Criminal Minds

Season 3 Episode 1


Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Sep 26, 2007 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (31)

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  • My first episode of Criminal Minds and I am HOOKED!

    Let me start off by saying this is my first episode of CM (Criminal Minds) and I love this show now.

    I thought this was a very good episode. It was morbid in an almost carefree way. Sorry I don't really know how I can go into detail with that. I loved the voice over Gideon did because it went great with the episode's atmosphere and it hyped up the suspense of the show.

    The ending seriously left me lying in my bed with some goosebumps. Not only the part with Gideon and the gun, but also the one girl who was suicidal. It just leaves you seeing how some people just fall through the cracks of society. The acting was great!

    My favorite characters are JJ, Prentiss, and Garcia. I like all of the male characters as well, but I noticed that this show has really strong female characters.
  • Broken family and being unappreciated has been the turning point to his aggressiveness. He's started to be aggressive whenever he sees anyone who is similar to his wife and reminds him to her.

    Criminal minds continues to be my favorite series. This episode is simply superb! My blood continue to raise till the end. This episode shows that sometimes profile can goes wrong but you need to have faith in yourself. Team spirit is the most important. This episode also clearly shows Gideon's frustration. In real life, someone who we never expect to be bad. can turn to be a devil, which is more dangerous than the one we expect to be the bad one. It is seriously scary that our life could end at the hand someone we trusted or rather someone we heavily rely on all these while.
  • Suspenseful ending for the third season opener . . .

    This is the episode that is the "Criminal Minds" beginning for me. I had watched the reruns during the break between season two and season three. So, for me, this episode was actually very good. The beginning hooked my attention and the ending made me hold me breath (for a second or two!)

    This episode bounces between Gideon writing a letter to his unidentified friend and his last case. The letter explains what has happened to cause Gideon to "disappear".

    I liked how the writers explained "straw that broke Gideon's back." Every human has a breaking point. For some people, it can be something so miniscule, it leaves others wondering just where that person's head is really at. For others, it can be a compilation of many little things. And for some, it just takes one major catastrophic event. This episode showed what one thing led up to Gideon's breaking point. Think about all the horrors that the profilers face each day. At some point in time, the profiler will face that one horror that becomes too much to handle. This case was Gideon's. It's hard to believe that Section Chief Erin Strauss is Annie from "Free Willy"!! She is NOT a nice person in this episode. She's head hunting and it's clear that it's Hotchner's head she wants on that platter. Seeing Prentiss as the spy/mole . . . I can honestly say that I don't like it. I guess I'm just used to how she is/becomes later in the season. Hotchner's reply to Gideon's question as to how long he (Hotchner) could hold the suspect's attorney was cute! "Are you kidding? I was a prosecutor; I can hold him off for days."

    For me, this episode was an excellent introduction to "Criminal Minds".
  • The Episode That Changes Everything

    I knew going in about Manny's leaving the show. I must say that I was both very nervous and upset when I found out that he was going to be leaving the show. This show is without a doubt the best crime drama on television today and I really wanted to see the formula repeated for the next couple of seasons. This episode itself is still a Criminal Minds episodes with Manny as the lead role and it did not fail to deliver at all. The episode itself was really well done and I liked the fact that they didn't have any physical evidence to hold the first suspect that they had in custody although everyone knew that the guy did it. The continued to doubt themselves at the end of the episode but it was very clear to the audience that the final scene was the showdown between the two killers. The profile process went about as you would expect from this show, which is always a good thing. Gideon is struggling to get over the events that happened with Frank in "No Way Out, Part 2" which is the ultimate reason that was written into the show as to why he would leave. I thought it was a very well written plot twist that the writers had to sum up in about one episode. Overall, I would say this has to go down as the best opening episode to date.
  • Good episode!

    This is my favorit episode of Criminal Minds.
    The episode shows Gidgeon's last case, but I'am glad that he had some episodes in season 3. Also a great beggining of the new season 3. Over to the plot of the episode, the unsub are killing girls on a compass, but when the team has arrested the unsub someone else is killed. So the team must figure out if they have the wrong person. But they let the unsub go in hope to find the other killer. Also at the end Hotch are suspended by the section chief, so after all a good episode!
  • Gideon's doubts

    Oh.. A differently build episode than usual - no famous quote, no that kind of thought as the whole episode is a one big thought - a downfall of Gideon who realize he cannot continue this way anymore.

    The case itself looks good - a college, a killer. We have had that kind of scenarios before and so this does not stand out but that doesn't make it bad. Story has it's turn, they got the killer very early and so the question rise - what is really going on. And when some girl dies her hair brunette and goes to search the killer, it all just have to end in catastrophe.

    And the ending.. oh..
  • A time finishes with this episode and Gideon's departure from the BAU. His last case, an interesting story about some murders in an university campus.

    A time finishes with this episode and Gideon's departure from the BAU. His last case, an interesting story about some murders in an university campus.

    At firs it seems clear who the unsub is but the proofs against him are circumstancial. It's really interesting to see how Gideon doubts about both his work (in the letter he writes) and the suspct and how he asks Hotch if the man who they think that was the killer, really was. I think the viewers can think anything they want about this fact. Where the BAU member's wrong or did Gideon simply lost the perspective? Anyway, his departure from the series was well-written and explained.
  • Gideon..

    This was one of the first episodes I saw of Criminal Minds. This episode was a really good season opener. I loved the fact that Gideon was writing the letter.
    I felt kinda sad that Gideon was leaving the team, I always really liked him!

    From the beginning of the episode it was obvious, that the security gard was the killer, so I was kinda waiting for the plot twist.. And the end I got it with the girl comiting suicide and Giseon with the gun!!!

    I really hated Chief Erin Strauss in this episode, Hotch is a great leader of the team!!
  • And so begins Season Three as Gideon decides that he has had enough after the devastation caused by Frank. Meanwhile, Erin Strauss holds Hotch responsible for the lacklustre performance of the team, then again, doesn't she always?

    Jason Gideon, profiler extrordinaire has decided that he has had enough of the BAU and the FBI in general. Throughout the episode, we see him penning a letter addressed to Reid explaining his decision and outlining his agony at what Frank did to his friend, Sarah. It is very emotional and heartfelt and extremely sad at the same time as we realise that Mandy Patinkin, who has been with the show since episode one, is leaving.

    Meanwhile, with Gideon supposedly on the missing list, (they don't know at this point that he isn't.) Hotch and the others must travel to Flagstaff, Arizona, where young brunette students are being murdered on a college campus. The team think they have their killer, a security guard who tasers his victims to render them helpless before killing them. But, do they have the right person? When there is another killing whilst the suspect is being held, they have to wonder if they are on the right track but a strange young woman who has clippings of all the deaths tacked to the walls in her college dorm could hold the key ...

    Meanwhile, Erin Strauss, determined to get rid of Hotch, (what IS it that she has against the man?) asks Prentiss, whose transfer to the BAU was her doing, to get some 'dirt' on the stoic team leader. Strauss hints that Prentiss herself could be heading up the unit if she gives the brass the information they want. The ending of this one may surprise you, but all I will say is that it doesn't go exactly according to plan and Strauss manages to lay all the blame on on Hotch.

    A very worthy and well acted season opener with a nice twist towards the end.
  • A decent case at best, but there is a lot of drama and great suspense hanging in the air with multiple characters.

    The episode was a very good one, and a terrific premiere to Criminal Minds' third season. The case was absolutely enjoyable, although it wasn't one of the better ones that we have seen, when compared to past episodes. However, what made this episode memorable, in my opinion, is the character development.

    All throughout the episode, I thought Gideon was going to kill himself, and he was writing up his suicide note, and I felt sure that this was the case when the episode finished. I guess we'll find out...

    All up, brilliant episode! Suspense was evident and the case was decent. Good episode, and I'd highly recommend it, but only after having watched the previous season's finale.
  • A good episode, more or less. Unfortunately, more like less and less like more.

    Yes, the writing and editing staff had their work cut out for them by the untimely and unexpected withdrawal of MP from the Criminal Minds cast on day one of shooting this year. Yes, they had an episode left over from last year that they chose to pull because of the tragedy at VT (and I'm thankful for their sensitivity). So, if they were going to utilize this episode, they had to do it immediately, before the character of Jason Gideon was written off, so it makes a sort of sense to use it as the premiere episode of Season Three. Sort of.

    I suppose for anyone who was living on Antarctica this summer without access to television, radio or the internet, the departure of Gideon could have held some "OMG!" moments. For the rest of us, however, the typical Gideon angst, albeit ramped up to explain his disappearance, did not add up to a premiere-worthy episode. The original plot of "Doubt", when it managed to peek out through the Gideon flashbacks and the Hotch/ Prentiss/ Strauss conspiracy, looked like a good one. The characters were well-fleshed out, and the twist of the suicide- seeking- copycat was very twisted. The last scene was the best of the entire episode. Seeing Gideon fingering his weapon as he writes his note - although I was not drawn into the "oh, he's committing suicide" camp - was excellently done. And Hotch's reaction to Erin Strauss, "Always a pleasure," was quite satisfying. I must admit, I'm looking forward to a genuine premiere episode next week, and to many better eps as the BAU team finds its feet.

    Still the best show on television.
  • Gideon is hanging it up.

    I would say this isn't one of the better episodes, but it wasn't bad either. The main theme of this episode is Gideon's anticipated resignation from the team. Obviously, Gideon is still shaken up from Frank murdering his female friend. But more events in this episode put him over the edge. This episode focused on a serial killer murdering brunettes on campus. The end turned out surprising because an unstable student ends up murdering the unsub. (After he was released from custody.) I think the thing that kinda get me about this episode is that I wanted more reason from Gideon for resigning. It wouldn't seem like these events plus his friend being murdered would alone force him to quit. Gideon's character seemed to be very stronger than that. In fact, last season he helped Reed through some trying times as Reed was still shaken up from his abduction. I don't know, I felt like I wanted more from him.
  • The team tracks a killer at a college campus.

    I thought that this season opener has to be one of the best episodes of Criminal Minds I have ever seen. I liked how the episode was like Gideon telling a story to someone in a letter but we really do not know who the letter is to. I also like the storyline of the serial killer on a college campus targeting a certain type of women and that they had a pyscho student that was willing to kill someone in order to be a victim by him just to end up killing the unsub and herself while the team watched.
  • A very uneven episode. Great idea but the execution could, and should, be much better. SPOILERS under the cut.

    The episode was heavily edited due to the fact that Mandy Patinkin had decided to left the show and they needed to add scenes that would explain his departure as the character. Luckily, the cuts were invisible. I knew of course which scenes had to been added but if I didn't know about the edit, I wouldn't notice them at all.

    Ever since I've begun watching the show, I've waited for a particular episode – an episode in which the profilers profile the unsub, catch the person that seems a perfect match, are convinced that they have "their guy" even as the evidences seem to oppose it and in the end find out that they were wrong. Oops!

    You see, profiling is a tricky art. Not once and not twice the profilers in real life had been mistaken, it's enough if I mention the DC Sniper who was (were!) as far from the profile as it gets. I think my need to see such plot comes from the fact that in the very first episode, Derek chats up some girl by saying what a great profiler he is… and uses the DC Sniper as an example. Oh, baby, I wouldn't brag about that.

    This episode should be a dream come true but it wasn't. Gideon profiles the guy, they catch the suspect, the BAU is convinced that they have their unsub, Gideon confirms… another murder happens, profilers are blamed. AAAAANGST! It's obvious that they were mistaken… but WAIT! That murder was not committed by the unsub but by the copycat. The copycat (that turns out to be an emo girl that cuts herself… oh gawd) kills the "real" murderer and commits suicide. This way AAAAANGST turns into WAAAAAANGST! What's wrong with the episode? They should have left the guy as an innocent victim of Gideon's mistake and the girl as the actual killer that kills a man that "steals her spot". That would make this episode really scary and the pain that forces Gideon to quit (commits suicide????) would be far more genuine. Instead we are suppose to believe he quit because a serial killer and a one-time killer died on his watch, yet, in the last episode of the 2nd season a serial killer and his girlfriend kill themselves also "on Gideon's watch" and I didn't see him crying over that. The circumstances were different, yes but the impact is lost. The opportunity for some genuine angst have been wasted and instead we got wangst – the profilers are still perfect and didn't make a mistake, and suspending Aaron was an Evil Act of Evil and Manipulative Lady who is Evil and Manipulative, and had nothing to do with the fact that Aaron and his people screwed up royally.

    The title of the episode, "Doubt" strongly suggest that it's about Gideon's doubt is he a good profiler. Considering that Gideon's life is profiling it's an absolutely terrific idea and so very in-character! Brilliant way to deal with Gideon's departure. No, in the end it's about Gideon's doubt if he made a mistake allowing the unsub and the copycat to meet. That's, and I apologize for the use of such word, lame.

    Now, about Gideon's suicide - I don't believe it. I think the producers wants us to believe he killed himself but in fact, he just quit. The "suicide note" is a goodbye letter that explains why he quit the job and the gun we see in the last scene is just a symbol. I believe in Gideon wanting to quit, if we combine the events of "No Way Out (2)" with "Doubt" but in the end they've made it almost totally about "Doubt". Nope, not buying it as completely as I should to feel comfortable with that.
  • Strange mix of mediocrity and brilliance.

    A good episode but also a little strange. The main plot - the story on campus - was solid, although it was a little formulaic until you got to the twist at the end. Even that was predictable as soon as you saw the newspaper clip in the girl's room. Gideon's subplot was brilliant, if you can ignore the fact that it's so out of character and the question of how his state of mind could go unnoticed by a group of people who literally make it their lives' work to read people. It just didn't make sense. But for drama's sake, it was brilliantly done. Hopefully the next episode will be a little more coherent.
  • great cliffhanger...

    The BAU goes in to investigate a case of a serial murderer on a campus of a small college. It turns out to be a security officer, or does it? They never find enough evidence pointing to him and he's killed by a suicidal student. The story wasn't very original because I've seen many shows have a serial killer on campus targeting women, but they did a good job with this story. They made it very personal with the student and the agents. The main thing I love about this episode is the layout. Gideon is telling us what happened in a letter and it's like his memories that we're seeing. It was awesome. I love the ending. Is he going to kill himself? I don't think so; whenever a show points to someone dying it never happens. I really like Gideon. I can't wait to see what happens next. I wonder if Hotch will be able to come back. Wow, great episode with a great cliffhanger.
  • No Gideon please don't!

    The show without Gideon will be a big blow as Gideon is the glue of the show. As without him, the show will go down. No offense to upcoming star Joe Mantega but Gideon IS Criminal Minds. When a VT like killing takes place, the BAU closes down the campus to track the killer. As they may have the wrong killer in custody. We learn that Hotch used to be a former prosecutor before going to the feds. Sadly he and Prentiss get suspended without pay. As this boss from you know where has it in for Gideon. But both Hotch and Prentiss take the fall over his actions. Despite Gideon tying to stand up for them. Will miss Gideon!
  • Would have been brilliant as it was first intended.

    If doubt had aired last year, when it was intended to, it would have been a perfect, or near perfect episode. you could just see it. It was a great idea for a story and the actors really gave their best. Especially A.J. Cook who really has to fade into the background sometimes. But the changes that were made to accomidate Mandy Patinkin's departure just weren't up to par. I don't blame anyone. The writers were stuck with a bad situation and had to do the best they could. And Doubt had better subject matter to work with then other episodes may have. But I don't buy that Gideon went back to work after Sarah's murder, worked another case, and *then* killed himself. It just seems out of character.

    I look very forward to next week's episode, seeing how JJ, Reid, Morgan, and Garcia do on their own! And what was meant to be the series premire!
  • This episode is why I watch this series. It was a perfect episode to start the season, especially with the modifications to explain Gideon's leaving.

    The people involved with Criminal Minds certainly know how to make a good show for viewers!

    That wicked witch, Erin Strauss, makes great villain within the Bureau. She's giving the show a subplot for the season that viewers can watch for.

    Getting to hear Gideon narrate the episode while he writes the letter for whoever to find was a nice change. Just not for the reason I would want have it happen.

    The rest of the team was just awesome, basically as you would expect them to be. There was just one instance that may have been a clue that Reid and JJ might be a couple.
  • Agent Gideon out of character

    The episode was interesting. The thing with Agent Gideon was far fetched. Did he actually have a gun contemplating suicide? Agent Gideon is a smart agent. I just can't believe he would commit suicide! This was his last episode couldn't he go out with integrity? Retiring would have been more realistic to me. It would give all the criminals satisfaction to learn of his suicide like they all beat him. And whats with this vindetta this lady has with Hotchner? Get this tyrant lady off the show, please! I love this show and this show without agent gideon ? i don't know how everything will turn out with this. maybe these developments will do to me what dr doug ross leaving er did to me? I stopped watching.But being a fan of this show might change my mind if the story lines get much better.
  • A pretty good start....

    Well, to be honest I believe that the main story was kind of stupid and something that we've all seen before. What was really interesting was all the other stuff - the sub stories if you like. What happens to the characters emoitionally when they've been hunting one serial killer after the other. It's a bit like "Millennium" - just a light version of it and that's not suc a bad thing. Can't wait to see what actually does happen - I really hope that they'll let Gideon live - the alternative would be almost impossible to bear, wouldn't it?
  • A serial killer strikes a college & Gideon checks out.

    This was a really interesting episode. The fact they had it in the can and were able to use it for a slightly more logical sendoff for Gideon makes it unique. It's a typical case with an unexpected twist at the end that makes this an engaging episode. The Gideon V/O cabin scenes work, but at times it feels forced as if the Gideon on the screen isn't as affected by the case as the Gideon V/O is trying to convince us he is. It works though, thanks to the dedicated writers who had to do 11th hour rewrites because Mandy turned out to be a rude, disrespectful flake.

    Based on last season's finale and this new episode, it was a bit confusing the real reasons why Hotchner was suspended, but I'm sure it'll all work itself out.

    Good job to the writers and cast and crew who pulled it together to make this work!
  • This is the first time i've seen an episode that was held over due to real life events. Show up as a season premier and fit perfectly. Not only that it left us with great cliffhanger

    This is the first time i've seen an episode that was held over due to real life events. Show up as a season premier and fit perfectly. Not only that it left us with great cliffhanger and the potential for easy movement through the whole season. On the cliffhanger side we have Gideon looking as if he's going to commit suicide. For season potential we have Hotch's possible dismissal from the FBI and since Padget is not working as a mole. Where her character will go is limitless. I really like the doors this episode opened for us despite the fact that the case was just routine.
  • It looks all profilers are unstable and either become murders, junkies or blow their brains out.

    It looks like Gideon is going to commit suicide. Makes me wonder if the producers hate Mandy even more than the actress that played Eli. If Gideon dies, he can never come back on the show unless they raise him from the dead.

    When they write characters out of the show "once and for all" it is worse than just losing a character with the hope that they might write them back in in the future. Let us get used to the new characters with some hope that the old character might return and it won't be nearly as disturbing.
  • Killer on Campus and Jason doubting.

    This was totally not my favorite storyline. It seemed rushed and fragmented. I am not happy about the end either even though I was aware of Mandy Patinkin's exit from the show I still*******SPOILER******* do not like the idea of him toying with suicide as a way to bow out or atleast the end of the episode alludes to this. I also realize that "cutting" happens because it happened when I was a teenager and young adult as well(It isn't new folks) but I wish they wouldn't glamourize it in television shows. I am not happy with the dragon lady after Hotch either(he's the strongest character on the show) but atleast Prentiss isn't sinking him willingly either.
  • I doubted myself from time to time with this one.

    Just like the subject this one gets you to start questioning yourself. I kept going back and forth with who I thought the killer was. And when I was sure of who it was I went back and changed my mind again. Only to be wrong again. So this was an excellent episode. I love when they twist the plot and get you so confused and thinking how this or that could of happened to make sense of it. And the preview of the next episode looks killer. Literally I guess. Hope nothing drastic happens. He is one of my favorite characters. Awesome episode.
  • There's a killer on campus, the BAU comes, they make a profile & get a guy, but is he the right one? When another victim is killed, the BAU begin to doubt themselves, with a certain profiler considering committing a serious and permanent solution . . .

    I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS EPISDODE!!!!! I can easily understand why it had to not be aired due to the Virginia Tech shootings, and it was a good episode. I liked how they shed light on how many people who commit murders are victims of neverending abuse, and everyone needs to learn that making fun of someone and tormenting them because they're different has dire consequences. Gideon is going to commit suicide and Reid is going to find him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At least, that's my opinion. The whole ending with Gideon holding a gun and writing a letter to Reid (I'm guessing) COMPLETELY caught me by surprise. I must admit, this is a pretty powerful way to have him leave the show. However, judging by the preview for the next episode, they are trying to contact Gideon, but he won't answer, and then we see Reid calling his name in his house, and :cry: I just know adorable Reid is going to find Gideon's dead body and that will just tear him apart!!! I hope it doesn't happen but that's what it seems like will happen!!!!!!!!!!!! :cry:
  • The team is tested. Do they pass or fail?

    I loved the indications of where this is going. Obviously, we all know Mandy is leaving the show and have been curious as to how it's going to happen. Paige being "watched" is going to be an ongoing twist and will be interesting to see how she reacts. One of the things that I loved about this script is that is showed the our team is human and does indeed have doubts. Not only in how they do their jobs but also how they deal with suspects as well as the victims. They wanted to be right but where they, time will only tell.
  • Another great show to kick off the new season.

    I just hope Gideon doesn't kill hisself in the next episode because then who will give them a good profile of the suspect. Gideon is needed in this show and it would be and big change and differences to the show if he did kill hisself but I understand his frustration with the job he has to do and I think he should just take a break not end his life. The whole show was amazing, very interesting on whats going to happen next. Thats why I will be tuning in next week to see this show and I want everyone to do the same.
  • Super good! I'm just excited to see everyone back together, well for now anyways. The plot was alright. It was good and excited and considering that I'm a brunette living on a college campus, a little...different.

    I liked this one. I liked the way they rewrote it so that it could be used after last years season finale. The plot was okay, it wasn't the style i'm used. It seemed like you didn't get a lot from the team, BUT I still was on the edge of my seat, not willing to leave, enjoying it. The whole Jason Gideon writing a letter to explain why he's no longer able to do his job was good. (although i'm really sad to see him go) and Hotch being suspended really made it interesting for the team. I'm really intrigued about the next episode and am already counting down until next Wednesday night. Oh and since i'm a reid fan the whole thing between him and jj-really cute!
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