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The Best Criminal Minds Season 2 Episode According To IMDb

One of the big issues that many crime procedurals often face is the ability to shock the audience with their stories. How many heart-pounding plotlines can the writers think of before every story begins resembling another? The CBS drama "Criminal Minds," however, did not face the same problem — or at least not in its initial seasons.

In fact, the show banked on its ability to catch its audience by surprise with its storylines that offered a psychological approach toward catching horrifying serial killers, kidnappers, and the like. The profilers in the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI studied the patterns of these killers and caught them, almost always in a nail-biting climax.

In Season 2 of the show, it was still delivering one gasp-inducing storyline after the other. From the investigation into murders of children that revealed a child to be a serial killer, to three high-school soccer stars who were forced to kill one of their peers, there were plenty of episodes that kept the audience disturbed yet hooked in equal measure.

Even Elle Greenaway's (Lola Glaudini) abrupt exit from the show mid-season did not significantly impact its appeal at the time. To counter that, the show raised the stakes by adding multiple episodes that centered around a profiler, building their character — like the episode where Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) gets arrested, revealing secrets of his past. It comes as no surprise, then, that Season 2's highest-rated episode on IMDb also involved a personal angle for one of the BAU team members.

Reid's abduction made for a gripping watch

For its Season 2, mid-season cliffhanger, "Criminal Minds" pulled out all the stops. James Van Der Beek plays a bible-verse reciting unsub named Tobias Hankel, who has multiple personality disorder and calls 911 after committing every murder. And since that wasn't enough, the first of the two-episode arc ended with Hankel abducting Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler).

The second episode of the arc, "Revelations," features Hankel torturing Reid using spine-chilling methods while embodying the personality of his abusive father, and treating his pain with Dilaudid while embodying his own personality. He forces Reid to confess to his past "sins" which include getting his mother sent to a psychiatric hospital. And to top it off, the rest of the BAU witnesses the torture through a web camera. But even in an altered state of mind, the BAU's boy-wonder is able to convey significant clues about his location to his team.

The episode's events left a lasting impact on Reid's character, including his struggle with substance abuse. Van Der Beek's chaotically perfect portrayal of Hankel and Gubler's impactful acting, supported by a well-written two-episode arc, kept the viewers glued to their seats through a rollercoaster of emotions. It earned the episode a score of 8.9 out of 10 on IMDb, the highest of Season 2. Beyond numbers, the episode also is considered one of the best of the series, with Van Der Beek regarded as one of the most memorable unsubs of the show.