Criminal Minds (2005– )
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The Witness 

The BAU is called to Los Angeles to investigate an LA city bus poisoning resulting in many deaths. The team must work quickly to stop a second attack believed to be on a much larger scale.

Director:

John Terlesky

Writers:

Jeff Davis (created by), Sharon Lee Watson
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Cast

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 (credit only)
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Thomas Gibson ... Aaron Hotchner
Tim Kang ... Charlie Senerak
Marisol Nichols ... Agent Natalie Colfax
Samantha Sloyan ... Tracy Senarak
Aisha Tyler ... Dr. Tara Lewis
Delpaneaux Wills ... Agent Darryl Young
Stephen Kilcullen Stephen Kilcullen ... Mitchell Crossford
Cuyle Carvin ... Theo Koutronis
Melody Peng ... Leanne Bookout
Heath McGough ... Counter Employee
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Storyline

The BAU heads to Los Angeles, California, where a sarin attack on a CityLink bus has left all ten inside the bus dead. A homemade timing device found on the bus was what was used to release the sarin without the unsub needing to be on the bus. The team looks into any chemists who may have had access to sarin stockpiles and had a grudge of some sort as a possible suspect. But a man named Charlie Senerak jumps to the top of the suspect list when surveillance footage shows that Charlie was sitting in his car in a park and ride lot where the bus originated, and that he and his wife Tracy, with who he works, usually take that bus, but neither who were on it this day. In questioning Charlie, Rossi and Lewis don't believe Charlie to be the unsub, but they do know that he is hiding something major that he did not want to divulge to them, meaning that that something could be related to the attack. As further evidence piles up on Charlie, the team, if they discover the truth, will find that ... Written by Huggo

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Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tara mentions she loved fossils as a kid. Aisha Tyler played a paleontologist on 'Friends'. See more »

Goofs

When we see Mitchell's watch, it reads 4:59 with an "A" right above it, indicating AM, even though it's the afternoon. See more »

Quotes

David Rossi: You were having an affair, weren't you?
Dr. Spencer Reid: You'll be surprised what someone with a broken heart will do
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Soundtracks

Here We Go
Written by Drew Holcomb
Performed by Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors
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User Reviews

 
Third best episode of Season 11
14 August 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have to respectfully disagree with the previous reviewer about "The Witness" being the worst 'Criminal Minds' episode ever. From personal opinion it's not even close, and is not even the worst or even one of the worst of Season 11.

To me, actually, it is one of the better episodes of the season and one of about only three or four episodes that are good in a season that has been largely average at best and poor at worst. It's not as good as "The Job" and especially "Entropy", two of the better episodes of the latter seasons.

But it is a third best with the better-than-given-credit-for "Beautiful Disaster" (though Morgan's exit arc generally could have been better handled) coming in fourth. Sure it's not flawless, Charlie going to the FBI building was a truly stupid decision and realistically the last thing he should have done (am well aware he wasn't thinking straight but still). Mitchell foreseeing he would do that isn't explained really and doesn't make sense.

Much has also been said in general to Season 11 that the character of Tara Lewis is a disconnected and dull character that doesn't gel with the team, and Aisha Tyler's acting has also been criticised, both criticisms this reviewer shares. However, she is not as big problem here in "The Witness", she doesn't add an awful lot but she doesn't bring things down anywhere near as much as she has often done. She also has some lovely chemistry with Reid here.

On the whole "The Witness" does a great job with two seemingly disconnected stories, tied together tautly and with great suspense and tension. Luckily it doesn't feel disjointed, and does not suffer from the "too many cooks spoiling the broth" that doomed the rushed, too over-cluttered and underdeveloped "Target Rich" (very much a lesser episode of the show. It also is one of the few episodes of Season 11 that doesn't lose sight of what makes 'Criminal Minds' so great.

Charlie and Mitchell are two of the season's most interesting and memorable supporting characters, particularly the wonderful showpiece that is the character of Charlie. Tim Kang is a revelation in the role, giving a performance of great intensity and touching vulnerability, his desperation apparent every step of the way. Mitchell is portrayed with magnificent malevolence also.

As ever, it is a beautifully made episode and well-directed. It also has haunting use of music without being melodramatic and the end song provides suitable melancholy. The script is thought-provoking and tightly structured, with nice moments with Reid and Rossi. The acting is very good, the performances of Charlie and Mitchell have already been mentioned but Matthew Gray Gubler and Joe Mantegna stand out of the regulars. The team dynamic is still pleasing and well-used.

Overall, the third best episode of Season 11 and one of the few good episodes of the season. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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