Criminal Minds

Season 3 Episode 6

About Face

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 31, 2007 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
517 votes

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Episode Summary

The BAU travels to Dallas to assist in the search for a murderer who scares his victims with "missing" flyers that display the soon-to-be victims' photos. Also, SSA David Rossi returns to the BAU from retirement.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

# 6
  • Masks. Creepy. I rest my case.

    I really liked About Face as an introduction of Rossi! And I like Rossi :)

    It's just that I only know Mantegna clean-shaven; I think that looks good on him – and maybe it also fits a bit better with the "no longer retired, back at the BAU" look?

    But well, it's only a beard, if he keeps it, I'll get used to it. I think.

    I do really like his bit in the leader with him pushing the sunglasses up his nose and looking over the edge.

    I thought the case with the masks was good (not to mention – creepy!) but it ended quite abruptly when they found/ID'd and killed the unsub within 5 minutes or so? Overall the episode went really fast – it was over before I knew it, normally my internal clock knows when it's about to end (/ when the 45 minutes have past), but this time I thought I had about 15 more minutes to go. But I guess in real life there isn't always a long "hunt" chasing after the unsub either.

    Maybe it's just that in general on CM it doesn't go like that, so I didn't expect it?

    F. and I spent ages Googling one of the cases Rossi/Reid referred to by the way. (Scarsdale Skinner). We came up with nothing so far. Maybe they made this one up?

    Still, it's a LOT of fun looking these references up online...a bit creepy, but fun (so far no trouble sleeping *lol - those who know me know why this is funny*). It was good to see the Halloween stuff (*1*), with the team goofing around a little and handing out candy - but I think overall the focus was a bit more on Rossi. Which because it was his introduction I didn't mind at all. If it wasn't his intro episode I think I would have liked it better if they stretched the whole profiling/catching the unsub out a little more over the episode, but now it was great this way. In general I think CM has been going very strong, I thought Season 1 was good, but it kept getting better and better and now with S2 and S3 it's turned from just "good/don't want to miss it" into "really great/unplug the phone" kind of good.

    (*1*) Halloween – we don't have it here so I'm not at all in "halloween-mode".

    Resulting in a "Halloween overdose" feeling on TV this week, but that's what the fast forward button is for. (We do have Sint Maarten, but that's on November 11th. No dress up, and for kids up to age 12/13. They go door-to-door with lanterns, sing a song, and collect the candy. No tricks)moreless
  • The BAU gets a new member sort of.

    I thought that this was a great episode of Criminal Minds. I thought that the creator or who ever chooses the cast choose a great actor to join the show. I think that Joe Mantegna did a wonderful job with his new character in this episode. I just wonder why he has that braclet and why he wanted that file. I thought that it was a disturbing storyling just because the unsub used pictures of the vitums on a missing person flyer before he kidnaped them. I thought that Dave made the right choice by trying to draw the unsub out in the open but he should have told the team about it.moreless
  • Great episode this is the one where we meet Rossi and the legacy of Gideon is put to rest. Rossi who hasn't been a profiler let alone on the job in ten years. Comes in pretty much like you'd expect. He doesn't have the team dynamicmoreless

    Great episode this is the one where we meet Rossi and the legacy of Gideon is put to rest. Rossi who hasn't been a profiler let alone on the job in ten years. Comes in pretty much like you'd expect. He doesn't have the team dynamic agents worked their own cases back then and he isn't aware of the newest technology to aid in the job. Other than that he was pretty good. Hotch quickly got onto him about his lone wolf attitude and his actions threw the team off and push the unsub into a rage that could've endangered more people. I think Rossi will fit well after a few more dust ups and as much as I miss and don't understand why Gideon has to leave I think Rossi will be a good replacement.moreless
  • Good episode and a bit of a Halloween treat.

    I thought this was a pretty good episode. The whole idea was really creative in my opinion. That would just be sooo creepy to come home and find flyers of yourself everywhere.

    I don't particularly like David Rossi. I know there are a lot of fans out there, but his character just didn't have much of a like-factor for me. I know they wanted to put someone in the show that contrasts greatly with the other characters and they're doing a great job with that.

    Rossi has something going on and I it kind of puts me on edge with his character. I wonder what it is?

    Hopefully they are not going to make everyother episode centered around him, even though this time it was fine since it was his first big appearance.

    I loved the part at the end when the team was handing out candy to the kids. It just makes you smile and it brightens the morbidness of the show. I loved the contrast. Shows that never have anything to make you laugh or smile are just depressing!moreless
  • The team travels to Texas to profile a killer who is posting 'missing' flyers of his victims before he kidnaps them. Meanwhile, David Rossi joins the team, and his inability to work in a group setting causes problems.moreless

    When Mandy Patinkin abruptly quit this hit CBS show, everyone was startled. How would Criminal Minds recover? Would the quality of episodes decrease to the point of cancellation? Who would replace Patinkin? All these questions were given satisfying answers in the episode, "About Face."

    The introduction of Rossi could have been very awkward, but it most certainly was not. The producers handled the transition beautifully. Rossi was not forced on the viewers. He was not used to the way the team worked and that came across on screen. The strangeness of the situation brought the realism factor to the episode, something vital in reaching your fan base. The character of Rossi was allowed to make mistakes, he did not come right on board and save the day. This made him more relatable and easier of the viewers to come to like, which was important given that he was becoming a main character. In addition to all of this, the episode had a wonderful finish with a confrontation between Hotch and Rossi, showing the fans that Hotch was not afraid to get in his mentor's face, and the final, official removal of Gideon from the BAU, transfering the power to Rossi.

    The case itself was very original, and made great use of the role plays the show is known for, where the profilers take on the roles on the people involved on the night in question. The upset of the team dynamic was shown to not be completely abolished as the profilers handed out Halloween candy to the little children upon solving the case, and their discussion of the holiday prior. Through this episode we learned that it is going to take a lot more than a cast shuffle to get rid of the excellence this show can offer.moreless
Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson

Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner

A.J. Cook

A.J. Cook

SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jareau

Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler

SSA Dr. Spencer Reid

Paget Brewster

Paget Brewster

SSA Emily Prentiss

Kirsten Vangsness

Kirsten Vangsness

Analyst Penelope Garcia

Michael O'Neill

Michael O'Neill

Det. Frank Yarborough

Guest Star

Sandra Dee Robinson

Sandra Dee Robinson

Michelle Colucci

Guest Star

Andrew Kavovit

Andrew Kavovit

Max Pool

Guest Star

Jayne Atkinson

Jayne Atkinson

Section Chief Erin Strauss

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • As a general rule, as soon as the BAU accepts a case, the team leaves for the location right away because time is of the essence. However, for the case involved in this episode, the team didn't leave until the next morning.

    • Morgan: 972 area code
      Det. Yarborough: That's Carrollton.

      The "972" area code could be in any of the suburbs surrounding Dallas, not just Carrollton. The other area codes are 214 and 469.

    • Reid apparently loves Halloween. Morgan doesn't like Halloween, and he claims to be "creeped out" by people wearing masks.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Garcia: (answering phone) Speak and be recognized by your empress, mortal.
      Rossi: Is this the technical analyst girl?

    • Reid: That particular mask is known as a False Face. It's most commonly worn during Halloween and Mardi Gras.
      Morgan: Creepy. I rest my case.

    • Hotchner: She could buy a gun that easily?
      Det. Yarborough: This is Texas.

    • Erin Strauss: I really don't understand this, David.
      Rossi: What's to understand, Erin?
      Erin Strauss: You've been retired for nearly 10 years.
      Rossi: BAU has a man down, I'm offering to help.
      Erin Strauss: You've written... how many books? World tours, speaking engagements, big payday private consultations. You've made quite a name for yourself.
      Rossi: Well, this is getting boring.
      Erin Strauss: You know you won't be in charge. Agent Hotchner's the second. I'll be seeking his endorsement.
      Rossi: I'm not looking for anyone's permission here.
      Erin Strauss
      : So you're coming in... in a subordinate position?
      Rossi: Is that a question?
      Erin Strauss: The question is, why?
      Rossi: To help.
      Erin Strauss: A completely selfless act.
      Rossi: That so hard to believe?
      Erin Strauss: Yes.
      Rossi: (sarcastically) I missed you too... Erin.

    • Morgan: You know what, though? On the flip side, it does provide a pretty good reason to cozy up with a scary flick and a little Halloween honey. (winks at Prentiss)
      Prentiss: Eww, Halloween honey. That's... now I'm creeped out.

    • Rossi: Relax, Hotch. I've got this.
      Hotchner: You see that's the problem, Dave. There is no "I." We function as a team.
      Rossi: I've been doing this before you were out of high school, probably before the rest of your team was in school at all.
      Hotchner: I know that. Things have changed.
      Rossi: The bells and whistles changed; an unsub is still an unsub.

    • Rossi: (watching JJ leave) Wow. We didn't have that 10 years ago.
      Hotchner: What do you mean?
      Rossi: Communications Coordinator.
      Hotchner: Right. Well, a lot's changed.

    • Reid: That's the best thing about Halloween, you can be anyone you want to be.
      Morgan: I'm pretty good just being me.
      Prentiss: Yeah, why is it that neither of those points-of-view surprise me?

    • Rossi: (about Garcia) She's different.
      Hotchner: You have no idea.

    • Hotchner: Erasmus wrote, "What else is the whole life of mortals but a sort of comedy, in which the various actors, disguised by various costumes and masks, walk on and plays each one his part, until the manager waves them off the stage."

  • NOTES (3)

    • Joe Mantegna is added to the beginning of the credits with Thomas Gibson being moved the end of the credits. Joe is also added to group photo at the end. This is the fifth change to the credit sequence since the series premiered.

    • The song heard near the end of this episode was "Home" by Chris Daughtry.

      Other music was "I'm Goin' Home" by Hootie & The Blowfish, "I'm Walkin'" by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and "The Moment I Said It" by Imogen Heap.

    • This episode introduces Joe Mantegna as SSA David Rossi to the BAU. The character's name was chosen by Joe Mantegna in tribute to a Los Angeles police officer who testified in the O.J. Simpson trial in 1995.


    • Rossi: Green River dumped most of the bodies in the water, but they weren't weighed down.

      This refers to Gary Leon Ridgway, the Green River Killer, who confessed to murdering 48 women in the state of Washington during the early 1980s and leaving most of their bodies in or near the Green River. Police believe he may have actually killed more women. Ridgway is serving a life sentence.