Criminal Minds (2005–2020)
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Carbon Copy 

When victims are found in Philadelphia in a similar style to victims of The Replicator, the stalker who has been tracking the BAU's every move, the team thinks this could be the break they need to try and apprehend him.


Rob Hardy


Jeff Davis (created by), Virgil Williams | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Shemar Moore ... Derek Morgan
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Jeanne Tripplehorn ... Alex Blake
Thomas Gibson ... Aaron Hotchner
Scott Grimes ... Donny Bidwell
Matthew Del Negro ... Detective Rizzo
Jayne Atkinson ... Erin Strauss
Billy Mayo ... Captain Marcus Jackson
Michelle Gardner ... Dr. Balboa
Jessie Lande ... Shannon Lavin
Bo Kane ... Sergeant Blutarsky
Brian Appel ... Agent Anderson


The BAU heads to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where the Replicator, the unsub who has carried out a series of crimes replicating cases recently solved by the BAU, has murdered his latest victim. The reason why this Philadelphia murder attracts their attention is that unlike the previous three murders by the Replicator, this one took place in a city other than that of the original crimes. Garcia discovers that the flowers sent by the Replicator to JJ were purchased through a credit card whose owner lives in Philadelphia. And Strauss gets involved as she feels this case undermines the work of the team. By the time they arrive in Philadelphia, what they find that is also unique is that a second murder has taken place in Philadelphia using the same MO, which the Replicator has not yet done. Tracking down the Replicator is made all the more difficult by an uncooperative Detective Rizzo, the lead police investigator who does not like the BAU's involvement. The Philadelphia victims all being ... Written by Huggo

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Did You Know?


When discussing possible motives the unsub has for taunting the team, Rossi mentions Randall Garner, the unsub from Criminal Minds: The Fisher King: Part 1 (2006) and Criminal Minds: The Fisher King: Part 2 (2006), who also stalked and taunted the BAU team. Rossi would have known about it despite not having been on the team, as it was certainly a notable case. See more »


David Rossi: [opening, voiceover] "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." - Charles Caleb Colton
See more »


Just in Time
Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Composed by Jule Styne
Performed by Tony Bennett
See more »

User Reviews

Pretty decent but also somewhat unsatisfying
13 February 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have been a big fan of 'Criminal Minds' for a long time now. It is nowhere near as good as it was pre-Season 6 admittedly this said.

When 'Criminal Minds' was on form in Seasons 1-5 (which it was more often than it was not), and even better at its best, the episodes in question were some of my favourites for any show, seen in episodes such as "The Fox", "Riding the Lightning", "LDSK", "The Fisher King" episodes, "Elephant's Memory", "Lo-Fi", "Lucky", "The Big Wheel", "Zoe's Reprise", "Conflicted", "Minimal Loss", "The Instincts", "Memoriam", "100", "...A Thousand Words", with "Revelations", "North Mammon", "The Boogeyman" "Profiler Profiled", the "No Way Out" episodes, "Seven Seconds", "Omnivore", "The Uncanny Valley" and "Mosley Lane" coming close.

Season 6 onwards has seen a number of good to great episodes, though not many classics ("Entropy", "Mr Scratch", "Foundation", "True Genius", "Gabby", "The Caller" and "Nelson's Sparrow" being the handful of classic latter season episodes). However, there have been even more average or less or bad (such as "200", "The Black Queen", "The Thirteenth Step", "Breath Play", "Till Death Do Us Part", "The Bond", "Awake" "If the Shoe Fits", "Inner Beauty", "Internal Affairs" and "Future Perfect") ones. Sure, Seasons 1-5 had some not so good episodes, like "Machismo", "Honor Among Thieves", "The Fight", "The Performer", "Parasite" and "Hopeless", but not to the extent of the worst episodes of the latter seasons.

Talking about "Carbon Copy", as far as Season 8 episodes go it's somewhere in the middle rather than being one of the best or worst. It's not as good as "All That Remains", "The Lesson", "God Complex", "The Good Earth" and "Alchemy". But it is much better than the likes of "Magnificent Light", "Through the Looking Glass", "The Replicator", "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Magnum Opus".

"Carbon Copy" has its faults. Despite being initially suspected as the re-curring serial killer/stalker of the season, it was too obvious early on that the suspect was not who they were looking for. "Carbon Copy's" biggest fault though is that, despite some lovely team interaction, character moments and chemistry, there are points where the team are shown as not just stupid but also negligent. This is especially true with not questioning (the obvious misgivings being practically ignored) Bidwell's culpability, leaving him alone when given a false pretences excuse that the viewer immediately sees through and the whole business with the medication which was just sloppy writing. Still too reliant on Garcia giving the answers all too conveniently.

Blake and Strauss' chemistry may have resonated with me if the two characters did much for me, though their talking about the past exchange was nice. Blake grew on me in Season 9 and had her moments in Season 8 (especially with Reid), but there were too many times in Season 8 where she came over as disconnected and "just there". Rarely did care for Strauss even in the early seasons, just too cold and dictatorial and was never able to understand her unexplained problem with Hotch. The Replicator story arc was intriguing and had moments of creepiness (which makes it even sadder that it was wasted in the season finale), but to me other criminals posed more of a threat to the team, such as Frank Breitkopf and especially George Foyet, as well as in episodes like "Lucky"/"Penelope", "Lo-Fi" and "The Fisher King" episodes.

On the other hand, the team interaction is delightful and there are some really well-done scenes and little moments (both big and subtle). The ending gave me epic chills as did the Hotch headshot on the body, while the arrest and interrogation scenes and the abduction of Shannon had some tension. A few fun parts such as Rossi and JJ's exchange, especially Rossi's sassy but truthful response, about being replaced, Rossi commenting to Rizzo about needing a hug and Strauss' stalking list (especially the line delivery of "flowers sent").

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 and the script is one of the tightest and focused ones all season.

On top of that, the story is intriguing with the right amount of suspense and tautness, with a creepy enough unsub. All the acting is very good, can't fault the regulars and Scott Grimes does a very good job in a creepier role than the usual put-down-upon loser one he's played.

In summary, decent but unsatisfying at the same time. 6/10 Bethany Cox

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USA | Canada



Release Date:

27 February 2013 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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