CRIMINAL MINDS - "Criminal Minds" stars A.J. Cook as Jennifer Jareau, Matthew Gray Gubler stars as Dr. Spencer Reid, Shemar Moore as Derek Morgan, Thomas Gibson as Aaron Hotch, Joe Mantegna as David Rossi, Jeanne Tripplehorn as Alex Blake and Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia. (ABC STUDIOS/CRAIG SJODIN)



From hunters to the hunted!


THIS crime drama has proven to be a winner – not just for CBS Television Studios (originally Paramount Network Television then CBS Paramount Network Television) and ABC Studios.

It works for myriad reasons. It is ingeniously etched as it dissects the behavioural patterns of killers while also getting viewers to become invested in the lives of the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit as their personal woes or demons are sporadically intermingled with their cases. Another major drawcard is the brilliant casting, with each character cleverly created with their own eccentricities and vices.

Season eight sees the exit of Paget Brewster, as Emily Prentiss, with Jeanne Tripplehorn joining the team as Alex Blake. Her arrival doesn’t sit well with computer boffin Penelope Garcia, who doesn’t do well with change. Of course, she eventually comes around.

Criminal Minds is a fast-paced offering and this season it boasts a smorgasbord of challenging cases. And there is a curve ball thrown in too: the profilers unwittingly become the target of The Replicator.

The season kicks off with the team tracking down a Texas prisoner, who goes on the run leaving a string of victims in his wake. His signature is to sew up his victims’ mouths. Other highlights this season include a vigilante female killing tag-team, a rogue surgeon and a ritualistic killer.

Interestingly, a socially awkward Dr Spencer Reid, renowned for his genius abilities, manages to find love – but his romance is brutally snatched away, which throws him off his game.

Also, a member of the team suffers an untimely demise.

With plenty of twists and turns this season, whodunit addicts will enjoy the unfolding edge-of-the-seat thrills.

Special FEATURES: Deleted scenes, gag reel and beautiful minds. – Debashine Thangevelo