Criminal Minds

Season 1 Episode 22

The Fisher King (1)

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM May 10, 2006 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (23)

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out of 10
884 votes
  • A dangerous serial killer targets the whole team

    When the team think that they are having a break they have to think again when a killer with big intentions sends clues to each member of the team and tries to frame Elle when she goes to Jamaica with Morgan.The killer shows how much he knows each member of the team by sending clues which links to each member of the teams past.The killer also sends them a video of the rules in which the team should follow so that the woman he kidnapped won't be killed and the killer seems to be crippled somehow.When the team doesn't follow these orders Elle gets in some trouble when the killer shows himself to Elle in her house with a gun up to her and when Elle goes to get her gun one of them fires their gun but which one is unknown until season 2 which I can't wait for.
  • “I shall follow where you lead…” Garcia’s response to her imaginary Sir Kneighf is strangely foreshadowing of the entire Fisher King quest.

    Vulnerable: exposed, in danger, susceptible, at risk. Strong, independent FBI agents aren’t the ones who are supposed to feel vulnerable. They are the heroes, the doers of deeds, the impervious knights who fight the dragons and rescue the damsels in distress. Their armor is not just physical, to protect them from injury, but also moral and emotional, keeping them safe behind shields made of laws, principles, and the knowledge that they are in the right. Confident in their armor, the shock of their vulnerability is enough to undo them.

    Hotch’s vulnerability is his family. He is so happy at the beginning of this episode, looking forward to being with his wife and child, that his interaction with Haley takes 10 years off his face and puts the twinkle back into his eyes. Contrast that with his dawning realization that his wife and son are in imminent danger when Haley shows up at the BAU. He is completely unprepared for this threat.

    Reid’s situation is similar – he feels vulnerable because of his family, but for a completely opposite reason. He wants no one to know that his mother is mentally ill, and hides her from his fellow knights, afraid of what this reveals about him, his life, his past, and his own potential. Having successfully kept this secret from his new family, when he finds that the unsub has found him out he feel completely exposed, even terrified.

    Poor Garcia – hers is the saddest story. A simple game, her defenses down, and her most precious possession – the sanctity of her information systems – is destroyed. And she knows that her own mistakes have caused this breach in the walls. She is the one who has fallen asleep on duty and allowed the enemy a foothold in the sanctuary of her fellow knights.

    Gideon’s vulnerability is the most difficult with which to empathize. He needs his time away – a world where he can escape. “I needed a place where I didn’t have to know what was out there, where I could close my eyes and not see bodies torn to pieces, hear children calling out for help. That cabin was the only thing I had left and this guy took it away from me.” It isn’t until he sees the dangers facing the rest of the team that he is able to pull himself from his wallowing.

    No one is safe. Emotionally. Psychologically. But physically, Elle pays the highest price. The vulnerability of this strong, independent and volatile member of the team takes everyone, including the viewer, by surprise. If these warriors are not safe, then who else can be? As a cliff-hanger leading into season two, we can only assume that the rules have changed, and our heroes are now as vulnerable as anyone they’ve met as victims this year. Certainty is gone. Anything goes.
  • A fantastic finale to this first season and one that will have you on your edge of your seat all the way through, not to mention wanting Season 2 to start really quickly so that you can find out what happens.

    It's time for much-needed vacations for all members of the team, with the exception of JJ and Garcia, who have their vacation time separately from other members. Gideon is going to his cabin in the woods to spend two weeks with a lady friend, Reid is going to visit his mother, Diana, who is a paranoid schizophrenic residing in a hospital in Nevada and Elle and Morgan are both heading off to sunny Jamaica where Morgan's friend manages a luxury resort. Hotch will be spending the time with his family and it's clear that he's looking forward to it very much because he actually smiles!

    All goes well in the beginning with everyone enjoying their free time until a headless corpse turns up in the Jamaican resort and the head is delivered to Gideon in his cabin in the woods. Reid, meanwhile, reluctant to visit is also delivered something, a key, but he has no idea what it is for. Hotch, at home with Hayley, receives a phone call from a stranger and JJ is sent a box containing a mounted rare butterfly found only in England. Garcia, however, is having the time of her life playing an online virtual reality game with the man of her dreams.

    Things turn very sour for everyone when Elle is arrested for murder and Hotch must fly to Jamaica to prove her innocence.

    The unsub has the same message for all of them. "SAVE HER" and leads them on a complainted 'quest' to do just that. The question is, who is the blonde girl being held captive by the unsub and why, if she is being held against her will,(which she clearly is)does he want them to save her?

    An even bigger question is, can they do so in time and what in the world has Reid's mother got to do with the whole thing?

    A truly excellent episode, full of all the mystery, plot twists and drama you would expect from a season finale. Don't forget to watch it and, of course, tune in for Season 2 to learn what happens. You will be enthralled.
  • High stakes

    Team has finally two weeks off as Gideon just cannot take more and they all go their separate ways just to get back soon as they get separate clues for next case - a young girl adopted two years ago and now he comes forward, knows so much about them and wants them to their play with only one rule - only them. And that rule Gideon breaks and this ends with amazing cliff hanger - Greenaway versus the adopter and guns..

    This episode was amazing - the whole clue game, the way they managed to bring more and more personal feeling to char by showing what they would do in their vacation, opened a new side of Gideon - he is person too. Have to see next episode.
  • Possibly my favourite ever episode

    The best episode ever i loved this, i loved all of it even the cliff hanger is really good awesome seing the teams on vacation and there personal life priceless,absolutly hilarious can't wait to see more like this and come on modern knights of the round table great concepts it was cool to met Reids mum all though sad at the same time she seems sweet is crazy, Morgan and Elle at the beach were fun untill people died.

    The case was really clever as well, with the way he was doing things to get to the team and how he really thought he was the fisher king. Plus his poor daughter stuck down there for years

    oh and P.S is it just me or is Reid getting smarter.
  • Words can't describe the greatness of this episode.

    This episode of Criminal Minds, as mentioned by others, was perhaps the best one ever. I loved seeing this type of a case in which the team had to solve cryptic clues.

    I really enjoyed seeing the team at their various vacations, some of which can't really be called vacations.

    I loved the idea of each team member receiving an individual clue and having to put them all together to solve it all.

    I thought this episode was planned so intricately, that it was flawless and incredible. It really is one of the best ones ever.

    The suspense was killing me though. It finished on such a great cliffhanger!

    Great job, Criminal Minds!
  • If you're a huge fan of Criminals Minds, you would be kicking yourself if you missed this episode.

    This episode was excellent, it was very thrilling. In Australia this was screened as a double episode with part 2. So we weren't kept in suspense. Still one of the best episodes I've seen. Simply exciting!
    I never knew Elle's father was in the police force for some reason I thought Gideon was her father, so I was deeply confused for all of five seconds. Even though it was sad when she got shot, I found it to be an episode highlight. Just wandering who is the woman with Gideon? It was sweet, the story of when Hocther first saw his wife.
  • Review

    I can certainly see why everyone on this site has rated this episode the highest of the season. I think the beginning 12 minutes showing everyone on vacation was a little filler, but I also suppose that it was much needed considering the events that unfolded in the episode. Speaking of which - I really loved the "Lets play a game" type of storyline that reminded me of Saw. I could see where some people would be upset that it is the same type of the thing - but the killer played a much different type of story then the killer in the movie saw. Then ofcourse the big blockbuster at the end - Elle being killed (or so we are led to assume) by the man because the team didn't follow the rules. I actually wouldn't mind if she really is dead because I think it would be a nice shift that no one on this show is safe. I guess we will have to wait until next season to find out, but this is certainly the best episode of the first season.
  • ....The information superhighway is closed. Someone had the nerve to run a black hat op into my computers, Morgan. They hacked me, okay? - Garcia

    Why the hell the phrase "to be continued" ever invented? This 2-part episode was the best episode I ever watched. It's like watching "Grave Danger" 2-part episode of CSI. Reid you are really charming - Thanks to Matthew for perfectly performing this character. Without your character here I think CM is nothing. But in fairness to all characters you are all good but I am sorry to say I am really die-hard fun of Reid character. More episode thrilling as this one.
  • This was an all round terrific episode.

    Most episodes of this show are very good.

    This one was simply excellent.

    It was interesting, though not fun, to see someone actually coming after the team - instead of the other way around.

    It definitely added quite a lot to the suspense of the show.

    This was the first time I remember seeing so many of the team vulnerable or showing any manifest weakness at all.

    Another thing adding to the general moire of creepiness is the fact that we never see the killer psycho's face. He is kind of like Charlie in Charlie's Angels or Robin Masters in Magnum P.I.

    This episode manages to be quite suspenseful from just a few minutes into it until the very end.

    It is a real cliff-hanger too. It will be quite interesting to see how everything turns out in the next episode too.
  • Absolutely thrilling!

    This is the best Criminal Minds episode yet! Each of the members of the BAU had two weeks of vacation time, and they all went their seperate ways (except Elle and Derek, who vacationed together) for a little rest and relaxation.

    That's when things go wrong. Garcia gets hacked into, Gideon receives a head in the mail, someone sends JJ a butterfly, Reid gets a cryptic note, Hotch gets a weird phone call at home and Elle gets accused of murder. But all of these things are linked together, as the clues begin to unravel, we find out that the same person did all of it, trying to get the attention of the team.

    It was a wonderful episode, but a cliffhanger. I cannot wait until season 2 when I can watch Fisher King part 2 and figure out how it all ends!!
  • ^That header doesn't even begin to describe.

    Can we say gershnika? Holy kachokato that was awesome. See the english language cannot even begin to describe. Might I add that Reid is possibly the most incredible person on this beautiful blue planet we call Earth. Oivey! I love that guy... no, I really do. Only reason I don't give the episode a ten is because now I have to wait all summer to see part two and witing with baited breath makes Sam a VERY FRIGHTENING PERSON! *inhale* *exhale*. Okay. I'm okay now. Anyways, excitement for next season much? I think so. All right, I'm done. Wooh.

    P.S. I love saying his whole name with title. Just try saying it out loud right now. Come on say it with me: Special Agent Doctor Spencer Reid. *shudder* I get shivers just saying it. Okay now I'm done.
  • This about the \\\"RECAP\\\" from Criminal Minds The Page looks like an \\\"official page\\\" from TV.Com

    There is no signature on this \"Recap\".So I don\\\'t know who to ask.
    In the last paragraph the writer said that in the very last scene \\\"There were two shots\\\".
    Now my hearing cant differentiate if there was one or two shots almost simultaneous I only heard one shot but that could be my hearing.
    Do you know if there was one or two shots?
    Can you clarify this point this for me please? The Recap says to ask if we need clarification to ask.
    Can you tell me or send me the name who I should I contact and ask this question to?
    Thank you very much
  • One of the best episodes of the series so far! Not to mention a great way to end the season, leaving the auidience on the edge of their seats.

    I especially love all the insight that we gained into the characters lives. Morgan and Elle going off to Jamaica is in character, as they are the \'wild\' agents. We don\'t learn much about them personally except that they get along very well, and are both somewhat promiscuous (as their plans for vacation are basically \"get laid\"). No disrespect meant to their characters, working the BAU is no doubt extremely lonely, but that\'s how that played out to me. Hotch\'s family is great. I love how he met his wife, even if I\'ve always found the actress who plays her somewhat annoying. Gideons vacation was wonderful too. Cooking and dating... who knew? Though it fit him very well. Poor Spencer though, if that\'s his only family. Schizophrenia can be really heartbreaking-- I know from experiance. Seeing someone you love ranting and pacing, or drugged out and empty-- not the makings of happy times. Also, as it is (possibly) hereditary, it\'s not exactly great news for Reid, a character who has already made allusions to fearing for his mental health. JJ well, now we know she collected butterflies as a kid. Garcia plays internet video games, and is-- to everyones apparent shock-- not infallible. I love her character, but her making a mistake, the day before she\'s let off for vacation... not that out there.

    The bad guy for this episode totally rocks. Here\'s my take on the book (probably totally wrong). So it\'s some kind of mideval literature, \'english butterfly\' means it\'s probably english. The baseball card... well I dunno. I have to think there is a significance to the killer focusing on Reid. Help \"Him\" save \"Her\". Why Reid? I also think the fact that his mother was a professor of 15th century literature (which I\'m pretty sure they mentioned specifically) means that SHE will now what book it is, even if nobody else does. Reid going to her for help is going to out his \'family problems\' to the rest of the team. Which will likely lead to lots of angst.

    As for the cliffhanger ending, I don\'t know if I think they killed Elle. She\'s probably just hurt, though her dying would create some interesting situations. Gideon would definitely feel guilt after breaking the killers \'rule\' while on tilt from loosing his santuary. Hotch would blame himself for suggesting she go home (it was him right?) even though there was an obvious risk due to the hand delivered package his own wife received. He sent his family to a hotel, but sent Elle home. That would hurt in retrospect. Morgan is super close to her, so he might feel guilty himself or maybe throw around some blame.

    I don\'t know how much sense it makes that Elle would be sent home, or that her \'escort\' wouldn\'t clear her house to make sure nobody was inside. But it\'s a tv show, so it \'happened\'. Just chalk it up to everbody working through their vacations. 8*D
  • Good finale, and they left us with a puzzle !

    Good finale, great to see all characters out of the office ( surprising "motivation" for Reid to become a behavioralist because his mom is schizophrenic - at least I assume that's what got him into psychology/psychiatry ).
    Slightly predicting ( in general ) that one of the main characters might be dead or seriously injured and we have to wait untill next season to see which. He was so close by, couldn't have missed even though she was reaching for her own gun; but : we don't see it's hus gun that's firing so it could also be that he gets shot in the back and Elle can finally get some sleep (as if ).
    I really really like the writers left us with a nice puzzle to work out over the summer ! I"m off to make a screenshot and jot down the numbers, then try to find the book to see what the code says !
  • A psychopathic murdered contacts every member of the BAU challenging them to complete his "quest" and save his next victim

    This episode was a great way to end the season! I think it revealed a lot about the characters.

    This murderer is really creepy...calling this girl by her name, chaining her to a table. Eek...even so, this episode was great.

    I think the guy online with Garcia is our unsub. That would give him a way to hack into the BAU info. I also think that the book Reid gave his mother is the book they need to save the girl.

    Btw...why does Angelspinknose watch the show if she rarely has anything nice to say about the show? Just wondering

    P.S. Ooooooooh, Gideon has a giiiiiiirlfriend...and a head.
  • Riiight I did'nt even realise this was the season finale, it does suck a bit then that we have to wait until next season for the conclusion to this. I totally agree with KDavies re: the mistakes, an agent would never be sent home in those circumstances.

    I have to say that it also nearly ruined it for me as it kind of annoyed me that they would do that, I understand they used it as a plot device to send agent Greenaway either to death or in severe danger but they could've dealt with it in much better way. Oh well I hope they end this arc well next season. Also did anyone see when Greenaway entered her house we see a quick reflection of a man in the right hand corner of the screen. Do you think this was a crew member? Or the unsub?
  • Bad season finale

    I thought the whole episode was stupid. If you're going to kill anyone off it should be the blond who does the press conferences. She really doesn't add anything to the show. Elle is great and should not be killed off. Love Garcia and thought she is too smart to allow someone to hack into the system. Horrible way to end a great first season.
  • kdavies wrote a review that i want to comment on because the story is different than he/she wrote. [SPOILERS inside]

    kdavies said that there\\\'s 2 major plot holes in this episode.

    kdavies said:
    #1 - Garcia, being an IT pro, would never compromise security like that.
    #2 - Elle was sent home although there\\\'s risks of the serial killer showin up on her doorstep.

    kdavies is wrong on both counts. guilty :)

    #1 - Garcia brought her laptop because she had to be in on that day, their vacation started at the end of the day but they didn\\\'t have much to do so she brought her laptop with the game already installed. she had played that game for a while now (at home) and her mistake is an honest mistake, really. she\\\'s a woman, too, consider that (and i\\\'m not being sexist here)

    #2 - the shot you heard is not Elle being shot, it\\\'s the BAU (the guy that drove her home or one of her colleagues). I reckon she was sent home as bait but we\\\'re running into a protocol/ethics problem so I\\\'m not 100%. Anyway, she doesn\\\'t die, of that i\\\'m sure ;)

  • Great way to end the season. It just sucks that we have to wait until next season to find out the conclusion.

    OH MY GOD! What a way to end the season. I can't wait until September to find out what happens. This is going to be a long summer of watching reruns and all the episodes I taped.

    Now on to tonight's episode...

    The start was great, seeing them all in the office before going their separate ways for vacation. It's just too bad JJ doesn't get the same vacation time as the others. Morgan and Elle go to fantastic Jamaican beach resort, Reid goes home to see his mother, Gideon goes to a cabin (where he is met by a "lady friend", and Hotch spends time with his family.

    It was just great how excited Hotch was at the prospect of a list of chores that he said his wife would have for him. He actually enjoys cleaning out the garage and then the story behind the pirate's hat was really sweet. We find out that he was in a high school play when he was a junior (and apparently not very good either).

    Morgan and Elle both quickly find people to enjoy their vacations with. I thought it was really nice of him to try and get Reid to join them in Jamaica.

    Poor Reid, it must looked so hard for him to go visit his mother in the home. He might have been feeling guilty for not going to see her before. But we find out how proud of him she is through a nurse.

    Then Gideon goes to a cabin in the woods and has a lady friend meet him there enjoy a romantic rendezvous, possibly.

    Too bad they can't truly enjoy their vacations, they soooo deserve them. I just hope the summer goes bty quickly (just not too quickly) so the September season premiere can get here sooner.
  • Everybody on vacation

    In the beginning of the show, there is someone dying
    But of course, they all die on Criminal Minds as
    The team is going on a vacation but they will be
    Surprised at getting some evidence to the case where the body has been taken
    Very good show and even though it could had been better
    Still not that bad at all for its first year!
  • Disappointing. Two mistakes nearly ruin the entire premise.

    Never would an agent have been sent home after all that had happened by the time they sent Agent Greenway home. Especially an agent whose home and wife had been approached only hours before. Especially a lead agent who had just lost the one \'safe\' place he felt he had.

    Never would the computer guru have played online games wirelessly on an unprotected laptop opening up the entire database to hacker exposure. Besides, what was Garcia doing at work when she was on vacation? Surely she has DSL at home..?
  • They saved the best of the season for last. Canadians get to see this on CTV on Tuesdays following American Idol, so if you haven't seen it yet, don't read. Spoilers inside:

    The writers sure know how to send the show out for the season with a bang. Literally. Many questions remain unanswered especially if agent Greenway will survive. (is it mean to hope she doesn't? NOthing against the actress butt he wirters really need to put some life into this character if she does.) It was fun to watch the clues unfold and the severed head was a nice touch. Some of the best and worst (agent greenway) acting of the season. Gideon's reaction to the whole situation show cased Mandy Patinkin's range.
    It was refreshing to get to see the character's personal sides (albiet briefly). The fact that gideon felt he only had the cabin as a sanctuary and to have the unsub steal that away... very cool. It shows just how much these people like there job and like there time away from it. The kissing was kinda unnessecary.
    When Hotch bursts in to the Montego bay jail and "rescues" Greenway i actually felt sorry for the Policeman. It was nice to see them give Thomas some meaty lines instead of being Gideon's babysitter all the time.
    Garcia's breakdown in fron tof the team was priceless. She came clean about the game and apologized and was instrumental in helping the team realizing what was going on. Gideon was harsh on her but shouldn't she have fun too. Hopefully this will show the writers that Garcia's portrayer can hadle more meatier lines than the fill she usually provides.
    With a season finale cliff hanger that will have me counting the days till September, I can't wait to see how this is resolved and how they top this one.