The 10 Best Episodes of ‘Criminal Minds,’ According to Fans

The BAU team is back in action. Criminal Minds returns to CBS for its 15th and final season on January 8 at 9/8c. 

With just 10 episodes left, ever, fans are soon going to have to say goodbye to Reid, J.J., Garcia, and the rest of the crew of crack FBI agents. But they can console themselves by revisiting some of the show’s classic moments. And with more than 300 episodes airing since the 2005 premiere, there are plenty of memorable episodes to revisit. However, some stand out more than others. According to IMDb users, these are the 10 best episodes of Criminal Minds. 

10. ‘Sex, Birth, Death’ (2006) 

People on IMDb went all the way back to the second season of Criminal Minds to find the 10th-best episode of the show, which earned an 8.7 rating. Fan-favorite character Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) plays a big role in “Sex, Birth, Death,” which focuses on a young man who seeks out the FBI agent when he starts having fantasies of killing prostitutes, at the same time as a serial killer is targeting prostitutes in the D.C. area. 

9. ‘True Genius’ (2012) 

“True Genius,” another Reid-centric episode, earned an 8.7 rating. In this season 7 episode, the BAU team travels to San Francisco to investigate a murderer who seems to be copycatting the infamous Zodiac Killer. At the same time, Reid reflects on his genius after he attends a lecture by noted crime novelist Patricia Cornwall (who plays herself in the episode). 

8. ‘Zugzwang’ (2013) 

Michelle Trachtenberg in Criminal Minds
Michelle Trachtenberg guest stars in “Zugzwang” | Michael Yarish/CBS via Getty Images

This heartbreaking season 8 episode with an 8.7 rating sees Reid’s girlfriend Maeve kidnapped by her stalker. He and his BAU colleagues band together in the hopes of finding her before it’s too late. 

7. ‘300’ (2018) 

The season 14 premiere, which has an 8.7 rating on IMDb, picks up immediately after the events of the dramatic season 13 finale, when the BAU’s resident tech genius Penelope Garcia (Kristen Vangsness) and Reid were kidnapped by followers of the cult leader Benjamin Merva.

6. ‘Lauren’ (2011) 

In this dramatic season 6 episode, BAU agent Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) goes missing while trying to track down her longtime nemesis Ian Doyle, a former IRA member turned serial killer. Fans will remember this episode because it features the “death” of Prentiss, who later returns to the team after going into hiding in Europe. Cast member Gubler directed “Lauren,” which has an 8.8 rating on IMDb. 

5. ‘Mr. Scratch’ (2015) 

criminal minds BAU team
The BAU team in “Mr. Scratch” | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Criminal Minds strays into X-Files territory with the season 10 episode “Mr. Scratch,” which sees multiple people implicated in murders they insist they did not commit. All three blame a shadowy monster who they say pushed them to kill. This episode, which introduces Peter Lewis/Scratch (Bodhi Elfman), who would become one of the show’s long-running villains, has an 8.8 IMDb rating.  

4. ‘Believer’ (2018) 

In season 13’s final episode, Reid finds an FBI agent locked in a storage unit. The victim spins a tale about searching for an UnSub known as “The Strangler,” but as the BAU looks into his claims, they begin to find holes in his story. This episode, which marks the first appearance of Merva as a character, has a rating of 8.9. 

3. ‘Revelations’ (2007) 

Reid’s in peril in the season 2 episode “Revelations.” After he’s kidnapped by an UnSub, the pressure is on his BAU colleagues to find him, before time runs out. IMDb users gave this Criminal Minds episode a 9.0 rating. It also features James Van Der Beek in one of the first appearances as serial killer Tobias Hankel.

2. ‘Mosley Lane’ (2010) 

The BAU team travels to Virginia to investigate a predator who may have been kidnapping children for eight years. Gubler was behind the camera for this season 5 episode, which has a 9.0 rating on IMDb. 

1. ‘Entropy’ (2016) 

Aisha Taylor on Criminal Minds
Aisha Taylor in “Entropy” | Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images)

IMDb users’ favorite episode of Criminal Minds is season 11’s “Entropy,” which has a rating of 9.2. Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza guest stars as a woman who goes on a date with Reid, but who turns out to have a dark agenda. Reid’s onto her, but can he and the rest of the BAU team outfox this criminal and her accomplices?

Check out Showbiz Cheat Sheet on Facebook!