Criminal Minds Wiki

"A Thousand Suns" is the third episode of Season Ten and the 213th overall of Criminal Minds.


When a passenger jet crashes in Colorado, the BAU is called in to build a profile around the suspicious circumstances. Also, the case hits close to home for Kate, who is reminded of a family tragedy.

Guest Cast[]

  • Buck Acosta - Male Passenger #2
  • Justin Arnold - David Marshak
  • David Babich - Inter-Atlantic Airlines Passenger
  • Bill Blair - Deputy Fire Chief
  • Kevin Michael Brown - Businessman
  • Tom Brace - Crash Victim
  • Sean Bury - Father
  • Charles Carroll - Galen Petosky
  • Bill Coelius - Morris Perrault
  • Vic Chao - First Officer Phillip Tran
  • Sean Cook - Will
  • Holli Dean - Flight Attendant
  • John Grady - Hayman Vasher
  • Deidrie Henry - Commander Jumilla Reardon
  • John M. Keating - Male Passenger #1
  • Kami Koren - Trans Alliance Airlines Representative #1
  • Chelsea Kurtz - Fiancée
  • Natalie Lymor - Bridesmaid
  • Ty Mayberry - News Anchorman
  • Eyal Podell - Charlie Hosswell
  • Eden Riegel - Shelley Hicks
  • Anny Rosario - Mother
  • Joanne Spracklen - Female Passenger
  • Jed Sura - First Officer Frank Canvers
  • Patricia Tallman - Captain Margot Nolan

Referenced Criminals[]


  • "Robot Boy" by Linkin Park
  • "We Congregate" by Rocco DeLuca

Bookend Quotes[]

  • Aaron Hotchner: "If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one." — From the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad Gita
  • David Rossi: "We knew the world would not be the same. Some people laughed. A few people cried. Most people were silent." — J. Robert Oppenheimer


  • The full version of the ending bookend quote by J. Robert Oppenheimer also includes a quote from the Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita, which was recited several times during the episode (being erroneously attributed to having Oppenheimer as its original speaker and not the Bhagavad Gita), and a second quote of which was the episode's beginning bookend quote. In addition, the beginning bookend quote was recited by Oppenheimer as well, further strengthening the theme of the episode.
    • In further addition, the "Robot Boy" track used in the episode is sung by Linkin Park, whose fourth album is called "A Thousand Suns". The album focuses on themes of human fears revolving around nuclear warfare, which is addressed in the episode. Also, the ending bookend quote is used in the same album, specifically in the track called "The Radiance".
  • The character of suspect First Officer Frank Canvers seems to be partially based on Gameel Al-Batouti, who was disputed to have intentionally crashed the passenger jet he was flying, EgyptAir Flight 990, in a mass murder-suicide.
  • The episode was skipped in the Netherlands due to the plot's similarities to the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash (since a majority of those dead were Dutch citizens). A rerun of the Season Nine episode "The Return" was aired instead. Later, on February 25, 2015, the episode aired for the first time in the country, preceded by a text reading, in Dutch, "This episode of Criminal Minds includes imagery that has similarities to the MH17-disaster. Viewer discretion is advised."
  • Bill Blair, the actor who portrays a deputy fire chief, previously appeared on Criminal Minds, starring as Mr. Gentry in the Season Nine episode "The Inspired".
  • When it is mentioned they've seen someone hack a helicopter and remote control it, they are of course referring to the events of the finale of Season Eight.
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kate is known for Ghost Whisperer and the first season finale is a plane crash which also killed her best friend Andrea (Aisha Tyler) who’s actress joins next season as Dr Tara Lewis

Criminal Minds Episodes