Criminal Minds

Season 1 Episode 10

The Popular Kids

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 30, 2005 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
545 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The BAU is called to investigate the murder of two small-town high school students in McAllister, Virginia, who may have been victims of a cult killing. Based on the crime scene evidence, the team begins to believe it is possible that someone other than a cult member may be responsible.moreless

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  • Review

    Once again - the last few scenes of the episode save the rating from being somewhere far below a seven. The final profiler of the eventual killer was very good, as well as the scene on the plane between Gideon and Reed. I thought that the black man, whos name I continue not to remember, had a really good acting part in this episode when he had to give the final profile. I still miss the parts in the early parts of the season where they made the blockbusters connections that really made you want to go back and rewatch the entire episode. I thought that this is one of the worst episodes of the season and hope the show can get back to the glory that I miss right now.moreless
  • The team travels to McAllister, Virginia when two teens are murdered, one already skeletal, and it is believed that Satanic ritual may have been behind the deaths.

    Popular student Adam Lloyd is found dead in Virginia and when skeletal remains are found, the BAU are called in. It appears as though the murders may be Satanic in origin but Gideon in particular is most reluctant to accept this theory in spite of the symobolism and the words 'Satan Lives LOD' found on a tree near the crime scene. Local girl Cherish Hanson, who was with Adam on the day of his death is also missing and the team have to assume that the crimes are connected.

    It is soon obvious that the killer is a local and when locals are recruited to help find Cherish, the BAU members notice that the son of the local police chief is extremely eager to help and has several concrete theories about the case. When it is learned that several students from the local school were aware of what had happened, the net closes in on the unsub in an unexpected way.

    A good episode but, once again, it was unfortunately very easy to figure out who the unsub was almost from the beginning which I guess mirrors reality in that sometimes, the guilty party sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb.moreless
  • The downfall continues..................

    The personal interactions between the members of the team are the only thing that make this series very interesting at the moment. But the cases they are working on are terrible. It\'s been said already, we smelled it from a mile away.

    It is the best new crime series this year. But,please CBS, don't destroy this great series with a great cast by bad scripting.

    Even Killer Instinct has better scripts in the last weeks.

    This material has so many possiblities. We have great actors. It would be a shame if the network messes this one up..... But he, it wouldn't be the first time.......:-(moreless
  • You can only do so much with one character before people start to lose interest...

    Anyone who has read my series review of Criminal Minds knows perfectly well that I watch the show because of my fascination with Dr. Spencer Reid. However, sometimes, you just have to pull back and let some other characters do some developing.

    Since the beginning of the series, we've been shown that Spencer is a genius, and takes a lot of crap because of it. It's that kind of thing that has viewers rooting for him every time he does something on his own, without the others to carry him through it, even if it mean he almost gets killed. But really, now they're taking it a bit too far.

    Every episode I've seen personally (which is all but two, I believe), has a least one part where Spencer makes some kind of development. First he solved a major part of the serial arsonist in "Compulsion", then we learn he failed his weapons certification in "L.D.S.K." but then goes on to save the day after getting the snot kicked out of him by Hotchner. In "Derailed," it seemed like Elle was going to be the one to save the day, but then Spencer stepped up and prevented the untimely demises of an entire train full of people. The most recent episode "The Popular Kids" showed a bit more personal side of the doctor, revealing he is plauged by recurring nightmares. Then he almost gets himself killed. Again.

    I don't know what it is about this guy, but I'm even getting a bit sick of the character focus, and I basically proclaim my love for him every time he's on screen. Something has to be done about this, and soon. Otherwise, it's going to turn into yet another rip off of Law and Order, specifically Special Victims Unit, by focusing on one person just because they're award winning or up for one.moreless
  • It\\\'s ok not great.

    I love the fact that in this episode you find that reid is having a lot of truble sleeping because of his job. you fing that margan tries to understand reid and how his mind works. Reid and Morgan devolope a kind of simlarity. reid turst morgan enuf to tell him whats bothering him yet he wound\\\'t go to gideon. I hate the fact that the kill was the seiff son and the father never know. You could see he was the killer because when morgan talks about how the unsub puts himself into the invesication and he was telling everybody what really happen and he knew where every thing was. In the end we find thqat reid is always having trubble with the bodys they find all cut up dead and that was hunnting him. it wasn\\\'t one of my favorties but it was okay.moreless
A.J. Cook

A.J. Cook

SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jareau

Lola Glaudini

Lola Glaudini

SSA Elle Greenaway

Mandy Patinkin

Mandy Patinkin

Senior SSA Jason Gideon

Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler

SSA Dr. Spencer Reid

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson

Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner

Ellen Woglom

Ellen Woglom

Cherish Hanson

Guest Star

Matt Bennett

Matt Bennett

Adam Lloyd

Guest Star

Chris Butler

Chris Butler

Deputy Harris

Guest Star

Kirsten Vangsness

Kirsten Vangsness

Analyst Penelope Garcia

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Gideon: We all have bad dreams. Everyone on the plane. Who wouldn't? We hunt the worst of humanity we see the depths of depravity, we dream of monsters.
      Reid: In my dream there's a baby in the middle of a circle and there's someone on the other side. And I can't get to her before...
      Gideon: Every night I look at Deborah. Helps me...helps me to go to sleep thinking of the victims we've saved. We don't always beat the monsters to the babies, but we do enough to make the job worth it to keep the nightmares bearable.

    • Brandy: Do you think God is vengeful?
      Gideon: I don't know.
      Brandy: You don't think he punishes us?
      Gideon: After Hurricane Katrina I read some essays by religious scholars. One writer said God was punishing America for its immorality; New Orleans was a wicked city, like Sodom and Gomorrah. Another one, a priest from New Orleans, he thought the hurricane was proof of God's love. Those levees didn't break until after the storm was over; if they'd broken sooner, thousands would have died. So... I guess the answer to your question depends on whether or not you think you have something to be punished for.

    • Sheriff Bridges: If there was a secret group, I'd probably know about it.
      Reid: That's an inherent contradiction.

    • Reid: What happened?
      Morgan: Him bringing us down here was way too much of a coincidence.
      Reid: Well, I got that. But did you have to tackle us both?
      Morgan: (shaking his head) You're welcome, Reid.

    • Reid: Melted wax?
      JJ: Candle wax?
      Reid: Candles are used in rituals.
      Gideon: They're also used on birthday cakes.
      Reid: Actually, they were originally used to protect the birthday celebrant from demons for the coming year. As a matter of fact, down to the fourth century, Christianity rejected the birthday celebration as a pagan ritual.
      Sheriff Bridges: What kind of a doctor are you?

    • Morgan: (watching Reid dump lots of sugar into his coffee) Easy there, tough guy. Have some coffee with your sugar.
      Reid: I need something to wake me up.
      Morgan: Ooh, late night?
      Reid: Very.
      Morgan: My man!
      Reid: Not that kind of late night.

    • Morgan: So tell me, what does keep young Dr. Reid awake at night? Wait, let me guess. Memorizing some obscure textbook? No, no, no. Working on cold fusion? No, I got it, I got it, I got it. Watching Star Trek and laughing at all the physics mistakes?
      Reid: Actually, there aren't that many scientific errors in Star Trek. Especially considering how long ago it was made. There are certain improbabilities, but not that many outright errors.
      Morgan: Right.

    • Gideon: Playwright Eugene Ionescu said, "Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together."

    • Gideon: Sir Peter Ustinov said, "Unfortunately, a super abundance of dreams is paid for by a growing potential for nightmares."

  • NOTES (1)

    • The song in the scene when they arrest Zizzo was "Hate" by Drowning Pool. Other songs included "Make Slow" by Agents of the Sun and "Make Tomorrow" by Peter Gabriel.


    • Cory Bridges is carrying a copy of "Thus Spake Zarathustra" by Friedrich Nietzsche. In this work, Nietzsche speaks about the ongoing evolution of man, leading to a "superman" who would be above all the moral and legal regulations for normal society. This superman could commit any crime with the knowledge that the rules that govern "lower" men do not apply to him.

    • Gideon: (about Hurricane Katrina) One writer said God was punishing America for its immorality.

      This was a reference to remarks made by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and other clergy shortly after the disaster.

    • Reid refers to Charles Manson and his followers, who went on a killing spree in California in 1968. They hoped that people would blame African-Americans for the murders and that this would start a race war. Their best-known victim was actress Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of Roman Polanski.

    • Spencer Reid mentions Jim Jones and The Peoples' Temple in Guyana as an example of a killer cult. Jonestown was supposed to be a peaceful, self-sufficient agricultural community. In reality, Jim Jones ruled his followers with an iron fist, sexually abused children and forced people to do slave labor. He also made his followers rehearse mass suicide. On November 18, 1978, it wasn't a rehearsal. Congressman Leo Ryan and four members of his delegation came to investigate Jonestown and were murdered. Jim Jones didn't want anyone else to investigate him, so he ordered hundreds of his followers to drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid. This is often described as a mass suicide, but it was actually a murder-suicide. Many of the victims were babies and small children who were given the poison by force.

    • Regarding an inverted pentacle, a pentagram drawn point downward is usually considered to be a Satanic symbol. In its upright form, a pentacle is a symbol of Wicca (and some other Neo-Pagan religions), a nature-based, peaceful polytheistic faith. The Wiccan symbolism of the pentacle points depict the four classical elements earth air, fire, and water and the element of spirit. However, traditional Wiccan sects still acknowledge the use of an inverted pentagram as a symbol of the Second Degree. Despite the fact that Wicca does not acknowledge the existence of Satan, it is often confused with Satanism.

    • Reid mentions the "Satanic Panic" of the late eighties and early nineties. This was a period when rumors of satanist practices were triggered by publication of a book by an alleged victim of ritual abuse. The book he refers to is Michelle Remembers by Michelle Smith and Lawrence Pazder, M.D.