Criminal Minds

Season 3 Episode 15

A Higher Power

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Apr 09, 2008 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
432 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The BAU is called to Pittsburgh after an unusually high suicide rate appears to be the work of an Angel of Death.

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  • A serial killer using grief to kill people.

    An unusual amount of suicides gets the attention of the BAU who believe it could be a smart unsub who is using the death of children in a fire to kill their parents but making it look like suicide For half of the episode no one was sure there was an unsub including Morgan but as always the BAU get the answers and most of the time the episode had an interesting ending where we find out the detective's brother committed suicide and was not a victim to the killer..moreless
  • An unusually large number of suicides in Pittsburgh are all connected to a fire in which several children were killed. The question is, how?

    A detective whose brother has supposedly just committed suicide following the death of his daughter who passed away in a fire along with several other children, is convinced that the death is murder rather than suicide. His basis for thinking this is certainly solid in the sense that several other parents who lost children in the same tragic blaze have taken their own lives but he may just be grieving and not wish to believe that his brother killed himself.

    The BAU decide to investigate and quickly realise that the dead parents were all connected in some way to support groups which they attended to help them cope with their loss. All wrote suicide notes in their own hand, and it is deduced that they were not forced to do so. The question is, did they kill themselves or is the young man who keeps turning up at the support groups in some way connected to the deaths of their parents?

    This unsub was somewhat creepy, and his methods, very cleverly disguised. (Not from our team at the BAU though!). The saddest part was that the death of the detective's brother really WAS suicide, but even in his grief, his diligence helped to bring a killer to justice.moreless
  • As somebody before me mentioned, strong start, but a weak ending.

    This was a good episode of Criminal Minds, overall, but it definitely would not qualify into my top favorites, at all. I found the case to be quite interesting, but not perfect, and as the episode carried on, the case got quite boring to me.

    I did enjoy it, howeverm, as it was quite interesting and fdifferent, but there was nothing special about the episode, and that is my main and major criticism.

    I thought the last scene with the lady crashing her car was powerful and well done, but overall, the case went from up to down and it was not that good in that aspect.

    Overall, a decent episode which I would definitely recommend!moreless
  • Suicides or not?

    BAU team is called in as suspiciously many people who lost their child in fire years ago are committed suicides and one police officer believes that they are not.. So we have some members who believe there is a case, Morden who believes there isn't.. and soon the things get even more out of hands..

    And emotions - that mother who could not even hold her child.. and the way the unsub used people's privacy - following and picking them up on those meetings and then killing them.. looking so sincere and so harmless first.. How people can look different than they are.moreless
  • Strong Start, Weak Ending

    I thought the entire concept of the episode was very good, I just wasn't a way of how everything came together at the end of the episode. This person was using a family trama to give him a reason to murder people thinking it was what they wanted. The suicide notes threw me for a spin in this epsiode, as I'm usually pretty good at seeing those kinds of twists. They didn't write the notes under duress, but they were still putting emotion into the letter. The ending was dissapointing for me because I thought the show could have done better then what they did with it. The man finds his next target and just as the BAU arrives she effectivly takes care of the problem himself. He started to talk to her about trying to 'save her' because he could do the thing that she couldnt do, which in his mind meant that she wanted to kill herself because it was her only escape. The woman then tries to kill herself - just fails at doing so. Overall, I thought the concept of the entire epsiode was very well done, the final 10 minutes just kind of lowered the score for me.moreless
Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Kirsten Vangsness

Kirsten Vangsness

Analyst Penelope Garcia

Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson

Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner

Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler

SSA Dr. Spencer Reid

Paget Brewster

Paget Brewster

SSA Emily Prentiss

A.J. Cook

A.J. Cook

SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jareau

Renee O'Connor

Renee O'Connor

Pam Baleman

Guest Star

Paul Schulze

Paul Schulze

Det. Ronnie Baleman

Guest Star

Zakareth Ruben

Zakareth Ruben

Beth Smoler

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Prentiss: Is there any possibility that, while we've been talking, you've been multitasking?
      Garcia: What? Find Redding's address?
      : I love you, Penelope Garcia.
      : Get in line!

    • Morgan: (answering his phone) Go ahead, hot stuff, talk to me.
      Garcia: Hey, so, Prentiss was looking for some narcotics, my burning love hunk, and I scored humongously.

    • Rossi: Now we're only fishing, we don't want to point a finger.
      Det. Ronnie Baleman: Point it, I don't give a damn!
      Hotchner: If that's what it's about, let us figure out where to point it.

    • Garcia: Emily, The Strange and Great, what can I do you for?
      Prentiss: Hey, I'm looking for a drug that would temporarily paralyze or subdue someone, not kill them, but give full control.
      Garcia: Well, I always use alcohol - less fuss, way cheaper.

    • Hotchner: I need to talk to Jack. I've lost her, but I'm not going to lose him. I need to try to tell him what's going on, I don't know how much he's going to understand, but…
      Rossi: All he needs to understand is that you love him.

    • Morgan: So tell me, back at the house, when we found Beth Smoler.
      Prentiss: I don't know, sometimes I just wonder... if we're actually changing anything.
      Morgan: Do you know why I have four properties?
      Prentiss: Tell me.
      Morgan: If I'm not kicking down doors, I'm smashing down walls. At the end of the day, they both make me feel like I'm changing something... for the better. Good enough?
      Prentiss: Good enough.

    • Prentiss: "The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love, and to be greater than our suffering." Ben Okri

    • Rossi: "There is no refuge from confession but suicide, and suicide is confession." Daniel Webster

  • NOTES (1)