Criminal Minds (2005– )
4 user

Sense Memory 

The BAU travels to Los Angeles to investigate unusual murders throughout the city. Also, more of Prentiss' mysterious past comes to light.


Rob Spera


Jeff Davis (created by), Randy Huggins | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Paget Brewster ... Emily Prentiss
Shemar Moore ... Derek Morgan
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Thomas Gibson ... Aaron Hotchner
Brad William Henke ... Steven
Matthew Glave ... Detective Bailey
Stacey Oristano ... Anisa Gold
Roberta Valderrama ... Bernice
Timothy V. Murphy ... Ian Doyle
Gray Stevenson Gray Stevenson ... Linda Dean
Eric Ramey Eric Ramey ... Dr. Samuel Bayo
Nicolas Pajon ... ND Agent
Ryan Christiansen ... Uniform


In Los Angeles, three women have been found murdered in three separate incidents. Each was knocked out by chloroform without a chloroform burn outside their nostril or mouth, drowned in methanol where they were submerged alive, dumped in a highly public place, and had a two-inch square piece of skin removed from the bottom of their right foot, the skin removed post mortem. The dump sites and the abduction sites span the entire breadth of the city. The BAU believe that the unsub is a highly anti-social man, has some sort of scientific background, and is able to move around the city easily without attracting attention especially in interacting with or abducting the women. They narrow in on taxi drivers, but because no licensed cab was within the vicinity of the time and area of one of the abductions, they believe the unsub drives an unlicensed cab. The chemicals used in the murders may provide the missing piece in zeroing in on the unsub. During this investigation, Morgan notices that ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »





English | French

Release Date:

9 February 2011 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The plot bears resemblance to the plot of the book "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" by Patrick Süskind. Also made into a movie with the same title in 2006. See more »


When Prentiss opens the wrapped box in her apartment, the flower is sitting in the top-middle section of the box. Since she carried it in vertically, it would have most likely been sitting at the bottom. See more »


Emily Prentiss: "Nothing revives thepast so completely, as a smell that was once associated with it." ~~ Novelist Vladimir Nabokov
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References Solaris (1972) See more »


Criminal Minds Theme
Composed by Mark Mancina
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the middling episodes of a wildly hit-and-miss season
19 February 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

After the big misstep that was "The Thirteenth Step", a 'Criminal Minds' episode that didn't feel like 'Criminal Minds' at all, while not a great episode or return to form "Sense Memory" is an improvement.

"Sense Memory" is somewhat of a middling episode in a wildly hit-and-miss season (one of the weaker 'Criminal Minds' seasons). It is not one of the season's better episodes like "Remembrance of Things Past", "Middle Man", "Into the Woods", "Hanley Waters", "Safe Haven" and "The Longest Night". But it is a better episode than "Today I Do", "25 to Life", "Corazon" (in fact most episodes featuring Seaver) and particularly "The Thirteenth Step", which is widely regarded as a low-point episode of 'Criminal Minds' and cannot disagree.

As pretty much always (with a few exceptions), "Sense Memory" is very stylishly made, hauntingly scored and serviceably directed with the right amount of forward momentum and breathing space. The script has its bland moments, but still provokes thought and has evidence of tautness.

There are some great parts here. The case starts off with a creepy ambiance and Prentiss' storyline is intense and heartfelt. A big part of 'Criminal Minds' charm is the team interaction and that doesn't disappoint either, standing out especially is Prentiss and Reid at the end in a touching scene that is like how one would talk to friends reaching out than a work colleague and Reid spouting facts and statistics like only he can. Was amused and charmed by Garcia's banter and how she interacted with the rest of the team. Plus there is no Seaver.

Had mixed feelings on the actual case on the whole, but the unsub was menacing enough and the 5th victim is excellently played, one really feels her terror and fight in staying alive. There is generally more profiling than most Season 6 episodes, and with less conclusion jumping and over-convenience. The acting is very good as ever, Paget Brewster being brilliant and the actress of Anisa standing out in support.

On the other hand, the team have worked more cohesively before and seem to be asking more questions than giving answers. Garcia is ill at ease trying to fill in JJ's role and is ill-suited for it, the tastelessly flippant remarks during briefing taking away from what was good about her character in the first place.

As said, the case evoked mixed feelings for me, with that it's very derivative (being closely indebted to 'Perfume' and not doing a whole lot beyond that), parts that are too obvious (like the scents) and too many loose ends not explained enough (not just the scents, but also with the white sheets and cornfields).

In conclusion, a middling but acceptable episode. 6/10 Bethany Cox

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