Criminal Minds

Season 1 Episode 2

Compulsion

12
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Sep 28, 2005 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (23)

8.8
out of 10
Average
484 votes
  • Very good episode

    8.5
    While pilots are meant to introduce comcepts and characters, second episodes are supposed to get people hooked. This episode certainly did just that. The manifestation of OCD was hidden throughout the episode, but so obvious when explained - just what a mystery should be like. Acting's not excellent yet, but we all know they get there in the end.



    The subplot with Gideon was a little confusing - I couldn't tell where it occured in the plotline when you take into account what he was teaching that class previous episode. But I liked it all the same.
  • OCD causes a serial killer to kill every time they see a pattern of 333

    8.5
    After the cliffhanger from the previous episode Gideon survives the encounter with the Footpath killer and is back to catch a serial arsonist.Throughout the episode Elle and Morgan try to find out what causes a stutter but they don't really know.They also find out that the serial arsonist has an OCD and that everytime they see a pattern of 3's they have to kill and it leads them to Clara Hayes and her reason to start killing is she survived a fire at her house and the number was 333.So far it has been a good start to the season and I am looking forward to more.
  • COMPULSION!

    8.0
    this one was completely out of the box! A way more exciting and shocking episode than the last one!
    it really gets you hooked to the show!

    the whole angle about who the unsub is and what 'HIS' profile may be, is really Misleading! when the real unsub is revealed it really does give you a shock!

    also, their was a lot of character development seen in this episode! As always Garcia is amazing....
    and Reid really does show his intelligence when he cracks the case!!

    i also loved the whole 'Footpath Killer' angle with Gideon and why he stammered!!
    i kind of liked Elle more in this episode! she and Morgan are great together! the cliffhanger in end is also filled with suspense!

    to conclude, this episode was pretty good! with all the Suspense on who the unsub is and then the search to find 'Him' ;)
    watch it!
  • An arsonist is on the loose at a college in Arizona and Gideon and them team must try and stop them before more people die.

    8.0
    A college in Tempe, Arizona is the setting for this episode when the BAU are asked to investigate arson activity on campus. When Gideon, Hotch and the team arrive, the build what they consider to be an accurate profile of the person they are seeking. The problem is that each of the fires set by the person they are seeking varies quite markedly from previous ones and also, the arsonist themself does not fit the classic profile as it doesn't appear as though they actually stay around to watch the result of their actions which is highly unusual.

    After a telephone call from the unsub which seems to hint that there might be a religious connection to the crimes, Reid finds himself remembering interviews with student and zeroing in on a girl who seemed to have a strange obsession with the number three. But is she the killer? If so, what does she plan to do next and how do they stop her in time?

    A great episode and some excellent additions to the main story as Gideon talks about 'The Footpath Killer' and asks new agent Elle Greenaway why she believes that the killer stuttered. why indeed?

    Just from watching these first two episodes, we can see that a class act has come onto our screens and it's going to be a pleasure to watch as it unfolds in the future.
  • Einstein once said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

    9.3
    Compulsion is a great episode on the face of it – gripping opener carried over from the pilot, great plot, excellent character development, etc. But what I like best about it is the subtext. In the episode, Gideon, the mentor, is teaching Reid, the student. Reid is a genius – he knows so many facts and statistics that he is scary - but he can’t beat Gideon at chess. Why? Because all the statistics in the world cannot help you if you can’t think outside the box. As the second installment of what may be perceived as “yet another police show on television,” what are Ed Bernero and the CM writers saying to us, the viewers? The very same thing.

    “It’s like chess,” says Gideon. “Don’t look at just the next move; try to look three moves ahead.” The writers are still teaching us how to think about this show and its characters – this is not your usual cop show, these are not your usual characters. Try to forget about everything you’ve seen: all the procedurals, all the evidence collecting, the blood and hairs and fibers, everything that can build a court case. You’re not going to see that here. Just like Dr. Reid, Gideon is our teacher, too, our mentor about what to look for on Criminal Minds. It’s the subtleties that will give these profilers what they need to catch the unsubs – the water fountain that doesn’t work, the handle turning three times, the word needlessly repeated. We should stop looking for the kinds of clues we are used to seeing on every other show, and should “keep thinking.”

    “Don’t worry,” we’re encouraged throughout this episode. “You’re getting there.”
  • A strong episode with good character development.

    9.3
    After a very strong pilot episode, I was concerned as to whether they would be able to kep the high standard up. I'm glad to say that it was another great episode.

    The basic storyline was not quite as strong as Extreme Agressor from my point of view. By no means a bad episode just didn't grab me in the same way.

    There was some nice character development in this episode. We got to see the genius at work, Reid was very impressive in how he figured it out. It's going to be interesting to see how his mind develops ove the seasons.

    Gideon is clealy emotionally on the edge, what happened to him in the past is still very difficult for him to deal with. Watching Morgan having to drag him away from the burning room was concerning, is this a sign for weakness ahead? I hope not.

    I loved the scene where Gideon is saying they don't want the unsub to know they have the FBI there and they should try to look less offical! Bless Hotch, he managed to loosen his tie a notch! He obviously is going to be tough to get out of that suit.

    The conlusion to the footpath killer storyline was good and it was nice to see Elle figure it out!
  • Review

    10
    I actually really liked this episode a lot better then the pilot. I thought the case in question was a good one and it had me on the edge of my toes the entire time. What I like most about the show is the little clues that they give you to try and solve the mystery yourself before they give it away at the end. I like the little sub-stories as well, like the chess game and the old stuttering case that James (Gideon) managaed to get out of. I like the flashbacks of the old case, I think they can relate to the real world cases very well. I like how everyone of the team tries to solve the crime by themsevles. They all sit or stand alone in a place and try to, punning off the title of the show, get into the mind of the criminal and see if they can stop future crimes from happening. I think that all of the roles so far have been cast very well, with the genius, Gideon, and the black man all moving up the ladder as far as "stars" in this show.
  • Outside the box

    9.0
    And I thought I liked previous episode - this one was even more striking - I loved the whole story - the way they were following quite many false leads with that male suspect and then searching for Karen but in the end realizing that it was all something else.

    And ofcourse we had that backstory of how Gideon managed to get out of the gas tank and finding that killer and on the last seconds of the episode we learn it.

    I most say - it was fashinating episode, with great action and many exciting moment - running with time like on the moment Gideon got that there will be next fire..
  • Arsonist on the loose, with many people dying as a result. Great work, with the actual case, felt that the footpath killer part was a let down.

    9.0
    The arsonist case was a great idea, showing that the BAU do a hell lot of things other than catching serial killers. This episode was one of the highlights that the current season should hope to achieve.

    This episode is realistic. It isnt some run in the mill episode. Instead, it is something realistic. The unsub as a teacher assistant in a science lab was a great idea and for a long time in this episode, I was being brought to think that the unsub was a male.

    OCD was a great idea, but it felt like ramming too many things down my throat. Then again, it didnt affect my ratings at all.

    Footpath killer path was unique, but a letdown considering that they decided to do it as a flashback rather than 1 full episode.

    Overall, a great watch.
  • A phenomenal lepisode, especially considering how early it is int the show's lifespan,

    10
    'Episode 2' of Criminal Minds, entitled 'Compulsion' was probably better than the season premiere. It was a very good episode, and even in future cases, the episodes involving arson are generally very interesting. That was the case again today, and I really enjoyed the whole obseessive compulsive theme.

    The series of fires were realy frightening, and I absolutely can not believe that somebody would kill just through an eobsessive ocompulsive disorder. That is something I finggd very astounding, even though it certainly makes for an interesting episode!

    The whole episode was quite suspenseful, as it was almost impossible to predict the actual culprit, until it was actually revealed!

    Keep it up, Criminal Minds! This is an episode of an exceptionally high calibre, and I hope to see more episodes just like this one!
  • From Good to Great

    8.5
    It is rare that a television show can consistently produce good work. 'Compulsion' actually manages to surpass the already superb quality of 'Extreme Aggressor'. This second episode moves from hunting a sociopathic sadist, to a desperate young woman seeking to control her psychotic urges. The team's ability to trust eachother has improved since the first episode, but it is still not fully formed. Members of the team are still unsure of Elle's ability to cut it in the BAU, including herself. Morgan is still worried about Gideons post traumatic symptoms, and with good reason. Aaron Hotchner is trying to hold the team together despite all of this. A great episode that keeps Criminal Minds on the path to perfection.
  • BAU investigates a serial arsonist at a college campus.

    7.9
    The second episode of "Criminal Minds" is a solid entry which expands upon the pilot, resolves its cliffhanger ending, provides further character development, and tells an interesting story.

    Several fires have been set at a college campus in Arizona. BAU investigates but struggles to create a profile of the unsub, but they aren't having much luck. This episode has a nice twist that caught me by surprise. You can't help but have some pity for the fire setter, who can't control what she does. The episode nicely handled telling us what happened immediately after the events in the pilot episode. Gideon certainly knows how to get under someone's skin and seeing him talking to the serial killer was very interesting.

    "Compulsion" was a good second episode and well worth watching.
  • Compulsion is an absolutely brilliant episode. Few individual programs in television history can top the intensity and audience miscues to demonstrate a true surprising twist. What really makes this episode a true classic is the out of bounds ending.

    9.9
    I realize you have probably gotten the basic essence of this episode from other reviews you have read. In addition to all of the information about the "Compulsion" episode you may have gleaned from other reviews, I am adding my two cents worth to tell you to hold all complete judgment until the very ending of the episode. I am still blown away by it. The scene features Lukas Haas talking with a speech impediment. (If you recall Gideon's early discussion about suspects with this particular characteristic, the short but deadly segment will have major significance.) Too many people easily dismiss a program after the major dénouement. "Compulsion" can't so let me know what you thought of the final frames before the credits!
  • The BAU sets out to catch a serial arsonist terrorizing a college campus (boy, does this sound like I copied it or what?);)

    9.2
    This was the first episode I ever saw. This is what really turned me on to the show. I love this episode, even if the public doesn't agree with me.

    I think that Clara being the unsub really took everyone off guard. I mean, while they were talking to the students, she seemed normal, but then on the elevator, she went BERSERK!

    "Clara, is the building on fire?"
    "Not yet"! Geeze I get shivers hearing that line! Even so, its my favorite line in the episode and I'll add it to the quotes once I'm a level two. This is Imajazzbandnerd signing off!
  • Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

    8.6
    Again a bit of a surprise for the team as
    They try to haunt down a arsonist as they though
    That it would be a man but instead it ain't a man
    But it is a woman! Funny how you think it
    Is always a male doing crimes but really also a woman
    Is capable of doing crimes as well. Surprising show but it is the reason why I watch!
  • keep giving us more, we like it...

    9.5
    i liked that this episode was about arson. fire starting is a very important part of the triad of serial anything, so it was nice to see them explore it. i also liked, that the criminal was a woman. too often i think crime shows expect us to be surprised when a helpless little woman does something bad, or they want us to believe that she is a victim even as a criminal. also, i have to admit i am liking the way the charecters are developing. their relationships with each other is impressive, and as important to them solving the case as each of their own experiences are.
  • This is one of the best and most original new shows of the season. It basically gurantees an interesting episode every time you tune in. This episode was definitely no exception. It was enthralling, suspenseful and thought provoking right to the very end.

    8.9
    I am a huge fan of this show because of the perspective and approach it takes. This episode was no exception.

    I loved how it was a complete mystery that the arsonist was a woman. I was thinking it would be a disgruntled student or a professor who had finally cracked under the strain. I loved how the team itself thought it was a man, almost to the end of the episode. The approach they took with the obsession of the number '3' and the religious aspect was also fasciniating. It really made you keep guessing up until the last minute.

    Again, just another example of exactly why this show is going to be a sure fire hit for many seasons to come.
  • I didn't guess the bad guy would be female.

    8.6
    Overall the episode was ok. I didn't guess until the end that the bad guy was female. I like the way we learn a little bit everytime the main people's personal lives. I like that we are not hit with personal episodes every week like some shows. I like every one of the main characters, even the skinny guy.
  • Arson is a crime mostly committed by white males 17 to 27 years old. This little tidbit pops up early on in the episode. However, the whole point here is that the arsonist will not be a white male 17 to 27 years old. How cool is that?

    8.5
    Seldom does a new series start out without being compared to previous series. The trouble this show had coming out of the gate is being too heavily compared to another very popular crime solving show on CBS.

    The angle here is the FBI travels all across the country looking at radically different deviant types. The whole arson angle is scary enough, but I am not sure there was really any focus on the fires. The focus was on showing how the good guys go about tracking a particuler bad guy. And the modus operandi here is get inside the killer's mind and figure out his or her motivation.

    The guest stars here were adequate. Although, I think they may be spending money without reason on some of these fancy camera shots. It kind of reminds me of the crazy filming in the first season of Without a Trace. (Speaking of which, How about a crossover? ;) ) This show is good now and only getting better. It has yet to catch fire though, but I think it will very soon.
  • This episod was realy good after the pilot.

    10
    First i wanna say to "alison985" that the fact that she is stupid to understand the piont of the show is her busines only, the show is great it reminds the 1996 "Profiler" but this is better, and has more action in it wich make's it even better. I am begging the silly fans of The O.C. don't write reviews on shows you are not able to understand, if it so complicated to you then wach something else but DO NOT lie to the smart and understanduble people!!!
  • If you have nothing else to watch

    8.5
    I was giving this show another chance when I viewed this episode. Big mistake.

    The plot here was less than inspired and didn't make total sense and the cast didn't hang together well.

    This episode's story did feature a suspect who was truly compelled to commit her crimes which was a little interesting. But it didn't really compensate for the pedestrian setting, predictable outcome, uninteresting twists, cliches and the fact that the profile that they worked up for the suspect - profiling being the premise that the show was built on - was almost completely wrong and yet slid by with nary a comment.

    They could have spared me the cliched visit to the suspect's bedroom wallpapered with ravings, Biblical and pagan references (talk about mixed metaphors) to fire, etc. They could have spared me the Gideon flashbacks. I didn't really care.

    I want to say that there are too many cast members on this show but then I realize that "Without A Trace" has just as many but that their writers just handle them better.

    Super petty complaint: Shemar Moore. I know he came from soap opera land, but he has to do more to impress than just look handsome.

    The writers want us to see Gideon, played by Mandy Patinkin as mysterious, but have only been able to come up with the method of having him withold information to do so. Frustrating. I feel sorry for Mandy because he is just such a better actor than this show and script deserve.

    All in all a pretty forgettable episode. It's a better show than some very popular shows I could name, but is just not living up to its promise.

  • all in all- could do better- but the show could be a massive hit!

    8.7
    all in all- could do better- but the show could be a massive hit!

    i thought the pilot of this show was pretty cool. this second episode was not as good but still held my attention. I am certainly going to tune in to next week and see what happens. I think it will pick up and get better the way CSI and Without a Trace did. I think the cast is TERRIFIC!!!! I think that Thomas Gibson is spot on as an FBI guy and Lola Glaudini is so tough and sexy. SHE IS STUNNING! I will tune in to see those 2 no matter what.
  • So no worth your time. Especially when competing with Lost, E-Ring, and Veronica Mars. Next week I'll give E-ring a chance before probably settling on Lost.

    4.0
    I won't be tuning in again and there is no reason to care about these characters. I've seen 15 minutes of this show and I can tell you it won't make it. I like Mandy Patakin and Thomas Gibson but they aren't at their best and the rest of the cast isn't up to par. The writing is bad and formulaic.
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