Reid and Hotch have one in "Damaged", trapped in a locked room with Chester Hardwick. Hardwick is a sadistic murderer who bears a marked resemblance to the real-life BTK killer in both technique and appearance. Realizing that Hardwick has no intention of cooperating with their interview, Hotch rings for the guard to let them out. Some highlights are below.
Hardwick: There won't be anyone to open that door for at least thirteen minutes. holds up a photograph of one of his victims, a horrifically mutilated woman and it took me less than five to do this.
Hardwick: So you planned to be locked inside with me, with no guns or weapons?
Hotch: I won't need a gun. Unfortunately for you, I'm not a five foot tall, hundred pound girl. All your life, you've gone after victims who couldn't fight back. And the rest of the time, you spent looking over your shoulder, worried about the knock on the door; scared that someone like me would be on the other side, waiting to put you away. At your core, you're a coward. Hotchner takes off his jacket and tie, rolls his sleeves, and is so obviously prepared to kick ass that Hardwick is taken aback.
- The best way to sum up the above is that Hotch is not locked in with Hardwick; Hardwick is locked in with Hotch.
- Though not as taken aback as when Reid proceeds to completely steal Hotchner's thunder by saying he can explain the killer's actions. He proceeds to do just that, filibustering for fifteen minutes on mental conditioning, damage, and the nature of how human failing is passed on and grows worse, possibly saving his and Hotch's life, and concluding that really, Hardwick never really had a chance. When the guards finally do arrive, the killer asks Reid if that's true. Reid says, "I don't know; maybe."
- (And later, "I find I do some of my best work under intense terror.")
- It wouldn't surprise anyone to learn that before serial killers go to sleep, they check their closets for Aaron Hotchner.