Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Review: "Strays"

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How far would you go for someone you love? 

This was the underlying question in this week’s episode, "Strays," as Cooper and his team worked around the clock to find Director Fickler’s missing God-Daughter.

At least I think that was the underlying message.

Sadly, it was mostly obscured by a bland story, stale dialogue, and the over use of “profiler-babble.” Because these factors added up to a mediocre episode this week, the best thing to do is to break it down into what worked and what didn’t. 

Red Cell Shot Caller

What Worked:

Beth saving Mick: In a rare swapping of roles, Beth shot a suspect that was about to shoot Mick. Who knew she had never shot anyone before? This act piggy-backed on the bonding the team did last week and Beth really seems like part of the team.

Cooper defending his team: We haven’t heard much about Prophet’s prison time this season, I liked seeing Cooper tell Judge Phelps that no one could step aside to get this case done. Given it was Prophet that was first in with Emma, it came full circle nicely.

What Didn’t Work:

Director Fickler “Lone Ranger”: First, you don’t become the Director of the FBI without some self-control and common sense. While I could buy into Fickler telling Mick to go in and try and get Page to talk, I rolled my eyes when Fickler walked into Cooper interrogation the second time.  

Second, it seems that if your best friends with the Director of the FBI, you can find classified information about any agents you want. Really, Fickler? You told the Judge about Prophets Prison stay even when he had a full pardon? I am glad you’re not on my Facebook.

“Profiler-babble”: I get that crime shows (especially behavior based shows) will use a lot of jargon and words to help sell the show. This is no different than the “techno-babble” Star Trek used or “doctor-babble” medical shows use. But tonight was overkill. About two-thirds of the way through the scene at Cooper’s place I realized I was lost, and it didn’t make a difference to the story.  

Beth saving Mick: While I know I listed this as working for me, it also had a huge whole in the plot. The whole “I am bothered because I am not bothered” bit just took away from what was really one of the best parts of the show, Beth getting closer to the team. 

This episode felt like it should have been the second or third one of the season. I am not sure if the failure is in the writing or the production. But, it had the same feeling in pace and rhythm those early episodes had. 

What did you think? Was this a mediocre episode or am I just allowing my sadness over the cancellation of two other incredible dramas taint my view? Sound off below! 


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (13 Votes)

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


Plain and simple, CBS never should have messed with the original Criminal Minds and NEVER should have created this one. The cast of characters on this show does NOT mesh well and the acting is either overplayed or downright poor, there is no in between. Forest Witaker is wasting himself in this series and as far as Janeane Garofalo goes, the only thing worse than her Leftist Liberal politics is her acting! If they don't cancel this series, at least kill her character off ....I BEG YOU PLEASE !


Is there anyone that can answer for that mezuzah being on the door in that episode? It was disturbing and needs to be addressed.


I found the mezuzah clip equally as disturbing. I'm the last person to claim anti-semitism, however at the least this demonstrate's a blatant insensitivity by the creators of the show.


I watched an episode of the show "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior" or the first time - the one that aired this week "Strays." I thought overall the show was interesting, but saw something truly DISTURBING at the end that I think the show's director and producer should address. Around minute 56, when they get to the house and find the FBI director's goddaughter and her fellow-captive, while panning into the room, and back out they used an angle that didn't make sense as far as showing much of anything important other than the actors, and I noticed (and it gave me bad chills) that going into the room and out the footage clearly showed a mezuzah on the interior door of that room. A mezuzah is put on the doors in Orthodox Jewish homes, and that guy was clearly not an Orthodox Jew. Why ruin a good episode by having footage that shows Judaica while a viewing audience is emotionally charged and when they might subliminally associate something beautiful and meaningful like a mezuzah with the creep who bought those two girls and took them home at the end of the show, and why link it visually with human trafficking??? I've read the blogs about his new show as well as the postings on the CBS website about how carefully crafted this show is. How do they account for something this twisted in and around minute 56?


Ha, only two episodes I'm afriad.......we did get some Gina "parts" this ep though, but not exactly a Gina episode...I mean we still know nothing about her!! what's up with that??


Still no Gina episode, eh? How many episodes are left in the season?

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Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Season 1 Episode 11 Quotes

Griffith: Who do we profile, Jekyll or Hyde?
Cooper: We are going to profile Hyde.

Prophet: You sure I am the right choice for that boss?
Cooper: Positive.