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Series / Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior

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Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior is a Spin-Off of the popular Police Procedural Criminal Minds. Starring Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker as Sam Cooper, Suspect Behavior centers on a BAU Red Cell, a team that "operates outside normal FBI bureaucracy". Accompanying him are former SAS Mick Rawson, Ex-Con turned FBI agent Jonathan "Prophet" Simms, young prodigy Gina LaSalle, and experienced agent Beth Griffith. Crossing over from Criminal Minds is Penelope Garcia as their resident tech expert.

The show started with a Backdoor Pilot (sans Beth) where the original team of Criminal Minds had to team up with the Red Cell to end a series of kidnappings and murders. The series proper premiered in 2011. The show seemed to aim for a slightly more Darker and Edgier tone than its original counterpart.

It was cancelled after one season in 2011.

This series provides examples of:

  • Always Murder: Sometimes kidnapping, but even those tend to have a murder element.
  • Anachronic Order: In the first episode, Beth is already part of the team. In Here is the Fire, which aired later, it's clear she's just meeting them for the first time.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The MO of the villain in Jane was dismembering his victims with a bandsaw.
  • Asshole Victim: A politician is almost murdered by his schizophrenic son because he abandoned both him and his sister because of their mental problems, leaving them to grow up in foster care and poverty while he started a new, normal family.
  • Batter Up!: Nighthawk.
  • Berserk Button: Prophet and child molesters. He gets violent around them. Guess how he went into jail in the first place?
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Gina, Beth and Garcia.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The killer in Jane goes to get a beer out of his fridge, revealing that's also where he keeps the severed heads of his victims.
  • Canon Discontinuity / Old Shame: Mothership producers like Mark Gordon and Erica Messer consider that this spin-off was a "misstep" that "tried too hard to be different." That it was not referenced in the mother series after the season that included the Poorly Disguised Pilot or there was no attempt to resolve the show's cliffhanger there speaks for itself.
  • Chalk Outline: Jane.
  • Character Overlap: The character Penelope Garcia is the technical analyst in both this and Criminal Minds.
  • Cliffhanger: The Season One Finale (and as of now final episode) ends on one of the worst since the ending of The Sopranos.
  • Cold Sniper: One Shot Kill.
  • Courtroom Episode: The Time Is Now.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: What Cooper and Mick saw and did in Fallujah that still haunts them.
  • Cut Short: The Cliffhanger ending of Death by a Thousand Cuts.
  • Darker and Edgier: Leather-clad FBI agents that operate out of a dilapidated gym because they are "outside bureaucracy" and include an ex-Con, a British sniper and an Army Veteran martial arts-trained profiler Catholic priest. And that's without even getting to the cases. Judging by the negative response, it could be concluded that the attempt went straight into Misaimed Marketing.
  • Dead All Along: Following tradition of Criminal Minds, there was a dead girl who was seen as alive by the UnSub in Devotion. Until the reveal, she was played by an actress, talked and moved.
  • Dramatic Pause: Coop is a... fan of these.
  • Face Stealer: In The Girl in the Blue Mask, a father is trying to repair his daughter's not actually disfigured face by stealing the facial skin of others.
  • Fair Cop: Considering the two female agents are Beau Garrett (Gina) and Janeane Garofalo (Beth), this trope is definitely in play. On the male side we have Matt Ryan (Mick), and Michael Kelly (Prophet) has to do something for somebody.
  • For the Evulz: The killer in the Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior episode "Jane" outright claims he had no reason to torture and kill women, he just did it. According to Coop, he's telling the truth; to the killer, people and most things are just indistinguishable blurs, and he is incapable of anything even resembling emotion, including both (sadistic) joy or happiness, even while torture-murdering.
  • Freudian Excuse: Smother.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Turns out the serial killer in The Time is Now is genuinely repentant, and only kept calling for a new trial because she believed it was the only way she could be cleared of the murder of her mother, which was wrongly attributed to her. When she actually is released due to new evidence that was previously suppressed, her first act is to apologize and confess to the daughter of two of her victims, then turn herself in.
  • I Have Your Loved One: How the killer in Death by a Thousand Cuts coerces people into committing murder.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Said by the killer in Two of a Kind, during his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Jack the Ripoff: Lonely Heart.
  • Left Hanging: Rather cruelly, due to its cancellation.
  • Loved I Not Honor More: A (mostly) platonic version. When Beth is held hostage to force Cooper to choose between murdering the accomplice or letting her die, she flat-out tells the kidnapper to shoot her, because Cooper won't commit murder for her and she wouldn't want him to.
  • Mad Bomber: Here is the Fire.
  • Missing White Woman Syndrome: The first episode, where a white girl's abduction receives tons of coverage, while the earlier abductions of three black girls gain minimal attention, and go cold quickly. And they only manage to recover the white girl because they work the case of the black girls, who were the real targets.
  • Monkey Morality Pose: The attacks (Eye Scream, Ear Ache and attempted Tongue Trauma) in See No Evil correspond to them.
  • Monster Fangirl: Lonely Heart.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: Devotion, which even ends with a literal instance of this.
  • Mysterious Past: Cooper, whose past seems convoluted and complex but never explained, only the occasional hint is dropped.
  • "No. Just… No" Reaction: Essentially Mick's reaction to the suggestion that the killer in Devotion is a necrophiliac.
  • No Name Given: The titular victim in Jane, and the killer himself.
  • Offing the Offspring: The bomber in Here is the Fire intended to kill his three sons, and the bulk of his community's children.
  • Only Six Faces: What everyone looks like to the killer in Jane, who has a mental disorder. While he could tell the difference between, say, his mother, his teacher, and a random woman on the street there's no emotional connection.
  • Parting-Words Regret: The mother of one of the victims in Nighthawk regrets that her last conversation with her son was an argument.
  • Playful Hacker: Garcia of course.
  • Poetic Serial Killer
  • Powerful Pick: A victim gets an ice pick jammed into her ear in See No Evil.
  • Pregnant Hostage: Death by a Thousand Cuts.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Red Cell has shades of this: a Military Brat with father issues, a British ex-special-forces sniper, an ex-con with a serious Berserk Button about child molesters, and a woman who has been kicked off multiple anti-terrorism teams for personality conflicts, all led by a rather zen Catholic priest with a Mysterious Past and ties to a lot of people. They are based out of the back of a gym and are fairly casual about dress code and professional behavior.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: FBI Director Jack Fickler. Which so far contrasts with the BAU's Erin Strauss.
  • Recurring Extra: The gym janitor, who was never given a name, and only spoke once.
  • Relative Error: When she catches Mick talking affectionately over the phone to a girl named "Jenna", Beth assumes it's his girlfriend and promptly heckles him. She later finds out that Jenna is his little sister.
  • Replacement Goldfish: The killer in Two of a Kind abducted little black girls who reminded him of his daughter, who he killed in a fit of rage.
  • Retcon: The Red Cell team concept was not present in the pilot. Sam and Hotch were the same rank, just leading different teams. This show shows that Sam does not answer to Strauss at all (only answering to the actual director of the FBI, Jack Fickler).
  • Sadistic Choice: Kill my accomplice in cold blood or I kill Beth, anyone? And to make it even harder for Cooper, the accomplice is suicidal and begging him to do it, there are no witnesses, and the hostage-taker has always released the hostage unharmed if their loved one kills for them.
  • Screwed by the Network: CBS aired the Poorly Disguised Pilot shortly before it announced cuts to the Criminal Minds female cast for "budget reasons". Fans were displeased, and quite a few blamed the new show, which resulted in many fans boycotting it, causing it to tank in the ratings as a result. Though some would argue that it was Laser-Guided Karma, as the cancellation of this show paved the way for CBS to bring back A.J. Cook and agree not to reduce Paget Brewster's screentime.
  • Serial Killer
  • Shout-Out: 'The Girl In The Blue Mask' is a CM: SB version of Eyes Without a Face-
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Beth is missing from most promo material.
  • Slashed Throat: Happens to a would-be good Samaritan in Jane, when he spots the killer abducting his latest victim.
  • Smug Snake: The imprisoned killer in Lonely Heart.
  • Sniper Duel: Between Mick and the UnSub in One Shot Kill.
  • Spinoff: This series is a type 3 spin-off of Criminal Minds.
  • Sympathetic Murderer:
    • The UnSub of Devotion who is schizophrenic, thinks his sister's corpse is alive and is trying to get her justice from their dad putting them in foster homes.
    • The old man in Nighthawk.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: The Nighthawk UnSub. His and his wife's lives were destroyed by ostracism for having a Serial Killer son, despite the parents themselves being innocent and oblivious. Inevitably, the man snapped; and is on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, spitefully declaring that he's just giving their harassers what they expect from his family.
  • Two-Faced: Two of the victims are left like this in The Girl in the Blue Mask, though only one survives.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Mick and Gina; possibly Sam and Beth.
  • The Vamp: The killer in The Time is Now would manipulate teenage boys into killing their parents. While it's never explicitly stated she used sex to do so, it's highly probable.
  • Turn in Your Badge: Played with. Fickler makes it seem like he's firing Prophet, but he's actually taking him off probational status and making him a full agent. But the rest of the team doesn't know that, nor does the audience.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The son of the killer from Nighthawk was obviously based on Jeffrey Dahmer.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Pick any two team members, but especially Mick and Prophet, Mick and Beth, and Beth and Coop.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Quite a few, but the father in what should be the first episode "Here Is The Fire" takes the cake when, after his wife's death he hides pipe bombs in his sons' back packs and sends them off to school, a field trip, and the hospital where his wife died. Only the middle son's goes off, but he's the one who went to school... He becomes less sympathetic when you remember he never intended to die himself, and probably would've started his life anew after disposing of the remnants of his old one, plus tons of other random people.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!:
    • The killer in Two of a Kind who killed his daughter in a fit of rage.
    • The father in The Girl in the Blue Mask temporarily disfigured his daughter by pressing her face against a hot surface while drunk.