Criminal Minds Episodes

2005, TV Show

Criminal Minds Episode: "Safe Haven"

Season 6, Episode 5
Episode Synopsis: A serial killer targets families throughout the Midwest; and Ellie Spicer runs away from her foster family and goes to see Morgan.
Original Air Date: Oct 20, 2010
Guest Cast Michael Reilly Burke: Grady Beeks Mare Winningham: Nancy Riverton Ken Meseroll: State Trooper Natalie Alyn Lind: Kayla Bennett Sterling Beaumon: Jeremy David Goryl: Jake Bennett Kristin Carey: Sandra Bennett Kerry O'Malley: Kendra Sayer
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Season 6, Episode 5
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Length: 41:36
Aired: 10/20/2010
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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Criminal Minds Episode Recap: "Safe Haven" Season 6, Episode 5

On this week's Criminal Minds, the BAU hunts a teen serial killer who targets families, while Ellie runs away from her foster family.

To the Midwest we go! Two families — the Archers in Nebraska and the Bennetts in Council Bluffs, Iowa — have been murdered. The M.O.: kids strangled first, father stabbed and mother killed from blunt force trauma. There is no sexual abuse on the children. The only difference is Jake Bennett was dissected, while the Archer father wasn't. There is no connection between the families; however, there was no forced entry in either home and there were extra dinner settings in both homes.

As the team prepares to leave, Prentiss spots Ellie in the bullpen, who creepily waves to Morgan. Seriously, this kid is a serial killer in the making. Neglected by her foster family — who didn't even notice she was gone — Ellie bought a plane ticket online with the parents' credit card and flew to see Morgan, begging him not to send her back. He says Garcia's going to watch after her while he's gone.

At the Bennetts', Reid and Rossi see that an extra dinner side was made, so the Bennetts must have known the unassuming unsub. The M.E. report reveals that Jake was dissected post-mortem with crude cuts, while his wife, Sandra, died slowly, just like Monica Archer. The wives suffered the most physically and psychologically, so the unsub is targeting the females, Hotch says. But the unsub, whose name is Jeremy, deviates for a night, killing Rev. Hannum and dissecting his arm in his truck after getting picked up from the road. His change in victimology and the stabbing of Hannum while he was driving shows an unorganized killer. And who's more impulsive yet non-threatening than young adults? Reid says that also explains the lack of sexual abuse, while Rossi wipes the incredulous look off Cop of the Week Agent Beeks' face by pointing out that the unsub is opening humans out of curiosity, like how kids would do to toys.

As the team delivers the profile of a budding psychopath who was abused or neglected and appears vulnerable, Jeremy carries his latest con out on Nancy Riverton and her kids, Zack and Amber, at a rest stop, eventually getting invited to spend the night at their home. Meanwhile, Morgan asks Garcia if she could transfer Ellie's custody to Virginia. He shares his idea with Hotch, who asks, rightfully so, if that's a good idea. "If you asked me to look after Jack, would you be happy right now?" Morgan asks. Uh, Morgan, stop using Hotch's Reaper fiasco to justify your actions, OK? This is the second time you've done this and the situations are still not the same. At all.

Showing off his always amazing geographic profiling skills, Reid narrows down the number of neglected boys in Nebraska to 33, focusing on those committed to state ward this year after getting abandoned at a hospital. The state's safe haven law has no age limit. Monica worked at Northern Omaha Medical, where she met Jeremy, who calls the Archers when Nancy asks to leave a message for his mom. The next day, Reid and Rossi hear the message, sending Morgan and Prentiss to the Riverton home. Zack and Amber are alive and say that Jeremy and Nancy left after she said she would drive him anywhere, and he said he wanted to go home. In the car, Jeremy toys with a carving knife as Nancy tries to get through to him, telling him that he needs love and attention. He tells her to pull over just shy of his house and stabs her. He then goes home and takes his little sister hostage.

Garcia figures out that Monica told a friend about a boy she'd taken in named Niko Bellic from Newton, Iowa. That's a character's name from Grand Theft Auto IV, Rossi says to everyone's puzzlement. "What? I know things," he retorts. Prentiss and Morgan tell Garcia to look up boys who abused their siblings. Garcia asks if sibling roughhousing is par for the course, since she's an only child. Um, no, you're not. What happened to those brothers you had in "P911"? New writer fail. Affected by the case, Morgan also asks Garcia to find Ellie's mom, whom apparently child services can't even track down. Who else was waiting for Prentiss to snap at Morgan for focusing on Ellie mid-chase?

Garcia pulls up suspicious ER visits and finds a file on 9-year-old Carrie Sayer, who suffered a fractured arm by her brother, Jeremy. Meanwhile, the mother, Kendra, pulls up home and is mid-argument with her mother over the phone about dealing with Jeremy. Prentiss calls and tells her not to go inside, but she does after seeing that Jeremy's in there with the knife at Carrie's neck. He demands that Kendra tell him she hates him because he heard her say that once to their priest. She says she said that because she was pregnant with twins and lost one. "One fetus consumed the other," she cries. "I hated you when you were inside me." Killing in the womb! "Juvenile offender" is an understatement. Morgan and Prentiss barge in and talk Jeremy out of killing Carrie. The psychopath says he will finish the deed once he turns 18. Morgan vows to be at all of his parole hearings so that will never happen.

On the jet, we get a throwaway line that Nancy survived (raise your hand if you thought she was dead), while Hotch dispenses parenting advice to Morgan, saying that kids need someone they can depend on. Garcia finds Ellie's mom, who moved East and travels a lot. At the BAU, Morgan talks to Ellie and Mrs. Spicer, who says Matt pushed her away and she thought she made Ellie unhappy. Ellie basically hates her. But Mama Spicer wrote to Ellie every day in a notebook (Hey, Reid writes to his mom every day, but he sends the letters!) "This book means your mom never stopped thinking about you," Morgan says, convincing Ellie to give it another go with mom.

Overall, I thought this was a creepy, but sloppily written episode — and not just regarding Garcia's disappearing brothers. First, the idea that Ellie could travel cross-country and make it inside Quantico — which is on a Marine base — without issue is already an eye-roller. Then her mom: Where the hell was Mrs. Spicer supposed to have gone that made her so difficult to find? Pull up her tax returns! Shouldn't her info be on file since, you know, Matt was a cop? Morgan was also totally not cool to chastise Mrs. Spicer about her post-divorce absence in front of Ellie. Awkward! The convenient appearance of Mrs. Spicer seems like an abrupt — albeit proper — ending to this arc that first appeared will go on longer. At least they didn't just drop Ellie like a bad habit like they did with Tamara last season, though we didn't really learn anything new about Morgan with this storyline. As for the case, it was clear Kendra knew Jeremy was not totally sane, but it's difficult to say how much she contributed to his psychopathic development outside of the scream-fest since we weren't given enough info on their background.

What did you think? Did Kendra basically create a psychopath? How creepy was Jeremy? Did you think Nancy died too? How did Ellie manage to get into Quantico? Where do you think Mrs. Spicer disappeared to post-divorce? Was Morgan out of line to compare his situation to Hotch's? Did the writers kill off Garcia's brothers? Can you picture Rossi playing Grand Theft Auto?

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On this week's Criminal Minds, the BAU hunts a teen serial killer who targets families, while Ellie runs away from her foster family.

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Premiered: September 22, 2005, on CBS
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (7,282 ratings)
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Premise: A procedural thriller about the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, which profiles criminals to solve crimes. The ensemble drama relies on the diversity of the team, which includes a young genius and a seasoned leader tortured by a past case. Unlike other crime dramas that focus on science, this series is very cerebral and almost Holmesian in its deductive analysis of the crimes and their perpetrators.



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