Criminal Minds

Season 1 Episode 14

Riding the Lightning

Aired Wednesday Jan 25, 2006 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (47)

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out of 10
710 votes
  • Possibly one of the best episodes of any TV show.

    I will readily admit, the fact that Gideon lets Sarah Jean die is probably incredibly unrealistic. Other concerns raised about inaccuracy, however, seem to be based as much on guesswork as to how things "should" be as anything else. The BAU are interviewing the husband and wife because that is one of their side projects, as is mentioned in many episodes both prior and after this one. Sarah Jean was charged with "Accessory to Murder" for at least some of her husband's victims as well as with the murder of her son. And as for whether a mother would actually sacrifice herself for her child... well, I actually feel sorry for the reviewers who felt that it was completely unrealistic.

    As I mentioned, Gideon letting Sarah Jean die seemed to me to be the biggest flaw in accuracy for this episode. That being said, it was absolutely necessary for the story to have its full emotional impact. The scene where they lower the hood on Sarah Jean has made me cry every time I watch this episode. It made my boyfriend cry. I don't actually know anyone who didn't cry. And that scene is just the climax, not the only effective scene. The entire story is well-woven throughout the episode and I think you'd have to actively be trying to resist it to not be pulled in by it. The acting is beautifully done both by the guest stars and the regular cast. Overall, a fantastic episode.
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