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Recap / Criminal Minds S 13 E 1 Wheels Up

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Wheels Up

When escaped serial killer Peter Lewis launches a devastating final assault on the BAU and takes one of their own as a hostage, Garcia brings in former International Response Team member Matt Simmons to help apprehend Mr. Scratch before more lives are lost.


  • Arc Words: To Emily, the title proper, though she keeps it to herself for most of the episode.
  • Batman Gambit: Prentiss and the now-deceased Walker are revealed to have been pulling one on Mr. Scratch. Knowing that he was monitoring them, they faked a series of texts between Prentiss and Hotch that would make it look like Prentiss knows where Hotch and Jack are, in order to lure Scratch out to try to get this information out of Emily. It worked, since Scratch did fall for the texts, came out of hiding to abduct her, and is caught because of it, resulting in his death; sadly, this also cost Walker his life.
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  • Character Death: RIP Stepher Walker. In a subversion of Black Dude Dies First, he is the first active duty BAU member who has died. Gideon died a couple of years earlier, but that was years after he was forced into retirement.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Mr. Scratch abducts Emily at the beginning of the episode to interrogate her as to Hotch's and Jack's whereabouts. In order to keep her subdued, he drugs her before even taking her out of the SUV so she'll believe most of her limbs are broken and she can't fight him (as revealed by Tara to the rest of the team). However, once Emily realizes this on her own and is able to see through the delusions, she pulls an I Surrender, Suckers on Scratch, attacks him, and escapes by herself and keeps him at bay while he's chasing her, though thankfully her teammates arrive as backup to help.
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  • Death Glare: Alvez gives Scratch one of these dripping with hate and disgust when the latter begs Alvez to save him.
  • Disney Villain Death: How Mr. Scratch finally meets his end.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title is a Catchphrase that's been repeated on the show since the beginning to let everyone know they're flying somewhere in x minutes, but this is actually one of the few episodes where the team doesn't fly anywhere, and at the end Emily reveals that repeating this phrase to herself helped her stay sane through the torture.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When he thinks Prentiss is implying his interest in Jack Hotchner is sexual, Peter Lewis is visibly angered.
    Peter Lewis: I'm not a pedophile. I'm insulted by your inference.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: At one point, when Garcia asks Reid why he threw a book at the wall in anger despite making an important breakthrough in the case, Reid replies that he's angry with himself for taking longer to figure it out than he feels he should have, especially when time is of the essence for rescuing Prentiss.
    Spencer Reid: It took me 60 minutes to figure out what should've taken 60 seconds. If Emily dies because I was too slow, I'm gonna be throwing a lot more than books.
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  • It's Personal: Invoked by Reid about Mr. Scratch: Reid clearly tells Alvez that after everything Scratch has done to the B.A.U., he has no intention of taking him alive.
    Spencer Reid: The second I see his face, I'm gonna kill him.
  • Man Bites Man: Under the guise of telling Mr. Scratch what he wants, Emily has him lean in close so she can tell him...and then bites a chunk out of his cheek.
  • Mama Bear: Invoked by Prentiss, who while acknowledging Jack Hotchner isn't her son, states that she cares about him and his father too much to give Mr. Scratch their location.
    Emily Prentiss: Your interest in Jack is clinical. You want to see what it will be like if he grows up without his father like you did. That's what I've been focusing on. After you kill Hotch, you'll never leave Jack alone. Am I right?
    Peter Lewis: You are.
    Emily Prentiss: Then let me tell you something, Peter. I've died before protecting a child. That was a child I barely knew. But Jack? I love Jack. I've watched Jack grow up. I will not betray him or his father, so it doesn't matter what you do to me. I will not break.
  • Murder by Inaction: Alvez ignores Scratch begging for help, and just stands by until he loses his grip and falls to his death.
  • Near-Death Experience: Scratch uses his drugs to trick Prentiss into believing she's having one in order to get her to talk. Unfortunately for him, this backfires horribly; see below.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Scratch makes Emily hallucinate that she is dying and standing by her own grave… which clues Emily in that she is hallucinating, because the last time her heart stopped, all she saw was darkness. When she sees through that, she understands what's going on and starts seeing through all the other hallucinations, culminating in her escaping.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: In the hospital, when giving Reid and Alvez instructions, Rossi knows that Scratch may be listening in via their phones, so he pretends to be too concussed to think straight, also playing up being an injured Grumpy Old Man. Alvez and Reid, in turn, pretend to not know what he's talking about and act like they just think he's rambling.
  • Survivor Guilt: A minor case for JJ. She tells Will that she was planning to sit in the back of the SUV, but Stephen sat there instead and let her have the front seat. In the ensuing accident, JJ suffered a head wound that needed stitches but was otherwise okay, while Stephen was killed.
  • Title Drop: All the team members drop the episode title at the end.
  • Villain Respect: After Prentiss tells him she won't give him anything he wants (see Mama Bear above) and doesn't flinch when he holds a scalpel to her eye, Scratch acknowledges she's too stubborn to crack under physical torture.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Peter Lewis has the gall to beg Alvez to help him when he's dangling from a collapsing fire escape. Alvez lets him fall to his death.


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