Criminal Minds Episodes

2005, TV Show

Criminal Minds Episode: "Devil's Night"

Season 6, Episode 6
Episode Synopsis: The team travels to Detroit to catch a killer who, for the past three years, strikes on "Devil's Night," the city's pre-Halloween ritual.
Original Air Date: Oct 27, 2010
Guest Cast Beverly Todd: Susan Ava Acres: Daughter Carl Lumbly: Jay-Mo Ernie Hudson: Lt. Al Garner Justin Alston: Paramedic #1 Michael Warren: Tom Ken Olandt: Chris Jocko Sims: Tony Torell Mandy Levin: Dr. Fullerson Leonard Roberts: Kaman
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Season 6, Episode 6
Paid | iTunes
Length: 41:15
Aired: 10/27/2010
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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Criminal Minds Episode Recap: "Devil's Night" Season 6, Episode 6

On this week's Criminal Minds, the BAU trails a serial killer who has attacked for the past three years in Detroit on the days leading up to Halloween.

Happy Halloween, y'all! It's Reid's — and MGG's — favorite holiday, and of course our resident genius is geeking out about the sheer awesomeness of Halloween to his disinterested colleagues. Humor him, guys! He plans to either go to an Edgar Allan Poe shadow puppet "the-a-ter" (MGG loves "Annabel Lee") or to an reenactment of Phantasmagoria, to which he has an extra ticket. No one wants. Lame. I'll go with you, Reid!

His plans get derailed when Hotch — fresh from Halloween cookie-baking with Jack, who no longer wants to be Spider-Man — says they're going to Detroit. Someone's been killing in the three days leading up to Halloween — a raucous free-for-all known as Devil's Night — for the past three years. He targets random people and, from what we see, chains them, covers their heads, douses them in kerosene and burns them in an old engine factory. Covering up the faces means the unsub doesn't want anyone to look at him while he watches victims die. An arsonist, you say. Not really because arsonists typically target dwellings, not people, Reid says. While Morgan and Prentiss check out the crime scene with the Detroit Fire Dept's Al Garner, Hotch and Rossi head to the morgue. The M.E. tells them that the latest victim, Tony Torell, had an ante-mortem fracture on the back of his skull and suffered fourth-degree burns.

At the fire department, Reid concludes that the unsub possibly knew all the victims because the body of the first victim, Tommy Proctor, was buried deep, not let in the open, and there were botched burning attempts. That means it was either too difficult for the unsub to do or he wanted Tommy to suffer most. Rossi then conducts a cognitive interview (love these! Emily's with Cate in "Bloodline" is the best) with Tony's wife, Kierston, about their night at the Halloween festival. They separated when he headed to a Mexican restaurant. Kierston remembers there was a two-faced (literally) black guy sitting behind Tony with a partially burned and obscured face. Oh, and his ear was gone.

At their brainstorming session, Morgan points out that Tony was abducted from his wife and the second victim was abducted from her husband, which could represent similar trauma in the unsub's life. Sure enough, we see him looking at a photo of his pre-burned self with a woman while scoping out his next victim, Christopher Edwards, whom he abducts and locks in a cage in his van as Christopher arrives home with his daughter. Alerted of the abduction, the department sets up a roadblock in the area to close the unsub off from his comfort zone. Garcia finds out that Christopher is a general contractor who employed Vinnie's Welding and Fence. One of its employees was Kaman Scott, a hoodlum-in-the-making who went straight in 2004. Kaman was arrested with Tommy in 2002 and was hit by Tommy in a car crash three years later that left him in a coma and forced him to undergo skin grafts. Tommy escaped without a scratch. Kaman's landlord, it turns out, was Tony.  In the van, Christopher begs Kaman to let him go, but Kaman lights him on fire in the street. Christopher gets hit by a car, while Kaman hobbles off.

At Kaman's mirror-less, but kerosene-abundant abode, Morgan finds a journal with photos of the same girl, which Prentiss sends to Garcia. Kaman, meanwhile, heads to Jay-Mo's Diner, where he demands Jay-Mo to tell him where Tracy is. Jay-Mo refuses and reaches for a gun, so Kaman attacks him and starts a fire. Hotch pulls up, thanks to Garcia's heads-up about the fire alert, and grabs Jay-Mo out right before the building —  somewhat hilariously (in the bad action movies way) —  explodes. Jay-Mo signals to Hotch that Tracy is nearby before he's taken to the hospital. The 411 on Tracy: Jay-Mo's daughter was adopted by his sister, Susan Anderson, and her husband, Tom, when her parents split. Garcia says Tracy lives in Ohio, but the Andersons are in Indian Village. Naturally, Kaman's already clocked Tom, scared Susan and starts prepping a fire in their home. The Andersons insist Tracy is in medical school in Ohio.

Armed with some critical info from Garcia, Hotch determines that only one shooter should go in (aka him). Morgan's worried, but Rossi says to trust him. "This isn't his first time at the dance," he says. Hell yeah! Inside, Tracy emerges, and Kaman tells her that she abandoned him. She says she had to get her life together. A little boy calling out "Mommy" runs into Tracy's arms, whom the Andersons try to pass off as Susan's sister's son. Hotch creeps in and tells Tracy to tell the truth: She was pregnant while Kaman was in a coma, so she left because she thought he was going to die. "Don't do this in front of your son," Hotch says, asking if Kaman wants to know his son's name. He does. "Daniel Kaman Anderson," the boy says, touching his dad's scarred face. And with that, Kaman surrenders.

Back at Hotch's place, Jack shows pops his new costume: a black suit, white button-down and a sorta-tied tie. "I'm you, daddy," Jack replies. Be still my heart! "Let's go get some candy, my little G-man," Hotch says. And we nearly get a full-fledged Hotch smile again!

Overall, this was a decent episode, a slight improvement from last week — probably helped by some awesome guest stars (Michael Warren, Carl Lumbly, Ernie Hudson). The scenes of the burning victims were painfully disturbing. The show has definitely upped its violence quotient, but I'm still a fan of less is more (creepy). There were some big loose ends, like why did Tracy never tell Kaman about his son? She knew he didn't die, and he deserved to know. Why introduce the community watch element for it to go nowhere? And how come no one checked up on Kaman after Tommy was found burned? The oddest scene, though, was having Prentiss "warm up" Kierston for her cognitive interview with Rossi. Is she only useful now to comfort family members (aka JJ's role)? You could make the argument that her never having been married (and being taken aback by the question) meant she couldn't relate to what Kierston was going through, but her marital status shouldn't prevent her from doing her job. Plus, it's not like triple divorcee Rossi has experienced loss like Kierston has. Hotch being the hero (twice!) was bad-ass, and unlike Morgan's situation with Ellie, he never made it personal, nor did he pull out the Daddy Card — like JJ did with the Mommy Card with Billy Flynn — to get through to Kaman. Jack dressing up as his heroic dad was telegraphed from the beginning, but it didn't make it any less adorable.

What did you think? Could you have done without the burning man scenes? Do you agree with Hotch's actions? Why didn't Tracy tell Kaman about their son? Don't you want to bake cookies with Hotch and Jack? Would you go to Phantasmagoria? Which CM character would you dress up as?

Are you going to watch next week's Criminal Minds? Tell us here!  

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On this week's Criminal Minds, the BAU trails a serial killer who has attacked for the past three years in Detroit on the days leading up to Halloween.

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Premiered: September 22, 2005, on CBS
Rating: TV-14
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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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