Criminal Minds

Season 4 Episode 13


Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jan 21, 2009 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (26)

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out of 10
495 votes
  • Blood libel Roma, Jewish people

    Racist. A centuries old story created to whip up hate and violence against the Jewish people and Roma.

    Imagine if the killer family had been written as a Jewish family.


    Blood libel stories are disgusting and dangerous.

    Look at how anti-semitism and anti-Roma feelings are on the rise in Hungary, Tjech republic, Italy and in many other European countries.

    Listen to the anti-Roma sentiments that the Harper government in Canada is spouting. Remember the anti-Roma rant of a Canadian talk how host- 3 months ago?

    Thieves, fake refugees, people who take advantage of the good hearts of Canadians...

    How else do you think it starts? This is how persecution started in the 1930s and in the last decade and how blood libel stories is how people excuse their hate mongering.

    This episode is shameful.
  • Family of killers.

    This was a very good episode that started with a family of killers looking for a girl and turn her into a killer to start the next cycle in the future The team soon realises it has been going on for generations and the further the episode went on the better it got It was strange how the kidnapped girls was turned into killers but like the team said if there parents are dead they don't think anyone is looking for them and they just learn to adapt The ending left me thinking how many more families are out there killing because the end shows the case is far from over.
  • Kinda...ignorant

    While the episode never says it explicitly, the strong implication is that this is somehow significant of all Romani. Clearly, the murder-cult is a vast exaggeration. But the parts that casually characterize the Romani as insular, paranoid, lawless nomads are not so clearly exaggerative. For example, when they mention the sound of bells, Rossi casually mentions that this is common training among Romani pickpockets (It's actually not - that is from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", a French novel).

    This episode coincidentally premiered during a period of anti-Romani violence in Europe. The depiction of Romani as thieves and criminals is a common one, a stereotype that originates among anti-Romani hate groups and has slowly contaminated the public view.

    An akin example would be if some overseas crime show depicted a secret society of rich white Americans who, when their progeny turned 16, were issued their first gun, tattoo, and car, and sent abroad during the ritual of "Spring Break" to infiltrate foreign cultures, seduce young local girls at bars, then ritually gang-rape them while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and worshiping Satan.

    It's incredibly wrong. It's scraps of truth and stereotypes mixed into some horrible sick brew of fantasy. And anyone who knows the reality of American culture would know it's a ridiculous exaggeration. But people who don't ... they'll read sensational news stories about some Spring Break rapist and then form their own conclusions.

    You see why this might be problematic.
  • A little perspective

    How many of you would approve of this episode if the word gypsy was replaced by ***?

    I'll never know because this post won't even make public view.

    We are an ethnic minority. a "bloodline".

    (edit: I didn't know they would put *** for the n word)
  • The episode is disturbing and sad.It made me interested in the culture and researched the Romani tradition.@rrada-I am sorry that you were offended by the episode and its contents but I am sure that nobody thinks of this as the real deal.This is fictional


    The episode is disturbing and sad.It made me interested in the culture and researched the Romani tradition.@rrada-I am sorry that you were offended by the episode and its contents but I am sure that nobody thinks of this as the real deal.This is fictional

  • Disgusting, ignorant, racist, and appalling!!! Shame on all who made this episode possible.

    I am an American Romani and it is hard enough trying
    to explain what that means. The closest English word
    for Romani is gypsy and because of hollywood and ridiculous ignorant propaganda such as this episode,
    I can never explain what Roma is without being stereotyped and misunderstood. There should have
    definitely been more research on the Roma people and
    culture before letting such a derogatory episode be
    aired to the public. It is ignorance like this that
    contributes to anti-Roma sentiment. Atleast google
    or wikepedia Romani culture when editing script. This
    is almost as demeaning to my people and my culture than
    the porrajmos (aka holocaust in the jewish community).
    The false information about Romani culture in this episode give ignorant people justification for such
    terrible acts such as the porrajmos and further add
    to the struggle of the Roma people. Please look into
    Romani culture and hopefully you will realize that it
    is not anything like this episode makes it out to be.
    Watching this episode totally ruined my day and has
    made me believe that all episodes of criminal minds
    will be filled with ignorant filth such as this. I was so terribly offended by this that I had to sign up
    for an account just to voice my opinion and I never
    waste time on this kind of stuff. This episode was
    almost as disgusting as the porrajmos itself!!!
  • Just a response to the previous poster:

    This is not so much a review of the episode which I consider excellent in acting, writing and shooting. (Especially the child actors are phenomenal)

    I just read the previous review and I must say: You are right and you are wrong. Obviously Romani culture is not what is depicted in this episode. BUT! no where in this episode it is being said that this is part of Roma lifestyle.
    On the contrary! I believe it is Rossi who says: they warped tradition into pathology. Just because there are a few deranged people who take something beautiful and turn it into something awful does not mean that everyone does.
    In no way was this episode meant to portray Roma just as no episode on terrorism was ever meant to explain Islam. Please differenciate in your reviews!
  • it was a good episode,but because i am romanian i felt a little ofended because the gipsys ar not romanians.and that "i love you puiule" sounds lame

    it was a good episode,but because i am romanian i felt a little ofended because the gipsys are not romanians.and that "i love you puiule" sounds spite of that it was a good episode. i want to let you know that the gypsis are not really like that. they do steal and kill an rape ,but they are not the only ones who do that things.and they choose thier wives from their own,they do not take little blonde girls to be their wives.And another thing i did not like is that they did not even dressed the characters as gypsis do.
    i am waiting to see the next episode of criminal minds because i like it very much,and i hope they will come with a better story as i was used to.
  • This show was no more than hate speech and totally irresponsible given the real story of the plight of the Roma.

    Shame on the producers and writers of this show. Shows like this one perpetuate the stereotype of the Roma (Gypsy)and increase the amount of misunderstanding and prejudice against us. They should check their facts. I encourage readers to Google the word Roma and educate yourselves. In reality, percentage wise there are no more Rromani criminals then in any other race of people. This series wouldn't dare produce a similar show on Blacks, Jews, Poles, Irish, Italians,Asians etc. All cultures historically have rituals and customs that could be used to perpetuate misunderstanding and hate. This is race baiting and hate speech.
  • Wonderful episode, I hope to see a sequel!

    I loved everything about it, I think it was a great piece of fiction. The ending was so scary, good thing it was not a real story about real people or a culture but a wonderful tale that allowed me to escape the real issues that effect our lives. It's nice to see actors and writers being creative - making art that entertains the masses.

    I am going to call my lawyer about this episode, and tell him to watch it, because he too loves a good police fiction like I and I am sure he would enjoy this episode.

    Kudos to the writer and crew.
  • Families of Romani-wannabees are somehow only having male children, and thus of course have to go out and kidnap brides for their sons. They help the sons kill the girl's parents in a twisted "coming of age" ritual.

    For about the first fifteen minutes of this episode, it had the potential to offend the heck out of me. I travel for work and am saving up for an RV, and here was this family that full-timed in an RV... and went around killing people. And then there was the little girl who, like me, had epilepsy... and was told she was "no good," rolled up in a carpet, and tossed out of the RV on the side of the road. I just sat there, grinning bemusedly at the screen through the commercial break, half wondering HOW they were going to pull their pens out of their - well, how they were going to pull it off so that I wasn't irritated, and half knowing that the writers are simply too good to be offensive in any way. This season, especially, has had fantastic writing!

    And they weren't offensive - to ANY group, if some of the other reviewers had paid more attention (sigh). The character with epilepsy was treated with a great deal of respect - they made it clear that it actually saved her life, and, really, who wants to be "wanted" by a kidnapper who just killed your parents, anyway? In that case, a brain defect is most certainly a saving grace (well, thanks to the "mom" who wouldn't let him KILL her). And the RV? I don't think the episode will have people shying away from RV parks anytime soon. Unless they have daughters and see a lot of broken glass...

    Charges of racism seem silly for this show, since the unsubs are usually young to middle aged white men, reflecting real life...

    Of course, now I'm going to have to go back through all the episode recaps to see if I'm statistically correct. It seems that way.
  • Very frightening and disturbed.

    Let me give you, a caution of warning. If you have a really sick stomach, don't be eating food. As this is one very disturbed and emotional episode. Seems like a family, that want to be like either, Ted Bundys or other serial killers. Are training their children and children's children, to be killers like their families. These serial killers come, from generations. That is what, is disturbing. Time is running out, and Hotch is really a great leader. Firm but, sympathetic. The little girl, who is ten and named Cate, goes missing. After her family was killed. Regardless of how she's feeling, she needs to help out. And she does that, despite the kind of condition that she is in. Really goes to show you, that a family can be, deceiving with looks.
  • Another amazing episode from Criminal Minds, also we learn when JJ will be back.... and its soon!!

    In this episode of Criminal Minds, the following happens. We open this episode with a mother and father and their 10 year old son, breaking into a house and murdering the people who live there. We soon learn that the family's 10 year old daughter has gone missing. The BAU team go there and investigate. They son realise that multiple unsubs are involved. We soon learn that Kate, the little girl, has epilepsy. When the little girl has a seizure, the family decide to get rid of her and dump her, off the side of a road. The net day we see Kate, alive and tied up, trying to get a car attention, in order to save her. She is found and taken to the hospital, where she is met by her father. The team also head there. After Emily interviews the little girl, we learn that she was taken by a family. We then see the murdering family, looking for another family to kill and anther little girl to take. We then see them, that same night, killing another family and taking the little girl. Garcia soon finds out that the same pattern has been going on for generations as far back as 1909. From DNA evidence we learn that one of the girls taken in the 1970's is one of the unsubs. They digitally alter her picture and when they g to a local mall, they find her there and arrest her. They interrogate her, Hotch plays bad cop and Emily plays good cop, as they try to break her. She gives up a name of where they may try to pawn things and when the team go there, true to her word, they find the father there. But the son and the missing girl are not there. Its then that we see the little boy and the missing girl in the police station. They allow the mother and son to say their goodbyes. During which the mother gives him a message, but luckily it's all on tape. The message is translated and it means "Don't let them about your brothers." When the team ask him how many brothers he has, he says nothing. Its then that we see another family with their son, who is ten, as they get ready to kill a family and kidnap their daughter. JJ says that she will be back at her desk by the time the team return home. She does still have 3 weeks of maternity leave left, but she simply can't wait to get back to work. Jordan tells Hotch that he shouldn't take JJ for granted.
  • Where are the girls?

    Really the only reason I rated this episode an 8 is they never explained what happened if the Roma families had a girl. At first I thought they only had 1 child but when they bring on the twist about brothers I had to ask, "Do these people have only boys??"
    But other than that, this was an interesting twist in that we had a family killing together. I always note the types of killers in each episode and it is very rare for there to be more than one killer and rare still for it to be a family!
    Great episode but I just couldn't fully enjoy it without knowing if they had only boys and the fact that they ended with yet another family about to kill. Even though we don't always have happy endings, I would have liked to seen someone taking some type of action to protect/inform people.
  • Adults being murdered while young girls are abducted and other children are trained to be killers. It doesn't get much more unsettling than that.

    Murder and abduction brings the BAU to Alabama where two adults are murdered in their bed and their ten-year-old daughter is abducted. Strange ritualistic-type behaviour is present as we see that several pieces of multi-coloured broken glass is scattered around the crime scene.

    We, the viewer, soon see that the unsubs are a family - a mother, father and their ten-year-old son. The young girl, Kate Hale, we soon learn has been chosen as a future 'bride' for the boy. The family are following an ancient Romany tradition which goes back a long way and we are shocked to discover that the mother was herself taken from her parents as a child while they were murdered. The man who later became her husband was a part of that heinous crime.

    As the BAU try to put together a workable profile, young Kate Hale suffers an epileptic fit which inadvertently saves her from her unpleasant future as she is considered 'imperfect' as a bride for the boy and is dumped, alive, on the side of the road.

    An interview by Prentiss conducted with young Kate gives the BAU lots of information with which to work and they race to catch the murderous family as they learn that another young girl of the same age has been abducted to replace Kate.

    Excellent work by the guest actors, and great to see Cynthia Gibb back on television again. A terrific episode, watch and enjoy.
  • One of my all-time favorites! This one is scintillating!

    Criminal Minds really went off with a bnag in this episode, which was definitely an amazing on. I loved the idea of a family of serial killers, although the plot was certainly much more intricate than that!

    It was certainly really sad with all of the abductions, but the actualy episode was really suspenseful and relatievely unpredictable.

    I also thought that Prentiss was great in this episode, in particular, especially with the little girl.

    Overall, I couldn't possibly recommend an episode more than this one. The fact that this episode is so unique and very different from anything else that Criminal Minds has attempted made me love it even more, and I would love to see it again! Keep it up, Criminal Minds!
  • Good episode which people seem to be taking the wrong way.

    Ok, well, I thought this episode was very interesting (I think most Criminal Minds eps are), but people seem to have huge issues with it. So, I just had to write this review to mention them. First of all, everyone's saying "Romanians aren't gypsies," but I do not believe they were saying that at all in the episode. Another name for gypsies is "Romani/y," which is not at all the same thing as Romanians. That is what I heard when I watched the episode. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems logical to me.

    And as for the implication that Criminal Minds portrayed gypsies in a racist fashion, if you had watched the episode you would have noticed, after they said, "these are old gypsy traditions," that Reid pointed out, "they're a PERVERSION of those traditions." Hello, this is the same as when people believe anyone from the Middle East who is Muslim is a terrorist - it's just not true! Islamic terrorists DO NOT represent all Muslims! They are FANATICS, who have PERVERTED Islam. Gypsies, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, any group of people you can think of are all the same: there are jerks, there are crazy people, there are wonderfully nice people. Every group has a few of each! As Criminal Minds focuses on PSYCHOPATHS and KILLERS, I'd suggest that it's fairly obvious that when a specific group of people appear on the show as killers, they're referring to the worst of the worst, and the unsubs are certainly NOT an accurate depiction of ALL of that group.

    As for the person who noted that gypsies are not caucasian, I'd simply point out that the unsubs in this episode were kidnapping non-gypsies for their children to marry, therefore they obviously would have a mixed blood-line going back a fair ways. That means not all of them would be dark-skinned anymore, and many of them WOULD appear caucasian.

    So, I thought this episode was wonderfully creepy, and Thomas Gibson was awesome as Hotch, as usual. :) I was sad that there weren't any good Romani appearing - it would have been a nice change, and would have been better to make sure people watching didn't get the wrong idea. That said, I hope that no one would be swayed to thinking all gypsies are serial killers by one TV episode. If they were, they were probably racist anyway. Or just stupid.
  • I loved this episode...

    I loved this episode, but I wish that we could have learned more about all the other potential victims out there ... and possibly reunite as many families as possible...

    I guess that this could be another continued storyline for sometime later this season; who knows, right? Still.. I guess that we'll just have to wait and see... not that I'm real good at keeping my patience in check. I do look forward to seeing more of Criminal Minds, and I hope the season turns out as good as what I've so far this season. And who knows, maybe there will be some surprises along the way...
  • This episode is a great example of why I watch Criminal Minds.

    The story revolves around a family who has for generations been killing parents and abducting girls to breed future generations to do the same. It was frightening to see that the family had taught the ten year old boy to kill alongside his father. I really had assumed it was his father and mother killing while he went to the little girl. At the end you really think that the BAU did it. No more little girls being taken away, but that is proven false. I applaud the boy for his acting when the mother tells hi not to tell them of his brothers. I also thought the first girl that was taken did excellent in her role too. I thought this episode was exceptionally written, greatly acted, and immensely interesting.
  • Chilling...

    This series has never been for the faint of heart but last night left with chills. The storyline was incredible and left me feeling as if a resolution was impossible. The character of Emily Prentiss was outstanding. Her conversation with the little girl was kind and effective. We saw the depth of character in Hotch with the contrast of his empathizing with the absent father and his quiet denial of Jordan's warning to not let his emotionless demeanor take his team for granted.

    While I thought the storyline was provocative, the Romanian heritage of the characters did not lead me to any stereotypes. The writers didn't seem to be making a generalization about Romanians as much as they were giving the characters a deeper motive for their egregious acts. Last, the best thing about this episode was the end when we found out JJ was coming back. When Jordan Todd came on as her replacement, I wondered how they would get rid of her or if she would end up permanent. Weaving her dissatisfaction with the type of work they do into the arc was a favorable method to allow her exit.
  • A family of Romanian descent kidnaps little girls to make them the future wives of their sons... A tradition that has been going on over a 100 years.

    Well, this episode was just... freaky. Very well-written, and very worrying, too, in a way. I had figured out the plot quite early on, but that's probably because we 'knew' more than the BAU team (or family as Jordan put it. They put the term we in fanfic so often use in the show! I think I squealed :)). the whole gypsy/Romani thing was a bit vague and probably not entirely correcy, but I doubt all things all correct in the show. After all, like someone said, it's a show, not a documentary.
    Highlights in this episode: Emily talking to the little girl with epilepsy (Casey?). She's good with children. And later on, during the interrogation of Kathy/Silvia - am I the only one to notice they keep pairing Hotch and Emily together? Another highlight - the entire last moments of the episodes: the mother talking to the boy (as a language lover, I was interested by the language, and the general cultural aspect of the episode...), Jordan saying that JJ will return (I like Jordan, I really do. But I can't help but be happy JJ is returning)... The freaky end of the episode, finding out more people are performing this ritual...

    A good episode, much better than last week's. I'm glad the level has picked up again, and I hope it will continue that way!

    OMG!! This was a really creepy chapter! I love it!! Those gipsy rituals are really awful! I was completely confused the first minutes of the chapter, trying to figure out what was going on, but I couldn't imagine that they were kiiling the parents to get the little girl for their son. It shocked me that the mother was actually one of the girls kidnaped 30 years ago, and that she believed so much in that what they were doing was good. The end was shocking too, they just catched on family doing that but there are more of them that follow those traditions. Really well written and acted, although the boy that played the son was definetely at least 13 years, there's no way he was 9...:roll:
    Great one!:)
    We have the Garcia/Morgan flirtings back and JJ is gonne be at work next chapter...Seems things are going back to normal!:)
  • The BAU scrambles to solve a murder and child kidnapping case that turns their profiling methodology upside down when the killers turn out to be a mom and dad, looking to find a future wife for their ten-year old son to ensure their bloodline continues.

    Criminal Minds did a great job of flipping the script in the latest episode 'Bloodline' by making it a family affair rather than the usual profile of "a white male in his 30-40s". It doesn't get any creepier when dad, mom and son hop out of the car to commit multiple murders and kidnapping to keep the bloodline going while maintaining their good ol' psychopathic generational traditions. Am I concerned about the nits that not all Romanians are gypsies? No, Criminal Minds is written as a television episodic, not a documentary. If I wanted to get the actual scoop on gypsy cultures and their practices, I would have looked for something on the History Channel. But I was looking to be entertained and this Criminal Minds episode fit the bill. Hats off to writer, Mark Bruner for creating a fresh twist to the "who done it" plot line. I hope they do a sequel to track down the other killing family that we see at the end of the episode. What an ending!
  • Continuing the tradition...

    First what looks a simple kidnap ends up to be one of many cases happening over very many years, generations. I most say this one had really good story - even if some of it was guessable - like that the parents took those girls to marry their son, but you would have never imagined that it was so wide and there was so many cases nor that the mother used to be that kind of victim like the girls they take now.. a circle of life, and what kind of life they are living.. and then she is ready to sacrifice herself for her family and being caught.. but unwillingly betrays her family.. they caught them but the twist in the end - the brothers.. there are more of them out.. A really weird story and I even cannot imagine people doing something like that and sometimes I really wonder - is the world really so wicked.. and I think they prove well enough - yes.
  • Twisted Script, but I was glued to my seat.

    I was apprehensive about this episode when I saw the preview last week and the first few moments confirmed it, this was going to be bizarre. We have an entire family, including a 10-year-old boy, kidnapping of young girls then killing their parents. The team works together to find this "family" after determining that they are a Romanian descent and they are very superstitious and they are following some sort of cultural ritual but the team doesn't know why. The team is horrified to find out this "ritual" has been going on for generations. They finally track down this "family" and Garcia learns that the woman is a former kidnapped child. But what's worse, this little boy has older brothers that are carrying out this "ritual throughout the country.
  • One of the best episodes of the season!!!!

    I really liked this episode, an entire family killing together, sounds like Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was just a very well written and great storyline for a Criminal Minds episode. I really got the characters out to the spot light. Especially Prentis who is the person to talk to the little girl who lost her family. If J.J. were there it would have been her. This episode was a great thing to come home and watch. I'm a big fan of the show and I started watching it during the third season, but I own all three seasons on DVD. In conclusion this episode was probably one of the best this season other than the premiere "Mayhem", "Minimal Loss", and "Memoriam".