Criminal Minds (2005– )
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The Good Earth 

The team attempts to find a common link among four missing men.


John Terlesky


Jeff Davis (created by), Bruce Zimmerman | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Shemar Moore ... Derek Morgan
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Jeanne Tripplehorn ... Alex Blake
Thomas Gibson ... Aaron Hotchner
Anne Dudek ... Emma Kerrigan
Rebecca Wisocky ... Sheriff Corwin
HannaH Eisenmann ... Lexy Kerrigan
Matthew Jaeger ... Terry Rodgers
John Churchill ... Dr. Edward Gourse
Michanne Quinney ... Dr. Holly Rottinger
Allison Ikin Allison Ikin ... Cheryl Winslow
Danielle Langlois ... Geena Deaver


In four separate incidents, four men have gone missing in La Grande, Oregon, having never made it to their intended destination while driving. The latest missing man, Terry Rodgers, doesn't quite fit the victimology of the first three, who are all middle class healthy family men and long time La Grande residents, whereas Rodgers is single, recently arrived in La Grande, living off the grid, and slightly out of shape, although he was trying to improve his health. His was the only vehicle found, off road, tire tracks from another vehicle found adjacent, and vomit presumed to be his next to his vehicle. Analysis of that vomit shows that it was Rodgers' and he had elevated levels of melatonin in his system - in other words, he was drugged. When a body of one of the men is found drowned, the team comes up with a profile of the unsub. But when another person goes missing who doesn't fit the victimology, that person who is eventually found, the team adds an extra dimension to their unsub ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

31 October 2012 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The toxicology report for the victim's vomit, as shown on Garcia's screen, is bogus. Analysis of vomit can only show what has been ingested. This panel of hormones, CBC, and liver function enzymes would be gotten from a blood test. Also in error is the spelling of dopamine, which is misspelled as 'dopemine' on the screen. See more »


David Rossi: I recognize that scowl, Aaron. What are you thinking?
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References Get Smart (1965) See more »


Criminal Minds Theme
Composed by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

Good, if standard, episode with many truly great elements
16 August 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'Criminal Minds' is a favourite show of mine. It is not perfect, seasons and episodes are better than others and the last season has generally been very weak. When it was at its best though, in Seasons 2-5 it was really fantastic.

"The Good Earth" is not quite a great episode, a small step down from the very good if imperfect "God Complex" and is not among the best of 'Criminal Minds'. At the same time it is a long way from the worst. For me it is towards the top end of Season 8, which had a solid if slightly disappointing start (especially due to Blake) and fizzled badly on the solution to the Replicator story arc.

Sure, there are definitely things that could have been done better. Still haven't warmed to Blake (a character this reviewer has already been mixed on), she's gelling better and her chemistry with Reid is enjoyable but she does lack personality and is still disconnected. She also definitely should have been called out for her actions in the denouement, which wasn't just lies or trickery, it was deceitful.

Other areas of sloppy writing are the pointless and completely out of place attack of the pregnant woman and the lack of medical research for the disease Scleroderma, which is incurable and life-threatening, the opposite of what is said in "The Good Earth".

However, "The Good Earth" gets off to a very eerie start and the ending with Henry as mini-Reid is simply adorable, a cute and charming end to a very grim case. In between, we get an unoriginally standard but still very atmospheric and eerie case, terrifying treatment of the victims which really makes the viewer squirm in their seats and a shocking motivation for the unsub's actions. Sometimes the team taking so long to solve a case can be a big hindrance, but this time it wasn't a problem seeing as the writing for the victim's unspeakable suffering and the unsub is so good.

Even better are the little character moments within the team that one looks out for all the time in 'Criminal Minds' as they are such a large part of the show's appeal. Particularly enjoyable were the funny exchange between JJ and Reid and Rossi's hilarious quip about Reid's high pitch IQ, as well as the adorable ending. Also really appreciated the toning down of Morgan and Garcia's banter, which tends to be unrealistically overly-flirtatious and annoying.

"The Good Earth" is also very high in production values, nicely directed with a lot of tension and suspense, thoughtfully and smartly scripted and hauntingly and melancholically scored. The acting is very good from all the regulars, apart from the lack of personality for Blake, and Ann Dudek is absolutely fantastic as Emma, who is convincing in her love for her daughter but also chilling in the treatment of the men, one also feels sorry for her for her condition, which despite the lack of research has some harrowing moments.

In conclusion, some truly great elements though the episode itself is just good. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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