There is no way that a television series about serial killers can’t have a memorable count of creepy moments and Criminal Minds is no exception. The breakout show that we all still love began back in 2005 and excites millions of fans worldwide by drawing them into thrills, terror, and villainy. Over the fourteen seasons, the show seems to have been working harder to make each season more disturbing than the previous one. With so many interesting and most disturbing criminal minds episodes of the show, it is difficult to list the best Criminal Minds episodes of all time.
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Top 10 Best Criminal Minds Episodes
Below is the list of some of the greatest and Criminal Minds intense episodes which prove how powerful and realistic the show can turn out to be.
10. The Fisher King
The two-episode thrill showcases how the BAU team hunted for the mindless and ruthless murderer who challenged the team on face giving clues and information to try and save the next victim.
The episode describes the brilliance of the show perfectly and makes one of the best Criminal Minds episodes for forking the team into two parts driving in two different directions to catch the psychotic killer. The Fisher King brings to life one more villain from the history of the show.
A Long Distance Serial Killer, known commonly as a sniper, shoots multiple people in a park. The BAU travels to Illinois to search for the sniper before he shoots more people. Reid failed his latest firearms qualification exam. The expert shooter had been shooting various people at unconnected locations from a long distance. All the targets were shot in the abdomen and had been surviving.
The team understands that the person has specialized shooting skills. The unsub turns out to be a gun-crazy ex-cop, Philip Dowd.
8. Our Darkest Hour
One of the most favorite and most disturbing episodes of Criminal Minds, ‘Our Darkest Hour’ presents Richard Ramirez, a famous serial killer. He is also known as ‘The Night Stalker’ and is a burglar and rapist from LA who was involved in killing 14 people and torturing more than 25.
This Criminal Minds intense episode is followed by another terrifying episode ‘The Longest Night’ which depicts one of their most ruthless criminals. Ramirez is shown on the show to be not just a psychopathic killer but also one of the most terrifying killers of the BAU who used to abduct children.
The kidnapping of kids has always been so emotional and troubling and Criminal Minds manages to make it horrifying in this episode. A Romany family kidnaps young girls to find a bride for their son who is just ten years old. What’s more surprising is the fact that the mother was kidnapped similarly when she was a small girl and she had started believing since then that it was an acceptable way.
Everything gets a rest when the BAU team gets on the family and puts an end to the tradition. In the end, it was revealed that another family was planning to kidnap a girl for their son.
6. The Good Earth
This episode tells you that not just kids and women are kidnapped and held. A farmer Emma Kerrigan who worked at a health store started to believe that she and her daughter were suffering from some serious health problems which only human remains could cure.
She started kidnapping men, kept them chained in her shed and fed them soil additives and animal food to make sure that their flesh when they are killed, contains what is good for the treatment. More disturbing is her next evolution where she kidnapped a pregnant woman and performed a C-section to use the placenta.
5. To Bear Witness
The BAU team heads to Baltimore where they see a young guy with ligature marks on his wrists and drill marks in eyes to determine that a lobotomy was performed on him. He was left paralyzed and unable to speak. Through the slow communication, Morgan learns that the criminal was a white guy.
After a medical examination of the victim, the purpose of letting the victim free was found. He had inserted a microscopic camera in the victim’s eye and could watch everything going on. The team could communicate with the unsub using this technology and the criminal goes on to show the team what he is doing. Imagine the creepiness of being desperate to tell somebody about something horrifying that happened to you and find that you are not able to communicate.
Obviously the 100th episode of Criminal Minds and 9th in the fifth season, this is one of the most loved and fan-voted episodes. It is considered to be one of the best Criminal Minds episodes not just for being the 100th but also for bringing alive one of the most sought-after serial killers – The Reaper.
It was an unbelievable ride through the history of the show and shows the interesting personality of a bad guy who was very powerful and ready to go beyond extremes to accomplish his plans. The BAU team members were challenged and worked frantically to locate the Reaper before he could reach his target. Watch this episode to see how one of the evilest villains was caught.
Another must-watch and most disturbing Criminal Minds episodes depict Reid being kidnapped and the BAU has a computer and the live feeds from the kidnapper. Hankel, the kidnapper, belts his head and foot and injects his addictive drug to get him to confess to a sin. The team finds that Hankel was abused by his own father and he developed a split personality one of which was his father’s abusive one as Raphael.
Hankel arranges for a webcam to show the team that Reid was in his control and allows him to choose one of his colleagues to die in his place. Reid chooses Hotch but manages to pass a secret clue to him through the webcam, helping the team find Reid and free him from Hankel.
2. The Uncanny Valley
A mentally disturbed and abused woman, Samantha, involves in kidnapping young women and injecting them with a dangerous paralysis-inducing drug to dress them in beautiful hand-sewn costumes. She keeps them as living dolls in her collection. Those women see the worst of pain as they are awake during the process and can do nothing more than widening their eyes in terror and fear.
What could be creepier than this! Reid takes the lead in the investigation and does his best to find the missing criminal. He is always shown to be smart but in this episode, he is also compassionate. The way he interacts with Samantha who does not have the capacity to realize that she did something wrong is truly touching.
1. God Complex
The team is called to handle a case on the Mexico border where two men were found to get their right leg amputated. One of them died while the other could remember vaguely what had happened to him. The study of both the amputations revealed to the team that the criminal was a person with some knowledge of anatomy but they doubted if he was a surgeon. When the third victim came to the hospital, the team got a clearer picture of the unsub’s motif – he was trying to perform live leg transplants which were not possible technically. This compelled the team to believe that the unsub had a God complex.
The team finally finds the criminal who was a desperate husband trying to fix his wife’s missing leg. He was making attempts to transplant new legs onto people. What makes this episode so creepy is the horror one would experience when waking up with the leg gone. Worse is finding a completely different leg sewn imperfectly on its place.
These are some of the most disturbing and best Criminal Minds episodes across different seasons. Do share your favorite episodes in the comments section below.