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Entropy (Criminal Minds)

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Criminal Minds episode
Episode no.Season 11
Episode 11
Directed byHeather Cappiello
Written byBreen Frazier
Featured music
  • "I Put a Spell on You"
Original air dateJanuary 13, 2016 (2016-01-13)
Running time43 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
  • Aubrey Plaza as Cat Adams
  • Rochelle Aytes as Savannah Hayes
  • Erich Riegelmann as Barry Winslow
  • V.J. Foster as Daniel Adams
  • Victor J. Ho as The Chemist
  • Pete Freeland as Lawyer
  • Kai Stein as Little Boy
  • Finn Carr as Young Spencer Reid
  • Aisha Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Future Perfect"
Next →
Criminal Minds (season 11)
List of Criminal Minds episodes

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"Entropy" is the eleventh episode, serving as a mid-season premiere of the eleventh season of the American police procedural crime drama television series Criminal Minds, and is the 244th overall episode, which aired on CBS on January 13, 2016.[1] The episode was written by Breen Frazier and directed by Heather Cappiello.

At the time of its initial release, the episode was watched by 9.33 million viewers[2] and received critical acclaim with the television critics praising Matthew Gray Gubler's and Aubrey Plaza's performances, and Breen Frazier’s writing.


Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) arrives at a restaurant for his date with Cat Adams (Aubrey Plaza), with a red rose in his hand. He’s the first to arrive. When Cat finally arrives, her and Reid awkwardly introduce themselves. While the date seems to be going pretty well, things start to take a bizarre turn when Cat asks Reid to talk about why they’re really here. That's when Reid begins to discuss his wife. Reid reveals that he's been married for four years and tells Cat that his wife is due with their child very soon. It's then revealed that Cat is a hitman when her and Reid start talking about how much money he should pay her to kill his wife and unborn child. Cat then asks to see his wedding ring. It’s in very pristine condition despite his claim of four years of marriage, Cat then realizes that the date is a setup. At that point, she reveals she knows she’s being watched and reveals that she has a gun covertly pointed at Reid. Cat then starts to finds ways to send his teammates Rossi (Joe Mantegna) and JJ (A.J. Cook), who are discreetly stationed around the restaurant, away. She then sets up a timer on Reid’s phone. Thirty minutes. Reid has thirty minutes to answer every single question she asks him, and answer them truthfully. She tells him that she’ll agree to surrender if he cooperates, and if he lies to her, she goes free.

While being questioned by Cat, Reid lets slip that he took time away from work recently to go home to Vegas. Cat asks him why but Reid deflects. In a flash back to three days prior, Reid visits Morgan (Shemar Moore) and Savannah (Rochelle Aytes) at their house. Apparently Savannah has done some sort of favor for Reid, but before we learn what that favor is, Morgan and Reid are called in to discuss the Montolo case. At this point, Reid begins to reveal to Cat how he and his teammates came to find her and the rest of the gang. Reid tells her that Director Cochran, from “Internal Affairs”, was involved in a racketeering setup, and used the killing of undercover agents investigating the drug trade in Texas as a cover for his own crimes. It's revealed that he’s also got some information about Montolo’s gang. Reid tells Cat that Cochran had told the BAU about the five major players in Montolo's gang: The Sniper (Known for his accurate shots), The Chemist (Capable of poisoning his victims in ways that don’t leave a trace), The Bomber (Specializes in dramatic bombings), The Snowman (The technical guy behind the entire operation who was revealed to the team via their recovery of a flash drive Cochran owned) and "Miss 45" who is revealed to be Cat Adams, the hit woman who husbands hire to kill their wives. Hence why Reid came up with the “married man” ruse as he was closest to her age and he figured she’d relate to him better. It’s also revealed at one point that he’d been in communication with her for a short time via e-mails before they met. Cat tells Reid that despite being hired by men to kill their wives, she kills them, too. But she knew Reid wasn’t married, or the kind of man who would make this kind of evil hire. Reid tells her that she should’ve ignored his ruse to lure her out. But she didn’t. And Reid knows why. Her anger at the man who hurt her is so strong that she lashes out at any male in her vicinity, whether they’re bad or not.

Cat the reveals to Reid that she’s not alone. The gang member known as the Bomber is somewhere nearby. And much to the team’s dismay, they realize that the bomb is in the restaurant, and has been activated. Cat then demands to be let go, or she'll set the bomb off. Hotch (Thomas Gibson) tells Reid through an that the only way out is to give into Cat’s demands. Reid dismisses Hotch’s orders and goes off-script at the last minute. He claims he found Cat’s father. Her father is the object of her rage, and he’s the one she’s most eager to confront. Reid’s found her weak spot. Cat stays, eager to learn more. According to Reid, he’d sought her father out. Unfortunately, he’d fallen on severely hard times, winding up homeless and sleeping near dumpsters. To make matters worse, his years of drinking had caught up to him. When Reid shows him a picture of his daughter, he has absolutely no clue as to who she is. Reid then lets his own guard down, as a means of trying to empathize with her, and finally opens up to her about just what happened when he went home. Confused about why his mom’s medication wasn’t working, he went to visit her to see what the deal was. When he saw her in person, however, for the briefest of moments she didn’t remember him. After getting her tested, the reason why became clear: she’s now in the early stages of dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Cat now becomes aware she’s touched a nerve, and plays off his extreme vulnerability. Cat continues to threaten to blow the restaurant up. But the team realizes she’s not the bomber, and now have to figure out who is. During this entire dinner conversation, Morgan and Tara (Aisha Tyler) have been undercover in a booth nearby, and they are the only undercover agents that Cat has not yet noticed. Due to Morgan’s bomb expertise and knowledge, he’s able to suss out who the bomber is. It's not a he, it’s a she. Tara and Morgan make to casually leave, only for Tara to knock the woman out and cuff her, while Morgan disarms the bomb.

Cat then pulls her gun on Reid. Reid warns Morgan not to antagonize the situation further, but Morgan keeps pushing, revealing that Cat’s father is actually right outside. Reid seems angry with him for letting that information slip. The team knows that Cat’s dad killed her mom years ago, and her identifying him as the killer will allow him to finally be punished for his crime. This seems to placate Cat, and she agrees to be escorted out to confront her dad. She’s taken out in cuffs, led to the police vehicle waiting for her only to find it completely empty. Reid reveals to her that her never found him. But he does tell her that he actually did try and look for her dad. Cat tells Reid that she knows he wasn't lying about his mother and because she got Reid to reveal his own Achilles’ heel, she views this as a victory for herself. She then tells Reid that she's not worried about him coming after her if she goes free because “In twenty years, I’ll remember your name. But you won’t remember mine.”

With Cat and the rest of Montolo's gang in prison, Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) is now out of Witness Protection and can return to her home. Garcia celebrates by going to Morgan and Savannah’s place and getting drunk. It's then revealed that the favor Savannah did for Reid was to help him do some research on dementia and its likelihood of being passed on. Unfortunately, Reid’s too young to be tested and won’t know for some time if he has the genetic marker for it.


On December 1, 2015, it was announced that former Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza would guest-star in the eleventh episode of season eleven as Cat Adams.[3] Plaza got the role when her Matthew Gray Gubler sent her script and asked her to play the role of Cat.[4]


Critics praised Aubrey Plaza for her performance as Cat Adams


The episode aired on CBS on January 13, 2016. Upon initial release, it was viewed by 9.33 million people and it also garnered a 2.0/6 Nielsen rating.[2] "Entropy" was also the week's second most watched drama and ranked tenth on the list of most watched television programmes overall.[5] The episode also received 3.92 million more viewers in Live+7 ratings, bringing the viewer total to 13.25 million.[6]

Critical response[edit]

"Entropy" was met with critical acclaim. The episode has received an average score of 8.6 out of 10 in IMDb.[7]

Bill Tucker from Entertainment Weekly gave the episode a positive review, calling it "Classic Criminal Minds through and through" and said that "with twists, turns and some fantastic mental jousting between Kat and Reid, episode 11 stands as the best of the season thus far."[8] TV Fanatic gave the episode 5/5 stars, praising the dialogue and Gubler's and Plaza's performances, saying that the episode was "the very BEST episode of the season".[9] Carter Matt gave the episode a A- grade, saying that the episode was "anchored by great performances from Gubler and Plaza" and called it "one of the best episodes of this season"[10] Elizabeth Learned from The Celebrity Cafe called it "an amazing episode of Criminal Minds" and said that there "was so much to love about this episode". [11]


  1. "Criminal Minds Episode Guide 2005 Season 11 - Entropy". TV Guide. January 14, 2016. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Porter, Rick (January 14, 2016). "Wednesday final ratings: 'Modern Family' adjusts up, 'Code Black' adjusts down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  3. Webb Mitovich, Matt (December 1, 2015). "Criminal Minds: Aubrey Plaza Scores a Deadly Date With Reid — First Photo". TV Line. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  4. Ausiello, Michael (January 11, 2016). "Aubrey Plaza Previews 'Grueling' Criminal Minds Guest Stint — Plus, Watch an Exclusive Sneak Peek". TV Line. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  5. Porter, Rick (January 20, 2016). "Broadcast weekly Top 25: NFL playoffs, '60 Minutes' score big in the week of Jan. 11-17". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  6. Porter, Rick (February 1, 2016). "Broadcast Live +7 ratings: 'Big Bang Theory' and 'Modern Family' lead week 17, 'Shades of Blue' doubles". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  7. "Entropy". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  8. "'Criminal Minds' fan recap: Bombs, bombshells, and breakthroughs". Entertainment Weekly. 2016-01-14. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  9. "Criminal Minds Season 11 Episode 11 Review: Entropy". TV Fanatic. 2016-01-14. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  10. "'Criminal Minds' season 11, episode 11 review: Matthew Gray Gubler, Aubrey Plaza shine in 'Entropy'". CarterMatt. 2016-01-14. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  11. "Top 10 moments from 'Criminal Minds:' 'Entropy'". The Celebrity Cafe. Retrieved September 30, 2018.

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