Criminal Minds

Season 7 Episode 9

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Dec 07, 2011 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
434 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


The BAU is called to determine the real reason behind what appears to be a mass suicide by a small group of young men at a military academy. Meanwhile, Hotchner and Morgan are at odds with each other when they discover their investigation could be jeopardized by another team member.


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# 6
  • different and great episode creepy, and emotive

    love Erin and Garcia going out with the cast. enjoy watching it. Sorry Lady Lancaster. open you mind for some characters
  • A very 'busy' episode.

    Wow, so much happening in such a few short minutes! First we have the team called to investigate a supposed mass suicide at a military academy, followed by a whole lot of ducking and diving by the brass who run the place. Erin Strauss, who hates field work, travels with the team on assignment as the FBI Director has a special interest in the case as he is a former student. One suicide leads to what seems to be not more suicides, but cleverly disguised murders. A student is on the run, the Colonel is keeping many secrets (including a cell phone ...) and the father of the original suicide victim whom, it appears, was bullied to his death, is found dead himsdelf.

    As if all this wasn't enough to concentrate on due to the fact that the plot kept changing back and forth and adding extra people all over the place, it turns out that Strauss is an alcoholic who keeps a large stash in her office. Morgan apparently noticed it on her breath and it looks like all hell is going to break loose. My question is, why introduce this subplot? Is this the 'sickness' eluded to last season or is it something completely new? As for the fact that she kept enough alcohol in her OFFICE drawer, which was unlocked, to run a small bar, I don't think I'll comment. As if a woman as smart as her would leave her 'secret' where it could be so easily found and then put up only a small token resistance when Hotch decided to have a little look. That is not the Erin Strauss that I have been watching for several seasons! She would have fought like a tiger! Good to see her be able to lose her temper in the Colonel's office, though, even if it was alcohol-induced. More range for the actress.

    Barely any profiling, but I think we are all getting used to that now. Actually, the team seemed quite lost in several places, in spite of their amazing knowledge of military procedure. And will Strauss's drinking just disappear like Reid's headaches did previously, never to be spoken of again without any explanation as to WHY she was drinking? Is this the end of the character (whom I actually like) or will she turn up again, fully recovered and ready for work? Only time will tell. Writers, please, less characters, confusion and sub-plots in your episodes would be most welcome.moreless
  • An episode so boring it wasted an hour of my life...

    Self-Fulfilling prophecy may well be the worst episode of the series; it certainly, to me, is the worst season of this season. The script seems like one rejected by the producers of C.S.I. It amazed me that all of the agents seemed to be experts on military schools; what amazed me more was that virtually no profiling was done to a significant degree by the agents. The episode, as a whole, reminds me of something Rod Serling said about his own writing. "You write somethingyou think is quite adequate at the time only torealize later you have given birth to a turd."

  • where has my old criminal minds gone (SPOILERS)

    ok so let me start off to say this i am a HUGE criminal minds fan (i am obsessed) andf also to say that this is my first review so anyways

    i was so pummped up for tonights ep bc it was the first ep to air in a few weeks (new one) and the whole thing started off wierd with hotch in strauss office ik she would be part of the ep but i love the actor but hate the charactor! anyways throughout the ep it was way to buusy and to many things were going on i never fully understood the plot and the characters! and i was waiting the whole time for the fight between hotch and morgan and i almost missed it! there were a few words exsganged and morgan than walks away (i didnt exspect fights or anything) but i was hopping to see mre raising of the voices or someone eles to over hear so that was diapointing! also i was waiting for "the character" to be jepordy! im thinking reid or jj or something is going to get hurt or held hostage NO WRONG! staruss has a drinking proublem CMON THATS ReALLY ALL YOU COULD THINK OF!

    so anyways i was very disapointed in the ep and i think this season of criminal minds has been medioccer at best i want to see profiling and situations that actully matter! and i am still waiting for other issues to get resolved ( reids headakes and such) so criminal minds better step up there game! bc curently i am not a happy fan:)

  • WOAH. What an episode.

    I absolutely loved this episode.The plot kept me at the very edge. Even though the team members were absolutelyfantastic, I think this was one of those episodes where the storyline was more interesting than the team members. Though how awesome was the scene with all of them eating lunch and profiling each of the victims (How long has it been since we've seen them order some takeout and discuss the case).I like how we've got insight into the fact that finally Strauss's cold calm exterior is cracking and the somewhat tension regarding this between Hotch and Morgan, it makes the whole thing more believable. I didn't expect a literal fight or screaming, come on they are profilers who know how to restrain themselves and handle things professionally and moreover understand each others position. Rossi being italian was quite a plus in this episode. The scene between Penelope and Reid, as usual adorable. Garcia: That was a Joke. Reid: Oh...hmm that's a good joke.

    The whole idea of a military academy thats hardcore oldschool and is faced with a mass suicide is quite interesting. I knew there had to be secrets that weren't being revealed by the Colonel but I think the more important part was, what exactly was Josh's role in this. Was he the murderer or a victim. In this I was at the same pace as the team, till the very end I didn't figure out till what extent he was involved. The direction was excellent with regard to the scene of Josh on the run, especially when they show him singing and motivating himself to keep running. The twists were good, especially that Bailey's father was somehow involved in this whole plan.

    Overall I think it was an excellent episode. CM is the best show on television. Can't wait for more.

Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson

Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner

Joe Mantegna

Joe Mantegna

Senior SSA David Rossi

Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler

SSA Dr. Spencer Reid

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Paget Brewster

Paget Brewster

SSA Emily Prentiss

A.J. Cook

A.J. Cook

SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jareau

Rene Auberjonois

Rene Auberjonois

Ron Massey

Guest Star

Kevin Fonteyne

Kevin Fonteyne

Josh Redding

Guest Star

Michael Harding

Michael Harding

Will Redding

Guest Star

Jayne Atkinson

Jayne Atkinson

Section Chief Erin Strauss

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Morgan: "Beware, so long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance." Jean de La Fontaine

    • Morgan: "Things do not change; we change." Henry David Thoreau

    • Reid: What drove them to suicide?
      Erin Strauss: A freshman cadet, Bailey Shelton, hung himself two weeks ago in his room.
      Hotchner: Identical bed sheet, hangman's knot.
      Rossi: Who takes sheets camping?
      JJ: They would if it was the plan. Could be a domino effect.
      Rossi: The campus would have been on high alert after the first one, so the kids wait until they're alone in the woods.
      Morgan: They must have made some kind of pact.
      Hotchner: And there's something else. Six kids went on the trip, only five were found.

    • Reid: A man like Massey sets rules, but is the first to break them. He's been left alone to run these kids' lives, and nobody questions him.
      Garcia: Man, it sounds so sad and scary when you put it like that.
      Reid: His policies are a combination of many other philosophies. I'm not sure where his actual leadership lies.
      Garcia: Only that it does… lie, that is. It's a joke.
      Rossi: Oh, good joke.

    • Erin Strauss: I'm sorry, I just don't have the patience for this. He's clearly hiding something.
      Morgan: All due respect, ma'am, have you been drinking?
      Erin Strauss: What? What are you talking about?
      Morgan: Strauss, we have one shot at this.
      Erin Strauss: You think I don't know that?
      Morgan: Well, if he smelled what I can smell on your breath right now, the credibility of this investigation would be compromised.

    • Reid: You'd think the laundry room would be closer to the dorms.
      Garcia: It's not in the basement?
      Reid: It's on the opposite side of campus. That's so strange.
      Garcia: Yeah.
      Rossi: Leaves of three, let them be.
      Garcia: Oh man, poison ivy. Alcohol swabs, stat.
      Prentiss: Thank you. (to Rossi, scratching her arm) You know, if I've got it, so do you.
      Rossi: I'm Italian; it knows better.

    • Reid: (discussing ghosts) I do know a three-year-old boy that once met a friendly apparition named Leverett Saltonstall.
      Garcia: He was nice?
      Reid: Very nice.

  • NOTES (2)

    • When guest star Mitchel Blackfield was being auditioned for the role of Bailey Shelton, director Charlie Haid thought Mitchel would be perfect for the role if he'd cut his Justin Bieber-style hair. Blackfield happily agreed to change to a military school cut.

    • Production on this episode wrapped on October 14, 2011.


    • Josh Redding: "We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."
      As Josh is walking in the woods, he recites parts of "We Shall Fight on the Beaches" by Winston Churchill, a speech to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom on June 4, 1940. In it, Churchill accounts for a monstrous loss against Germany and the possibility of France's surrender, but reminds the populace that this small island has withstood many challenges from the Continent, but has never bowed.