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Criminal Minds

Season 2 Episode 11

Sex, Birth, Death

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 29, 2006 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
753 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The BAU is called to investigate a series of murders of prostitutes in the nation's capital and suspects a teenager is guilty of the crimes. The case becomes complicated when a congresswoman, who about to make a speech to praise the city's lower crime rate, threatens to take away the case if SSA Hotchner calls a press conference to discuss it.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • Reid helps a teenager with his urges to kill.

    This was probably the best episode so far this season and a good Reid episode when a serial killer killing prostitutes and a man who links in with the case coming to Reid for help about his urge to kill prostitutes Through the episode I didn't know whether the kid was the killer or it was just someone else You could see that the kid was struggling and that he could very well end up killing someone but he tries to fight it and tells Reid he might have to kill himself When Gideon realizes that the kid isn't the killer they manage to catch the killer and he is a vigilante of prostitutes At the end I thought that the kid was going to kill the prostitute with a knife but he cut himself and was saved by Reid When Reid thinks about it he knows that the kid wouldn't of wanted him to be saved.moreless
  • Disturbingly masterful.

    I watched parts of Criminal Minds when I was about 12 or 13, and stopped watching it for a few years. Then this year I got the box set of the first few seasons, and this was one of the first episodes I looked for because it left such a huge impression on me. It was just that good. It was truly disturbing and psychologically intriguing. Being a huge Reid fan, it was a really enjoyable episode for me, as we got to see a lot of Reid's development. What was interesting for me was that it was really based on Jack the Ripper, and 7 episodes later, we get another one in Jones. But that's irrelevant, amazing episode, really the true essence of Criminal Minds. Must watch for anyone starting on the series.moreless
  • Saving people includes saving people from themselves, doesn't it?

    This episode had a lot of things going for it, from a believable plot to excellent guest stars and, of course, further character development of the BAU team. I found this plot to be completely plausible. An intelligent young man approaches an nonthreatening adult with a problem, even though he's afraid of the response. Nathan's dilemma was presented well, and his internal struggle against an overwhelming desire told the viewers something about how these killers operate. And why wouldn't the BAU get involved in evaluating the teen's emotional and mental state - who better to determine whether his fears of becoming a killer are justified? The murders of prostitutes were also completely believable since, as Dr. Reid states, they are some of the favorite victims of serial killers.

    Anton Yelchin as Nathan was creepifyingly brilliant, balancing sympathetic and scary in the same line of dialogue, or even by just looking at the camera. Great physical type for this role as well, one could almost see the parallel with our own Dr. Reid, minus the curly hair, of course. I thought the women who played the prostitutes also delivered great performances - who else cheered when one maced the real killer? Dr. Reid is afraid of his own mind - the line between genius and mental illness is a very thin and wavering one, and he's got a big strike against him already with a schizophrenic mother. As in "Derailed", Reid is trying to save Nathan while, at the same time, trying to hold onto hope for himself. Great moments between Reid and Garcia - she is becoming more like a quirky favorite Aunt to our boy - that connection is touching. Prentiss and Hotch also get to duke it out, and Gideon shows he is both gentle and sincere to Nathan and his mother - something for everyone in this episode. And did JJ call him "Spence" again? I've missed that from Season 1.

    One of my favorites from Season 2. Kindly keep them coming, CM!moreless
  • Prostitutes are being murdered in Washington D.C. and the team think that they may already have a viable suspect when a young man approaches Reid in public.

    Young Nathan is a teenage boy with a problem. He has an overwhelming desire to kill prostitutes and feel their blood running through his fingers. He approaches Reid and tells him that he recently attended a lecture and asks Reid to help him but runs away before Reid can do anything constructive except draw a vague sketch of the young man who is clearly troubled.

    When the team hear that prostitutes are being murdered, usually in daylight, in Washinton D.C., Reid immediately recalls his conversation with the young man and, with the help of Garcia's computer genius, is able to find out who he is and which school he attends. After talking to the more senior members of the team, they decide that it's worth paying a visit to young Nathan whom they believe could benefit greatly from some in-patient psychiatric care. His mother is violently opposed to this but Nathan himself knows that he needs help. He does, however, insist that he has not killed any prostitutes, he just fantasises about doing so and writes grisly fiction on the subject as well.

    Meanwhile, a high-powered Congresswoman wishes to make a speech on the steps of the Capitol announcing that crime in D.C. has greatly decreased and leans on Hotch to not alert the news media to the fact that there is a serial killer on the loose in Washington. This part, I had no trouble believing wht so ever. Naturally, a poilitician can't have reality interfering with their delusions of grandeur and her treatment of the 'ladies of the night' whom she was obliged to meet in the BAU conference room was, to say the least, ignorant but again,not unexpected.

    Meanwhile, young Nathan's fantasies are getting more and more violent and he wants to stop but can he? And is he the killer at all or just wants to be?moreless
  • Graet episode, with many interesting dimensions! At the present time, this is rated on TV.com as the third best episode of Criminal Minds ever. I think there are many episodes that are much better than this one, even though this was still good.moreless

    This was yet another good Criminal Minds episode. This one was about a series a of murders of prostitutes in Washington D.C. The FBI believes that a high-schooler is responsible, but although they rule him out as a suspect, an aanalysis shows that this kid is lkely to kill in the future. Very eerie!

    I though the suspense in the episode was brilliant, as there was an air of mystery with the high school kid, even though we knew he wasn't the bad guy. The case in itself was not magnificent. There have been better ones, but hdad it not been for the involvement of the boy in the episode, this one would hardly be memorable.

    My favorite part of this episode was the ending. It was really well done! The lengths some future-killers will go to stop themselves from killing is astounding!

    All up, this was a very good episode of Criminal Minds. In comparison to other episodes from this season, I think it was better than its predecessor, but episodes like 'The Boogeyman' and 'North Mammon' are still better than thi s one.

    Keep it up, Criminal Minds! The quality of these episodes are very high, and I am really lookin forward to seeing more! I'd highly recommend this episode!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

Paget Brewster

Paget Brewster

SSA Emily Prentiss

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • When Morgan and Prentiss are questioning prostitutes in an alley in Washington, a bus passes by on the street outside the alley. The bus is a Montebello, California, city bus.

    • In the profiling session in the conference room, the whiteboard in the background shows a misspelling of the word "mandatory" as "manditory."

    • The sketch of the unsub that Reid asks Gideon to distribute was a Matthew Gray Gubler original. Matthew is a successful artist, and displays many of his drawings, including some of his cast-mates, on his own website.

    • Reid is shown leaving a Metro station near the BAU Headquarters in Quantico, although there is no Metro station in Quantico. There is a VRE and Amtrak station at Quantico, but they are above ground.

    • When the team is in the office discussing a new profile, Reid appears in one shot wearing his watch on the outside of his sweater, then on his bare wrist in the following shot.

    • Paget Brewster and guest star Anton Yelchin played mother and son on the TV series Huff.

    • When Reid is talking to Nathan after the juvenile authorities let him go near the end of the episode, Garcia goes into her office. The camera pans to Reid, then back to Nathan when he responds, and the door closes again.

    • Garcia drives a convertible that she named "Esther."

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Congresswoman Steyer: Well, I have talked to my people, and I understand that we have a potential serial killer targeting prostitutes in D.C.
      Hotchner: (surprised) That was awfully fast.
      Congresswoman Steyer: (smirks) I have awfully good people.

    • Gideon: You saved his life.
      Reid: He wanted me to let him die.
      Gideon: He's sick. He needed saving.

    • Garcia: You and me, we're hitting the town.
      Reid: No offense, Garcia, but I don't think I'd make very good company right now.
      Garcia: No, up. Up! Don't make me hurt you.

    • Morgan: Why these particular women?
      Reid: The simplest answer is that he has access.

    • Rhonda: We always see the same politicians talking about cleaning up the Hill. The ones who drop fifty bucks with us right before they give the speech.

    • Reid: How many people's lives did I risk in the future?
      Gideon: Profiles can be wrong.
      Reid: What if it's not? What if next time he kills somebody?
      Gideon: Then you catch him.

    • Reid: What's up with Hotch today?
      Morgan: I don't know, maybe he tied that knot in his tie a little too tight again.

    • Prentiss: (to Hotchner) I think politics makes people distrustful. I think it makes them hate themselves. I think it tears families apart, and damages people. So if there's nothing else, I would like to get back out on the street and find out who's killing these women. … Sir.

    • Reid: D.C. may have a serial killer, and… I think I just let him get away.

    • Gideon: This last victim definitely had a message. You don't dump a body across from the Capitol Building by accident.

    • Reid: I know what it's like to be afraid of your own mind.

    • Reid: There's nothing in the juvenile offender records.
      Garcia: So you think like a high school kid.
      Reid: I was 12 and I hadn't been though puberty when I was in high school.
      Garcia: Okay, reset. I think like a high school student. You think like a profiler.

    • Reid: T.S. Eliot wrote, "Between the desire and the spasm, between the potency and the existence, between the essence and the descent, falls the shadow. This is the way the world ends."

    • Reid: T.S. Eliot wrote, "Between the idea and the reality, between the motion and the act, falls the shadow."

  • NOTES (1)

    • The song played at the beginning of this episode was "Where Is My Mind?" by The Pixies. The song played while Nathan is typing was "I Gotta Feeling (Just Nineteen)" by Eagles of Death Metal.


    • Nathan: It's just the text for a graphic novel.
      Morgan: About killing prostitutes?
      Nathan: Jack the Ripper, it's a famous case.

      Nathan is making an understatement. In 1888, five prostitutes were murdered and mutilated in London's Whitechapel district. The killer became known as Jack the Ripper because that was how he signed some taunting letters he sent to the police. Historians have come up with many theories about the crimes and named several suspects, but the identity of the Ripper is still unknown. This is one of the most notorious unsolved crimes in history.

    • Reid: This is the way the world ends.

      The T.S. Eliot quotes in this episode are from his 1925 poem, "The Hollow Men," verse V.