Criminal Minds

Season 4 Episode 19

House on Fire

5
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Mar 25, 2009 on CBS
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
250 votes
11

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
The BAU is summoned to Indiana by local authorities when a serial arsonist threatens the residents of Royal by setting fire to community meeting places that kills many people.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Awesome, just amazing. Small towns are really destructive sometimes and I loved the way Garcia really helped solve the case!

    9.5
    This episode was truly one where Garcia really helped out a lot, not that she doesn't but this one more than usual. The episode starts of nicely with the fire at the cinema. Really nice start. The episode keeps you guessing on who's the arsonist and why he's setting the fires. Hotch asks, well more like demands, Garcia's help in finding out the background of the victims and the connection between them. Garcis doesn't want to, but Hotch says he needs her extra help. I especially loved the ending where Garcia goes on about she loves to see the good in people and not wanting to find out why wonky people do wonky stuff, then Hotch tells her the success of the team depends a lot on her which is sweet and he also tells her he wouldn't want her to stop seeing the good in people. As a whole the episode was really nice, just had enough suspense and made me think about the evilness of small towns and how they can really mess a person up. And how people in small towns have lots of secrets which they all help each other cover it up. I really liked this episode, but i wouldn't drop everything i was doing to watch it again.moreless
  • A really interesting episode

    9.0
    In this episode of Criminal Minds, the following happens. We open this episode with all people going to a cinema to watch a movie. As they sit down to watch the film, someone enters the building and sets it on fire. Everyone inside is trapped and so they all die, in the fire. Since the arsonist seems to be escalating, the BAU team are called in. 19 people died in this fire and in a previous one over 12 people died. We learn that the Unsub set 2 fires and turned off the water, so that the sprinklers wouldn't work. A church gather is called for the grieving families and then EMS and fire engines can be heard. We then see that another fire has been set, at a local hotspot, a bar. 5 people have been killed. There is one survivor, but she isn't looking too good. We see that the Unsub also chained the bar shut, so that no one could escape. Also in this episode, Garcia has to become a profiler, in order to help the team solve the crimes and to catch the Unsub before he strikes again. Garcia does some digging and comes up with who may have been the target at the bar, a guy named Jason, the owner of the bar. We soon learn that a boy named Tommy has not been seen in the town for over 10 years, but the team believe that he may have returned to the town, and no one knows about it as no one recognises him. Some people believed that Tommy and his sister, Tina were too close and he has beaten when he was 14 years old, to an inch of his life. He was thrown out of school and he soon left town. Their parents died when they were little in a fire. The team and the local police head round to see Tina, but find her front door unlocked and no one at the house. We also learn that she didn't turn up for her shift at work. So an APB is put out for Tommy and Tina. We then see Tommy with Tina and she soon realises that Tommy is the one who set the fires, which killed over 30 people in their small town. Soon the team find out where Tommy may have gone with Tina and so they head there. They find both of them together and Tommy has gasoline which he spills and then he pulls out a match. The match runs out and the team pull Tommy to one side. Tina then collapses on the floor in tears. The team return home and we see Garcia taking down all of the victim's pictures. She tells Hotch that she doesn't like being a profiler. Hotch thanks her for the help she has given in solving this case. It makes her feel better and Hotch tells her that he never wants to see her change.moreless
  • Insane episode. Why kill hundreds of people if you are really after one guy?

    10
    This episode was bizarre, to say the least. I really enjoyed the episode, especially the opening scne, but it was really frightening, and one of those episode that could give you nioghtmars, if you are a easily scared person.



    I did like the idea of arson to base an episdoe upon, because the show has not used it very frequently in the past. It is good, because it deviates from the usual episode that we get, and variety is a good thing, in my opinion.



    I would certainly recommend this episode really highly. The ending perhaps wasn't as aMazing as how this episode started off, but I did enjoy it, nontheless! !moreless
  • The team is(again) in pursue of an arsonist who likes to kill people.

    1.5
    Haven't we already seen the arsonist bit? And as far as I remember, the first one was much much better. This was a predictable episode, we could guess from the minute Tina came into the picture that the arsonist had something to do with her and from there it was easy to go to the following steps: of course he was traumatized as a child first by the death of his parents, then by the community, he had a "special" relationship with his sister, bla bla bla. After the latest two episodes which were really good, Demonology and Omnivore, I thought the series had recovered from its downward spiral(especially after the completely pathetic episode about the murdering gypsies--Bloodline), but I'm not so sure anymore.moreless
  • The BSU is in pursuit of a serial arsonist who has upped his game to murder.

    9.0
    I couldn't decide whether this was the worst or one the best episodes of Criminal Minds. I spent the first ten minutes crying my eyes out. The show begins as people in a small town are entering a movie theater for a night out. A teenage couple out on a date, an older couple getting out of the house for the night and a mother and her young son out having some quality time together. The movie being shown is the classic The Blob. A little scary and unintentionally funny. We see a shadowed figure walk in and dump gasoline all over the lobby and light a fire. Everyone panics and discovers they're trapped, the emergency exit has been barricaded. Everyone in the theater perishes. This is not the first fire that claims lives in this small town and the sheriff calls in the FBI. The team realizes immediately that this not your typical serial arsonist in that he has intentionally killed. They can assume that the unsub is a local. He knows when and where to make the biggest impact. What they can't figure out is why and that's the key to identifying the unsub. Being such a small town and knowing how rumors escalate into vigilantism, Hotchner has Garcia delve deep into the lives of all the victims. This affects Garcia in a way she could not imagine. Normally she's on the outside searching for the facts, now she's uncovering everyone's dirty laundry. The team figure out that the unsub is likely to be someone who grew up there and left and has now returned for some type of revenge. And they figure out the actual target is one man, the owner of the local bar who has just gotten married a few days prior. The victim's wife, Tina, and her brother, Tommy, cam to live with their grandparents after their parents were killed in a fire. Tommy had an unusually close relationship with his sister and he became a pariah in the town. Things got so bad he had to be sent away to a boarding school across the country. Now Tommy has returned and he wants Tina back, ew. Tina wants nothing to do with Tommy and the BAU and police are able to apprehend him. This was a disturbing and compelling episode. I almost turned it off during the first fire. Knowing that a little boy died was almost too much to bear. But something just kept me tuned in. the incest thing was yucky but made it interesting. And a fine performance by Michael Rooker as Police Chief Carlson. And Kirsten Vangsness was top notch. Garcia is my favorite character on Criminal Minds and we got to get a little deeper into her soul to see what keeps her going in a world filled with evil. Garcia cracked the case!!!moreless
Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson

Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner

Joe Mantegna

Joe Mantegna

Senior SSA David Rossi

Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler

SSA Dr. Spencer Reid

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Paget Brewster

Paget Brewster

SSA Emily Prentiss

A.J. Cook

A.J. Cook

SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jareau

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Garcia: You guys choose this; turning people over like rocks, and looking at all their creepy-crawly things underneath. And I get it, I do. It's the only way to catch them, but … I want to see the good in people. I choose to see the good in people, and … getting into someone's mind and trying to find the god-awful thing that happened to them that made them do the god-awful thing to somebody else has seriously impaired my ability to giggle, and it makes my brain all wonky and I don't like it.
      Hotchner: Garcia.
      Garcia: Yes, sir.
      Hotchner: I just wanted to thank you for your excellent work on this case. And I understand that what you did was, for you, very difficult, but your contributions are essential to the success of this team.
      Garcia: Thank you, sir.
      Hotchner: I know you see the good in people, Penelope, always. And I would never want you to change that.

    • Garcia: (Garcia answers her phone) Hello.
      Morgan: Hey, how's Miss Smart and Sexy doing today?
      Garcia: Fair warning, Cupcake. As much as I love you and our witty banter, I'm all out of witty and banter, and I'm struggling with love.
      Morgan: What's wrong, baby?
      Garcia: I'm standing at the crossroads of 31 lives and what I see is a train wreck.

    • Hotchner: "I have loved to the point of madness; that which is called madness, that which to me, is the only sensible way to love." Françoise Sagan

    • Hotchner: Tennessee Williams said, "We all live in a house on fire. No fire department to call, no way out."

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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