Criminal Minds season 13 episode finale review: Could Spencer Reid and Garcia die?


Criminal MindsIt may only be the middle of April, but we are already at the season finale of Criminal Minds! It is ending a bit earlier than normal, but it’s only to give Code Black a chance to start airing it’s new season and snag some viewers before heading into the summer months. Tonight’s episode is part of a two episode finale and we are ready to dive into the big conclusion for season 13! We will not have any more episode of the show until the fall – that is if it’s renewed. We aren’t all that worried about it getting renewed since the ratings are pretty good (you can check out more on that in our video about that below and be sure to subscribe to the CarterMatt YouTube channel or more discussion pieces on all things TV related), but since it doesn’t have the official stamp we can’t say for sure.

While we didn’t have Matthew Gray Gubler in the last episode, he is back for the finale so don’t worry! In fact this episode started with Spencer in the field being lead to find an ex-agent named Owen Quinn. This agent left the FBI a year ago when he got so involved in a case that it completely took over his life. There was an Unsub he was chasing that he nicknamed the Strangler, but there was only ever one confirmed victim (not enough to make them a serial killer), so he started trying to force other cases to fit in with his investigation, but the other cases never actually fit in. Eventually Owen quit, but now he’s back and they don’t know if the Strangler is stalking him or if maybe he’s the Strangler himself. Very interesting case!

So what happen to Owen in this time? In a series of interviews with Spencer he claims that he was kidnapped by a family of three (mother, father, and son) and that the son (Theo) may have been a student in Spencer’s class. When they find out that the son actually was in Spencer’s class they head to the family’s house and while the son is no where to be found the parents are dead – shot with Owen’s gun. What happened here? When the parents tried to force Theo to kill his girlfriend he turned the gun on his parents instead.

So were Theo’s parents the Strangler? When they find him he explains that they were only a small part of a much bigger issue. There is a cult that’s run by a man they call the Messiah (real name is Benjamin) who basically has a legion of killers (calling themselves the believers) at his feet including Theo’s parents. After capturing the Messiah the BAU thinks they have solved the case, but instead it turns out that one of the other agents at the FBI is working with the Messiah! She (and some of the other believers) capture Garcia and give Reid the choice to either release with Messiah and join them or they will kill Garcia. This is of course left as a cliffhanger with Garcia screaming at Reid to shoot and him not yet making a decision. Are Garcia or Reid going to die? Way to leave us with a pretty intense cliffhanger and no word on a season 14 guys!

Related – More about Criminal Minds‘ potential season 14.

CarterMatt Verdict

What we loved about this episode is that it was all about family – the family of this team. They have been through hell and back this season with everything that happened with Mr. Scratch, Spencer’s recovery from his time in prison, and Linda Barnes ripping the team apart, but they were able to come out on the other side of it together and stronger because of it. Spencer was having some mental blocks with this whole case because it rang true with what happened to himself. Spencer was able to start working towards rebuilding his life after his traumatic experience, but Owen wasn’t able to and it’s something that Spencer is having real difficulty with – the idea of why did he make it through and Owen didn’t and the ultimate answer is because he had the support of his BAU family.

For more discussion / reaction…

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