Criminal Minds Wiki

"Zugzwang" is the twelfth episode of Season Eight and the 174th overall of Criminal Minds.


When Reid discovers that his girlfriend has been abducted by her stalker, he and the BAU band together to find and rescue her before it is too late.

Guest Cast

Referenced Criminals


  • "Infinity Street" by Richard Walters

Bookend Quotes

  • Spencer Reid: "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." — Lao Tzu
  • Maeve Donovan: "Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone; we find it with another." — Thomas Merton


  • The term zugzwang in chess is a German word for "compulsion to move," which refers to when one player is at a disadvantage due to having to move a piece even though any move will give the other player an advantage. It has also been adapted for usage in a situation in which someone is forced to make a decision, especially an uncomfortable one in which the person must lose something.
  • This is the 4th of 9 episodes in which a non-BAU/ guest cast character, Maeve Donovan, recites a bookend quote. The other episodes are:

Criminal Minds Episodes