Criminal Minds

Season 4 Episode 3

Minimal Loss

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 08, 2008 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
890 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After Prentiss and Reid go undercover in Colorado to investigate alleged child abuse at the compound of an underground cult in La Plata County, they are taken hostage when a federal raid on the fortress goes bad.

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# 6
  • Fantastic episode that makes us all shudder as we remember Waco and Jonestown and other similar horrors. Terrific writing and acting make this one a 'must see'.

    Reid and Prentiss are sent in undercover to investigate alleged child abuse at an isolated property which is the home of a religious cult after an anonymous 911 call states that the cult leader, Benjamin Cyrus, (brilliantly played by Luke Perry) is having sexual relations with underaged girls in the compound.

    With Prentiss and Reid posing as officials investigating child abuse, the real aim is to not only ascertain whether or not this is true, but also to look into the cult as a whole. Naturally, things go horribly wrong and Prentiss in particular is in grave danger when her cover is blown (although Reid's remains intact). The rest of the BAU, along with a plethora of other law enforcement agencies, are planning a raid on the compound, but when Cyrus gets wind of this, he imposes a lock down and unleashes a cache of weapons which make it pretty clear that he has no intention of being taken alive ... and the same goes for his 'loyal' followers as well.

    Not only great work by Luke Perry, but also terrific stuff from Paget Bewster and Matthew Gray Gubler. Don't miss this one!moreless
  • How do they keep getting better? ***HEAVY ON THE SPOILERS!!***

    This episode was just amazing. Finally, they produced an episode where Paget Brewster could shine. In fact, most of the cast (with the notable exceptions of AJ Cook and Kirsten Vangsness who were all but absent) were absolutely wonderful. It was great to see them show how much Rossi has come to care about the other members of the unit. Hotch was fabulously conflicted, even allowing his heart to overrule his head when ordering HRT to storm the compound with Rossi telling him not to. I suppose this will finally silence the people who call Hotch cold, hopefully anyway. Reid was able to manipulate the leader of the formerly Libertarian community turned religious cult quite brilliantly. And in the most painful scene (for me) to date, when cult leader Ben Cyrus became aware there was an FBI agent undercover, Emily bravely stepped up and took the beating. Hearing her repeatedly state "I can take it," while being tossed around was heartbreaking. It just drove home the point of how dangerous their work is, the bravery of the people who do this job and how strong they can be. The thing that helps to set this show apart from others is that in the end, they didn't save everyone. There was no happy ending. They did what they could and that had to be enough to get them through. Brilliant ep!moreless
  • This episode was awesome. I taped it, so after I watched it, I rewound it and watched it again. Prentiss is beaten, Hotch shows emotion and something goes boom.

    This episode was awesome. I taped it, so after I watched it, I rewound it and watched it again. Prentiss and Reid got to a religious sect's compound to investigate allegations of child molestation. While they are there, the state police stage a raid on the compound and all hell breaks loose. Luke Perry plays Benjamin Cyrus, the cult's charismatic leader, who we find out is married to a devoted 15-year-old girl and has a history of messing with underage girls.

    Hotch asks Rossi to negotiate with Cyrus, which I thought he did a very good job of. It was very naïve of Cyrus to have no inkling that that the FBI would try to pick up sound from inside and not even look for bugs. It worked out for the good guys though, because Prentiss and Reid are able to communicate to the team, who they know is waiting outside. I love watching Reid get into the minds of killers and gain their trust. Is it because he looks so young and innocent that so many killers have not perceived him as a threat?

    The emotion in this episode was some of the best I have seen since Reid was abducted and tortured on camera for the whole team to watch. In this episode, Morgan, Hotch and Rossi have to listen to Prentiss being tortured after Cyrus finds out she is an FBI agent. Morgan we are used to seeing plently of emotion from, but Hotch really became upset, which was fascinating to watch. I don't dislike Prentiss, but they really haven't developed her character much yet. That made her scenes in this episode that much better.

    Special notes. Very little of Garcia or JJ in this episode. It was sad to not have any Morgan-Garcia interchanges, because they are so much fun.

    A.J. Cook is very obviously pregnant. It made me wonder how long pregnant women can work in the field? It also made me wonder if when it is time to have the baby, they are going to do it in a nice normal way or in the middle of some big case. Probably the latter. Also, how cool was it to see Thomas Gibson briefly reunited with Joel Murray, who played the stupid attorney general here but was Pete in "Dharma and Greg?" Since they were best friends on that show, it was interesting to watch Gibson angry and in his face.moreless
  • Reid and Emily are held captive.

    Emily showed her strength and devotion to her team members this episode when she not only protected Reid, but stopped a situation from getting worse when she took a beating, and told her team to hold back.

    Emily has always been my least favorite agent, but now she becoming more three dimensional for me.

    Reid worked well with Cyrus, well up until the end.

    It was sad that the girl they were called into save was so damaged that she carried out her husbands destruction.

    Her mother tried to save her, but in the end could not undo her abusers control. She made her move to late.moreless
  • This was a fantastic episode. It showed the amazing teamwork of the BAU unit.

    The edge-of-your-seat suspense generated by this episode was teriffic. It was terrible to realize that Reid and Prentiss were in such harm's way. The rest of the team were besides themselves to make sure that they were going to be o.k. I thought it was interesting that Hotch deferred to Rossi, realzing that Rossi had "written the book" on this kind of negotation. I think Prentiss jumped in to say she was the FBI agent to keep Reid from getting shot. The gal is really tough. At the end it seems that the cult leader felt somewhat threatened by Reid's knowledge of the Bible and was not about to have an interloper step in to challenge him.

    This show bound the BAU unit together in a special way.

    Loved it!moreless
Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson

Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner

Joe Mantegna

Joe Mantegna

Senior SSA David Rossi

Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler

SSA Dr. Spencer Reid

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Paget Brewster

Paget Brewster

SSA Emily Prentiss

A.J. Cook

A.J. Cook

SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jareau

Luke Perry

Luke Perry

Benjamin Cyrus

Guest Star

Karina Logue

Karina Logue

Nancy Lunde

Guest Star

Jenna Boyd

Jenna Boyd

Jessica Evanson

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Although the investigation occurs in Colorado, the CPS vehicle in which Nancy Lunde is driving has the logo for the State of Utah on the side.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Benjamin Cyrus: Which one of you is it? Which one of you is the FBI agent?
      Reid: Why do you think one of us is an FBI agent?
      Benjamin Cyrus: God will forgive me for what I must do. (points a gun to Reid's head)
      Reid: I don't know what you're talking about.
      Benjamin Cyrus: One of you does. Who is it?
      Prentiss: Me. It's me.
      Benjamin Cyrus: (grabs Prentiss by the hair and drags her) I told you not to put me in this position.

    • Benjamin Cyrus: (quoting Benjamin Franklin) Savages they call us because our manners differ from theirs.

    • Garcia: Apparently, Libertarians do not like paying taxes.
      : Seventeen years for tax evasion?
      Garcia: Oh, no. That would be two for tax evasion and 15 for going after four IRS agents with a Louisville Slugger.

    • Benjamin Cyrus: No one had to follow. God could have stopped me. (Morgan shoots him)
      Reid: He just did.

    • Jim Wells: I'm the attorney general of this state. I demand to know why I wasn't told the FBI was sending undercover agents into the Septarian Ranch.
      Hotchner: The only thing that you're in a position to demand is a lawyer.
      Jim Wells: Who the hell are you?
      Hotchner: I'm Aaron Hotchner, Unit Chief. I'm the guy who's gonna tell the Attorney General of the United States whether to charge you with obstructing a federal investigation or negligent homicide.
      Jim Wells
      : You can't talk to me like that.
      Hotchner: Get off my crime scene.

    • Benjamin Cyrus: I just got a very strange phone call from a news reporter. Is there anything you want to tell me? About a raid maybe? (Prentiss and Reid look blank)
      Benjamin Cyrus: They don't know.

    • Prentiss: (as Cyrus is beating Prentiss, and Rossi, Morgan and Hotch are listening) I can take it.
      Rossi: Wait, wait, listen, listen to what she's saying.
      Prentiss: I can take it.
      Morgan: She's antagonizing him!
      Rossi: She's not talking to him.
      Hotchner: She's talking to us. She doesn't want us to go in.

    • Prentiss: (to Reid when they are on the plane) Hey. I need you to listen to me. What Cyrus did to me is not your fault. It was my decision, and I would do it again. Do you hear me?

    • Prentiss: "Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it." Ayn Rand.

    • Reid: "To follow by faith alone is to follow blindly." Benjamin Franklin.

  • NOTES (1)


    • HRT Leader Dan Torre comments to Rossi that the two had worked together before: at Waco, Ruby Ridge and the Freeman Standoff.

      Ruby Ridge: In August 1992, federal officers attempted to arrest Randall Weaver, a white separatist, on weapons charges at his remote cabin. After the deaths of Weaver's son and a federal marshal, the FBI became involved in the case. Eleven days later, Vicki Weaver, Randall's wife, was killed by sniper fire while she was holding her infant child. Weaver and friend Kevin Harris gave themselves up.

      Waco: The deaths of four ATF agents who were with a group attempting to serve a federal warrant at the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas, on February 28, 1993, started a 51-day stand-off between federal authorities and cult leader David Koresh. On day 51, the FBI brought in military assault vehicles to secure the fortified compound and, in response, the cult members set multiple fires in their own buildings. When the confrontation was over, Koresh and 85 of his followers were dead.

      Freeman Standoff: On March 25, 1996, two leaders of the Freeman Ranch were arrested and charged with fraud. The FBI staked out the Freeman Ranch in rural Montana hoping to arrest more than a dozen people also involved in fraud and who made threats against a federal judge. Two days later, one adult turned himself in to authorities. As negotiations went on through April and May, more adults left the ranch in ones and twos. After stalled talks, and increasing demands from the Freemen, the FBI shut off power to the ranch on June 3, 1996. The standoff was finally over on June 13, 1996, when the remainder of the Freemen surrendered to authorities.