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The Elle Scene On Criminal Minds That Went Too Far

Elle Greenaway is often referred to as one of "Criminal Minds"'s least favorite characters, and the BAU agent didn't even last two seasons before being written off the show in Season 2. Played by actress Lola Glaudini, Elle never seemed to mesh with other members of the behavioral analysis unit, and the character also didn't seem to connect with viewers because of her impatience and disregard for protocol. Her vigilante tendencies were foreshadowed as early as the first episode of the series, in which she refused to wait for backup and shot a suspect who went after Gideon. Gideon later ordered her to gain control of her impulses.

While Elle's assertive personality won her a spot on the behavioral analysis unit, it also caused her a great deal of conflict during her time on the show, especially after she was attacked and left for dead by a suspect known as The Fisher King. She accused the unit of not caring when the unsub broke into her home and shot her, and the PTSD she experienced afterward drove a wedge between her and her teammates, leading to actions many felt went too far.

Elle murdered an unarmed suspect

In one of "Criminal Minds"'s least popular storylines, Elle went undercover to find a serial rapist in the Season 2 episode "Aftermath," only to defy orders and botch the investigation by confronting the suspect prematurely. Because of this, the suspect was released, but Elle followed him home and confronted him again, only to lose her temper when he began taunting her with sexist comments. She then shot and killed him, later claiming she shot him in self-defense. Hotch, however, suspected she lied and followed her to her father's grave, where Elle's conscience had led her. With no evidence to arrest her, Hotch advised Elle to quit the unit, and she tendered her resignation.

Many people felt the scene of her murdering the suspect went too far, but for different reasons. Some Reddit users felt the writers took the lazy route by making Elle the bad guy without exploring her PTSD more realistically while others disliked that she took the law into her own hands. One commenter remarked that they "loved her until the last episode or two when she went and killed that guy," and another said the shooting made "me rage-cringe, which I didn't even know was possible." Regardless of your viewpoint, various people agree the scene went too far.