Criminal Minds

Season 6 Episode 11

25 to Life

4
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Dec 15, 2010 on CBS
AIRED:
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
345 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Morgan believes a convicted murderer has been rehabilitated and aids in his parole, but subsequently regrets his decision when the man commits murder after being released from prison.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Ohhh Hotch!!!!

    8.5
    I just missed him so much! Now I know that if he ever leaves Criminal Minds, I wouldn't watch it. He just gives so much to the show!
  • Wow! What a bad episode to end the year on. We didn't see Hotch at all and Reid was hardly in it. I'm baffled as to why Agent Seaver is in this show. Just bring JJ back. At least she wasn't an annoying know it all.moreless

    4.0
    Why are the writers and CBS trying to ruin this show. Get rid of Seaver. I held my breath during the opening credits, praying that Seaver would not have been added as a regular. She is the worst addition to this show. I would rather they bring back JJ and stop trying to force this new woman on us. And why was Hotch not in this episode? He was with his son? Why in the hell was Seaver in this episode? Criminal Minds is my favorite show and I loved this show up till the middle of season 5. After that the show started to be more about individual characters, instead of the profiling. I have to admit, I love when there is a Reid centered episode, because I think Matthew Gray Gubler is a great actor. But I wouldn't want the entire show to be based around him. This show is how 5 to 6 great minds get together and profile the bad guys. Not how 1 individual handles the case. This episode was how Morgan, felt about the case and how HE was going to fix it. I just don't understand what is happening to the show. I am extremely excited about the next episode because I think Hotch and Reid might actually be in that episode. I saw the pictures! I hope next episode is Seaver's last. I know they shot these episodes months in advance, but I hope they see these comments and realize that we don't want Seaver, we want JJ. Ok enough rambling. Happy Holidays everyone. Can't wait for the next episode and for Christmas.moreless
  • Morgan was always going to be right about Sanderson being innocent, I don't think there's any doubt about that, but with his antics at the end of the episode, he's lucky to still have a job!moreless

    6.5
    This one started off quite well. I liked the premise that a parole board wanted a BAU risk assessment of Sanderson before they considered releasing him. What made no sense at all, however, was that Morgan only got to see him for one interview which just happened to be the day before the parole board hearing. In reality, it doesn't work like that, but I'll make allowances for television.



    One thing that did strike me as a little odd was that the minute Morgan introduced himself, Sanderson identified him as a member of the BAU. That doesn't gell very well as Sanderson obviously wasn't expecting him and the title and name 'SSA Derek Morgan' doesn't in any way confer to the other person that they are dealing with a profiler.



    The actual interview was very short, but again, television time constraints make this necessary although I still find it a little annoying. Seeing Morgan in a suit and tie again after so long in his trademark t-shirt was a nice change. His absolute endorsement, however, of Sanderson was always going to get him into trouble because Strauss wouldn't have needed to be in the episode otherwise.



    I had to grit my teeth a LOT during the 'profiling' phase. Not only was Hotch absent, with a plausible reason, but Garcia was giving profiling opinions and, once again, 'Awesome Agent Ashley, The Super-Slueth Seer', gave the team all the benefit of her massive knowledge base in order to gather all the evidence and solve the case immediately. How ever did they survive without this amazing individual for so long? No wonder Hotch felt comfortable taking time off, with Seaver there, it was pretty obvious that neither he nor Reid (who hardly said 'boo') were needed ...



    The similarities to the cases of Green Beret Captain Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, whose pregnant wife, Collette, and two daughters were supposedly murdered by a group of 'acid head' intruders in the 1970s was alarming, in fact, I expected the woman to have been seen wearing a white hat, just as MacDonald claimed one of the killers who murdered his wife and daughters was. Like MacDonald, Sanderson was a doctor but, unlike MacDonald, Sanderson had a Derek Morgan to come along and help him get free. There were also shades of the case of another doctor from the 1950s, Dr. Sam Sheppard, whose wife, Marilyn, (also pregnant) was murdered by intruders. The Sheppard's son, Chip, was left unharmed, just like in this episode.



    The crime scene where 'Mary' was bleeding to death was abysmal. First of all, if the would-be Congressman had wanted that tape and she knew it (which she must have, given the other murder) then why in the world was it just sitting, covered in dust, on the top of a cabinet? Not exactly a good place to hide something that could get you killed!!!



    The amount of time Prentiss spent wiping blood off her hands was, to say the least, overdone. Couldn't she have just gone to a washbasin or an outside faucet and washed them? Is this going to be significant later or was it just filler?



    For once, Erin Strauss was one hundred percent correct in all her assumptions when she was trying to tell Morgan and Rossi that they couldn't just go off arresting people based on nothing but heresay with no physical evidence whatsoever. That she even PERMITTED them to go to the fundraiser and publicly humiliate a man who could have been completely innocent simply staggers me. The woman loves to play everything by the book. To add to that, when one considers that there are, literally, thousands of self-made men in Washington, how in the world Garcia was able to match the 'young boy in the hood' on the tape to this wealthy and influential man defies any logic whatsoever. However, having said that, NOTHING was as ridiculous as the self-righteous speeches made by Morgan, Rossi and Prentiss in front of all those people. Morgan's slow hand clap was juvenile and painful to watch. Rossi and Prentiss's assertions equally painful to listen to. They had zero evidence against him. Absolutely zero and yet, they crashed his party, belittled him, defiled his name and then had him arrested based only on supposition and the fact that he 'lost his temper' somewhat easily. (So would I if three idiotic FBI agents crashed into my home and carried on like that!) The scratches on the arm were only noticed AFTER all the speeches and hand clapping and, given that this man had concealed his killings for so long, I find it very hard to swallow that these three characters acting like something out of a sketch from 'The Goon Show' would have made him even break a sweat.



    Any judge would find the scratches inadmissable as evidence due to the lack of a warrant and a complete lack of probable cause. Who is writing for 'Criminal Minds' these days? Are we sure it isn't a bunch of tenth grade high school students who have a fondness for fan fiction?



    These wonderful actors and this fantastic show deserve better than this. Get rid of Awesome Agent Ashley and get some decent writers who KNOW what it is that the BAU actually does and who also have some knowledge of the law.



    We had 'Silence of the Lambs' last week, the MacDonald/Sheppard cases this week, what will it be in the first episode of 2011? Charles Manson? Jeffrey Dahmer? The list truly is endless. Give us back the show we love. For this episode, thank God for Jayne Atkinson and great to see Philip Casnoff again, even if it was briefly.



    As a fan who has never missed an episode, I just want the show with all that superb high quality and equally high standards to return. Hopefully this is not too much to ask.moreless
  • I can totally understand the opinions of those who did not like the episoe because certain characters hardly appeared, but I will only base my review on what was on the screen, not what was not on the screen.moreless

    10
    I enjoyed this case, because it was Morgan-centered. He is probably my favorite character after JJ's departure, although I like the whole cast immensely when it comes to Criminal Minds.



    The early stages of the episode progressed way too slowly for my liking, but the last 20 minutes were very well done!



    I really enjoyed the scene where the FBI arrests the Congressman! It was so good, and very scandalous for the audience that we saw there.



    I also really loved the conclusion to this! The man (Sanderson) reunited with his son, and that was very moving. Particularly as this episode aired around Christmas in the US (although it is late March in Australia) it was a fitting finale.



    Keep it up, Criminal Midns! Nothing wrong with this season so afar, and I can not wait for another episode!moreless
Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson

Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner

Joe Mantegna

Joe Mantegna

Senior SSA David Rossi

Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler

SSA Dr. Spencer Reid

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Paget Brewster

Paget Brewster

SSA Emily Prentiss

Kirsten Vangsness

Kirsten Vangsness

Analyst Penelope Garcia

Kyle Secor

Kyle Secor

Don Sanderson

Guest Star

Philip Casnoff

Philip Casnoff

James Stanworth

Guest Star

Greg Collins

Greg Collins

Bill Codwin

Guest Star

Rachel Nichols

Rachel Nichols

FBI Cadet Ashley Seaver

Recurring Role

Jayne Atkinson

Jayne Atkinson

Section Chief Erin Strauss

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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