Criminal Minds (2005– )
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Self Fulfilling Prophecy 

The BAU team looks into the real reasons behind an apparent mass suicide of a small group of youths at a military academy. Also, Hotch and Morgan butt heads when a team member could be in jeopardy.


Charles Haid (as Charlie Haid)


Jeff Davis (created by), Erica Messer | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Paget Brewster ... Emily Prentiss
Shemar Moore ... Derek Morgan
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Thomas Gibson ... Aaron Hotchner
Rene Auberjonois ... Colonel Ron Massey
George Gerdes ... Lieutenant Shockley Tawes
Jayne Atkinson ... Erin Strauss
Kevin Fonteyne ... Josh Redding
Michael Harding ... Will Redding
Tim Powell ... Dr. Alexander
Matthew David ... Carter Campbell
Sterling Ardrey Sterling Ardrey ... Randy Parker (as Sterling D. Ardrey)


The BAU is called to Somerville Academy, a military boys' school, when five students are found dead from hanging while on an unsupervised survival outing in the woods. The school's administration believes it to be a mass suicide as there is a supposed simple suicide note at the scene, with the words "we're sorry". These deaths follow a suicide hanging of another underclassman, Bailey Shelton, two weeks earlier. The one student tying to two sets of deaths together is Josh Redding, who is the missing sixth member of the survival outing, and in whose room Bailey was found hanging. As Somerville, which has worked on tradition and thus has bucked any modern technological conveniences, has ties to highers-up in the organization, Strauss accompanies the team to ensure both that the investigation goes smoothly and that there is as little media attention as possible. They initially believe that Josh reneged on the suicide pact, but then come to the conclusion that he killed the five other boys... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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English | Latin

Release Date:

7 December 2011 (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?


The speech Josh recites while on the run in the woods is a famous speech by Winston Churchill during the Battle of Britain in WW2. It reads: "We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!" See more »


During the retreat ceremony about halfway through, the command "Order Arms" is given. The cadet in the color guard carrying the American flag lowers the staff of the flag to touch the butt to the ground. The American flag is never dipped or lowered in a color guard. See more »


Emily Prentiss: What was his relationship with Tucker Calhoun?
Carter Campbell: Josh is straight up. This place never broke him. No matter how hard they tried.
Emily Prentiss: Who tried to break him? Tucker?
Carter Campbell: [pause] A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.
David Rossi: You've got an honor code. My guess is not everyone lives by it.
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Criminal Minds Theme
Composed by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

A very busy episode, but a very interesting one as well
13 February 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Season 7 of 'Criminal Minds' is very much a mixed bag, like most of the show from Season 6 onward (Seasons 6 and 9 being the most wildly variable seasons and the most underwhelming being Season 11).

There are great Season 7 episodes like "True Genius", "The Foundation", "Dorado Falls" and "The Company", some good ones, a few in between mediocre and decent and then there are lacking episodes like "I Love You Tommy Brown" and "There's No Place Like Home". "Self Fulfilling Prophecy" is one of the generally very good episodes, and mostly one of Season 7's better episodes.

Not perfect mind. It is a little too busy and rushed in places, which would have been improved with a little less going on and fewer characters. While it was never confusing and held attention throughout, it was not always easy keeping track of every twist and every character. More profiling and team interaction would have been nice too, there is evidence of both and done very well, just that there could have been more.

Visually, on the other hand, the production values 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 it. The direction keeps the momentum going but lets the case breathe and the script is one of the tightest and focused ones all season.

The script is thought-provoking and nicely balanced, and the story is very attention-grabbing, tense and suspenseful as well as being horrifying and emotional. There are some interesting twists and turns, some a shock, and most of the characters maintain interest. Hats off too for doing very well with a change of pace from the norm.

Really liked the bond between the team and there are some lovely moments of character and interaction. Examples being the sweet and funny chemistry between Garcia and Reid and the tension between Morgan and Hotch. Really appreciated that "Self Fulfilling Prophecy" attempted and succeeded in giving Strauss more development and range, the character has nearly always left me stone cold but her subplot is done very well and balances well with the case. It was touching for the team to want to help her rather than leave it, like they could easily have done considering that she has been a less than supportive team member.

All the acting is very good, all the way down from lead to the smallest role. Thanks to having meatier material which gave her an opportunity to show more range, Jayne Atkinson gives one of her better performances on the show, her scene where she loses her temper quite scary in its intensity.

In summary, very busy but very interesting. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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