Criminal Minds

Compulsion

Season 1, Ep 2, Aired 9/28/05
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  • Episode Description
  • The team of investigators tries to capture a serial arsonist who has been terrorizing a college campus in Tempe, Arizona. Most of the evidence from the fires had been burned beyond recognition, so the BAU must rely on psychological analysis to identify the firestarter.

  • Cast & Crew
  • Kristen Caldwell

    2nd Student

  • Evan Lee Dahl

    Jeremy

  • Bob Jesser

    Professor Wallace

  • Sage Mears

    Chem Student #1

  • Rolando Millet

    Campus Security Guard

  • Fan Reviews (23)
  • Very good episode

    By rivqah, Dec 06, 2012

  • OCD causes a serial killer to kill every time they see a pattern of 333

    By 7dixob, Aug 27, 2012

  • COMPULSION!

    By aayaanrox, Feb 10, 2010

  • An arsonist is on the loose at a college in Arizona and Gideon and them team must try and stop them before more people die.

    By Lady_Lancaster, Jun 17, 2010

  • Einstein once said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

    By Finnegan77, Apr 01, 2007

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (11)

    • Student: Is this building on fire?
      Clara: Not yet.

    • Elle: Chemical accelerant could mean chemistry student.
      Reid
      : Could also mean chemistry professor.
      Elle: Mmm, I say student. You need self-confidence to lecture in front of a oom full of 30 college kids. Arsonists are socially incompetent. This guy doesn't go on dates. He doesn't go to parties. He doesn't feel comfortable in front of groups.
      (Reid stops and looks at Elle and she looks back)
      Elle: And, of course, he's a total psychopath.
      Reid: 'course.

    • Campus Patroller: You're one of those FBI guys. Um, like a profiler, right? Like, one look at a crime scene, you can tell what kind of shampoo a killer uses?
      Gideon: You sound skeptical.
      Campus Patroller: (smiling) Uh, maybe a little.
      Gideon: Your girlfriend thinks you're gonna break up with her.
      Campus Patroller: (stops smiling) You're kidding, right?
      Gideon: Well, you keep adjusting your necklace. That tells me you're not used to wearing one or somebody else probably bought it for you, bought it recently, and the Chinese symbol on it means "forever yours."

    • Morgan: Look, we need as close to the real voice as you can get and anything that might be in the background. Can you do it?
      Garcia: OK, you know how on Star Trek when Captain Kirk asks McCoy to do something totally impossible, and McCoy says, "Damn it, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a miracle worker?"
      Morgan: Hey, what are you telling me, not to expect a miracle?
      Garcia: No, I'm saying I'm not a doctor.
      Morgan: (laughing) That's my girl.

    • Elle: What... what is the most sinful place on campus?
      Morgan: Come on, Elle, when I was in college, it was everywhere.

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (1)

    • The music heard in this episode was "Every Day is Exactly the Same" by Nine Inch Nails.

    Trivia (5)

    • In the beginning of episode when Reid and Hotch are in the dorm, Reid pronounces Matthew's last name as Rowling. However, about 5 minutes later when the whole team is talking to each other it is pronounced similar to Rolling.

    • Reid controls the play, pause, rewind and zoom-in buttons with the return button.

    • When he was near the elevator at the end of this episode, Hotchner was shown from behind reaching for his gun in his holster on his right side with his right hand. However, Hotchner (as is Thomas Gibson) is left-handed.

    • The Bradshaw College in Tempe, Arizona, part of the episode location, is actually the California State University Northridge campus.

    • In the end scene with the Footpath Killer and Gideon, Gideon provokes him into stuttering. The Footpath Killer racks his shotgun, yet he'd already done that when he first confronted Gideon outside the convenience store before he had fired a shot. A shotgun must be fired before it can be reracked.

    Allusions (5)

    • Reid: When asked about his motives, Peter Dinsdale said "I am devoted to fire. Fire is my master." Peter Dinsdale, from Manchester, England, began setting fires at age 9 and started over 30 known fires during his teenage years. In prison, he seemed obsessed by certain Bible verses, including Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters.” Dinsdale, small and physically handicapped, felt compelled to set fires and to serve his true master. In two known cases, Dinsdale poured kerosene through the mail slots of homes and then ignited it. He killed at least 26 people with his fires over the years before being caught and convicted.

    • Elle: Charon was the Greek ferryman of the dead. Clara has a picture of Charon in her room and also leaves a creepy phone message about him. In Greek mythology, Charon steers the ferry on the river Styx, which takes the dead to the underworld of Hades. The old tradition of putting coins over a dead person's eyes is supposed to have originated with this myth. The coins were meant to pay the ferryman.

    • Morgan: A god of human sacrifice and parents' tears. This line about the ancient god Moloch is from Book I of John Milton's epic Paradise Lost. As Morgan mentions, Moloch was associated with the sacrifice of children.

    • Elle: Yeah… I've seen Backdraft. Backdraft was a movie about a firefighter who sets fires so he can put them out – a serial arsonist.

    • Gideon: Berkowitz was caught because of a parking ticket. David Berkowitz was a serial killer who was nicknamed the "Son of Sam" because he used that name in taunting letters that he sent to the police. Berkowitz currently serving a life sentence.

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