Whether you watch it for the murder, drama, the wonderful character of Dr. Spencer Reid or all of the above, “Criminal Minds” has had its fair share of gruesome crimes and killers. With 13 seasons underway and potential for being renewed for its 14th season, there have been hundreds of disturbing moments.
In order to honor my favorite show, I thought it was only fitting to write about these eight episodes that have impacted me. Although several more have deeply disturbed me to my core, these particular episodes continue to dwell in my mind to this day.
Some of these descriptions may contain spoilers, so please proceed with caution.
1. Season 2, Episode 15: "Revelations"
This episode was one of the first moments where we see the true dangers of being an FBI agent. When Reid gets kidnapped by one of the unsubs (subsequently being tortured and drugged), it fully set into me the reality of the dangers of the job.
2. Season 3, Episode 8: "Lucky"
This episode came back to haunt me in the current season of the show. One of the most notable moments that has stuck with me has to be when the unsub baked his victim into chili to serve to the search party of his own killing. Those people sure weren’t lucky.
3. Season 8, Episode 10: "The Lesson"
This episode hands down wins my vote for most disturbing episode. Matthew Gray Gubler (Spencer Reid) managed to create an episode that was not only mind blowing but gruesome. This particular unsub turns his victims into human marionettes to act out stories of his life on stage.
4. Season 8, Episode 12: "Zugswang"
This episode still breaks my heart to this day. Imagine this: you have a long term girlfriend/boyfriend that you’ve never met because they are being stalked and when you finally get to see them for the first time, they are killed in front of you. That is what happened to Dr. Reid and watching his reaction to her death was even harder to watch then some of the more gruesome moments of the show.
5. Season 5, Episode 16: "Mosely Lane"
Another creation of Gubler, this episode deals with a family who abducts children and keeps them for years in their basement. Not only does this episode hit on something that actually happens, but it also included current star of “American Horror Story,” Evan Peters, before he became famous.
6. Season 5, Episode 9: "100"
In the finale to a long-running case, Agent Hotchner finally gets to confront Foyet in a final showdown after over a year of him being on the run. Foyet first appeared in season 4 episode 8 and had several similarities to famous serial killers such as Ted Bundy and The Zodiac Killer. Without spoiling too much plot, let’s just say that this episode gets personal and might be a tearjerker for some viewers.
7. Season 10, Episode 21: "Mr. Scratch"
Yet another long-running case, Mr. Scratch remained an ongoing plot line until season 13. In his first appearance on the show, he used a hallucinogenic drug to get his victims to kill their loved ones. Mr. Scratch even continues to get personal with the team, even getting one character into jail in season 12.
8. Season 5, Episode 12: "The Uncanny Valley"
This particular case should not be watched by someone who has a fear of dolls. This particular unsub uses her victims as dolls by drugging them so that they are fully conscious but cannot move. Under further investigation, the team uncovers what traumatic incident lead this unsub to do what she did, and the twists continue through the end.