Criminal Minds (2005– )
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The BAU goes to St. Louis when an 18-year old woman escapes from a house where she and 2 other women were held for a decade.


Bethany Rooney


Jeff Davis (created by), Virgil Williams





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
Thomas Gibson ... Aaron Hotchner
Daniel Roebuck ... Mike Thompson
Adam Lazarre-White ... Dr. Givens
Amelia Rose Blaire ... Violet
Rebekah Kennedy ... Gina Bryant
Delaina Mitchell ... Eileen Woods
Kevin Brief ... George Hawthorne
Jacqueline Hahn ... Maureen Hawthorne
Mackenzie Aladjem ... Lily
Talyan Wright ... Jasmine


In St Louis a young woman is found who tells of being held captive for years with two others. Another young woman is near death and the third is taken by the abductor as he tries to get away. There is evidence of beatings and rape by their "Daddy". As the case unfolds there are even more reasons to get the accused and even the girls to fully cooperate.

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Release Date:

10 February 2016 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The character Violet's real name is revealed to be Amelia. Violet was played by Amelia Rose Blaire. See more »


When JJ and Violet are sitting on the ground, next to the hospital bed, JJ shows pictures of Violet's family using a tablet. After pointing out her real father, the tablet is completely gone in the next camera shot. See more »


David Rossi: Long term hostage, that's rare. We got another Ariel Castro here?
Penelope Garcia: Huh, funny that you say that. Not funny ha-ha, funny weird
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Theme from Criminal Minds
Composed by Marc Fantini and Steffan Fantini
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User Reviews

One of the few Season 11 episodes where there is little to fault
5 January 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

After watching "Hostage", it is now up there easily with "Entropy", "The Job" and "The Witness" (a tied second best with "The Job") as among the best episodes of a mostly disappointing Season 11, which has had of any season of 'Criminal Minds' the highest number of bad episodes.

"Hostage" doesn't commit any of the mistakes that many of the episodes of the season did. Even when showing the unsub upfront early on that is in no way an issue because the unsub is an intriguing character and one of the show's most repellent in recent years and because the story really hit home with me. My only minor complaint really is the very ending being slightly abrupt but that's it. The ending is a very sad and tragic one but a case of the actions being somewhat understandable due to the awful nature of the crimes and how repellent the unsub was.

Profiling is much more prominent and intriguing, there is a much more balanced team dynamic and less emphasis on the personal lives that dragged other episodes down and took up too much of the duration. JJ's personality is toned down and much closer to the sympathetic character that she was in the earlier seasons and Garcia is far more mature than she was in Season 9 for example and also much more professional. The lack of Tara Lewis is another big plus.

The case is very tense and suspenseful, and the fate of the victims being harrowing and poignant. The script is taut and thought-provoking and absolutely loved how JJ and Reid were written here, JJ being comforting and compassionate and Reid showing a lot of emotion and empathy which allow for some very welcome sweet moments.

Furthermore, "Hostage" looks great, and the music has a good deal of atmosphere. The acting is as ever very good and often excellent, AJ Cook and Matthew Gray Gubler are standouts with some of the episode's meatiest material, while the victims are movingly played and one feels really sorry for them. Daniel Roebuck makes the skin crawl as an unsub that is impossible not to detest.

In summary, one of the best episodes of Season 11 easily and one of few of that season too where there is little to fault. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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