Criminal Minds (2005– )
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The Anti-Terror Squad 

The BAU investigates the case of two murdered families where the oldest siblings are the sole survivors.


Tawnia McKiernan


Jeff Davis (created by), Stephanie Sengupta | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Aisha Tyler ... Dr. Tara Lewis
Adam Rodriguez ... Luke Alvez
Paget Brewster ... Emily Prentiss
Joey Bragg ... Kyle Ecklund
Trevor Black ... Sheriff Wilson
Shaughn Buchholz ... Eric Bakken
Jill Whelan ... Principal Vicki Dahl
Kaylee Bryant ... Amanda Bergstrom
Jacob Houston ... Zach Peterson
David Wunderlich ... Ron Ferguson
Matt Cornett ... Austin Settergren


The BAU team members travel to Winona, Minnesota, where three of the four members of the Bergstrom family are shot dead execution style in their home while they are sleeping, with the only surviving family member being high school student Amanda Bergstrom, who only survived because she broke curfew and thus was not home at the time of the murders. Despite being a model family on the surface, Garcia discovers that there were a few skeletons in their family closet which could have been the reason for the murders. Although she couldn't have committed the murders herself, Amanda is also under investigation if only because she is the sole beneficiary of her parents' life insurance policy. The team's other theory - that the Bergstroms were only a surrogate - becomes stronger when the Doherty family is similarly murdered in their home, the only survivor being Matt Doherty, a classmate of Amanda's, albeit without the two traveling in the same social circle. As Matt survived by hiding in a ... Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

9 November 2016 (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?


Principal Vicki Dahl is played by Jill Whelan; long-time cast member of The Love Boat (1977) who played Vicki Stubing. See more »


The zip code for Winona, MN is actually 55987. See more »


Penelope Garcia: [arriving at Alvez's desk laden with shopping bags] It's just a little something.
Luke Alvez: For me?
Penelope Garcia: No, not for you. It's for Roxy. But you have opposable thumbs, so you can open it for her.
Luke Alvez: [snickering, he opens a small box] Wow. Biscuits.
Penelope Garcia: Yeah. They're all organic, human grade. Quite delicious, if I do say so myself. Uh, plus...
[indicating a larger bag]
Luke Alvez: It's a sweater.
Penelope Garcia: Oh! Isn't it amazing?
Luke Alvez: [halfheartedly] It is... amazing.
Penelope Garcia: What was that?
See more »


Complaint Rock
Performed by: Greys
The unsub puts this CD on before he cuts through the survivor's photo, just before the opening credits
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User Reviews

A few steps backwards, and doesn't live up to its great title
8 June 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

In its prime (Seasons 1-5, with Season 4 to me being the best and most consistent season with a lot of classic episodes and even the weakest episodes being far from awful). From Season 6 it did become hit and miss, with the odd gem, but a lot of average episodes and some stinkers.

Season 12 so far has been nowhere near as bad as feared, all things considered with its significant changes and troubled behind the scenes. Nothing exceptional yet but no low-points either. That said, "The Anti-Terrorism Squad" was a disappointment. The title was a great one and had the makings of an ominous and tense episode, sadly "The Anti-Terror Squad" was neither of those things. It is not a low-point of the show, it's no "200", "The Black Queen" and the worst of Season 11 but to me it's the worst 'Criminal Minds' episode since Season 11's "Inner Beauty" (another one of the show's worst), replaces "Taboo" as the weakest episode of the season thus far and is a few steps down from the season's so far best episode "Keeper" (the previous episode).

"The Anti-Terror Squad" has its good points. 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 it.

Garcia is a breath of fresh air, the most likable she has been all season. She also has the best lines, especially her exchanges with Rossi and Alvez (who has now settled nicely and is gelling well). "The Anti-Terror Squad" tackles the subject of bullying, an issue that is very much relevant now, one that can have serious consequences and leave a mental and emotional strain and generally should be taken more seriously in schools. The character of Amanda is pretty interesting.

With that being said, the issue has been explored before on 'Criminal Minds' and much better with one of the show's best episodes in Season 3's "Elephant's Memory", a poignant episode that was instantly easy to relate to. Didn't feel much menace or sympathy for the unsub despite his awful crimes and bullying trauma.

Case itself had potential but was a let down. It took a while to get going and then 20 minutes in became overstuffed. Was disappointed in the team interaction and involvement, their investigating is clumsy with many mistakes, so sad after "Keeper" saw them working cohesively and closer to what they do best, the chemistry too often isn't there and profiling is not enough. Reid is criminally underused, almost completely side-lined. Only Garcia really shines here and there aren't enough of the little character moments that one looks out for.

No better news about the writing either, it lacked tightness and didn't provoke thought enough. The actors do what they can but their material is nowhere near strong enough and they tend to flounder and don't know what to make of their lines. Kirsten Vangsness is the exception.

In conclusion, great title but underwhelming exception. 4/10 Bethany Cox

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