Criminal Minds (2005– )
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Route 66 

During the BAU's initial briefing for their latest case, Hotch collapses. He is rushed to the hospital suffering from complications resulting from his near fatal stabbing by George Foyet ... See full summary »


Douglas Aarniokoski (as Doug Aarniokoski)


Jeff Davis (created by), Virgil Williams


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Shemar Moore ... Derek Morgan
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Jeanne Tripplehorn ... Alex Blake
Thomas Gibson ... Aaron Hotchner
Todd Stashwick ... Eddie Lee Wilcox
Meredith Monroe ... Haley Hotchner
Madison Davenport ... Samantha Wilcox
C. Thomas Howell ... George Foyet
Courtenay Taylor ... Melody Grimes
Bruce Katzman ... Doctor #1
Rajesh Bose ... Doctor #2
Granville Ames ... Gas Station Attendant


During the BAU's initial briefing for their latest case, Hotch collapses. He is rushed to the hospital suffering from complications resulting from his near fatal stabbing by George Foyet aka The Reaper. Meanwhile, the rest of the team, while concerned for his life, are urged by Rossi to go to Wichita, Kansas to work on that case of sixteen year old Samantha Wilcox who was abducted by her ex-con father, Eddie Lee Wilcox. In the process, Eddie severely beat Samantha's boyfriend. Eddie had not been in contact with his ex-wife, Samantha's mother Melody Grimes, in quite some time, she who moved with Samantha to Wichita to get away from him. In reviewing evidence, the team believes Samantha may not have plotted with her father, but was a willing participant in their getaway. She is probably unaware however of her father's most recent past, which looks to include armed robbery, mob connections and murder, from which he is probably running. They're afraid that Samantha may not survive if ... Written by Huggo

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TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 October 2013 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


There is no opening quote, maybe because Hotch collapses at that time. See more »


Samantha and her father are supposedly in Corpus Christi. However, Santa Monica pier can be seen in several shots. See more »


David Rossi: As you all know, Eddie Lee Wilcox is armed and dangerous.
Jennifer Jareau: He's also smart and criminally sophisticated. He knows police procedure and how to use it.
Dr. Spencer Reid: He's flush with cash from his robbery in Chicago, but he'll try to maintain a low profile, so he may resort to his robbery skills at some point.
Derek Morgan: Eddie's a car thief. And he's a good one, so he'll switch vehicles often.
Jennifer Jareau: He was last seen in a Chevy minivan, but we do not count on him being in it for long.
Derek Morgan: So canvass crowded parking lots and malls. ...
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User Reviews

Very difficult what to make of this episode
7 September 2016 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

On first viewing, first impressions ranged from indifference to dislike, finding it too disjointed with too much reliance on the flashbacks and not enough on the rest of the team and the case.

Re-watching it "Route 66" does fare better on re-watch, but at the same time it is not a particularly good episode. It is nowhere near on the same level of bad as "200" and "The Black Queen", as far as Season 9 episodes go, and the worst of the mostly underwhelming Season 11. It was however a strange and not easy to rate episode and while there are some definite good things initial criticisms still stand.

The production values are very high throughout, the flashbacks are beautifully filmed and the theatre setting and a classic-film-star-made-up Haley is the very meaning of glamorous. Apart from a wasted Kirsten Vangsness and a dull Bellamy Young, also have not been much of a fan of Haley so it was difficult to feel much for her here, the acting is good. Thomas Gibson is marvellous here, and C. Thomas Howell worked better on re-watch than on initial viewing, was put off at first at the more clownish personality to one of the show's most iconic unsubs but along with Gibson's performance and the production values his black humour and the chemistry with Haley was more noticeable and gave some levity to the episode.

With the case itself, it definitely should have featured much more in the episode but there is enough tension and suspense to keep it afloat, and the very good performances from Todd Stashwick and Madison Davenport and their touchingly realised chemistry are further advantages. Their final conversation epitomises that and is a real tear-jerker.

For all these good things, "Route 66" does fall short. The flashbacks do take up too much of the episode, you know there's something awry when fans of 'Criminal Minds' remember the flashbacks more than the case itself. When it comes to their execution, they are very much mixed. The good elements about them have already been discussed, but they are also too glib, gimmicky and overwrought, giving the episode a rather weird rather than affectionate tone. Haley and Foyet's chemistry is far more believable than with Hotch and Haley, which comes over as cold with some clunky dialogue that tried too hard for the sincere and emotional edge but came over as stilted and cloying. Beth has always struck me as a rather empty character, dully played and with not much chemistry with Hotch.

Writing is also uneven, the black humour with Foyet and the final scene with Stashwick and Davenport stands out as good but it's forgettable at best in many other scenes, especially the underused rapport between the rest of the team which is barely there. The episode also feels disjointed, not just the imbalance of the flashbacks and the case but also that it often feels like two different episodes, know it's hard with two different plot-lines but tonally and quality wise they were too far removed from the other. The order that it comes in the season feels oddly random as well, would have fared better as a milestone episode or something.

All in all, a difficult episode to rate and make heads of. There's much worse in the show but "Route 66" is also not even close to being one of the best of the latter seasons let alone one of the best of 'Criminal Minds' overall. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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