Criminal Minds

Season 4 Episode 11


Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Dec 17, 2008 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (22)

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out of 10
702 votes
  • A good one.

    This has always been a top episode for me. I don't even know what it is but by the end I've just always felt sympathy for Norman (was that his name?). Well let's pretend it is. The actor just played him perfectly I think and he just gave off this perfect patheticness to feel for him, but did the anger well too.

    I don't think I could ever understand the situation where a child dies, but seeing how the family treated him too, it's almost hard not to be on his side (for me anyway). And at the end when he realises the car is empty and he starts screaming what has he done... that hit me in the feels. Another situation where Morgan is extra rough for no reason though. I love the man, but some episodes he's more gentle (even with despicable people) and others he's unnecessarily rough.

    I loved the ending, seeing JJ again and I am getting tired of Todd. She's not bad, she just doesn't fit. She treated Morgan like crap then was all over him flirting, then her flirting involved being a bitch. Anyway, I don't think she stays much longer.

    Good episode. Loved Hotch's line "gas" about why he's smiling.
  • Great episode. But also a disturbing one

    These things happens... Daughter killed in an accident, father feels guilty for not preventing it, father gets depressed and delusional.

    What's disturbing though in this ep was the fact that he had access to guns. That's the difference with this country and others. The US has all these guns that makes depressing trauma situations like this much more dangerous.

    Unfortunately, a tragedy losing a child happens. It's just the way life is. But it's better to have these things happen in an unarmed environment.
  • Normal?

    I just started watching the series this summer, but for me, this was one of the best episodes so far. Mitch Pileggi is awesome as the unsub. The twist at the end is very cool, too, and may make you want to watch this one again.
  • Mitch Pileggi is the unsub

    This was an enjoyable episode and I was surprised to see the unsub was played by Mitch Pileggi who is Skinner from X files and because I know him from X files it was different to see him play this kind of role This unsub was crazy and he was shooting anyone and his hallucinations was causing him to shoot anyone The episode had a surprising twist at the end and it is one of the better episodes of the season.
  • great episode

    i've watched this episode quite a lot and i still can't get enough of it. what surprised me the first time i watched it, was who the actor who played norman. i nearly fell out of my chair when i saw him and i'm like OH MY GOSH. THAT'S SKINNER FROM THE X-FILES
  • This really is a great example of why people watch this series. Not only was the crime disturbing, it made me emotional and sorry for the criminal himself.

    In this episode the BAU investigates a man who is shooting women who resembles his wife. Even through all the bad things the man has done, I couldn't help but have sympathy for him. The loss of a child really was just detrimental to the situation he already had. At the end, it was surprising to learn that he had already killed his family. The man really just seemed so normal that he possibly couldn't do something that horrible. I guess that what makes me wonder who out there has the capability of murder. If tonight episode was Jordan's last, than I think she leaves on a good note. I wasn't too fond of her, but now I actually like her. I also like how JJ came back at the end. Very sweet moment for the BAU. It's some of my favorite parts, but also the rarest to catch the entire team together and just happy together, not working on a case. It was a nice touch for such a sad episode.
  • A normal man, goes a bit mad....JJ comes back!

    In this episode of Criminal Minds the following happens. We open with a man, shooting at a woman whilst both of them are driving cars. We then see the Unsub going to his wife's party and then going home to bed with her. We then see him adjusting his murder weapon, in the dead of night. The team are called in when another 2 shootings with the MO take place. Only the first victim has survived and so the team head over to question her. From the profile, the team soon believe that he has a wife and kids, and that he may soon kill his whole family. The profile is released to the media and it causes the Unsub to flip out and he kills 2 men in a car. When Jordan learns that due to her realising the profile 2 people we killed, she gets both angry and upset about it. So they go back on air and appeal to the Unsub to turn himself in. The Unsub watches this but instead of turning himself in, he confesses to his wife that he is the man who the police are looking for. When she doesn't believe him, she tells the kids and they also don't believe him. Soon the office manager where the Unsub works turns him in as a suspect. We then learn that his youngest daughter, Jenny was killed over 6 months ago. He flips out at home and makes his wife and kids get into the car with him and soon a police man starts chasing them. We then see some of the team inside of his house and it is here that we learn that he killed his family in the house and that he is alone in the car. At the end Jordan collapses in tears believing that the death of the family is her fault. She no longer thinks that she can do the job. When the team return back to the office, they are greeted by a familiar face, JJ. JJ has brought in the baby for everyone to see him. Hotch tells JJ that they miss her.
  • Awesome episode! Great storyline and good acting! A must-see!

    I really enjoyed this episode - it shows that any normal man can turn into killer just because of a personal tragedy (especially the death of a child). This episode was full of suspense and action. It was a bit confusing (because of all the 'hallucations' - you never can tell which scene is the reality and which one is simply a figure of imagination, but you'll get use to it). It also teaches some important moral lessons - be nice to other people, and nothing bad will ought to happen to you. If they have something to say, let them say it. Patience is a virtue. Finally, tragedies do happen - but in order to recover from them, we can't look back - but instead, we need to look forward. We can't let our past hunt us and pull us down from living our lives. Overall, it's a great episode! The final scene of JJ and her son brings some comfort and happiness into an otherwise sad ending for the story.
  • Tragic case...

    It starts like an episode where we knew who the unsub is and usually I do not like those episodes very much but this one proved me to be wrong - even if we know who he is, we cannot be sure what he does. Not that it was very strongly suggested turning the episode that he will kill his family and by knowing that people scored this episode quite high, i was quite sure it will have tragic ending.. but still, even knowing, the way it emotionally worked, how Todd felt it was her fault and how they took it.. and the chase, the motion.. well done episode.
  • One of my best episodes ever.. It actually brought tears to my eyes. The "criminal" is an extreme state of simply anybody in our every day life. Everybody would wish to do what he did, unleash our fury and anxiety, only he went over the limit..

    One of my best episodes ever.. It actually brought tears to my eyes. The "criminal" is an extreme state of simply anybody in our every day life. Everybody would wish to do what he did, unleash our fury and anxiety, only he went over the limit without knowing. The fact that even his own family treated him badly, never appreciated him the way he deserved brought me very familiar feelings. I guess everybody has felt like this in their past, and know how painful it is to be treated this way. I felt sorry for him, even when he realised what he had done. It trully made me cry cause for a moment i saw through his eyes. The overall directing of this episode was moving and very atmospheric. Simply excellent! Dont miss this episode!!
  • Review.

    For me it was the best episode of Criminal Minds ever. The case was very interesting. A normal, middle-aged man broke down one day and started killing random blonde women on a freeway. I felt sorry for him when we learned about the tragic death of his youngest daughter. During the pursuit I really believed that he took his family to the car but when I saw this look on agent Todd's face it was obvious they were already dead. A strong case but also an emotional ending of the episode. JJ is back with little Henry and we can finally see Hotchner smile. Plus this - my new favourite quote:
    Det. Salinas: The OC has an endless supply of three things: freeways, news coverage, and blonde, female, luxury car owners.
    Reid: People are pretty scared?
    Det. Salinas: I could ask for a submarine and get it.
  • Such a terrifically executed storyline! (Spoilers!)

    This was another in a long list of great 'Criminal Minds' episodes. The storyline involved a man who had gone crazy, after the death of his youngest daughter. That part of it was really sad, and I felt sorry for that happening, but the man then killed off his entire family, whic h was just unforgivable.

    I thought the last scene of the episode was terrific, with J.J.'s baby being introduced to the Behaviousral Analysis Unit. That was a really sweet way to cap off on a terrific case.

    Unfortunately, it wasn't a positive outcome in this episode for anybody involved, in all honesty, but it was some really good television.

    I reckon this was definitely a terrific episode. Not the most brilliant and not the most captivating, but that car chase-scene at the latter stages was very suspenseful and tht gave this episode an edge. Keep it up, guys!
  • Women are dying in Orange County, California and the unsub actually made me feel sorry for him, which has only happened once before.

    Middle-aged white women with blonde hair are being shot on the roadways around Orange County. When the BAU are called in to help solve the case, they quickly profile that the similarities between the victims is particularly significant as the unsub is obviously repeatedly killing some female who was or is significant in his life. Perhaps a current or former wife or partner? Certainly someone who has made him hate this this particularly type of female violently enough to want them dead.

    The profile leads Hotch and the team to believe that the killer is escalating and that he is leading up to a specific and significant death for which all these other women were substitutes. Can they stop him before he reaches his real intended victim or have they left their run too late?

    Plenty of suspense in this one and a sense of pity for the unsub when we find out his story.
  • Really another great episode!

    We get to see another great episode. Before 2008 ends as this is the last episode that we will see until the new year. A serial killer that has been targetting blondes. The team goes out to California to help in assisting catching this killer. Before he strikes again. We see that this main killer. Had something personal happen to him. And maybe that is why he is doing all the killings. Ted Bundy went after women with parted hair, that of his ex-girlfriend. Kind of reminds me of that. We get to see JJ show off her beautiful son Henry. And Hotc lets off a rare smile and a laugh!
  • Not as good and thrilling as usual!

    When I say that I don't mean that it wasn't good, cause it was. The thing is I'm more used to other style in the episodes, something smarter(the killer) and more thrilling! Specially after last week's episode, this one was slow and the actors weren't explored as usual. No tensions, no suspense, no smart ideas necessary, it was too obvious... Despite all that, it's a great show and all great shows have filler episodes. let's hope the return next year goes back to the normal standards!! And hopefully they'll bring back the rightful leader, with the cute baby to cry a bit and give them a nice time!
  • Very exciting !

    I've never written a review for Criminal Minds but this episode was extraodinary ! I was on the verge on my seat almost during all the time . I loved how in the end you feel like you've been tricked ! Poor Norman , he will need a very good psy. He murdered his all family but you feel sorry for him in the same time . I liked the episode started with the killer and I totally loved how Hotch (oh ! More Hotch please !) explained to the female cop how the murderer was like a drug addict . I learnt some things in this episode which is great , the acting was perfect . I liked when Emily , Derek & Reid was in the car . It was nice to see Mitch Pellegi (second time I saw him this year after Supernatural) he did an awesome jod . Nice to see JJ with her baby boy , too . Jeez , we have to wait one month now !
  • Just fantastic, the number of times I could....

    Excellent episode, some aspects of it I can identify directly with the main protagonist, not that I'm a serial killer or even a sociopath. There are just so many times when a similar incident arises and I think how much I would love to have a shotgun in my car to sort out abusive and reckless drivers, especially women drivers during school pick up time..... It was also a very sad episode in many ways where we see his life in flashback and we are made to actually feel sorry for "The Road Warrior", the main protagonist, we know only as Norman.
  • Tragic, yet beautiful episode

    An episode with two sides... First, the incredible sadness of Norman (never caught his surname) and his delusions... He felt his family had turned against him after one of his daughter's death, thinking they blamed him (since he was with her when she died). The desparation of Norman is very well shown by his actor, I almost cried (and that's never happened before during Criminal Minds).
    Police and FBI chase him on the road while Norman is in his car with his wife and children, hearing them yell at him for letting Jenny die. But the real surprise was when it turned out Norman had shot his wife and children before even going on the road... Again, very well played. On the happy side... Henry! JJ visits the BAU with her new born, thinking after such a case the team needs some happiness, and the last scene is so cute, it almost makes the scenes before them fade. Almost. Oh, and the last thing: Jordan. I'm starting to like her more and more. The scene where they exited the house and she talks with Rossi... Wow.
  • This was a perfect episode.

    In my opinion this is one of the top five best episodes of the series. It is by far the best episode of the season. The story line of the man feeling that his whole family was against him because his daughter was hit by a car. Then the surprising twist of his family never being there with him. That was awesome finding out that he actually killed his family before the team even arrived. Also getting some good story lines with Jordan Todd. Then with J.J. coming in at the end and when Morgan holds the baby and the baby smiles they all say gas. Then J.J. looks at Hotchner who is smiling and he says, "Gas". That was hilarious.
  • A great action packed episode, very well written and acting was marvelous.

    I liked Mitch Pileggi's acting and role in this one. He has starred at Stargate as Steven Caldwell and of course everyone remembers him from X-Files as Walter Skinner. He should be given a chance to a lead role in some series or even a movie. Writing was excellent, and the events plausible. I like how it all unravelled and was exciting to the very end. This kind of an episode is the very reason I am interested in this series and keep watching it. None of that American Idol and reality that keeps pouring from tv all the time. More episodes this thrilling and great acting please.
  • What a great psychological episode!! A man starts to unravel when his youngest child is killed when she is hit by a car, he feels his family is against him......

    He feels the world is against him, and one lady that caught him off set him off, and he goes around killing blonde women with luxury cars, that resemble his wife!! He's doing this cause of his wife is the stresser, as he believes his family was against him, he kills them, and goes on a highway shooting spree, at the end of the episode, he's in the suv with his family so he thinks, his family is already dead!! It shows how quickly someone can go from normal to crazy in a short amount of time, broguht on by a tragedy. What a great installment, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode!! Mad props to the writers and directors and of course the cast and guest stars, AN AEWSOME EPISODE!! One that was surely not to be missed.
  • Nail Biter...

    I was on the edge of my seat from the on set. We all know from everyday life, driving in traffic can be dangerous. This episode brought this too life. We have this man who suffered a tragic loss who simply snaps. He takes his rage and anger out on people on the highway. It's the teams job to find out who and exactly how much damage he is going to cause. Ultimately, Norman destroys everything he knows, including his family. Our teams one bright spot is a surprise visit from JJ, who's timing couldn't be better. The easiest way to put a smile on the gangs faces is a visit from a beautiful baby. Hurry back JJ.