Criminal Minds

Season 6 Episode 13

The Thirteenth Step

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 26, 2011 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
474 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

As the BAU goes to Montana to track down two young lovers who are on an interstate murder spree, Prentiss receives alarming news from an old friend.

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# 6
  • Not the greatest, but not that bad

    This episode is not as bad as people say it is, and I'm confused why people are so upset about it. I thought this was a great episode, and the tension between the two lovers was intense. I don't see how it was poorly-acted; every time they were onscreen, I was wondering what would happen next.

    However, there are two big flaws here. It is a ripoff of Natural Born Killers, and the episode focused on the killers more than the BAU. The point of CM is to examine the BAU as well as the killer(s), and it shows that even the ones that want to help us have that dark urge in them. So, spending more time on the killers fucking each other rather than examine the BAU as well is frustrating.

    However, it still has the unsettling atmosphere and intense chemistry between the killers and their victims. "The Thirteenth Step" misses a few steps, but it's still worth a watch.moreless
  • im sick of reading reviews! you guys ruin CM for me! garrr

    ffs seriously people you leave the worst reviews. So the only reason I actually read the reviews is to understand the episode better in case there was something i didn't get about the story, unsub or characters. In the season 6 episode Into the Woods I was so scarred by the reviews left that I did not want to watch that episode however I did and come on people, could your stomachs be weaker! Yes that episode was horrible because of the implied rape but the viewers don't see the kids being beaten or raped but you crazy reviewers made it seem like they showed it in detail. Seriously if you can't handle something that is implied don't watch it and don't rant and rave about it! I almost didn't watch the episode because of that!

    Now here I am again reading ridiculous reviews on a good episode!

    I have to admit that i'm not a fan of the changes but i've dealt with them but i don't want Prentiss to leave!!!! Have not been looking forward to that :(moreless
  • Terrible

    What a terrible episode, I usually love this show but this episode was bad, it was badly written and badly acted by both the guest actors. I don't know what happened to the writers, they usually make the show seem a bit realistic but not here, I was very disappointed. Easily the worst episode of the entire series.
  • Poor imitation of Natural Born Killers

    I love Criminal Minds but this episode was terrible. It was a total ripoff of Natural Born Killers. What happened to the writers on this one? I kept waiting for it to get better but it got worse as the episode went on. The guest actors were terrible as well. Certaibly not the caliber of writing and acting that Crimial Minds usually has. Come on Criminal Minds, come up with something that hasn't already been done better if you want to keeo your fans watching. If this season continues like this episode, you are going to lose lots of viewers.moreless
  • What happened to the writers?

    I saw enough reviews making comments about the writers that I decided to research it a bit. Indeed, there have been many changes on the CM writing team. This season has shown us 4 new writers (one of whom wrote this episode and had the unfortunate task of writing the first episode w/o JJ as her very first CM episode to write). One writer has been there since the middle of season 5, two since season 4 (Breen Frazier and Rick Dunkle, who generally seem to do good work), and only 3 have been there since the beginning (Ed Bernero - the executive producer, Simon Mirren, and Erica Messer). Deb Fisher - who used to be Erica Messer's writing partner - left after season 4, as did Andrew Wilder who wrote some of my favorites: Normal, Lucky, and Elephant's Memory. It appears that Oanh Ly, Jay Beattie and Dan Dworkin, and Chris Mundy also have not returned to the writing team for season 6 which is disappointing. Whatever the deal is with these new writers, they don't seem to understand the characters or the essence of the show as well as the former ones did. Episodes like this one are evidence of that, IMO, for many of the same reasons other reviewers have already stated.moreless
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

Kirsten Vangsness

Kirsten Vangsness

Analyst Penelope Garcia

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • This episode was reminiscent of Natural Born Killers (1994), in which two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers who are glorified by the mass media.

    • Whether coincidence or intentional on the part of the network, "The Thirteenth Step" was the thirteenth episode of the season.

    • In the Alcoholics Anonymous program, the 13th step is a derogatory term that loosely refers to "hitting on newcomers." The phrase is most commonly used to refer to men who have several years of sobriety who make a habit of trying to date or take advantage of women new to A.A., but is not always limited to men.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Garcia: How's it going, stranger?
      Prentiss: Oh, I'm a little tired. I went salsa dancing last night.
      Garcia: Oh my god, like I need another reason to find you amazing.

    • Rossi: Where's Seaver?
      Prentiss: She had to take a test at the Academy.

    • Prentiss: William Glasser wrote, "What happened in the past that was painful has a great deal to do with what we are today."

    • Prentiss: Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, "What really raises one's indignation against suffering is not suffering intrinsically, but the senselessness of suffering."

  • NOTES (4)