Five of the best Criminal Minds episodes according to IMDb

In honour of Criminal Minds’ surprising ending, we take a look back at the top five best episodes of the show’s 15-year run.

In February 2021, Paramount Plus announced the imminent surprise revival of popular police procedural crime drama television series, Criminal Minds. The newly established paid-subscription video on-demand streaming service had planned to revive the series for its sixteenth season on the platform for a 10-episode season. The season was imagined as the series finale of the popular show, following its 15 seasons on television.

Following the confirmation post in February 2021, actress, Paget Brewster took to Twitter in July 2021 to suggest that the plans for the revival of series on Paramount Plus were cancelled. On the show, Brewster played the character of FBI Supervisory Special Agent, Emily Prentiss. While Brewster’s post caused alarm as to whether or not fans of the show will receive the closure they desired, neither CBS Studios nor Paramount Plus have commented on the suggestions.

What is Criminal Minds?

So, as the future of the series hangs in the air, let us take a look back at some of the most memorable episodes of the show. Before that, let us discuss the history of the show. IMDb describes the show as, “The cases of the F.B.I. Behavioral Analysis Unit (B.A.U.), an elite group of profilers who analyze the nation’s most dangerous serial killers and individual heinous crimes in an effort to anticipate their next moves before they strike again.”

On television, the show had a 15-year run from 2005 to 2020, when it concluded the fifteenth season of the show. Its lead cast consisted of Joe Mantegna as David Rossi. Additional lead roles included Matthew Gray Gubler as Spencer Reid, A.J. Cook as Jennifer “J.J” Jareau, Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia and Shemar Moore as Derek Morgan.

Why was Criminal Minds cancelled?

These actors would come and go from the show, despite being some of the recognisable names from the show. The continuous revolving door of actors coming in and out of the show was speculated as one of the reasons for the cancellation. However, that is just one of the many reasons which can be attributed to the demise of the show.

Others could include the dwindling numbers in viewership, which dropped in the last three seasons, failing to make the top 40. This is something which the show easily achieved during its heydays, going as far up as the top 11 bracket of the most-watched television series on the television. Coupled with the change in the manner in which people watch series with the insurgence of streaming services, all these factors compounded to eventually mark the demise of the show.

What are five of the best ranked episodes by IMDb

While the cancellation of the show might be bittersweet, 15 years has produced some of the most memorable episodes, which have lived beyond the season which they aired on. To date, these episodes are binge-worthy for anyone looking to understand the craze about the show, especially during its glory days.

Mr. Scratch

The twenty-first episode of season 10 is highly ranked. The episode is ranked the fifth-best episode with a score of 8.8/10. This episode aired in 2010 and is described as, “The BAU searches for a suspect who controls minds; the hunt puts one team member in danger.”


The season finale of season 13 is ranked the fourth-best episode with a score of 8.8/10. This episode aired in 2018 and is described as, “When Reid discovers former FBI Special Agent Owen Quinn locked inside a storage unit, the BAU questions the credibility of Quinn’s bizarre accounts of searching for an UnSub that he named The Strangler.”


The fifteenth episode of season two is ranked the third-best episode with a score of 9.0/10. This episode aired in 2007 and is described as, “Reid has been kidnapped, and the BAU’s only things to profile are a house, a computer, and the live feed the kidnapper is sending to them.”

Mosley Lane

The fifth episode of season 10 is the second-best episode with a score of 9.0/10. This episode aired in 2010 and is described as, “The BAU profiles a child abductor who may have been keeping children for more than eight years.”


The eleventh episode of season 11 is the best episode with a score of 9.2/10. This episode aired in 2016 and is described as, “As Reid narrates to one of the hitmen how they tracked her, the BAU works to get him out of the hitman’s gunpoint.”