Criminal Minds

Season 4 Episode 19

House on Fire

5
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Mar 25, 2009 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

8.7
out of 10
Average
255 votes
  • awesome episode

    10
    rewatching after years i enjoy again this episode. A diisturbed and creepy job garcia,great team job. i really enjoy Hotch and garcia scenes. one of my favorites
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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! !
  • 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.
  • 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!!!
  • fire and love

    9.0
    An arsonist is killing people in a really small town in Indiana. The team is called to work the case after the UnSub kills 19 people in a movie theater after having killed 13 other in another fire. Hotch asks Garcia to analise and profile all the dead people which causes her to see really bad things and to trouble her. After lots of indagation and another fire where the Unsub only kills 4 people, Garcia discovers that the bad guy is the brother of one town girl. He was kicked off of the town several years ago and put away from his sister, who he was in love with. At the end he takes her but the BAU team saves her. Good chapter although not the best of the season. Really great Hotch- Garcia moment at the end!:)
  • Garcia helps to, crack the case!

    8.5
    We see Garcia crack the case. Usually she is the comic relief and tries to, stay in the background. Giving the team, some facts. But Hotch asks her to air out, everybody's dirty laundry. Which is not what everybody or everything seems to be. We see an arsonist that is also, a mass murderer. He has burned down places, with so many people. One with thirteen people. He holds a grudge against them. Knowing that they kicked him out. And he was also in love, with his sister. But it was the wrong kind of love. Hotch I am not a big fan of and sorry if I offend anybody. He just seems too two-dimensional at times. But he is beginning to open up a bit. Different from the first season. Morgan and Garcia play off each other well.
  • Small Town Life...

    9.0
    You really felt that small town life issue throughout the episode. I loved watching the teams challenge in developing a correct profile in order to hopefully prevent the next attack. The intensity of the situation wasn't lost but I liked how Derek took the time to explain to the fire captain why they think and observe the way the do, essentially teaching. I figured out pretty early that it was a shunned citizen of Royal, but loved the twists involved into the why. I was intrigued at the idea of Garcia being in the middle of things during this episode. I loved seeing her get aggressive during the interview of the Police Chief and Doctor, you felt her passion and her sense of justice which wasn't lost on Hodges. I was thrilled that he acknowledged her contributions to the team and pleaded that she not change.
  • Not a bad Episode, so far season 4 episodes have all been great and better than season 3!! This episode is no different!!

    9.0
    When a serial arsonist takes ahold of a small town, the BAU must figure out who it is and how to stop him, I like it cause it had a bit of the old chemistry of seasons 1 and 2. It kept you guessing until we knew for sure it was the girl's brother, then the clues all started to make sense and come alive, and why he lit the fires he did. Overall very clever and well written, I can't wait for the next episode of Criminal Minds so far there hasn't been a disappointment yet!! This episode is one of the better ones for this season!!
  • A serial arsonist who deliberately causes death is quite rare - they usually ligh the fires just for the thrill of watching things burn, but not this guy, he wants people; lots of people, dead!

    8.0
    A serial arsonist is at work in Royal, Indianna, a small town where young people have little to do. But someone has a deadly pastime - lighting fires from which people inside the buildings have no means of escape.

    When there have been two fires and the total has reached thirty-one dead, the BAU are called in. Right away, they are certain that the unsub is local and that he has a major grudge against someone in the town. While a memorial service is being held for the victims, the police and the BAU are in attendance as they are convinced that the unsub will want to watch the public and private grief being played out. Unfortunately, they are wrong, because while the service is taking place, a third fire errupts in a bar and there are more dead. This time, there are secure chain to make absolutely certain that nobody could leave via any entrance or exit. Hotch and the team profile that THIS is the fire that mattered and that the REAL victim or victims, where five died, were in this latest fire.

    At first, all roads lead to nowhere, until Garcia locates the records of Tommy and Tina Wheeler, wholost their parents in a fire when they were children. Tommy has been away from Royal for a long time but Tina has remained and recently married. Her husband died in the third fire. Further investigation uncovers the fact that locals considered that the relationship between Tommy and Tina was less than 'healthy' and that there were whispers and accusations of incest. But nobody has seen Tommy Wheeler for a long time and Tina certainly didn't start the fires.

    Has Tommy returned or are the BAU looking at the wrong person? Watch and see.
  • Different, cruel and emotional episode.

    8.8
    Mm.. I just could not find right classification for this episode - it was dark and very emotional, maybe something different we usually expect from this show but I liked it. I liked the way it was different, the way there was so many victims and they needed Garcia's help and she had to deal with all of those things she would not like to - being a profiler for a case. And she did it well.

    The story itself was not bad. I most say I even admired the writers little that they dared to go this way with the story - first the way the episode started - we see how punch of people just die. Weird and very shocking. And then the solution.. the way they just gave too much away the moment that woman (Tina, was she?) first came on screen. That moment looked too manufactured and that felt like a moment what will be important in solving.. but why she was important.. I would not have come up with it..

    So.. a brave move on story.. some good char moments, specially with Garcia...
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