Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Criminal Minds Scene That Went Too Far

"Criminal Minds" has never been a show known for messing around. It's here to make you squirm, hide your face, and check your locks repeatedly before going to bed. The series stands out from other detective procedurals for its focus on behavioral crime solving, but it's also known for its particularly gnarly and hideously creative serial killers.

With 15 seasons, the writers just keep pushing the content to its limit. Sometimes, this upsets fans: They aren't all that happy about Emily (Paget Brewster) faking her death and not telling several of her team members or about Morgan (Shemar Moore) being brutally tortured in a way that offers little to the plot. Sometimes, the series just goes too far, turning something enjoyable into something upsetting. Many fans call out the Season 3 episode "Lucky" for being the most chilling episode of the whole show, as it features a shocking cannibalism twist, while others peg the entirety of Season 9 as the most creepy

Amongst the most disturbing episodes, there's another scene that is simply too much to bear.

Medieval torture paired with human marionettes make this episode difficult to watch

The Season 8 episode "The Lesson" features some truly hard to watch scenes as the unsub kidnaps people and turns them into living marionette dolls. To do this, he uses medieval torture devices, so the camera uncomfortably watches as one woman's arms are torn from their sockets and raised above her head. It isn't bloody, but the unnatural position and movement are enough to make anyone shiver in disgust.

Later, the unsub strings his victims up on a stage and puppets them while they're still fully alive. In one scene, he forces a girl to dance and for a disturbing moment, it's almost beautiful, until you remember that's a living person being bent at unnatural angles. The painful torture combined with the victims' complete lack of power, but full awareness of the situation, make these scenes go too far.

This episode is directed by none other than Matthew Gray Gubler, who portrays Spencer Reid on the series, but also steps behind the camera a few times. He's known for directing particularly creepy episodes, which absolutely delights some fans. On Reddit, one fan said: "I love and hate this episode. Love it because everything about it was so well done. Hate it because, well, everything about it was so creepily well done." Another said it had their "stomach gurgling."

Ultimately, anyone watching "Criminal Minds" needs to have a high tolerance for the violence. It's not for everyone — even one of the actors found it to be too upsetting.