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Criminal Minds -- Dorado Falls

Updated on October 8, 2011

Demons of the Mind

This episode of Criminal Minds was a lot different from the usual episode. Usually, we don't get to see the unsub's face before he/she commits their crime. We see it from the victim's perspective. The unsub also generally just comes off as evil. This was the first unsub I felt really sorry for. He was just as much of a victim as his victims were.

Luke Dolan wakes up in his Charlottesville, VA home, and seems a bit disoriented. He has a wound on his head, but it doesn't seem too serious. The neighbors say hello to him, but he acts like he doesn't recognize them. He goes to the office of his friend, Adam Warner, and kills him execution style, and kills everyone who is in the office at the time. This isn't your average work place killing.

Next, Luke calls his father wanting to see him. When he does, he insists that his father isn't his father. He ties his mother and father up in a closet then closes the door and shoots the closet door full of bullet holes, killing his parents. The next person he wants to see is his estranged wife and daughter, who have been taken into custody at the BAU headquarters for their own protection.

Reid suspects that Luke is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, involving a mission that took place on a boat called Dorado Falls. He also suspects since Luke had a minor accident and suffered a head injury he's suffering from something called Capgrass Syndrome. With Capgras Syndrome, if you hear a loved ones' voice you recognize them, but if you look at them you won't recognize them, which is why Luke has killed so many people that he knows. When he looks at them he sees strangers and believed they're replacements for his friends and family.

Luke kidnaps General Milburn believing he's gaslighting him because of Dorado Falls and replacing all his loved ones with fakes. He wants to know how the general could have gave the go ahead for what happened, when he was informed their were two children on that boat. Two children that Luke ultimately killed because no witnesses could be left alive.

Rossi contacts Luke and tries to get Luke to relate to on a military level. He even offers to take Milburn's place. This backfires, as Luke ultimately manages to break-in to BAU headquarters looking for his wife and daughter, and holds Rossi and most of the team at gunpoint.

Luke finally gives himself up and is blindfolded so he can recognize his family. Unfortunately, when his daughter bursts in he pulls the blindfold off and goes a bit wild.

It's a terrible thing to say, but it might have been better off for Luke if he'd been killed while being captured. Let's say the best case scenario is Luke gets counseling and conquers his problems. How does he live with the fact he murdered his own parents. He was having a hard enough time dealing with the fact he killed two children he'd met in the line of duty. How do you deal with something like that? Can he really have any kind of normal life after what he did?


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    • dmcgaw profile image

      Danielle McGaw 6 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      I just finished watching this episode tonight. It was great! Possibly one of the best.