Criminal Minds

Season 3 Episode 2

In Birth and Death

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 03, 2007 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
766 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

With Gideon missing, and Hotch and Prentiss off the team, the BAU investigates one of its most difficult cases yet as the remaining agents track a serial killer in Milwaukee who abducts women in public places by using his son as bait.

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# 6
  • interesting episode

    suspense... hilarius Garcia also
  • The show will go on.

    This was an excellent episode and it showcased what most people would considering the supporting cast very well. It did a great job of showing that the series it great without the character of Gideon and that the other characters have just as much to offer the series. It was nice see that Prentiss didn't betray the team and was even missing the group once she got back into the game. I love Thomas Gibson's character of Hotchner and I hope to see more of his abilities in future episodes. Plus, Eddie Cibrian made an excellent killer and it was nice to see him on screen since I didn't know he was guest starring on this episode.moreless
  • Amazing, suspenseful, rivoting!

    Criminal Minds keeps getting better episode by episode. This episode was amazing!

    I never left my seat on the couch in fear that I would miss something that made me fall over in surprize. The acting was once again superb by all of the characters.

    I was soooooooooooooooo happy Prentiss and Hotch aren't leaving the show. That would have been awful. I wasn't that sad that Gideon left the show. He never made a lasting impression on me like thhe rest of the cast. The show will definitely go on. I thought this was an exceptional case. It wasn't overly gruesome and it really kept you on the edge of your seat. I thought for sure at the end the little kid was going to shoot Hotch.

    My other favorite part of the episode was when it showed the characters back at their homes at the end. Criminal Minds gets the gold medal for having some of the best endings!moreless
  • An average episode, i felt they could have done much more with Gideon's departure however.

    A fine episode, but they could have done so much more with Gideon leaving the BAU. Mandy Patinkin is not going to return to the show and I do not like how they left that uncertain. By keeping his character alive on the show, people will always have the thought in the back of their mind that maybe Gideon could come back. I was hoping for so much more on the final appearance of Gideon. I atleast thought it would have been a 2 hour show. If I was writing this episode, this is what I would have done.. Gideon is with the team solving a case, everyone can tell something is wrong with him, but everyone is too afraid to ask what the problem is. Throughout the episode, All the bad times in Gideon's career won't leave his mind. He begins to have flashbacks about sending six agents into a building that was blown up(extreme agressor), disobeying the Fisher King, therefore getting Elle Greenaway shot and basically ruining her career in the BAU(The fisher king, the fisher king part II), The loss of his great friend Sarah at the hands of Frank(The evilution of Frank)etc. The team solves the case then, Gideon goes to his cabin to clear his mind. He can not help but blame himself for the six agents, Elle Greenaway, Sarah,John Summers, Bruno Hawkes, Rebecca Bryant, and the other agents that have been effected by his decisions. He writes a note, and commits suicide. Spencer Reid is still the one who goes to the cabin to search for Gideon. He sees Gideon lying motionless on the floor and calls for an ambulance, but it is too late. He reads the note Gideon left, which basically says how he can not forgive myself for my actions in the past. Gideon is set to have a big funeral at a church. All the people in the past episodes walk in, and they all have a flashback to their times with Jason Gideon. Kruger Spence and Gina Sanchez appear(Secrets and Lies), Agent Kramer and Agent Baker enter(Natural Born Killer), Sheriff Bridges(The Popular Kids) etc. As all of the people and agents who Gideon has either saved, or helped them save someone else come in. Before you know it the church is packed with hundreds of people. A tribute is shown about Gideon and then music hits, episode over. I personally think it could have been the best episode ever. To make a long story short, I was a little disappointed with the way Gideon was writen offmoreless
  • Takes "cut your heart out" to a WHOLE new level!!

    When the show opens, we are treated to Eddie Cibrian's fine physique. He is playing Joe Smith. Our opinion of Mr. Smith is going to change in the space of a heartbeat!

    At the BAU, JJ is in Gideon's office where she finds Reid asleep in a chair. He had spent the night there waiting for Gideon to show up so that they could play chess. JJ tells Reid that she needs to brief everyone.

    Over at Hotchner's house, Hayley is bringing him a cup of coffee. For me, the first time that I viewed this episode, it was my first introduction to Hotchner's wife. (I had only started watching this show the last two episodes of Season 2.) Based upon her attitude, I can say that I already do not like her! I can understand why she feels as she does. I just don't like her attitude.

    Back at the BAU, JJ, Morgan and Reid are the only three team members present. They are all wondering where Hotchner, Prentiss and Gideon are. They decide to start the briefing and when the others show up, catch them up at that time.

    We learn that there have been four murders in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There is a woman that has been missing for two days. All the women are in their 30s, married, have children and have been dumped in the city's Third Ward. Oh yes, one other thing . . . Their hearts have literally been cut out. Back in Wisconsin, we watch as Joe Smith draws a heart on the chest of the woman he has tied to a post. After the heart has been drawn, he picks up a hammer and chisel. Needless to say, my opinion of this man has DEFINITELY changed!

    Morgan runs into Hotchner as he is heading out to Milwaukee. Hotchner tells Morgan that he is putting in for a transfer. That does NOT go over well with Morgan. He tries to talk Hotchner into changing his mind but has no success. Our first view of Section Chief Erin Strauss is of her smug expression after Hotch reveals that he wants to transfer out of the BAU. She tells him that she knew that he would do the "right" thing.

    I REALLY do not like this lady! She comes across as someone that is going to squash and/or destroy anyone and everyone who gets in the way of what she wants.

    While Hotchner is in with Strauss, Prentiss comes in and tenders her resignation effective immediately. This comes as a surprise to Hotchner, who then tries to talk her out of it. Prentiss tells Hotchner that if Garcia could not talk her out of it, no one could. She tells Strauss that Hotchner is needed on the team. Hotch picks up on the mega tension between the two women.

    Section Chief Strauss tells Hotchner that she will be overseeing this current case. As soon as she said that, I KNEW that she had just bitten off more than she could chew! She has no field experience. She has never "gotten her hands dirty." Now, I'm sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for a dose of reality to slap that smug, arrogant look off of her face!

    Garcia was fairly sneaky in this episode. I loved how she took the file and laid it on Hotchner's desk telling him that JJ wanted her to give it to him. She knew what the answer was before she even asked Hotch if she could talk him out of his decision. At Hotchner's house, he's going through the file that Garcia had left him. Hayley comes downstairs and goes ballistic because she thought they were "done with" that. The phone rings during her tirade, Hotch answers it, but no one is on the other end. Next thing you know, Hayley's cell phone (which is in her purse) rings. She doesn't answer it, but that doesn't mean that we can't put two and two together! The look that Hotch gives her says EXACTLY what was in my mind, "B*tch! You're screwing around!" She actually finished her little tirade, grabbed her purse and walked out the door. Now, I REALLY don't like her!

    I thought it was very sweet that there were "glitches" in the transfer request and resignation. Hotch tells Garcia, "And Garcia, the glitches stop now." Her smile gave her away, so it was fortunate for her that Hotchner was in Wisconsin!

    We learn that Mr. Smith uses his son to get the women to come with him. We also learn that Smith has brain cancer and only has about six months left to live and that his wife left him after they found out. As the episode unravels, we see the profound effect that this has on his son.

    Section Chief Strauss antagonizes the local police department because they had waited so long to contact the FBI. She doesn't like it when JJ pulls her aside and tells her that it's best if the local authorities aren't antagonized because they all need to work together. Of course, Strauss does NOT take kindly to this.

    I loved it when ol' Ms. Section Chief Strauss almost loses it when she steps on poor Claire's (murder victim #5) hair! Hotch steps up and tells her to take as long as she needs but to not let the public see her breakdown. My heart went out to David Smith. He knew exactly what his father did with the women that were brought back to his home. That poor little boy will be messed up for the rest of his life! Based on Strauss's actions at the end of the episode, I feel fairly safe in saying that I think that she now has a new-found respect for Hotchner and all the BAU team members for what they have to face on a daily basis.

    I liked how they gave Reid closure where Gideon was concerned. I'm glad that our BAU team is going to remain in tact.

    For me, this was an exceptional episode!moreless
A.J. Cook

A.J. Cook

SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jareau

Kirsten Vangsness

Kirsten Vangsness

Analyst Penelope Garcia

Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler

SSA Dr. Spencer Reid

Paget Brewster

Paget Brewster

SSA Emily Prentiss

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson

Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner

Eddie Cibrian

Eddie Cibrian

Joe Smith

Guest Star

Lucia Sullivan

Lucia Sullivan


Guest Star

Yvonne Jung

Yvonne Jung


Guest Star

Meredith Monroe

Meredith Monroe

Haley Hotchner

Recurring Role

Cade Owens

Cade Owens

Jack Hotchner

Recurring Role

Jayne Atkinson

Jayne Atkinson

Section Chief Erin Strauss

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Prentiss: (about the case) How fast can you get us up to speed?
      JJ: How fast can you sit down?

    • Erin Strauss: (stumbling against a fence next to a body at the crime scene) Oh!
      Hotchner: (reaching out to assist her) Are you all right?
      Erin Strauss
      : (horrified and shaking) I... I stepped on her hair.
      Hotchner: If you need a second, take second. This is what it is. Just don't let the public see you break down.

    • Morgan: (to Hotchner) Look, man, are you a pain in my ass? Yes, sir! But wantin' to hang out with you, and needin' you to lead this team are two very different things.

    • Rose: (as Gideon pays his tab at the diner) Where are you headed?
      Gideon: Nowhere in particular.
      Rose: How will you know when you get there?
      Gideon: That's a good question (glancing at her name tag), Rose, that's a very good question.

    • Prentiss: What could I have told her?
      Hotchner: That one of my agents might have murdered a suspect in cold blood. Or another might have a serious drug problem, which I didn't report. And if Strauss had any evidence, my career would be over. I think she put you on our team and expected something in return, and to your credit you quit rather than whisper in her ear.
      Prentiss: I told you. I hate politics.
      Hotchner: Come to Milwaukee. I'll make you a deal. If your ready bag isn't here, packed, I won't bug you any more. If it is I want you on that plane with me. One more case.

    • Hotchner: Morgan says you're worried about Gideon.
      Reid: I keep on calling him, he doesn't call back.
      Hotchner: He's probably at his cabin. That's where he goes when he (pause) needs to get away. Reid, I need your head in this.
      Reid: I know.

    • Erin Strauss: None of you will ever move up the chain of command, you know that.
      Hotchner: Why would I ever want to leave the BAU?

    • Prentiss: (when asked to go to the crime scene) I already turned in my badge and my gun.
      Hotchner: That's just hardware.

    • Morgan: Garcia, baby girl, please tell me something I want to hear.
      Garcia: You are a statuesque god of sculpted chocolate thunder.
      Morgan: How about something I don't already know?
      Garcia: (after an intentional pause) I have a sweet tooth.

    • Haley Hotchner: Aaron, stop! Don't make me the monster here. I feel sick about these women, but when this case is over there will be another one, and another one, and another one. It is never going to stop.
      Hotchner: This is who I am.
      Haley Hotchner: No. This is what you do.
      Hotchner: I'm trying to do the right thing - here and there - and I would really appreciate a little support.
      Haley Hotchner: Oh, that's right, 'cause you always need to be the hero.
      Hotchner: Don't give me that.
      Haley Hotchner: No, obviously a happy life isn't enough for you.

    • Gideon: I guess I'm just looking for it again – for the belief I had back in college, the belief I had when I first met Sarah and it all seemed so right. The belief in happy endings.

    • Morgan: Hotch, we both know that suspension was bogus!
      Hotchner: You'll get a new unit chief.
      Morgan: What if we don't want a new unit chief?
      Hotchner: Well, maybe the next one won't be such a drill sergeant.

    • Morgan: I'm just glad you're back. Trust me when I tell you things have been a little bit shaky around here.
      Hotchner: Morgan, I'm requesting a transfer.
      Morgan: Is that a joke?
      Hotchner: No, it's not a joke.

    • Section Chief Erin Strauss: So, do we have a working theory?
      Morgan: Sure we do. Somebody really doesn't like women.

    • Section Chief Erin Strauss: This is your fifth victim, right?
      Det. Wolynski: Yes.
      Section Chief Erin Strauss: You should have called us sooner.
      Det. Wolynski: I thought we had a handle on it.
      Section Chief Erin Strauss: Apparently not.

    • Garcia: (answering phone) Talk dirty to me.
      Section Chief Erin Strauss: This is Section Chief Erin Strauss.
      Garcia: (horrified and red-faced) Ma'am, I think it goes without saying that I was expecting it to be someone else.
      Garcia(answering phone later) FBI Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia speaking.

    • Hotchner: George Washington said, "Let your heart feel for the affliction and distress of everyone."

  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode marked the final appearance of Mandy Patinkin as SSA Jason Gideon.

    • The song played at the beginning of this episode was "Make a Memory" by Bon Jovi. The song played at the end of this episode was "Broken" by Lifehouse. Other music was "Barely Holding On" by Wes Nickson and "Get It Poppin" by Nelly.

    • Originally titled "In Name and Blood," this episode was moved from season-opener to second in airing order after "Doubt" was moved from the previous season.


    • Det. Wolynski mentioned that Milwaukee was known for Happy Days reruns. This series was a situation comedy set in the 1950s-1960s about an idyllic family that lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    • Reid: (to Detective Wolynski) You worked the Jeffrey Dahmer case…

      Dahmer was a cannibalistic serial killer who was convicted in 1992 of the murder of 15 young men. When Milwaukee police searched his apartment they were horrified to find decomposing bodies and an altar made from human skulls. He was sentenced to 15 consecutive life sentences and was beaten to death in 1994 by a fellow inmate.