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4.7 out of 5 stars101
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 6 January 2008
You could run out of superlatives when reviewing this awesome series. It's simply the best "cop" series around at the moment. I'll review it on the assumption that you've not seen the first season, but if you have, you know what to expect - except this season gives you even more.

Criminal Minds centres around the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit) department of the FBI, and the small team who work there. These profilers analyse the evidence found at crimes - primarily murders, but sometimes kidnappings, arson, etc - and use it to construct a picture of the perpetrator. This show differs from all the other "cop shows" in that it approaches it all from a completely different angle. Where CSI, etc, look at the crime and follow that trail, the BAU's only interest in the crime itself is what it can tell them about the individual/s. And it is absolutely fascinating.

Mandy Patinkin (made famous playing Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride) plays Jason Gideon, who is, without a doubt, the best character one of these shows has ever produced. He's supremely intelligent, charismatic, perceptive and has more empathy than most characters we now see on tv, let alone on a show of this nature. He's honest, centred, sardonic, and has more integrity in his little finger than Gil Grissom and Columbo combined. In other words, lots. And lots.

Gideon is surrounded by a group of people who mesh incredibly well - the chemistry fairly crackles off the screen sometimes. There's Dr Spencer Reid, a shy, gentle, slightly socially inept genius. Trawl the interweb and you'll discover that most CM fans rate Reid as either their top or joint-top character, and it's an accolade that's well deserved - he's delightful, notwithstanding what he goes through in season 2... but we'll come to that. Derek Morgan in any other show would be the "muscle" of the group - only, CM has managed to create characters that are deeply nuanced and fleshed out, so while Morgan is the most likely to kick in a door or tackle someone to the floor, he's also kind, thoughtful and measured. JJ (played by AJ Cook) is the beautiful blonde who women ought to abjectly despise... but she's loyal, and tough and vulnerable and she's a lovely feminine counterpoint to what is, typically, a fairly masculine genre.

Without giving too much away, we are introduced to a new character called Emily Prentiss, played by Paget Brewster. You may recognise her from her brief stint on Friends as Kathy, the girl Chandler stole from Joey in season 4. She's a welcome addition - warm, honest, witty and loving. Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner (Thomas Gibson, of "Dharma and Greg") is the guy in charge of the BAU, and he's everything you would want a leader to be. He will always do the right thing, by the victims and by his team. He runs a tight ship, and he rarely smiles, but the team would be lost without him. Finally, we have Penelope Garcia, who brings so much sunshine to the show. She's the computer genius who is able to hack any computer and find any information necessary, and she's a big, blonde, geek-chic, idiosyncratic ball of polka-dot and wig-wearing loveliness. All of the characters are given the opportunity to flex their comedy muscles, but it's Garcia who brings the humour to the BAU most frequently.

Three of the main actors - Brewster, Gibson and Patinkin - all made their names in comedies, which will give you an idea of the comedy calibre of CM. It's nothing overt - but it has some beautiful one-liners and dialogue which will make you laugh out loud. This is a nice touch, necessary even, as the scenes which show the crimes taking place, and the aftermath, can be relatively graphic. But, more than that, the writers' ability to create dark, twisted criminal minds is astonishing sometimes. In season 2, you meet one man in particular, Frank, who will make your skin crawl and the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. He's the greatest anti-hero since Hannibal Lector and the cerebral stand-off between he and Gideon is beautiful television.

We are also introduced to a terrifying, almost unrecognizable James Van Der Beek who kidnaps and tortures one of the main characters - and yet even while you fear him, you'll pity him and want things to be ok for him. In that double-episode, as with every other, Criminal Minds will grab you in the first minute, and keep you on the edge of your seat until it ends. In fact, perhaps one of the greatest strengths of this series is that it really does go deeper in terms of examining why humans do what we do. The focus is on the people (both victim and criminal) psychologically and emotionally, rather than on the crime itself which, after all, is inanimate. It's disconcerting to discover you feel sympathy for a seemingly psychotic murderer, but in places, we see what made someone turn into what they became, and it's hard not to feel for them - that empathy is a testament to the quality of writers of this programme (who, sadly, as I write are on strike).

To encapsulate all of that into one brief paragraph, this show is unbelievably clever, witty and entertaining and I can't recommend it highly enough. I was about to say its lead characters are its greatest triumph, but then I'd be doing its villains and plot-lines a disservice; and if I were to specifically mention those three, that would imply its direction is somehow lacking, which it isn't. Criminal Minds is borderline flawless, whichever way you look at it. If I ever sprout Garcia-like skillz, I'll hack Amazon so I can give it more stars, because it thoroughly deserves them.
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on 14 November 2008
Having really enjoyed the first season of criminal minds I decided to get season 2 without seeing it on TV first (sadly they don't show it on channel 5 here in the UK anymore). I'm so glad that I did. It is billiant. Just like the first series it has a mix of interesting storylines and further character development from the first season. I enjoyed every episode of this season. Season 2 wasn't without it's shocks either, in the episode 'The Boogeyman' the identity of the UNSUB was absolutley shocking and I never saw it coming. I cannot recommend this season highly enough, it's fantastic. I hope season 3 will be released in the UK very soon.
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on 11 June 2008
Having seen the first series and throughly enjoyed what is a very clever and slightly new twist to crime, i anticipated the second series would be just as good and i was not disapointed, the continuation of the final episode from series one is concluded in the first episode off s2 and this opens up all the characters feelings to a greater degree, we get to learn more about the backgrounds off this group of experts, storylines are well thought out although a little repetative, the inclusion of a new character later on is a welcome, one draw back is that the episodes are to short and you have to absorb a lot of action so quickly although i didnt mind that, main characters start to open up to the audience and some nice surprises are awaiting you,Not much in the way of extras on this set which is disapointing , but i highly recommend this series as its genius story writing.
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on 1 August 2014
I have just started watching this on Amazon prime and got to midway through season 2 and so far find it fantastic......that is till this morning when Amazon prime decided to take it off prime and put it on pay per view.
WHY WHY WHY......Amazon prime will loose so much custom if they suddenly decide to withdraw box sets and make people pay £24.99 per season? Err hello costs £50 for DVD box set . Why would anyone pay this per season.
So so disappointed as I had no idea they would be withdrawing it. After a short to the point email from Amazon telling me that they can withdraw anything when they have too, it is well worth noting customers , if you wish to purchase Amazon prime. Shame it's becoming a rip off now as I intially thought it was a good buy.
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on 8 January 2010
I found Season 1 of Criminal Minds to be enjoyable if a little formulaic, but Season 2 is something of a different beast, with some really dark themes explored. Each of the Agents gets put through the wringer, none more so than Matthew Gray Gubler's Spencer Reid in the 2-parter "The Big Game/Revelations", but it is the episode "North Mammon" that really did it for of the most astonishing pieces of television I have ever seen! Other stand out episodes are "Aftermath", "Legacy" and the two "Frank" shows, but I keep coming back to "North Mammon" time after time, with its' jaw-dropping conclusion.

I'm now looking forward to watching Season 3 & hope that this trend towards darker, more shocking storylines continues.
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on 3 December 2014
This is one of the best of the US TV shows around without a doubt, concerning a group of FBI profilers, who help catch criminals by working out what makes them tick. I saw many on TV and am buying the DVD's to enjoy again. There is violence due to the nature of the subject, but I do not find it gratuitous, just part of the plotline and the profiler's explanation of the criminals' motives and triggers is fascinating.
This season was unfortunately the last one in which Mandy Patinkin played the very interesting Jason Gideon character, he only filmed two episodes of season three before leaving a big hole to be filled later on by Joe Mantegna. Also leaving part way through this season was Lola Glaudini who played Elle Greenaway with a very strong storyline and the introduction of agent Emily Prentiss and the promotion to series regular of tech expert Penelope Garcia, so changes all around.
The stories are as strong as the characters with the first appearance of serial killer Frank, played by a very menacing and creepy Keith Carradine as one of the best. His calmness as he waits for, and then just talks, to the FBI whilst drinking a milkshake in the diner leaves you wondering just what surprise he has up his sleeve, very good scriptwriting.
Overall a series to get into, and with nine seasons there are plenty of them.
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on 29 August 2013
As the title says, I love Criminal Minds!
Season 2 was a good season.
It stars off with the usual cliff hanger from the last season. The King Fisher pt1+2 were not as dark as some episodes but is def ranked up there.
As someone who was not an Elle fan at all I was super glad she didn't last past this season and the lovely Emily Prentis took over.
Gideon also leaves which is a big loss to the show but in season 3 Dave Rossi joins and fills the gap quite well.
There are some scary episodes and some sad episodes (ashes and dust, profiler profiled, revelations is horrible).
Also it was a tough season for the cast. Reid got kidnapped and tortured (and as a direct result went on to suffer a drug addiction), Elle got shot and couldn't cope mentally, Morgan's horrible past got dug up and Gideon lost a serial killer.
For only a second season they sure packed a lot in!
Def worth buying.
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on 28 August 2009
Season one is defining the characters, season two you know them and there is more confidence. The story lines are brilliant, none are unbelievable, its fascinating watching Gideon ( Mandy Patinkin ) and the group come up with a profile of the killer or abductors, it has to be said even they can be fooled by the killer or killers, but with more observation they get there man or woman.
A refreshing cerebral way of getting there man as opposed to CSI that relies on the evidence only, this is much more interesting and full of twists and turns, sometimes with a surprise ending. Brilliant team of actors that works well, and like any good book you can not wait to turn the page.
If you like deduction with a touch of class this is a must
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on 22 December 2007
I fear the writing is on the wall for some of those in the BAU. Some viewers may criticise the fact that in this series several "friends" (ordinary members of the public) of BAU members were coming directly to them with problems before going to the Police first. But wouldn't any of us do this? I think so. Generally,each episode appears to have been extremely well thought out and when you have real World reknown ex-FBI Criminal Profilers praising the series and the Producers,Directors,Actors et al for the accuracy of the programme then somethings got to be going right somewhere. When Elle Greenway (Lola Glaudini) left the series I thought the hole was going to be very difficult to fill and then along comes Emily Prentiss played by Paget Brewster. All the characters have been allowed to "expand" in this series and they have become much more personal to us, we find ourselves fighting their corners much more defensively. When "Hotch" was being held to count at the end of series 2 by the Psychologist he brilliantly turned the tables on her by doing a profile on her there and then that struck a nerve. I hope if any of these actors are despatched it's due to other projects they have lined up and NOT for any shortcomings of the Production Team? My only criticism is that when I get the DVD I promise myself I will watch a few here and there to make them last but once I start it's a bit like a drug.
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on 24 February 2010
I was looking forward to season 2 of Criminal Minds as I became addicted to the clever scenarios and twists and turns of the investigations of the Behavioural Analysis Unit in season 1. Season 2 had a lot to live upto and it does not dissapoint.

In season 2 the story twists and turns are still there and Garcia and JJ begin to become much more involved with the team which is a big bonus, some of Garcia's lines are classic. In this season you beging to feel more intouch with the character as we begin to see more into their lives, this does not detract from the show but adds to it. This is a clever, sharp and well written series with some superb acting.
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