Criminal Minds Wiki

"Alpha Male" is the fifteenth episode of Season Twelve and the 270th overall of Criminal Minds.


When several young men and women are disfigured in acid attacks in Philadelphia, the BAU sets out to find the culprit. Also, Reid begins to settle into his new surroundings.

Guest Cast[]

Referenced Criminals[]


  • "Reloaded" by TheIdea
  • "1X" by Lou Charles
  • "Lovers On the Run" by Nihils

Bookend Quotes[]

  • Penelope Garcia: "Strong men, men who are truly role models, don't need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful." – Michelle Obama
  • Spencer Reid: "One of the many lessons that one learns in prison €is that things are what they are and will be what they will be." – Oscar Wilde


  • The episode is very similar to the Italian giallo film The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire. A serial killer terrorizes an array of varied victims, usually disfiguring them with acid before they're murdered, out of jealousy over their happy lives.
  • This is the fourth of nine episodes to deal with two separate cases.
  • Scenes for the episode were filmed at the defunct Sybil Brand Institute, an all-women Los Angeles County jail, which is infamous for housing cult member Susan Atkins and Whitewater controversy figure Susan McDougal. A perfect replica was designed for one of the actual jail's cell blocks and used for some scenes. The opening scene also featured a real-life Department of Corrections prison bus, which was rented by the production crew and given a different signage.[3]


Criminal Minds Episodes