctor Reid has also continued working as part of the BAU team. His ongoing participation brings their roster at the time in question to a total of 5 personnel, not 4. See more »


[first lines]
Senator Cramer: And how long have you been back with the bureau?
Jennifer Jareau: Three and a half months, sir.
Senator Cramer: A lot has happened since then. Sabbaticals, transfers, reassignments. Four of you remained in the unit?
Jennifer Jareau: Agents Rossi, Morgan, and I were there with our technical analyst, Penelope Garcia.
Senator Cramer: You had 14 cases in that time.
Jennifer Jareau: Seventeen, sir.
Senator Cramer: Oh, yes. In 14 weeks. That's impressive.
Jennifer Jareau: Thank you.
Senator Cramer: But what's more impressive is the fact that you were reinstated, promoted, and suspended in that short time. I believe ...
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Composed by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

Solid season opener
23 September 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

There are better episodes of 'Criminal Minds' around. At the same time there are far worse ones as well. "It Takes a Village" was a solid season opener, if not as good as the previous season premieres, and better than quite a lot of Season 6.

As ever, the production values are top-notch, with a great dark atmosphere evoked while still making out what's going on. The music is appropriately moody without being intrusive, while also having some poignancy. Both Prentiss and JJ make shock but very welcome returns, and neither feel too out of character even if JJ shows more of a motherly side than in the earlier seasons. Seaver, a character I actively disliked, is not missed at all.

"It Takes a Village's" writing is patchy but mostly good. The highlights are the scenes between Doyle and Morgan, which have great tension, and the scenes with the team being questioned by the senator that bookend the scenes involving the case told in intriguing and never over-complicated flashback structure. Reid putting the senator in his place was a classic Reid moment and Garcia's "You're alive?" was endearing and moving.

Not all of it works, especially Prentiss' over-the-top speech which felt out of place and heavy-handed. More development of the unsubs, only mentioned really in when the team figure it all out through the profiling, and providing a reason for Hotch being away would have been more welcome. The story is tense and suspenseful, with an adrenaline-filled and poignant, if rather over-familiar climax, good twists and turns (after being convinced that Doyle is behind it, the revelation that it was somebody else was a real surprise) and one actually feels bad for Doyle.

With the team dynamic, it is very believable and charming, their shock is very believably done. Less believable is the anger, there could have been much more considering the size of the lie they were told. The acting is fine, though Strauss continues to be as cold as ever. Paget Brewster, Shemar Moore and Matthew Gray Gubler shine of the regulars, while Joe Mantegna excels at smooth-talk. Timothy V. Murphy does excellently as Doyle, and the boy who plays Declan shows terror and grief very well.

All in all, a solid season opener and one of Season 7's better episodes. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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