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Things You Forgot Happened In Criminal Minds Season 1

"Criminal Minds" was both one of the most popular and longest-running TV shows of the 21st century. Beginning in 2005, the show ran on CBS for 15 seasons and 324 total episodes before coming to an end in 2020. Over those episodes, the members of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) tracked hundreds of "unsubs," the show's term for the worst of the worst serial criminals. The show also delved into the personal lives of its main characters, like fan favorites Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin), Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray-Gubler), Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore), and more.

With so much happening over 15 years, it can be easy to forget some of the show's earliest moments, even for "Criminal Minds'" diehard fans. We're here to help. Here are some big moments you might not remember from "Criminal Minds'" inaugural season.

The recurring Nietzsche quote shows up in the very first episode

"Criminal Minds" was always a show about people who deal with the darker side of human nature, so it's practically tailor-made for Friedrich Nietzsche's classic quote about fighting monsters. The quote comes from the fourth chapter of Nietzsche's 1886 tome "​​Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future." There are many different English translations of it, but we'll go with this one: "Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you" (via GoodReads).

Naturally, the characters on "Criminal Minds" find that quote relatable, and they recite versions of it multiple times. In the hundredth episode, titled "100," Hotch says "He who fights with monsters might take care, lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." Then, in the two-hundredth episode, "200," J.J. (A.J. Cook) says a simplified version: "When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks into you."

It makes sense why the show's creators would trot out that quote for their milestone episodes, and they did the same thing in the pilot episode,"Extreme Aggressor." At the end of that episode, after the team catches a serial strangler in Seattle, Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) quotes the shorter version.

The BAU had its first international case

While the BAU's cases typically involved traveling around the United States, the unit still usually only dealt with domestic criminals – which makes sense, seeing as the BAU is part of the FBI. Occasionally, however, the BAU was called in to assist with serious criminals overseas. The first time this happened was during the Season 1 episode, "Machismo." This time, the BAU was called in to a small Mexico town to help investigate a suspected serial killer who was targeting elderly women. The BAU got the call because the local Mexican police chief had attended one of Jason Gideon's (Mandy Patinkin) seminars. 

Overall, "Criminal Minds" had four international cases. In addition to "Machismo," there was the Season 4 two-parter "To Hell and Back," which took them to Canada; the Season 12 episode "Spencer," which took them back to Mexico; and the Season 10 episode "Beyond Borders," which took them to Barbados.

"Beyond Borders," which aired in 2015, also served as a backdoor pilot for the "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders" spinoff. That show ran for two seasons from 2016 to 2017 and primarily dealt with, you guessed it, international cases.

Emily Prentiss's job used to be held by Elle Greenaway

Technically, Elle Greenaway's (Lola Glaudini) time on "Criminal Minds" lasted until the beginning of Season 2, but her departure happened so long ago that most fans still probably don't remember her — or all that she went through during Season 1. Elle became a permanent member of the BAU after the pilot episode, during which she saved Gideon by shooting the Seattle Strangler. Since that time, Greenaway's time on the elite profiling team was somewhat star-crossed. At the end of Season 1, Greenaway was kidnapped and shot by that week's unsub. The BAU rescued her in the Season 2 premiere, but she struggled with PTSD in the aftermath. Greenaway finally left the BAU in Season 2 episode 5 after she shot another unsub unprovoked.

Elle Greenaway was ultimately replaced by Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), who stuck around until Season 7. In 2006, writer-producer Ed Bernero explained that Lola Glaudini left the show because she wanted to live on the East Coast and not in Los Angeles (via The LA Times).