The Episode Of Criminal Minds I Just Wrote

I’ve finally followed through on my dream of writing an episode for a major TV drama.

In this case, it’s “Criminal Minds”, the long-running CBS police procedural about a group  of FBI criminal profilers who track mass-murderers.

I hope to hear back from CBS soon.


SCENE:  A Gulfstream G4, silhouetted against a gorgeous sunset, winging its way southwest.  The voice of Special Agent Aaron HOTCHNER narrates in voiceover:

HOTCHNER: “Kurt Cobain wrote “Load up on guns, bring your friends. It’s fun to lose and to pretend“.

(Dissolve to interior of aircraft.  Agends HOTCHNER, REID, JAREAU, PRENTISS, MORGAN and ROSSI are sitting around a well-appointed table. ROSSI sips at a snifter of brandy.

MORGAN (The handsome and über-buff Afro-American agent who, notwithstanding the FBI’s dress code, is never not seen wearing form-fitting sports attire): Lincoln, Nebraska police report two waitresses sexually assaulted, stabbed and strangled.

REID (the nerdy brainiac prodigy):  Sounds like a classic sexual sadist spree killer…

PRENTISS (the flinty raven-haired brunette with the enigmatic past): …with serious mommy issues.

HOTCHNER (The strung-too-tight leader who looks like “Greg” from “Dharma and Greg”):  Police say he turned up in their apartments with no sign of forced entry.

JAREAU (the blond eye-candy): So the vics let the unsub in.

ROSSI (the erudite sixty-something pioneer of the trade and oenophile): The unsub is almost certainly a white male, twenties through forties, victim of sexual abuse as a child…

PRENTISS:  Probably abandonment, too…

ROSSI: …right, and probably socially-accomplished, in great physical condition – most likely very vain, a bodybuilder type…

REID: …a real “lady-killer” if you pardon the term.

HOTCHNER:  Probably a complete stranger to the vics,but charming enough that they didn’t care…

REID:  The same basic MO that Ted Bundy used.

PRENTISS:  Every woman in Lincoln is a target.

JAREAU:  I’ll get a statement out to the media as soon as we land.

HOTCHNER:  Do we have anything else?  What are the Lincoln PD doing?

MORGAN: Tasing people who refuse to comply.

HOTCHNER: Well, it’s all we got.

PRENTISS:  And today’s Friday.

REID:  That means he could be striking again even as we speak.

(Agends furrow brows)

(Cell phone goes off in MORGAN’s pocket).

MORGAN (looks at phone).  It’s Garcia.  I’ll put you on speaker, Princess.

(MORGAN sets phone on table.  Notwithstanding that the G4 is cruising at 40,000 at 500 knots, the phone has and maintains four bars of signal reception, enough to get clear, skitter-free video of FBI macguffin technician technical analyst Chloe O’Brien Penelope GARCIA)

HOTCHNER: Go ahead, Garcia.

GARCIA:  Yo, yo yo, ma izzagents.  Here’s what we have so far.  Victims are 22 year old Danielle Larson, worked at a Perkins in Lincoln, and 21 year old Cathy Profett (Photos pop up on screen, superimposed alongside Garcia), who worked at a truckstop off the interstate.

PRENTISS: Both blond, high school grads, working their way through community college – Larson for nursing, Profett for tool and die fabrication.  You got the causes of death – both identical.

MORGAN:  What are their financials?

GARCIA: Already on it!  (Spreadsheets swirl across screen to superimpose over photos on phone screen).  Both low-income, but solvent.  Larson’s father is an insurance agent and alcoholic who had a fling in 1985 with a receptionist at their insurance office.  Proffett’s mother played fiddle in a country-western band in her twenties and owns a secret copy of Fifty Shades of Gray.

JAREAU (whispering to REID): I always wondered – how does she get all that info instantly, without a search warrant?

REID (whispering back):  My IQ is in four digits, and after seven years, I still haven’t figured it out.

ROSSI:  So other than age, gender, blonde and working-class, no real link.

GARCIA:  Wait, wait – this just coming in now.  We have a third vic.  22 year old Amy Rademacher.  Waitress at a Dennys on the west side.  She’s alive…

MORGAN: So something interrupted the unsub.

GARCIA: Correctamundo.  She also has a detailed physical description.  White, Male, late thirties, dark brown hair…


GARCIA:  …and gushing blood from his chest…

REID:  Wait – that doesn’t fit the profile at all.  Unsubs of this type are almost always uninjured, in peak physical condition…

GARCIA: …where the victim shot the unsub six times at point blank range with the .357 snubnose revolver she carried.  And (checks scrolling panel on computer) yep, she has a valid Nebraska carry permit and… (pops up online data from a local Gander Mountain) shot better on her last day at the range than you did, oh tall, dark and handsome! (MORGAN blushes).

ROSSI (puzzled):  The victimology is all wrong!  Our vics are never able to fight back…

HOTCHNER:  This is big.  Very big.

GARCIA:  Lincoln police is bagging what’s left of him up right now (photo of blood-smeared floor and full body bag pulsates on the screen.  GARCIA waves at the screen). Toodles, unsub.

MORGAN:  Well done, Princess.

GARCIA:  Oh, you just made kitty purr!  OK – adios, muchachos!   (GARCIA bleems out).

PRENTISS:  Well, that settled that, I guess.

MORGAN:  Vics killing unsubs.  What’ll they think of next?

ROSSI:  Time to rewrite the book.

HOTCHNER (presses intercom button).  Pilot – take us back to Quantico.

(JAREAU brings up “Shot In The Dark” on her Macbook.  For next 56 minutes, camera focuses on her reading, cutting between her face and the rapidly-scrolling blog, as Jareau becomes  more fascinated the longer she goes).

(Shot dissolves to exterior of Gulfstream flying against the dusk,  Agent PRENTISS’ voice appears in narrative voice-over)

PRENTISS: P. J. O’Rourke once wrote “And so I said “let me tell you who those bad guys are. They’re us, Americans. WE BE BAD. We’re the baddest-assed sons of bitches that ever jogged in Reeboks. We’re three-quarters grizzly bear and two-thirds car wreck and descended from a stock market crash on our mother’s side. You take your Germany, France, and Spain, roll them all together and it wouldn’t give us room to park our cars. We’re the big boys, Jack, the original, giant, economy-sized, new and improved butt kickers of all time. When we snort coke in Houston, people lose their hats in Cap d’Antibes. And we’ve got an American Express card credit limit higher than your piss-ant metric numbers go. You say our country’s never been invaded? You’re right, little buddy. Because I’d like to see the needle-dicked foreigners who’d have the guts to try. We drink napalm to get our hearts started in the morning. A rape and a mugging is our way of saying ‘Cheerio.’  Hell can’t hold our sock-hops. We walk taller, talk louder, spit further, f**k longer and buy more things than you know the names of. I’d rather be a junkie in a New York City jail than king, queen, and jack of all Europeans. We eat little countries like this for breakfast and sh*t them out before lunch.”

(And fade to black as credits roll).


Waiting for a call from my agent even as we speak.

7 thoughts on “The Episode Of Criminal Minds I Just Wrote

  1. I was thinking the same thing, Boss. Mitch is more prolific on vacation than just about any blogger under normal conditions.

  2. As a formerly rabid fan of Criminal Minds, I “literally” LOL’d a few times in here. Bravo.

    (waiting for Miss Ann (thanks, Seflores), to pop in with some CDC figures about how people who own guns are 27 times more likely to die because the hulking attacker turns the gun on the owner than telephone line workers or short order cooks are likely to slip and fall in the bathtub, because the aliens don’t wear hats.)

  3. Mitch, you made one mistake. The more realistic storyline would be that they create a profile for Amy as an ambush unsub. She poses as an ideal victim to prey on would be attackers. They would then do a nationwide search for similar circumstances and find that while Amy hasn’t done this before, there is an alarming increase ambush predators that pose as possible victims. This also coincides with the spread of Stand Your Ground legislation nationwide. I’ll let you re-write the rest from there.

  4. I watch three current network shows. They are all cop shows because that is what the wife likes 🙂 The Good Guys, which is sharp and funny w/o being groundbreaking, The Glades, and Justified. The Good Guys is about as non-political as possible. The Glades was non-political for its first season, but starting with the second season (I watch it on Netflix) it picked up this bizarre left-wing slant. One episode featured a Pentecostal minister who moonlighted as an executioner on Florida’s death row. In another the bad guy was a legal gun dealer. I noticed that although this guy was supposed to be the heavy, he did nothing illegal, but the cop ‘hero’ assaulted him because he didn’t like the fact that he sold guns, legally, to people the cop wouldn’t sell guns to.
    So long, Glades!
    Justified is just great story-telling. The best way I can describe the quality of writing on Justified is that the writers to seem to look at mankind — all of it — with both delight and fear. Timothy Oliphant’s Marshal Raylan Givens is not quite the Clint Eastwood knock-off that Seth Bullock was in Deadwood.

  5. Terry, I totally agree with your take on Justified. One of my favorite cop shows ever was Life. I guess that even with Damian Lewis having the smoking hot Sarah Shahi as a partner, it was too edgy for network TV. There was a rumor that it would get to cable. but, alas, it never did.

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