Criminal Minds

Season 2 Episode 8

Empty Planet

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 08, 2006 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
517 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The BAU travels to Seattle to identify and catch a serial bomber who has been terrorizing the city and targeting centers of automated techology. Working with the author of a science fiction novel that has become a guide for the bomber, the team attempts to determine why certain sites have been chosen as targets.moreless

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# 6
  • A serial bomber uses a novel as a guide.

    A serial bomber terrorizes Seattle in a very entertaining episode and a very good character episode where Gideon shows how much Morgan means to him and any of his team members when Morgan stays with the woman who is in her car with a bomb in it which could explode at any moment Before this we had already saw the bomber detonate many bombs and phone the BAU to try and get the point across The team realise that he is targeting automated technology and using a novel as a guide called the empty planet and he sees it that he has to destroy automated technology to stop the robots winning The team then find out that he is after the author and when they get there he already has her hostage but with a bad shot form one of the agents he shoots the author but they was able to get the bomber.moreless
  • To be honest, this episode bored me senseless and that doesn't happen very often with 'Criminal Minds'. A serial bomber is setting off bombs of various velocity around the city and his targets are mainly areas of technology and people connected to it.moreless

    Someone is setting pipe bombs all over the place, mainly in government buildings, such as the library and the post office and some are far more deadly than others when a professor is murdered by a bomb placed in his car and another is almost blown to bits as well.

    The catalyst is a book called 'Empty Planet', which is a work of Science Fiction, written by a female academic who used a male pseudonym. It was the only book she wrote. Naturally, Reid is familiar with it and tells the team that the story ends with 'the son killing his mother'. This is very predictable as the bomber is a young man and the author a middle-aged woman. Bomb expert Morgan is able to stop a detination or two but nobody can stop the inevitable confrontation between the author and the bomber whom he believes to be the mother who gave him up for adoption twenty-six years ago. Turns out she gave up a daughter but he intends to kill her anyway so that he can complete his fantasy and so make the ending of the book 'real' for him.

    Deadly dull, wake me when it's over.moreless
  • Back to real crime fighting!

    After all of that high noon drama now that Elle

    Is gone, they have gone indeed back to some serious stuff

    But when they get out of line and do personal stuff

    Not that there is anything wrong with it, sometimes the

    Gang grows apart as that throws a wrench. Having Elle gone

    Perhaps is a good thing perhaps. As the team goes to Seattle

    To track a serial bomber. And work with an fiction author

    with help in catching the bomber who has been getting ideals from the novels!moreless
  • One good scene does not an episode make.

    A crazy bomber using a sci-fi book as a blueprint to destroy all technology sounds like it would be exciting, doesn't it? So, I have to ask myself, why doesn't this episode work?

    First reason - the plot is off. If they were going to use this book theme, they should have used a real book which someone other than Dr. Reid has ever read. That would have kept him from having to explain every little thing to the rest of the team. The viewers didn't feel the exciting suspense leading up to catching the killer because we didn't really know what was going on. Give us a chance to figure it out along with the team! We like that!

    Second reason - the character of the bomber. Shallow. One dimensional. Most of the villians in this show are beautifully fleshed out - we really really hate some of them, and we feel sorry for others. But this guy? He's just nuts, and we don't get to see him for any time until the last scene. Dr. Kent may feel bad for him, but the rest of us? Ho-hum.

    Third reason - the team. Elle is gone, she's been gone for a while, so why is the team so disconnected? Gideon keeps shooting Reid these nasty looks, Morgan bonds more with the bomb tech and the victim than anyone else, and JJ disppears after her press conference gig. The banter on the jet at the end is the best we get - and even then the scene between Morgan and Gideon falls flat. One good scene - Morgan holding Dr. Brazier's hand as they try to get the bomb out from under her seat - doesn't make a good episode. We love Morgan more than ever in that scene, and it was a great performance by Cheryl Francis Harrington as Dr. Brazier. But, come on, we knew Morgan wasn't going to get blown up, didn't we?

    I guess all great shows have to have some average episodes or we won't appreciate the fantastic ones when they come along.moreless
  • Could have been any city actually.

    Great story but whoever is in charge of trying to recreate Seattle should be fired! Did they even try to research simple things that everyone can find on the Internet in seconds? The name of the city bus is wrong and the colors are not even close. There were not enough real shots of Seattle intercut with the story to make it believable. I was blown away at how inaccurate it was...obviously shot in LA.moreless
A.J. Cook

A.J. Cook

SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jareau

Kirsten Vangsness

Kirsten Vangsness

Analyst Penelope Garcia

Mandy Patinkin

Mandy Patinkin

Senior SSA Jason Gideon

Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler

SSA Dr. Spencer Reid

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson

Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner

JoBeth Williams

JoBeth Williams

Professor Ursula Kent

Guest Star

Jamie Elman

Jamie Elman

Kenneth Roberts

Guest Star

Bunny Levine

Bunny Levine


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Garcia: Networks say the calls came from a restricted number. Two have given limited permission to trap and trace the lines if we should need to.
      Hotchner: (surprised) You got a news organization to agree to a trap and trace?
      Garcia: (confidently) Who could say "no" to me?

    • Gideon: I'd like to attach a protective detail for you Dr. Cooke, until we find the guy.
      Dr. Emory Cooke: No, thank you.
      Gideon: Excuse me?
      Dr. Emory Cooke: Really now. Do I seem like the sort who would want to be followed around all day by a government goon squad? I don't think so.
      (Dr. Cooke leaves as Morgan enters)
      Morgan: Goon squad?
      Gideon: Ever talk to someone who wants to continually show you he's smarter than you?
      Morgan: (motions to Reid) Every day.

    • Reid: I need to stop by a bookstore and get a copy of Empty Planet. I want to reread it before we talk to the author. I haven't read it since I was six.
      Morgan: Six? I was still riding my Big Wheel at six years old.
      Reid: Do you mind? It will only take 10 minutes.
      Gideon: To buy it or read it?
      Reid: Uh... both, actually.

    • Garcia: Je suis toujours ici pour toi, mon cher.
      Morgan: Drives me crazy when you talk that "voulez coucher" stuff to me.

    • JJ: (while playing gin) It's fun beating a genius.
      Reid: Genius Doctor Reid let you win.

    • Ursula Kent: (reading the bomber's manifesto) Aside from the sections of my novel that were blatantly plagiarized, I didn't recognize anything. It's just page after page of the ravings of a lunatic.

    • Morgan: Hey, Dollface, ready to work some magic for me?
      Garcia: Challenge me, you beautiful behavioral analyst.

    • Reid: (referring to the bomber's phone call warning of an attack "where it all began") So Seattle's "where it all began."
      Morgan: We just need to figure out what "it" is and, off the top of my head, I can think of grunge music and overpriced coffee.

    • Dr. Emory Cooke: A cognitive scientist at MIT once said, "Coincidences seem to be the source for some of our greatest irrationalities."

    • Gideon: Robespierre wrote, "Crime butchers innocence to secure a prize, and innocence struggles with all its might against the attempts of crime."

  • NOTES (0)


    • Kenneth Roberts' use of the novel Empty Planet as a guide for his rampage may have been based on Timothy McVeigh, the mass murderer who planned a series of terrorist acts inspired by the novel The Turner Diaries.

    • Garcia: Je suis toujours ici pour toi, mon cher.
      Morgan: Drives me crazy when you talk that "voulez coucher" stuff to me.

      This allusion could refer to Gomez speaking to Morticia in the Addams Family series.

    • The bomber demanding to have his manifesto published in a newspaper is very similar to what the Unabomber did. Ted Kaczynski sent his manifesto to several major newspapers and said he would stop the bombings if it was published. The publication also led to his capture; his brother Michael recognized Kaczynski's style of writing and contacted the FBI.