Criminal Minds (2005– )
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The BAU heads to Austin to investigate victims found there with their watches set inaccurately, a clue which may connect the crimes.


Larry Teng


Jeff Davis (created by), Rick Dunkle | 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
Patrick John Flueger ... Paul Westin
Yani Gellman ... Mitchell Ruiz
Ken Weiler ... Connor Drake
Corey Mendell Parker ... Dr. Ellsworth
Daniel E. Smith ... Will
Hank Cheyne ... Detective Edward Sanchez
Ryan Caltagirone ... Doug Warn
Evelyn Edwards ... Isabella Grant


The BAU travels to Austin, Texas where three separate murders have taken place, the victims being two young women, and one young man. Each was last seen at a large but different social gathering. All three victims were savagely beaten, however the two women were stripped naked, while the first victim, the male, was re-clothed after being beaten while naked. Upon further investigation, they learn the male victim was a closeted homosexual, leading the team to believe that the unsub is a repressed homosexual who murdered the female victims after not being able to perform sexually with them, and murdered the male victim after feeling guilt after having had sex with him. When a fourth victim, another male, is discovered, another emerging piece of evidence is the exact same style men's watch placed on the last two victims, both watches deliberately set at a different time than what is actual. The team has to uncover the meaning of the watch and the time to which the watches were set to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

20 February 2013 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


For some reason, on the Season 8 DVD (at least on some copies), clicking the button for this episode will play the previous episode, "All That Remains," and clicking the button for that episode will play this one. See more »


The second victim is found in an area with mountains in the distance. There are no mountains in central Texas. See more »


Derek Morgan: You're sure it was the same watch?
Jennifer Jareau: The unsub went to that camp. The watch he put on Michelle's wrist was the exact same model that all the kids were wearing.
Alex Blake: What do you think was behind that padlocked door?
Jennifer Jareau: Well, that could be anything. I mean, come on, we've all read the stories. A conversion camp was just shut down last year for using electroshock therapy on children.
Alex Blake: Another stripped the kids naked and screamed profanities at them.
Jennifer Jareau: We need to go back with a warrant.
Aaron Hotchner: We're gonna need ...
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References The Hangover (2009) See more »


Criminal Minds Theme
Composed by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are stronger at the broken places."
23 February 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

With 'Criminal Minds', some seasons are better than others and every season has a mixture of outstanding, great, very good, good, average, mediocre and bad episodes. This said, lesser episodes of Seasons 1-4 (with possible exception of "Machismo") are better than the lesser episodes of Season 6 onward.

Season 8 did see a sizeable number of mediocre episodes, but also ones that were very good and showing signs of greatness. As far as Season 8 episodes go while not one of the very best 'Criminal Minds' episodes, "Broken" is one of the season's best. It's on par with "All That Remains", "The Lesson", "God Complex", "The Good Earth" and "Alchemy" and much better than weaker episodes like "Magnificent Light", "Through the Looking Glass", "The Replicator", "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Magnum Opus".

Visually, the production values in "Broken" 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 the atmosphere. The direction keeps the momentum going but lets the case breathe.

The script is very thought-provoking and often leaves one moved and repulsed. The story is one of the season's most compelling and is along with "All That Remains" the Season 8 episode that comes closest to "classic" 'Criminal Minds'. Meaning actual profiling (which is very well written here and sees the team working cohesively and like they really wanted the case solved, rather than conclusion jumping and relying too much on Garcia to provide the answers through her computer system), much less focus on gratuitous gore and shock value mini-horror film-style, and more twists and psychology.

Loved the team interaction and the character moments, the highlights being Reid solving the meaning of the watch times, the chemistry between Reid and Morgan and the powerful prison scene between Hotch and Isabella Grant (Hotch's vocal takedown of this low-life was one of the most satisfying moments of any episode from the later seasons). The case is a compelling one, with tension, suspense and emotion aplenty, that has a mix of familiar elements and things done differently, with an unsub that while not condoning his actions we feel sorry for and one of the more interestingly developed ones. The camp stuff is truly harrowing and makes the skin crawl, it may go a little too far in the heavy-handedness at times but it sure does make its point, and the flashbacks are creepy.

The acting is very good all round, Matthew Gray Gubler, Shemar Moore and Thomas Gibson being even better than that and we have a chilling and moving unsub. Other than the occasional heavy-handedness, my only real complaints are that Blake still feels cold and underdeveloped and the "season-long unsub" subplot could easily have been excised because it didn't add much at all (only feeling like an attempt to try and make Blake more interesting).

Otherwise, "Broken" is a very good episode and JJ's opening voice-over quoting Ernest Hemmingway sums up the episode aptly. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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