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The Criminal Minds Episodes Where No One Dies

Death is very much a part of the world of the CBS procedural "Criminal Minds." Throughout the show's decade-plus run, it is commonplace for victims to be killed off in an episode, with the murders becoming more and more horrifically elaborate, spurred on by convoluted motives. After a few seasons, the methods used by unsubs to claim their victims went from simple to absurd because it wouldn't be "Criminal Minds" without at least one person dying per episode.

Often, the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit at the heart of "Criminal Minds" saves the victim of an unsub in any given episode — the series needs the tension over whether the victim will die or not, after all. But those episodes still typically feature the death of at least one person at the beginning of the episode, which then kicks off a new investigation. So, what about episodes with no deaths at all? Are there any "Criminal Minds" episodes where everyone we see on screen makes it to the end credits?

Earlier this year, on the subreddit r/criminalminds, user u/BiLeftHanded asked fellow fans of the CBS series if they knew of any episodes in which no one dies. Reliable as ever, the fans came through with a few promising answers.

This time, everyone lives

As it happens, there are two "Criminal Minds" episodes in which no one dies, and new life is added to the cast in the form of two newborn babies. Redditor u/mccabebabe mentioned the Season 11 episode "A Beautiful Disaster" (via IMDb). In this entry, Derek Morgan's (Shemar Moore) pregnant wife, Savannah (Rochelle Aytes), is shot by Chazz Montolo (Lance Henriksen), who blames Morgan for his son's death and has Morgan kidnapped and tortured a few episodes earlier. The episode plays out as a tense confrontation between Morgan and Chazz — complete with a game of Russian Roulette — while Savannah's life is on the line. In the end, she survives and gives birth to the couple's son, leaving the episode on a positive note.

Reddit user u/IisforIda also pointed out that the Season 15 episode "Saturday" (via IMDb) is free of death. The episode sees half the team take a day off while the other half works on a stalker case. Much of the episode deals with personal developments for the characters, including the birth of Matt's (Daniel Henney) new baby.

Kidnappings sometimes end well

Then there are the kidnapping episodes on "Criminal Minds" that end about as well as a kidnapping could possibly end. U/mccabebabe also reminded fellow Redditors that the Season 12 episode "Elliott's Pond" (via IMDb), which involves a kidnapping case, has no deaths. 

The episode sees three boys abducted by adult twins who were themselves abducted when they were young. The twins aren't interested in hurting the boys, but would rather keep them. So, through a mix of the BAU's rescue and their own escape attempt, the boys are freed relatively unharmed. There is a brief mention of the natural death of the man who originally kidnapped the twins, but, for the most part, everyone lives. U/mccabebabe pointed out that this episode and "A Beautiful Disaster" — both "great" episodes, in their words — are directed by "Criminal Minds" cast member Matthew Gray Gubler, who plays Spencer and is known for directing some of the most haunting episodes.

Another kidnapping episode is Season 6's "J.J." (via IMDb), which serves as JJ's (A.J. Cook) exit from the series (before she comes back) due to a complicated job offer. The episode's case deals with an abduction and attempted murder via shark-infested waters, but the victim is rescued and survives in the end. So, if any "Criminal Minds" fans ever need a slightly less morbid episode to watch, these episodes are probably the best bet.