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The Best Criminal Minds Unsub Takedowns According To Fans

The competition may be stiff, but CBS' gritty "Criminal Minds" could easily make the claim that it has the most horrifying and depraved killers of any network crime procedural in recent memory. After all, this is the show that has featured two separate episodes where the unknown subject aka unsub turned their victims into living dolls. And that's just one of many examples we could provide.

Considering how horrible the crimes are, there's also a real satisfaction when the unsubs are finally taken out of commission. This is a network crime procedural after all and part of that satisfying formula is seeing the "good" guys and gals prevail in the end. The agents of the BAU usually bring their cases to a close one way or another and often, it's quite thrilling to watch.

One curious "Criminal Minds" fan took to Reddit to begin a dialogue regarding exactly which of the classic unsub takedowns others consider to be the best of the best. User u/xo_aria started a thread aptly titled "What are some of your favorite unsub takedowns?" to give others a chance to sound off. While there was a diversity of different answers, one moment, in particular, was clearly the most popular choice among fans of the series.

Fans can't get over Hotchner taking out the Reaper

When we said earlier that the agents of the BAU usually catch the unsubs, there are few greater exceptions to that rule than the case of George Foyet aka The Reaper (C. Thomas Howell). The menacing serial killer managed to evade capture multiple times and went on to become one of the central antagonists of the series in the fourth and fifth seasons. Foyet took a special pleasure in tormenting Agent Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) and in one of the series' most memorable scenes, he even murdered Hotchner's ex-wife while she was on the phone with him.

Foyet's reign of terror finally comes to an end when Hotchner corners the killer and brutally beats him to death. It's one of the more violent unsub takedowns and, as it turns out, a fan favorite. In the takedowns Reddit threat, user u/angelmoon777 wrote, "hands down hotch beating the reaper to death. the emotional was so raw and watching morgan pull him away made me sob uncontrollably."

A number of people noted the emotional intensity of the moment, which was, of course, fueled by Hotchner's personal connection to the case. User u/Afraid-Astronomer886 said of the scene, "When hotch beats the reaper to death! I know it's not the right way but I felt every punch with him!"

As u/Afraid-Astronomer886 notes, there is also a guilty pleasure aspect to this particular takedown. Foyet may have been an evil man but it's really never okay for a law enforcement agent to commit an extrajudicial execution of a suspect in a murder case. But then again, this is a TV series and not real life and, as u/xo_aria put it, the moment is "so good! So bad....but so good."

There were some unsub takedown honorable mentions

Hotchner's Foyet beat down was the first choice for a number of fans, but some who responded to the Reddit thread did suggest other options.

"No sure if this counts as a take down, but I love the episode where the two brothers were taking people to the woods and hunting them," wrote u/Aubreezy92, referring to the Season 2 episode "Open Season," which involves a sibling duo who release kidnapped victims into a remote stretch of Idaho forest to be hunted like game (it also features a comedic scene that is legendary among fans). They specifically wanted to call attention not to a BAU takedown, but rather a takedown by one of their would-be victims: "the girl [they were hunting] looks them in the eyes as they're dying and tells them that she won."

For u/NetMiddle1873, the ideal unsub takedown is all about teamwork. They wrote in to say, "There was a couple times Morgan was fighting (and losing) with the unsub and Reid like tackled him just for a few seconds, like long enough for Morgan to get the upper hand again." There really is nothing like seeing some of your favorite characters working together.

You can revisit these notable unsub takedowns by steaming "Criminal Minds" on Netflix.