The Criminal Minds Episodes Fans Wished Were Two Parts
Over the years, “Criminal Minds” has aired plenty of two or multi-part episodes that remain some of its fans’ must-watch favorites. The series even opens in Season 1 with a multi-part episode in “Extreme Aggressor.” Sometimes, one episode simply isn’t enough to follow the elaborate plotline or intensely personal case that the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit takes on, and so it is broken up over at least two episodes.
Aside from “Extreme Aggressor,” there are a couple of other notable episodes that were broken up into two or multiple parts. There’s “Memoriam,” where Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) takes on a case that connects to his own past, even his own parents. You also have “To Hell and Back,” the two-part season finale of the 4th season where the BAU team is forced to enter Canada to chase a serial killer that turns out to be a pair of brothers. Here, we also first discover serial killer George Foyet’s (C. Thomas Howell) targeting of Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), which doesn’t end well, as we know.
A two or multi-part episode works especially well in “Criminal Minds” because they always manage to leave the BAU in an incredibly dangerous position after the first part before they expand on the story. That being said, there are some episodes that some fans on Reddit feel should’ve been broken into multiple parts to get the same effect.
Mr. Scratch and The Replicator
Peter Lewis aka “Mr. Scratch” (Bodhi Elfman) first appeared in the self-titled Episode 21 of Season 10 on “Criminal Minds.” In the episode, the BAU investigates a string of murders where suspects say they were attacked by a clawing monster. At the end of the episode, we see Hotch put in a very dangerous and vulnerable situation, something “Criminal Minds” fans hadn’t necessarily seen that often, as Redditor u/guzmuel4ever noted. They added that “Mr. Scratch” should have been split up into two parts not only because the episode concludes unsatisfyingly with Hotch giving David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) a report on what happened, but also because they could have explored further into the emotional trauma Hotch would have from that specific mission. It would’ve been interesting to see how the stoic and powerful Hotch dealt with the feelings of helplessness he had on that mission.
u/TvManiac5 mentioned “The Replicator,” episode 24 of season 8, as one that should’ve been a “proper two parter.” The episode itself is actually already a two-parter, being the second part of the Season 8 finale. However, TvManiac5 explained that this part was wasted on the previous part titled “Brothers Hotchner,” where a case involving a string of killings in Manhattan includes Hotch’s estranged brother Sean. u/Cookie_Brookie notes that they didn’t find themselves caring about Sean enough and that the storyline was wasted when they could’ve focused on John Curtis a.k.a. “The Replicator” (Mark Hamill) more when moving into his self-titled episode, when he began to target BAU Section Chief Erin Strauss (Jayne Atkinson).
The Thirteenth Step and Nelson's Sparrow
User and “Criminal Minds” fan u/roselighters mentioned Episode 13 of Season 6, titled “The Thirteenth Step,” as one that would have benefited from some expansion. The episode follows the BAU as they track down a young couple that began an interstate killing spree. There’s also a subplot about Agent Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) where she receives news from her old boss at Interpol that a terrorist Prentiss had helped catch had vanished from prison, insinuating that he might be after her. The Redditor didn’t want expansion on Prentiss but rather on the couple, Raymond Donovan (Jonathan Tucker) and Sydney Manning (Adrianne Palicki). They wanted an “80s/90s action film style two parter” that would’ve been entertaining to watch, but as u/FoxInKneeSocks noted, probably a little quick to unravel.
User u/IisforIda also threw in “Nelson’s Sparrow,” Episode 13 of Season 10, as another that could’ve been a two-part episode. They don’t state their reasoning, but given that it explores the origins of the BAU and a Rossi/Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) team-up, fans would likely want to see more of the old cases that occurred back in the early days of the BAU, especially those involving serial killers like Donnie Mallick (Arye Gross) who resurfaced after being dormant for years.
“Legacy,” Episode 22 of Season 2, was a point of focus for both users u/Seilliko and u/Antigonos301. The episode follows a Kansas City detective as he contacts the BAU for assistance when local homeless people go missing and evidence pointing to a local meat plant owner seemingly experimenting on them through maze-like torture, giving off incredible “Saw”-like energy. u/Seilliko asked fellow fans if it would have benefited from seeing more victims go through more rooms or even following one victim more thoroughly. u/Antigonos agreed on the “more victims” side of the argument but also wanted more focus on the interrogation and work with the local detectives and the BAU.
Before its conclusion in 2020, “Criminal Minds” usually finished seasons with two-part finales, akin to many other crime shows. It’s clear that some fans would’ve preferred more expansion on episodes mid-season as well, either to build on the storylines of specific characters or get more information out of a specific case.