Criminal Minds Wiki

Season Twelve is the twelfth season of Criminal Minds. It ran from September 28, 2016 to May 10, 2017. It was released on DVD on September 5th, 2017.


Season Twelve received 10.860 million viewers and a 2.4 score in the A18-49 demo on CBS. The series premiere received 8.92 million U.S. viewers, while the season finale drew 8.12 million U.S. views.



Image Title Airdate Writer Director Season Episode Series Episode
1201 THE CRIMSON KING.jpg "The Crimson King" September 28, 2016 Breen Frazier Glenn Kershaw 1 256
Agent Luke Alvez joins the BAU team as they are tasked with capturing a serial killer in Tempe, Arizona, who escaped from prison with twelve other convicts.
1202 SICK DAY.jpg "Sick Day" October 5, 2016 Virgil Williams Larry Teng 2 257
Arriving home following a child abduction case in Los Angeles, painful memories resurface for a shaken JJ, who breaks down and recounts the story to her husband.
1203 TABOO.jpg "Taboo" October 12, 2016 Karen Maser Alec Smight 3 258
With Emily Prentiss having rejoined the team, the BAU investigates the discoveries of two dead women in Florida and realize they are looking for a killer with a peculiar disposal method.
1204 KEEPER.jpg "Keeper" October 26, 2016 Bruce Zimmerman Sharat Raju 4 259
The BAU travels to the Appalachian Trail in rural Virginia in search of a serial killer who is operating along that route. Meanwhile, Reid is faced with a dilemma regarding his mother.
1205 THE ANTI-TERRORISM SQUAD.jpg "The Anti-Terrorism Squad" November 9, 2016 Stephanie SenGupta Tawnia McKiernan 5 260
The BAU is called to investigate the murders of two families in Minnesota, with one person being left alive for both attacks. As the team delves further into the investigation, they discover a startling link between both survivors, which could provide a motive for the killings.
1206 ELLIOTT'S POND.jpg "Elliott's Pond" November 16, 2016 Erica Messer Matthew Gray Gubler 6 261
The BAU is called to investigate the strange disappearance of three Delaware children who were out riding their bicycles, and suspect it might be connected to an unsolved disappearance that occurred over thirty years ago. Meanwhile, the team receives a startling update on Hotch's absence, and Prentiss is faced with a stunning decision.
1207 MIRROR IMAGE.jpg "Mirror Image" November 30, 2016 Breen Frazier Joe Mantegna 7 262
When a man claiming to be Lewis' brother reveals that he knows secrets about the family, the BAU investigates the whereabouts of her actual brother, who Lewis had lost contact with.
1208 SCARECROW.jpg "Scarecrow" December 7, 2016 Karen Maser Christoph Schrewe 8 263
When the remains of twelve people are found lying on the bed of a creek, the BAU travels to Yakima, Washington, to find the killer before he kills someone else. Also, experienced profiler Stephen Walker from the Behavioral Analysis Program joins the BAU.
1209 PROFILING 202.jpg "Profiling 202" January 4, 2017 Virgil Williams Rob Bailey 9 264
While Rossi is teaching a profiling class with Prentiss and Stephen, he receives a phone call that leads him to believe that someone from his past has returned.
1210 SEEK AND DESTROY.jpg "Seek and Destroy" January 11, 2017 Erik Stiller Diana Valentine 10 265
The BAU is called to San Diego to investigate a string of deadly home invasions that are occurring in upscale neighborhoods, and suspect the crimes are being committed by a gang.
1211 SURFACE TENSION.jpg "Surface Tension" February 1, 2017 Bruce Zimmerman Oz Scott 11 266
The BAU is called to Tampa, Florida, to investigate when bizarre hieroglyphs are found on the bodies of suicide victims, and realize they are dealing with a very unusual killer. Meanwhile, Reid decides to take his mother out of a clinical study early to bring her home with him.
1212 A GOOD HUSBAND.jpg "A Good Husband" February 8, 2017 Jim Clemente Laura Belsey 12 267
The BAU is called to Palm Springs, California, to investigate the discovery of heavily damaged male bodies. Meanwhile, Reid struggles with juggling between the demands of his job and caring for his mother.
1213 SPENCER.jpg "Spencer" February 15, 2017 Erica Messer and Kirsten Vangsness Glenn Kershaw 13 268
The BAU teams up with the International Response Team when one of their own gets involved with a disturbance in Mexico.
1214 COLLISION COURSE.jpg "Collision Course" February 22, 2017 Stephanie SenGupta Alec Smight 14 269
The BAU is sent to investigate the cause of a rising uptick in deadly car crashes involving drivers and pedestrians in Bradenton, Florida. Also, Reid receives some bad news.
1215 ALPHA MALE.jpg "Alpha Male" March 1, 2017 Karen Maser Rob Bailey 15 270
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.
1216 ASSISTANCE IS FUTILE.jpg "Assistance Is Futile" March 15, 2017 Virgil Williams Leon Ichaso 16 271
When a mother suspects that someone close to her is an unsub, she turns to the BAU for assistance. Also, Reid begins to adapt to prison life in order to survive.
1217 IN THE DARK.jpg "In the Dark" March 22, 2017 Dania Bennett Diana Valentine 17 272
While investigating a series of murders taking place both day and night in Burlington, Vermont, the BAU comes to believe it is the work of two serial killers with drastically different M.O.s who are operating simultaneously. Also, the team worries about Reid's safety in prison.
1218 HELL'S KITCHEN.jpg "Hell's Kitchen" March 29, 2017 Erica Messer Simon Mirren 18 273
The BAU is called to New York to find an unsub who abducts his victims and keeps them in the sewers. Also, Reid makes a decision that will affect his interactions with the other prisoners.
1219 TRUE NORTH.jpg "True North" April 5, 2017 Bruce Zimmerman Joe Mantegna 19 274
The BAU travels to Arizona when the bodies of three people are found tethered onto stakes. Meanwhile, Lewis receives a shocking revelation from Reid while visiting him in prison.
1220 UNFORGETTABLE.jpg "Unforgettable" April 26, 2017 Stephanie SenGupta Carlos Bernard 20 275
When a friend of Stephen's is among several federal government employees to die of apparent heart attacks, the BAU investigate to see if there is more to their deaths. Also, Reid begins to worry about his trial.
1221 GREEN LIGHT.jpg "Green Light" May 3, 2017 Erik Stiller Alec Smight 21 276
When Reid's mother mysteriously disappears, he asks the BAU to investigate if she was abducted while he remains in prison.
1222 RED LIGHT.jpg "Red Light" May 10, 2017 Breen Frazier Glenn Kershaw 22 277
Caught in an impossible situation, Reid must face an old nemesis. Meanwhile, Derek Morgan comes to the BAU with a lead that might help them find Mr. Scratch.


The first half of the season predominantly focused on the BAU tracking down and recapturing thirteen serial killers, who all escaped from prisons across the U.S. during the events of last season's finale The Storm. The team particularly focused their efforts on serial killer by proxy Peter Lewis.

Two new agents were introduced in this season as main characters. One replaced Derek Morgan, who was written out of the show last season, due to Shemar Moore's decision to leave. Showrunner Erica Messer clarified that the team will continue to cope with Morgan's departure and that this will initially affect their relationship with the new agent. The character, Agent Luke Alvez, is portrayed by Adam Rodriguez, introduced in the premiere episode, and was previously a member of the FBI Fugitive Task Force. The second new agent is Stephen Walker, who is portrayed by Damon Gupton and was previously a member of the Behavioral Analysis Program, the FBI's counterintelligence division; he was introduced in the eighth episode.

On August 11, 2016, it was announced that Thomas Gibson, who portrays Hotch, was suspended from the show for two weeks after an altercation between him and episode writer Virgil Williams, which involved Gibson allegedly kicking Williams. The following day, CBS announced that Gibson's contract with the show had been terminated. His absence was written into the season, in a subplot which involved the character being selected for temporary duty (TDY). It was later revealed Hotch and his son Jack had entered witness protection because of the threat posed by Peter Lewis' escape. He still appeared in the season's first two episodes as Gibson already completed filming his scenes for them.

Paget Brewster reprised her role as Emily Prentiss as a series regular, filling the void left by Thomas Gibson's dismissal. In addition, Aisha Tyler reprised her role as Doctor Tara Lewis, filling another series regular role. Lewis had appeared as a recurring character introduced in the previous season.

Jane Lynch reprised her role as Reid's mother Diana for the season's eleventh, twentieth, and twenty-second episodes, all for what Erica Messer described as "a fun, Reid-heavy story-arc", which was dealt with in the season's last nine episodes. It also featured the return of another unsub from the past. Lost alum Harold Perrineau guest-starred as a recurring character, former FBI agent Calvin Shaw, who was found guilty of killing an informant; Perrineau's character was integral to this arc. Tatum O'Neal guest-starred in the sixteenth episode as Miranda White, a mother who suspects her son of being a serial killer. The episode was described by Rodriguez as "the most gruesome episode" he has ever seen.

Shemar Moore reprised his role as Derek Morgan in the season finale, where he brings in a lead that could be instrumental for the team in bringing down Peter Lewis. The season ended on a cliffhanger (the first since Season Five), when the BAU suffered a vehicular ambush committed by Peter, with the fates of many of the team members unknown.

Opening Credits


Criminal Minds - Season 12 (Opening Credits)

Season 12 Opening Credits Version 1
Aisha Tyler returns as Dr. Tara Lewis and Adam Rodriguez joins as Luke Alvez