Top 10 Saddest Criminal Minds Episodes

Top 10 Saddest Criminal Minds Episodes
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Cassondra Feltus
We're still haunted over the saddest "Criminal Minds" episodes. For this list, we'll be looking at BAU cases that continue to break our hearts. Our countdown includes "Ashes and Dust," "Seven Seconds," "Hope," and more!

Top 10 Saddest Criminal Minds Episodes

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Saddest “Criminal Minds” Episodes.

For this list, we’ll be looking at BAU cases that continue to break our hearts. Since we’ll be covering major plot points, a spoiler warning is now in effect.

What do YOU think is the saddest episode? Let us know in the comments.

#10: “Ashes and Dust”

This Season 2 episode begins with a family desperately trying to escape their house as it’s burning. It’s one of the show’s best openings but also one of the most visceral. Hotch and Prentiss go to speak to Mrs. Cutler, the only survivor of the fire. Covered in serious burns, she’s just minutes away from dying. Unfortunately, she has to relive the harrowing experience in order to help the BAU find the unsub. The woman’s cries for help and pleas to see her family are agonizing. Hotch sits with her as she takes her last breaths, leaving him and the audience grieving the deaths of this innocent family.

#9: “Lauren”

Emily Prentiss joined the BAU back in season two, quickly becoming a fan favorite as well as a dear friend to the team. In this episode, we learn about her past undercover work with Interpol, and her relationship with Ian Doyle. Now that Doyle has escaped a prison camp, he’s out for revenge. After he attacks her, she’s taken to the hospital as her life hangs on the line. Hotch tells the team that she died on the table, leaving everyone devastated. Of course, we know she’s not actually dead, and she later returns to the BAU. But seeing the team mourn her supposed death is still heartbreaking. This also marks Paget Brewster’s temporary absence from the show.

#8: “Sex, Birth, Death”

High schooler Nathan Harris approaches Reid near the subway, saying he attended one of his talks about sadists. He’s afraid of his own urges and dark thoughts, worried he’ll actually hurt someone one day. The team has dealt with a few unsubs who want to understand their own psychology. But for Nathan, he needs to know BEFORE he acts on them. The team discovers that Nathan isn’t the unsub-killing sex workers around D.C. However, it’s recommended that he’s hospitalized. At the end, the teenager attempts to take his own life, feeling that this is the only way to save others he may harm in the future. The late Anton Yelchin gives an unforgettable performance as a young man in fear of himself.

#7: “Hope”

Near the seventh anniversary of her daughter’s disappearance, Monica, a member of Garcia’s victim support group, goes missing. Bill, another member of the group, reveals that he is the one who abducted Hope. He promises to take Monica to her. Desperate to see her daughter again, she agrees to go with him. Later, he admits that he joined the support group after Hope took her own life in captivity. As if it wasn’t twisted enough that he kidnapped a child, Bill lures Monica with plans to “create” another Hope. While at Bill’s house, she’s faced with Hope’s life as a prisoner, and eventually finds her body. Seeing a mother mentally tortured by her daughter’s captor is sickening to watch.

#6: “Seven Seconds”

This intense episode begins with a frantic search for six-year-old Katie Jacobs, who disappeared while at the mall with her family. Her parents are obviously distraught, but there’s something off about her aunt and uncle. The team searches the Jacobs’ home and finds evidence that Katie’s been hiding a terrible secret. When she’s found, medics have to revive her as the parents watch. Katie’s dad finds out his twin brother harmed his daughter, and that his sister-in-law almost killed her out of jealousy. Both Susan and Richard are arrested, leaving their son Jeremy without parents. By the end, an entire family is destroyed.

#5: “Zugzwang”

Many fans have a soft spot for Spencer Reid. So, when he began a romantic relationship with Maeve, we wanted all the happiness in the world for him. Because of Maeve’s stalker, the two only spoke covertly over the phone. But despite the distance between each other, their bond was strong. Sadly, the couple never actually meet face to face until they’re at the mercy of Maeve’s stalker, Diane. Reid does all he can to save her, but Diane shoots herself along with Maeve right in front of him. This scars Reid, and us, forever.

#4: “Profiler, Profiled”

Derek always appears tough and somewhat guarded. But when he’s accused of murdering young boys in his hometown of Chicago, he’s forced to open up to his team. When Derek was just a kid, his father (a cop) was killed while on duty. Growing up without a dad was difficult, but Carl Buford, a youth center director and football coach, stepped in to supposedly help out. To others, it looked like he did. But behind closed doors, Buford abused him. Now Derek learns that he’s done the same with other boys in the neighborhood. He confronts Buford in a powerful, vulnerable scene, leading to his arrest.

#3: “Revelations”

From witnessing the death of his girlfriend, to being framed and imprisoned for murder in Mexico, Spencer Reid has gone through hell. His first traumatic experience as a member of the BAU comes in Season 2 when he’s captured by an unsub with a dissociative identity disorder. Tobias Hankel’s two other personalities — Charles, his deceased father, and Raphael, an angel — torture Reid for “his sins.” Tobias himself empathizes with Reid, giving him Dilaudid to help with the pain. This causes Reid’s addiction to the drug long after he’s rescued by his team. Seeing him suffer physically, mentally, and emotionally for an entire episode is excruciating.

#2: “Mosley Lane”

Any case involving children is incredibly sad, and this one is up there with the worst. For almost a decade, Roger and Anita Roycewood abducted children from public places, including Charlie Hillridge. As a teen, Charlie is now forced to aid in the capture of others. However, he does what he can to help his “brothers and sisters.” When a little girl disappears from a festival, the team thinks it could be connected to Charlie’s case. Parents of other missing children gather at the BAU office while the team searches for the unsubs. Some are found, while others have been cremated in the Roycewood’s incinerator. Between the distraught parents and the terrified kidnap victims, this is undoubtedly one of the show’s most tragic episodes.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“The Caller”
When a Son Is Murdered, the Killer Taunts His Parents With Creepy Phone Calls

“The Tall Man”
JJ Learns What Led to Her Sister’s Death

Luke’s Best Friend Is Killed

“Lucky” & “Penelope”
Two-Episode Arc When Garcia Is Shot After a Date

“And In the End”
A Tearful Series Finale

#1: “100”

Arguably the worst unsub the BAU has ever faced is George Foyet (aka the Reaper). The serial killer returns after over a decade, when his “contract” with the Boston detective on his case. This was also one of Hotch’s first cases in the BAU. After he’s caught, he’s sent to jail, which he quickly escapes. Fearing for their safety, Hotch puts his ex-wife Haley and son Jack into witness protection. But in the show’s 100th episode, Foyet tracks them down. Hotch is on the phone with Haley when she realizes Foyet is going to kill her. Hotch and the whole team listen as Foyet shoots Haley. Seeing Hotch hold Haley’s lifeless body is one of, if not the most heart-wrenching scenes in the entire show.
How r u not going to put the season and episode number
Ur fucking stupid