Criminal Minds (2005– )
6.7/10
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A Badge and a Gun 

The BAU heads to the Los Angeles, California area, where two women, in separate incidents, were found murdered within a day of each other, each found in their own home with no sign of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... David Rossi
... Derek Morgan
... Dr. Spencer Reid
... Jennifer Jareau
... Penelope Garcia
... Aaron Hotchner
... Savannah Hayes
... Agent Natalie Colfax
... Andrew Meeks
... Dr. Samuel Bayo, M.E.
... Detective Bob Oliver
... Brian Lenahan
... Patricia Brannon
... Mary Lenahan
... Susan Groves
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Storyline

The BAU heads to the Los Angeles, California area, where two women, in separate incidents, were found murdered within a day of each other, each found in their own home with no sign of forced entry, both single, and both having died of asphyxiation from being wrapped pre-mortem by a regular household item like a blanket or rug. By the time the team arrives at the Los Angeles FBI field office where they are basing their investigation, a third dead body with the same victimology is discovered. From surveillance footage at the third victim's apartment complex, the team believes the unsub is either masquerading as an FBI agent or truly is one. When the team determines that he is only masquerading as one, but that he needs to gain the confidence of his victims by real world events, they decide to set a trap for him that is potentially dangerous for the public. But in doing so, they, in the process, learn of an unfortunate real life tie to the agency. Through it all, Morgan can't help but ... Written by Huggo

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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24 February 2016 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Trivia

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

Goofs

When Morgan is looking at his phone and reading the text from Savannah the charging symbol is show in the top right corner of the phone's screen but when it cuts to a wide shot no power cord can be seen. See more »

Quotes

Derek Morgan: [opening quote] "The darkness always lies" - Anthony Liccione
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Soundtracks

Theme from Criminal Minds
Composed by Marc Fantini and Steffan Fantini
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User Reviews

 
Middling 'Criminal Minds' episode
10 February 2017 | by See all my reviews

Despite being a big fan of 'Criminal Minds', Season 11 was largely underwhelming for reasons too numerous to list, including too much unsub and not enough team, lack of profiling and psychology, too much emphasis on the personal lives and not enough tension and suspense.

As far as Season 11 goes, "A Badge and a Gun" is towards the top end (seeing as it doesn't commit as many glaring mistakes as most of the episodes from the season) without being one of the very best ones. It is not as good as "The Job", "Hostage", "The Witness" and especially "Entropy" (also found "A Beautiful Disaster" better than given credit for, though generally Morgan's exit arc should have been better handled).

But at the same time it is much better than the likes of "Till Death Do Us Part", "The Bond", "Future Perfect", "Awake", "Inner Beauty", "Internal Affairs", "Outlaw" and "Drive".

Starting with the good points, "A Badge and a Gun" looks slick and stylish. The music is appropriately moody, in both the haunting and melancholic sense. The direction is quick-paced yet sympathetic, and there are some interesting touches such as the ambitious ruse that could have gone so badly wrong and the whole location stuff with the unsub. The acting is very good, all the leads are reliably strong and Carmine Giovinazzo nails his creepy unsub role.

There is more detective work and profiling than most episodes of the season and it makes sense, the unsub with his very bleak past is better developed than most of the unsubs from Season 11 (and while he is shown early on other episodes have done far worse in how much they use their unsubs, here his murder of Patricia was pretty horrifying). Garcia is more adult and more professional than she tended to be in the later seasons too. The cliff-hanger ending is suitably ominous.

However, wasn't really all that invested in the whole subplot with Morgan and Savannah, it didn't dominate the episode thankfully but before this point the relationship was too sketchy and too lacking in chemistry and Savannah too dull a character to really feel anything. The case generally is competent but pretty routine with potentially interesting areas not explored enough (like the significance of Andrew's looks) and apart from the ruse, the murder of Patricia and the ending suspense was lacking.

Occasionally the writing gets a tad confused, with a couple of parts such as the aftermath of the realisation of the occupation of the unsub somewhat extraneous as well.

In summary, in the better half of Season 11 but middling 'Criminal Minds' in general. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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