Criminal Minds

Season 4 Episode 21

A Shade of Gray

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Apr 22, 2009 on CBS
out of 10
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369 votes

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Episode Summary

During an investigation of a series of child abductions and murders in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the BAU concludes the possibility that the last murder may not be the work of the suspect who had been apprehended.

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# 6
  • Creepy, but slightly predictable.

    This episode was creepy. Not as creepy as other episodes have been, but still makes my heartbeat beat slightly faster after watching.

    The episode starts off with throwing us straight into the crime. the BAU are already involved, and a press conference is being held. SLightly different than than the usual start. A boy, Kyle Murphy, has supposedly been kidnapped and the BAU are lead to believe that it's the third victim in a serial child molester/murderer case. After a walk through of the crime scene and an interview with the parents, they narrow down hundreds of sex offenders that live in the area to one based on type, preference and as such. I thought it was weird that during the interview with the parents, Prentiss didn't notice the behavior of Danny, Kyle's older brother. It was kind of obvious he had no reaction whatsoever to the situation, like he was bored. Prentiss would have caught that.

    But the suspect they catch didn't 'kidnap' Kyle. He did kidnap and murder the first two boys though. Soon, the BAU realize this and the suspects are the detective, Bill, and the parents, until Prentiss, who's sitting with Danny, realizes that Danny must have been the one. Turns put the parents and the detective knew too and tried to cover it up. It was a slight twist, but it was kind of obvious from the beginning. Oh and Danny? He's a sociopath. Creeps me out that a boy that age can already be a sociopath.moreless
  • This was very creepy. What could be worse than a string of child murders? I'll tell you what - when the third murder is committed by a very different unsub.

    Three young boys have been abducted and murdered in Camden County. The first two have a very similar MO, but the death of the third boy, Kyle Murphy, differs enough for the BAU to believe that they are dealing with a different unsub. Police officer Bill Lancaster, who is a friend of the Murphy family is not all that helpful as he is intent on pinning all three murders on the killer of the first two boys even when they catch the first unsub and he is completely wrong about the details of the Murphy murder. It seems that Bill Lancaster just wants closure for the grieving Murphy family, who have one older son but the BAU team are not content with his hypothesis even though the crime scenes and dumping sites are very similar.

    When they finally figure out that the one person who knows all the details of the crime is Bill Lancaster himself, he, of course, becomes suspect number 1 in the Murphy murder but the truth is even more shocking when we found out that Lancaster did indeed place the body in the woods but the killer was someone else entirely ...

    This episode was very sad in places but I wasn't overly impressed by the acting skills of the older son. He did a far better job during the press conference at the beginning than he did near the end when Prentiss was interviewing him. Unfortunately too, the real killer was very obvious in this one, but I suppose they can't hide who it is all the time.moreless
  • Wow! What a twist!

    This was definitiely one of my favorit episodes of Criminal Minds, because it was quite unpredicatble and very intersting. I thought that the case was wrapped up literally within 20 minutes, but it changed significantly and dramatically, which really boosted my opinions of the episode.

    I thought the idea of a child sociopath was very innovative and quite different. I didn't see this end outcome coming, and I really enjoyed it taking place!

    Certainly a very good episode, and in my opinion, it is very underrated, compared to the previous episode, which wasn't as good.

    I'd highly recommend this one, and I hope Criminal Minds continues to deliver such great shows!.moreless
  • That was cruel..

    I think when I started to watch the episode, the sheriff of local law enforcement officer was my number one suspect and everything was going the way I thought - third case not connected, something else going on and I was already thinking - maybe the show has lost it's twist.. but hey.. I was making conclusions too early - this episode had a brilliant twist, brilliant writing and great score.. specially the piece playing in the end..

    But with all that brilliant turn in the end.. I still felt the episode was maybe little bit unequal - the start was very raw and clear, nothing surprising, maybe slow.. and little off what we usually expect and then the turning point - when Emily gets.. the family is in it.. and that moment gave away the son. but.. then step by step we learn what really happen, they bring out the horror of so young boy.. how he did it.. and how he told it to Emily.. Really great reality break, great writing and I think the contrasts between the start and the end of the episode added even more.moreless
  • Something Scarier.....

    I find episodes that have the cases involving children extremely difficult, maybe because unfortunately children are susceptible to predators. As with these cases you felt the intensity from the beginning. I had my doubts about Lancaster from the beginning but Rollins just made my stomach roll but that you give credit to John Billingsley. I loved the challenge and the twists within Kyle's abduction making it just different enough to raise flags. I loved seeing the team switch gears turning their focus elsewhere. You could feel the disgust from the team at the stories that are being told and hearing nothing but the truth. But as in most cases truth comes out and it's a scary then the pieces fall into place. As a fan of the show as well as a parent I appreciated the graphic nature of the crime being left to the imagination.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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions