Criminal Minds (2005– )
4 user

Nanny Dearest 

The BAU travels to Los Angeles looking for an UnSub who is kidnapping nannies and the children they care for on the same day each year.


Douglas Aarniokoski (as Doug Aarniokoski)


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




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
Yara Martinez ... Tara Rios
Christopher Amitrano ... Jonathan Ray Covey
Josh Stewart ... William LaMontagne Jr.
Thomas Hobson ... Leo
Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer ... Gina Mendes
Leif Gantvoort ... Shane Payton
Samantha Colburn ... Melody Payton
Alejandro Furth ... Dr. Felix Mendoza


The BAU returns to a six year old active case of nannies and their charge, one pair per year, being abducted in parks up and down the California coast. The children are found alive and unharmed within 24 hours, but the nannies are eventually found dead, with the exception of one, Tara Rios, who, in 2010, managed to escape but was so traumatized by her ordeal that she remembers nothing and now refuses to assist with the case anymore. The victims were physically assaulted, burned with hot implements, and drowned in scalding water. The unsub has always made sure that the bodies were found in a Los Angeles park on May 13, that date this year being a few weeks away, the reason for the team's current work. The team is late as the unsub has struck earlier than usual this year, abducting a nanny named Gina Mendes and her charge, two year old Phoebe Payton. This abduction ends up being different than the other five in that Phoebe is not returned within 24 hours, which is all the more dangerous... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »





English | Spanish

Release Date:

8 May 2013 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Proves, once again, that J.J. is a skilled marksman. See more »


When Derek opens the room with the unsub and the victim, the unsub calls Roscoe, the dog who is also inside the room, to attack Derek. This sort of works out, as Derek has to close the door with only the barking head of the dog sticking outside towards Derek. Eventually Derek closes the door, with the dog inside the room. Immediately thereafter he kicks in the closed door, but now the dog is gone. See more »


Jennifer Jareau: Hey, let's keep the water in the tub, okay? Five more minutes and then Mommy's gotta get ready for work.
Henry LaMontagne: Why did you always go to work, Mommy?
Jennifer Jareau: Well, um, because there's people out there that need my help. But I will be back soon.
See more »


References Mommie Dearest (1981) See more »


Sunshine Superman
Written by Donovan
Performed by Donovan
See more »

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User Reviews

The case of the Nanny Killer
11 February 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

As a fan of 'Criminal Minds', Season 8 has been a mixed bag while not as variable as Seasons 6 and 9 or as underwhelming as 11.

There are good episodes such as "All That Remains", "God Complex", "The Good Earth" and "The Lesson", and also some disappointing ones like "Magnificent Light", "Through the Looking Glass", "The Wheels on the Bus" and "The Replicator" (potentially good story arc that fizzles out badly which was a shame), not to mention a mostly decent "Zugzwang" before frustrating with its slap-in-the-face ending.

"Nanny Dearest" is neither one of Season 8's best or worst, if anything somewhere around top-middle. To me there is a little too much focus on JJ's personal life, which, despite the presence of adorable Henry and great acting from AJ Cook, was a little too soap-operatic, not as heartfelt as it could have been and Will is somewhat underwritten. Am still put off by JJ being out of character, overused and being significantly less likable than pre-Season 6.

Blake is still somewhat of a cold and disconnected character, though not as badly as some of the previous episode.

However, "Nanny Dearest" is a stylishly shot and atmospheric episode, as to be expected from 'Criminal Minds'. The music is haunting and melancholic, the pacing doesn't feel too rushed or drawn out and the direction is mostly solid.

The writing is mostly thought-provoking if occasionally a little sloppy (such as regarding the escape). The story is compelling, with tension, creepiness, suspense and affecting poignancy, helped by a sympathetic victim in Tara (the other victims are not as well developed but affecting enough) and one of Season 8's most abhorrently creepy unsubs. The ways that the BAU, whose chemistry is still adorable, they are not underused and they work cohesively as a team, use to solve the case are interesting.

Acting is very good from all the regulars, and matched by a moving Yara Martinez and a chilling Christopher Amitrano.

In summary, solid episode that is neither a 'Criminal Minds' classic or a low point. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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