Criminal Minds

Season 2 Episode 10

Lessons Learned

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 22, 2006 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
643 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Gideon, Reid and Prentiss travel to Guantanamo Bay to interrogate the leader of a terror sleeper cell being detained there after a chemical weapons dispersal device is discovered during a raid at a suspicious house. Working with Reid, Emily's fluency in Arabic proves to be useful as they scrutinize the suspect.moreless

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# 6
  • Masterful plotting, and acting

    Brilliant interrogation scheme. That such good occurs at gitmo may be a total fantasy. But, it is a powerful one.
  • Gideon, Reid and Prentiss interrogate the leader of a terror sleeper cell.

    This wasn't my type of Criminal Minds episode but was an OK episode where Gideon, Reed and Prentiss interrogate a leader of a terror sleeper cell to find out the location of the next attack because they found chemical weapons in a suspicious house This is the first case for Prentiss and she proves useful because she can speak Arabic which can help in the interrogation There was also some good character moments when Garcia thought Morgan had been killed in the explosion so she calls him In the end Gideon got what he wanted when he tricked Jind Allah to giving them the location they need at a shopping mall and Morgan and the SWAT team manage to get there in time to stop the attack thanks to good profiling.moreless
  • A new definition for the "Gitmo Twist".

    One of the advantages Criminal Minds has over other crime shows is its realism. Some of the situations may leave the viewers wondering if there are really people out there who have such little regard for human life, or, on the other hand, if there are people who are as damaged by life as some of the unsubs they meet. But, in their hearts, the viewers know. The Criminal Minds world is the real world – we may not want to believe it, but it’s true. There really are about 30 serial criminals out there at any one time. We really do need to warn our children about the guy who lives next door. And there really are terrorists who want to destroy America. One of the people who knows this better than any of us is Jim Clemente, real-life FBI profiler and writer of this important episode.

    Counter-terrorism is the FBI’s number one priority in post-9/11 America, and “Lessons Learned” reminds us that we are still far from safe. It wasn’t that long ago that my neighbors in metro-Washington were buying out the entire inventory of plastic sheeting and duct tape in local home stores because of the threat of a “dirty-bomb”. Agent Clemente’s powerful script, coupled with the amazing acting of Mandy Patinkin and Anthony Azizi, brought reality into our living rooms in a way that news magazines and CNN can’t touch. Beyond even the content, the episode was utterly fantastic on other levels. Bracketing the ep with Hotch and his family was a brilliant way to bring this huge event down to a personal level – even if global concerns escape your notice, who couldn’t identify with a man frightened about the safety of his wife and son? The twist of seemingly honest and sincere Gideon moving up the times of Jind Allah’s prayers worked – and worked beautifully - because of the acting of Patinkin, Gubler and Brewster. And who doesn’t love the naked emotion shown by Kirsten Vangsness when Garcia is afraid for her boys?

    A departure from the norm? Yes. A big risk? Sure. But “Lessons Learned” should go down as one of the best episodes of CM ever. I wish I could give it a 12. Thank you, Agent Clemente, and all the people you work with, for serving.moreless
  • Excellent profiling work!

    This was another really good episode, although I personallt don't enjoy the terrorism theme as much as the episodes like 'The Boogeyma'n or 'North Mammon'. The case was still very interesting, with an interesting mental battle between Gideon and a terrorist!

    I enjoyed to see Prentiss working her first case, and we learnt a lot about her past, which is a great thing! She is a great charafcter, and they are developing her well at this point.

    There was quite a bit of suspense in the episode, as well, which I always think is brilliant! The bombing at the trap-site and the anthrax release at the shopping mall were tense moments, that really left fyou on the edge of year seat! Right where we should be!

    Keep it up, Criminal Minds! This episode was fantastic, although not the best one of the season. Great work, I'd highly recommend it, and I can't wait to see more!moreless
  • A brilliant written by a real BAU member, a class apart!

    There is something about Mandy Patinkin that compels me to watch him, he has a certain something special and for me that really shone through in this outstanding episode.

    I think the fact that this episode was written by an actual BAU member made its impact even greater. Written by anyone else you always have that element of disbelieve, not being able to be 100% sure how accurate it is. Knowing that the person who wrote it lets you know its real, ok it probably has a very slight tv glamour added, but the story itself has to be pretty spot on. Whatever we all believe about the use of these camps, you have to wonder at the treatment of the prisoners. The way it was written was very clever, you felt for the detainee in many ways. He was being deprived of some of our very basic rights, but then he was responsible for such horrors. For me it made the dilema of what is right in these circumstance much more real. Not something I imagine I am often going to say about a TV programme!

    Watching Gideons range of emotions and his reactions to the detainee helped the audiende to live the drama along with him. I really can't say enough about how brilliant I thought Patinkin was in this episode.

    There was so much to this episode its hard to belief they fitted it in to 42 mins! Waiting for Morgan to answer Garcias call had me on the edge of my seat. I also enjoyed seeing the personal struggle Hotch went through. He loves his family so much but he's also the ultimate professional, having to breach protocol must be so difficult for someone like Hotch.

    I hope the writer has the opportunity to do more episodes after the high standard of this one!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

Paget Brewster

Paget Brewster

SSA Emily Prentiss

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Anthony Azizi

Anthony Azizi

Jind Allah

Guest Star

Wiley Pickett

Wiley Pickett

CIA Agent #1

Guest Star

Roger Ranney

Roger Ranney

DEA Agent Ken Norwood

Guest Star

Meredith Monroe

Meredith Monroe

Haley Hotchner

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Jind Allah: Is it your intention, Mr. Gideon, to become a man of faith and revert to Islam?
      Gideon: I am a man of faith. I have repented, I pray regularly, and I practice charity. I have never committed violence against you, so how is it that my faith would allow you to live and worship as you please, and yours would take my life and snuff it out?

    • Gideon: Those people tonight... they were innocent. They never hurt you.
      Jind Allah: They hurt me by existing.

    • Gideon: How can you ignore the fact that Mohammed preached passivity while he was at Mecca. "Do no violence."
      Jind Allah: His later message from Medina was perfectly clear. "When violence come upon you, you must fight back with violence."

    • Gideon: (about the dead SWAT agent) What do you say to his family?
      Jind Allah: I say, "Where were you to mourn when my son was murdered?"

    • Morgan: We lost a SWAT agent.
      Garcia: Oh, God.
      Morgan: Don't worry, I don't think you're gonna get rid of me that easy.

    • Jind Allah: What kind of name is Gideon?
      : American.
      Jind Allah: I forgot. In your culture, you put your country first. And your god last.

    • Morgan: We've got 48 hours to do what the CIA couldn't do in two months.

    • Reid: (to Prentiss about the chess game he was playing with Gideon) I was winning.
      Prentiss: Actually, he would have had you in three.

    • Haley: (discussing the terror alert) It's bad, isn't it?
      Hotchner: No, I'm sure it'll be okay.
      Haley: Don't lie to me.
      Hotchner: Yeah, it's bad.

    • Gideon: We receive comfort from our prayers.
      Jind Allah: We?
      Gideon: Human beings (pauses)... I say something wrong?
      Jind Allah: You placed us on the same level.
      Gideon: Aren't we?
      Jind Allah: Well, here, I am thought of as less than human.
      Gideon: And in your jihad, I am.

    • Jind Allah: Who is your worst enemy, Agent Gideon?
      Gideon: It's not a who, it's a what. Ignorance.

    • Agent Bingaman: Two weeks ago, word got out that one of the other detainees was spilling secrets. Jind Allah managed to have a three-minute conversation with him in the shower line. That night, the other detainee committed suicide.

    • Reid: Yet the words 'holy' and 'war' never appear together in the Qur'an.

    • Gideon: Dale Turner mused, "Some of the best lessons are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom of the future."

    • Gideon: Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "In order to learn the important lessons in life, one must each day surmount a fear."

  • NOTES (2)

    • "Lessons Learned" won the 2007 Human Rights First Award for Excellence in Television for its humane portrayal of detainee interrogation. The Awards Dinner, a $10,000-a-plate affair at the Chelsea Piers with Sigourney Weaver in attendance, was held on October 15, 2007.

    • This episode was written by Jim Clemente, a real-life FBI profiler. Clemente used the episode to honor a BAU friend and colleague, Andrew Bingaman, by naming a character after his friend, who died of lymphoma the day the episode outline was turned in.


    • Reid: The letter sent to Tom Daschle's office contained two grams of anthrax, enough to kill 25 million people if distributed effectively.

      Reid is referring to the anthrax attacks that took place in September 2001 shortly after 9/11. Besides Senator Tom Daschle, letters containing anthrax were sent to Senator Patrick Leahy and several media outlets. Five people died and seventeen others became ill. The crime remains unsolved.

    • Garcia answers the phone by saying, "Speak," in the same manner as the outgoing message on Mark and Roger's answering machine in the musical Rent.