Top 10 Most Heroic Moments on Criminal Minds
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Heroic Moments on Criminal Minds.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the bravest feats committed by profilers and victims alike. Since we’re discussing major plot points for the show, this is your spoiler warning.
Who’s your favorite hero from the BAU? Let us know in the comments.
#10: JJ Gets Through to a Serial Killer
“The Longest Night”
Before she became an FBI profiler, Jennifer “JJ” Jareau was the BAU’s Communications Liaison. She’s skilled at handling the media and local officials. But when the team went to Los Angeles to catch serial killer Billy Flynn, the Prince of Darkness, JJ’s thrown into a terrifying position – hostage negotiator. After spending hours securing a way to contact Flynn over the radio, it’s up to her to get him to release Ellie, the daughter of a recent victim. Given all the heinous acts he’s committed, trying to see Flynn as sympathetic is impossible. But JJ’s honesty and maternal nature convince him to ultimately let Ellie go free. Despite being scared and out of her element, JJ kept her cool under pressure and saved a life.
#9: Moms, Bombs, & Bankrobbers
“Hit” & “Run”
There’s more than one hero in this intense season 7 two-parter. It all begins with JJ’s boyfriend, Will, who is also a detective, responding to a bank robbery-turned-hostage situation. After innocent people are killed, he enters the bank unarmed. Lives are saved but he takes a bullet and later ends up strapped to a bomb. Emily Prentiss finds him and ignores his warnings to get away, determined to disarm the device. She succeeds only for another countdown to appear but she manages to stop that one too… at literally the last second. Meanwhile, JJ delivers a serious beatdown to one of the bank robbers who has her and Will’s son, Henry. Without hesitation, all three sacrificed themselves for others, strangers and family alike.
#8: Garcia Saves a Member of Her Support Group
As a tech analyst, Penelope Garcia provides the BAU with vital information and a positive attitude to brighten the dark days. On the rare occasions she joins the team in the field, she goes above and beyond what her job entails, like comforting a dying victim during his last moments. And Garcia doesn’t stop being a savior when she’s off the clock either. This kind soul runs a support group to help people work through grief and trauma. When one member, Monica, disappears with fellow member Bill, who abducted her daughter years ago, Garcia immediately calls the team and works tirelessly to rescue her. She may be an upbeat computer genius but Penelope Garcia is also a guardian angel to those she cares about.
#7: Kristy Helps Save Her Co-Workers
The BAU finds themselves in yet another hostage situation and this one is personal for SSA Matt Simmons. His wife Kristy’s law firm gets taken over by three armed young men. SWAT and the FBI are unable to see in the office, making it difficult to properly assess the situation. Thinking fast, Kristy sets up a cell phone to give them eyes on the unsubs and make a plan of action. After Matt finally gets the ringleader in his grasp, he almost lets his rage get the best of him. But Kristy stops him from becoming a killer himself. Matt and the team may have done the heavy lifting but Kristy put her life on the line and came in with the assist.
#6: A Boy Helps His Sister Escape Their Captor
“Into the Woods”
On “Criminal Minds,” heroics aren’t just for the adults. Young victims have risked their lives to save others, like when Gina Bryant ran away from a kidnapper to get help for the two other women she was held captive with. Another young hero is Robert Brooks who, along with his little sister Ana, was abducted on the Appalachian Trail while camping with their parents. When they’re in captivity, he tries to assure her that they’ll be rescued soon. After Robert finds out what the man is capable of, he tells Ana to make a run for it while he stays behind. Fortunately, brother and sister are both saved in the end. But it’s Robert’s selfless act that made their rescue possible.
#5: Seaver Uses Her Past Trauma to Talk Down a Serial Killer
“What Happens at Home”
In season 6, the BAU recruited FBI cadet Ashley Seaver for a specific case involving murders in a small community. However, she wasn’t picked for her talent or hard work. She grew up with a father who was a serial killer, meaning she knows firsthand how well a violent person can hide in plain sight. Seaver breaks protocol and finds herself in the home of the murderer. He pulls a knife on her but instead of panicking, she calmly tells him not to spare her life but to spare his daughter the trauma of witnessing him kill someone. Disobeying an order isn’t exactly wise. But in doing so, Seaver proved she’s a fearless protector and worthy of an official spot on the team.
#4: Reid Shoots an Unsub
Dr. Spencer Reid is the freakishly intelligent boy wonder of the BAU. He may not be the strongest physically but, with his ability to analyze and communicate with serial killers, he can get out of a dangerous situation with just his words. Although, he’s also been known to literally put himself in the line of fire. Reid begins this season 1 episode unable to pass his firearms qualification, but he’s put to the ultimate test when he and Hotch lose the upper hand with an unsub. While he’s unaware of Hotch’s plan, Reid swiftly grabs Hotch’s hidden gun and shoots the killer, saving their lives and the hostages. Just one of the first in his long list of courageous acts.
#3: Young Prisoners Protect a New Girl
While at a winter festival with her family, Aimee Lynch is taken by Roger and Anita Roycewood, a couple who’ve been abducting kids for years. In their house of horrors, Aimee meets Charlie, Stephen, and Mae, who are dubbed her new “brothers” and “sister.” Each one risks being punished, or worse, trying to protect the young girl from the Roycewoods. To show kindness and put themselves in harm’s way for a total stranger is the definition of being heroes. The episode has a relatively happy ending with some of the long-missing children being reunited with their parents. Tragically, though, Stephen doesn’t survive Anita’s wrath after he defies her.
#2: JJ Runs Into a Burning Warehouse
No one would ever question the heroism of SSA Jennifer Jareau. But after she’s unable to save one victim, she starts to doubt herself. A string of child abductions brings the BAU to Los Angeles. While there, Francesca Morales goes missing, and not long after, so does her younger brother Roberto. The team connects the crimes to serial arsonist John David Bates who also kidnapped his older sister, restraining all three of them in a warehouse and setting it on fire. JJ and Luke free Bates’ sister and Roberto but are unable to reach Francesca before the building explodes. Despite rescuing two people from a blazing fire, the harrowing case leaves JJ feeling guilty for failing to save them all. Heroes have bad days, too.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Reid Empathizes with a Young Unsub, “Elephant’s Memory”
An Admirable but Reckless Strategy
Garcia Defends Reid, “Demons”
Even Though She Deplores Violence, She’s Forced to Shoot an Unsub Trying to Kill Reid
Kevin Lynch Assists the BAU, “Penelope”
Garcia’s Temporary Replacement Helps Catch Her Shooter
Rossi Closes a Decades-Long Cold Case, “Damaged”
The Veteran Profiler Gives Three Victims Closure & a Fresh Start
Reid Protects Morgan from Anthrax Exposure, “Amplification”
Bravely Enduring a Life-Threatening Scenario on His Own
#1: Morgan Gets Rid of a Bomb
This season 4 premiere picks up right where season 3 left off. The team is in New York during a series of seemingly random shootings around the city. They don’t realize this group is ramping up to a bomb attack until it’s too late. With years of bomb squad experience under his belt, Derek Morgan doesn’t hesitate to use his expertise to diffuse the threat, even if it means just holding someone’s hand. In this case, Morgan takes it upon himself to drive the ambulance rigged with a bomb as far away as possible to minimize destruction and deaths. It’s a close call but our hero prevails. All in a day’s work.