Criminal Minds

Season 2 Episode 7

North Mammon

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 01, 2006 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
542 votes

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Episode Summary

After a man kidnaps three teenaged girls in Pennsylvania and locks them in a cellar, he tells them only two of them will live and they must choose which one will die. The BAU takes the case when the mother of one of the girls travels to Quantico to ask JJ to intercede with the FBI on the girls' behalf.moreless

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# 6
  • Three teenage girls are put in the worst situation of their life.

    This was a very good episode when three teenage girls who are best friends are kidnapped and they have to choose which one should die which is the worst decision they could ever be put in and the unsub says that he will let them go when one has died The kidnapper seems to be one step in front of the BAU until the girls decided who to kill because they thought she would die first but the kidnapper makes them do it with hammers but it turns out it isn't the sick girl who was killed it was the one pushing them to kill the sick girl The kidnapper does stick to his word and he lets them go but I think he was just happy to see them make the decision The kidnapper had to know then that they would identify him which they did and Gideon and the team went to his house and he was just sat next to the dead girl and he obviously didn't seem bothered he was caught.moreless
  • A story that transcends beyond the frame of a "usual" episode

    This might be one of my favourite episode of Criminal Minds yet. It certainly moved me to sign up for just to write a review!

    In the small town of North Mammon, where the people are a tightly knit community, that is, they thought themselves to be. The residents of the town are fanatics of football, and an important game is coming up. Just after a pep rally, three best friends, Polly, Brooke and Kelly head to Brooke's empty house to sleep over. They end up kidnapped and are told that only two will survive. With Brooke sick with fever, Kelly attempts to persuade Polly to flip on Brooke. The final outcome is surprising. The scene where two girls emerge from their captivity, a violin soundtrack plays, which I thought was perfect for such wordless, numbing emotions.

    I know some people disagree with the way the BAU handled the case (they haven't exactly cracked it in time), but I think if they did solve the case before a girl dies, it would've been just an ordinary, heroic save. It is with the BAU's failure that defines the episode. Speaking realistically, not all cases are solved within the pressured time period, and often result in carnage and casualties such as it is seen in this episode. I give my hat off to the writers of the episode, they have done a magnificent job potraying human nature at it's best and worse.

    The unsub in this episode might be the worst yet, although his death toll may not triumph over other brutal cases, this unsub has damaged his victims the most. By giving them a choice that they didn't know had existed, equipping them with weapons, he didn't need to lay a hand on them as the girls fought each other for chance of survival. The pyschological strategy was effective. Remember, these are three best friends who knew everything about each other, who loved each other like sisters. If it were three complete strangers, the effect wouldn't have been that profound. To be given a choice to live for killing a loved one, the gilrs jump at it. What they don't realize is that the outcome of their descision would haunt them forever. The survivers would have to live with the fact that they took matters of life and death into their own hands and savagely murdered their friend for freedom. If this wasn't en episode, if it were longer, we would see the aftermath, which is as brutal as the killing. The girls would live with the knowledge forever, being judged by their victim's parents, their own parents, who would not see them differently?

    This episode has brought food for thought for me. Human nature is ugly, without a doubt, but just how much can one take? Would you have done what the girls did in their position? Maybe you would say you wouldn't, but such a scenario is unpredictable. Only with such pressured circumstances that one's true self is shown, the curse of being human, to be fueled with a head and heart that only lives for itself. All in all, humans are all selfish, all in search for the one thing that matters most to them, money, love, life. We would do anything at all costs, only to find that later, regret will seep in and eventually, the one who benefited the most would be the dead girl.moreless
  • The most psychologically scarring episode yet.

    Episodes like this are why I watch Criminal Minds. In this episode the unsub is a psychological sadist set on destroying the town that turned it's back on him. JJ finally gets a chance to shine as her public relations background is put to the test trying to keep the residents of a small Tennessee town focused on helping the investigators rather than lashing out at eachother.

    As time wears on the residents move from being unwilling to discuss anything about eachother with the BAU, to lashing out accusations at one another. In the end the BAU is not able to catch the unsub before the deed is done, and the victim who died may well be the lucky one.moreless
  • Exactly how did the BAU help local law enforcement in this episode?

    I get it, the writers wanted to expand JJ's character and give a female character some screen time - but couldn't they have done that AND write a good episode? The motivation for the BAU to even get involved in this case was laughable. What possible use can they be when the whole idea of profiling is to start with enough data - basically enough victims - to understand the particular mentality of the criminal? The episode proved the point when the BAU was totally ineffectual in finding these girls before the inevitable happened. And the criminal? Couldn't really be considered a serial criminal since this was his first crime, could he? It wasn't even a challenge to catch him as he knew he would be identified as soon as the girls were found - and cleverly hid at the crime scene! Please. By all means give JJ more of a job, but don't sacrifice plot development to do it.moreless
  • Three friends are kidnapped and locked in a small room, from where only two will emerge... And they have to decide which. The team had a rather minor participation, and there's no real "happy ending".moreless

    First off, the premise for this episode sounded interesting, and in relation to the storyline itself I can't say I was disappointed. I did like that J.J. got to have more screen time, and a better participation during the ep. Loved her comment at the end, where she says she doesn't want to be a profiler. LOL. Anyways, it was another one of those episodes where the teams was playing catch-up for most of the hour (up to last minutes and still they were too late), so it just kindda leaves that feeling of something missing. Something that was rather disturbing about this episode was the dilemma the victims faced, and how they reacted, bc in reality no one likes to think what they'd do in such a situation, and it's weird when we see the "victims" in the situation turning on each other. Well, overall good episode, but a bit lacking in the team's investigative ability... Granted, they can't win them all.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

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson

Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner

Mark Henderson

Mark Henderson

Coach Bunting

Guest Star

Mimi Michaels

Mimi Michaels

Brooke Chambers

Guest Star

Kelly Kruger

Kelly Kruger

Kelly Seymour

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Kelly's mother says "low breeding always shows through" in reference to Brooke and Polly. Ironically, it is Kelly who has condemned Brooke to die long before their situation became dire enough to force them to choose and actively tried to convince Polly to turn on Brooke.

    • In the episode, it was noted the State Championship game was November 3rd. In Pennsylvania, high school football state championships do not occur until the second weekend in December.

    • Per closed captioning the original end quote was from George Eliot: "There are many victories worse than defeat."

    • JJ went to college on a soccer scholarship.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Hotchner: What's all of that?
      JJ: New cases. I got to figure out where we're going to next.
      Hotchner: Hey, wait a minute. We're the profilers. I thought we made those decisions.
      JJ: Sure you do.

    • Morgan: You don't believe these girls are really missing?
      Sgt. Sikes: It's just not the kind of thing that happens around here, you know?
      Gideon: You'd be surprised how often we hear that.

    • Chief Yates: Listen, these people...they're my friends. They're my neighbors, good people. I don't want anybody assuming that they're involved.
      Hotcher: We just got here. We're not assuming anything.

    • Hotchner: I thought everybody wanted to become a profiler.
      JJ: Sorry.

    • Reid: We need some butts rushed to the lab for DNA analysis.
      Garcia: Reid... I love it when you say "butts."

    • Garcia: He who seeks the "Queen of All Knowledge" speak and be recognized.
      Reid: Garcia, we're sending you some cigarettes.
      Garcia: Why not a flesh-eating virus? It'll be faster and far less painful.

    • JJ: Legendary basketball coach John Wooden said, "It's not so important who starts the game, but who finishes it."

    • JJ: "The ultimate choice for a man, inasmuch as he is given to transcend himself, is to create or destroy, to love or to hate." Erich Fromm

  • NOTES (2)

    • The song heard when the girls are talking in the car at the beginning of the episode is "Suddenly I See" by KT Tunstall.

    • This is the first episode in which Lola Glaudini's name did not appear in the opening credits. Her image also had been removed from the main cast photo shown at the end credits.


    • Reid: John Jamelske built a concrete dungeon under a suburban home.

      In 2003, 67-year-old John Jamelske was tried for kidnapping five young women, physically abusing them, and holding them as sex slaves in a dungeon he had built under his home near Syracuse. During this trial, Jamelske tried to blame his actions on Viagra. He also claimed to have taken good care of the girls and had meaningful relationships with them, but the victims' statements contradicted this, and he is currently serving an 18-year sentence.