Criminal Minds (2005– )
6 user

Red Light 

Derek Morgan brings the BAU a lead in the case against serial killer and escaped convict Mr. Scratch.


Glenn Kershaw


Jeff Davis (created by), Breen Frazier | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Damon Gupton ... Stephen Walker
Aisha Tyler ... Dr. Tara Lewis
Adam Rodriguez ... Luke Alvez
Paget Brewster ... Emily Prentiss
Shemar Moore ... Derek Morgan
Richard T. Jones ... Officer Lionel Wilkins
Gia Mantegna ... Lindsey Vaughan
Beth Riesgraf ... Dr. Maeve Donovan
Kevin Will ... John Fords
Jane Lynch ... Diana Reid
Aubrey Plaza ... Cat Adams


With J.J. by his side, Reid goes to see Cat Adams in prison, she, in partnership with Lindsey Vaughan, who were the ones who orchestrated everything that happened to him in Mexico, including his incarceration, with Lindsey now holding Diana hostage somewhere unknown. Reid knows that he will go into a psychological game with Cat, much like he did in their previous encounter, with the one big difference which may affect how Reid is able to handle the situation being that Diana's life is on the line. The rest of the team remains at headquarters, where they have to figure out the connection between Cat and Lindsey: what brought them together as partners in this venture, how they have been able to communicate with each other with Cat in solitary confinement in prison, and how Cat in particular seems to know as much as she does about Reid's personal life. Prentiss decides to use a controversial and less than ethical approach to advance the case, most specifically in locating Lindsey and a ... Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

10 May 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Light See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


The William Shakespeare verse Prentiss quotes is from Act 3, Scene 1 of "The Merchant of Venice". See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


[first lines]
Cat Adams: Spencie.
Dr. Spencer Reid: Where's my mother?
Cat Adams: I missed you.
Dr. Spencer Reid: What did you and Lindsey do to her? How did you...
Cat Adams: Now stop. You don't get to walk in here and hiss at me like I'm the criminal. Now, we do this my way.
[she kicks a chair out from under the table]
Cat Adams: Have a seat.
See more »


References Voltron: Defender of the Universe (1984) See more »


Moonlight Serenade
Music by Glenn Miller
Performed by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
[The song can be heard in the background when Reid and Cat start playing their "game"]
See more »

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User Reviews

Not quite a cracker of a season finale, still one of the better episodes of Season 12
18 June 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

In its prime (Seasons 1-5, with Season 4 to me being the best and most consistent season with a lot of classic episodes and even the weakest episodes being far from awful) 'Criminal Minds' was one of my favourite shows. From Season 6 it did become hit and miss, with the odd gem and still some good episodes, but a lot of average episodes and some stinkers.

Although some may disagree, to me, Season 12 has been patchy and inconsistent but turned out better than expected. The overall season had its faults, such as Garcia's too hostile treatment of Alvez, Hotch going due to Thomas Gibson's controversial firing, the mostly bland character of Stephen Walker, some episodes suffering from a lack of balance in who and what to focus on resulting in a few cases not registering and team members being underused and despite starting off so promisingly Reid in prison got far too dragged out over the season, did start running out of ideas and not helped by the character of Wilkins and his gratuitously and up to now unexplained cruel treatment of Reid. In its favour, the season has also featured the touchingly done subplot between Reid and his mother, the welcome return of Emily Prentiss, masterclass acting from Matthew Gray Gubler in quite a few episodes of the series, Alvez fitting in surprisingly nicely (considering the show's track record of new characters), "Mirror Image" being one of the few times where Lewis and Aisha Tyler's acting making a positive impression, the first three Reid in prison episodes being harrowing, shocking and poignant and some brilliant team interaction.

Although there were disappointments in Season 12, such as "True North", "The Anti-Terror Squad", "Hell's Kitchen" and "Taboo", most of Season 12's episodes have ranged from above average to good. Some episodes even have been very good, with although not quite a cracker "Red Light" being one of the best episodes of the season along with "Green Light", "Elliot's Pond", "Mirror Image" and especially "Spencer".

Not everything in "Red Light" works, the two main faults being the very implausibly far-fetched pregnancy story and the rushed and anti-climactic ending. Personally also thought that the touted return of Morgan could have been more, nice to see him again but other than how he interacts with the rest of the team and how they react to him he is not given enough to do beyond that.

However, visually, the episode looks great as to be expected. Very well shot and lit and is overall stylish, gritty, classy and atmospheric, with at times a film noir look and feel. The music is moody in the haunting and melancholic sense and fits well, without either enhancing or distracting from it. The direction is alert, tense and accommodating.

The acting all round is very good, with the standouts being an as always superb Matthew Gray Gubler and Aubrey Plaza on dynamite form as Cat. Their chemistry and Cat's mind-games are easily what makes "Red Light" as good as it is and a very fond reminder as to why the previous season's "Entropy" was one of the best 'Criminal Minds' episodes in years. One of "Red Light's" highlight scenes is the dating fantasy.

As hoped, the team interaction is brilliant with everybody having plenty to do, a great job is done showing concern for Reid (as does the viewer) and solving the case. The script is thought-provoking and some of the best and most taut writing of the season, while the story is gripping with things that you don't see coming and even more of a nail-biter than the previous episode "Green Light". Finally a much-needed reason is given for Wilkins' cruel treatment of Reid inside, though it doesn't stop one from still hating the character and you are left thinking he treated Reid like that for that reason?

In summary, not a cracker as one would like from a season finale but one of the better faring episodes of Season 12 and a very good episode on the whole. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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