Criminal Minds

Season 3 Episode 10

True Night

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Nov 28, 2007 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (38)

Write A Review
out of 10
593 votes
  • Awesome episode

    This episode is one of my favorite episodes of criminal minds. Frankie Muniz is excellent as a very, very sympathetic yet deranged unsub, and I loved the twist at the end. The final scene with the phone was especially good. I also loved Morgan and Reid's banter in the middle of the episode. Overall, great episode. Very well-written.
  • A comic book artist who draws how he will kill.

    This episode shows how someone can change from having a normal life until one incident changes everything and causes someone to go into a psychotic break This is what happens to the unsub in this episode when he and his girlfriend are out and they are attacked by a gang and it was a miracle the unsub survived but his girlfriend died and caused him to act like he is at present time In the episode we see a lot more of the unsub than the main characters because it shows his behavior and the weird part is he doesn't even know he is killing people and he still thinks his girlfriend is alive because he keeps calling her It was kind of interesting what Prentiss said at the end when she said if he can turn like that from his girlfriends death maybe everyone possibly can turn like that.
  • Boring episode but it was nice to be able to cheer on the killer :D

    must admit this episode was pretty boring as it focused too much on the unsub and less on the one thing I did like about it though was that I was happy he killed those lowlifes the saying that no one deserves to these guys definitely did, I did not feel sad at all that they were so brutally fact I was excited
  • Sad, yet very good episode

    This episode really broke my heart to see a young man with a normal life having to suffer such a horrible event. Me seeing a young couple on the street talking then on the alley way a bunch of gangbangers raping and killing them broke moved me. At the beginning of the episode, I was starting to wonder why does Frankie Muniz keep calling the same person and cutting to voicemail. When he kept getting flashbacks about that night, it started to make sense that he was having a psychotic breakdown and Post Traumatic Stress. I don't know why he was going to prison for killing the gangbangers though, if someone done such a thing to my loved one, I would kill them too because they don't deserve to live. Also, the fact that Frankie kept calling his girlfriend and only had a voicemail message to remember her by really moved me.
  • From the start are two lovers, an artist, and a girl. In the end, there is an artist. Miserable and alone, he later finds himself in the police station, scared and confused. They tell him he killed seven gang members and a likely eighth.

    Every single time I see this episode, it makes me want to cry. The raw emotion that Mr. Franky Munez shows, the rage, the fear, the pain, breaks my heart, and for the first time, makes me cheer on the murderer. The simple use of a voice mail message, shows a human side of the 'vicious killer'. Finding out that the vicious killer is nothing more than a young boy who wanted nothing more than to bring back the girl of his dreams gives the viewer the urge to call a loved one and let them know they are loved. This is a brilliant show, and this episode in particular brings me more emotion than most television could ever bring.
  • This is totally different from the usual point of view. Instead of profilling the unsub, we see the unsub, which is totally not BAU for Criminal Minds

    This episode is totally different from the normal criminal mind episode which is profilling the unsub. However, we see more of the unsub rather the team profilling it which is totally not cool and I have lost interest in it before the shows ends. It would be nice if it shows more profilling, whereby the team figure out the unsub, why he react and carried out the killing of all the 'victims' and Morgan imagine or walking through the crime which I did not see in most of the Season 3 episode. It might be more to CSI instead of Criminal Minds.
  • Loved the story line

    I loved the story line but just one thing that didn't work for me was that Frankie Muniz was in it. And the flashbacks to him and his girlfriend with them finding out she was pregnant and he proposed. It seemed more like a fantasy then real life. I wished that they got someone that could actually act! I still loved the storyline. Over all it was quite a good episode and it brings something new to criminal minds. Still i dont think i would like to many episodes like this. I like to be suprised with who the killer is and not know right from the begining who the killer is. Although it was quite enjoyable and it was well writen.
  • Different kind of episode today, and I actually enjoyed it.

    I like it because it was different in a way we didn't see though the point of the FBI and great acting by Frankie Muniz (which I don't really like his shows, but this show he acted really well). It was sad that the killer lead a normal life till something horrible happen that change the killer life. Awww... Morgan being really protective of Garcia was really nice to watch.

    Overall it was actually a great episode. Next week looks good, hope it's the one where it the Rossi case! That be good, I was wondering when they will show more on that episode.
  • Best Episode of the Season.

    The worst rated episode turns out to be my favorite episode of the season so far as season three really begins to put the pressure on the other seasons in terms of quality. This season (with only two bumps as far as I am concerned) has been a great season. I do still like Jason Gideon more then I like David Rossi right now, but hopefully Rossi will continue to grow on me. I like him a whole lot more after that first episode that we saw him in. I thought this episode was very well put together. I loved the Sin City-like cinema that went along with the case and I thought it worked well with the plot. We got to know the unsub better then anyone that we have ever gotten the chance to know and that seems to be what has made this episode bite the low end of the ratings for this season so far. I thought it was original and very creative and obviously when you have someone like Frankie Munez willing to play the part you should put him to good use. I liked the use of the flashbacks and thought that they served the plot well. I really felt bad for this character because I think it was pretty easy to figure out the whole time that his fiance was no longer around which was why he continued to call her phone. She was no longer 'living her life', which was a pretty iconic moment looking back on the episode. Overall, I thought it was the best of the season up to this point and I think everyone that rated it bad the first time is in a dire need of a re-watch.
  • Different viewpoint...

    I agree, it was new and different and all that but from show like this you expect the will keep some kind of usual style but this turns it all upside down.

    We see the episode on the unsub point - he has gone mad after his fiancee has been killed and now he is killing.. I agree the story was moving and when i got why he always called to the fiancee, just to hear her voice again as it was last thing left to him, it did move me, but overall the episode felt chaotic, weird and out of the normal way you expect. There was missing the excitement of finding out who the unsub is..
  • A definitive must for all comic book lovers!

    Who would imagine that a comic book artist could go crazy like that? The BAU is called to Los Angeles to solve a mystery that seems not to have a logical explanation.

    Frankie Muniz makes a heck of a part in this one, because I never thought that I would ever see him in such a mature and deep part... A comic book artist who goes rogue after seeing his girlfriend being raped and killed in front of his eyes, making him lose his mind. We also find out that Penelope Garcia is back at BAU, fully restablished after almost dying at the hands of a psycho who thought that she was trying to get him, and that she is a great fan of comic book fans, especially Frank Miller. A great episode... sad, but great nonethless. 10 out of 10!
  • I rarely feel much sympathy for an unsub, but I did in this case because it was so easy to see why he became what he did. Grief does terrible things to people ...

    The BAU must travel to California to investigate a series of brutal murders which have taken place in a short space of time. Reid is quick to notice the overkill the victims have suffered and it is soon suggested via the profile that they are hunting one killer who may be suffering from a psychotic break.

    But what does all this have to do with famous comic book artist Jonny McHale? (Brilliant portrayed by Frankie Muniz). It seems that Jonny, once riding high on the crest of success is now losing everything. The slide started when his beautiful girlfriend was murdered just as he was proposing to her. Could Jonny be 'punishing' the world for the death of his love or are the BAU looking in the wrong place? Perhaps Jonny's new artwork may give them a good idea?

    The comic book lovers will adore this episode but for me it was ok and saved by the great work done by Frankie Muniz who certainly gave a terrific performance; very dark, sad and menacing, while broken and confused all at once. Worth watching for his performance alone.
  • The case was bad, but on the emotional aspect of things, it was great!

    This episode didn't really seem like any other episode of Criminal Minds, in the sense that it was centred absolutely entirely about the unsub and his life. The main cast and the BAU hardly got any screen time, which is my biggest criticism of this episode.

    However, the guest cast was great, particularly the unsub! Great acting, and it was a very sad storyline! In six months from a successful artist to a serial killer - absolutely horrifying what happened to him.

    The case was great, and I would've rated it a 10/10, if the BAU had gotten mre screentime.

    All up, though, still a great episode. Keep it up guys! I highly recommend this episode!
  • Poor execution

    While I understand the way this script was thought out and the message that it was intended to deliver, I think that it just fell short. Like many people, I run a pretty busy schedule, so Criminal Minds is a treat that I look forward to every week. So it was disappointing this week to have the plot unfold for me 5 minutes into the show. Muniz's forlorn look as he talked about the mysterious "Vicki" was like an emblazened banner that gave away her death. The initial murders then only became even more of a deflated plot avenue as Muniz lashed out at his agent, giving away a passive/aggressive split personality. Unfortunately, movies like Secret Window, Identity, Fight Club, and Hide & Seek have saturated the allure of the old Jekkyl & Hyde story. All in all, a letdown for such a brilliant show.
  • Worst episode ever!!

    This was the worst Criminal Minds episode to date. It focused almost entirely on the killer's life, with annoying flashbacks. There was hardly any profiling involved at all in this episode, and you rarely even saw any of the BAU members. And to add to the crappiness of this episode, it didn't even show any of the supposedly brutal murders. They all appeared as comics (like in a video game), it was just awful. I could barely watch this episode it was so bad. I hope they never do another episode like this. We need more profiling, that's what keeps me into this show, hearing how the BAU thinks to find the "bad guy".
  • This was my least favorite episode since the series started. I thought it was slow moving and not nearly enough screen time of the main characters. It's the first time I was bored with a CM episode.

    I enjoy Criminal Minds for it's fast paced story line, the psychological analysis that leads to the unsub, and the character development and interaction of the team members. I found this episode lacking in all areas. I thought the story line moved way too slow. I thought each scene was a slightly different version of the same scene over and over again. The only thing that kept me from turning it off was the expectation that it would get more exciting and the team members would show up for more screen time. Neither happened. This was my least farorite episode of all 3 seasons.
  • This was a horrible episode. Almost the whole time all they focused on was Frankie Muniz. Except for the beginning with Morgan and Garcia, they did not talk about the previous episode at all.

    I am greatly disappointed with this episode. The actual profilers combined didnt get as much screen time Muniz did. He was horrible for the role too. Everyone looked at him and did not see a killer or a bad guy, they saw the star from the TV sitcom Malcom in the Middle. I can not believe they actually had him playing the unsub in this episode. I was very angry after watching the episode. It is absolutely unbelievable how they can make such a great 2 part episode with Garcia getting shot, and then to follow it up with this crap. Simply Pathetic.
  • A very different episode.

    This episode is very different from the rest. It is very much inspired by Sin City, and even though all the death-murder-scenes are very bloody, it doesn't seem so bad because it's kept in a comic-style. There's a lot of focus on the unsub in this episode and not so much on the BAU. It's actually a really nice way to do it, because this guy isn't your normal killer but has been through something very traumatic, that has made him a killer. Without him even knowing it. The scene where they made him realise that he has been killing people was very powerfull.

    Fantastic episode...
  • A very sad episode!

    This has got to be one of the saddest episode I have ever seen. The reason for this is, that the killer doesn't even know that he does it. He is having a complete psychotic breakdown and it's really sad to watch. It also really got to me, because he was just a normal young man until he came face to face with a trauma. It shows that anyone can become a killer and that just really got to me. And I have to give credit to Frankie Muniz, for acting so amazing. He really took me trough the journey inside the killers head, which was very fascinating. This episode really was different.
  • This episode kidnapped my heart, blew it up in little pieces, letting it rain down on everyone.

    I'm sorry, I don't have the time or the energy to write a full review, I would just like to say that this episode was something different. I really loved the mixed realities, though if you think about it, 'the real world' was exactly like in an comic. The same reality, but you don't look at it the same way if it isn't in a comic book, where everything's allowed and True Night was some kind of hero, ridding the world of its evil. In reality, his victims WAS walking, breathing evil. But he wasn't considered a hero by anyone.
    Perhaps the more heroic thing would have been to let them live, letting them suffer and rot in a cold cell, not sinking to their level.
  • So Sad

    I thought this episode was so sad as you sat there watching a man go through a complete breakdown into the point total madness that leads to murder. Frankie Muniz did a good job I thought and it was nice to see him in a more mature role versus Macolm and Cody Banks. The team did a good job of not treating him as a monster and wanting to get off the streets before he hurt someone else and also treating him a truely mentally disturbed individual. This was a really dark episode that was sad on so many levels but good none the less.
  • Wonderful episode. Criminal Minds does it like no other show. Franie Muniz was exceptional in his role, and I will not spill the beans. You must see it!

    It was an amazing episode with a mixture of sweetness with a very sad ending. It was so hard to see the character Johnny McHale suffer from what appreared to be an ongoing hallucination. The final scene was to say the least...horrifying. Morgan and Garcia are great together,and Reid had the right combination of cute and annoying when it came to his comments at the end about Pinocchio!

    For each episode, at least one fo the characters seemes to get rocked to the core about the case,and this time, I was happy with the results again. Joe Mantegna's character is definitely hiding something...a secret I can't wait to know.
  • Great episode!! A real turn of events, and shows how easily someone can be sane and go insane due to a tragic event, it's funny how fragile our minds are!!

    this episode is one of the best, i knew this season was going to be great, but didn't realize how great it was going to be!! So far by this season as a whole has been the best yet!! Criminal Minds is a great show and it deserves more recognition!! This episode proves that no matter who we are, we're all on the brink of insanity, and how easily it can be. This episode was great for Frankie Muniz!! He show he's developed as an actor and i'm sure he can take on more mature parts as he continues his acting!!
  • An excellent episode that goes right through to the heart of you. This shows why Criminal Minds is such a good show. You can't help but to feel bad for Jonny McHale with all that he went through.

    With a character like Jonny McHale, it really brings shows how a traumatic event can completely change your life and who you are. He went from being a successful comic book artist and writer with a baby and wedding on the way to killer.

    After finding out his girlfriend, Vickie, is pregnant and asking her to marry him, Johnny can only watch as she raped and murdered by a gang before they try to kill him. He barely survives it, according to Rossi, the doctors had said it was a miracle Johnny had lived. Unfortunately, he was unable to identify the attackers. This causes severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that completely alters who Johnny is.

    For six months he just keeps trying to call her cell phone, and only gets the voice mail message he helped her come up with: "I can't talk right now because I'm out living my life." Later, he has a complete psychotic break and goes after the gang memebers who attacked them. He does not realize what he's doing; he sees them as wolves who will attack and then he goes back home a creates a new comic book with the scenes being the exact same as the crime scenes.

    In the end, he is put in a mental hospital with the cell phones and pictures of Vickie that he draws.

    I can't even imagine how that must feel, going from success to helplessness to nothing left in less than a year. Jonny McHale is a killer you feel bad for because if the gang members had not attacked them, he would not have ended up as he was.
  • Frankie Muniz delivers a stunning performance as a troubled artist and challenges the main characters to rethink how they view an unsub.

    This was my second favorite Criminal Minds episode (second only to Riding the Lightning from Season 1). The writing and cinematography were the most original I've seen in a long time. Many will complain that the main characters were not given enough screen time, and I understand that complaint. I love the main characters as much as the next guy - but I think this is a story that has to be told in order for the show to progress. I mean that we need to be faced with a criminal - a killer - who is not a bad person. The show has become a tad bit formulaic - serial killers who are bad to the bone - evil ... but in this episode, we see a killer who is just a troubled soul. Someone who has suffered an unspeakable tragedy, and when left alone to deal with it without any help from his supposed friends, he falls into an abyss of despair and anger which manifests itself as an alter ego - True Night. I have to say Frankie Muniz's performance was stunning. Where Johnny ended and Frankie began became a blur - so much so that he ceased to be that kid who played Malcolm and became Johnny McHale. His was one of the most electrifying performances I have seen on series television in a very long time. Emmy worthy, I dare say. In one scene Frankie was able to capture the torment haunting Johnny in a painfully sorrowful way - and in the next scene, he portrayed the wide-eyed innocent lover who had his whole life with the woman he loved ahead of him. His shift from one to the other was so seamless it was dizzying. The narrative style of the story itself was amazing as well. By juxtaposing happy-go-lucky Johnny against tormented Johnny against Morgan's and Garcia's banter ... the viewer is able to participate in the breakdown of Johnny's existence in a unique way. We were dragged down with Johnny, then lifted up again, and then dragged even further down - and it is so easy for us to understand how he became True Night because we ride the rollercoaster into hell with him.

    This is not an episode to be watched. Rather, it must be experienced. The viewer must be willing to let go of their preconceived notions regarding this show and its characters, and just ride the ride. In the end, the viewer is left heartbroken, filled with sorrow - because we must simultaneously be in love with and horrified by Johnny. Amazing!
  • It was a very different sort of episode, but a good one.

    I felt more sympathy than I ever have for an unsub. It was absolutely heart-wrenching how McCale's night (I hope that's how you spell his name) went from probably the best of his life to the worst in mere seconds. Although we got to see less of the team in general, I realize that it was essential for the unsub's storyline. And we needed a lot of backstory for this unsub. Even though we knew who was doing the killings the whole time, they kept us guessing on the stresser.

    Positive things about the episode:
    We really got the unsub's point of view and got into his head, he wasn't just this evil guy, he was a victim too. I hope I'm not imagining this, but they hinted at JJ having a past bad breakup situation (her comments about McCale repeatedly calling Vicki's phone).
    The cartoon sequences, even if they were a bit long. Wouldn't want them every episode, but I really liked them in this one.
    The banter between the team, Reid's useless facts and how sweet Morgan is being to Garcia. I like how they're not a couple now, because I really love Garcia and Guy Geek together.

    Negative points:
    We didn't get much of a profile.
    Prentiss's comment at the end. I liked the actual comment, just not that she was the one saying it. It was way too similar to Open Season and I don't see why Prentiss is the only one who makes observations like this (or at least says them out loud).
  • great episode...

    Criminal Minds does something different. I read a few reviews that said they were annoyed that the episode had little character development, but I like how they did the story. Of course, they can only do one or two episodes like this a season because there is so little character development. The story focused on a young man that was a writer. His girlfriend was killed and he just lost it. The story was really well done and it was interesting. I was rooting for the writer the whole time. The poor guy. The main problem I had with it was: how old was the writer supposed to be? He looked like he was only like 16 or something. Oh well. It was bugging me the entire time. There was also some goofy camera work in this episode. I liked it sometimes, and didn't like it other times. Overall, great episode because of the story. I also loved Garcia's little moments.
  • Down the hill.

    Didn't really liked the first couple minutes of the episode, untill the part of Garcia and * that was kida funny :)

    And after that moment it all went down the hill again.

    I think that the plot was actually very good and interesting, but the way they developed the story was kinda lame. I cant really say where they got it wrong, but they did, and its a shame, coz lately they have been doing some VERY good episodes and this was was not.

    I hope they get their stuff back together and do some amazing ones again, because this really sucked, unfortunately.
  • I like what they did with the cinematography and the character direction in this one. Criminal Minds decided to do the comic book thing similar to Sin City and 300. Frankie Munoz was great a normal guy pushed to the brink who became a psychotic

    I like what they did with the cinematography and the character direction in this one. Criminal Minds decided to do the comic book thing similar to Sin City and 300. Frankie Munoz was great a normal guy pushed to the brink who became a psychotic killer. The team had some funny banter but this was mostly about Frank's character. For once the unsub was sympathetic and he didn't die at the end but it was very sad to see him in the mental institution at the end clinging to his dead girlfriends cell phone. Good episode I really liked seeing them try something new.
  • Criminal minds meets Frank Miller...

    The murderer is a graphic novel creator with a psychotic problem. He didn't know he is killing all those guys. We know from the beginning who the unsub is. I liked Frankie Muniz, he really does a good job. I like that they continue the interaction with Morgan and Penelope. He continues taking care of her and she calls him her hero. Sweet. Reid is quite annoying all this chapter but I found quite weird JJ reaction at the end, she used to be the one who always was kind with him and in that chapter she is quite rude...Prentiss appears very litle time but I like that she is shocked by the fact that the unsub is not a bad guy after all...Hotch and Rossi continue their roles.
    Good chapter, maybe too much of the unsub and too less of our team. I liked the Frank Miller references too.
< 1 2