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The Criminal Minds Season 4 Scene That Went Too Far

The crime drama "Criminal Minds" dealt with the twisted minds of serial killers for 15 seasons. While the later seasons were accused of dragging and repeating similar stories, the initial seasons of the show were gripping and often disturbing as they portrayed the devious actions of serial killers, pedophiles, and more in graphic detail.

By Season 4, the cast of the show — after the exits of Mandy Patinkin and Lola Glaudini — had set in comfortably in their roles as the members of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, establishing a great on-screen dynamic between the characters as well. With fresh storylines that often involved a personal conflict for one or more characters, each episode was exciting to watch.

Amid the nerve-racking episodes, every now and then one episode dealt a huge blow to the audience who thought they'd got comfortable with watching serial killers on-screen. Whether it was a family looking for a child bride for their son or Hotchner's (Thomas Gibson) nemesis George Foyet (C. Thomas Howell), who a few seasons later would brutally Hotchner's wife — there were plenty of terrifying moments.

But the most spine-chilling scene of Season 4 (by the standards of a disturbing show) was not that of a gory murder, but an unintended confession that revealed a child to be a killer.

One episode had a child confessing to killing his little brother

In the episode "A Shade of Gray," the team of profilers came to the town of Cherry Hill, New Jersey to look at the murders of two boys and the abduction of another named Kyle, who is unfortunately murdered too. While the team catches a pedophile for the first two murders, the differences in Kyle's abduction and body disposal lead them to believe another killer is responsible for it.

As the case unravels, Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) finds herself keeping Kyle's brother Danny company during his parents' questioning. When Prentiss gives Danny a packet of chips he's unable to open, he begins hitting the packet, frustrated. Already concerned after watching his unusual behavior in a press conference where his parents made an appeal for Kyle's safe return, Prentiss asks him if he gets angry a lot. Danny admits that his mother thinks he has a bad temper.

As the conversation continues, Danny talks about Kyle's irritating interference in his life. Finally, he reveals that Kyle broke his model airplane earlier that day leaving him enraged. At this point, the viewers are sparingly taken through the tragic aftermath of Kyle's murder at the hands of Danny, and at the end, the parents sobbingly confirm Danny's story.

The tragic contrast of the scene — Danny's cold and unapologetic demeanor and the overwhelming grief of the parents, along with the realization that a family's life is now completely ruined — makes the scene unbearable.