Criminal Minds

Season 2 Episode 23

No Way Out (2): The Evilution of Frank

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM May 16, 2007 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
504 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When the prolific serial killer Frank returns and murders Gideon's girlfriend in his own apartment, he starts his own investigation. The BAU is forced to circumvent the local authorities to help Gideon find Frank.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • And the first domino falls

    It is one thing to make your 'bad guys' smarter than your 'good guys' but it is another to conveniently dumb down your protagonists just to artificially and temporarily make the 'big bad' bigger and badder.

    Eg: If only that jurisdiction had 9 police officers or 9 FBI agents; because then -the extremely intelligent BAU agents could have sent 1 to each of the potential victims in the city. . .

    As far as I can tell; this is the episode where the show's protagonists developed their 'convenient stupidity syndrome' -the ultimate reason I stopped watching.moreless
  • Worst. Episode. Ever. (Hyperbole is my shield)

    I don't usually review episodes. In fact, this may be the first review, if you don't consider a general gushing over The Wire's brilliance an actual review. Let's simply say, this is my first negatively inspired rant on the internet, ever. I keep things bottled. If I don't like something, I don't post it ANYWHERE. If I like something, I don't post it, usually, ANYWHERE.

    But alas, this episode was a special kind of horrible because of the lack of understanding of these characters and, more to the point, how normal human beings would and should react in such situations. I give three examples: 1) The blonde haired lady that survived the fire in that flashback. She was talking to Frank and well, Frank being Frank, she began to suspect he was off. The phone rings, she goes to pick it up and... KEEPS HER BACK TO THE SUSPICIOUS MAN who just recently made her feel terribly uncomfortable in her own home. As soon as the BAU calls she realizes he isn't Gideon, as he was pretending to be, and for a good 30 seconds after this realization she KEEPS HER BACK TO HIM. She dies, and I am not saying she wouldn't have died had she kept her eye on him and perhaps surreptitiously grabbed a knife from a drawer, but her chances of survival would have risen greatly had the writers written her character as someone who behaves as any one would in a situation where a stranger invades your home under false pretenses and gives you the willies.

    2) When the BAU figures out that Frank intends to kill all the people Gideon has saved and listed in his murder book, they and by they I mean Hotch, who is arguably the most level-headed character on television, decides STUPIDLY, to not ask Gideon who these people are thereby losing them precious minutes to save them. There is a bypass to this stupidity if you consider they needed to track those who were in the city, and Gideon may not know who lives where, but this being Gideon and Reid being Reid, the memory retention of these two characters could have easily pinpointed which of the listed were in danger in relation to their addresses. And even if they had moved from their previous residence, as soon as Reid or Gideon using their remarkable memories told Garcia to type their names into that FBI database of theirs, it would've spit out their current addresses. Another thing, after they trickle the names down to nine potential victims, instead of calling the police force and having them send a squad car to their homes, they instead JUST START CALLING THEM. They could have done both, EASILY. Considering the average police response time in most large metropolitan cities is under ten minutes, the average is negated the closer you are to the city's hub, particularly at night. Was the victim in the city. Who knows? Would telling the police to send their nearest patrol a good and practical and character-driven idea by the BAU? Wait, that isn't really a question. The answer is HELL YES.

    3) When Frank is at the station and surrounded by half the police force in the world on that platform, no one bothers to cuff him, to detain him, to do the most basic of police procedures so as to avoid any surprises from the extremely psychotic fella that is Frank. No one. And what happens. An ending that the writer really wanted and would get, damn all character foundations (from previous seasons) to the ninth circle of Michael Bay's Hell. Jane calmly walks by three FBI agents to grab Frank's hand and they jump into oncoming train traffic. I say 'oncoming train traffic' as if it's nothing of concern cause apparently no one could put two and two together- that Frank wanted to die and die with Jane (his mother surrogate)- nor hear the train pass by. A train can reach a decibal level of 80 to 90 at 50 to 100 feet. No logic from the most logical of law enforcement personnel. An innocent woman dies, that needn't have died. She was slightly deranged, of course, but she did what she did because it was in her character to do so. The BAU didn't

    An episode's greatness and equilibrium stems from its flow. That flow is generated by the core and anchor of that show's characters. Criminal Minds will never be considered a show on par with The Wire or Battlestar Galactica, but on a weekly basis its episodes are good enough. Characters are set in the world and professions they inhabit. Procedural shows have characters set in stone moreso than most other shows. This episode obliterated good character development more than any television episode I have ever seen. Criminal Minds deserved better than this.moreless
  • The most prolific serial killer is back.

    Frank is back and is looking for Jane who has come to Washington to find Gideon because Gideon was right about Frank that he could never find true love and because of that he tried to kill Jane Frank takes his anger out by killing Gideon's girlfriend leaving Gideon in shock when he finds his girlfriend dead in his apartment The episode gets even more interesting when people who have been saved in previous episodes are now in danger Frank targets Rebecca Bryant who is the daughter of the serial killer Randall Garner{the fisher king} and kills her before the team can get there as I thought he would with the amount of people he has killed I never thought that he would make a mistake and get caught that way Frank then kidnaps the girl who survived from the episode the Bogeyman When Gideon finds out Franks secret about his mother and tells him at the train station Frank couldn't believe that he found out Once again Frank goes for the trade with Jane for the girl but Frank has them both in front of the train tracks and is killed by a train The rest of the team find the girl and on the bed is Franks dead mother In the end Hotch is being questioned about how he runs the team because of Elle killing a suspect, Morgan and his criminal record and Reed being kidnapped Then we see Prentiss being interviewed and she is told she needs to help get rid of Hotch if she wants to stay in the BAU This has been an impressive season with twists and turns so hopefully next season will be the same.moreless
  • Letting in the light.

    “It’s been a hard year for us, Jason.” What an understatement. Season Two of Criminal Minds has seen our heroes through personal tragedies and professional trials. The killers they track seem to get cleverer, more difficult, and more disturbing with each episode. The affects they have on the profilers is cumulative, and the costs for these very compelling characters gets higher and higher. Elle flamed out. Morgan was confronted by his past. Reid was utterly changed by his ordeal. Prentiss still looks on as an outsider. Hotch tries to remain the strong rock of calm amid the scenes of carnage around them. The cases haven’t just been hunt the killer/save the victim cases – “the residual impact” of these cases, as Erin Strauss would say, have left wounds – deep, searing wounds.

    But, not to be too cliché about it, the man was right who said that without darkness, the light could not be seen. It’s been a dark year punctuated by moments of brightness and camaraderie – small things – a smile, a shared joke, a Chaplin film, a moment of openness, a nod of understanding. And, even as we wade through the blood of Frank’s victims, that is not forgotten, and the profilers take on added dimensions, and give us more reasons to care about them.

    The plotline of the ep itself was brilliant. Ed Bernero + Mandy Patinkin = some kind of wonderful. Every single shot was beautifully orchestrated, especially the rapid cuts of Gideon in the phone booth, the bathroom, remembering Frank in the diner, and leaving the florist – and following Hotch’s eye-flicking POV around Strauss’ office. Hotch’s voice-over profile of the team was a tender accompaniment to the visual scenes, and is one of those things that I can close my eyes and see again and again. Mandy is absolutely emotionally truthful in this one. How he manages to show everything from rage to terror to emptiness is beyond me. His teacher/student moments with Garcia help him get his footing back so he can crack the puzzle of Frank. The framing of Hotch and Reid as bookends of Gideon’s life is also amazing. Gibson is at his best in his quiet white intensity, and Gubler is really the only one who shows his character is truly terrified about what may have happened to Gideon. And one of the most revealing moments was at the very end when Reid re-entered the bedroom to gaze down at the corpse of Frank’s mother.

    No matter how many red herrings about Prentiss you pass before my eyes – her insistence on calling in the MPD, wanting to give up evidence, forcefully questioning Hotch about Gideon’s “capacity” at the train station – I believe in her. The CM writers have done a great job fitting her into the team, giving her a role beyond Elle’s and teaching her about her own weaknesses by showing her the weaknesses of others. She will be sorely tried during this political tug-of-war, but she’ll prove to be faithful.

    Throw back the curtains, and let in the light. A metaphor for revealing truth – the truth about Frank, the truth about Prentiss’ possible role in the BAU, the truth about Hotch’s position, the truth about Gideon’s standoffishness with the people around him. Bernero gave us two small visual metaphors when first Hotch, and then Reid, opened curtains in this episode. Things are coming to light. Secrets. Conspiracies. Problems. Scars. As with Fisher King I, the minds behind the Minds are giving us a hint of what is to come. Are Hotch and Reid to be revealed? Or, perhaps they will be doing the revealing. But remember, the light can sometimes show us things we’d rather not see. I have a feeling we ain’t seen nothing yet.moreless
  • Frank is back and he's out for revenge. His first target - Jason Gideon.

    Gideon's friend, Sarah, is found murdered in his apartment and naturally, Gideon himself is the main suspect until it is revealed that she is missing a rib bone and then we all know immediately that Frank is back -either that or Gideon is very good at being a copy cat killer! Gideon is missing and Frank is killing again because his beloved Jane has left him and gone to Washington in search of Gideon to tell him that Frank is behaving exactly the way it was predicted that he would. Apparently, Jane has finally realised that a sociopath cannot form proper bonds or feel true love and Frank is not a happy man.

    Ordered to stay right away from the case whilst the law hunts an innocent Gideon, Hotch and the team work secretly as they know that Frank is responsible and that they must find him (and Gideon) very soon before more carnage occurs.

    Remember Rebecca Bryant and little Tracey Bell whom Gideon saved? They are listed in his special 'Murder Book' where he keeps notes on his successes to remind him that the horrors he and the rest of the team encounter on a regular basis are worth it when some can be saved. What a pity then that Frank has stolen important sections of Gideon's book and begins to wreak havoc. Rebecca Bryant is soon dead and Tracey Bell is missing. Frank is clearly not going to allow Gideon any peace whatsoever ...

    The final ten minutes of this episode will blow your mind so I won't spoil it by writing any more. Kudos over and over again to Mandy Patinkin, Keith Carradine and Amy Madigan for being a part of a brilliant season finale and warmest congratulations to the writers and actors for their great work.

    I loved it. An amazing episode and worth watching over and over again.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

Keith Carradine

Keith Carradine


Guest Star

Amy Madigan

Amy Madigan


Guest Star

Gina LaPiana

Gina LaPiana


Guest Star

Jayne Atkinson

Jayne Atkinson

Section Chief Erin Strauss

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Garcia has to plot out the ages of Frank's kills for Gideon. When she reads them out loud, she begins, "He killed 43 in their fifties..." However, at the moment Garcia says "43," that information had not yet appeared on her screen.

    • Rebecca Bryant, the victim saved in "The Fisher King Part 2," returns in this episode. However, she is killed by Frank, which makes her the first person to be saved in one episode and murdered in a subsequent one.

    • This episode introduced Section Chief Erin Strauss.

    • Frank and Jane are hit by a fast-moving train at Union Station. Amtrak changes locomotives at Union Station, and the trains run north on electric engines and south on diesel engines. Therefore, a train would not be traveling through the station at such a high speed.

    • Reference to the "Smithsonian Institute" in this episode should have been correctly referenced as the "Smithsonian Institution." This is the second time this error has been made, the first being in "The Big Game."

    • Gideon lives at 181 Arthur Street.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Sammy: Face it, buddy. You want some action? It's the roses.
      Hotchner: She's right.

    • Hotchner: (via phone while Gideon is at the florist) Jason?
      Gideon: Yeah?
      Hotchner: Button mums are something you give your mother.

    • Hotchner: My team? Let me tell you about my team. Agent Morgan fought to protect his identity from the very people who could save him. Why? Because trust has to be earned, and there are very few people he truly trusts. Reid's intellect is a shield which protects him from his emotions and, at the moment, his shield is under repair. Prentiss overcompensates because she doesn't yet feel she's a part of the team. She needn't worry. Every day, Agent Jareau fields dozens of requests for our team and every night she goes home hoping she's made the right choices. Garcia fills her office with figurines and color to remind herself to smile as the horror fills her screens and Agent Gideon in many ways is damned by his profound knowledge of others, which is why he shares so little of himself yet he pours his heart into every case we handle. I stand by my actions and I stand by my team, and if you think that you can find a better person for the job, good luck.

    • Gideon: (to the florist) Do you have a yellow flower? They're like, uh, they're little yellow flowers… They look like dandelions or like weeds - but they're not weeds… They have a little black spot in the middle, but they don't have a black spot… They're sort of round and puffy?
      Sammy: Button mums.
      Gideon: Do you have those? Can I see what those are?

    • JJ: No matter what happens this time, we don't split up. Clear?
      Reid: Crystal clear.

    • Garcia: (imagining the headlines while waiting in her car for Gideon) Gorgeous tech kitten found in lonely, dark parking lot, throat slashed ear-to-ear. Horrific. Tragic. With the very files of one of the most prolific serial killers ever. Tonight he remains at large, the blood of Quantico's finest…

    • Leopold: Agent Morgan?
      Prentiss: What the hell?
      Leopold: They say beauty can cover a multitude of sins...
      Morgan: What?
      Leopold: ...while underneath it all, we all look exactly the same.
      Morgan: That's Frank. He said that to me in the diner.
      Leopold: Give me Jane or I'll kill them all.

    • Gideon: I'm coming in.
      Hotchner: No, do that and this investigation moves inside an interrogation room and by the time the cops catch up we're going to be looking at more dead bodies. He's going to change who he goes after, he has to. We know who Frank is, we don't know the why - you help us find out the why and we'll catch him.

    • Gideon: Hotch, tell me something. Do roses say the wrong thing?
      Hotchner: What do you want to say?
      Gideon: Welcome, hi, good to see you, sorry I'm so damn late.
      Hotchner: Ah, roses say more than that.

    • Gideon: (to Garcia) Think of Frank as a living murder weapon. His genetics load the gun, his psychology aims it, and the environment pulls the trigger.

    • Rebecca: What happened?
      Frank: Your letter was so...nonspecific.
      Rebecca: But don't you...
      Frank: Were you afraid? I've never felt the feeling of...fear. Apparently, I am incapable. Tell me, Rebecca, what's it feel like...fear?

    • Morgan: (in Gideon's apartment, now a murder scene) P.D. thinks he did this?
      Hotchner: They have six witnesses who saw him running down the street covered in blood, wielding a gun.
      Morgan: OK. He was probably chasing the son of a bitch who did do this!

    • Gideon: Hey, Hotch. You're the best unit chief I know.
      Hotchner: Jason, I'm the only unit chief you know.

    • Gideon: "I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, my enemies for their good intellects." Oscar Wilde.

  • NOTES (2)