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The Best Criminal Minds Episode From Season 8 According To IMDb

CBS' long-running procedural "Criminal Minds" was one of those series that TV viewers either loved completely or were utterly indifferent toward. But given that the show aired a staggering 323 episodes over a 15-season run, it's safe to assume the number of viewers in the former category was more than substantial. And that fact is all the more impressive because, well, "Criminal Minds" was frequently one of the most unsettling shows on network television.

Even now that the show has wrapped up, those who love "Criminal Minds" can't get enough of its often grisly tales of those who commit heinous violent crimes, and the crack FBI unit tasked with bringing them to justice. Still, even the most devout of "Criminal Minds" fans can't ignore the series' penchant for leaning heavily on certain narrative tropes, which include the frequent kidnapping of either a member of the Behavioral Analysis Unit or someone they care deeply about. Despite some feeling like those storylines are overused, other "Criminal Minds" fans might argue that particular trope did lead to some of the series' best episodes, including the Season 8 stunner that currently boasts the highest rating on IMDb. 

The Season 8 heartbreaker Zugzwang was pretty much perfect in the eyes of many Criminal Minds fans

The "Criminal Minds" episode in question is also one of the series' saddest. And the bruising emotional impact of "Zugzwang" is no doubt a big part of why fans of the show have given it an impressive 8.6 rating on IMDb. For the record, nearly 2,900 "Criminal Minds" fans voiced their opinion on the episode. As more than half bestowed "Zugzwang" with a perfect 10, that 8.6 rating is more than legit.

If you've seen "Zugzwang," you know that love is well-earned, too. Not surprisingly, the episode is largely centered around "Criminal Minds" fan-favorite Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthey Gray Gubler), who seemingly found a worthy romantic partner in Dr. Maeve Donavan (Beth Riesgraf) early in Season 8. That duo soon began a, shall we say, complicated relationship. Their coupling took a troubling turn in "Zugzwang," however, when Dr. Donavan's long-time stalker Diane Turner (Michelle Trachtenberg) kidnapped her.

Thus began one of the darkest chapters in the saga of Reid as he and his BAU allies raced to save the life of his would-be love. In a devastating turn of events, they are not successful as Diane ends up killing herself and Maeve with Reid watching helplessly. Meave's death was one of the more shocking in the history of "Criminal Minds." It's one that Reid never really got over, as well. And its visceral impact on his "Criminal Minds" narrative is likely why "Zugzwang" remains Season 8's highest-rated episode.   

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