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What Really Drove Criminal Minds Assassin Izzy Rogers To A Life Of Crime

The Season 7 finale of "Criminal Minds" comes in hot: After a few heartwarming scenes of the BAU team living their casual lives, a bank robbery quickly turns violent, with a civilian shot in the stomach and a police officer killed. As the team arrives at the scene, where two men and a woman are holding 20 or so people hostage, they begin to profile the group. The woman — who we later learn is Izzy Rogers, played by "Battlestar Galactica" star Tricia Helfer — stands out as the most ruthless of the three hostage-takers.

The Season 7 closer is a two-part finale (the installments are cleverly titled "Hit" and "Run"), and is one of the better finales in "Criminal Minds" history thanks to its constant tension. Adding to its quality is the fact that the Season 7 finale features the team at its most iconic, shortly before Emily (Paget Brewster) leaves the show. "Hit" keeps everyone in the bank, where Izzy and her crew are killing people and demanding to be let free. They put JJ's husband (Josh Stewart) in danger and use an explosion to escape and mask his kidnapping. In "Run," a twist is revealed: One of the hostages is actually Izzy's true partner in crime (and love). They threaten JJ's family, creating the fan-favorite JJ moment where she saves her son, and nearly blow up a train station before their plot is foiled.

Izzy is in only these two episodes of "Criminal Minds," never getting a season-long arc, but she does make quite the impression. Here's why she risked everything for a mad caper through Washington, D.C.

Izzy has a devastating sadistic streak

At the heart of it, Izzy is driven by her sadism. As Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) says, Izzy and her partner Matthew (Josh Randall) are symphorophiliacs, people who get off on creating disasters and watching them. She derives pleasure from hurting people, which is why she always shoots her victim — one at each bank robbery — in the gut, so the death is slow and painful.

Izzy and Matthew find romance and excitement from causing harm. Together, they set off bombs in Chad, and in the present, it seems they're celebrating the anniversary of meeting each other with their grand plan to blow up the D.C. train station. Izzy is certainly dramatic enough, as evidenced by her singing "Ring Around the Rosie," slowly and creepily as if in a horror movie, to a small child.

However, a short conversation with JJ's son Henry (Mekhai Andersen) also suggests Izzy may have been abused as a child since she mentions her grandfather was a scary man. Then, at some point, she turned to the life of an assassin before meeting the ex-Marine Matthew. They have vague political ideations about anarchy, with Matthew harboring resentment toward the United States government, but seem mostly driven by the high of hurting people.

In the end, Matthew is killed and Izzy is arrested, never to be seen again.