Criminal Minds

Season 7 Episode 12

Unknown Subject

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jan 25, 2012 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
305 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


The team is called to Texas to search for a serial rapist in Houston known as "The Piano Man" who has returned and is attacking his past victims. Meanwhile, Prentiss begins to deal with the traumatic experience caused by Ian Doyle after she returned to the BAU.


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  • A very, very good one!

    This episode left me extremely impressed! I thought it was almost quite flawless with an extremely interesting and very unique case, tagged along with a good sub-story with one of our characters.

    I have to definitely agree with one of the previous reviewers here, who mentioned how great the guest casts have been recently, most notably with Dina Meyer today! I loved her on NCIS in a couple of episodes as Holly Snow in Season 7 (both of which were very good) and I really enjoyed seeing her again today! She was beyond perfect for this role! I've also been excited with a couple of other guest stars this season, such as Mark Moses who was amazing on Desperate Housewives, as well as Heather Tom, who is one of my favourite characters on The Bold & The Beautiful!

    But aside from that I found this episode to be extremely unique, especially as the victim held the killer hostage, which was a nice twist on things. Recent memory leads me to believe that they haven't done that before on this show, but for some reason I remember soemthign similar, maybe in an old episode? Just can't place it! Maybe I should bring out some of my old CM DVDs!!!

    Anyway, to conclude this was an amazing episode! Great storyline and a great story with Prentiss too! LOVED the comments about Sergio being the prefect man for her, lol!moreless
  • I'm starting to worry about this show.

    Season 6 was, in my opinion, pretty awful, with a few notable exceptions. This season is pretty much the same. I think they need some fresh, new writers and soon before is becomes just another crime procedural drama which is predictable week after week.

    The concept should have been intelligent and interesting - it wasn't. Several team members seemed to be missing half the time and profiling, once again, went out the window in favour of dull interactions between unsubs and victims. The whole scene where the victim held her rapist captive was as dull as dishwater. Perhaps it was bad writing, bad acting or both. I'm not really sure.

    Prentiss having psychological reviews with regard to the whole Doyle fiasco made sense. I was amused when she lied to the therapist. Perhaps the poor therapist forgot that she is an ace profiler and knows what others want to hear to avoid talking about the real issues. It was fitting that Hotch was the one who called her out and showed her that he knew what was going on. After all, he's been through hell at the hands of an unsub himself so he has probably learned all the avoidance tricks too. It was nice that Emily took his advice and told him that she had had a bad day but I was somewhat stunned when she shared personal details with the rape victim. That is always a no no in any situation. Well, things can only get better. (Hopefully.)moreless
  • Piano Man - Boring Season

    Piano Man was boring, confusing and with no imagination! Whole season 7 like season 6(except few episodes with Valhalla) is extremely boring and awfull comparing to first four seasons! Unless the writers change,and write episodes that are interesting this series will not last much longer! What a pity ! It seems they have run out of imagination and write episodes just to continue the series!
  • Dina Meyer

    That was a good episode. One thing I like about this show is the quality of the casting as regards unsubs, victims and so on. Lately Max Martini was fantastic in the role of a retired commando with a terrible mental disease. And this time as well Dina Meyer is totally convincing as a victim with a vengeance. She is a great actress. It's too bad she never got a big break through role.moreless
  • The Piano Man.

    SPOILERS: Holy Crap, what a good episode. It truly but the UNKNOWN in Unsub. It was an episode full of twists, that never let you know who was the victim and who was the villain until the end.

    This was the first episode of Criminal Minds I've watched in a while, and I wasn't disappointed. 3 Unsubs. A Copycat, a Victim no more and The Piano Man. I can't get over this episode, it's my favorite so far.moreless
Joe Mantegna

Joe Mantegna

Senior SSA David Rossi

Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson

Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner

Paget Brewster

Paget Brewster

SSA Emily Prentiss

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler

SSA Dr. Spencer Reid

A.J. Cook

A.J. Cook

SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jareau

Jay Karnes

Jay Karnes

Hamilton Bartholomew

Guest Star

Dina Meyer

Dina Meyer

Regina Lampert

Guest Star

Judith Hoag

Judith Hoag

Diana Mitchell

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • During the opening scene, the attacker brings music on a USB drive to play. Herman Scobie was the copycat who attacks the Piano Man's victims the second time, but he misses part of the Piano Man's M.O. and does not play the piano ballads.

    • Dina Meyer ("Regina Lampert") and Shemar Moore co-starred together previously on the TV show Birds of Prey. Dina played Barbara Gordon/Oracle and Shemar played Jesse Reese.

    • Dina Meyer ("Regina Lampert") once dated Billy Joel, the American musician and pianist whose first hit in 1973 was titled "Piano Man," the name given to the serial killer in this episode.

    • The character names "Regina Lampert," "Hamilton Bartholomew," "Peter Joshua" and "Herman Scobee" were also characters in the film Charade (1963) starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Hotchner: "We do not suffer from the shock of our trauma, but we make out of it just what suits our purposes." Alfred Adler

    • Hotchner: (after learning Emily gave her cat's name as the man she was dating) Sergio?
      Prentiss: He is the perfect man. He doesn't hog the covers and he poops in a box.

    • Garcia: At 7:36, he loaded an MP3 via USB drive, played it and promptly deleted it. Cleared the history so he could cover up his tracks.
      Morgan: The unsub brought his own music to an abduction?
      Garcia: Yes, he did, and that is creepy.

    • (JJ, Morgan and Reid examine Herman Scobie's music collection.)
      JJ: Evanescence, Linkin Park and Nickelback.
      Morgan: So Herman Scobie's into that nu-metal goth stuff.
      JJ: Yeah, and his tramp stamp probably spells out "Massengill." This guy doesn't even have any Rage Against the Machine.
      (Morgan stares at her)
      JJ: What? I rock.

    • Reid: Fourteen is when we start to make our own musical choices. Our cognitive development evolves at that age and we start to form our own cultural identity.
      Morgan: We stop listening to the music that our parents put on and we start listening to the music that our friends listen to.
      Reid: And those musical experiences imprint on us. Our hormonal surges as teenagers may make the choices seem more personal and passionate, and later on in life we might experiment with other musical selections. But no music ever impacts us as much as that which we listen to at age fourteen.

    • Prentiss: "All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on." Henry Ellis

  • NOTES (3)