Criminal Minds (2005–2020)
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The Return 

When teenagers who were reported missing are suspected of a series of mass murders in Chicago, the BAU investigates their whereabouts to find a motive for the crimes. Also, Morgan has ... See full summary »


John Terlesky


Jeff Davis (created by), Kimberly A. Harrison (as Kimberly Ann Harrison)




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
Maurice Compte ... Detective Mark Reyes
Rochelle Aytes ... Savannah Hayes
Mark Sivertsen ... Wayne Gulino
Andrew Fiscella ... Officer Ryan Clayburn
Jan Broberg ... Lauren Morrison
Karly Rothenberg ... Leah Rollins
Joanna Tiwald ... Stephanie Lawford
Gwen McGee ... Dr. Taylor


When teenagers who were reported missing are suspected of a series of mass murders in Chicago, the BAU investigates their whereabouts to find a motive for the crimes. Also, Morgan has conflicting feelings when his girlfriend takes her job at a hospital as seriously as he takes his. Written by Anonymous

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Did You Know?


The woman who plays Daniel's mom is Jan Broberg, who was abducted by a family friend as a child. She was abducted twice by Robert B. Berchtold, who used an alien conspiracy story to keep her obedient. In this case, the abductor uses a soldier mentality to keep Daniel obedient. The storyline somewhat mirrors Jan Broberg Felt's own life story. See more »


In the opening scene, the waitress delivers a heaping plate of food to an older boy, Gavin, sitting alone at a table along the outer wall. The waitress returns to offer something else to Gavin who pushes his food aside as the waitress puts his check on the table. Gavin pulls out a gun. Shots fired, fade to black. Return to the scene of the restaurant where investigators are working the crime scene: Bodies are gone but blood pools remain where people have been shot. Det. Reyes draws Rossi and Blake's attention to the table where Gavin was sitting. The table appears as if it had been bussed clean. The plate of food and check are gone and all condiments were neatly in place. See more »


Derek Morgan: [opening quote] Alfred Hitchcock said: "There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it"
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Minute by Minute
Written by James Hunter
Performed by The James Hunter Six
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User Reviews

Not sure what to make of this episode
3 August 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

"The Return" is nowhere near one of the worst 'Criminal Minds' episodes, being much better than the likes of "200", "Machismo", "The Thirteenth Step", "The Replicator", "Through the Looking Glass" and the worst of Season 11, also remember not caring for "Route 66".

However, "The Return" is also nowhere near one of the best episodes, when 'Criminal Minds' was good or at its best it was riveting television and compulsive viewing. Instead it is one of the average/difficult to rate episodes.

One of "The Return's" biggest flaws is that it all feels unbalanced, with too much focus on Morgan and Blake (JJ also plays a big role, but while there is a preference to how she was written in the earlier seasons her story is dealt with quite poignantly) and not enough of much more interesting characters like Reid, Hotch and Rossi (who are still a delight to watch but feel underused somewhat), which hurts the dynamic of the team. The more this viewer sees of Blake, the less she likes her. By all means she is a better Prentiss replacement than Kate and Tara, because her interaction with Reid does have some entertainment value. She is not as ill-fitting as she was in the 8th season, but still feels cold and disconnected.

Morgan and Savannah's (not one of the dullest or most forgettable love interests on the show but not very interesting at the same time, though she is played with decent charm) relationship also eats up too much of the story, is too soap-opera-like and can slow the episode down, also not playing to Morgan's strengths as a character who excels in empathising with kids and victims and being the tough guy. Plus while it has been worse in other episodes, Morgan and Garcia's unrealistically flirtatious and overly close relationship sees some quite cringe-worthy banter and feels out of place in such a dark story.

The main plot line of "The Return" did have potential, and did see some tense and poignant moments like the boy tearing up at the sound of his mother's voice, but there is a run-out-of-ideas and derivative feel, pacing is pedestrian and rarely gets going and suspense is too far and between, so there was not enough genuine threat and it didn't feel developed. Also felt that the personal lives of the BAU got in the way of using the story to its full potential. Neither did the unsub's motivations ring true, seeming rather extreme and over-the-top for such awful crimes. While other episodes do a worse job of not feeling like 'Criminal Minds' there is not enough of what makes the show so great at its best, like the profiling, psychological delving into the criminal's mind and procedural aspects or the little character moments that are so fun to watch.

Conversely, "The Return" does look great, stylish, appropriately dark and audacious, while the music is haunting and melancholic. As said there are some tense and poignant moments, the controlled children are believable and while he is underused the unsub is quite chilling and menacingly portrayed. The dialogue is taut and thought-provoking and the acting is very good from the regulars, Jeanne Tripplehorn does do her best also with material that's beneath her really.

All in all, this review does seem very negative and while it is a disappointing and difficult to rate episode it's not terrible and there is far worse in the show. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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Release Date:

13 November 2013 (USA) See more »

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Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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