Criminal Minds Season 1 Episode 6: "L.D.S.K" summary — Unsubs: A Criminal Minds Podcast (2023)

We open on an America flag blowing majestically in the wind at Franklin Par, in Des Plains IL. NOT A REAL PARK. A teen with Josh Hutcherson hair is flying a kite, and father Tim Reilly is tossing a football with his son. His son turns around, only to find Tim Reilly face down on the grass with a gunshot wound in his abdomen. POV shift to the unsub, we see the bulls eye target move from the father and son to the teen flying the kite and hear an ominous gun sound.

Cut to BAU headquarters in Quantico, VA. Hotch and Reid at the shooting range, Hotch is helping Reid prep for his firearm qualification which is tomorrow morning. Also when Reid misses a shot Hotch goes “Did Elle teach you that?” Fuck off Hotch! We also learn that Hotch carries two guns in is a good shot, and of course he shows off. Reid looking great in the striped sweater. Anyways Reid fails his qualification and is gunless for this episode. Morgan gives him a whistle to blow if he ever needs anything?

JJ briefs the BAU on the latest case- the shooting at Franklin Park. We later learn that three victims were actually shot at the park, and that this attack has been the third shooting in two weeks. Victims are as follows- Henry Sachs (only fatality), Doug Miller, Kevin Parks, and the three at the park- Jerry Middleton (JH teen), Kate Murray, and Tim Reilly. All victims were shot long distance, in the abdomen, and we learn that one of the latest victims (Doug Miller) has a bullet still in him and is still in recovery at a local hospital. Unsub is using ammo that breaks upon impact, making ballistics impossible to recover, so being able to extract this bullet will be huge. The BAU classifies this type of killer as a LDSK- “long distance serial killers”.


· LDSKs are so rare- FBI has not been able to build a standard profile

· They’re ALWAYS male

· Frequently have law enforcement or military experience

· Always contact the police or social media (this unsub has not yet)

Transition from a picture Reid is holding of picture of Franklin Park (this transition always works for me tbh). At the park are Hotch, Reid and Morgan. We meet Detective Calvin who is so done with the investigation already and is (of course) skeptical of behavioral profiles. Hotch determines that the unsub made a fake handicap spot in the parking lot of Franklin Park so that he knew this spot would be vacant. But what if an actual handicapped individual came to the park and wanted to utilize it??? We also learn that the unsub shot his victims between 2:55 and 3:15 because that’s when shift change is for cops, further indications of a law enforcement professional.

Cut to Elle, JJ, and Gideon at the hospital. We see two doctors arguing passionately about Doug Miller’s lodged bullet, Dr. Neil Erstadt chief of surgery and Dr. Barry Landman who is a trauma specialist. Landman refuses to shake Gideon’s hands! Dr. Erstadt believes that any attempt to move the bullet will permanently paralyze the Doug Miller. Dr. Landman believes that he can remove the bullet without causing the victim any harm. “I know I can” he says like a jackass. And he does! “Hope you find it useful” and winks at Elle.

Morgan and Garcia flirt. We learn that the bullet was a .223 fired from an M4 Variant of the M-16. It’s got a shorter barrel than the M-16, less accurate and a lot harder to fire. This level of skill indicates specialized training. We learn that Garcia can’t get a geographic profile of the unsub because the victims are so spread out geographically. She will need more victims to create an accurate profile.

Cut to an outdoor café where a man and his girlfriend (or possibly wife??) are eating, they are mid conversation.

She says: “…then the security guard came and got him.”

He says: “How did it play out?”

She says: “He’s been suspended, but my guess is that the school board’s gonna go after him and they’re gonna try to expel him.”

DISCUSS. So much more interest in this conversation than the plot of this episode. She is then shot by the unsub, and says: “I don’t feel very good. I’m gonna go the lady’s room, okay?” Classic!! The the unsub shoots more and an actress credited as “Screaming Little Girl” gives the performance of her life. Cut to after the shooting- we learn that there were no fatalities. Just my eardrums.

Back at the Des Plains FBI headquarters, the BAU briefs the police taskforce. JJ tells the task force specifically that this a premature profile and should not be released to anyone outside of the task force.


· Underkill (does not aim to kill his victims) but motive for this is unclear

· 30-40 year old male veteran

· Driving a car large enough to shoot from, but not so large it’s noticed.

o Probably a sedan customized to conceal the shooter, his weapon, and the sound of each shot

· Both narcissistic and paranoid personality disorders (paranoid sociopath)

o Completely self-centered and cannot empathize with others

· He works out obsessively

· Is never without a weapon

· Incapable of admitting fault blames his shortcomings on those around him

· He has no friends

· Career history has been marked by frequent job changes. He’s drawn to high stakes jobs by a need to prove his superiority

· Has experience with law enforcement (shift change/ crosses jurisdictional lines with his kills)

· Once was or is now a police officer

The BAU decides to re-enact the Franklin Park shooting to gain more insight into the killer’s positioning. Not sure why though? They seem to have a pretty great profile and the gist of everything. Also Reid says “Without a gun on my belt I look like a teacher’s assistant”. Garcia says “Rain maker, how wet do you want it” to Hoch.

Remember when JJ told the task force to keep the unsubs’ profile under wraps? Yeah. That lasted all of two seconds. The profile is leaked anyways… we see a reporter in Franklin Park proudly proclaiming that the unsub is a member of the Des Plains police department. This causes the BAU to believe that whoever leaked the story to the reporter is the unsub! JJ Patriot Acts the reporter and it’s hot. They get a phone number of his confidential informant, and Garcia traces it and realizes that whoever the unsub is, he’s part of the reenactment that the BAU is doing right now! The name of the unsub is Scott McCarty. McCarty is playing the unsub in the reenactment. The SWAT team arrests McCarty successfully. But surprise it’s not McCarty… McCarty is shot and murdered mid arrest!

Back at Des Plains Headquarters, the BAU discusses positive motives for the unsub and why he hasn’t contacted the press directly. Garcia is able to complete her geographic profile- narrowing down the locations to the hospital. They shift their profile to a hero/homicide killer.


· Motivations: excitement, power and respect

· Arrogant

· Conceited

· Feels superior to everyone around them

On their way to the hospital, Gideon tells Detective Calvin the new profile. Without missing a beat she says “You just described every surgeon I’ve ever met” girl what did he DO TO YOU?? Gideon believes that the killer is Dr. Landman, the trauma surgeon who was a dick earlier.

The BAU sets up an office at the hospital in a conference room?? We learn that Landman was a doctor with special forces and has bounced around to different hospitals- fitting the profile. We learn from Cheryl Marston the ????? of the hospital (not sure why they are talking to her but okay) that last month Landman was passed over as chief of surgery- a potential stressor. HOWEVER, Landman says his alibi is Dr. Hannah Pate and they were fucking (“I’m not the only one who thinks I’m a god).

Hotch and Reid assess the situation. They realize that that policeman and E. R personnel are on the exact same 24 hour shift schedule. Unsub works the second shift in an emergency room, which would also give him contact with his victims. Hotch and Reid interview “Head Nurse” at the ER. She believes the unsub is “Philip Dowd”, a nurse, former dishonorable from army, and was fired from being a copy (really after Hotch says “all his coworkers hate him she seems to zoom in on him).

As Reid leaves to tell Gideon, Philip Dowd comes out of nowhere and hits him in the head with a rifle, shoots out the lights, and holds a cop hostage. It’s super tense, the swat team is ready to barge in at any moment. Hotch profiles the hell out of the situation but much at Reid’s expense. Gideon says the line “They’re not unarmed, they’ve got his profile”. Okay grandpa.

Dowd totally thinks that Hotch is his buddy. Hotch asks if he can kick the snot out of Reid before Dowd kills them both. Hotch actually kicks Reid! Hotch also say that shooting is “not that hard, a Dalmatian could do it!” and gets Reid a gun mid-kick?? Reid shoots Dowd! Also Hotch apologizes to Reid after the fact and Reid tells him that he kicks like a 9 year old girl. So I guess they’re even? A man fucking wrote this. And Hotch just… allows Reid to pass his gun qualification. Just like that? Reid also kept that whistle for some reason and gives to Morgan at the end and Morgan is just like- okay I deserve this.


Rating Criteria

  • Criminal/Serial Killer: 15/20

  • Character development/ character arcs: 17/20

  • Forensics/Context: 10/20

  • Script writing: 7/20

  • Background characters: 10/20

  • Overal: 59/100


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