Criminal Minds Episodes

2005, TV Show

Criminal Minds Episode: "Middle Man"

Season 6, Episode 7
Episode Synopsis: The team hunts for serial killers in Indiana who murder exotic dancers and dump their bodies in cornfields.
Original Air Date: Nov 3, 2010
Guest Cast Steve Talley: Michael Julie Moran: Reporter Melissa Claire Egan: Tara Dice Justine Ezarik: Meredith Joy Grant Albrecht: Gregory Wilson Jake Thomas: Scott Robert Newman: Sheriff Jeff Sanders
Full Episode
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Season 6, Episode 7
Paid | iTunes
Length: 12:35:12
Aired: 11/3/2010
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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Criminal Minds Episode Recap: "Middle Man" Season 6, Episode 7

On this week's Criminal Minds, the BAU tracks a group of killers who target exotic dancers and leaves their bodies in cornfields.

It's harvest season! And some dudes are harvesting, uh, chicks. Three exotic dancers have been drugged, raped, strangled, killed and left in a cornfield in Indiana in the last few weeks. At the BAU, where Garcia made good on her promise to make files paperless ("I did a thing," she says), we learn there were two types of DNA found on the women. But, alas, we know there are three guys, as a trio chased the third woman, Meredith, in a field before grabbing her. The women were taken on a Friday night and found on a Sunday. A fourth woman, Stephanie Wilson, was abducted after her shift the night before. The team concludes that the unsubs are two dominant alpha males since they have the arrogance to believe the women won't be able to run away.

At the local station, Sheriff Salters, the rather haughty Cop of the Week, reprimands an officer about leaking the investigation to the press because he wants to keep it under wraps. He also thinks the exotic dancers were "asking for it." Hotch talks to Stephanie's dad, while Prentiss and Reid check out the club where she works. Reid doesn't judge — he's from Vegas! Stephanie's co-worker says that Stephanie turned down an invite to a party from two guys who got dances from them on a packed theme night. Rossi and Morgan go to the cornfield, where they determine that there are more than two unsubs since that's the only way to ensure the women wouldn't get away in the cornfield.

Meanwhile, one of the unsubs, Scott, freaks out to fellow unsub, Chris, after seeing the case on the news. They had no idea the girls were killed, so they confront the other unsub, Michael, in the basement where Stephanie's being held. He says he killed the girls to protect them. He insists their tracks are covered and no one can connect them to the girls. Unsure, Scott tries to endear himself to Stephanie the next day, bringing her breakfast and taking off her blindfold. He says he can't let her go, but promises to get her back to her daughter. Chris and Michael come in and chew him out.

Back at the station, Reid watches surveillance footage of the two dances on Stephanie's abduction night. One of the unsubs was signaling to someone else while in the booth. That means the two guys who got the dances are the underlings and is looking to the leader for command. Rossi and Hotch conclude that the unsubs are college students, which is why they avoid attacking during the work week, strike on theme nights (the cheapest) and why the attacks coincide with the start of the fall semester. The impressionable nature of college students is also conducive to the creation of an unsub pack. There's the leader (Michael), the lieutenant (Chris), who's loyal to the leader, and the follower (Scott), the newbie with no loyalty to the leader. Eventually, the leader will realize the follower is not totally on board, Reid says. Garcia finds similar cases in Louisiana, where the murders were pinned on two locals who went missing — aka the leader killed his partners.

Scott wants out after seeing cops at their college. That night, Chris drives him to a cornfield, where he beats him up. Michael shows up and gives Chris a bat, telling him to "finish the job." He reluctantly does. The next day, a tractor runs over Scott's body. Morgan and Reid show up and know that Scott was the weakest link, meaning the pack is collapsing. Their pattern also changed because the disposal area was three counties away, so the guys knew how to avoid the police traps. How did they know about them? They must have an inside man on the force. Cut to Chris calling, but not speaking to Salters. He doesn't delete the call (dumb!), leaving it for Michael to find and beat him up.

Why did Chris call Salters specifically? Well, it turns out he's the sheriff's son. Ah, Mr. Anti-Leak is the (unknowing) leak. Garcia says Chris has a sealed record that's blank. Hotch confronts Salters about Chris' MIA record and his disciplinary style of parenting. Hotch asks if he's discussed details of the case with Chris. "He asked about my day," Salters answers. Salters later, begrudgingly, reveals that Chris was on the track team, allowing Garcia to link him to and pull up Michael, who was kicked out of a frat for assault. Salters says he met him after a bar fight and wants to talk to Chris at Michael's house. Morgan suggests Prentiss because the guys can objectify women, but they can't negotiate with one.

At the house, Michael says they have to leave, but must take care of Stephanie first, so he pulls out two guns. The cops pull up outside, and Prentiss tells the guys that she wants to talk. "I might shoot you myself," she says. So bad-ass! She tells Chris that Michael will kill him when things got tough, like how he killed his last team. Chris is shocked. Oh, delusional psychopaths! Hello! He just made you kill Scott. Michael says he wants to know Chris is with him and starts to shoot him when he doesn't answer, but the cops shoot and kill Michael. Chris tries to shoot himself, but Salters shoots his arm.

Later, Hotch talks to Salters. "How did my son become a murderer?" the sheriff asks. Hotch says he doesn't need to hear the answer, but says that something at home made Chris vulnerable. Hotch says he runs a tight ship at work, but tries to show all the love and compassion in the world when he's home with Jack. He tells Salters to be there for Chris and make amends if and when he gets out of jail.

Overall, this was an average episode, but better than last week's. The exploration of the pack dynamics was interesting and it was refreshing to see the change-up in pairings (Reid and Prentiss; Morgan and Rossi — I do love R&R together the best, though.) Hotch's speech to Salters at the end was kind of out of character since they basically more or less said that Salters abused Chris, and Hotch in the past has never been so evenhanded about it. I guess he got all his anger out in their earlier confrontation. I also didn't like Garcia getting everyone tablets (except Reid!) behind Hotch's back. Hotch is her boss, so doesn't he have to sign off on such a big change? They'll probably drop it, but depending on what the "thing" she did was, he could be in hot water with Strauss.

What did you think? Did you figure out that Salters was Chris' dad? What do you think of the pack dynamic? Do you like them going paperless? What was the "thing" that Garcia did? Will Reid ever get a tablet (or email)? Why is he so anti-technology?

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On this week's Criminal Minds, the BAU tracks a group of killers who target exotic dancers and leaves their bodies in cornfields.

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Premiered: September 22, 2005, on CBS
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (7,280 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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