Criminal Minds

Season 2 Episode 17

Distress

8
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Feb 21, 2007 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (21)

8.9
out of 10
Average
377 votes
  • A homeless killer still believes he is at war.

    8.0
    This episode is about a homeless serial killer who believes he is still at war and because he is a war veteran he has not been able to be caught by the police Reid's behavior in the episode was different on how he was reacting to the members of the team especially Prentiss The killer started killing when an incident in the war where he snapped a 12 year old kids neck taken an impact on him and when he returned to the country drilling noises resembled gun shots and it made him think he was still at war In the end when they had him cornered he ran at a boy and had to be shot but he couldn't be saved because he still thought it was war and he couldn't overcome the fact he wasn't.
  • Fallen But Not Forgotten. That mural said it all.

    10
    Regardless of your age, regardless of what you think of war, regardless of what you were hoping they were going to do with Reid's storyline - you must admit that this episode was truly brilliant. On one level, as a typical, profile-and-catch-the-killer episode, it was great - tightly written, well acted, using what the BAU knows about criminals to determine how to catch this one. On another level, advancing the "something is wrong with Reid" storyline, it was excellent. Reid is acting strangely - harsh, impatient, so self-confident that he is appearing cocky, paranoid and defensive. And the team is reacting. Some, obviously, know more than others.

    But on a deeper level, this episode dealt with a fallen hero - someone who was damaged by war. And it was topped off with the beautiful reactions of the team when they could not save him. From Gideon to Garcia, the emotions were palpable, real and a fitting end to the story. Television, at its most noble, helps us to be better people. Granted, that goal is very seldom reached, but if one episode could help us see the humanity of a criminal, or the great impact of war on each of us, this was it. Nice job, CM.
  • Praying that the team gets Reid some help!

    9.7
    Great on the character development as well as the victims
    Of the crime as the team investigates the murders nearby
    At a homeless place as three people have been murdered while
    The killer maybe a homeless person. Meanwhile back to Reid who has gone through a lot since what happened after being
    Taken a hostage, the team notices him not his usual self
    Praying that they get help for Reid.
  • A war veteran suffering from PTSD hiding out in construction sites, murdering anyone that comes inside his hiding place. Reid clearly shows signs of PTSD that only a moron would miss and we see hopeful signs that the BAU members are not morons after all.

    10
    I never realized a PTSD victim could suffer to such a degree that they could actually spend days on a murdering spree without waking up and realizing where they were and what was going on -- at least periodically - enough to call 911 for help or something. I was under the impression they could suffer for a few minutes, maybe hours, but then snap out of it. But apparently, PTSD can cause a reaction that goes on for days. Meanwhile Reid shows obvious signs of having PTSD as well as possible drug addiction? Hopefuly they will get him help!
  • Good story line.

    8.8
    I liked this episode. The story line was good, it had me guessing the whole time. They also did a good job of getting me to feel bad for the war vet in the end. I was sad that they shot him. As far as Reid's strange behavior, I don't know. I really hope that things turn out better in the next couple of episodes for him. He's totally my favorite character on that show and it's tough to watch him so altered.
  • A war veteran suffering from PTSD thinks he is back in a war zone. Reid displays signs of PTSD himself.

    9.5
    It was a very good episode. It was well written, and the investigative process was, as always, very interesting to watch. The ending made me sad, though. I wish that the police could sometimes try to just stop and not kill the subject. Would have it been so hard to shoot him in the leg? We the viewers knew that, since he had not harmed the little girl earlier, he would probably not harm this child. The way he was running toward the boy seemed like he was trying to protect him. But the officer obviously felt the child was in danger. The man was, after all, delusional and dangerous. I don't understand- why didn't the police or FBI clear the construction workers from the area? It was, after all, the scene of a police/FBI operation. That jackhammer going off was just stupid. As soon as that happened, I knew the guy was dead because the noise would set him off again.

    Judging by the number of episodes left in the season, I think the Reid storyline will climax in the season finale.
  • Three men are murdered in a short time span, with seemingly no connection. War claims another victim.

    9.6
    The writers at CM are very, very clever. Of course we already know that, but this episode really highlighted that. Normally we regard the unsub with fear and loathing, and want nothing more than for the BAU and their colleagues to take the person out of action, one way or another. In this case, as we see what's causing the unsub-- a former Ranger suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after the action he faced in Somalia--to go on a rampage, we are filled with pity. PTSD is sometimes claimed as an easy out for criminal behaviour, but it's also a valid and very serious problem. The saddest line was when Roy's wife wistfully remarked that he never really came back from Somalia's war zones. The noticeable changes in Reid's character are alarming, and I'm surprised that the team hasn't taken more action than they have to this point. They have to know...Gideon and Hotch both are watching Reid, however, so I'm hoping that this plot threadlet doesn't continue too long. The longer I watch this show, the more I like the playoff between Hotch and Gideon. Hotch comes across as angry and cold so often, yet his compassion for and understanding of humans is no less deep than Gideon's. Nicely formed characters--but then, the whole cast is a pretty strong ensemble, though I'd like to see more of Garcia, whose eccentricities and smarts remind me of NCIS's Abby Scuito.
  • Oh, really? Oh, in the months that you’ve known me you’ve never seen me act this way? Hey, no offense, Emily, but you don’t really know what you’re talking about, do ya? - Reid

    9.5
    I felt sad in this episode for Reid and the other goes to Roy. Reid's recent experience troubled him and doubting his capabilities if he can still go on. Roy because he never got over killing that young boy for the last 14 years. War does not give good results and left many wounds to heal. I quote "It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone - RK
  • Review

    8.9
    I didnt prefer the case in this episode as much. I've seen some instances of the Post Tramatic Stress Disorder and this situation was a little much for me to believe. I'm aware that the writers would never insult the viewers by simply making up something, but it was a little odd. Reid is also going through a lot since he was captured a few episodes back. Elle was going through some of the same thing but she was kicked off of the show before we could really see the effects of what the show did to her. Reid is becoming something interesting to keeo your eye on, though I do wonder what the endgame is going to become of the entire situation. Overall, a decent episode but nothing that I would ever want to rewatch all that much. Nothing much more to say.
  • Beautiful storyline

    9.0
    I think episode really shine for the writing, for the story.

    First it did not promised nothing so moving... a homeless guy killing random people but soon it comes out that he thinks he is still in war and fights for survival.

    I loved the way the portrayed a story, the symbols. War in the city - the construction and building is tearing appart everything old and familiar.. And the one lost man, not knowing nothing, reliving his worst nightmare.. a war.. and that boy he killed those years ago and still hunting him and the way the story ended.. did it possibly even could have other kind of ending?

    And in that all lost and desperate place.. this episode in shadow works to show Reid slipping away more and more.
  • So very sad on so many levels. A very powerful episode which showed the torment of human agony from the point of view of a hero who lost far more than he won and a team member fighting to get his life back on track.

    8.5
    Several murders in Houston, Texas where the dead are found in areas where construction is taking place seem at first to be individual acts of random violence but when the BAU profile the areas where the bodies are found and then the killer, they think they are dealing with someone who may be homeless but the true horror decends when they realise, after seeing an SOS sign crudely constructed from building site materials that they are dealing with a war veteran suffering from acute post traumatic stress disorder who thinks he is still in the middle of a war zone.

    The story in itself is heartbreaking but a must-see because the reality of what a tour of duty can do to a man or woman is brilliantly done by all concerned in this episode. It's also good to see that Reid and his very strange and uncharacteristic behavior is finally being noticed by the team as they practically ignored it in the previous episode.
  • The war away from the war. Moving and intriguing stroyiline!

    10
    Crimina l Minds was at its best again tonight, with yet another fascintating episode. This one was about a set of seemingly radnom murders, all with the same methodolosy, in Houston's Fifth Ward.

    The episode really was a touching one in so many ways, as the killer was suffering from an extreme acase of PTSD, after killing a Somalian child during conflict. He thought the war was taking place back in the US!

    The episode was sad, and the ending was not a pleasant one. This was one of those epiodes where you could actually feel sorry for the UnSub, because he really didn't want to hurt anybody at all.

    This was a moving pepisode, which I would highly recommend! The writing was fantastic, the acting was splendid as usual! Keep it up, Criminal Minds, and a fanstastic episode all roungd!
  • They need to notice Reid soon! Emily didnt deserve that!

    10
    Ok, Emily has known Reid long enough to be able to figure out that there is something wrong with him! who cares how long she has known him! she knows something's up! The rest of the team noticed something on the Flight to Houston, Texas. When Reid told Emily "I can handle it" they need to help him! The whole not really homeless thing got me confused, and i gotta ask, what the heck did they shoot him for?!?! he wasnt gonna hurt the kid!! thats why he is all shaken up! I felt like i was gonna cry! that is just so not cool! he wasnt going to do anything but maybe tell the kid to go home becuase he thinks it isnt safe, they could have helped him! but he got shot! omg!! The Episode it self was very interesting though, i though it had a lot of balance to it.. in a way.
  • Very well thought out and researched. Great perspective from first person of a mentally anguished INDIVIDUAL. Main character seen and viewed as human not as often is the case in other drama series as being Criminal 1st and Human 2nd.

    10
    This is the first time I have ever been 'moved' enough by any TV series/episode to track down a web page and write a review.
    I really appreciated 'distressed' a story from the viewpoint of a person in a dissociative fugue as relates to a PTSD flashback. I am a survivor or childhood trauma living with Dissociative Identity Disorder and PTSD. I have been a bit leery of your previous portrayals of DID but felt that they were overall portrayed 'tactfully' though I have never liked the idea of DID as a mental Disorder being cast always as a low down criminal that is prone to be murderous. Last night’s portrayal of PTSD as a disorder was very much more true to life as to the background that can 'set off' a snap from reality that then can lead to such an irrational crime spree.
    Thanks again for the research and effort put into this episode. I wish to see more in the realm of being able to put the DID in the 'drivers seat' in the same way that you did with the gentleman in this episode and show that we too are mere mortals and not destined always to commit crime (murder) for 'no apparent reason' like Hollywood would have mass media believe.
  • A very exciting episode, little bit of a tear jerker, over all very good.

    9.5
    The only disappointment I had with this weeks episode was that they gave a lot of it away in the commercials. We came into this knowing that the bad guy would end up being a vet, lost in his head, so the clever twists, instead of being surprising were more like, of yeah. So that's how they found out. If you didn't see the commercials then this was a really good episode. I was very surprised when the security guard was killed, I had been expecting them to run over and find a body or something. I like it when you don't see things coming. I also liked the things they did with Reid, though they could have gone into him a little more. What I particularly liked however was that this episode had the vet not be either a Korean vet or a Iraq vet, because I've been seeing that on TV shows since, forever. There were a whole bunch of wars from other places, and those veterans should be recognized as well. All around a very good episode, I give it a 9.5 for excellent writing and plot, and a negative .5 for disappointing commercials.

    DeChicka
  • Brilliant!

    9.5
    What an absolutely brilliant episode! This was much much better than the one before: Fear and Loathing. Reid was really out of character, and it's obvious that he's started taking the drugs. It was kind of fun (and a little akward) to watch him, even when he was mean and rude to all. Sometimes he's just to polite, and it was really refreshing to see someting knew. But like I said before, his behaviour was really embarrassing. Every time he opened his mouth, my heart started to race, and I thought to myself: I hope he doesn't say anything that forces the team to throw him out or something.
  • This was a well written story. It showed a different side to the show as far as unsubs go.

    9.5
    Reid was late to the meeting, first off. Then on the plane, when they're talking about who is going to do what, when that woman offers to help Reid and he gets all snarly, saying he can do his job. Hotch says that she will help him...and my god, I think Reid's gone from *kitten glare* to *lion cub glare* Very sneaky of the writers to pair up Reid and Prentiss, cause really Prentiss doesn't know Reid that well. His hair was messy and stuff, too. He's twitchy through the whole episode.
    GREAT Morgan/Garcia phone talk tonight. When he first calls, she asks if he's lonely in the lone star stat and then if he's wearing chaps. He says the only place she'll see him wearing chaps is in her dreams. She's like...maybe not, I've got photoshop. Then at the end of the convo he said he'd better not find any photoshopped pics and she tells him he'd never find them.

    Reid being all brusque and stuff at the homeless shelter and then his telling that woman off outside the shelter. GO! Reid. You don't really know what you're talking about, do you Emily.

    Besides Reid, I felt so bad for the man that was suffering through PTSD, it has got to be scary. I never suffered through it, but I did feel the guys pain.

    Hotch was so very Hotchly tonight (and he definitely noticed Reid's attitude on the plane). And the man must be psychic after he says the unsub needs to make a mistake? *gasp* he makes one.

    Loved Hotch and Gideon at the end. Even got a Hotch smile. Loved that Hotch knew where Gideon would be. Those two KNOW one another. Can't wait for next week!
  • Great script...

    9.3
    I was glad to see the acknowledgement of everything that's going on with Reid, but still not having it be the focus. I think it would take too much away from the show. I like that JJ is starting to become more involved with with the victims (at least they are showing it, it's always been implied). I like that they acknowledged the work and the sacrifices that our armed forces are subjected to and that they never come home the same. I thought the last few minutes of just Gideon and Hodges on the bench in front of the mural was an "interesting" touch. How far we've come to how far we have yet to go.
  • The audience sees the desires between Morgan and Garcia increase. There is also a sense that Reid is approaching a breakdown. He gets upset of the noise from the construction crew.

    9.5
    It is a very timely episode. PTSD is a very real problem and with more and more soldiers returning from battle, it is beneficial for the general population to be aware of the problems. Garcia has a good scene or two in this episode. The acting was very good throughout. We could sense the strain of the waiting wife and the best friend. To see the agents touched so deeply by the criminal and the victims was what makes this show worth wathching. Touching on the poverty in this country onyl adds to the storyline. It is out there and the contrast between the plane and the slums is worth noting.
  • Another brilliant Episode. This is one show that refuses to talk down to its audience.

    10
    I am loving this show more & more. The way they are handling the Reid storyline is simply brilliant. They are not just having one special episode dealing with his stress after being held by Tobias. We are seeing him unravel in almost "real" time. It is believable. Nothing too over the top yet, but definite changes that epople are beginning to notice. Again they handled a difficult & polarizing subject in a delicate & artful way. it could have easily been another heavy handed argument over the war, but they didn't go there. It was so heart-breaking to see the reastions of the team when they were not able to save the Sargeant. Impressive work from a wonderful series.
  • It was heartbreaking to see them shoot the Sergeant. He was only doing what he had been trained, and trying to save a little boy.

    9.6
    In the beginning They were talking of the murders, wondering if it is connected in any way.
    Reid comes in late and seemingly cranky. I haven't seen this show in a few weeks.
    The show was really well written, because I know a few people who are in the military, and although I don't know first hand Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I do know that it effects everyone. You can't just stop it, and they proved it with this episode.
    Everyone needs to know about it, to understand it, and to realize that these are the people who have fought for our freedoms in America. I do not support the war in Iraq, but I do support the soldiers over there, the ones that are dying because someone thinks that we need to go to war. They are dying over there because they are defending everything they believe to be true, and a freedom they love.

    Sadly, what Gideon had to say was so true.
    "Killing is one of the things humans are good at" It's true, and the saddest thing ever. Why do humans need to kill?

    I think that the mural at the end was amazing, and that people need to remember those that have fallen, even if it was in a fight that they found to be useless or unneeded.
    Fallen but not Forgotten- these people need our support now, and always. Thankfully the writers for this show have found a way to let us know.
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