20 Best Criminal Minds Episodes to Watch in 2021 (Handpicked)

Criminal Minds Episodes has finally ended in February of 2020. There are 15 seasons and around 324 episodes in total. The hit television show from CBS remained one of the best shows of all time with high ratings and much more to offer. There have been some of the ground-breaking reality-based episodes to casual ones. However, as this is a crime-thriller drama, with over 15 years, we have a lot of stories and episodes.

Best Criminal Minds Episodes to Watch in 2021

Whether you’ve followed it throughout or seek to taste what criminal minds are about, we are bringing you the list of the best Criminal Minds episodes. These have been fan favorites, highest rated, or accumulated most praises. From some of the most challenging adversities and serial killers to the psychological stress on the person of this profession and the personal life, we get a lot to look into.

The Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) has been more than just a group of characters. With that in mind, let’s take a look into the top episodes from different seasons that make it to the list:

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Best Criminal Minds Episodes to Watch [2021]:

1. Scratch

Season 10 Episode 21, Mr.Scratch. This episode was the start of the three-season long story art of capturing Mr. Scratch and other serial killers that he has motivated over time. In this very episode, he makes his espionage and begins the hunt for the FBI. On the other hand, BAU goes on the hunt for Mr.  Scratch.

Criminal Minds Season 10 Episode 21

This episode is one of the best Criminal Minds has to offer because it goes deeper than the serial killers’ profile. It shows us the motivation and what might it take for someone to influence a person to commit a crime. This in-depth look at the psyche certainly brings us a lot of information over time.

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2. Entropy

Season 11, Episode 11. This is a brilliant episode where you see two intellects, one from BAU and another from the criminal’s side, doing the tango. Not actual tango, but the battle of wits and intelligence. Both of them try to outsmart each other. Dr. Spencer Reid vs. The Black Widow Assassin has always been one of the fan favorites.

Criminal Minds Season 11, Episode 11

He goes undercover on a date with this beautiful woman. Only, it turns out that everything was a setup from the BAU to capture Black Window. Meanwhile, Black Widow also starts catching up and plays her way around. We see the mindset of Dr. Spencer, who has always been a negotiator, to take a more active role in capturing her. That’s the beauty of this episode.

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3. Mosley Lane

Season 5 Episode 16. We don’t see the show creators and writers shying away from the ground-reality. There has been a fair share of children’s involvement in the episodes. Here, we have another episode where a criminal duo kidnaps the children. This episode is more about giving hope to the victim’s family for their children.

Criminal Minds Season 5 Episode 16

We see the brilliant work of how BAU goes to the depth and finds correlation to the old cases. Soon, they will come across the criminals to capture them. However, the raw emotions and brilliant performances make it one of the most heart-warming and thrilling episodes in the entire series.

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4. The Fisher King

Season 1 Episode 22 and Season 2 Episode 1. Almost every crime-solving series had a fair share of threatening adversities. Nothing comes close to the chilling episodes of The Fisher King. These two episodes showed us what to expect from the Criminal Minds.

criminal minds the fisher king

A serial killer gets admitted to the same asylum as Dr. Spencer Reid’s mother Diana goes loose. He stalks the members of the BAU and finally starts to target them.  In the finale of Season 1, he shoots Elle, and we find out what happens in the next season.

These two episodes’ anti-climatic ending makes them worth the watch and how close they hit to the home of the main characters.

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5. Minimal Loss

Season 4 Episode 3. Minimal Loss plays a vital role in the set up of a case after 10 seasons, with the other Episode, named ‘300.’ Before that, Minimal Loss is another episode that isn’t about a serial killer. Instead, it focuses on the Cult of Benjamin Cryus (Played by Luke Perry). The series initially starts as the case to investigate child abuse but takes a twisted turn.

criminal minds minimal loss

Taking inspiration from 1993’s Waco standoff, we see a gunfight between the cult and FBI members. Finally, one of the cult members reveals a secret agent and saves Spencer Reid while a brutal fight takes place between her and Cyrus.

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6. Zugzwang

Season 8 Episode 12. Zugzwang again shows us the dangers that BAU and the FBI go through to solve crimes and upkeep the law. In this episode, we see a stalker abducting Reid’s girlfriend. It is a race against time as BAU has to do all they can to save Reid’s girlfriend Maeve before the time runs out.

criminal minds Zugzwang

Unfortunately, the ending is quite anti-climatic. Reid fails to save his girlfriend or catch the killer. As a result, it leaves him traumatized and tormented for a series of episodes to come. Overall, it was quite a chilling experience. From this episode, we certainly understand the depths Criminal Minds can go to.

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7. Date Night

The final season (15) of Criminal Minds was full of great episodes. Among those, Episode 6 certainly stands out. We have seen Cat Adams recurring twice before this. It would only be right to make her appear once again. Date Night is where we see Cat Adams getting ready for execution, but she forces Reid for a final date with her by kidnapping Reid’s girlfriend’s father and sister.

criminal minds Date Night

This episode isn’t like any other episode. It is quite different, and we get to see that. Of course, it is also the creators’ way to say goodbye to the series, and it shows. Overall, it is one of the best criminal minds episodes of all time.

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8. True Genius

True Genius drives inspiration from the real-life Zodiac Killer. In Season 7, Episode 11, we see the BAU travel to San Francisco for the hunt. They firmly believe that the Zodiac Killer has resurfaced. This episode was also the turning point for Reid, where he overcomes his self-doubts and flashes back on life.

True Genius

Of course, we don’t get the actual Zodiac killer. Yet, we get a young, brilliant, and ‘true genius’ Caleb. A young boy who was inspired by the serial killer to conduct similar crimes and copy the method. It was one of the most chilling and heroic episodes at the same time.

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9. Revelations

Season 2 Episode 15. Criminal Minds never shied away from making it blatantly obvious that Spencer Reid is the show’s main cast, and others are in support. This episode clarifies as we get Spencer Reid, who is still budding as a BAU agent. We get a look into Spencer’s past, learn about his mother, and even understand his psyche.

criminal minds Revelations

This episode also has Tobias Hankel, a serial killer with split-personality disorder, who captures Dr. Spencer Reid and tortures him. He sends off the live footage to the BAU agents. In this episode, we also witness Reid struggling with a choice. He is well-aware that the serial killer’s split personality can still lead to a road of salvation. Yet, he takes an extreme step that haunts him for more episodes to come.

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10. Believer

Season 13, Episode 22. The believer was the season finale and 299th Episode of the season. Once again, we have a set of two episodes, followed by the 300th Episode. In this episode, Reid has to choose between saving Garcia. Meanwhile, the former profiler tells the FBI about the Strangler, a serial killer who has been evading the BAU.

criminal minds Believer

This episode works brilliantly as a set up for the next episode in the line-up.

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11. 300/ Proof

Season 14, Episode 1. This episode was a great callback to all of the past 299 episodes for Reid. We also see this as a sequel to Minimal Loss. In that episode, we had an FBI agent as a part of the cult. In this episode, the cult returns, and now some cult members have infiltrated the FBI. This makes for quite a challenging situation.

Episodes 300

That’s not all! The new cult leader, Benjamin David Merna, is also The Stranger, a serial killer with 299 victims so far. This episode had everything from action to excitement. It was a proper salute or ‘heed’ to the 300th episode on the list.

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12. Amplification

Season 4 Episode 24, the final episode of the season. In this episode, we have a ‘loud’ serial killer by the name of Chad Brown. He goes out of his way to show the world how easy it is for any terrorist to attack the country, especially America. Anthrax attacks infect Dr. Spencer Reid, but he races against time to solve the case and capture Chad Brown before he dies.

criminal minds Amplification

Of course, while we are chasing for a terrorist and serial killer mix, we also have Dr. Reid solving the case from quarantine. Overall, the episode is quite grasping, and of course, Dr. Reid survives in the end with a proper cure.

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13. Lauren

Season 6 Episode 18. We’ve received a lot of episodes about the past of the characters throughout the series. However, this one was certainly gut-wrenching. This episode focuses on Emily Prentiss, a member of the BAU. We get a glimpse of her past and learn about her undercover role as Lauren. More importantly, this episode takes quite a big adrenaline-pumping ride that isn’t available in many shows.

criminal minds Lauren

We come across her arch-nemesis, and the team has to struggle to find Prentiss. The team learns how little they know about Lauren and the danger she is in. It eventually ended in her death in the episode. It was really a heart-wrecking episode, but thanks to fans and their outrage, Emily was revived with an excuse that the death was a fakeout. Despite that, it settles perfectly in the settings of Criminal Minds.

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14. The Replicator

Season 8 Episode 24 was another nostalgic ride for the Criminal Minds lovers. That’s not all! We see how the job can also affect a person negatively. This episode has a former FBI agent with high-IQ, John Curtis, as the culprit.

criminal minds The Replicator

It is a good reminder of the Criminal Minds history because of how well he replaces the series of crimes and impersonates various serial killers the Behavioral Analysis Unit team has put behind bars. The episode had a significant loss. While Criminal Minds never stopped killing someone from the main cast, this time, the loss was quite grandiose and a perfect finale for the season.

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15. Mayhem

The third season’s finale ended on a devastating note when an explosion takes place. Mayhem was the premiere of Season 4. It shows us the investigation of BAU for a bombing of an SUV in New York City.  Of course, it was carrying a team member, which was bound to create friction between the characters.

criminal minds Mayhem

Unlike other episodes, this episode takes a turn to the ‘search and rescue’ genre, with Hotch and Derek not agreeing with each other. There is a lot to look forward to in this episode as we see first responders getting denied to arrive at the scene and much more. Overall, it was a brilliant start to the Season 4 of Criminal Minds.

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16. Penelope

Season 3 Episode 9. In Penelope, we see Garcia getting targeted by the new unsub. As fans know by now, most often than not, if any Criminal Minds character is in danger, they could end up dead unless they are Dr. Reid Spencer. That makes this episode a horrific ride for the fans as they also witness Derek, who could resonate with their emotional outburst.

We see Garcia struggling to keep seeing the good in people. She is struggling to hang onto life as the serial killer shoots him. A lot is happening in these Criminal Minds episodes that leave us gripping.

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17. Profiler Profiled

This Season 2 Episode 12 was another look into the character’s past life. Here we see the episode focusing on Derek Morgan. We learn about various reasons and the past of his life regarding what led him to become who and what he is today. The episode has us caught off-guard right from the start as Morgan is accused of murdering three boys.

criminal minds Profiler Profiled

Now it’s up to the team of BAU to capture the real unsub and exonerate Derek. We also learn about his dark past and the history of sexual abuse. Of course, his mentor turns out to be the culprit and the reason for Derek’s traumatic scars.

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18. 100

Criminal Minds has brought us, several villains, over the years that we hate. Some of these characters received so much hate that the actors who played them have become the target of the said heat. Season 5 Episode 9 marks the 100th Episode of the series. Here, we have The Reaper, who has killed 20 people so far.

He had appeared again because Hotch once worked on the very case when he turned into a BAU senior. 11 years later, the Reaper was out again and killing again. The Reaper arrived in Season 4 and stuck to Season 5, toying with Hotch’s life. It also has a shocking end that leaves the members and the audience astounded.

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19. Masterpiece

Talking about the best villains and the people who played them, we have Henry Grave (played by Jason Alexander) as a narcissistic serial killer who believes his sole purpose is to become a master killer. It turns out, there are two serial killers, including his brother. Henry is set out to destroy Rossi, who captures his brother.

Masterpiece

This episode was the one where he admits to killing women, children, and five other victims. It was downright chilling and one of the best episodes. It was a race against time while Rossi interrogated Henry. There are many traps laid out against BAU that makes it one of the best Criminal Minds episodes.

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20. And In The End

Of course, the final episode of the entire Criminal Minds series has to be on the list: season 15, Episode 10. We have one of the best episodes that tie up all of the loose ends for every character. We also receive Everett Lynch making a return to kill Rossi.

And In The End

Reid goes into a coma, and we get various flashbacks and callbacks with older members of the BAU. Reid wakes up, Rossi retires, and Garcia says goodbye to the team. The team moves onto the next case while we see our original team retiring, bringing the show to the finale.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Where Can You Watch Criminal Minds Episodes?

here are some limited seasons and episodes of Criminal Minds available across various streaming services. Netflix and Hulu are the primary providers with the highest number of seasons. However, even those won’t provide you up to Season 15. For that, you will have to rely on CBS All Access.

The CBS All Access has a complete collection of all of the CBS shows and every episode. You can enjoy the entire Criminal Minds series there.

 

How Many Seasons And Episodes Are There In Criminal Minds?

There are a total of 15 seasons. Most of the seasons have 20+ episodes, while the last season has limited numbers. There are a total of 324 episodes for you to watch. The average runtime of each episode is around 42 minutes. So, you have a lot to look forward to.

 

Why Did Criminal Minds End?

There have been many reasons for Criminal Minds. Let’s say that it has run its course. With 15 seasons, it is one of the longest-running shows ever. It has many episodes, and there has been a lack of material, among other things. Let’s not forget that CBS wanted to focus on the latest shows, as well. Overall, it was the right call to end Criminal Minds when it did.

 

Conclusion:

That covers up the list of the best Criminal Minds Episodes. So, you can go ahead and watch these. If you ever want someone to get hooked on the show and motivate them to watch it, these could be the best Episodes Of Criminal Minds.

There’s no doubt that Criminal Minds will always remain one of the best crime-solving and mystery-solving television series from CBS. It has received various awards and has been highly acclaimed by the critics. The BAU of the FBI certainly gave us a lot to look forward to. You might even say it might have motivated many people to join the crime-fighting in real life.

If you’ve finished Criminal Minds and want to revisit and relive the enthralling experience, these were the best episodes. We hope that you like them. So go ahead and stream them to your heart’s content.

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