Criminal Minds Review: "25 to Life"

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This week's Criminal Minds, "25 to Life," saw Morgan in the spotlight and in the crosshairs as his decision to help a parole candidate, Don Sanderson (guest star Kyle Secor) achieve his freedom led to unexpected, nearly disastrous repercussions.

Shemar Moore was terrific, especially the impact of his actions resonated internally.

Morgan in Prison

Don maintained his innocence and was a model prisoner.

After a quarter century of denying the charge he was convicted on and causing no problems behind bars, and following close monitoring by Morgan, Don is set free after Morgan makes a recommendation to the parole board that he be.

Three days later, Don kills again. Or is it again?

Morgan has no idea what he just opened up, but this much is clear. Don is not your standard UnSub. His victim, Tom Wittman, was one of three people Don claims was present the night his wife and daughter where slain - the crime he went down for.

Don claims what he did was basically self-defense.

He'd been waiting a quarter century to find the real killer and was innocent all along. As Morgan takes heat for setting him free, the BAU delves into the case once more.

The trail leads to Mary Rutka, but as the team arrives at her house, a man flees out the back and she is found dead. A tough break, but clearly they're onto something.

Prentiss and Morgan point to blackmail as the reason she was killed. She had evidence of the crime committed against Don's family that would implicate the threesome.

An old video proves them right. The UnSub's voice is on it, crystal clear ... or at least one of his catchphrases is. It's politician James Anderson, a well-known figure!

After Garcia is able to match Anderson's voice, the BAU busts him and a vindicated Don, is reunited with the son he hasn't seen in 25 years in a moving conclusion.

"25 to Life" was another solid episode from a show that rarely delivers anything but. Morgan's role was strong and the exploration of the parole process was new.

You never really know how it's going to play out and sometimes your best guess has to be good enough - and sometimes the convicted really are innocent.

What did you think of last night's Criminal Minds? What were your favorite (and least favorite) things about the first half of the season so far? Discuss!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (64 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Morgan's a good character, I'd also like to see more Emily.


I hate no Hotch :( It doesn't feel right without him! But it was a good episode (I just caught up), and I'll be happy next Weds when it's back. I don't really like Morgan, he irritates me. I don't mind the odd Morgan-centric episode, but I'd like to see Emily or Garcia or Rossi featured a bit more. Also TVF: I love that you are actually doing episode reviews for CM this season, but I have a small complaint. They aren't very comprehensive reviews! They seem to be a recap of the episode with a tiny opinion thrown in here or there!


"Did anyone figure out the reason?" @roo... He was jelous. His family lost that house before the Sandersons. And they were too much of a perfect family.


correction: I meant James Stanworth, not James Anderson.


I loved the episode, so good! The only thing I don't understand is the reason why James Anderson killed the family? Did anyone figure out the reason? :)


i loveed this episode because it was awesome (bit predictable but nonetheless) and it was Morgan centric which is always a treat because he can really act and he is easy on the eyes
did not and do not and probably will not like the new girl she is too bland and doesn't bring anything to the table we don't need trainees on a serious profile team she is not ready and i hope she doesn't last long


It was good wedsenday night just got done with it off my DVR I liked how Morgon got him out and he killed agian and it turned out that he didn`t kill his wife and daughter and the girl`s tape took to that guy running for office. I don`t know what to think of the new girl yet still miss JJ. I like Morgan got the guys son to him at the end


I thought the idea that the killer was an up and coming politician was a bit far fetched as well as how they just stormed into the fund raiser....but I do love this show!!!


Love, Love this episode!!!!! It was very good to see Hotch take some time off, Jack and him both need it. I could have done w/ less Erin I can't stand her. I am ready for the rest of the season!!!


When I thought Morgan made wrong choice remember thought episode is running and then I was right with him I knew Morgan would come up on top,fantastic last nite,the enery I had cause he'd my man on crininal minds hodge rosse dr.ried too but even Garcia commented she might of said hows morgan....what happened to JJ..great show last night keep them coming it don't matter I watched reruns all night,even my sammie(cat)watched last night

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