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.
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."
Original International Air Dates:
Czech Republic – May 22, 2012 on Prima family
In Australia, this episode aired directly following "Sense Memory" rather than before it due to its increased AV15+ rating for high levels of violence.
In an unprecedented move, CBS added a disclaimer at the beginning of this episode that read, "Due to violent content, viewer discretion is advised."
This episode was originally scheduled to be aired on January 19, 2011.