Criminal Minds Wiki

"The Stranger" is the twenty-first episode of Season Six and the 135th overall of Criminal Minds.


The BAU hunts a serial killer in San Diego who is stalking and murdering college students. Meanwhile, the team comes under the scrutiny of Strauss in the wake of losing Prentiss.

Guest Cast[]

  • Bryn Abbott - Michelle Weston
  • Jayne Atkinson - FBI Section Chief Director Erin Strauss
  • Adam Bartley - Movie Buff #2
  • Jill Carr - Medic
  • Dallas Clark - Officer Austin Kent
  • Derri Dias - Clerk
  • Mark Elias - Movie Buff #1
  • Robert Esser - Carl Phinney
  • Helen Highfield - Laurie Burgin
  • Sophie Kargman - Lily Droubay
  • Jen Kuhn - Amy Ellison
  • Rae Latt - Rosemary Jenkins
  • Ariel Lazarus - Natalie Wallace
  • Yuri Lowenthal - Jake Ellison
  • Heather Mazur - Kate Phinney
  • Jennifer De Minco - Monica Shanley
  • Bruno Oliver - Doctor Ray Mathis
  • Michael Raynor - Detective Bryce Harding
  • Chad Todhunter - Greg Phinney
  • Nick Toren - Bob Jenkins
  • Desary Vailencour - BAU Agent
  • Elizabeth Gwynne Wilson - Amber Lasko

Referenced Criminals[]


  • "Fire In Your New Shoes" by Kaskade Ft Dragonette

Bookend Quotes[]

  • Aaron Hotchner: Stephen King wrote, "Sometimes human places create inhuman monsters."
  • Ashley Seaver: "Every journey into the past is complicated by delusions, false memories, false namings of real events." Adrienne Rich


  • The episode's murder scenes and unsub's M.O. are similar to such depicted in slasher movies. Also, in the opening scene, Reid, Seaver, Morgan, and Garcia exit a movie theater after having finished watching a slasher movie called Slice 6. The same week that the episode aired, real-life slasher movie Scream 4 premiere. The Scream franchise also features a fictional slasher movie series called Stab, which was vaguely referenced by the Slice film. Coincidentally, Nelson McCormick, the director of the episode, has also directed two prominent slasher movies, Prom Night and The Stepfather.
    • The episode also shares many parallel similarities with the original Scream, which was mentioned in the episode.
  • The exterior of the movie theater Morgan, Reid, Garcia, and Seaver exit at the beginning of the episode appears to be made of footage from the opening scene of the Season Four episode "House on Fire", the difference being that the colors have been darkened and the billboard text has been changed. It's also interesting to note that both the episode's unsubs were serial arsonists.

Criminal Minds Episodes