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Season Seven is the seventh season of Criminal Minds. It ran from September 21, 2011 to May 16, 2012. It was released on DVD on September 4, 2012.


Season Seven received 13.196 million viewers and a 3.7 score in the A18-49 demo on CBS. The first episode received 14.14 million U.S. viewers, while the last episode drew 13.68 million U.S. views.



Image Title Airdate Writer Director Season Episode Series Episode
701 IT TAKES A VILLAGE.jpg "It Takes a Village" September 21, 2011 Erica Messer Glenn Kershaw 1 139
The members of the BAU are individually questioned by a Senate Committee for their retaliatory actions following the assumed death and disappearance of Emily Prentiss.
702 PROOF.jpg "Proof" September 28, 2011 Janine Sherman Barrois Karen Gaviola 2 140
The BAU is called to rural Oklahoma when a serial killer begins torturing and murdering a certain type of women. Meanwhile, Reid treats JJ and Prentiss with deliberate disregard as he tries to deal with their deception regarding Prentiss's fake death.
703 DORADO FALLS.jpg "Dorado Falls" October 5, 2011 Sharon Lee Watson Félix Enríquez Alcalá 3 141
Investigation into a mass murder at a new Internet security company in Charlottesville, Virginia, reveals the butchery is not the work of a typical workplace shooter. Meanwhile, Morgan oversees Prentiss's requisite re-certification training.
704 PAINLESS.jpg "Painless" October 12, 2011 Breen Frazier Larry Teng 4 142
Survivors of a Boise high school massacre return to remember the event ten years later, but the BAU is called in when a serial killer with a similar M.O. targets the survivors. Also, Hotch is worried that his son, Jack, may be a victim of school bullying, while Morgan and Reid engage in a prank war.
705 FROM CHILDHOOD'S HOUR.jpg "From Childhood's Hour" October 19, 2011 Bruce Zimmerman Anna Foerster 5 143
The BAU travels to St. Louis to investigate the disappearances of young children who have troubled mothers. Meanwhile, Rossi reconnects with his first wife Carolyn, who brings him disturbing news.
706 EPILOGUE.jpg "Epilogue" November 2, 2011 Rick Dunkle Guy Ferland 6 144
The BAU search California's Angeles National Forest after a number of bodies mysteriously turn up in the mountain lakes there. Also, Rossi struggles with an agonizing decision regarding his ex-wife.
707. THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME.jpg "There's No Place Like Home" November 9, 2011 Virgil Williams Rob Spera 7 145
When a series of tornadoes plague Kansas, the BAU is called in to investigate bodies of teenage boys that turn up in Wichita in the aftermath of the storms. Also, work pressures cause tension on JJ's home front.
708 HOPE.jpg "Hope" November 16, 2011 Kimberly Ann Harrison Michael Watkins 8 146
It's personal for Garcia when a member of her support group goes missing on the seventh anniversary of her daughter's abduction, and she asks the rest of the BAU for help in finding her.
709 SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY.jpg "Self-Fulfilling Prophecy" December 7, 2011 Erica Messer Charles Haid 9 147
When a small group of military academy youths commit a mass suicide, the BAU looks into the real reasons behind their actions. Meanwhile, Hotch and Morgan butt heads when a team member jeopardizes the case.
710 THE BITTERSWEET SCIENCE.jpg "The Bittersweet Science" December 14, 2011 Janine Sherman Barrois Rob Hardy 10 148
The BAU investigates a spree killer in Philadelphia and is led to the city's boxing scene in search of the unsub. Also, Hotch makes a connection with an attractive runner as they both train for a triathlon.
711. TRUE GENIUS.jpg "True Genius" January 18, 2012 Sharon Lee Watson Glenn Kershaw 11 149
The BAU travels to San Francisco when a series of murders leads the team to believe the possibility that the elusive "Zodiac Killer" might have returned. Meanwhile, Reid contemplates his own genius capabilities after he and Prentiss attend a seminar on violent crime hosted by the crime novelist Patricia Cornwell.
712 UNKNOWN SUBJECT.jpg "Unknown Subject" January 25, 2012 Breen Frazier Michael Lange 12 150
The BAU searches for a serial rapist in Houston known as "The Piano Man" who has resurfaced and is attacking his previous victims. Meanwhile, Prentiss begins to deal with the traumatic experience caused by Ian Doyle after returning to the BAU.
713 SNAKE EYES.jpg "Snake Eyes" February 8, 2012 Bruce Zimmerman Doug Aarniokoski 13 151
The BAU is called over to Atlantic City to investigate a series of ritualistic, casino-related murders. Meanwhile, Garcia becomes concerned about her relationship with Kevin Lynch after the pair have a spat and she finds Morgan in her apartment dressed only in a towel.
714 CLOSING TIME.jpg "Closing Time" February 15, 2012 Rick Dunkle Jesse Warn 14 152
The BAU investigates the discovery of three male bodies hidden in a lifeguard tower along the beach of the southern California coastline. Meanwhile, Hotch asks Beth out on a date.
714 A THIN LINE.jpg "A Thin Line" February 22, 2012 Virgil Williams Michael Watkins 15 153
When the BAU investigates a series of brutal home invasions and murders in the Inland Empire of southern California that appear to be related to gangs, the investigation uncovers a more sinister motive for the crimes. Meanwhile, Morgan and Prentiss have conflicting opinions after an FBI inductee training session ends on a low note.
716 A FAMILY AFFAIR.jpg "A Family Affair" February 29, 2012 Kimberly Ann Harrison Rob Spera 16 154
When the BAU travels to Atlanta to investigate the murders of women, the clues lead them to look for an unsub who is not working alone.
717 I Love You, Tommy Brown.jpg "I Love You, Tommy Brown" March 14, 2012 Janine Sherman Barrois John Terlesky 17 155
When a spree killer targets married couples fostering young children in Seattle, the BAU discovers that a natural instinct is motivating the unsub. Meanwhile, Garcia fears a possible proposition from Kevin.
718 Foundation.jpg "Foundation" March 21, 2012 Jim Clemente Dermott Downs 18 156
When a scared, emaciated young boy is found in the Arizona desert and another boy goes missing, the BAU begins searching for the abductor as Morgan, reaching into his own scarred past, tries to bond with the found child.
719 HEATHRIDGE MANOR.jpg "Heathridge Manor" April 4, 2012 Sharon Lee Watson Matthew Gray Gubler 19 157
When an Oregon woman is found dead in an asylum, the BAU realizes that the victim is part of a series of gothic, ritualistic murders and the unsub might be a Satanist.
720 THE COMPANY.jpg "The Company" April 11, 2012 Breen Frazier Nelson McCormick 20 158
When Morgan's sister sees a woman who resembles their presumed-dead cousin, it forces him to confront a lie he told his aunt last year to provide closure and compels the BAU to reopen the case of her disappearance.
712 DIVINING ROD.jpg "Divining Rod" May 2, 2012 Bruce Zimmerman Doug Aarniokoski 21 159
After a notorious serial killer is executed, a copycat begins murdering women in the same Oklahoma town and in the same fashion, and the BAU must act fast before more victims are found. At the same time, Prentiss gets nervous at the thought of a major real-estate purchase.
722 PROFILING 101.jpg "Profiling 101" May 9, 2012 Virgil Williams Félix Enríquez Alcalá 22 160
The BAU present one of the longest-tenured serial killer cases to an undergraduate Criminology college class, and they take the class through a seventeen-year-long chase for the murderer. Meanwhile, Rossi deals with personal demons concerning the case.
723 HIT.jpg "Hit" May 16, 2012 Rick Dunkle Michael Lange 23 161
When a gang of lethal bank robbers initiates its latest robbery in Washington, D.C., the BAU attempts to negotiate the unfolding hostage situation when the robbery turns south. The stakes begin to rise when one of their own earns the wrath of one of the bank robbers and later becomes a hostage.
724 RUN.jpg "Run" May 16, 2012 Erica Messer Glenn Kershaw 24 162
As the BAU continues to pursue the bank robbers, the team determines that the suspects have a bigger target at D.C., and with one of the team still a hostage, they must work quickly to defuse an explosive situation. Also, wedding bells ring for one of the BAU, and Prentiss ponders over her future when an old acquaintance of hers makes her an enticing offer.


Season Seven explained the return of Jennifer "JJ" Jareau and brings back Emily Prentiss to the BAU. Some details have been revealed by the time of "It Takes a Village", such as that JJ received a promotion to Supervisory Special Agent and that Morgan's summer work led him to discover that Prentiss is alive.[1] The storyline with Ian Doyle is also concluded in It Takes a Village.

Throughout the season, more details of the agents' outside work were revealed, including the meeting one of Rossi's ex-wives[2] and JJ's home life, where Josh Stewart returned as William LaMontagne, Jr. and A.J. Cook's son Mekhai Andersen continued to play JJ's son Henry. Several prominent cases are investigated, including an office massacre, apparent tornado victims, a copycat of the infamous Zodiac Killer, a serial rapist, and a series of brutal home invasions and murders. At the end of the season, the BAU faces off against a gang of murderous bank robbers with an ulterior, more destructive goal in a two-part finale. In these same episodes, Prentiss departed the show once again, not returning until the Season Twelve episode "Taboo".

DVD Special Features

  • Mind's Eye
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scenes