Criminal Minds Wiki

"Surface Tension" is the eleventh episode of Season Twelve and the 266th overall of Criminal Minds.


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.

Guest Cast


Bookend Quotes

  • Spencer Reid: "We must remember that Satan has his miracles, too." – John Calvin
  • Spencer Reid: "Time moves in one direction, memory in another." – William Gibson


  • Surface tension is the elastic tendency of a liquid's surface, which is caused by the attraction of particles residing in the surface layer to other particles residing in the same layer. This results in a minimized surface area and allows insects that are denser than the liquid to float and walk on its surface.
  • The aerial shot of Tampa, Florida, featured in the episode is actually an aerial shot of Orlando, Florida.

Criminal Minds Episodes