Criminal Minds

Season 3 Episode 2

In Birth and Death

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Oct 03, 2007 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (24)

Write A Review
out of 10
890 votes
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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 off
  • 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!
  • A Serial Killer. The Behavioral analysis and the team. Missing/abducted type-specific victims. The twist: A child used as bait and victim of his own father.

    This is a great example of the series focus. In the Mix: 1. The Serial Killer (Its sometimes nice to have the Unsub pre-defined and BAU criteria met; Still, sometimes its not). This particular episode is at the core of the series plot, and an excellent choice for an unsub with pre-defined BAU criteria. 2. The Behavioral analysis. The unsub is still at large, and a development of plot as the team rushes to put together a profile to hunt down the Serial Killer. Classic series structure.
    3. Missing/abducted type-specific victims. 4. The twist: A child caught in the middle; Used as bait, and the victim of his own father. Yet again the team work together despite opinions vs scientific methodology pinning the characters seemingly against one another. The usual banter is there; But it is refreshing and always character developing.

    * Keep these coming CBS. (Pssst. these are best viewed in 720p...) ;)
  • Review

    They could have not have gotten rid of Jason in a much better way then what they had to work with. Two episodes, a very believable exit from Jason and that will be the end of him on Criminal Minds. It sucks and because of the hatred that surrounded Manny for leaving the show I doubt he will ever return anytime in the near future. The fact that Aaron is in big trouble right now is a little confusing, you would think he would be the last one on the hot seat in this episode but Erin wants him gone. It looks like the events of this case opened up her eyes to what Aaron has to do, no matter if she likes him or not. I thought the episode itself was good - the storyline was a little sketchy, but overall it was a solid storyline. I thought the girl that he had would be the one that was rescued, but that turned out to not be the case. She died randomly during the episode. I didn't like the guys M.O. changing at the end of the episode like that, but that was more of the kids fauly as opposed to the Dad. The kid knew the Dad's routine and simply brought him a woman from school without having the Dad asked him. Overall - can't ask for much more from Criminal Minds.
  • Goodbyes..

    Oh.. I think this whole episode was somehow torturing - I at least was much more interested what happened with Gideon rather than deal with the case.. And it felt so weird when only three of them first went - so few of them still left, but two returned.. The case was something really different - to use a boy as a mean to get those woman, and he knows what is going on. I just cannot imagine that.. what he feels or how the father thought he does anything good for him.

    And Hotchner - I think this was just a matter of time before his wife has enough of that job.. and the choice he made in the end - that will rise many problems.

    And ending.. I really say I cried.. I liked that ending, I do, it could have been much worse but still.. Gideon was very important part of that team.. it will be weird without him.
  • Surprise. Where are Gideon, Emily and Hotch? Nobody knows and the team starts to investigate a new case about some killed women with just Morgan, Reid and JJ.

    Surprise. Where are Gideon, Emily and Hotch? Nobody knows and the team starts to investigate a new case about some killed women with just Morgan, Reid and JJ. But they have a very special "help" from the Section Chief Erin Strauss who travels to Milwaukee with the profilers.

    The story is very interesting. Strauss makes Hotchner ask for a job in another division and Prentiss quits because she doesn't want to betray her boss. Knowing that he'll have problems at home, Hotch decides to look into the case and asks Prentiss to go to Milwaukee with him and to help the team.

    We see the nonexistent relationship between Strauss and the BAU members and how she realizes that the fieldwork is not for her. The last scene when Emily gets inside the house to save the last kidnapped woman is very exciting.

    I also have to say that being a huge fan of "Third Watch", it's great to see both Eddie Cibrian and Yvonne Jung on this episode. A very good one to watch.
  • Gideon is still MIA, Hotch has been suspended by Erin Strauss and Prentiss has resigned from the FBI so that leaves a greatly depleted BAU team to investigate the case of several missing women.

    The unsub in this episode was very creepy, but his 'accomplice' was even creepier due to the fact that he was just a young child.

    A dying man uses his son as bait to draw unsuspecting woman to places where they can be easily abducted and then held prisoner in their highly fortified, escape-proof home. The woman are expected to act as a surrogate mother to the young boy who is clearly incredibly emotionally scarred by the things his dominant and violent father is making him do. When the women have outlived their 'usefullness', they are murdered and discarded. Soon, the boy, who knows the routine well by now, lures another one to take their place.

    In spite of being officially off the team, Hotch and Prentiss arrive to give a helping hand , and it is Prentiss who gets the job done when she enters the house of horrors after gaining the trust of the boy.

    The father is caught, but he has less than six months to live so he won't have to 'suffer' for long, but what about his son? What does the future hold for him?

    Naturally, Hotch and Prentiss are eventually re-instated, but at what cost? And will Strauss ever just leave Hotch alone to get on with his job? Somehow, I doubt it.
  • Very sppooky episode.

    This was another vry good episode of Criminal Minds, and also the farewell episode for one of the most important characters.

    The case that was investigated was qutie intriguing, as a man was killing women and removing thei r hearts, but using his son to lure the women in. Very spooky!

    Another aspect that made this episode interesting was the involvement of Erin Strauss in the case. I really hate her character, but it really created some tense dynamics between our favorites.

    The episode ends wiht major changes in two of our main characters' lives. One character leaves forever, while another sees his loved ones leave. Very moving stuff.

    Overall, this was a phenomenl episode, and I would highly recommend it! I really enjoyed the storyline and the team dynamics were great. Keep it up, KCriminal Minds!
  • Gideon exits the BAU.

    Well I was pleasantly suprised and relieved that Gideon did not off himself but decided to Jack Kerouc it on the road.I suppose it would be a time of reflection for him considering he went into the BAU all those years ago to do something of significance and with losing an old friend he just couldn't see the point anymore. Atleast this leaves a door for Mandy Patinkin to return if he ever decides to. I loved the way Hotch stepped up and over the Erin Strauss character and he and Prentiss showed their courage and backbone. It was priceless when Garcia said "talk dirty to me" , then it was Strauss on the other end of the conversation. All in all not a bad episode but I will miss Mandy Patinkin. Cheers!
  • This episode was one of the best for the new season, if this is any idea of how the rest of the season is going to shape up, we're in for a reat treat!!

    This episode was the best so far of the new season!! A smart thriller!! And, not only that the serial killer was hot!! It was the perfect guilty pleasure for the series, besides the king fisher episodes, and the one with James Van Deerbek as the guest star. From what I can tell the next few episodes look really good. This was the true good episode of the new season. I can't wait to see how the rest of the season turns out. And, of course Erin Strauss got exactly what she deserves, I never liked her, even though she's just a guest star. Like I said this episode kicked off the season well!!
  • We find out what happens to Gideon.

    I thought that this was an incridible episode it had me really nervous the whole time wondering if Gideon killed himelf. I was really happy to find out that he didn't and he left the team instead. I was really disappointed the Hotch's wife can understand that he like his job and really does not want to leave that she had to leave him instead but I can not say I seen that coming. I liked the storyline for this episode evan though I could not understand why the unsub was useing his kid as bait or that he would tell his kid to point a gun at someone.
  • Now this was brilliant!

    I wish there was some way this could have been the season primere like it was intended to be. Sometimes, the best things in life are worth waiting for.

    I can't decide who was creepier, the kid or the dad. The dad threatening to kill his own kid, and the kid bringing the nurse home all on his own were equally terrifying.

    For the very first time, someone mentioned Reid and the drugs. I seriously had long ago started to assume they had totally forgotten that storyline. I mean, he never acts stoned or out of it. And with one tiny, almost forgettable exception, we haven't had a single mention of the drugs since the episode after his abduction, where he had them in his hand in the bathroom. And now, finally Hotch mentions it. Thank goodness it hasn't been forgotten. I hope the storyline gets continued this season.

    Speaking of Reid, I *heart* that he's the one who most missed Gideon, he's the one who went to the cabin, and he's the one who solved the mystery of what kind of kid it was, because he was the same type of child. Good use of him.

    In fact, good use of Reid, Morgan, and JJ. Even without half their team, they played their own parts and did fantastically. The only person who felt at all strangle to me was Haley. She's usually unhappy when Hotch goes away, but deals. Now, seeing the possibility of him being able to stay, she seemed so angry and nasty the whole time. It didn't suit her. I've always liked how she's wasn't the traditional, sterotypical TV wife of a cop, always mad that he's leaving and in danger and stuff, so I'm not a fan of her changing around in this episode. If she divorces him over the job, I'll be very annoyed. She gets away with it for the episode however, because there was a silver lining of a 9 to 5 job in front of them.

    I love Gideon's exit. The suicide thing that we were left with last week left me very dissapointed. I love the idea of him just...leaving. It fits.

  • This episode had me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

    It was one of the best episodes. I was already on edge because I was worried about what was going to happen to Gideon, and because Hotch being fired, then Prentiss puts in a resign form. When this happened I was so shocked but I was proud that Prentiss did not give any information out on the team. The next shocking thing that happened was when they brought the boy in. I thought I was going to be sick. That really made me upset. Then finally figured out what happened to Gideon. I was so happy that he did not kill him self. Over all this is going to be a grate season. I can't wait.
  • The episode in which at least temporarily we lose Gideon as a team member and as for the case we have a true monster for the team to deal with. A typically horrifying case of a man who

    The episode in which at least temporarily we lose Gideon as a team member and as for the case we have a true monster for the team to deal with. A typically horrifying case of a man who uses his son to lure woman and cut there hearts out. Along the way we get to see the awful director look like an idiot. She's never been in the field but hides behind her title just to boss people around. We're taken from Hodges quitting the Bau to staying and the introduction of his wife possibly having an affair and by episode's end she has left him. Prentiss came back to the team to help out and had a hair raising encounter with the psychopath. Finally the big question what happen to Gideon on a journey of self discovery and freedom from the past. This was a great episode with everything we love about Criminal minds from the cast to the personal and professional conflicts of the team and Garcia's wholly inappropriate comments this episode had it all and I can't wait to see what the team does with Hodge at the helm.

    This episode had so much going on from Hotch requesting a transfer, to Prentiss quitting, Gideon MIA and Strauss taking over. Then we also have Aaron and Haley's martial issues and a serial murderer. The case in an of itself was very classic Criminal Minds. A sick murderer who uses his own son to lure his victims. Then he kidnaps, tortures then murders them. All to teach his son something? Sick. Then we have the turmoil within the team. Reid obviously worried about a missing Gideon but still needing to do his job. Prentiss wanting to show her loyalty but being pressed to be a snitch. She opts to take the high road. Hotch having both work and home troubles. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I loved Penny's phone call with Strauss was hysterical. I also like the fact of there was some attention to Strauss' lack of field experience. Proving not everyone is capable of being in the BAU.
  • one of my favorite episodes ever!

    The team is called in for a case where middle class women are going missing and found two days later with their hearts carved out. I really liked the case; it was interesting. I liked the little boy character, but he was creepy. At the end, the dad said he never told the boy to bring home the nurse...creepy...the boy is going to grow up to be like daddy. Not only was the case interesting in this episode, but the character struggles and dynamics were awesome. I loved how the leader lady person (I forgot her name) freaked out in the field. I also loved the whole story with Hotch and his wife. She left him...that was sad. And of course, Gideon's story. He left, went off to no where in particular. I like that they're changing the show up a little, even though I love Gideon, but something tells me that we'll see Gideon again. Overall, amazing episode and probably my favorite ever.
  • Relieved they did not portray real BAU as losers who become junkies, murderers or blow their brains out. It is likely the real BAU job costs real BAU people their marriage(s)and believable Gideon would need to just quietly leave all the craziness behind.

    It is believable that the job is extremely hard on marriages. Whether Hotchner's wife comes back or we only see her when he gets the kid on his weekends, that's real life. The writers and acters made us feel that pain. Liked Emily's hair in a pony tail - she didn't look like Morticia without the long straight dark hair framing her pale face. Loved the way Penelope's jovial, risque banter shocked the tight ass Section Chief. Enjoyed it when Hotchner told Penelope that the "glitches" with their transfers in the computer system had to stop. Wouldn't take a near psychic profiler to figure that one out! Gideon deserved to drive off into the sunset and get away from all the insanity. He did NOT deserve to go psycho himself and blow his brains out. Good set up. Good ending. If we had to lose yet another character, at least they let him go respectfully without making it seem like the the real BAU is made up of a bunch of yo yo's.
  • All I can say is one word! WHEW!! Glad the team is back btw!

    The dad in tonight's episode was not just sick but
    BEYOND sick! As he uses his young son to lure
    Women in, in order just to kill them. As the team,
    Minus Prentiss, Gideon, and Hotch are left to pick up the
    Pieces as it becomes apparent that the left need the others
    Especially with Gideon may doing the unthinkable. But lo & behold, Prentiss and Gideon return! Which helped out the team as they were running out of leads and most of all, out of time. Even though the team as the section chief puts it, won't get any promotions. Loved Hotch's response like "I don't care one bit!" Thank goodness, Gideon didn't kill himself. As it would had led you to believe in previews. He was just leaving the Bureau as he left that letter to Spencer. Makes you wonder if Hotch told Spencer if Gideon had a cabin. As Gideon knew that Spencer would get the note, written just for him. Also makes you wonder if there will be appearances for him in the near future?
  • "FBI Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia speaking..."

    Now THIS is a season opener! Where the last pieced together episode was good, this was a great one! They obviously put a lot of effort into making it so.
    I loved how Strauss looked more and more ruffled up the longer she was in the field (hair sticking out and all ;)).
    And the team had a tough time, trying to work a case with 3 men missing!
    Good thing Hotchner and Prentiss are back now!

    I'm really glad I was right about Gideon not committing suicide, although I thought he had addressed the letter to Hotchner - since Reid didn't seem to know about the cabin and Hotch did.
    It was really nice to see everyone come home to afterwards (Prentiss has got a great view!) But I did not see it coming that Haley left without one last fight, without a goodbye. Just picked up Jake and left…

    Great case, with a profile for 2 "unsubs" ; the real unsub, and his son.

    Most disturbing/scary moment: the unsubs' son pointing a gun at the team.
  • Nerve-wracking to watch because last week I thought Geidon killed hisself and he was missing this entire episode so I thought he was dead.

    It is good that Geidon did not kill himself because he was really needed in every case they got and I don't know but is Geidon's character ever coming back. I think so and I give him 4 episodes before he returns back to the cast up and ready to go. And whats going on with the leader of the teams wife she went nuts on him in this episode and I don't know why because didn't she know this was his job when she married him and now she wants him to stop and throw it all behind him. To me that don't make any sense and she is wrong for taking his son away so I know more drama is ahead for him so this episode was nerve-wracking.
  • What an ending for Gideon.

    I was not looking forward to this episode because it would be the last for Mand Patakin's charcter. After last week's ending I did not know how they were going to have Gideon leave, would it be by quitting, or would his personal problems that have effected him since the killing of his girl friend be to much and he committed suicide. Both scenarios were up in the air with the way that the opener ended. Personally I was glad that the writers had you thinking for the whole episode and you do not find out until the last scene that Gideon has quit. This way it leaves it open for him to return laster if that works out.
    Great episode also glad JJ and Hochner are not leaving.