Criminal Minds

Season 1 Episode 2


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

Episode Fan Reviews (24)

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  • Einstein once said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

    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.”