Criminal Minds

Season 3 Episode 3

Scared to Death

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 10, 2007 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
570 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The BAU travels to Oregon to assist local authorities in investigating the disappearances of people who are new to the city and have no strong social ties in Portland. All the clues lead to a psychiatrist who may be using his patients' worst fears to murder them.moreless

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  • good episode...

    The team is called in to investigate murders that are all different. The victums were all new comers to the city, and that's about it. It turned out that a creepy pyscologist person convinced his patients to confront their fears and he practically killed them. He let go of the saftely line when a man was scared of water was in the water, thus causing him to drown. He burried a girl alive, but the team freed her. Overall, the case was interesting and there were some good character moments in the episode. It's weird not to have Gideon, but it's also nice. I like change in a show. Overall, good episode.moreless
  • Someone is killing someone based on their fears.

    As usual i thought that this was a great episode of Criminal minds. Also once again I thought that the cast was really great with their characters in this episode. I liked the storyline with the psycho killer killing people based on their fears because he is dealing with some trama with his mother dying and what she did to him when he was a child. I really do not notice a difference in the episodes of Criminal Minds now that Mandy Patinkin is no longer in the cast. I liked that Hodge told someone that his wife left him at the end of the episode.moreless
  • With no Mandy, "Criminal Minds" looks to Paget Brewster's chest to carry the show.

    I was willing to give "Criminal Minds" a chance after the (in my opinion) nicely handled departure of Jason Gideon. Unfortunately, my fears were confirmed: without the strong center that Mandy Patinkin and his character provided, the profilers are lost and the show is veering more and more into "shock of the week" territory.

    In a continuing effort to top themselves, the writers continue to dream up "unsubs" with less and less grounding in reality, and who are saddled with backstories in an effort to garner our sympathy. Case in point, the psychiatrist with a bad childhood and nagging wife kills people in the style of their greatest fears. It's a plot more appropriate for a comic book villain than a serial killer. Gone are the days of the early first season when the crimes and their culprits were so grounded in reality, the tension was palpable. Now, each unsub needs to be grander/more ridiculous than the last. (Hunters who hunt people!, etc.) Plus...I know a show is in trouble when boobs become a major star. What the heck kind of dress code does the BAU have? Paget Brewster's neckline took a bungie jump this week, and JJ's attire is always that of a 13 year old out for a Friday night. Dress professionally! Scully did on "The X-Files" and it didn't hurt her sex appeal. The women on "CM" look like cheerleaders, and sound like them too.

    The good: Thomas Gibson (the only other good actor on the show) had a very nice moment with Jayne Atkinson at the beginning, and it's clear he's struggling with his home strife. Too bad Jayne Atkinson hasn't made more appearances. Her Erin Strauss is the kind of female character this show needs...a woman who is more than breasts and pouty lips. Also, Michael O'Keefe was creepy enough as the psychiatrist-killer.

    The bad: No more Jason Gideon. We've got a weak cast of prime-time rejects awash in a sea of dreck. Too bad, this show started out strong...but now I have my Wednesday nights back.moreless
  • A taste of the Action to the one's that don't know the show

    Loved this episode, one of my favorites and a mark to people that haven't had the chance to check this series out! A true example in How to understand the "How and Why" of a serial killers mind.

    We find a "morbid" Hotch struggling between the safe of a family and the thrill and rightness to catch the society monsters out there...

    I can understand the difficulty of Reid to figure it out why the letter was sent to him, and only him. To such a master mind to understand something so simple and personal to a "lab rat" can be hard...moreless
  • This was kind of a blah episode for me.

    This episode definitely was not up to snuff after the first two episodes of this season.

    Through out the whole episode I kind of felt myself going "what?" Everything seemed to happen in a very short amount of time. For this episode I did not like knowing the identity of the psycho and cruel killer. It took away from the drama of the episode in my opinion. It has worked many times before, but this time I felt like it just flopped.

    I was disappointed that the guy just pretty much committed suicide by jumping off the building. I thought it was kind of a lame ending. At least they found the girl aliive, I happy about that. This episode almost seemed melodramatic and a little too predictable.moreless
Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson

Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner

A.J. Cook

A.J. Cook

SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jareau

Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler

SSA Dr. Spencer Reid

Paget Brewster

Paget Brewster

SSA Emily Prentiss

Kirsten Vangsness

Kirsten Vangsness

Analyst Penelope Garcia

Jennifer Lee Keyes

Jennifer Lee Keyes


Guest Star

Michael O'Keefe

Michael O'Keefe

Dr. Stan Howard

Guest Star

Barbara Gordon

Barbara Gordon

Dog Owner

Guest Star

Jayne Atkinson

Jayne Atkinson

Section Chief Erin Strauss

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When the team is at the lake with the CSU technicians, Morgan is holding the plastic rope in his bare hands that might have fingerprints on it. He then hands the rope to the CSU tech, who is wearing gloves.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Morgan: (as he and Reid finally escape from the tiny, malfunctioning elevator) Hallelujah.
      Hotchner: Was that the alarm? You guys OK?
      Reid: I'll get back to you on that.

    • Reid: Uh... did anything ever strike you as odd about Jenny?
      Apartment Super: You know what? When she moved in here two months ago, she walked up and down those stairs a hundred times. (chuckles) She wouldn't use the elevator.
      : I don't blame her.

    • Reid: (of Gideon's letter) Yeah, yeah, you know Gideon stood toe to toe with some of the… the sickest people on this planet. I mean it took a lot of courage, right?
      Prentiss: Yeah.
      Reid: So why'd he do this? (shows Prentiss the letter) It's addressed to me, but I'm not… I'm not the only one that he abandoned.
      : Why is it addressed to you? I think you need to read that letter again.
      Reid: I have an eidetic memory, Emily.
      Prentiss: Yeah, I know, and an IQ of 187. But what do you remember about your father?
      : What do you mean?
      Prentiss: He gave you 10 years before he left and yet you've erased all those memories. And it's too painful, I get it. But then Gideon leaves. I think you need to read that letter again and ask yourself why, of all the people, he walked away from… did he only explain himself to one person… you.

    • Dr. Stan Howard: (to Hotchner) I think your greatest fear is that you can't save everyone. It is worse than I thought.

    • Reid: (holding up a bag of chips) Snack machine.
      : Yeah, I don't think he's luring them with pretzels.

    • (after the elevator jerks to a stop and Morgan starts pressing buttons) Reid: Don't.
      Morgan: What, it's broken.
      Reid: Don't do that.
      Morgan: Why not?
      : Because there are six elevator related deaths per year not to mention 10,000 injuries that require hospitalization. Chill out.
      Morgan: Those sound like pretty good odds to me, what, are you scared, Reid?
      : I'm not scared.
      Morgan: You're scared, what if I push that?
      Reid: I don't want to be in an elevator with you, to be honest.

    • Morgan: You know Hotch, today was a huge, huge victory for all of us. You know, I never thought I'd say this, but we're doing just fine without Gideon. Hotch, what's keeping you up tonight?
      Hotchner: (after a long pause) Haley's left. And I don't know if she's coming back.

    • Reid: It hit me when Morgan freaked out when we were stuck in the elevator.
      Prentiss: You got stuck in an elevator?
      Morgan: I freaked?
      Reid: That's not important.

    • Hotchner: The Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu once wrote, "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still."

    • Hotchner: Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."

  • NOTES (4)

    • In this episode it is revealed there is an agreement between certain members of the team not to profile each other.

    • In this episode, Mandy Patinkin had been removed from the main credits and group shot at the end of the sequence, thus leaving Thomas Gibson as the first-billed star.

    • The song played at the end of this episode was "River of Darkness" by Kalli. Other music was "Barely Holding On" by Wes Nickson, "Broken" by Lifehouse, "Can't Find My Way" by Phil Collins, "Requiem, KV 626 In D Minor: IIIa. Dies Irae (Sequentia)" by Mozart Festival Orchestra, "Scott Joplin Collage" by Gordon Green, "Tambourine" by Steffan Fantini.

    • This episode was dedicated in the memory of Mark Kamps, supervising sound editor, who died August 24, 2007, in Ventura, California.