20 Best Criminal Minds Episodes | Your Weekend Binge List Is Here!

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Despite sixteen years of its release, no other crime show has ever come close to surpassing the popularity level of Criminal Minds. Even now, people are looking for the best criminal episodes to binge-watch so that they can satiate their hunger for the crime-solving and detective drama genre. 

Criminal Minds is an American crime drama television series that made its way to the TV screens in 2005. The plot revolves around an elite group of FBI profilers whose task is to decipher the minds of the most-twisted criminals and get information from them. Anticipating the criminal’s next move and analyzing their next strike is what these genius masterminds do every day.

Throughout the fifteen seasons, there hasn’t been a single episode that may have disappointed the audience the slightest. For the past decade, viewers have been watching the best Criminal Minds episodes every day to fulfill their daily dose of entertainment hunger. The best thing that the audience loves about this show is that the plot does not focus only on the investigating side of the FBI squad, but it also gives an insight into the stress they go through while working on such terrible cases.  

So, without wasting any more time, let’s move ahead and head straight to the exciting part where I tell you more about the best criminal minds episodes. 

20 Best Criminal Minds Episodes | Grab Your Popcorn & Get Ready For The Weekend!

Criminal Minds is nothing like your regular drama TV series because it does not focus only on the terrific job of the FBI profilers, but it also puts a strong effort into bringing out the psychology of the unsubs featured in the show. With 324 episodes to fish through with a spectacular performance by an ensemble of impressive cast members, sometimes it gets tough to pick the best Criminal Minds episodes, right? However, you don’t have to worry about a thing because I am here with the list you wished for. 

#1 Amplification 

Amplification: 20 Best Criminal Minds Episodes | Your Weekend Binge List Is Here!

The episode titled Amplification from season 4 of Criminal Minds features serial killer-terrorist Chad Brown who is hell-bent on proving that America is in a state of complete vulnerability and is in no position to bear a terrorist attack. To prove his point, Chad carries out an anthrax mission that affects Reid to everyone’s disappointment. The cherry on the cake is that even on the death bed, Reid tries to help find the criminal and gets lucky at the end because of an antidote. 

Season: 4

Episode: 24 

#2 True Genius

Amplification: 20 Best Criminal Minds Episodes | Your Weekend Binge List Is Here!

True Genius from season 7 of Criminal Minds brings its viewers back to the story of an old killer named Zodiac Killer. Reid, along with BAU, is afraid that the criminal has resurfaced after a long time and is on a killing spree along the streets of San Francisco. Although, the killer is nothing more than a prodigy who the OG inspires. The episode revolves around his story and him trying to gain all the confidence he once lost in his life. 

Season: 7

Episode: 11

#3 Zugzwang 

Episode 12 of season 8 from Criminal Minds is again a Reid-centric episode like the one discussed above. The plot of this episode revolves around a crazy stalker who has kidnapped Reid’s girlfriend and is threatening to kill her. Though the BAU and Reid do everything in their power to save Maeve (Reid’s girlfriend) but guess it isn’t enough. In one episode, Reid’s happiness is snatched from him as Diane the stalker kills herself and Maeve at the same time. 

Season: 8

Episode: 12

#4 Date Night

#4 Date Night

If you ask me to name the best episode of Criminal Minds until now, I’d say it’s Date Night without blinking an eye. The story development and the turnovers were a little too much for the audience to handle, but hey, that gave us more reasons to enjoy, right? Date Night takes us back to one of the most memorable criminals of the series, Cat Adams, who has an unhealthy obsession with Reid. This time around, Cat is preparing for her execution but has managed to get Reid’s girlfriend’s Father and Sister kidnapped for a date night in return. Talk about the female version of Joe Goldberg! 

Season: 15

Episode: 6 

#5 Believer 

#5 Believer 

Talk about the best season finale episode of Criminal Minds, and the only thing that will come to your mind is, Bellever. The story here revolves around an unsub known as The Strangler, a part of the FBI profiler team a long time ago. Now, how do you catch a person who thinks exactly like you and is always a step ahead? Trust me. This episode had everyone biting and chewing their nails in anticipation, mainly because of Reid, as he had to choose between helping the unsub or letting Garcia die. 

Season: 13

Episode: 22

#6 Mosley Lane 

Mosley Lane

To be honest, most people don’t like criminal show episodes that involve children because there is a fear that the creators won’t be able to pull it off very well. However, when we talk about Criminal Minds, there is nothing that can go wrong, right? The screenwriters were very careful with the story they had put together for Mosley Lene from season 16. The plot of the episode revolved around several kids being kidnapped simultaneously with the hopes of them being raised as a family by their kidnappers. 

Season: 5 

Episode: 16 

#7 Mr.Scratch 

Criminal Minds is best known for exploring the psychological side of a serial killer in the deepest way possible, and they took the exploration to a new level in Mr. Scratch. In this episode, the three alleged murderers are controlled by a mind hunter and forced to commit the crimes despite their choice. The mastermind behind the accusations is Mr. Scratch, who manages to escape during this episode only to appear in three more show seasons. 

Season: 10

Episode: 21  

#8 Entropy 

#8 Entropy 

True, Criminal Minds knows how it is always Spencer Reid ending up in hostage situations, right? Entropy is one of the classic Criminal Minds episodes that saw Spencer Reid unlocking a whole new level of smartness to stop an assassination. It’s one thing to kick someone in the bu*t and get out of the situation, but here Reid had to outsmart an assassin, which is not an easy task. The episode features Aubrey Plaza as the assassin “Black Widow” and Reid’s blind date. 

Season: 11

Episode: 11 

#9 The Tall Man 

#9 The Tall Man 

Do you all remember how a student would always bug the teacher into talking more about his personal life to avoid studying, right? The Tall Man is one of those Criminal Minds episodes that focuses more on the backstory of JJ rather than solving the crime at the given moment. The plot revolves around two people who have gone missing in the woods and the sudden appearance of a third. When the BAU forms a team to investigate the disappearance, JJ is forced to go back to her hometown, which gives the audience more insight into the character. 

Season: 14

Episode: 25

#10 Lauren 

#10 Lauren 

Lauren turned out to be one of the most emotional episodes of Criminal Minds, with the story of Emily Prentiss coming to an end. This particular episode revolves around Emily Prentiss going undercover as Lauren to confront her nemesis Ian Doyle once and for all. However, her plan soon starts to look like a big flop when she goes missing, and the remaining team members have to come up with a plan as quickly as possible to save her from Ian. Little does the team know that they are soon approaching Emily’s death which causes a lot of pain to the audience. 

Season: 6

Episode: 18  

#11 The Replicator 

The Replicator was another one of the grand finale episodes that didn’t fail to give a proper ending to the season. The Replicator, also known as Mark Hamill, is a former FBI agent with a very high IQ level. If only Mark had made better use of his IQ, he wouldn’t have turned into a serial killer. During this season, Mark launched a series of attacks and created copycat crimes of all the cases BAU had solved previously. However, the turning point in this episode came when Mark killed Erin Strauss, Section Chief BAU. Erin Strauss was one of the many characters on the show adored by viewers, and this death came as a considerable loss. 

Season: 8 

Episode: 24 

#12 Minimal Loss

#12 Minimal Loss

Luke Perry made a guest appearance in season 3 of Criminal Minds and made the episode a fan favorite with his appearance. Minimal Loss revolves around the leader (Benjamin Cyrus) of a cult group when he is accused of child abuse at the compound. Benjamin Cyrus comes off as a mysterious character to Reid and Prentiss, who immediately go to the compound to solve the riddle. Things take a complete turn in the episode when a gun battle breaks out, and the victims of child abuse take Benjamin’s side. 

Season: 4

Episode: 3 

#13 Mayhem 

Mayhem

A season opener is believed to carry the responsibility of the upcoming episodes on its shoulders, and Mayhem made sure that it understood the assignment. Season 4 opener Mayhem was an episode fueled with an adrenaline rush, anger, and emotions all over the place. Each member of BAU is seen running back and forth to control the high alert situation and the bombing of the SUV. Since the explosion had already taken place at the end of season 3, Mayhem had to fulfill a lot of expectations, and boy did it live up to those expectations. 

Season: 4

Episode: 1 

#14 Penelope 

#14 Penelope 

Raise your hands if Garcia happens to be one of your favorite characters on the show. Garcia is the loveliest character in the series, and when she decides to go out on a date to keep herself happy, the creators ruin her happiness and instead put her life on the line. As the serial killer shoots Garcia on her date, her life and death fight begins while Derek is trying his best to keep calm and hunt down the unsub behind the horrifying crime. 

Season: 3

Episode: 9 

#15 Damaged 

When Rossi is haunted by a case she left 20 years ago, he decides to revisit the good old days and solve the murder mystery of the two young parents. The episode brings back many memories for the FBI profiler as he was unable to bring justice to the three kids left behind by the parents for the past twenty years. For the past two decades, Rossi has kept constant touch with the kids and has ensured that they have everything they need. When a similar case takes Rossi back to the haunted memories, he does his best to get his hands on the killer.  

Season: 3

Episode: 14

#16 300

#16 300

To celebrate Criminal Mind’s 300th episode, the creators decided to bring back an old memory named Benjamin Cyrus. After the old cult leader, Benjamin, was taken over by BAU, his followers chose to return for revenge and target Reid and Garcia. The new leader of the cult group is known to be Benjamin David Merna, who restarted the Cult with one of Cyrus’ wives. Infamously known as The Strangler, the serial killer has decided that Reid be his 300th victim to send a message to the BAU. 

Season: 14 

Episode: 1 

#17 Revelations 

#17 Revelations 

Sometimes, I genuinely wonder what is it with Reid always being caught up in a hostile situation? Does he like to put his life in the line of danger, or does he want to be the center of attention? After Reid is captured by a serial killer suffering from split-personality disorder, a lot of his inner turmoil is explored. Reid himself suffers from Neurosis, so the episode gives a better insight into his childhood and paves the way for Reid to become the best FBI profilers in the entirety of Criminal Minds. 

Season: 2

Episode: 15  

#18 The Fisher King 

The Fisher King sees the FBI profilers falling easily into the trap of a budding serial killer Randal Garner who was admitted into the same mental asylum as Reid’s mother, Diana. After his release, Garner set his eyes on Reid and stalked him and the other BAU members throughout season one. Once done with his research, he begins to torment the life of the FBI profilers in season two and nearly kills Elle. 

Season: 2

Episode: 1 

#19 100

100

Isn’t it evident that the 100th episode of Criminal Minds had to be nothing less than a bone-chilling adventure? The celebrations for the 100th episode began with The Reaper making his return to the Criminal Minds series and aiming straight for Hitcher, the newly appointed BAU senior. Eleven years later, when Reaper makes his appearance again, he is determined to wreak havoc in Hotch’s life. Reaper’s insane killings started in season 4 and ended in season 5 with Haley’s death. (hotch’s ex-wife)

Season: 5

Episode: 9 

#20 Masterpiece 

#20 Masterpiece 

If you ask me to name one of the most terrifying villains in the history of Criminal Minds, I’d say Henry Grace without any hesitation. Henry thought that he was meant to be a serial killer from the beginning, and he even fulfilled his dream until his brother, William, was captured by Rossi. The incident infuriated Henry, and he swore to take revenge on Rossi. The idea of revenge turned Henry into a destruction machine as he mercilessly killed seven women and kidnapped five more along with three children. 

Season: 4 

Episode: 8 

Final Words 

Trust me. There is no other better thing that you can do other than binge-watching the best Criminal Minds episodes on the weekend. With a box of your favorite pepperoni pizza and drinks by your side, you can imagine how relaxing it would be. If you think any more episodes should be included in the list, don’t forget to drop the name in the comments section below. 

Antra Koul
Antra Koul
For me, writing is something that helps me escape from reality for a while. Even though I am an Engineer, I find my comfort from chaos while I write. I love telling people about my stories, stories that play in my mind only. When I am writing, there is no limit to how far I can go swimming in this deep ocean of words. Reading and writing are the two things that help in organizing my messed up thoughts in a formative way. Come along on this journey with me as I write and you read the stories that I have to tell!

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