For 15 seasons, Criminal Minds told stories about the most shocking and twisted serial murder cases. It followed the lives of a group of people working for the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU). Besides the captivating stories, the show also remained fully invested in the characters’ personal development, making it a joy to watch. While it came to an end in February 2020, there are numerous Criminal Minds episodes one can always rewatch.
What are the best episodes of Criminal Minds, and what made them stand out?
The best Criminal Minds episodes
Here is a look at the 30 best Criminal Minds episodes ever.
30. Amplification (Season 4, Episode 24)
Amplification features a serial killer and terrorist by the name of Chad Brown. The villain is only interested in one thing; showing Americans how vulnerable their country is to a terrorist attack.
29. Doubt (Season 3, Episode 1)
Three female students are found dead in a college in Arizona. Upon examination, it is found that the girls were stabbed. While the BAU believes the case is solved when a guard fits the killer’s profile, things get interesting when a similar murder happens while the suspect is in custody.
28. Red Light (Season 12, Episode 22)
Reid goes on a psychological game of cat-and-mouse with Cat Adams. The only difference from one of his previous similar encounters is that Diana’s life is on the line this time.
27. 100 (Season 5, Episode 9)
A serial killer known as the reaper reemerges after 11 years in the dark. He is one of the most dangerous villains in Criminal Minds. Before disappearing, the killer was responsible for killing Aaron’s ex-wife.
26. Revelations (Season 2, Episode 15)
Reid is caught by an executioner known as Tobias, who has a split personality problem. The team attempts to locate Reid after watching a video showing Tobias manhandling him.
25. Zugzwang (Season 8, Episode 12)
Zugzwang features Reid heavily since a stalker abducts his girlfriend. The BAU must then find and save the girl before it is too late.
24. The Fisher King (Season 1, Episode 22)
The Fisher King follows Randall Garner, a man who lost his family in a house fire. The man survived but was severely scarred and became mentally ill. Upon his release from the mental facility, he decides to target and torment members of the BAU.
23. Date Night (Season 15, Episode 6)
Cat Adams returns, ready to wreak havoc. She demands one more date with Reid before she dies. To get the date, she abducts Reid’s girlfriend’s father and his sister.
22. Believer (Season 13, Episode 22)
Believer features an unsub known as The Strang*er. A former member of the BAU believes the team never found The Strang*er when he previously struck. The former profiler has been tracking the unsub since leaving the FBI.
21. Entropy (Season 11, Episode 22)
In Entropy, Reid tries to outsmart an assassin known as Cat and bring her down. The rest of the team works on a plan to track a hitman syndicate associated with Cat.
20. LDSK (Season 1, Episode 6)
The BAU tried to capture a notorious sharpshooter who guns down individuals during the day. The initials in this thriller stand for Long Distance Serial Killer.
19. Mr Scratch (Season 10, Episode 21)
Mr Scratch explores the mindset and psychology of a serial killer. Unfortunately, the villain escapes and takes other serial killers with him. He later begins targeting members of the FBI.
18. Mosley Lane (Season 5, Episode 16)
This was undoubtedly one of the saddest Criminal Minds episodes. Its plot revolved around a group of kidnapped children being nurtured as a family by their abductor. It was a story about hope for the families of those who had gone missing.
17. Penelope (Season 3, Episode 9)
This one features Penelope Garcia battling for her life after being shot right outside her house. As the team tries to solve the case surrounding her shooter, they find secrets about the time Penelope left the office.
16. Profiling 202 (Season 9, Episode 12)
When Rossi is teaching a profiling class with Stephen and Prentiss, he receives a call that makes him believe someone from his past might have returned.
15. The Tall (Season 14, Episode 5)
When two victims go missing in the woods, the BAU starts to investigate an unlikely small-town ghost story.
14. Demons (Season 9, Episode 24)
This one tells the captivating story of a murder in Texas. Upon investigation, the team learns that corruption might be the key motive behind the murder. They then stumble upon an organization with sinister motives.
13. Lauren (Season 6, Episode 18)
When Prentiss goes missing, the BAU must look for information about her. Little did the team know that Prentiss has been chasing a deadly enemy from her time as an undercover agent named Lauren.
12. Hit (Season 7, Episode 23)
The BAU encounters a group of serial killers who have robbed a bank. Everything turns ugly when one of the BAU’s members is taken hostage while trying to negotiate with the killers.
11. Sex, Birth, Death (Season 2, Episode 11)
Sex, Birth, Death starts with Washington’s red-light area, where several prostitutes are found dead. Reid suspects the killer to be a school student with a brutal motive.
10. Minimal Loss ((Season 4, Episode 3)
Starting off the top 10 best Criminal Minds episodes is Minimal Loss. It follows Benjamin Cyrus, a cult leader who goes on the defensive when the FBI comes knocking on his door.
9. Jones (Season 2, Episode 18)
A notorious serial killer assumed to be dead returns and resumes his killings in New Orleans. The BAU must work with the local police to find the killer.
8. Mayhem (Season 4, Episode 1)
In this season premiere, the BAU investigates the bombing of a vehicle in New York that was carrying a member of the investigative team.
7. Conflicted (Season 4, Episode 20)
Two male students are rap*d then murdered while vacationing in South Padre Island. The team believes the boys were lured into a trap by a woman and then killed by a man.
6. 300 (Season 1, Episode 14)
Years after the BAU brought down a cult chief known as Benjamin Cyrus, the faction returns seeking vengeance on the FBI.
5. Surface Tension (Season 12, Episode 11)
Reid returns after visiting his mother, who is on an experimental drug program. Unfortunately, the team later learns that Reid’s mother is no longer at the hospital, a fact that might endanger her and Reid’s safety.
4. Hamelin (Season 14, Episode 12)
Hamelin is an unexpected retaliation story in which a man attempts to take revenge against those who wronged him by kidnapping their children and torturing them. Three children in Iowa are abducted on the same night.
3. Hashtag (Season 10, Episode 7)
The killer targets social media influencers and photoshops pictures of his prey on other people’s Twitter pages. All the crime scenes have a hashtag symbol that suggests the similarities between the murders.
2. And in the End (Season 10, Episode 15)
Reid finds himself in the emergency room, some of his colleagues resign, and he must find a way to deal with the goings-on in his mind. This is one of the good Criminal Minds episodes without too much action and serial killings.
1. Masterpiece (Season 4, Episode 8)
Masterpiece is amazingly well-written, which perhaps explains why it is top among the best rated Criminal Minds episodes. It follows a self-absorbed sociopath who confesses to killing seven people. He then challenges the BAU to find and stop him before he kills them.
What is the lowest rated Criminal Minds episode?
What is the best season of Criminal Minds?
According to Ranker, the third season of Criminal Minds is the best. The season premiered in September 2007 and is best known for the introduction of David Rossi to the show.
The best Criminal Minds episodes were filled with twists and suspense. Their gripping storylines transported viewers into the shocking minds of serial killers and the thrill of the BAU trying to outsmart the criminals.
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