In the past, we have counted down the best episodes, the best season premieres and the best season finales. In this article, I have chosen the 10 episodes I believe had the best resolution (or as close to a happy ending as we are likely to get in a series about serial killers).
#10 “Somebody’s Watching” (season 1, episode 18)
After several people from the film industry were murdered, the BAU offered to assist the local cops. The agents realized that the case centered around a young actress named Lila Archer, with whom Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) formed a relationship. The resolution of this episode was satisfying because Reid managed to stop the UnSub and save Lila’s life.
#9 “Broken Mirror” (season 1, episode 5)
After a young girl was kidnapped and her boyfriend was murdered, the girl’s twin sister helped the BAU learn the identity of the man who took her sister. This episode had a good conclusion because the kidnapped girl was saved and the UnSub was taken into custody.
#8 “Demonology” (season 4, episode 17)
When Prentiss (Paget Brewster) suspected there was a deeper explanation surrounding her friend’s death, the team decided to look into it. This story had a strong ending because Prentiss and her team caught the man who murdered her friend and saved the life of another person from Emily’s past.
#7 “Coda” (season 6, episode 16)
After a young autistic boy witnessed his parents’ abduction, the BAU had the task of getting through to the boy to figure out who had taken his parents. Though the boy’s father was killed, the resolution of this episode was powerful because Sammy helped the team find his kidnapped mother and the two were ultimately able to reunite.
#6 “Seven Seconds” (season 3, episode 5)
When a child was (presumably) abducted from a mall, the BAU was brought in to find the girl before it was too late. When the team managed to find the missing girl and save her life, it gave the episode an uplifting ending.
#5 “Mosley Lane” (season 5, episode 16)
The UnSubs in this episode abducted and abused children, keeping them captive for years. As dark as this episode was, the resolution was equally heartening when both UnSubs were dead and the team managed to reunite three of the kidnapped children with their parents.
#4 “Profiler, Profiled” (season 2, episode 12)
When Morgan (Shemar Moore) was arrested for murder, the team had to prove his innocence and catch the real killer. This plot line ended well when Morgan managed to confront his former abuser and have him arrested for the murders of several young boys.
#3 “Run” (season 7, episode 24)
After an explosion following a bank robbery, the team realized the UnSubs were trying to create a distraction. This finale episode had a satisfying conclusion because the agents managed to prevent the UnSubs’ master plan while saving JJ’s (A.J. Cook) family in the process.
#2 “It Takes a Village” (season 7, episode 1)
Ian Doyle was back and our team was determined to bring him down, once and for all. This episode had a great resolution because the team finally defeated Doyle, while saving his son and getting Prentiss back.
#1 “The Company” (season 7, episode 20)
After Morgan’s sister saw a woman she believed to be their missing cousin, the BAU reopened and reexamined the case. The resolution to this episode was excellent, as Morgan brought his cousin and her child home safely after capturing the UnSub.