Criminal Minds (2005– )
2 user

The Fallen 

The team investigates the burned bodies of several homeless people near the Santa Monica Pier in California.


Douglas Aarniokoski (as Doug Aarniokoski)


Jeff Davis (created by), Rick Dunkle (teleplay by) | 3 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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
Meshach Taylor ... Harrison Scott
Shane Johnson ... Chad Mills
Conni Marie Brazelton ... Sarah Mapes
Sharline Liu ... Dr. Stacey Carroll
Robert Dunne ... Young David Rossi
Joseph H. Johnson Jr. ... Young Harrison Scott
Rene Rosado ... PFC Anthony Hernandez
Valerie Perri ... Amanda Bell


The BAU travels to Santa Monica, California where three bodies, burned beyond recognition, in three separate incidents, have been found at the famous pier. After the autopsies, it is learned that the victims were stabbed to death, with the burning being a cover. When a fourth victim is discovered with a slightly different mode of death, they determine that the victims were all homeless who were trying to make a living on the street. In the process of the investigation, Rossi unexpectedly runs into an old colleague among the homeless. For Rossi, finding the unsub thus becomes as much part of his regular job as it is as a means of repaying his old colleague, who refuses Rossi's help to clean up his life. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 November 2012 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The song played by the busker at the beginning is "Keep Holding On" by Avril Lavigne. See more »


When Reid is giving the unsub's victim milk to clear her throat, you can see from the angle he is holding the carton that she is not actually drinking any. See more »


David Rossi: That's pretty brave what you did, running into that fire on your own.
Chad Mills: Yeah? Look how that turned out.
Derek Morgan: I don't know, if you ask me, I say it was pretty stupid.
Chad Mills: Stupid?
Derek Morgan: Yeah, that's right. You went in without protective gear. Looks like maybe you were trying to prove something.
Jennifer Jareau: Third generation fireman. What's there to prove? It's in his genes.
Derek Morgan: Quite a legacy to try to live up to. But you just wanted to be the best, didn't you?
Chad Mills: I am the best!
David Rossi: Guess we'll never know for sure.
Chad Mills: My whole life, I knew...
See more »


Criminal Minds Theme
Composed by Mark Mancina
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"I am not concerned that you have fallen. I am concerned that you will rise."
22 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 8 did see a sizeable number of mediocre episodes, but also ones that were very good and showing signs of greatness. As far as Season 8 episodes go while not one of the very best 'Criminal Minds' episodes "The Fallen" is in the top half of the season. It's not as good as "All That Remains", "The Lesson", "God Complex", "The Good Earth" and "Alchemy". But it is much better than the likes of "Magnificent Light", "Through the Looking Glass", "The Replicator", "The Wheels on the Bus" and "Magnum Opus".

Visually, the production values in "The Fallen" 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. The direction keeps the momentum going but lets the case breathe.

Where "The Fallen" really shines is in the relationship between Rossi and Scott and the development of the two. Both are very interesting characters here, where their motivations are clear, and their relationship written in a way that hit hard and moved. The Vietnam flashbacks, with very well cast younger versions of Rossi and Scott, are harrowing and affecting. The tribute to Hernandez at the end brought tears to the eyes, and loved the gratitude shown towards the hard work and bravery of the military which was dealt with in an honest way.

The rest of the team are hardly neglected this said. Wouldn't have said no to more Reid (though his line about the woman not having any friends and thinking that only happened to him was hilarious), but the profiling, while not as memorable of the Rossi storyline, is by no means underused and sees the team functioning more cohesively as a team compared to many later episodes.

Case itself isn't quite as strong. There is certainly tension and suspense and a powerful climactic stand-off, but there is not much new and was expecting a slightly better developed and more threatening in demeanour unsub.

Scripting here is thought-provoking with a lot of tautness and emotion. The acting is very good, with Joe Mantegna and indeed Meshach Taylor being fantastic.

In conclusion, not one of the best 'Criminal Minds' episodes but as far as Season 8 goes "The Fallen" is one of the better ones. 8/10 Bethany Cox

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed