Criminal Minds (2005– )
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The unit has to deal with the militia when they're called to rural Montana to track a killer who's obsessed with his mentor.


Jeff Davis (created by), Oanh Ly

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Paget Brewster ... Emily Prentiss
Shemar Moore ... Derek Morgan
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Thomas Gibson ... Aaron Hotchner
Michael Cudlitz ... Francis Goehring
Kaj-Erik Eriksen ... Henry Frost
Jim Beaver ... Sheriff Williams
Pat Skipper ... Harris Townsend
Jenna Gavigan ... Becky
Danielle Kennedy ... Cashier
Kristopher Logan Kristopher Logan ... Trailer Park Manager
Jason Hamer ... Robert Miller


In Montana, a member of a local militia, Frances Goering, is identified as a sadistic serial killer. He then commits suicide by blowing himself up, taking a cop with him. Goering's M.O. was kidnapping young women, torturing them for a few days and then killing them. By the time of his death he had killed 3 and held another captive. The BAU is called in to locate the survivor and finds her freshly killed, meaning Goering had an accomplice who now has literally taken his identity... Written by J. Rieper

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

7 November 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Identity See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


It is revealed in this episode that SSA David Rossi is Italian-American and 52 years old. See more »


The tapes recovered in the unsub's ranch house are MiniDV (digital); yet when Garcia plays them back on her computer, there are "degradation lines" associated with analog videotapes. "Degradation lines" do not appear on MiniDV tapes (or any type of digital videotape), no matter how bad the tape is. See more »


David Rossi: [opening quote, voiceover] "An earthly kingdom cannot exist without inequality of persons. Some must be free, some serfs, some rulers, some subjects." - Martin Luther.
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References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »


Over Again
Performed by The Forbes Brothers
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User Reviews

For prime-period 'Criminal Minds', this felt a bit bland
25 November 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Not a bad episode by all means, but although there were decent but uneven episodes like "Birthright" and "3rd Life" "Identity" for me is Season 3 (which saw some outstanding episodes like "Elephant's Memory", "Lo-Fi" and "Seven Seconds") at its weakest and blandest.

Certainly a lesser episode of when 'Criminal Minds' was in its prime (a lot of Season 1 but especially seasons 2-5, although 5 had a few disappointing episodes) is better than lesser episodes of when the show became particularly hit and miss from Season 6 onwards, particularly Seasons 9 and 11 (their lesser episodes being among the show's worst episodes).

There is certainly enough to make it watchable. "Identity" starts off very tense with an exciting police chase that ends on a quite shocking note. It also has a climax just as suspenseful and exciting, on first viewing it was a little strange but on a further couple of viewings (done to give the episode a fairer assessment) it is the episode's most memorable scene.

"Identity" is a great looking episode. The scenery is simply amazing and like a character of its own, while it's beautifully and atmospherically shot and crisply edited. The music is moody and haunting, and, though Joe Mantegna was still settling into the character of Rossi and isn't looking comfortable just yet, the acting is fine. There are a couple of nice character moments, namely the scene in the bar with Morgan and JJ, when Prentiss, Morgan and Reid were snooping around Rossi's office and in particular Reid questioning the science of the Death Star. The whole stuff with the community was intriguing, and the comment directed towards Reid about looking like a pipe with legs was a funny moment.

Against all this, some of the script is weak, with not enough interaction with the team (when there was some it was great) or profiling, which played second fiddle to a potentially creepy but rather oddly executed concept with the surviving unsub. A shame, considering that both are such a huge part of the show's appeal. There are some nice scenes, but the rest of the episode is a bit bland. This is due to a rather tired and sometimes pedestrian-in-pace story based around an unsub relationship and dynamic not at all unfamiliar to 'Criminal Minds' already (some of those cases a short time ago and a few in a very short time from one another) and with not an awful lot interesting.

Rossi's character hasn't yet settled in after his understandably shaky introduction in the patchy but still good "About Face", which benefited from a case that served the episode and show well. His more old-school and less intuitive approach at this point (it was with "Damaged", with a more personal side to him, when he properly became easier to like and more interesting) takes getting used to and he doesn't feel like an interesting or likable character yet (things he would be later on, and he along with Reid is ironically one of the main reasons why I still stuck with Season 11), rather stiff and not easy to warm to. Personally didn't find the unsub that menacing or memorable either.

Overall, a bit bland but not a bad episode. 6/10 Bethany Cox

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