Criminal Minds

Season 3 Episode 4

Children of the Dark

8
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Oct 17, 2007 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

8.8
out of 10
Average
353 votes
  • Wow...very emotional & well-written episode

    9.3
    I must say Children of the Dark redeemed my complete interest in Criminal Minds. The first three episodes of the season were mediocre and less interesting than the episodes of seasons 1 & 2. This episode was so sad & in a way, very disturbing because I found myself feeling sympathy for the killers, especially Ervin. It was so sad when he euthanized the cat, you could understand why he killed the kids by administrated a lethal dose of drugs so they wouldn't have to suffer in foster care. This episode also showed some insight into the character's lives - we now learn that Prentiss isn't as ice cold as she appeared to be when we were first introduced to her last season. She really did want to help Carrie. Definitely the best episode this season and probably the most emotional of the series yet.
  • good episode...

    8.6
    The team is called in to investigate the murders of whole families and it leads them to believe it was two people that were abused in foster care. They catch the murderes in the end, but not before one of the murderers influences a young boy in foster care to kill the foster parent, but he doesn't. Overall, it was a pretty interesting case. I liked the whole foster care stuff. I was getting a little annoying with the girl in the family that lived. They spent too much time on her and her problems. I loved the end when Hotch was calling his son. Overall, good episode with a good case and a little character development.
  • Criminal Minds is back with another great episode with criminals worthy of the shows shock value. Two criminals who invade homes and beat to death the parents in front of

    9.0
    Criminal Minds is back with another great episode with criminals worthy of the shows shock value. Two criminals who invade homes and beat to death the parents in front of the kids and then the children are killed by lethal injection. The show has gotten low scores for showing the identity of the perpetrators from the start of the show. I too am tired of the lack of mystery in this approach but for this episode the nature of the crime made up for it. On another note it's interesting to see Prentiss crack up. I'm wondering if their just character building or preparing her for an exit from the show. All the elements were in place with each of the team contributing to the show another good example of what makes the show good.
  • The writers of this show never let us down, and this is a fine example.

    9.0
    The team, without Gideon, is still a team. In this episode they seem to be really pulling together. The writers took advantage of the story line to show us a rarely seen softer side of Prentiss. The unsubs, using a ruse to gain entry into the homes of unsuspecting families, then go on to brutally murder the parents, and use a lethal injection to do away with the kids. We discover the reason behind these murders is the abuse suffered by the unsubs while in the care of a foster family.

    After one of the unsubs is captured, the second, cornered, also gives himself up, but not before passing his gun on to a foster child still in the care of this horrible woman. Morgan and Prentiss reluctantly return this poor boy to her care, pending an investigation. As you are still feeling bad about the boy, gun shots erupt, and you are sure the boy has killed the foster mother. Morgan and Prentiss rush in to find that she is unharmed, and the boy is shooting pictures of happy children hanging on the wall. They are lies, he tells Morgan, and Morgan, understanding, talks the boy into giving him the gun. Morgan once more reaching out to save a boy in a terrible situation, not of his making.

    A powerful episode that speaks volumes about our foster care system and it's flaws.
  • This episode shows why Criminal Minds is a fantastic show.

    10
    I LOVED this episode. It had everything I could ever ask and hope for in an episode of Criminal Minds. There was drama and tension, but they threw some creative curveballs into it as well.

    I like how they ventured out to Denver to start off with. The drama was soo great in this episode. Where the last episode, Scared to Death, flopped since we knew the killer's identity right off the bat, this episode succeeded. It helped in a way kind of build an "understanding" of the killers and the cause of the damage they caused. It was nice to have one of the victims survive to in a way help with the investigation.

    The acting was once again superb by everyone!

    What made the episode really great for me was the end. I love how they did the creative twist with the guy giving the kid the gun. The scenes with Prentiss and Morgan hearing the shots and running to the house were phenomenal.

    I also like the friendly interaction Prentiss and JJ had at the end.
  • Amazing episode.

    9.6
    Well first off let me say this is one of my favorite episode of Criminal Minds. The team is called to a different place where a series of home invasians has turned into homocides. The two men, lure there way into a home by saying they hit a dog. Then one of them, the dominate one tortures and kills the parents. The quiet one, injects the kids so they are better off. He wants to protect them from a life he was forced to live in foster care. All these murders were practice for the two's real foster parents because they abused them. The quiet man shows some remorse and does not kill a girl because she looks like his sister. He is captured and sees the girl he let live. She convinces him to give the location of his partner. His partner has fellow foster children of his old foster parents in a donut shop. He is quickly talked down and the kids are returned home. But here is why the writers of this show are so brilliant. The reason he backed down so soon is because he gave the kid his gun to kill the foster parents. This episode had so many twists and was very powerful. I especially loved the connection Emily had with the girl Carrie.
  • Season Three = Best Ever?

    9.5
    Season three is shaping up to be one of the best seasons of this show ever, something I would not have thought coming into the season considering that I knew that Jason was not going to be around past the first two episodes of the season. However, every single episode this season has been above average quality. I think in terms of "best stretches" 3x01 - 3x04 has got to be one of the best in the shows history. I'm surprised at some of the lower ratings so far this season on tv.com I must say. Overall I think the loss of Jason has given some characters more screen time and I think that with a lighter cast it actually works out better. Now I know that we will be getting a new "head man" here soon but honestly I would not have been that much in a rush once I saw the quality of episodes and characters being produced by the show. But this is one of the most consistent crime dramas on television so I'm sure they will make him a welcome to the team. This episode was really good. I have learned a lot from watching this show and they kept true to the partner logic that one person is dominant and the other person is weaker. We have had a case similar to this before in a past season. I thought both of the actors playing the bad guys in this episode were wonderful choices. Couple of under the radar guys that I know from some other shows that never really made it 'big'. Overall - amazing four episode start to the season.
  • What a story..

    8.8
    There are horrible murders, all families killed but the way it is done, hints that there are two killers - one is brutal against parents, other is merciful to the kids.

    And I think from that on the story really starts. I most say they really had very well written explanation why those guys did it - sometimes they just show who was behind, but this time - it was very convincing.. and that only survival - how she played along in the questioning, getting that answer out of the guy they caught.. And the end, Hotchner suspecting that it was too easy and how in fact the second guy planned to revenge his fosterparents.
  • Using supposedly injured animals as a ruse is a mighty good way to get someone toopen their door and let you into their home because who can resist assisting a scared, helpless creature, right?

    8.0
    Denver, Colorado is the scene for the brutal murders of entire families where a pair of unsubs use the ruse of a cat, which they pretend to have hit with their car, to gain access to homes in order to supposedly phone for veterinary assistance.

    The BAU are quick to figure out that they are dealing with two distinctly different unsubs because while the parents of the household are bludgeoned to death, the children are 'put to sleep' much in the way that animals at the pound are. Hotch and the team have high hopes of catching their killer when a young girl miraculously survives and is able to identify the man who gave her the shot from a series of photographs.

    Turns out that both men had a rough time growing up and they (or at least one) are hell bent on making society pay for it. I found myself feeling some pity for the less dominant of the pair but I thought it was a bit much when the surviving and traumatized teenager reached out to him and took his hand - after all, he WAS a part of the pair who had just murdered the rest of her family!

    Not a bad episode overall but the ending was extremely predictable. It did, however, show just how easily damaged young and impressionable kids are when their lives are turned upside down.
  • Great episode! Suspenseful right up until the very end!

    10
    Season 3 has kicked off in style, and this episode keeps that trend going. It was a superb storyline, which was very interesting and esy to follow.

    There were many interesting aspects to the case - th ruse of the injured animals to get into the house, the second killers obsession with a certain victim, as well as the obvious fact that a victim lives to tell the tale. It all combined for some intense stuff! Very intereting!

    Garcia was as hilarious as usual, with a quote about spanking, so she was great (no surprises there!) and all up, this was a terrific episode!

    Keep it going, Criminal Minds! The second season was great, and the third season is keeping that tradition going! Great work, and I would highly recommend this epiode!
  • One of the best !

    10
    If not the best episode ever, this episode is at least on the top 5 best episodes on criminal minds !!!

    The past couple episodes were ok and good but this was amazing, has been a long time since i watched an story so emotional and true like this one, not only on this show, but in all the other i watch.

    Prestiss helping the girl was great, the whole story about the foster kids, its a sad but true reality and we coudl see how bad things can go when someone had a bad childhood.

    An amazing episode, will be very hard to top it !
  • One of the best episodes!

    9.3
    The team go to Denver as a families are being murdered for their all-American "Cleaver-style" image. The Denver PD are hesistant to invite the Feds due to some damaging statements that the FBI made about the Jonbenet case. But the head of the DPD assures no trouble with the feds. As they investigate the serial killer or killers as these killers have been abused in the foster care system. And that they didn't have normal childhoods due to them being abused. The team must try to stop the killings before another family meets the same fate. Hotch we can see, misses his wife and son. As you feel for him so badly.
  • Just another Great Episode.

    9.0
    The memory of Gideon is definitely fading and his crutch is no longer needed. The team is doing just fine. LOVE Garcia, as always. The script was pivotal. Very believable. We all want to believe our foster care system is a good one, but this proves that some of these families have a warped way of raising children, especially already tramatized children. The writing was excellent. Especially the scenes with Carrie Ortiz. Definitely addressing that she's a victim but also acknowleding she needed justice for her parents. I loved the scene with Morgan and the young boy at the end. Prentiss is indeed showing she's human and this is a good thing.
  • Great episode this season is no waste.

    10
    I was worried at the begining of the season if Gideon's loss would make a difference, but after this episode I know that the episodes will be great even without him. This episode had my attention from the very begining, once the unsubs were found out how they would be captured, how they would be stopped. Just when you thought that it was clear a twist would be thrown in, especially at the end when the 2nd unsub gives up so easily, you just knew that there was another twist to it coming. After Morgan and JJ leave the children at the foster home I just cringed waiting for an explosion or shot. Great writing as always and I look forward to next week's episode.
  • This was another great installment on this excellent series. This episode is one of the reasons why I watch this series!! Sure it wasn't the best episode, but it was a great one to watch and a twist at the end.

    10
    This episode seemed like any other ep. in the series until the very end!! The ending was great considering it left you guessing? It was a well written episode and I can't wait for next weeks episode. This episode isn't my fave but it will go down for me anyway as one of the good episodes that didn't disappoint. I guess it shows that no matter where you're brought up seriel killers in the making can come from anywhere. And, foster care is no exception to the rule. This episode was a very interesting ep as well because of the fact that one of the vics that was going to die survived and helped the BAU.
  • The BEU try to find the people responsible for killing entire families.

    9.5
    I thought that this episode of Criminal Minds was great but sad at the same time. I liked the storyline for the episode with the guys killing families because of the experences they went through in foster care. I thought that it was sad that they took their anger out on innocent people. I thought that it was really brave of Kerri to help the team out by talking to Ervin after he killed her brother. I liked that the boy Gary sent to the foster house did shoot the foster mother evan though i think she would have deserved it.
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