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"Won't Get Fooled Again" is the third episode of Season One of Criminal Minds.


Gideon and the BAU go to Palm Beach to investigate a serial bomber who turns out to be a copycat of Adrian Bale, a bomber responsible for murdering six FBI agents.

Full Summary[]

In Palm Beach Florida a man is taking a package to his car.  Another man approaches him and is upset.  He puts the package on top of his car.  They argue about when they will talk before Joe walks away.  Gil, the man with the package grabs it and an explosion occurs.  Joe is knocked to the ground, and Gil’s foot is blown off.  Gil is screaming. 

In Quantico, Gideon and Hotchner are talking about the case. Mercury activated pipe bombs in packages that are hand delivered because they are too delicate to be sent through the mail.  JJ turns on the news and while they are talking about it another bomb goes off. They agree to meet at the air strip in twenty minutes.

Morgan volunteers to stay behind, and when Hotchner asks him about it, he admits his wariness due to the bombing incident Gideon was last involved in that got other agents killed.  While the rest of the team goes to Palm Beach, Derek waits for the bomb so he can put it back together; explaining the background of bombs to Garcia. 

Hotchner and Elle are at Clerman’s house, looking into him.  They find The Anarchist’s Companion as well as other bomb making materials in his garage.  Gideon and Reid are interviewing Gil at the hospital.  Gil says that the package he’d expected was a pot for a plant as he collects Orchids.  Gideon rules him out as the bomb maker.

Back at Quantico, Morgan is almost finished putting the bomb back together but doesn’t know where the last few pieces go, and worries as it could be part of the maker’s signature.  He teaches Garcia more about bombs, and she finds the missing piece, and that it’s the same signature as Adrian Bale, a man doing life in prison.  Also, the same man who had caused the blast that killed the agents under Gideon’s control.

They give their profile to the cops, and Gideon says that he’s going to the prison to talk to Bale.  JJ sets up a press conference, while Hotchner gets a deal from Holloway, the assistant director, saying that they may have to make a deal with Bale, despite Hotchner’s objections.

Bale is being visited by Gideon.  He tells him that the bomber is using his bombs and designs.  Bale taunts Gideon, saying that he’s pulled the wool over his eyes before, but Gideon’s taunts in return don’t get the rise out of him that he wants.  Instead, Gideon is taunted even more, as we get the idea of exactly what happened six months prior.  Gideon overlooked all the classic signs of Bale’s homicidal triad sending in six agents before he was searched.  He had the remote and killed the six agents plus the hostage while turning himself in.

While the press conference is going on, we go to a family.  The little girl goes outside and gets the package, pointing out that it’s brown with blue letters.  The mother is in horror as she realizes it’s a bomb. They call the bomb squad and get the package without incident.

Elle and Hotchner talk about the case, and any possible connections, and she says that there is a possible connection with some fraudulent coins. Meanwhile, Reid stayed behind to monitor Bale and finds out that he’s getting around the prison’s firewall. He and Garcia send him a virus that will log his keystrokes.  They find out he’s logging onto a bomb enthusiast message board, where he warns the bomb maker.

We see an unknown man preparing a bomb and a collar.  One of the people on the message boards is an antiquities dealer. Elle is already there as he’s the connection for the coins.  As Hotchner calls Elle and tells her that David Walker is the unsub, the garage door opens, and Walker runs his wife over, before driving off. 

Hotchner arrives and he and Elle check out the garage.  There was a machine for electroplating where he’s forging coins, as well as news articles for Bale, and bomb making materials.  Back at the police station, they talk about Walker and how most of his stuff was a forgery.

A man suddenly enters the station with a bomb attached to his chest.  He tells him how the bomb maker strapped a bomb to him and once he gets a helicopter and passport they will get instructions on how to diffuse the bomb. 

SWAT is called in, and they set up along the perimeter of a building where Walker is hiding out across the street.  Hotchner, Elle, and a few officers head to where Walker is.  Hotchner opens the door, and it’s a supply closet with no direct line of sight.  He pulls out a mirror and looks in, seeing nothing.  He announces himself with no response.  When he turns in, Walker is cowering beneath boxes.  He demands he shows himself, and Walker says his hands are on the remote.

Morgan calls Gideon, as there was another message on the board from Bale, informing him to not let the team catch him.  Gideon realizes that it’s a trap, and calls on the radio.  The team runs and the bomb explodes, killing Walker. With Walker dead, Gideon calls the prison, and they bring Bale to him. Bale wants an apology to the victims, a different cell at a cushier prison, admittance that he’s better than Gideon and bested him, and wants it all in writing, and in exchange he’ll tell him how to diffuse the bomb.

He signs the deal and goes over what happened that day, then they are brought out to the hostage, where the bomb team member is asking whether to cut red or blue.  Bale says red.  He reminds him of their deal, and Bale insists that it’s the red wire, but he tells him t cut the blue.  Gideon knows it’s a trick, and the blue wire is cut.  The clock stops.  Hotchner pulls him out of the room, and Elle asks how he knew that Bale was lying. Gideon says he knew that he was lying, as given the opportunity it would be too good to pass up the chance again.

In jail, when escorting Bale back to his cell, Gideon says that it’s an emotional release knowing that he put Bale in there, and that he informed all the other inmates of Bale’s ‘willingness’ to help the BAU.

Guest Cast[]

Referenced Criminals[]


  • "The Night We Nearly Got Busted" by Alabama 3

Bookend Quotes[]

  • Jason Gideon: Samuel Johnson wrote, "Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble."


  • The title of this episode is an allusion to the song of the same name by the British rock band The Who, which criticizes revolution and power.
    • It is also used as a theme song for another crime procedural, CSI: Miami. 


  1. Credited as "Assistant Director FBI"

Criminal Minds Episodes