Felony Minds’ greatest, blissfully trashy Halloween episodes, ranked

It’s no secret that I really like Felony Minds. And it’s additionally no secret that I believe it’s an objectively unhealthy present. That’s a part of the explanation I find it irresistible, really.

Felony Minds ended earlier this yr. Following the FBI’s Behavioral Evaluation Unit, the present handled the type of serial killers that might often solely make appearances on Very Particular Episodes of normal crime procedurals. It was gimmicky, over-the-top, and completely great to devour for hours on finish.

Throughout its 15 season, 299 episode run, apparently Felony Minds has solely had six Halloween-themed episodes. That appears somewhat low for a present that was on since 2005 and devoted to grandiose murders extra befitting of horror motion pictures than crime procedurals. However that’s additionally the right variety of episodes to marathon on Halloween. However in what order must you watch them?

Contemplate the worst-to-best marathon. Utilizing a completely scientific rubric inspecting the Halloween-ness of the episodes in query, in addition to the crimes and murders in query, I ranked all of the Halloween episodes of Felony Minds.

[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for some old episodes of Criminal Minds]

6. “Keeper” (Season 12, episode 4)

a bloodied dude in a dog muzzle

Picture: CBS

Official Felony Minds plot synopsis: The BAU travels to the Appalachian Path in rural Virginia seeking a serial killer who is working alongside that route. In the meantime, Reid is confronted with a dilemma concerning his mom.

How central is Halloween to the plot?

If this episode weren’t listed on the Halloween TV specials Wikipedia web page and had it not premiered on Oct. 26, I’d not even have recognized it was a Halloween episode. The remainder of these episodes, on the very least, use Halloween as a framing gadget for the non-crime-solving bits. Not this one.

Is anybody in costume?

The Behavioral Evaluation Unit’s tech analyst Penelope Garcia wears a brilliant orange ensemble, however aside from that, no.

Is there a reference to a Halloween custom?

Nothing! Nothing in any respect! Frankly, I need to formally pen a letter to the Wikipedia consumer who instructed this.

Does the crime in query really feel prefer it belongs in a horror film?

The episode begins off promising: a police officer finds a bag of severed limbs amongst a homeless man’s stuff. We minimize to the homeless dude flinging extra limbs onto a climbing path. What’s occurring right here? There’s undoubtedly extra disembodied legs and arms than on a typical Felony Minds episode, however the eventual thriller has extra to do with the homeless man’s fixation on a canine that doesn’t exist than it does any grandiose homicide schemes. We study that this homeless man didn’t really do something unsuitable! He’s overlaying up for his brother, who he thinks is a canine, and is murdering males who remind him of their abusive father. It’s really kinda unhappy!

5. “About Face” (Season 3, episode 6)

a missing persons poster of a blonde woman

Picture: CBS

Official Felony Minds plot synopsis: The BAU travels to Dallas to help within the seek for a assassin who scares his victims with “lacking” flyers that show the soon-to-be victims’ pictures. Additionally, SSA David Rossi returns to the BAU from retirement.

How central is Halloween to the plot?

The entire purpose the primary woman will get murdered is as a result of the police dismiss her issues as a Halloween prank! Already we’re making way more use of the vacation than the earlier episode on this listing. All through the episode, the error haunts them. The second sufferer didn’t go to the police, as a result of she was afraid her issues would even be dismissed — does that hit too near actual life? Maybe, however I’m happy that this episode actually used Halloween to its full dramatic potential.

Apart from the crime, the group discusses Halloween plans. That is the primary point out of Halloween on the present and my boy Spencer is a large fan of the vacation, apparently. He and unhealthy boy Derek Morgan have a short chat about their differing opinions of the vacation. Spence is a large fan of it, as a result of he loves dressing up, whereas Morgan doesn’t actually look after it.

Is anybody in costume?

Spencer exhibits as much as the workplace carrying a Frankenstein masks and expresses how a lot he loves costumes! A person after my very own coronary heart. Additionally, there are many trick-’r-treating youngsters round. In truth, after they rescue the final sufferer, the group interrupts some Halloween festivities occurring exterior. In order that one track they used to play on the American Idol outro performs round them (“House” by former American Idol contestant Chris Daughtry, a truth I discovered whereas writing this text), the emergency responders wheel an unconscious woman into an ambulance and the BAU arms out sweet to the kids who’ve … gathered round them. Certain!

Is there a reference to a Halloween custom?

Oh, you wager. There are many decorations, each within the FBI headquarters and round Dallas. Spencer talks about dressing up in costume. We see trick-’r-treaters. A really Halloween-y episode, certainly!

Does the crime in query really feel prefer it belongs in a horror film?

“About Face” aired throughout season 3, so we’re nonetheless within the “that is excessive, however plausible sufficient” vary. Just one individual really dies on this episode, which is sort of tame. Additionally, the inherent motion of warning the ladies earlier than means they’ve … time to cover and phone the authorities. Compelling, however inherently flawed, which explains the “we’re not taking ladies’s issues significantly!” plotpoint to offer some extra oomph right here.

The Unsub (Unknown Topic, aka what the group calls the criminals) additionally doesn’t get any fascinating backstory. The group simply form of figures out who he’s after which it’s throughout comparatively shortly.

4. “Within the Blood” (Season 9, episode 6)

a creepy collage stalker wall

Picture: CBS

Official Felony Minds plot synopsis: When the BAU investigates victims of attainable ritualistic murders in Utah, clues cause them to imagine that they’re searching for a serial killer who holds a deep fascination of the Salem witch trials. Additionally, Garcia prepares for a “Day of the Lifeless” celebration over at her condominium.

How central is Halloween to the plot?

Regardless of it being about witch trials and having very spooky parts, Halloween as a vacation isn’t really talked about a lot. The non-case bits as a substitute deal with Garcia throwing a Day of the Lifeless celebration — although she and Spencer do discuss a bit about Halloween. However there isn’t something about this episode that’s particularly Halloween-related, although Garcia’s condominium does have some cute Halloween decorations.

Is anybody in costume?

At one level, Garcia places faux blood on her face, however that’s about it.

Is there a reference to a Halloween custom?

There’s a pretty Day of the Lifeless celebration on the finish, the place the group talks concerning the individuals they’ve misplaced, each inside the present’s period and previous to the present’s occasions. (Compulsory point out about how two males on the group have had ladies they’ve beloved brutally murdered on this present! Felony Minds loves the Fridge.) That’s indirectly Halloween, however value mentioning.

Does the crime in query really feel prefer it belongs in a horror film?

Completely. The killer is mainly caught in a delusion that he’s in 1600s Salem, Massachusetts, in order that alone already feels very horror movie-esque. The homicide strategies contain entombing a lady alive, flinging one other woman off a cliff, and hanging a dude in the course of a city sq. — all whereas our killer hallucinates a mob of hooded Puritans with torches cheering him on. He’s obsessive about the witch trials and at numerous factors all through the episode, he’s seen flailing himself with a whip to atone for unspecified sins.

Oh, additionally there’s a cult (??) talked about at first as a crimson herring that simply will get dismissed about 10 minutes in and never introduced up once more. Actually a wild time. If solely it had a wee bit extra to do with Halloween as a complete.

3. “Boxed In” (Season 10, episode 5)

a boy in a skeleton costume

Picture: CBS

Official Felony Minds plot synopsis: When a younger boy who mysteriously went lacking in San Diego on Halloween all of a sudden reappears one yr later, the BAU should work quick when one other trick-or-treater disappears underneath related circumstances.

How central is Halloween to the plot:

It’s a giant deal! We ultimately study that the Unsub’s motivations stem from one fateful Halloween night time in his youth. The assorted kidnapped kids had been all taken throughout Halloween. It is a very Halloween episode.

Is anybody in costume?

The little boy who exhibits up is wearing a skeleton costume. When the kidnapper abducts the following youngster, it’s proper after some Halloween tomfoolery (so we see youngsters in costume) and he’s additionally in a creepy-looking darkish costume with a cranium masks.

Moreover, the non-crime associated a part of the episode sees Agent Hotchner on a quest to get his son, Jack, an ideal Darth Vadar costume … which apparently he can’t simply order and has to select up within the rain from a psychic (??), who bought it delivered from Los Angeles.

Is there a reference to a Halloween custom?

The episode begins with a pleasant little fall carnival, the place a mother and her son attempt to discover a good pumpkin. That’s after they discover the primary lacking boy The boy who will get kidnapped within the episode eggs a home whereas others are out trick or treating. A special tackle Halloween traditions! Additionally, whereas we don’t see Jack trick or treating, we see him asleep after an eventful night time out.

Does the crime in query really feel prefer it belongs in a horror film?

, for one thing that occurs so late within the present, this one felt … quite tame. The Unsub kidnaps boys who misbehave throughout Halloween and locks them in a field for a yr, as a result of his father locked him in a trunk throughout Halloween years in the past… which by the way was additionally the night time his mother lastly fought again and murdered the bastard and he helped her disguise the physique.

Analyzing it from an actual world perspective, it’s is in fact very tousled and merciless, however within the scheme of Felony Minds — whereby simply on this listing alone we’ve had a dude attempt to recreate the Salem Witch trials and … the following entry on right here — the crimes in query are simply ho-hum.

2. “The Good Earth” (Season 8, episode 5)

henry dressed up as reid

Picture: CBS

Official Felony Minds plot synopsis: When 4 males go lacking in rural Oregon, the BAU searches for a standard hyperlink amongst them with a view to observe them down. Additionally, JJ turns into upset when her son Henry doesn’t need to rejoice Halloween this yr.

How central is Halloween to the plot:

The precise crime itself has little or no to do with Halloween (however it’s simply…so ridiculous that perhaps it does). The episode lead-up, nonetheless, has former communications liaison, now profiler JJ involved that her son doesn’t need to go trick or treating. Apparently, a boy in his class advised him that actual monsters come out on Halloween. He additionally overheard a dialog that she and his father had concerning the circumstances they tackle and the way there are such a lot of “monsters” on the market, so he’s very scared. That’s OK, although, as a result of by the top, JJ tells him that they want his assist figuring out monsters.

Is anybody in costume?

JJ’s son Henry exhibits as much as the FBI workplace dressed as Spencer! Very cute.

Is there a reference to a Halloween custom?

Solely when speaking about Henry’s reluctance to go trick or treating. It’s a reasonably Halloween-lite episode, all issues thought of.

Stay response of me watching this episode
Photograph: Petrana Radulovic/Polygon

Does the crime in query really feel prefer it belongs in a horror film?

If a Felony Minds assassin doesn’t have me watching the present with my jaw agape in sheer “what the precise fuckery,” then are they even a Felony Minds assassin? As a result of the Unsub of “The Good Earth” completely makes the higher echelon of completely ridiculous Felony Minds murderers, this episode itself finally ends up practically topping this listing regardless of lack of Halloween parts, as a result of holy hell.

The place do I start? Not solely is she kidnapping males — she is particularly choosing bodily match males, drugging them together with her personal home-brewed melatonin smoothies, stringing them up in her barn, force-feeding them animal feed by way of a tube of their noses, after which hacking their limbs off so she will use them as fertilizer for her tomatoes.

Why is she doing this? Properly, a couple of years in the past she had a foul pores and skin illness and she or he thinks that her husband’s ashes — which had been scattered within the backyard — had been key to curing her pores and skin. She doesn’t have the pores and skin illness any extra, however she hallucinates that she and her daughter do. Additionally! She kidnaps a pregnant lady, carves out her placenta, stitches the newborn again in, then pressure feeds the placenta to her daughter. Y’all, this is the standard leisure that I tune into this present for.

This episode would’ve topped the listing had the precise Halloween-ness of it been performed up extra. However as such, it could actually solely make second on the listing.

1. “Satan’s Night time” (Season 6, episode 6)

a carved jack o lanter

Picture: CBS

Official Felony Minds plot synopsis: The BAU known as to apprehend a killer who has struck Detroit for the previous three years throughout Satan’s Night time, the infamous pre-Halloween celebration.

How central is Halloween to the plot:

The killer strikes particularly on Satan’s Night time to reap the benefits of the truth that individuals throughout the town are lighting fires — and in addition so he can move off his scarred, burned face (which individuals examine to Freddy Krueger) as a dressing up and never draw consideration to himself. It’s completely factored into his M.O.

The non-crime a part of the episode sees Hotch frosting cookies together with his son and making an attempt to get him enthusiastic about trick or treating. In the meantime, on the workplace, Spencer talks about all of the cool issues he needs to do for Halloween … and tries to ask the group to come back with him, however nobody needs to go. I’ll come to the Phantasmagoria with you, Spence.

Is anybody in costume?

Spencer wears a masks at first and Garcia has a cute Halloween ensemble. A flashback sees some costumed individuals at a Halloween competition, however the true heartwarming second comes on the finish of the episode. Jack was alleged to be Spider-Man, however he comes down the steps dressed as a “actual hero” — his father. How candy.

Is there a reference to a Halloween custom?

The whole episode is structured round Satan’s Night time in Detroit, which has traditionally been extra rampant with vandalism than related festivities across the nation. The group discusses Halloween plans.

Does the crime in query really feel prefer it belongs in a horror film?

A very good Felony Minds killer doesn’t simply execute murders in a very unbelievable approach — on this explicit case, kidnapping individuals and burning them on the stake in the course of deserted warehouses and factories — additionally they have fascinating motivations. Our killer right here is particularly going after individuals who have wronged him previously. The dude was in a horrible automotive accident which left him in a coma, and upon waking misplaced the whole lot. A variety of the thriller is centered round determining what’s getting this man to kill like this, which is definitely fairly fascinating.

The crimes are grandiose, the motivation fascinating, however the factor that makes “Satan’s Night time” not only a good Halloween episode, however an excellent episode of Felony Minds on the whole, was that it bought kinda unhappy on the finish and gave the Unsub some humanity.

A few of the greatest Felony Minds episodes have bizarre tearjerker moments the place you’re nearly like “wow, that was unhappy? Am I going to forgive this dude for brutally murdering a bunch of individuals?” I not often do, however there was sufficient sympathy on the finish that made me think about it for a cut up second. Actually, a feat.

Felony Minds is accessible to stream on Netflix.

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