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"Plain Sight" is the fourth episode of Season One of Criminal Minds.


The BAU sets out to find and stop "The Tommy Killer", a serial rapist and killer operating in San Diego who rapes, murders and glues his victims' eyes open.

Full Summary[]

Someone is practicing aerobics in their home.  The window in the living room is opened, and someone climbs through.  Later, when the scene is being photographed, the silverware, jewelry, and other expensive items are spread out on the floor, there’s a message in lipstick, and her eyes were glued open. 

In Quantico, the team celebrates Reid’s 24th birthday in the bullpen.  Hotchner takes a call while everyone starts to eat cake, only for Hotchner to say the parties over.  They are going to San Diego to go after the Tommy Killer. 

He hands over the file and tells them that he’ll meet them on the plane.  When they ask why he’s called the Tommy Killer, Hotch says that it’s after the rock opera, as he glues his victims eyes wide open. Reid remarks that he wants his victims to see him, and Gideon says that he wants them to fear him.

They talk about the victim.  She was strangled with a thin wire, and at one point had her mouth taped over.  As Hotchner reads the message that was left, Reid finishes it, recalling that it was a seventh century ballad between death and a woman. 

Another woman is at home, this time, she’s picking a lemon off of her tree.  A mysterious figure appears in the corner, watching her.  Another scene shows her getting attacked in a similar fashion to the victim the episode opened with. 

Gideon gets a call.  There was an attack six blocks from the station, but the husband came home, scaring off the attacker.  Morgan and Gideon go over the house to figure out why the unsub did what he did.  At the other house, the husband is claiming the attacker is a six foot tall black man.  Hotch and Elle aren’t sold on it, and Elle approaches the victim, taking her away from all the men in the room. 

Elle sits her outside and says she didn’t want to ask questions until she’s ready, but as Elle walks away, she starts asking her own questions.  Then she recounts her attack.  Elle asks her to confirm the fact that her husband said the man was black.  She says she doesn’t know, but she kept looking him in his eyes, and that he was wearing a ski mask.

Back at the precinct, Reid approaches Gideon and Morgan about the ballad.  Gideon asks JJ to figure out when the press ran the story (it was after the fourth victim).  Hotch and Elle come back, and explain that the newest attacker wore a ski mask and was African American.  Gideon calls for a press conference. But first, they give their profile to the detectives.

  The team arrests a black man for the attempted rape of the last victim, knowing that if it’s publicized the Tommy Killer will be outraged.  The man did admits to trying to rape Mrs. Gordon, the last victim and Hotch wants to make sure the media saw him being brought in.  Garcia is ready to trace the call when the real killer calls in, and we get a shot of a man sitting in the dark with a beer, watching the news.  He crushes his beer in an outrage, and a woman yells for the man to turn the news down.

The team waits for him to call in, and he’s outraged when he calls in.  He claims that he’s going to kill another tomorrow and hangs up.  Garcia didn’t get the trace, and is confused.  The team is at a loss.  The team stakes out the last place he watched.  Reid and Morgan are sitting down the block. 

They go back into the house, and Gideon makes the realization that they are facing the windows at the time of their deaths so they’ll see him after.  They think that he’s a phone technician and the reason that he couldn’t be traced was because he ran the call through 25 different substations.

At another house, a woman is getting juice for her child.  She turns and an unknown man is feeding the child.  Reid and Morgan go to the company to figure out where the technician is.  But inside the home, the man is preparing to rape and murder the woman.  The rest of the team is trying to figure out where the next victim is.  Gideon finds a gate open and follows it to a home where the child is crying in his highchair.  He goes up the stairs without backup to the bedroom.  Inside the man has her on the bed and is threatening to shoot her. 

Gideon tells him he won’t, or he’ll make sure the world forgets about him.  The killer’s name is Franklin Graney, and he tells him that if he hands himself over, he’ll tell everyone who the Tommy Killer is.  Hotch and Elle are backup, coming up the stairs.  Graney puts the gun on the bed, and Hotch and Elle come in, with Hotch cuffing him. 

On the plane back, Gideon gives Reid a present.  It’s tickets to the Redskins.  The VIP box.  Reid admits that he didn’t know it was a football game.  He asks if he’ll go with him and he says no, but there is a Redskins fan on the plane.  It’s JJ. Spencer finishes the match, calling checkmate on Gideon before heading over to JJ with the tickets in his pocket.  

Guest Cast[]

Referenced Criminals[]


  • "Respect" by Aretha Franklin
  • "Doctor My Eyes" by Jackson Browne

Bookend Quotes[]

  • Jason Gideon: French poet Jacques Rigaut said, "Don't forget that I cannot see myself, that my role is limited to being the one who looks in the mirror."
  • Jason Gideon: Rose Kennedy once said, "Birds sing after a storm. Why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them?"


  1. Credited as "Clerical Agent"
Criminal Minds Episodes