Criminal Minds

Season 1 Episode 15

Unfinished Business

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Mar 01, 2006 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
438 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A serial killer reappears after 20 years of silence and contacts the BAU through Gideon's retired mentor, who had made his life's work tracking the killer, with the promise he will kill another victim in the next five days.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Former BAU profiler Max Ryan has written a book about the one who got away. 'The Keystone Killer' murdered seven women, taunted the police and then, suddenly, stopped. Is he dead, in prison, infirm - or is he killing again?moreless

    Gideon attends a lecture given by Max Ryan, a retired profiler who has just launched his new book about 'The Keystone Killer' who terrorized Philadelphia several years previously, killing seven woman and sending the police word puzzles which were supposed to help in his capture, but they never did. When the crimes stopped, Ryan was (and is) convinced that the unsub was just biding his time, a theory which seems to be justified when one of his familiar puzzles, along with women's driver's licenses are delivered to him just as his lecture concludes. One of the licenses belongs to the last known victim and one to another woman who is found dead a few hours after.

    The killer has changed his MO but when Morgan suggests that they may be dealing with a copycat, former agent Ryan will have absolutely nothing to do with the possibility, he is convinced 'The Keystone Killer' is behind this latest crime and insists on acting as a consultant to the BAU given that he knows the case so well and, in fact, has moved to Philadelphia since his retirement to be close to the scene of the crimes.

    Is 'The Keystone Killer' active again or is someone just using a similar MO to make the BAU (and Ryan) believe that he is?

    An interesting episode with plenty of twists and turns. Perhaps not as hard hitting as others but definitely entertaining with a well thought out plot.moreless
  • This is a good one

    I really liked this episode. I loved seeing how each of the characters reacted to Ryan. It was also facinating to hear Gideon talk about how things have changed in how the BAU works. Plus, it's nice to see them developing Elle a little. I thought this was one of the best episodes for her.
  • Not as good as I've come to expect from this show.

    As much as I love Criminal Minds, this episode was below par for me. The story of the overbearing ex-mentor who always thinks he's right, and then realises the error of his ways as the student outmaneuvers him, is done in almost every show in every genre at some time or another. I just wasn't really feeling the story as much as usual. Plus there wasn't enough of Garcia! Hurry up and give her some of the opening credit space!!!moreless
  • A good example of how different generations interact on the same (and old) case. Very good episode.

    This was a very good episode with the way the writers showed how bringing in an old profiler (retired Special Agent Max Ryan)can rock the boat. They got the unsub, and Ryan got the one that got away. We also got to see a bit more into Elle's character in this one as well.

    Max Ryan recieves a letter from the "Keystone Killer" when he gives a presentation on the book he wrote about the investigation, and it reopens the case. We had a good look at what can happen when you mix two different methods of investigating together. There is Gideon with the rest of the current team. Then there is Max Ryan (whom is also Gideon's mentor), who was a profiler during the days when they worked solo. He eventually comes around to the team concept and is able to function better with the rest of the team to get the unsub (a Walter Kern).

    We see Elle lose her cool with a possible suspect who is arrested for missing an appointment with his parole officer. Then at the end, she is talking to Hotch about not losing her life to the job. Not dying, but one day "finding that life passed me by".

    It seemed like Reid was the only one who was open minded about working with Ryan, though towards the end he appeared to be a little put off by Ryan's attitude.

    All in all this was a good episode, and showed what the series is all about.moreless
  • Old retired cop and the serial killer he profiled both come out of retirement at the same time.

    The plot of this story had a few twists in it, that kept you guessing who the killer was. More than most episodes.

    The retired cop was very melodramatic. The way it was acted and/or directed by the actor who played that character was very good. That sort of fit the role.

    Some scenes were kind of painful to watch because he just did not "get" how the modern team worked. Other scenes, when he clicked with some of the team was pretty cool.

    There were a lot of quotes by philosophers of previous centuries. That part was creepy.

    The head of the team was in perfect form as usual. It is like he has seen so much stuff go wrong or succeed in his life, he already knows so much.

    Despite all that experience, he lives very much in the moment. In this episode as many, he had lots of little epigrams to toss out to the team.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

Geoff Pierson

Geoff Pierson

Max Ryan

Guest Star

Craig Tsuyumine

Craig Tsuyumine

Audience Member

Guest Star

Francisco Viana

Francisco Viana

Security Guard

Guest Star

Kirsten Vangsness

Kirsten Vangsness

Analyst Penelope Garcia

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • When Walter Kern is in the women's home, after he says "speak again and I will kill you," the click of a gun is heard (the revolver he was holding). However, when the view switches to a side shot of him holding the gun to her head, the revolver is uncocked.

    • As Reid looks at the first word search puzzle left by the Keystone Killer, he notices many words that seem to have nothing to do with clues to the case, including false, fake, joke, decoy, mock, bait, delude, fools, pearl, see, clue, have, well, sos, thrilling, self, lure, ban, suffer and cad.

    • Reid refers to the unsub as he reads a medical report that says, "he lost mobility in his right side due to severed nerve damage to his spinal cord." A few minutes later we see this man using his right arm to attack his next victim while holding his left arm tight to his side as though it is useless to him.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • Max Ryan: Is there anything worse than cop-shop coffee?
      Gideon: Day-old cop-shop doughnuts.

    • Walter Kern: You know you've enjoyed this ride as much as I have, Max.
      Max Ryan: I sure am enjoying this part.
      Walter Kern: We are inseparable, you and me.
      Max Ryan: Let's just test that theory, huh. Get him out of here.

    • Elle: What's the matter, Scotty? Can't deal with a woman who's not afraid of you?

    • Max Ryan: Aren't you going to present the profile?
      Gideon: The team can handle it.
      Max Ryan: The team. You're not worried about too many cooks?

    • Gideon: Remember "weapons of mass destruction"?
      Ryan: What are you saying, I'm chasing a ghost?
      Gideon: I'm saying sometimes we get it wrong.

    • Gideon: (to Max Ryan) Now you got an advantage. You got a team of the most incredible agents in the world out there, and you're standing here alone. If you let us, we'll help you catch him.

    • Max Ryan: As far as relaxing, the BAU doesn't employ too many agents with a relaxing type of mentality.

    • Morgan: (regarding Max Ryan) I heard he was forced into early retirement.
      : No, he chose to retire.
      Reid: He's written a new book about the Keystone Killer case.
      Hotchner: He moved to Philadelphia to be closer to the crime scene.
      : That's retirement?
      Morgan: BAU style.

    • Morgan: (about the Keystone Killer) What? He got away?
      Max Ryan: Would we have woken you up if we caught him?

    • Reid: What do you think of Ryan?
      Hotchner: He hasn't changed much.
      Reid: I think we can learn a lot from him.
      Hotchner: What could you possibly learn that you don't already know?
      Reid: Hotch, repetitive thinking is a death mill for the brain. For complete brain usage, diverse stimulation is the key.

    • Max Ryan: (reading second note) In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.
      Gideon: He's quoting Sir Francis Bacon now.
      Max Ryan: I used this specific quote in my...
      Reid: your book on page 184. I read it on the plane.
      Max Ryan
      : And you remember the page number and the quote?
      Morgan: Don't ask.

    • Morgan: So they've been here all night?
      Hotchner: Apparently.
      Elle: Where else would any of us be on a Saturday night? It's not like we have lives or anything.
      Morgan: Speak for yourself.

    • Max Ryan: Miss me?
      Gideon: No.
      Max Ryan: Just here to buy a book then, huh?
      Gideon: What can I say? Profilers...they fascinate me.

    • Gideon: Hmm...You look comfortable up there. Why don't you come back to the BAU for a guest lecture?
      Max Ryan: I'm retired, remember?
      Gideon: Hell of a way to relax... 323 pages on the one that got away.
      Max Ryan: He hasn't gotten away... and you didn't count that eight-page prologue.

    • Gideon: Norman Maclean wrote, "It is those we live with and love and should know who elude us."

    • Elle: Abraham Lincoln once said,"Don't look at the years in your life, look at the life in your years."

  • NOTES (1)


    • Morgan mentions that the Green River Killer didn't remember where he buried many of his victims. Gary Leon Ridgway confessed to murdering 48 women and disposing of their bodies in the Portland and Seattle areas. He is quoted to have had trouble remembering all his victims. He did remember leaving them in "clusters" so he could drive around the areas and relive his crimes.

    • Max Ryan: You're not worried about too many cooks?

      Ryan was referring to the old saying, "Too many cooks spoil the broth," which means having too many people involved can ruin a recipe because they each want to put something of their own in. Sometimes having too many people with too many different ideas can muddle an investigation, but that does not seem to happen with the BAU team.

    • Reid mentions the first women killed by Ted Bundy "looked like his fiancée."
      Bundy's fiancée was an attractive young woman with long brown hair and so were many of his victims. His relationship with her ended shortly before his killing spree began. Bundy was executed in California in 1989.

    • Reid: "Who among us has not probed the black water?"

      Reid correctly identified this quote as being from John Steinbeck's novel East of Eden. Steinbeck is an American author wrote many well-known books such as The Red Pony and The Grapes of Wrath.

    • While giving his presentation at the book signing, Ryan refers to "Son of Sam," an infamous serial killer named David Falco Berkowitz. He murdered six people and wounded others during the late 1970s. Berkowitz wrote letters to the media about his killings and was later caught and sentenced to 365 years in prison. The "Son of Sam Laws" were created as a result of his crimes and their aftermath.

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