Criminal Minds (2005–2020)
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From Childhood's Hour 

The BAU team investigates the abductions of young children with troubled mothers in St. Louis. Also, Rossi reconnects with his first wife who has shocking news for him.


Anna Foerster (as Anna J. Foerster)


Jeff Davis (created by), Bruce Zimmerman | 2 more credits »




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
Isabella Hofmann ... Carolyn Baker Rossi
Patrick Stafford ... George Kelling
Annie Fitzgerald ... Marlene Smith
Heather Tom ... Connie Barton
Mason Cook ... Bobby Smith
Rebecca Spicher ... Shannon Barton
David L. King ... Detective Woods
Shevaun Kastl ... Kelsey Tanner (as Sevaun Cavanaugh Kastl)


It isn't until 48 hours after the disappearance of a nine year old boy from St. Louis, Missouri, that the BAU is called to investigate. The delay was because Bobby's chronically depressed mother, Marlene Smith, believed he was at his grandmother's house where she dropped him off. Despite her not being a candidate for mother of the year, the team doesn't believe that Marlene is a suspect as there is every indication that she lives beyond her means to please Bobby whenever she's not in one of her suicidal states. As there were no signs of a struggle, the team believes Bobby knew or at least trusted the abductor unsub, meaning that the unsub could have been someone in authority like a first responder. After another St. Louis child, four year old Timmy Tanner, is abducted, the team has its first victim profile: troubled mothers, as Timmy's mother, Kelsey Tanner, eventually admits to being a drug addict. Timmy's disappearance also brings about the first real break into the identity of the ... Written by Huggo (updated by R.M. Sieger)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Heather Tom (Connie Barton) and Shemar Moore (Morgan) both appeared on The Young and the Restless (1973). See more »


When the 13 year old girl calls 911 to report that her mother's boyfriend is attacking, the address is in St Louis, Missouri but the ZIP(TM) code is 91342 which is in the Los Angeles area. See more »


[first lines]
Bobby Smith: [banging the door] Mom, open the door! Please! Mom, open the door! Please don't, Mom! Please don't!
[Marlene holds scissors]
Bobby Smith: Please don't. Please! Open the door! Please! Please don't, Mom!
[Marlene throws scissors]
Bobby Smith: Mom? Open the door. Mom! Open it! Mom, please. Mom.
Marlene Smith: [Marlene and Bobby arrives at grandmother's house] Come on. Come on, Bobby! Let's go.
Bobby Smith: Let me stay with you.
Marlene Smith: Don't cry, sweetheart. Come on, please.
Bobby Smith: I don't want to do this again.
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References THX 1138 (1971) See more »


Criminal Minds Theme
Composed by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

Both disturbing and sad
21 February 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Despite some seasons being better than others, and every season having a mix of great episodes, not so good ones and ones in between, 'Criminal Minds' when on form or at its best was a personal favourite. Even when nowhere near as good now, it is still one of my most watched and most re-watched shows.

As far as Season 7 goes, "From Childhood's Hour" is up there among the better ones, on par with "Self Fulfilling Prophecy" "Proof" and "Unknown Subject" and almost as good as "True Genius", "The Foundation", "Dorado Falls" and "The Company". Elsewhere Season 7 was very much mixed, though the only disappointments to me were "Closing Time", "Divining Rod" (and especially), "I Love You Tommy Brown" and "There's No Place Like Home".

"From Childhood's Hour" has a huge amount to recommend. Maybe Rossi's story line took up a little too much of the episode (though this didn't feel like a major criticism compared to some episodes because a great job is done with the case and the unsub) and the writing occasionally could have been tighter. The unsub's story could have ended a little later than it did, it felt like it was resolved too early. They were pretty much the only things that weren't quite right however.

Visually, the production values are without complaint. It's very well shot and lit and is overall stylish, gritty, classy and atmospheric. The music is moody in the haunting and melancholic sense and fits well, without either enhancing or distracting from it. The direction keeps the momentum going but lets the case breathe. There are some humorous moments, courtesy of Garcia and especially Reid, who can't help love "Frankly I'm not too eager to see the perishable food version of this room", and some thought-provoking and emotional ones.

Rossi's story line with his first ex wife is beautifully done and struck an emotional chord with me. It was strongly suspected that it was going to be bad news that Rossi was going to be told, but this particular bit of bad news was a real shock and makes one feel really sorry for Rossi and Carolyn.

In no way is the case neglected or any less memorable. There is a touch of sadness but it is also very disturbing in that danger comes from an unexpected place, a painful reminder that people that seem trust-worthy can not always be as much as they seem. The unsub is one of the more interestingly developed ones of the season.

To be expected, the team dynamic is delightful, family-like in bond, with some great character moments and interaction. Standing out in particular is the Rossi story line, which sees a poignant emotional side to Rossi after seeing him as the sassy, old-school and tough-talking character. Garcia and Reid's humour and Prentiss' genuine warmth and sympathy stand out too.

Acting is very good all round, Joe Mantegna being particularly strong of the regulars, with great supporting turns from a moving Isabella Hoffmann, Mason Cook in a remarkably emotionally complex child performance, a subtly chilling Patrick Stafford and a conflicted Heather Tom.

In conclusion, disturbing, sad and very well done episode. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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English | Italian

Release Date:

19 October 2011 (USA) See more »

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Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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