Criminal Minds (2005– )
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Two guards at a privatized maximum security prison in Texas are murdered. The investigation reveals the suspects may be in the prison.


Thomas Gibson


Jeff Davis (created by), Virgil Williams



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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
William Ragsdale ... Capt. Dale Shavers
Robert Gant ... Warden Miles Tate
Jeremiah Birkett ... Julio Watson (as Jeremiah W. Birkett)
Matt Corboy ... Officer Tom Polinsky
William Stanford Davis ... Sam Pritchett
Blake Adams ... Don Black
Tommy Lamey ... Randall Jefferson Jones
Ace Marrero ... Nelson


The BAU heads to Reagan Federal Penitentiary in Liberty, located in east Texas. They are called in on the request of its warden of six months, Miles Tate, who met Hotch once at a business meeting. Officers Keith Rivers and Rudy Hightower were both found murdered within the span of three months, each with their throat slashed, a sock stuffed in their mouth, and with seven broken fingers. Hightower's fingers were broken as defensive wounds during a prison riot, while Rivers' were broken post-mortem. The inmates disabled many of the security cameras during the riot, the reason why the two murders could occur without detection. As such, the large inmate population are all suspects. Reagan is privately owned by the Citadel Corrections Company, who bought it from the government a year ago. As an aged facility, Reagan would have been shut down otherwise. Although he likes Tate, the chief officer, Captain Dale Shavers, a twenty year veteran of Reagan, is open about his disdain for Citadel, ... Written by Huggo

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TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 March 2015 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


There was a real case of gladiator type games being run by prison guards, but it did not happen in Texas. Those games were being run in several California prisons. See more »


David Rossi: [Entering prison interrogation room] Mr. Sam Pritchett? I am agent David Rossi. How are you doing?
Sam Pritchett: I can't complain
David Rossi: Well, you could, but who would be listening, right?
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References Fight Club (1999) See more »


Performed by: Handsome Jack
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User Reviews

While it isn't top tier 'Criminal Minds', there are some excellent things here
15 August 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

The best episodes of Season 10 are "Mr Scratch" (a contender for the best episode of the latter season) and "Nelson's Sparrow" (one of the show's most genuinely emotional and also somewhat affectionate).

"Lockdown", this said, is not a bad episode at all. In fact, there are some excellent things here, though a few elements stop it from being top-tier. For a hit and miss season, it's one of the stronger ones from personal opinion.

It is easy to see why some are not totally enamoured by the episode. It does focus a lot on the inmates and not enough on the BAU, who have been much more interestingly developed and the dynamic is not quite as close-knit. The good news however is that the inmates are interesting and there are some very tense (the incredibly well done prison break where Morgan's, Kate's and Pollinsky's suffering really harrows and affects and the violence of the prisoners and Shavers's corruption and evil-incarnate qualities shine every bit as much) and shocking (especially the third murder, one of the most shocking on-screen murders on 'Criminal Minds' of the latter seasons to me) moments.

Other flaws are the under-using of Garcia, and when she does appear she doesn't feel necessary and is somewhat annoying too, Garcia often is a ray of sunshine but in some of the latter seasons (especially Season 9 and 10) she has been a sad caricature of her former self somewhat. Also the team not knowing that they were being watched, that was sloppy writing and very obvious, and the reveal of the perpetrators is not surprising and easy to guess early on.

However, "Lockdown" as always with 'Criminal Minds' is very well made and superbly directed by Thomas Gibson. The prison setting provides a real sense of foreboding. The writing is very intelligent and thought-provoking and although the BAU are not focused on as much as they should have been, their methods of working out the case in ways that are a huge part of the show's appeal helps make it feel like 'Criminal Minds'. Rossi and Reid have some particularly great dialogue, the delving into the files being a highlight of the episode. The story is taut, tightly paced, tense and shocking.

Acting is very good, with very well characterised inmates and William Sagsdale is chilling in the latter parts. Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler stand out of the regulars, but a big surprise is Jennifer Love Hewitt. Have found too much that Kate doesn't fit within the team and that Love Hewitt feels out of place and dull, but neither of those problems are present in "Lockdown", in fact Love Hewitt nails the prison break and final scenes, actually looking vulnerable, wounded and haunted.

On the whole, some excellent things with also some flaws. Not quite top-tier 'Criminal Minds' but for Season 10 this was really quite good, very pleasantly surprised. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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