Criminal Minds (2005– )
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To Bear Witness 

Mateo Cruz has just been introduced as the new section chief. A surprised J.J., who knows him, and Cruz seem not to want to divulge that they have a history. They don't even seem to want to... See full summary »


Rob Bailey


Jeff Davis (created by), Erica Messer




Episode complete credited cast:
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
David Anders ... Anton Harris
Esai Morales ... Section Chief Mateo Cruz
Franklin Killian Franklin Killian ... Sam Carter
Charles Rahi Chun ... Dr. Hoshino
Brian Appel ... Agent Anderson
Daren Dukes Daren Dukes ... Truck Driver
Emily Podleski ... Dana Harris
Martin Thompson ... Mr. Harris


Mateo Cruz has just been introduced as the new section chief. A surprised J.J., who knows him, and Cruz seem not to want to divulge that they have a history. They don't even seem to want to let the team know that they know each other, which may be difficult to hide amongst a group of profilers. Cruz wants to accompany the team into the field on their next case, which takes them to Baltimore, Maryland, where a young John Doe was found stumbling around a warehouse district. Alive, he has ligature marks on his wrists, and drill marks in the corner of his eyes which they determine was a just performed lobotomy. He ends up paralyzed without the ability to speak, but his mental faculties seem to be in tact. Through what slow communication Morgan is able to do with him, Morgan learns that the unsub is white male that the victim did now know, and that there was a female victim as well, who is probably still captive. The team believes the unsub held him captive in one of the nearby warehouses,... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »





English | German

Release Date:

16 October 2013 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


Dr. Reid mentions Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer who raped, murdered, and dismembered 17 men in Milwaukee, WI from 1978 until his capture in 1991. He was also a cannibal (he cooked and consumed parts of some of his victims) and a necrophiliac. See more »


When Anton reflects Dana in the car window, he says in German: "Glaubst du wirklich daß [sie] jetzt kommen werden?", which literally is: "Do you think that [they] now will come?", however he does not say the German word: "sie". See more »


Dr. Spencer Reid: Lobotomies are considered to be the surgery of the soul. Doctors like Walter Freeman claimed they could cure a number of mental illnesses. He believed the procedure could relieve suffering.
See more »


Criminal Minds Theme
Composed by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

An odd one
27 February 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

With 'Criminal Minds', some seasons are better than others and every season has a mixture of outstanding, great, very good, good, average, mediocre and bad episodes. This said, lesser episodes of Seasons 1-4 (with possible exception of "Machismo") are better than the lesser episodes of Season 6 onward.

Season 9 generally is one of the weakest 'Criminal Minds' seasons, and due to a wider divide between the best and worst episodes one of the show's most inconsistent. There are some good/great episodes like "Gabby", "The Caller", "Angels"/"Demons", and also underwhelming ones such as "Mr and Mrs Anderson", "The Inspiration" (the show's worst season premiere)/"The Inspired" and two of the show's low-points "200" and "The Black Queen".

"To Bear Witness" is something of an odd episode. It's neither one of Season 9's best or worst, up to this point in the season it's better than the season premiere but a let down after the very impressive "Final Shot" and on par with "The Inspired". It is though one of the season's most controversial, it is easy to see why some will like it as the profiling is back on track after underwhelming for too many episodes of Seasons 6-8 and the team dynamic generally is of a better balance but it is easy to see why some will dislike it as the case could have been much stronger and personally am one of those people who didn't care for the JJ/Cruz subplot.

Getting the good things out of the way, the production values in "To Bear Witness" are without complaint. It's very well shot and lit and is overall stylish, gritty, classy and atmospheric. The music is moody in the haunting and melancholic sense and fits well, without either enhancing or distracting from the atmosphere. Love the team dynamic in general, with a go-to, patient and sympathetic Morgan and everybody feeling like they're in the roles they should be rather than trying too hard to be something they're not.

Blake shares great chemistry with Reid, and proves to be much more effective with him than on her own, with him she is much more likable and shows a stronger personality and they are so endearing together. Much of the acting is very good. The profiling is fascinating, and it was great that there was any and actually lots of it.

David Anders however plays his unsub as too much of a cartoon, didn't feel much menace coming from him and the character was not particularly interesting or one one feels much for. The unsub's motive is far too clichéd, being one of the oldest in the book, and the case on the whole suffers from a painfully plodding pace, elements that should have been creepy coming over as ridiculously far-fetched and a lack of tension and suspense. The climax also feels anaemic and anti-climactic.

Just as big a problem is the rather juvenile-ly written subplot with JJ and Cruz. It just felt like the writers were trying too hard to create drama out of something that didn't need it or wasn't that much of an issue in the first place. It is hard to ignore when it features so much.

In conclusion, an odd and mixed feelings episode. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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