Criminal Minds (2005– )
4 user 1 critic

Nelson's Sparrow 

The members of the BAU team are brought back to their origins as they look at one of Gideon and Rossi's old cases.


Glenn Kershaw


Jeff Davis (created by), Kirsten Vangsness | 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
Jennifer Love Hewitt ... Kate Callahan
Thomas Gibson ... Aaron Hotchner
Arye Gross ... Donnie Mallick
Ben Savage ... Young Jason Gideon
Eileen Grubba ... Young Mary Ellen Barnett
Robert Dunne ... Young David Rossi
Phoebe Neidhardt ... Josie Behdart
James Lentzsch James Lentzsch ... Stephen Gideon
Gina Garcia ... Agent Gina Sharp (as Gina Garcia Sharp)
Teresa Huang ... Dr. Weiss


The BAU team members convene at Gideon's isolated cabin where his murdered dead body was found, he killed by multiple gunshots. Each team member, especially those that knew him personally, grieves in his or her own way while they all investigate his murder. While Garcia tracks his last driving trip which included an extended stop in Roanoke, one hour away from his cabin, Hotch speaks to Gideon's now grown son, Stephen Gideon, and Rossi and Morgan examine the crime scene, most specifically trying to sequence the series of gunshots which led to Gideon's death. In piecing together all the information, Rossi believes Gideon was trying to send a message to them before being fatally shot, Rossi who travels back in time to a case the two worked on in 1978 when the BAU was then known as the Behavioral Science Unit. The unsub in that case, he who was never caught, was obsessed with birds, and strangled twenty-something Plain Jane, insecure, brunette women. The recent death of a woman leads the... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 January 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


In early seasons, Gideon's hobby was birds. This episode reveals that it started from this episode's unsub. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Dr. Spencer Reid: I have never been in this building
David Rossi: No need to. It was the bomb shelter back in the day. I am sure we can find something dehydrated if you get hungry. Damn if it doesn't smells the same! We're back where it all started, my friend. We were the Behavioral Science Unit back then
Dr. Spencer Reid: [Looks at an old computer] This is awesome
David Rossi: They call it the BS unit
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Referenced in Criminal Minds: The Storm (2016) See more »


Criminal Minds Theme
Written by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

Good Job Ben Savage...

By now, I'm sure everybody knows how unhappy Mandy Patinkin was while being on Criminal Minds...But lets face it...He was still awesome when he played Jason Gideon...And I am very happy that the show creators brought back the character for this episode...

Ben Savage's performance was uncanny as young Gideon...He captured everything that was essential about the character...Everything from his expressions to his passion...The only reason I gave this episode an 8 out of 10 is because they didn't show him enough...

I really hope they make more episodes featuring Ben Savage...I would love to see the young duo of Gideon and Rossi again...My hope is that the next story takes place in Baltimore...This way they can bring back another iconic TV detective...

That being Detective Munch...That character has made appearances on many other shows on different networks including The X-Files...So him popping up on Criminal Minds would be true to form...

Imagine Richard Belzar reprising his character and then the episode goes into a flashback with Zack Braff playing the younger version of that character to team up with Gideon and Rossi...

That would be truly awesome...And that's all there is too it...

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