Criminal Minds

Season 2 Episode 10

Lessons Learned

Aired Wednesday Nov 22, 2006 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (29)

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • Woaaaaaaw!!

    This episode was cool! If we are talking about terorist things then it's almost always the Mid-East... But one thing is a little bit too strange for me. If they know that they kill 250 million people with that crap, why do they make it?? Why is it always Dutch firma's?.. it makes our country bad xD But I love it how they speak Dutch names ^^ Yeah.. the new one is okay I think.. She is smart, not so smart as Reid. Sometimes I think that people are in love with their belief. Blegh I hate it ! *
  • Excelente episódio, um dos melhores até hoje. A equipe precisa deter um atentado terrorista que acontecerá em menos de 48h.

    Este episódio narra como a equipe precisa deter um atentado terrorista, descoberto sem querer em uma batida policial. Para isso eles se dividem, com Gideon, Dr. Reid e Prentiss indo até a prisão de Guantanamo em Cuba entrevistar aquele que parece ser o cabeça do atentado, enquanto Hotch e Morgan ficam investigando no local.

    Episódio que faz o coração bater forte a ponto de ser escutado pela gente. O final é incrível, super bem bolado. Além disso, a nova agente se mostra bastante útil e parece ser um personagem melhor do que era Greenaway. Como sempre, o roteiro é muito bom, desta vez escrito por um agente "profiler" real.
  • great episode...

    Gideon, Reid, and the new agent tavel to Guantanamo Bay to interrogate a jihad activists to try to find out where his cell is going to attack with amthrax. In the end, they trick him to giving the location and billions are saved. It was very intelligent, the way that they tricked him, and it was very interesting. I also loved the whole mini-story with Hotch and his family. It was so sweet! I love their relationship. She seems to understand his job and his hours and she just wants him to be safe. Oh, then there's that new agent. She's annoying. I don't like her. She's like an annoying know-it-all and she just doesn't work for me. Anyways, great episode, great story, it almost seemed political, but it was great.
  • Review

    Liked the episode a lot thought I must say that Giedeon really was the only one of the main actors to really shine in this episode. I think the writers give some of the actors an episode or two each season where they show why they are so important to the team. The fact that Gideon was playing with the man from the beginning was amazing. I knew at the end he was tricking him into trying to get the man to tell the location of the attack, but I had no idea Gideon continued to move up the time table from the beginning. Hotchner and Morgan didn't have the best storyline in this one. They went from place to place searching for the location but they didn't seem like they were fitting into the timeline. I suppose between the trailer getting blown up and the bust at the house that they must have had a small break but it didnt seem to me like they get the full 48 hours. Cant argue with the little things about an episode though. Overall it has been a lot of what Season two has been - very well written and a great way to spend an hour of my time. I think slowly introducing the new girl is a great path to take and I cant wait to see more of the show from here on out.
  • A major thread.

    A different side of storyline - there is a possibilty of major terrorist attack and Gideon has to do what CIA failed it two months - get information.

    I most say this episode worked many purpose - one was to introduce new char, the other major one was to show the Hotchner's world - he does this dangerous thing but has kid and wife.. and the last scene - what a powerful one.. he sitting there, knowing that his family might have been in that mall.. And if he had failed.. And ofcourse - maybe somehow even the best part was the dialoge between that prisoner and Gideon..
  • The team gets involved when a DEA bust uncovers what looks like a terrorist attack in the making.

    I enjoyed this episode from beginning to end. Each part was well played. The terrorist who were setting up the hit were very smark, dragging the government agencies along and only allowing them to see what they wanted them to see. But the BAU team was great, too. Following the clues, and in the end managing to be far enough ahead of the terrorists to get the win. There was a lot to like here: The team is split, half are sent to Gitmo to try to break a suspected member of the terrorist cell who is being held there. The other half remains behind to follow the clues at home. We're more fully intrudcued to Emily Prentiss, the newest member of the team. She immediately shows her usefulness to the team as she's able to speak Arabic, which happens to be needed for this case. Gideon shows some reservations about her, but Hotch insists that Gideon will need her at Guantanamo Bay. Reid goes to Guantanamo Bay as well. I liked the humanity that is shown in the way the team cares for one another. Garcia when she thinks one of them may have been hurt in a bomb. JJ, while waiting for information. Gideon, in his need to get the information to Hotch that the raid they're conducting is a trap. I also thought Hotch's conflict with regard to warning his wife about the danger is a nice touch. A very good episode which show cases all of the characters.
  • A remarkable episode.

    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.

    Lessons Learned was an unexpected treat for the fans of the show and was somewhat of a departure from the usual lineup of serial killers being captured by the BAU. Mandy Patinkin was given the opportunity to demonstrate his finely honed acting ability, and we were able to glimpse what might be happening with the War on Terror and what the U.S. government is doing to prevent another attack on our soil. How will the writers be able to follow this one?
  • Gideon and the team are dealing with a home grown terrorism plot.

    If I had never seen this show before, I would have instantly become a fan of it, and especially of the acting abilities of Mandy Patinkin. It happens that I saw it as a rerun in midseason, but that's the delight of discovering a show when it's into its run--we get to explore all kinds of previous episodes. The actor who plays the terrorist at Guantanamo Bay under interrogation also is mesmerizing in his interplay with Gideon. Being just an ordinary citizen of a democratic and peaceful country, I have no idea if this sort of interaction would truly happen or be effective, or if there can ever be a bridge between two such diametrically opposed factions of humanity. But it was amazing to watch, and gave viewers a lot to think about.
  • Today's FBI -- at last!

    Of the ten broadcast network series that began their 2006-2007 seasons and that either featured an FBI agent as a regular character or had an FBI unit's operations as its theme, only two have regularly featured plotlines dealing with counter-terrorism. This is quite curious in the post-9/11 world in which the FBI was supposed to have re-focused its primary function toward counter-terrorism. It was gratifying to see "Criminal Minds" finally featuring a case involving the profiling of a high-value Islamist terrorist cell organizer in an attempt to thwart an unthinkable massive anthrax attack on the U.S. Gideon ingeniously draws out Jind by engaging him in a discussion on his brand of Islam and how it differs from the billion of Muslims who practice their faith in peace. In short order, and with the invaluable help of Reid and newly-acquired Arabic-speaking Agent Emily Prentiss, Jind is identified as an Egyptian victim of a Hezbollah market-bombing who chooses to believe instead that it was an American-Israeli attack that killed his son. But there is more driving Abazza than mere revenge. Gideon knows the dirty little secret of Islam -- that it is a faith rooted in violence that was spread by force west through Africa and east through Asia during the three centuries following the death of Mohammed until it eventually morphed into a more complacent form of the faith much like today's brand. Reid correctly points out that the words 'holy" and "war" never appear together in the Koran. However, the meaning of "jihad" to Abazza and the many others like him is much more complex than the struggle that began a millennium ago between Muslims and so-called Christians calling themselves Crusaders. By killing millions of infidels who have refused to embrace Islam, the jihadists will be showing the billion apostates what happens when Allah's protection is not upon them; and hopefully get them to come to their senses and embrace the Wahabi mentality that constitutes the "true Islam". Gideon seems frustrated when Abazza raises the circular reasoning that he will know when the jihad is over when Allah tells him it is. How can you counter this with logic regarding the innocent lives that would be lost? Even when there is a successful result and no anthrax release, Gideon acknowledges with resignation that the good outcome was "this time". He fears that inevitably the purveyors of hatred will one day find success. OK, the two series with FBI counter-terrorists? "NCIS" (with Special Agent Tobias Fornell) and "Numb3rs" on CBS. The other eight? "Without a Trace" and "Smith" on CBS; "Prison Break", "Bones", "Standoff", and "Vanished" on Fox; and "Kidnapped" on NBC. What about "24" on Fox? Ahh, the fictional CTU is an autonomous agency. Why else would Jack have been handed over to the FBI after his arrest in Episode 14 of Day One?
  • Gideon gets into the mind of a Jihad operative and uses his knowledge and understanding to create a bridge.

    I think this episode really spoke a lot about the issues in Iraq and how we treat those around us. Gideon did an awesome job operating on the same wavelength and really working the angles to get his answers. Delving into the mind of someone who has belief systems like we have our own and respect them was refreshing. Gideon didn't go in hating but understanding. Love Reid as always but not really liking the new chick. If she is this good and her parents are connected, why is she wasting her time on the team. Get someone who actually contributes, learns and teaches the job of profiling.
  • A very good episode, but one question stay : Where was Jack Bauer ?

    True, it was a very well written episode, who doesn't play tings easy and stay with the complexity of the terorrists.

    The new girl character is well expose and the action in two places works find. I loved the dialogue scenes between Gideon and the terrorist. I also love the fact that the show doesn't hide and say, quietly, few thing about Guantanamo (Like Gideon say to the soliders : "Amazing what you can learn about someone when you talk with him..."). At the end, they play him well (altough it was a little easy)...

    A good episode who show that this show can do a lot more than chasing serial killers and rapers. That can only mean good thing for the future (of the show)...
  • Has this show won an Emmy??

    I don't know why this show doesn't get more accolades. If CSI is the best CBS crime show, then Criminal Minds may be 1A. This episode was a departure from the usual serial killer profile that the show normally has. This one was about terrorism. But unlike CSI: Miami's episode this week, this one was more believable. Agent Gideon has to play cat and mouse with an imprisoned Al-Queda like leader to determine the next terrorist plot. When I first saw the previews of this episode, I balked at it because it reminded me too much of 9/11. But after watching it for the first half hour, it really moved me. Gripping episode.
  • BAU helping on a terrist case a great use of the team and the capabilities woking together..

    Brought in to profile a terrorist who will not talk .. Gideon asses the situation quickly and realising he mus use a completely diffrent tack to get the terrorist to talk he gives the nice guy approach tactic and it works.. Convincing the terrorist he just wants to understand his postition he get clues from the new profiler with Reods help.. Hotchner out on the field. With sleeper cells freatning to cause castrophic disaters by using chemical weapons the race is on to get information from the terrorist.. Gideon uses his words wisely and manipulates him to give the information needed using pretence and interest.. Reid helping behind the scences although showing signs of incompetence against the new girl. A surprising ending with Hotchner worried for his familys safty as they were supposed to be in the shoppong mall..
  • Profilers are called in because they need to figure out how this "sick" individual thinks. Only problem is, he is only considered a sickass criminal by US because he is on the "other side." He is not only sane but heroic to his people.

    I kept thinking that guy would never trust Gideon about what time it was regarding prayer time or anything for that matter. Name rank and serial number is what a soldier would have given, but this guy let Gideon chat him up??? I was, however, downright proud of Prentiss when she confronted Gideon with "That's not an answer?", then embarrassed for her when she fearfully added "Sir." I cringed when she got so excited that Gideon asked her to play chess that she almost wet her pants. Get a backbone, girl. Gideon and Hotchner are not "Gods", just mortals.
  • Back in Action

    I must say this episode of CM was back on target. It reminded my of why I really love this show. Finally Gideon returns to his roots as a master at profiling. Don\'t get me wrong, I love almost each and every episode, but it seemed that this one showed the essence of the show. CM is deep down about getting into the minds of criminals and cracking their ploys. Gideon knew how make Jind feel that he really cared about his religion when in reality he was just trying to get information out of him. Moving the time up instead of using a clock was ingenious and proved how intellegent the team is. Kudos to this episode for showing viewers was CM is really all about
  • In order to learn the important lessons in life, one must each day surmount to fear.

    Very well written episode.
    I found it very interesting to see the two intelligent men battling it out verbally in the interrogation room. First Gideon slowly trying to gain his trust while Jind/Jamal was sizing him up, and then continuing on to convince him that he merely wanted to understand him, to study him ( versus trying to pry loose where the anthrax attack was going to happen.)
    Very clever plan, moving up his prayer times.
    Maybe even more believable if they hadn’t immediately showed the TV screen, but had waited for him to ask for confirmation.
    Never once throughout this episode I felt like they had done this whole anthrax/AlQaida/sleeper cell plot before.
    It was great to see the new girl blending in so nicely, yet still trying to impress everyone ( intentionally or not) and trying to find her way.
    Sadly I didn’t catch the “They killed Kenny” reference until a friend told me.
    I wonder what else I missed ;)
  • Was this terrorist week on tv?

    This was one of two shows I watched this week involving sleeper cells and terrorism. When in doubt borrow from Homeland Security. Gideon screwing with the terrorist's mind was interesting. Showing the audience that the agencies still don't talk to another was informative. Loved that Garcia got all broken up when she thought Morgan was dead.
  • Gideon and team at Gitmo interviewing a possible terrorist jihadist.

    This episode was a nerve-wracking experience loaded with great action, Gideon at his best, Reid with his analysis, and the new gal Prentiss who is fluent in Arabic and plays chess as well it seems. A detainee being held at Gitmo is suspected to be the leader of a terrorist cell intent on releasing anthrax into the american public resulting in billions of deaths. The only chance the fbi/cia have is if Agent Gideon can somehow get a rapport established with the detainee so he can hopefully get the prisoner to give up details of where this attack is scheduled to happen.
    The episode has alot relevant to today's concerns over homegrown terrorists and sleeper cells working in the USA and it is presented well with a believable protrayal. Gideon was brilliant as usual, Garcia comes through as usual, Hotch and Morgan strong in the field, and Prentiss' appearance in her first episode was promising, I actually liked her and she seems capable and extremely intelligent. Overall this episode was a solid and strong edition of this very popular show.
  • Gideon, Reid and Prentiss travel to Guantanamo Bay to interrogate the leader of a terror sleeper cell. Realistic?

    I especially liked this episode because it stepped away from the (for me) surreal world of serial killers to the (again for me) more relevant fear of terrorist actions.

    I was fascinated by the dialogue between Jind Allah and Gideon, but such a shame that the script writers took the easy way out ..

    o Jind Allah was a way, way-out fanatic
    o home-grown terrorists were dismissed as <those who slipped through the cracks; the ones that traditional groups wouldn't touch.>

    I would much have preferred it if, having picked this theme, they had made this a double episode and explored the mind(s) of
    o a recruiter whose motivation was that he believed that the western world actively abetted in anti-Muslim policies.
    o recruited young idealistic Muslims who believed that they were acting on behalf of their repressed brethren in other lands.

    Not so mind-blowing perhaps, but more realistic and, in one way, far more scary.
  • Life imitating art in Guatanamo Bay!

    The team go to Guantanamo Bay as they interrogate a
    Prisoner in the Bay as well as knowing that life is
    Imitating art with the controversy. As the team tries to prevent another 9/11 from happening. One of the agents speaks Arabic and that proves valuable. Plus they also butt heads with the CIA in this. Great show and great acting led by Mandy Patkin!
  • I watch for the excitement and realistic portrayal of situations. This episode was great and absolutely true to life about the beliefs of the radical muslim terrorists/believers. I cannot imagine that you will not be hearing from them about your lies.

    this was a great episode and true to life, though scary realism. I like the fact that it was portrayed in true life with the real agenda of the Muslim terrorists trying to take over the world by putting down their own faith and willing to kill anyone and everyone in their way.
    It will be interesting to see if you get feedback from both the ultra orthodox murderous Muslims and the moderate Muslims.
  • I like the episode but I did have several problems - admittedly what they did to Jind Allah was textbook but I just saw the same thing on another show just a couple of weeks ago

    The concept of a sleeper cell is always scary when you consider that it's probably happening right now.

    As much as I liked this episode and taking into account that in TV land you only have about 40 minutes to tell the story, I had the problem was that I just saw the same method of 'breaking' the prisoner in the CW show Veronica Mars - My Big Fat Greek Rush Week - where Wallace and Logan are taking a sociology course and Wallace tricks Logan's team to give up the 'critical information' by changing the clock in the jail.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the show - its exciting - but the fact that a 'teen show' - which is well written - just showed basically the same thing - makes me watch this episode and wonder who's copying who.
  • Gideon, Reid and Prentiss go to Guantanamo Bay to interrogate the detained leader of a terrorist sleeper cell, in order to find out information that will prevent a likely terrorist attack in the United States.

    Excellent episode. Portrayed the problem of dealing with a fanatic (in this case a Muslim extremist) who blames innocent people for the death of his son, without any proof. He justifies his actions on a flawed belief system.

    People like this Egyptian terrorist are without a doubt the most dangerous criminals the human civilization faces today. Fortunately Jason Gideon was able to extract the information in time to prevent the deaths of thousands, if not millions, of innocent people that this Egyptian wanted to inflict on America.

    This was a very sobering episode about the threat we face as a civilization.
  • Lately episoeds have been boring and point less but I really liked this one.

    I just finished watching it!!! (sorry it I spoil it for you a little bit) It was definalty Jason Gideons turn to save the day. And he came through. I showed how smart He really was. and he was beating Reid in chess!! Any way, We also learned a little more about the new agent Emily Prentiss (sp?) like for instance, we learned that she could speak Arab (sp?) and that she was ALMOST as smart as Reid. I LOVED how Gideon tricked him into to telling him where the bomb was. And I liked how Gideon new right away that he would need to trick him. This definatly one of the best episode of this season.
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