Criminal Minds (2005– )
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Brothers Hotchner 

Hotch receives a telephone call from his estranged New York based brother Sean, who he has not heard from in four years and coincidentally while Hotch and Jack are in New York visiting Beth... See full summary »


Rob Bailey


Jeff Davis (created by), Rick Dunkle | 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
Eric Johnson ... Sean Hotchner
Mark Moses ... Director (credit only)
Bellamy Young ... Beth Clemmons
Nicholas Brendon ... Kevin Lynch (credit only)
Sean Maguire ... Thane Parks
Jayne Atkinson ... Erin Strauss
Mark Hamill ... John Curtis
Richard Augustine Richard Augustine ... Larry Feretich


Hotch receives a telephone call from his estranged New York based brother Sean, who he has not heard from in four years and coincidentally while Hotch and Jack are in New York visiting Beth. Now working as a bartender in a club, Sean wants Hotch's help in a death that occurred in the club, where the woman in question quickly bled out through her eyes, mouth and nose just before her death. Hotch convinces the team that this death is the basis for a case when Sean tells him that his own girlfriend also recently died the same way. The team quickly learns that these two deaths are not the only ones, most to hit drug users in clubs. But what confounds the team is that a few victims, such as Sean's girlfriend, were non-drug users. The drug found in each of the victim's systems was Ecstasy. They later learn that the form of the drug that killed the victims was a more lethal variety that has not yet been known to have hit the US. They have to find the source of the drug and how it was ... Written by Huggo

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Plot Keywords:

pay phone | See All (1) »


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 May 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?


The Cyanide/Tylenol murders in Chicago actually occurred in September and October 1982, not 1986 as referenced by Rossi. See more »


David Rossi: You're coming, aren't you?
Erin Strauss: Just as a precaution. This team tends to go rogue when loved ones are involved.
See more »


My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)
Written by Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joseph Trohman, Andrew Hurley, Butch Walker, and John Hill
Performed by Fall Out Boy
See more »

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User Reviews

Good Season 8 episode
12 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", "Alchemy" and "The Lesson", and also some disappointing ones like "Magnificent Light", "Through the Looking Glass", "The Wheels on the Bus", "Magnum Opus" and "The Replicator" (potentially good story arc, and a quite effective one for most of the season, that fizzles out badly which was a shame), not to mention a mostly decent "Zugzwang" before frustrating with its slap-in-the-face ending.

"Brothers Hotchner" is an example of a good if not great episode and satisfies mostly as build up to Season 8's finale, which as indicated above was a disappointing and inferior episode. "Brothers Hotchner" is not perfect. Sean's lack of contact with Jack begged for an explanation, which we were robbed of. Sean's phone call to Hotch was completely pointless and makes one question why he did.

Blake, at least in Season 8 with a few exceptions as she grew on me in Season 9, still leaves me cold, Blake is one of those dull "just there" characters that took a while to fit.

However, 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 and a chilling ending. The acting is very good, with Thomas Gibson's performance being outstanding.

What made "Brothers Hotchner" was the team interaction and the little character moment. Just love the bond between the team, which is really sweet, close-knit and like a family, and they work cohesively together. There are a number of parts that are especially great.

The interview/interrogation with Rossi, Hotch and Sean was very interesting and tense, with a great contrast of Rossi's calmness and Hotch's direct intensity. Appreciated that Strauss was more sympathetic and supportive than usual, when usually she's cold and dictatorial with a grudge against Hotch that was never properly explained.

Garcia is very funny too and not the annoying caricature that she was in too many of the latter season episodes (particularly in Seasons 9 and 10, and in a few episodes of Season 7). The Rossi and Hotch opening up scene was touching, loved Rossi's genuine concern and support which is a very tender and personable side to "The King of Sass". Reid's use of force when defeating the unsub was great.

In conclusion, good if not quite great episode. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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