In season 13 episode 6 of Criminal Minds entitled, “The Bunker,” the BAU heads to Virginia to investigate a series of missing women. While at first, it seems like there is no connection between the victims, the team soon realizes that the time of the abductions, midnight, could be driving the unsub. Things get even more complex when a woman named Joanna comes asking about her missing “runaway” sister, who also disappeared five years ago. Can the team figure out the connection between these missing women and what is happening to them before it’s too late?

A Series of Missing Women

A woman is leaving work and talking on her cell phone in a parking garage. As she goes to get in her car, she notices a flyer on her windshield. The woman removes the flyer, but as she does, a hand covers her mouth and grabs her.

J.J. is helping Garcia find a new apartment. The team discusses the idea of living with only what you need and laughs when Garcia suggests she also lives by that philosophy. Emily rounds the team; they have a case.

Police in Virginia have called for the BAU’s help about three young women who have all gone missing in the past five years. The night prior, a fourth woman named Allie Leighton also went missing. She disappeared from a parking garage just after midnight. The other victims, one in 2012, one in 2013, and one in 2015 all went missing from different locations in the same geographic area. No bodies have been found. The team wonders if the unsub is holding all of the women or if he’s just good at permanent concealment. 

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Allie wakes up to “morning meadow” playing on a sound machine. She is lying in a bed in a nice room, but the door is locked. She tries banging on the door and yelling for help. She goes to the window, but the window is blocked out by a screen. Two women open the door to reveal a hospital-like corridor and ask her how she’s feeling. Allie runs out the door and through the halls, but with all the fake windows, she can’t find a way out. She runs into a man in a hazmat suit and is trapped by a glass barrier between her and the two women.

Meanwhile, the team tries to figure out what the connection is between the victims. None of the women look alike and the unsub crossed racial lines. The women are all single, young professionals, but other than that (and the time of the abductions) Garcia can’t find a connection. The team is going to work the case from D.C.

Prentiss and J.J. talk to the police who says that news coverage has surfaced of a woman named Joanna who is looking for answers about her missing sister, Chrissy. Joanna shows up whenever a missing person’s case comes up, but since Chrissy was classified as a runaway, the officer doesn’t think her case is related.

Allie tries to get out of the ward. Irene and the doctor say she is not a prisoner, she is there for her protection. Allie agrees to stop being violent and Irene wants to take her on a tour. It becomes clear that the doctor is Dr. Childs, the first woman who went missing five years ago. 


Two Unique Groups of Missing Women

J.J. talks to Joanna about her missing sister. Joanna believes the police didn’t want to look for her sister because she was a young drop out who was drinking and doing drugs. J.J., who knows what it’s like to lose a sister, agrees to look through Chrissy’s file. Simmons and Rossi head to the crime scene and find the flyer that was on Allie’s car. They theorize the unsub may have used the flyer as a rouse to grab her.

Irene and the doctor walk Allie around the facility. They want her to cook for everyone. She grabs a knife out of Dr. Childs pocket and threatens her. The doctor says Allie won’t get out that way, she knows. Allie passes out.

After doing some digging, Garcia finds that another supposed runaway went missing right after Chrissy. Dr. Childs, the first victim, went missing right after Chrissy and the other runaway. Prentiss has Garcia expand her search criteria and they find two dozen missing women, a combination of the four professional women and teen runaways. Garcia finds out that all the teen runaways were pregnant, including Chrissy.

Allie wakes up with Dr. Childs caring for her. She tells Allie that this is her home now. Back at the BAU, the team tries to figure out why the unsub has been kidnapping all of these different women and how he’s keeping them. They believe the unsub has assembled the team of professionals to take care of the runaways, now mothers, and their children and uses control to prevent their escape. Irene brings Allie back to her room as an alarm starts going off in the ward. She locks Allie in. Irene heads into a room where a man is watching surveillance cameras. The man says they need to “get rid of her.”

Prentiss and Luke arrive at a scene where a body has been found. They find Dr. Childs, wrapped in a blanket. She’s clean, fed, and they realize that she’s been alive this whole time. They think that she may have committed suicide, based on the older scars on her wrist. Garcia calls in, saying another woman has been taken. Meanwhile, Irene and the man, whom she calls Lawrence, argue about Dr. Childs death. Lawrence doesn’t want “the others” to get the same idea that Dr. Childs had.

The team meets to hear about the latest victim, a pediatrician named Paige, who was kidnapped from a busy parking lot. The abduction was captured on video by a witness and the team realizes that the man who took Paige has a partner. They also notice that he looks at the clock before grabbing her. Reid postulates that the numbers 11:57:30 might mean something to him. Due to the fact that Paige is a pedestrian, the team believes that the runaways and their children are still alive.

Doomsday

J.J. talks to Joanna again and admits that there might be a connection between Chrissy’s disappearance and the recent kidnappings. She asks if Joanna knew that Chrissy was pregnant; Joanna did not know. Reid calls the team together, saying he knows why the unsub is kidnapping the victims. The unsub is taking the women based on the counting down of the doomsday clock, which counts down to 12. The team hypothesizes that the unsub may be creating a doomsday cult, based on an obsession with doomsday prepping and building a society post-apocalypse. They believe the trigger for the kidnappings was the world doomsday clock starting five years ago.

Lawrence and Irene show Paige their doomsday “brainwashing” movie. Paige is then met by Chrissy, who gets all of the others, all of runaways and their children. J.J. asks Joanna about Chrissy’s ideas on Armageddon. Joanna admits that Chrissy was obsessed with doomsday after getting high and seeing some movies. She thinks she could have met someone who influenced her. In the kitchen, Allie is cooking and talks to Paige, who has returned from seeing the movie. Allie and Paige try to convince Chrissy and the others that the movie isn’t real, that the world hasn’t ended. The women won’t believe Allie and Paige, but during the argument, Allie manages to steal a knife from the drawer.

The team has Garcia search through the internet for information on doomsday preppers. They look for a man who is obsessed with both survival and prepping. They find Lawrence Coleman, the man from the video who abducted Paige. They also find that in addition to his home and work, he also has acquired multiple storage locations in recent years. Meanwhile, Paige brings Irene into Allie’s room; Allie is seemingly sick. As Irene leans over to see what’s wrong, Allie grabs her and holds the knife to her throat. 

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The BAU agents divide and conquer but find that Lawrence Coleman quit his job months ago and hasn’t lived in his home for a long time. All of the storage locations also come up empty. The team realizes that his partner could be a woman and she might be the key. Garcia searches through online conversations and finds Irene Jacobs, who drives a black van like the one in Paige’s abduction video. Irene, Garcia finds out, was a substance abuse counselor and Chrissy, as well as the other missing runaways, were all her patients. Irene was finding victims for Lawrence through her job. Garcia also finds that Irene owns acres of land and J.J. and Reid, who are closest, head to investigate.

An Underground Bunker

J.J. and Reid search the land, but can’t find anything. They determine that Lawrence and Irene must have a bunker underground. Eventually, they find the bunker hatch and open it, which sets off an alarm underground. Lawrence leaves Irene, still being held by Paige and Allie, to move the others. Reid and J.J. head into the bunker and the door shuts behind them.

In the bunker, J.J. and Reid search for the women but become trapped in the hallway by two glass barriers. Prentiss, Simmons, and Luke arrive on the scene, and while they know J.J. and Reid are there, they can’t reach them. J.J. and Reid realize they can’t break through the glass nor crack the code. Luckily, Paige and Allie find them, but Irene won’t reveal the code. Reid sees Coleman in an adjacent room and tries to convince him to let everyone go. J.J. spots Chrissy and appeals to her, telling her about her sister.

Reid and J.J. try to explain to the women that the world is not over, it’s all still there, and their families are still alive and worried about them. J.J.’s appeal to Chrissy works and she attacks Lawrence. Irene gives Reid and J.J. the code. The FBI and SWAT swarm the bunker and arrest Lawrence and Irene. Joanna and Chrissy reunite and Joanna gets to meet her nephew. Back at the BAU, the team jokes about how they each would spend their last day if the world was going to end.

What did you think of the twist and turns of “The Bunker?” Did you figure out the connection between the missing professionals and the missing runaways? How would you spend your last day if the world were ending? Let us know in the comments!

Criminal Minds season 13 airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on CBS. Want more news? Like our Criminal Minds Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of CBS)