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'Criminal Minds' fan recap: A stunning season finale

Season 10 | Episode 23 | “The Hunt” | Aired May 9, 2015

A new team member and hashtag criminals. Cults and sex clubs. Love letters to long-lost friends and the unforgettable Mr. Scratch. This season of Criminal Minds has been full of highs, lows, and everything in between. Tonight’s finale adds the drama we’ve been expecting since episode one: Kate’s niece (and surrogate daughter), her friend, and a very uncomfortable abduction.

The setup
The show opens where the last ep left off. Meg and her friend Markayla have entered a strange van. Thinking it’s their online boyfriend’s mom, Meg realizes something is up when they head in the wrong direction. After noticing the locked doors, Meg tried to type out a text before a man in the back lunges out and drugs the girls to sleep.

Garica and Kate try to track down the girls in the season finale of season 10 of Criminal Minds.

Meanwhile in the BAU, the team is chitchatting about the end of days when Kate gets a strange text. It reads “PEPPP” which is half of “PEPPER,” Meg’s panic code. Knowing Meg would only use it if her life was in danger, Kate calls Markayla’s mom to learn they have been duped. The girls are not where they said they would be.

The case
Now in full-on action mode, Kate asks Garcia to track the girls down. The search turns up empty. Their cell phones are off, and the last GPS check-in was at the library. All they have is a surveillance video of the van and a license plate which leads them nowhere.

What’s worse is that all the texts and emails have been deleted from online records. This leads the team to believe this wasn’t a random kidnapping. These girls were hunted over a period of time by professionals.

And the hits just keep on coming. After a fainting spell while talking with Chris, Kate is told to stay on bed rest. The torture of being idle while a maniac has her daughter must be excruciating!

Meg tries to settle down Markayla in the season finale of season 10 of Criminal Minds.

Meanwhile, Meg awakens to find herself and Markayla bound up in a bedroom. Two people, one woman (Peg) and one man (Kyle) have abducted them. Markayla starts to scream, but Meg hushes her. She has a plan and knows exactly what to do in this situation. It helps to have a BAU agent for a mom!

The investigation
As Meg takes charge of their desperate situation, Reid gets a hit: One of Meg’s classmates has a picture of the boy they went to meet. Once glance of the shot tells Kate everything she needs to know. She knows exactly who took her daughter.

Way back when, Kate worked on a case: the Torso Killer, a serial killer who used the same fake photo to seduce his prey, one of which was a jogger named Irene Banks. Targeting Meg wasn’t an accident. It’s a way to get back at Kate for getting too close during her investigation. The team now has a deeper fear: Meg is probably going to be sold via a human-trafficking ring.

Hotch gets down to business in the season finale of season 10 of Criminal Minds.

As the team continues to search, Kyle and Page meet up with Alex, the head of the trafficking ring. In the midst of the exchange, Meg distracts Kyle enough for Markayla to take off. A chase ensues, and Markayla escapes. This annoys Alex enough for him to kill Kyle for being a dummy. He neglects to mention Kyle’s death to Page.

The ramp-up
The search is taking a toll on both Kate and Chris. Kate is racked with guilt, but Chris tells her to stay strong, even as she gets sicker and sicker.

With their only link being the Torso Killer’s victim, the team examines the body of Irene. After discovering some inconsistencies, the truth dawns on the team. Meg isn’t in the hands of sex traffickers. She’s being sold to serial killers.

The bought and sold board on the season finale of season 10 of Criminal Minds.

Right on cue, Alex changes Meg’s hair color, takes some pictures, and before we know it, a creeper has purchased her for the low, low price of $25,000.

The team realizes this new wrinkle makes the search tougher. Everything will point them to the killer, not the ones who made the sale. Garcia starts the process by discovering the true identity of one of the site’s members: Marcus Townsen.

The team brings Marcus in, and after threatening to pin every unsolved murder in the state on him, gets access to his computer. Garcia dives in, finds the trafficking site, and discovers Meg has been sold. Time is running short!

The closing-in

The winning bidder receives his prize in the season finale of season 10 of Criminal Minds.

After making the delivery to the lucky winner, Alex goes home to find the BAU waiting for him. A brief scuffle ensues, and they arrest him along with Page. During interrogations, they quickly realize Page was probably a former victim of Alex’s who has “trauma bonded” with him. They also realize Kyle is Page’s son. JJ (via some fantastic acting) shows Page the photo of her dead son, killed by Alex. Page breaks down and gives up the name of Meg’s captor.

Now “hanging out” on a meat hook in our unsub’s basement, Meg stalls for time by appealing to his crazy side. Even as he shows off his briefcase of torture, she uses mind tricks to buy time. She’s a very brave, smart girl. The team barges in, JJ blows him away, and Meg is reunited with Kate.

Meg is reunited with Kate in the season finale of season 10 of Criminal Minds.

A few weeks later, Kate visits Hotch in his office. In a tearful moment, she tells Hotch how taking a year off to care for Meg was the best time of her life. She wants to do the same for her upcoming child. After handing in her resignation, Hotch assures Kate that she’ll always have a home in the BAU.

When Jennifer Love Hewitt was first announced as the new BAU team member, fans feared she’d take over the show. If anything, she faded into the background and became a complimentary piece. Sassy, clever, and rough, Kate was the tough cookie the show needed to give it an extra edge. A bittersweet end to a fine tenth season. See you next season!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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