Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Premiere Review: Red Flags For the Red Cell

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While Criminal Minds has been a hit for six years, the pilot episode of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, "Two of a Kind" may very well prove that lightning really can’t strike twice.

I am a relative newbie when it comes to Criminal Minds. I have watched the show on occasion but it has always been out of sync with my TV watching. However, when the opportunity to watch a new Criminal Minds from the beginning came up, I jumped on it.

After all, I love cop/thriller shows and with the acting powerhouses of Forest Whitaker and Janeane Garofalo leading the team, how could it go wrong?

Agent Sam Cooper

Sadly it could go wrong in a lot of ways, the biggest of these being a lack of character introduction or team strengths/weaknesses dynamics.

A good pilot will introduce you to your new cast and give you a small taste of each of them to hook you into wanting to know more about them and returning the next week.

The only character we learned anything about was Simms who was a “pending” agent and became a “full” agent at the end of the episode. We got no information on the other four team members or info on the team as a whole. 

That part aside, the overall story was acceptable; a kidnapping case, racing against the clock, trying to save two kids' lives. I say acceptable primarily because I never saw the “Suspect Behavior” from the title of the show really came in.

Sure they batted around a few concepts about “why” he was doing it, but nothing stood out from other shows. Honestly, I felt like I was watching a discarded script from Without a Trace as the episode focused on clues, witnesses, and physical evidence, not the behavior of the suspect.

I will confess after watching last week’s pilot of The Chicago Code, I have raised my bar a bit on what I expect from new shows. That being said, I admit that I can (and will) forgive the horrid use of tropes or thin stories that barely skirt the line of complete ridiculousness in the name of TV entertainment.

But, it is very hard to get to the end of the pilot episode of a show and walk away feeling like I missed and episode because I have no idea who anyone is or what is going on with them. The entire episode actually left me scratching my head over a several things, such as:

  • How does a convicted murder (even with a full pardon) make it past the review board to become an FBI agent? Was he an agent before when he shot someone?
  • Who are the other three agents that are not Cooper (Whitaker) or Simms (Michael Kelly)?
  • Why does their headquarters appear to be above a public gym? Doesn’t the FBI have field offices?
  • Why are we introduced to the term “Red Cell” when it has not relevance to the story? Should the show been called Criminal Minds: Red Cell?

I am crossing my fingers that the awesomeness that is Whitaker and Garofalo will surface. I did get one really nice surprise, that being that Beau Garrett (Gem in Tron: Legacy) was one of the agents. I have seen other shows manage to pull it together after a shaky pilot and step up.

Okay, CBS, I have thrown down the gauntlet.

You have the makings of a good show on your hands, now go talk to David E. Kelley or Shawn Ryan and figure out how to harness your powers for good instead of evil!


Editor Rating: 2.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.4 / 5.0 (90 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Honestly I thought the show was good and had potential. If you couldn't follow who was who then you aren't really that smart! It wasn't rocket science. And figuring out why a suspect does something, does have to do with their behavior. I say bring the show back. Criminal minds original was also great. My favorite show but actors /actresses need to stop being greedy.


I started watching the show...I decided I rather go piss on a spark plug.


I am very disappointed at the new criminal minds show. The show is a total let down. The original crew were so good in portraying the characters, and I followed the show every week.
This new one is total garbage. It is a very poor imitation of the original show.
The questions is WHY did they change it. It was a great show. I will not watch this show now. Cant


Man...someone needs to take responsibilty for this f*** up and take a beating as well. As a matter of you and the individuals that came up with this garbage a spacecraft of sorts and chart a position straight into the sun. The only logical place for someone or whatever confederacy of ignorance that thought this would be a good show to be placed is oblivion.
Agent Sam Cooper = Garbage
Agent Mick = Still haven't figured it out yet
Agent Prophet Simms = Fecal matter
Agent Gina Lasalle = Very strong flatulence after a hard night of
drinking with a two large burritos
Agent Beth Griffith = Vomiting,roadkill and a vat of blue whale


I can't believe they actually cut AJ and Paget for this. The pilot episode was one of the worst I have ever seen. Bring AJ and Paget back to the original Minds. Pay them what they want. They deserve it. And I hope Whitaker goes back to making meaningful movies. He's better than this.


This is my first critique of any show or movie. I will not strain through another episode trying to understand what Forrest Whitaker is saying with his teeth wired shut. There is the same
problem with Matt Ryan---the Brittish accent. Maybe listening would be better if there weren't loud clstter, bang and music to create "realism"
I am not an old man with a hearing problem. I hear a battery clock ticking in the bathroom---a room away from my bedroom.


Who decided on this cast; they are about exciting as watching grass grow. No way does it even belong in the same category as the real Criminal Minds.
Do they think I don't know that Garcia works for the FBI? However, they think that calling her "Penelope" is important.
Without Morgan Garcia is not utilized well or is an important part of the show, as she is on Criminal Minds I have given it 4 weeks and I still cannot connect with the show.
Doubt it will last.


Really disappointed with the first episode, thought I'd give it a chance tonight with the second. Absolute waste of 1 hour of my life. Whittaker is horrible with his mumblings. Couldn't understand half of his lines. Never watching again. One of the worst shows on TV!


The background info you are looking for was in an episode of Criminal Minds where Hotch et al had to work with Forrest et all on a case. I know they should have added it to the pilot but I thought I'd just share. The only thing I remember is that one guy was in prison.


I am a big fan of Criminal Minds, but this spinoff was totally bogus. The first scene (set in Cleveland) opens with the kidnapping of the little girl with mountains in the background. Assuredly, there are no mountain ranges in Cleveland. They could have spent a few more dollars and got it right.

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Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

David: Why not kill me and get it over with?
Simms: I killed a guy like you once, it wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be.

the good thing about flying at 2am, is no traffic at the airport.