Criminal Minds (2005– )
3 user

Green Light 

When Reid fears his mother has been abducted, he asks the BAU to investigate while he's stuck in prison.


Alec Smight


Jeff Davis (created by), Erik Stiller | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Damon Gupton ... Stephen Walker
Aisha Tyler ... Dr. Tara Lewis
Adam Rodriguez ... Luke Alvez
Paget Brewster ... Emily Prentiss
Harold Perrineau ... Calvin Shaw
Richard T. Jones ... Officer Lionel Wilkins
Gia Mantegna ... Lindsey Vaughan
Fredric Lehne ... Jack Vaughan
Jeananne Goossen ... Fiona Duncan
Antonio Leon ... AUSA Manny Martinez
Chase Kim ... USMS Kevin Cho


A worried Reid informs Prentiss and Duncan about Lindsey Vaughan, who is now holding his mother without she knowing that she is in danger - Lindsey posing as Diana's new nurse, Caroline Atkinson - and is the woman in the motel room in Mexico that killed Rosa Medina. Although Prentiss believes Reid's story especially about Lindsey being Diana's nurse is a figment of his sleep-deprived imagination, she and the team investigate. Most of the team do remember Lindsey and her mob enforcer father Jack Vaughan as being involved in a BAU case about ten years ago, they placed in the witness protection program following, Jack in particular considered too valuable a witness not to face prosecution for his own crimes. In that specific case, Jack killed the unsub on Lindsey's urging in front of Reid. If Reid's story is indeed true, the belief is that Lindsey is working with Scratch. But the most urgent issue is that they have to locate Diana and her real nurse, Cassie Campbell. Regardless, Prentiss... Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

3 May 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color | Black and White (flashbacks)

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


There is no end quote in the episode, probably because this story continues in the next episode Criminal Minds: Red Light (2017). See more »


When Reid first talks to Emily about Lindsey's case, he tells her that the case was in April of 2007. This is wrong because that episode was broadcasted on January 9th of 2008. See more »


Emily Prentiss: The rest of us need to find Lindsay asap
Luke Alvez: I know a marshal that can help cut through WITSEC's red tape
Dr. Tara Lewis: Yeah, I'm friendly with some people at homeland security
David Rossi: I have a buddy at the DOJ, lost a lot of money to him at a poker, he owes me
See more »


Features Criminal Minds: 3rd Life (2008) See more »


Night Song
Performed by Family Band
[Played when the team scrutinizes the evidence in their conference room]
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User Reviews

Biting nails here
16 June 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

In its prime (Seasons 1-5, with Season 4 to me being the best and most consistent season with a lot of classic episodes and even the weakest episodes being far from awful) 'Criminal Minds' was one of my favourite shows. From Season 6 it did become hit and miss, with the odd gem, but a lot of average episodes and some stinkers.

"Green Light" to me was the one of the best episodes (perhaps so far second best) of an inconsistent but better than anticipated Season 12. Almost as good as "Spencer", on the same level as "Elliot's Pond" and "Mirror Image" and much better than "True North", "Anti-Terror Squad" and "Taboo". "Green Light" may not be a classic 'Criminal Minds' episode, but is a long way from a stinker, very easy to see why as of now it's one of the higher rated episodes of the season.

Wouldn't have said no to more Rossi, who is somewhat underused here. More so of an issue was, to me, Reid's treatment in prison generally has been portrayed in a way that goes too far in the cruelty factor (this episode included), with the character of Wilkins somewhat of a cartoonish prison cliché too far, while one really feels sorry for Reid and roots for him how and what he's thinking has been explored a little too heavy-handedly that has indicated more unhappiness (not a good thing if your favourite 'Criminal Minds' character is Reid).

However, visually, the episode looks great as to be expected. Very well shot and lit and is overall stylish, gritty, classy and atmospheric, with at times a film noir look and feel. The music is moody in the haunting and melancholic sense and fits well, without either enhancing or distracting from it. The direction is alert, tense and accommodating.

All the acting is very good, especially from Paget Brewster and Matthew Gray Gubler. The team interaction is absolutely brilliant here, where one truly sees everybody's genuine concern for Reid and desire to help him through a seemingly helpless situation and how close they are as a team. Here Reid's importance to the team is acknowledged, especially by Prentiss and Garcia, and Prentiss' concern and pulls no punches approach in proving Reid's innocence confirms that bringing her back was one of the best decisions the show has made in a while. A hugely satisfying scene too was the scene between Alvez and Shaw, certainly the most satisfying Alvez moment all season and may possibly convert non-fans.

On top of that, the writing is thought-provoking and tautly structured. A lot happens in the story, the main revelation is a huge shock when the viewer was made to think otherwise in the previous episodes when the arc was covered and the twists and turns keep coming without putting one's brain into overload. It was great to have an initially promising but got heavily dragged out subplot put to bed and unanswered questions starting to get answered.

In conclusion, not a 'Criminal Minds' classic but a nail-biter. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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