Criminal Minds Season 11 Finale Scratch Returns

Criminal Minds Recap: Finale Sets an Eerie Stage for Uncertain Season 12

Criminal Minds boss Erica Messer said that Season 11 would end with “not a ‘Bomb goes off/Who survives?’ cliffhanger” but an “‘Oh my god, we thought we won,’ and then, ‘Oh no, we’re just getting started'” twist. Did the show set an intriguing stage for the yet-to-be-ordered Season 12?

As well-promoted, “The Storm” began brewing with Hotch’s apprehension by a full SWAT team, in his home and in front of his son Jack. Once in custody, Hotch was presented with the 911 call, in his own voice and from his cell phone, warning, “Today will change everything.” On top of that, the DOJ agent in charge produces receipts for Hotch’s purchase of a lotta bomb fixin’s.

What gave DOJ probable cause to start snooping on the BAU team leader? Peter Lewis aka “Mr. Scratch” had told the feds about how he dosed Hotch with a chemical that made him susceptible to mind control — and Hotch never mentioned that in his report (knowing how damning it would look).

Rossi, Reid, JJ, Garcia and Lewis meanwhile soon enough confirm that Hotch’s 911 call was faked, and that incarcerated Antonia Slade’s grown son Asher was involved. But as JJ eventually extracts from the onetime UnSub, all she cares is that Asher isn’t killed. Once located, Asher is quickly ID’d by Reid as being autistic, and he slowly reveals to a compassionate Reid what all he did and didn’t do in framing Hotch. Asher points them to an accomplice, Eric Rawdon, whose about to launch a massive prison break. Hotch convinces the DOJ to let him do his job in time to help the BAU storm the prison, where Lewis, for one, nearly gets mobbed by a buncha freed serial killers. (Um, dash for the door next time??)

That prison break is thwarted, and the mighty bomb that some homegrown extremists (or something?) planned to detonate is blown up in their own faces. But just as the team kicks back for a night of revelry with family and friends, they get word that other prison breaks were in play — and a total of 13 serial killers are now again on the loose, “Mr. Scratch” included.

What did you think of “The Storm” and the set-up for Season 12? And should there be a Season 12?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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58 Comments
  1. NM says:

    This episode alone could very well get me back into this show.

  2. Angela says:

    I’m glad the cliffhanger isn’t what I’d initially thought it would be (witness protection, team shakeups). I’m totally cool with this storyline setup for next season-especially if it means Gubler gets to direct another episode where the team goes head to head with Mr. Scratch :D! That’d be fun.
    .
    I also liked the nods to other events from the team’s past (Emily’s death, Elle shooting that unsub all those years ago, Rossi shooting Gideon’s killer), and the varied ways in which Hotch dealt with each situation. I’d like to see that stuff touched on again next season if possible, too, in the context of any more exploration of Hotch’s leadership of the team.
    .
    The ending with Reid doing the magic tricks for Henry and Jack was super cute and sweet. I do wonder how the effects of that SWAT takedown will impact Hotch’s relationship with Jack going forward, though. Would like to see that explored next season, too.
    .
    And of course, I want a season 12! So here’s hoping we’ll finally get that news as soon as possible. But even if we don’t get a season 12, as frustrating as it’d be to not see how this cliffhanger would play out, I think it’s one I could live with compared to a “someone’s life is in peril” sort of cliffhanger. Hopefully we will get to find out how this all plays out next fall, though.
    .
    (Um, dash for the door next time??)
    .
    LOL, I was thinking the same thing! Way to leave her alone in that room with a bunch of prisoners on the loose, people!

  3. Nancy Heath says:

    I love criminal minds and hope that it returns next year. After watching the happy ending I was sure it was over. Then all of a sudden they have a prison break. So I am hopeful it will be on my TV again in the fall of 2016-2017.

  4. I really like watcing Criminal Minds and tonights episode kept me nervous. I would really like a Season 12; and if there is a season 12 i would like to know the date.

    Thank You

  5. Brigitte says:

    There should definitely be a season 12. Criminal minds is one of the best shows on television and it should continue. I love that show..

  6. Hmmm…I am of two minds about this finale.

    The good:

    1. I considered this finale to be the best since season five (thus proving once and for all that Erica should never write a season finale alone). However, considering the finales since season five have all sucked to varying degrees, that is sort of damning with faint praise.

    2. I did like the callbacks to previous seasons, such as Elle’s and Rossi’s shootings. It was something that actually came up in fan discussions after Nelson’s Sparrow and how Hotch basically looked the other way on Rossi. At least we had people assuming Hotch had changed since Foyet, and certainly we have seen the team go rogue more often since then (though in reality, that is because the new writers seem to thinking the BAU going rogue is a cool thing to do and write it frequently).

    3. Good Hotch in his scenes and dealing with the DOJ prick and completely dismantling their case. We never saw just how Hotch’s driver’s license was used in the chemical purchase. 

    4. Good Reid when he was interacting with Antonia’s son. He recognized he had autism and was able to react accordingly and not escalate the situation and actually get useful information from him. 

    5. Good teamwork profiling at the beginning before it descended into an action movie shootout in the prison.

    The bad:

    1. I never really got a good handle on how all of this was supposed to fit together. I mean, I understand the basics. Antonia Slade’s son was the one who did the swatting on Hotch and Eric Rawdon was the planner and Peter Lewis got involved providing doubt about Hotch. But just how the hell did they all connect? Why did Eric seek out Antonia’s son? How did Peter get connected to all of these people? Maybe I am missing something, but while this story sounds good in its fragments, I fear that they didn’t stitch it together plausibly, or at least explain it properly. 

    2. The endless family scenes. I hate it when the show shoves schmaltz down our throats, and this one was no different. 

    3. I know some will disagree with me, but Reid’s behavior when interacting with the kids seemed more like Matthew’s and not Reid’s. 

    4. Too much gunfire and action. 

    5. Minor quibble: Reid said his mom had no problem with flying, while we know for a fact that flying is one of her biggest fears, and I can’t see her having somehow overcome that fear while she was at Bennington. But we are supposed to believe she would be all right flying to Paris?

    6. And if season 12 is about them methodically tracking down escaped serial killers…all I can say is that those killers better be back in action actually killing and this doesn’t just turn into a continuous manhunt. That could easily get boring. 

    7. Also minor point: in reality Rossi wouldn’t have to choose between the job and Hayden, because he would have been forcibly retired years ago. 

    8. Also something weird: are Hotch and JJ carpooling to work?

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      1) Your characterization of the DOJ guy is PERFECT.

      2) No, they didn’t really explain how all the elements (Slade, son, Rowdon, Mr Scatch, prison break, bomb) tied together.

      • sunshinedee says:

        Maybe that’s what they’re going to tackle in season 12. So there really should be season 12!

  7. Zyra says:

    I haven’t seen it yet. YES! Renew the BAU crew so that Emily and Derek can come and visit.

  8. Remi says:

    Omg!!!!! I love my TEAM, they did a hell of a job in tonights episode. Shoot all of the seasons are awesome. Yesss please keep the seasons coming and please tell me why there’s no more Morgan?! I want him back. Its not the same without him 😢😢😢

  9. 8daysmeg says:

    I actually really liked the episode and the idea of hunting escaped serial killers next year, hopefully mixed with some traditional episodes, seems intriguing as an arc.
    But for some reason, I immediately thought of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, the incarnation where the gang had to chase down the 13 ghosts they accidentally released.

  10. Lindsay says:

    They need to come with season 12….

  11. Virginia E Stewarr says:

    This was an awesome show and dealt well with suspense and intrigue!! Loved how they worked the interplay between Jack and Hotch; probably somerhat like a kid would play it off at that age!! The show must go on. Love the cast of characters & am familiar with them. This familiarity does not breed boredom bit lends to the excitement of watching new twists and turns. Reid needs a new love interest, get married, etc., JJ needs to have a more commanding role in the BAU, Rossi needs to start retiring some and getting to know his child and grandchild. Hotch should have a new love and time with his son, Penelope certainly has many more tricks up her sleeves, and Aisha Tyler has made a wonderful and seemless entry into her role on the team and could be stepped up several notches!! Love all the characters and still think there is a lot to show and do with thei personal story lines as well as with serial killer analysis. Would hate for this one to be cancelled. I have been a fan of each season and the show has gotten me through some tough times due to the familiarity of the characters and their strong personas. Miss you Derek but totally understand why you made the move. I still miss Prentiss!

  12. Sandy Smith says:

    I miss Morgan on the show, but you must keep this awesome show going. Please don’t make it sound like there will not be a season 12. There has to. This is my favorite show.

  13. ebony says:

    Best one. Missed morgan.

  14. Beth says:

    I loved it.

    Loved Hotch. Can we please just have more Hotch.

    Loved the team moments.

    Loved the conspiracy angle and how they set up season 12 (please be a season 12).

    Loved the kids and how they fit into the episode rather than just being cute bookend moments.

    I loved JJ and Hotch’s moments and I hope we get more like this next season (even if we don’t know why they carpool together, I’m just happy they do for some reason).

    I’ve really warmed to Tara and I hope we get to see her next season, even if they share her role with someone else so we have two part time people on the team.

    I don’t really care for the sappy family endings. It’s nice every now and again, but sometimes it takes away from the intense moments, but it kind of worked here with the knowledge that it isn’t really over for them.

    Overall, it felt like a classic Criminal Minds episode and I love this cast line up, so I hope we don’t get too many changes next season.

  15. Karen says:

    What do you mean … should there be a Season 12? Of course there should and 13, 14 to infinity! This is one of the few really great shows on at the mo. This season has been epic, real sitting on the edge of the chair type storylines.

  16. Sandra says:

    I love love love criminal minds ….even still that derek morgan is left. Doesnt seem to be a problem i thought that id miss him and i did but only a little bit …has long has reid and hotch and jj stay im good i love rossi but you know “reid” is my all time fav…has long has he stays ill keep watchin….please please please come back for season 12 please

  17. Sandra says:

    I love love love criminal minds ….even still that derek morgan is left. Doesnt seem to be a problem i thought that id miss him and i did but only a little bit …has long has reid and hotch and jj stay im good i love rossi but you know “REID” and “GARCIA” is my all time fav…has long has he stays ill keep watchin….please please please come back for season 12 please

  18. James mcdowell says:

    Best show on television and has been since episode one

  19. Joseph Taurisano says:

    Yes bring it back for season 12 best show on tv

  20. bluji says:

    It would be cruel not to give the show a twelfth season with this sort of a cliffhanger. Perhaps without the very last minute it could’ve been a series finale, but with that… no way. Ever.

  21. Pamela Huffer says:

    Love “Criminal Minds”. The ‘Storm’ was excellent. Keep this show on the air….!!!! We want more!!

  22. Mr. Smith says:

    Did anyone else think, “Wow… what a let down?”

    The beginning, middle and “almost” end were great drama, but the last 30 seconds were like, “Eh.” Is it just me or has the show finally worn out its welcome?

    I enjoy the characters and I’ve enjoyed every episode this season, but this episode just didn’t really do it for me.

  23. j says:

    Why would the SWAT guy leave Lewis (and she agreed -.-) in that room when they already know the Control Room is being taken over. One press of a button and it’s game over.

  24. Sharon Newcomb says:

    I will miss Tony next season on NCIS. It will be hard to think of him as anybody but DiNozzo.

  25. Sharon Newcomb says:

    The show this week left you wondering what was gonna happen next. I expect to season 12. And it won’t be the same without Tony.

  26. Sharon Brown Newcomb says:

    I thought I was commenting on NCIS. My bad. But I do love Criminal Minds. I thought the bit with Reid doing magic tricks to get the kids minds off what they witnessed was a good addition

  27. Melinda says:

    This episode was really good and I hope we have a season 12 I watch this show faithfully every wed and I sit and watch reruns all the time so please keep this show going.

  28. Preacher Book says:

    Do these polls show anything other than “Awesome” ratings winning every time??

  29. Yolanda Carney says:

    I loved it, it was awesome , this is my favorite show ever , I have seen all full seasons and not get tired of it, even watch it again on Netflix, please keep the show or I will die !!!!! Love each and everyone character on the show, but Hotch the best ❤

  30. Vicky Bartholomew says:

    Don’t lose criminal minds it is my favorite show

  31. Carol says:

    Criminal minds is the best show on TV a season 12 has to be on next season. Would also love to have Derek Morgan back.

  32. Sherry mckee says:

    please don’t cancel Criminal Minds that is my favorite show the only show I look forward to watching every single week

  33. Geoffrey Lash says:

    Best show and cast on tv.

  34. Donna Code says:

    Really don’t understand why the A column wasn’t a higher percentage, Love it

  35. Don Knuth says:

    Great show.

  36. Nancy says:

    Looking forward to a season 12 Criminal Minds

  37. sandra martin says:

    Please don’t cancel criminal minds.I’ve watched it from the beginning.I love the show

  38. Annie says:

    This drives me crazy. I thought the team would have all been blown up in Rossi’s yard but the plot thickens….i hate waiting for months to connect dots, plus Jack, Hotch’s son is unrecognizable, upset with his dad.. That’s something sad. Is anyone else annoyed by the split plot?

  39. LYNNE says:

    IT WAS AWESOME FROM THE FIRST MINUTE TO THECLAST. I WAS ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT. THE FAMILY THING AT THE END WAS GENUINE & REAL!!LOVED IT, ONE OF THE BEST SEASON FINALES YET. I’M SEEN THEM ALL!!

  40. LYNN MORGAN says:

    It was awesome! I’ve seen all the season finales since season 1. I still missed MORGAN very much. Loved the family time at the end. I feel like I personally know each and every member of the team. The unsub are always exciting to watch. Love Criminal Minds!!

  41. Elizabeth says:

    The season finale was great. I’ve been a loyal fan since the very first episode. I’m surprised that it hasn’t been renewed for another season yet. The show is still very good even though Shemar Moore is no longer part of the cast. I’m really hoping that the show won’t be cancelled.

  42. Teresa Farrar says:

    Criminal Minds is my favorite show on TV. I love at it at lest 6 hrs. Every day that it on reruns and all I also recored every show. Love me some Criminal Minds.

  43. Ane meyers says:

    Of course there should be a 12 season

  44. Barb Murray says:

    Need another season!!

  45. Shannon says:

    I’m just catching up now…way behind. I’m only 10 minutes into the finale and I came on here trying to see if there is anyone else feeling the way I am. As in WTF?! Dont get Mr wrong, im a huge criminal minds fan. watched every episode every season. I’m loving it still. however I’m having a really hard time believing the big wigs at the DOJ would be fooled this easily….makes it look like a joke.
    It’s really taking me out of the fantasy of the show. Every few seconds i snap back to reality saying..oh come on.
    Hope it gets better.

  46. Please bring criminal minds for season 12. Its one of most exciting tv series with different twists every time

  47. Donna Drury says:

    After the announcement of firing Thomas Gibson, I’m seriously having doubts about long the show will last. Yes what he did was extreme, but he’s been the one stabilizing force for years, I
    Think the shows ratings will tank. I’ve watched since the premier.

  48. Frank says:

    I think David Caruso should b the new lead of criminal minds B.A.U.