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The Criminal Minds Episode Matthew Gray Gubler Wishes He Could Have Explored Further

Over the course of his 15-season tenure on "Criminal Minds," Matthew Gray Gubler appeared as the information dumping, fan-favorite profiler Dr. Spencer Reid in a total of 323-episodes. You may not realize it, but between Seasons 5 and 14, the actor also directed 12 of those episodes (per Distractify). And among those directorial efforts, he treated "Criminal Minds" fans to the sorts of nerve-wracking, nightmare-inducing sights, sounds, characters, and narratives they'd come to rely on from a show that always seemed to delight in making their collective skins crawl.

As it happens, Gubler was even at the helm for a handful of episodes that IMDb still ranks among the series' all-time best (classics like "Mosley Lane," and "Mr. Scratch" among them). Of course, there's only so much one can do when directing an hour long episode of an already well-established network drama — even one as heavily stylized as "Criminal Minds." Indeed, it seems there was one episode of "Criminal Minds" in particular the actor and director really thinks could've been explored in much greater detail. 

Gubler felt a chilling Season 7 episode could've been expanded into a movie

Matthew Gray Gubler talked about that "Criminal Minds" episode during a 2018 Q&A session with BUILD Series. Speaking with his usual enthusiasm, Gubler responded to a question about whether there were an episode of the series he wanted to expand with a resounding, "Yes!" He quickly added, "I look at them all like feature films." He then gushed about the one episode he felt could've been bigger, "...there's an episode called 'Heathridge Manor,' which was the third one I directed about a brother and a sister in a Gothic mansion."

If you've seen "Heathridge Manor," you know it arguably ranks among the series' most unsettling narratives, and finds the BAU team tracking a potentially Satanic unsub in James Heathridge (Kyle Gallner), who has a penchant for not just murdering his victims, but intricately dressing their bodies and posing them in ritualistic fashion after death. It turns out, he's essentially doing so at the behest of his delusional mother (Juliet Landau), and more-or-less in service of his equally troubled sister Lara (Madeline Martin). The episode also boasted a guest appearance from "A Nightmare on Elm Street" legend Robert Englund, and featured a seriously chill inducing, open-ended finale.  

Seems Gubler thinks there was a lot more story to tell with the deranged Heathridge family, admitting both he and the episode's writer felt there was enough story there for a feature film, "The writer and I, Sharon Lee Watson, who's a genius, were like, 'We shoulda made this a 90-minute feature." And if you know the episode in question, you know it's hard to argue that point of view.