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Criminal Minds 1x02
mandraco wrote in tvtranscripts
SERIES: Criminal Minds (2005)
EPISODE NO.: Season 1, Episode 2
EPISODE TITLE: "Compulsion"
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: September 28, 2005

The Gas Station CLERK points a shotgun at GIDEON.

CLERK: The gun.
T-T... take out the gun.

GIDEON removes a handgun from his hip holster and holds it in his hand.

CLERK: Th... th... throw it.

GIDEON: Any particular direction?

GIDEON turns to look at the CLERK. The CLERK hits him on the back of his legs with the shotgun.

GIDEON cries out in pain and falls forward, dropping the gun.

GIDEON is thrown against a wall on his knees. The CLERK is still aiming a gun at him.

CLERK: who... who are y-y-y... who are you? Who are you?!


CLERK: T-t-T... t-T... take out your W... your w-wallet.

GIDEON reaches for his wallet with his left hand, removes it from his pocket and holds it behind his back toward the man.

The CLERK throws the wallet on the floor, then walks closer to GIDEON.

CLERK: wh-wh... wh...wh-wh-what...what do you kn-kn... what do you know?

GIDEON: About you? Or about the people who you've murdered? I know a lot about you. I know how you do it. I know you can't stop. And I know something that no one's ever been able to tell you. I know why you stutter.

GIDEON is sitting in an arm chair talking to two AGENT TRAINEES, also in arm chairs. A second MALE AGENT TRAINEE holding a file stands by the door.

FEMALE AGENT TRAINEE: Weren't you a little bit worried he might just shoot you?

GIDEON: I was a lot worried.

MALE AGENT TRAINEE #1: But how did you find him?

GIDEON is fiddling with a small cube with different colored sides.

GIDEON: I was just stopping for gas. I walked into that store, and I saw pieces of a profile that I'd given to Virginia P.D. almost a year ago. Truck in disrepair, a disheveled young man, severe stutter. James Reese once said,"There are certain clues at a crime scene which, by their very nature, do not lend themselves to being collected or examined. How does one collect love, rage, hatred, fear?" These are things that we're trained to look for.

MALE AGENT TRAINEE #1: So anyone else would have just seen a guy who stutters, but you saw the Footpath Killer.

ELLE peers in through the doorway.

GIDEON: Right. But sometimes these guys are still found by just dumb luck. Berkowitz was caught because of a parking ticket.

ELLE: Except the cop who caught him wasn't staring down a shotgun like you were.

GIDEON: This is true. This is also a good time to stop.


GIDEON: Thank you.

The AGENT TRAINEES exit. ELLE walks in and sits down in a vacated arm chair.

ELLE: OK, I'm curious. Why'd he stutter?

GIDEON: You're on your way to becoming part of the behavior analysis team now, Elle. You tell me.

MORGAN is reading a newspaper at his desk. REID removes a black piece from a chess board. GIDEON moves a white piece.

GIDEON: Check. Checkmate 3 moves.

REID looks down at the board.

REID: What...?

MORGAN: You know you'll beat him when you start learning.

REID: Learning what?

MORGAN: To think outside the box.

REID and MORGAN turn their attention to their computer screens.

ELLE walks down the stairs to the main floor.

ELLE: Question for you.

MORGAN: Shoot.

ELLE: The Footpath Killer, why did he stutter?

MORGAN: Come on, Elle, we've all asked him, and he won't say.

REID: He wants us to figure it out.

ELLE: OK. I'm up for a challenge

J.J.: Good, because these go to you.

J.J. drops a stack of files on Elle's desk. J.J. extends a hand toward ELLE.

J.J.: Special Agent Jennifer Jareau. J.J. if you like.

ELLE and J.J. shake hands.

ELLE: Elle.

J.J.: Greenaway-- highest number of solved cases in Seattle 3 years running, specialty in sex offender cases.

ELLE: Not bad.

ELLE walks up the stairs as she speaks.

J.J.: Well, I'm the unit liaison. My specialty is untangling bureaucratic knots. You'll probably be talking to me a lot. My door's always open, mostly because I'm never in my office, so just call me on my cell, OK? We'll talk.

HOTCH exits his office and walks past J.J.

J.J.: Did you watch it?

HOTCH: Yeah. Think everybody should see it.

HOTCH keeps walking along the mezzanine. He is holding a disk of some kind.

HOTCH: B.A.U. team, can you meet me in the conference room, please? I need to show you something.

HOTCH, and the rest of the B.A.U. sit around a table. There is a screen mounted on the wall behind HOTCH.

HOTCH: This is from the Phoenix office. Bradshaw College in Tempe. 6 fires in 7 months.

GIDEON: Who recorded it?

J.J.: A student with a digital camcorder. He was watching a fire in the building across from their dorm. The other person you'll see is his roommate, 20-year-old Matthew Rowland.

J.J. uses the remote. A video begins playing on the screen. A window glowing with smoke.

STUDENT: This is crazy. Hey, Matt, get over here. You gotta see this. The building's on fire.

MATTHEW (V.O.): Bro, you getting this?

A man comes into focus as a reflection in the window in the video.

GIDEON: Is that the kid?

HOTCH: Yeah, that's him.

MATTHEW: Relax, man. There's always fires during rush week.

On the screen, MATTHEW walks toward the dorm room's door and peers under it.

MATTHEW: Yeah, but that's pretty big.

STUDENT: What building is that?

MATTHEW: Dude, over here. Check this out.

There is a puddle of liquid beneath the door.

STUDENT: What is it?

MATTHEW: I don't know, but it's coming underneath the door.

STUDENT: Is someone in the hallway?

The door knob turns.

MATTHEW: Hey, someone's trying to get in.

A liquid splashes under the door, into the room.

STUDENT: Hey, man, you should get in there.

MATTHEW: Oh, my god! It smells like gas.

The liquid on the floor is set alight, and MATTHEW catches fire.

MATTHEW: Oh, god! God! Oh, my god! Oh, my god!

MATTHEW drops to the floor, and the other STUDENT drops the camera on the ground.

MATTHEW: Aah! Put me out! Oh, my god! Oh, god! Help!

The other STUDENT hits MATTHEW with something, trying to smother the flames.

A plane is flying above clouds in the sky.

GIDEON (V.O.): Einstein once said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."

MORGAN is typing on his laptop. REID is playing chess. ELLE and HOTCH are sitting. GIDEON is reading files.

REID: There are 2 common stressors for a serial arsonist.

ELLE: Loss of job, loss of love.

MORGAN: When was the first fire set?

HOTCH reads from a file.

HOTCH: March. Uh, the next one was in May, and the third one wasn't 'til September. Then 2 weeks later there were 3 in one night.

MORGAN highlights the dates in a calendar on his laptop.

GIDEON: He's speeding up. Fires are closer together.

MORGAN: Hey, Reid, you got a statistic on arsonists?

REID: 82% are white males between 17 and 27. Female arsonists are far less likely, their motive typically being revenge.

MORGAN: Sounds like our boy's a student.

GIDEON: Don't be so sure. You rely too much on precedent, you never allow for the unexpected. If he went from setting one fire to 3 in 2 weeks' time...

HOTCH: Rapid escalation.

GIDEON: He's gone from the power to damage a building to something far more satisfying. The power over life and death. Who we talking to first?

HOTCH: Dean of Students, Ellen Turner.

MORGAN picks up a college prospectus and looks at a picture of a building.

Students are walking over campus. The B.A.U. exit from two black S.U.V.s: GIDEON, MORGAN and ELLE in one.

GIDEON: No badges. I don't want to satisfy the unsub's need for attention by letting him know he got the F.B.I. here. Try not to look official.

GIDEON looks at the team, ELLE, HOTCH and MORGAN are wearing neat suits with sunglasses. REID is wearing a short-sleeved plaid shirt.

GIDEON: Try to look less official.

GIDEON walks through a glass door, letting it swing shut behind him.

The B.A.U. team are walking across campus with Dean TURNER and Fire Inspector ZHANG.

TURNER: Obviously, I'd rather be meeting you under different circumstances. This is Fire Inspector Zhang.

ZHANG: This morning the chemistry department reported several bottles of highly flammable chemicals missing.

TURNER: I'm prepared to evacuate this campus.

GIDEON and HOTCH hold open two doors for TURNER. The doors swing shut once everyone has walked through.

TURNER: Thank you.

HOTCH: That brings with it its own problems.

GIDEON: You might evacuate the arsonist as well.

ELLE: Then the case goes unsolved, the campus is reopened, but the fires start up again.

MORGAN: Hotch, Gideon, hold on a second.

Everyone stops talking.

MORGAN: You said the chemicals were missing today.

ZHANG: Uh-huh.

MORGAN: It says here that one of the previous fires was set with diesel fuel that disappeared from the grounds keeping facility. How long after it disappeared was the fire set?

TURNER: One day.

HOTCH and GIDEON look at each other and walk away together.

GIDEON: If he's holding to a pattern...

HOTCH: who's to say the next fire won't be today?

Police tape over the door is pulled aside by REID. He's followed by HOTCH.

HOTCH: Door was locked.

REID: Matthew Rowland and his roommate watched as the doorknob turned against the lock.

HOTCH: But the unsub couldn't get in.

REID: So he pours the accelerant into the room from the hallway.

HOTCH: Which means he couldn't see the fire.

REID: But he could hear Matthew Rowland screaming.

HOTCH: Yeah, but not for long. He would have left quickly.

REID: Yeah, to avoid being spotted.

HOTCH: It doesn't make sense.

REID: Pyromania as a mental disorder may just be a simple myth, but we do know from precedent that serial arsonists derive pleasure from pathological fire-setting.

HOTCH: Sex and power.

REID: But a serial arsonist wouldn't just set a fire and walk away.

HOTCH: He needs to experience it.

REID: So why would he set a fire he couldn't watch?

The team and TURNER watch as ZHANG opens a box and inside are burnt ignition devices.

ZHANG: He turned the water off just before the fire. The last 3 were set with these. 2 devices, simultaneous ignition.

GIDEON: There was no device used on Matthew Rowland. Unsub set that one manually?

MORGAN: He wanted to be there to enjoy the kid's death.

HOTCH: Not necessarily.

ELLE: Well, if the target was Matthew Rowland, then why set the other 2 fires?

REID: The motives for arson are relatively simple. There's vandalism, crime concealment, political statement... Profit--

HOTCH: And revenge.

ZHANG: We interviewed Matthew Rowland's roommate. He said Matthew was very well-liked.  No reason for revenge.

TURNER: What about vandalism?

ELLE: No. The fires are too sophisticated, and if he's trying to make a political statement, he's not being too clear about it.

GIDEON: There's an underlying strategy in this case. Matthew, firefighters, injured victims. To the unsub, they're not people. They're...

HOTCH: They're objects.

GIDEON: More like, uh...

GIDEON picks up one of the devices to examine it.

REID: Chess pieces.

GIDEON: Exactly.

GIDEON throws the device back in the box.

MORGAN is standing on the connecting balcony outside.

MORGAN: All right... I want to set a dormitory fire. Where would I start?

MORGAN looks up at the balconies and down to the ground floor.

MORGAN: In the basement. The upper levels would be fuel. Then why did I start on the third floor?

MORGAN flashes back to the video. The fire in the opposite building, then MATTHEW falling to the floor, on fire.

MATTHEW: Oh, god! Oh, god!

MORGAN: Because it wasn't the building I wanted to set on fire.

ELLE is drinking coffee, sitting across from REID.

ELLE: The timer sets the road flare, which then lights the chemical mixture inside the canister. Simple.

REID: Yet sophisticated in its simplicity. I mean, there's a meticulous construction to it.

ELLE stands up with her coffee mug and walks away from REID, toward the bank of monitors they have set up.

ELLE: Chemical accelerant could mean chemistry student.

REID: Could also mean chemistry professor.

ELLE: Mmm, I say student. You need self-confidence to lecture in front of a classroom full of 30 college kids. Arsonists are socially incompetent.

REID examines with an electronic device.

ELLE: This guy doesn't go on dates. He doesn't go to parties. He doesn't feel comfortable in front of groups.

REID looks up at ELLE.

ELLE: And, of course, he's a total psychopath.

REID nods.

REID: Course.

GIDEON and TURNER are walking away from a building toward another.

TURNER: You think we'll get a lead from the hotline?


TURNER: If you don't mind my asking, why then did you set up the number?

GIDEON: Well, serial arsonists enjoy manipulating authorities. They like to communicate, explain themselves. I'm not waiting to hear from a tipster or witness.

TURNER: You're waiting to hear from him.


GIDEON watches a student light a cigarette and flashes back to a burning building, a burning person, and a large explosion.

Professor WALLACE enters his office, talking to a FEMALE STUDENT off screen.

WALLACE: All right, office hours. I have my own homework to do.

FEMALE STUDENT: Thank you, Professor Wallace.

WALLACE: No problem.

WALLACE shakes his head and shuts his door. He smells something. He looks to a door opposite the one he entered and there is a puddle on the floor in front of it.

GIDEON looks from the smoking student to one trying to drink from the water fountain. No water comes out. She leaves.

TURNER: We don't want a stampede on our hands because the exits out of the campus block so quickly. Now, we have staging areas, and we must utilize every possible...

GIDEON is looking underneath the water fountain.

TURNER: Agent Gideon?

WALLACE opens the door and we see it's a closet with a lightbulb. The lightbulb has powder inside it. WALLACE is standing in the puddle of liquid.

GIDEON is still looking under the water fountain. He flashes on fires being fought by firefighters with water from hoses and helicopters. GIDEON looks up at the water sprinklers on the roof.

TURNER: Agent Gideon. Agent Gideon?

GIDEON walks to the opposite wall and pulls the fire alarm.

GIDEON: Everybody out of the building! Go!

GIDEON starts walking toward the nearest exit. TURNER remains in place.

TURNER: What is it?

GIDEON opens a door and students start running through it. GIDEON runs through it.

GIDEON: Look out! Clear the whole building! Clear it! Now!

WALLACE flicks the light switch and something inside the lightbulb ignites.


WALLACE's face burns.

GIDEON is running through another door, in the opposite direction the students evacuating are taking. The alarm blares.

Smoke is bursting from a building and the fire alarm blares. Sirens sound.

MORGAN and ELLE are walking down the stairs. They see the building on fire.

GIDEON runs through a smoky hallway.

GIDEON: Come on!

WALLACE: Help me! Help me!

GIDEON smashes open a case holding a fire extinguisher. He removes the fire extinguisher and heads toward the screams.

A police car with its lights and sirens on drives in.

GIDEON smashes through the window with the fire extinguisher.

MORGAN runs toward the burning building, outstripping ELLE.

MORGAN: Move! Move! Get out of the way!

GIDEON is using the fire extinguisher on the flames in front of him. WALLACE is lying on his desk, burnt, not moving.

MORGAN pulls GIDEON away from the window. GIDEON struggles against him.

MORGAN: Gideon! Get out of there! Get out of there!

GIDEON: Let go!

MORGAN: It ain't worth it!

GIDEON: Wait, Morgan! There's somebody in there!

HOTCH is running toward the burning building.

MORGAN pulls GIDEON down the external fire escape.

MORGAN: Come on, Gideon, move! Move! Keep moving, Gideon!

An ambulance pulls up at the base of the building.

GIDEON breaks out of MORGAN's grasp on the stairs.

GIDEON: Get off of me! There was a teacher!

MORGAN: Let it go! He's already dead. Let it go.

MORGAN coughs into his hand.

ELLE arrives next to the ambulance. REID comes from the opposite direction. HOTCH is standing by the police car.

HOTCH: He might be here watching.

ELLE: Yeah.

HOTCH: Take pictures-- as many as you can.

ELLE: You got it.

ELLE looks up at the building, then begins taking pictures of the male students watching the fire.

GIDEON is talking to TURNER, sitting on opposite sides of her desk.

GIDEON: The professor's name was Wallace?

TURNER: It's a terrible loss. He was one of those teachers. Um... he knew how to make a difference.

ELLE approaches the open door.

ELLE: Gideon, we've got police and security interviewing everyone in that building.

GIDEON: How long will it take to finish evacuating the campus?

TURNER: This is a college of 10,000 students and faculty.

ELLE: Well, there's another problem with evacuating.

GIDEON: You mean, we might accelerate the unsub's timeline.

ELLE nods.

GIDEON: Let's round everybody up.

ELLE and GIDEON leave together.

A student walks in.

STUDENT: Dean Turner?

TURNER sips from her coffee mug.

STUDENT: Hi, I'm Jeremy. I'm one of the research assistants at the science department.

TURNER nods.

JEREMY: We were talking, and, uh, we'd like to help.

TURNER: The best thing you can do right now is just stay--

JEREMY: we know how he did it.

The team are looking at the photographs ELLE took.

MORGAN: We've been at this all night, and we've got nothin'.

MORGAN picks up a photo and sets it down again.

MORGAN: Look at these expressions. We got fear, a touch of horror, even a little bit of panic. Where's the guy gettin' off?

MORGAN walks toward REID sitting at a desk.

REID: When asked about his motives, Peter Dinsdale said, "I am devoted to fire. Fire is my master."

MORGAN imagines students walking across the campus.

MORGAN: OK, so who was our boy's master? 10,000 plus students...

MORGAN ignites an orange plastic lighter with his right hand. He imagines one of those students looking back at him.

MORGAN: And one has a serious fascination with fire.

MORGAN extinguishes the flame.

ELLE: Fire starting is one third of the homicidal triad... an early predictor of adult disassociative criminal behavior. If we looked in his childhood, we'd probably find all three. Bedwetting... and cruelty to animals.

GIDEON: Absent or abusive father, trouble with the opposite sex, chronic low self-esteem-- M.O. Would be dynamic. Evolving. Fire setting escalates, they thrive on panic, fear. It's just the standard profile of a serial arsonist.

REID: Based on hundreds of interviews.

MORGAN: Based on precedent.

ELLE: Everything the unsub should be, according to research.

HOTCH: We're off the mark.

GIDEON: Because of the two missing elements.

MORGAN: Sex and power-- the two motives that drive a serial arsonist.

GIDEON: And without 'em, we do not have a profile.

GIDEON walks down the stairs away from a building. A student on a bicycle rides toward him and stops.

CAMPUS PATROLLER: Whoa! Hey! Uh, sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. I'm just, um, I'm campus patrol. I'm supposed to ask for your I.D.

GIDEON walks toward him.

GIDEON: Sure, sure.

GIDEON slips his badge wallet out of his pocket and shows it to the CAMPUS PATROLLER, who takes it and examines it more closely.

CAMPUS PATROLLER: You're one of those F.B.I. guys.

The CAMPUS PATROLLER flicks the wallet. GIDEON smiles.

CAMPUS PATROLLER: Um, like a profiler, right?

GIDEON nods.

CAMPUS PATROLLER: Like, one look at a crime scene, you can tell what kind of shampoo a killer uses?

GIDEON: You sound skeptical.

CAMPUS PATROLLER: Uh, maybe a little.

The CAMPUS PATROLLER fiddles with the necklace around his neck.

GIDEON: Your girlfriend thinks you're gonna break up with her.

The smile drops off the CAMPUS PATROLLER's face.

CAMPUS PATROLLER: You're kidding, right?

GIDEON: Well, you keep adjusting your necklace. That tells me you're not used to wearing one or somebody else probably bought it for you, bought it recently, and the Chinese symbol on it means "Forever yours". Take care of yourself, all right?

GIDEON walks away.

Students (three female and JEREMY) are using pipettes and other scientific equipment. HOTCH approaches REID who is fiddling with a lightbulb.

HOTCH: Reid. Since you're more their age, why don't you do the talking?

HOTCH walks away. REID walks closer to the students as he speaks, toward HOTCH and ZHANG.

REID: Ahem. Hi-- hi, guys. Uh, my name's, uh, Dr. Spencer Reid. I'm a, uh, agent with the-- the B.A.U., the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the F.B.I., which, um, it used to be called the B.S.U., the Behavioral Science Unit, but not anymore. They changed it to the B.A.U. Um, it's part of the N.C.A.V.C., the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime which is also part of this thing called the C.I.R.G., the Critical Incident Response Group, and--

HOTCH: What he's trying to say is we'd love to know how you can help us.

JEREMY stands up and gestures to the lightbulb REID is holding.

JEREMY: May I, please? Thank you.

JEREMY holds up the lightbulb, showing it to HOTCH.

JEREMY: See this? Drill a hole in the side, fill it with gasoline or whatever's good and flammable. Turn the light on. Boom. That is what went down, didn't it?

FEMALE STUDENT #1: The stuff's all over the net. Wanna know how to make a molotov cocktail that sets itself on fire? Potassium, sulfur... and normal sugar. Sugar-- sugar, which is--

JEREMY: Not exactly plutonium. You could get this stuff anywhere.

FEMALE STUDENT #1: Sugar from the supermarket.

HOTCH: But you don't need to be a chem major to know that.

ZHANG: Do you think it's a chem student?

JEREMY: You wanna know what I think? I think...

JEREMY holds the lightbulb in front of his head.

JEREMY: It would be a good time to take the semester off.

JEREMY hands the lightbulb back to SPENCER.

JEREMY inserts a key into the elevator control panel.

JEREMY: Hold on. You need a key to get it movin' after 10:00 P.M.

HOTCH: So what are you still doin' here?

JEREMY: I came in to work on other projects. You know how to solve the 3 body problem?

REID nods, behind JEREMY's back.

JEREMY: Computing the mutual gravitational interaction between the earth, sun and moon?

J.J. enters the room and shuts the door behind her, speaking on her phone.

J.J.: Do you have any idea how many people called me today with absolute certainty that our arsonist is a firefighter? Like, yeah, I saw Backdraft. Uh, let me call you right back.

J.J. leans over GARCIA's shoulder to look at her screen.

GARCIA: This came into the hotline about 5 minutes ago.

GARCIA hits some keys on her keyboard.

MAN (recorded): You've reached the F.B.I. tip hotline for the Bradshaw College fires.

The recording beeps.

CALLER (distorted): Kar-on. I do this for Kar-on.

The recording appears as a waveform on a monitor. The team are all listening.

RECORDING: Karen. I do this for Karen.

GIDEON: Play it again.

MORGAN: The call came from the office right next to Wallace's 5 minutes before the fire was started.

GIDEON: Play it again.

RECORDING: Karen. I do this for Karen.

GIDEON: Again, louder.

MORGAN turns the speaker to face GIDEON and hits a key on his keyboard.

RECORDING: Karen. I do this for Karen.

HOTCH: What is it?

GIDEON: I'm not sure. Somethin' about it.

HOTCH: Is this tape clean?

MORGAN is on one of GARCIA'S screens. They are having a video conversation.

GARCIA: I can put it through some audio filters.

MORGAN: Look, we need as close to the real voice as you can get, and anything that might be in the background. Can you do it?

GARCIA: OK, you know how on Star Trek when Captain Kirk asks McCoy to do something totally impossible, and McCoy says, "Damn it, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a miracle worker?"

MORGAN: Hey, what are you tellin' me, not to expect a miracle?

GARCIA: No, I'm saying I'm not a doctor.

MORGAN: That's my girl.

GARCIA and MORGAN laugh.

TURNER is collecting printed sheets from a printer.

TURNER: These are all the women on campus with the first name Karen.

TURNER sets the print-outs on a table. ELLE picks them up.

ELLE: A lot of Karens. Hmm.

MORGAN takes half the pictures.

GIDEON is walking on grass. REID is sitting at the base of a tree.

REID: What if the unsub is one of the students leaving?

GIDEON: No, he's not done yet. He's not goin' anywhere. Keep thinkin'.

REID: You mean, out-- outside the box?  That's what Morgan's always telling me. He says that's why I can never beat you at chess.

GIDEON: Well, he's probably right.

REID: But, I mean, in this situation, what exactly is the box?

GIDEON: The standard profile of a serial arsonist. If everything you know goes in the box, what's left?

REID: What you don't know. The unknown.

GIDEON: Sometimes you have to get creative. Even if you think it's utterly unlikely, you have to think of things nobody else thought of.

REID: Like a stutter.

GIDEON: Yeah, exactly.

ELLE escorts a woman out of the room. There is a line of women waiting outside.

ELLE: Thank you, Karen.

ELLE shuts the door.

ELLE: Karen number 7.

MORGAN: You know,there's gotta be a faster way to do this. How 'bout we just change the first question to "Have you recently dated a homicidal pyromaniac?"

ELLE: Speaking of questions, you figured out yet why the Footpath Killer stuttered?

MORGAN: Nope. You?

ELLE: I know that embarrassment makes a stutter worse, and that when you're flustered, it's more difficult to control the articulatory musculature of the face.

MORGAN: You sound like Reid.

ELLE: You did not just say that.

MORGAN: Obviously, somebody's been doin' their homework.

ELLE: I still have no idea what causes a stutter.

ELLE opens the door and lets in the next woman.

ELLE: Karen. Number 8.

GIDEON is looking at the projects on the wall of the chemistry lab. One is on the three body problem.

The CAMPUS PATROLLER opens the door. GIDEON turns to face him.

CAMPUS PATROLLER: Hey. I didn't scare you again, did I?  Um, sorry. This is one of the buildings on my patrol.

GIDEON: Just lookin' at the board. The 3 body problem. You know what it means?

CAMPUS PATROLLER: Uh, no. No idea.

GIDEON: It's physics. It's one of the great mathematical mysteries. You broke up with her. No more necklace.

CAMPUS PATROLLER: Yeah, I kinda wanna date someone else.

GIDEON: What's her name?


GIDEON: Oh. Well, that's, uh... that's a pretty good reason. Did she take it all right?

CAMPUS PATROLLER: Yeah. Yeah, other than telling me that homosexuality's a sin, and that I'm going to incur the wrath of God.

GIDEON: Ha. The wrath of God.

GIDEON walks away from the CAMPUS PATROLLER and quickly breaks into a run.

GARCIA sits in front of her monitors. One of them is a fingerprint. She is again teleconferencing with MORGAN.

GARCIA: OK, gorgeous, I've put this thing through every audio filter I've got. There's only one thing I can tell you for sure. This guy isn't saying "Karen." It's more like "karone."

MORGAN: Garcia, what the hell is karone?

GARCIA: If I figure it out, does it earn me a night of passionate lovemaking?

MORGAN: Most definitely, sweetness... with Reid.

GARCIA and MORGAN laugh.

MORGAN: Oh. Bye.

MORGAN removes his headset. REID is standing on the opposite side of the room.

MORGAN: Hey, Reid.. Garcia says it's not "Karen". It's actually somethin' more like--

GIDEON rushes into the room and stares at the board.

GIDEON: Charown.

REID: Charown?

GIDEON: Charown. I do it because of charown.

REID: That's Hebrew.

GIDEON: It's God's word in anger.

REID: Yeah.

ELLE walks in carrying food in plastic containers.

ELLE: The motive is now religious?

REID: Well, you know, in a lot of religions, god is related to fire.

HOTCH: Well, Brahman is fire in Hinduism, and the Jews see God as a pillar of fire, and Christians worship God as a consuming fire.

MORGAN: OK, so we're lookin' for a theology major.

ELLE throws REID a container of food. He catches it and stares at it.

MORGAN: Maybe he's punishing the other students for their sins.

REID: I don't want this.

REID sets the container down.

ELLE: What-- what's the most sinful place on campus?

MORGAN: Come on, Elle. When I was in college, that was everywhere.

HOTCH: A fraternity?

ELLE: A campus bar?

HOTCH: No, 'cause that's not consistent with the previous targets.

MORGAN: What about the idea of baptism by fire? Aren't we all supposed to be tested through fire in Revelations?

GIDEON has been writing on a white board and he looks up.

GIDEON: Look, it's good, it's good, but let's please do not jump to conclusions. Religion might be a part of it, but it's not necessarily the prime compulsion.

MORGAN: Gideon, rush to conclusions, jump to conclusions. Who cares?

ELLE: We are running out of time.

REID: Compulsion.

REID is rewatching the recording of Matthew Rowland's death.

MATTHEW: Oh, my god. It smells like gas. Oh! Oh, god! Oh, my god! Help! Oh, my god! Oh, my god! Aah!

STUDENT: Hold on, man!

REID hits a key on his keyboard. REID shifts in his chair. REID rewinds and rewatches. REID gets up and walks over to the white board GIDEON was writing on earlier.

REID: Outside the box.

REID erases the board.

GIDEON peers through the door into the room and watches REID circle the word 'Fire', the only thing he didn't erase.

GIDEON opens the door and sticks his head in.

GIDEON: Keep thinkin'. It's like chess. Don't look at just the next move. Try to look 3 moves ahead.

GIDEON goes away and shuts the door behind him.

REID watches the video again. Rewinding and replaying the part where MATTHEW goes toward the door and spots the fluid under the door.

REID pauses, then zooms in on the doorknob. He presses play and it turns three times.

REID: Three times

REID walks over to Wallace's office door and smudges away the soot so that he can read the sign. It is room number 3.

REID walks over to Matthew's desk and starts looking for something. He picks up a binder with a schedule on the cover.

REID: "Professor Wallace. Tuesday, 3:00."

REID enters the room where GIDEON and HOTCH are looking at files.

REID: I know why the profiles never fit. You were right to tell Morgan not to rely on precedent. The fires thus far have been completely task oriented.

HOTCH: So once they're set, the unsub is done?

REID: Exactly. The unsub is not a classical serial arsonist. He's someone who uses fire because of a completely different disorder.

GIDEON: Which is?

REID: An extreme manifestation of O.C.D., Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He does everything in 3s,

A feminine looking hand with a string bracelet puts three bottles into a bag.

REID (V.O.): And if I'm right, he'll have to kill again.

REID is sitting in front of a computer displaying Matthew Roland looking at the door.

REID: There's a form of O.C.D. called Scrupulosity.

GIDEON: Religious obsession and compulsion.

REID: An obsessive fear of committing sin, which creates so much anxiety that he's compelled to do something to ease that anxiety.

HOTCH: Like setting fires.

GIDEON: Where's the behavioral evidence?

REID: Right here.

REID presses the keyboard.

REID: All right. Remember the night of the three fires? We saw the doorknob turning against the lock.

REID plays the zoomed-in footage of the knob turning.

REID: But he's not trying to get in. He's compelled to turn the doorknob 3 times.

GIDEON: Well, what about the fires? The first ones were single fires. If the unsub was O.C.D., shouldn't they have all been in threes?

REID: They were in threes. A trinity of threes. The first fire occurred on March 3rd.

GIDEON: 3:00 P.M. Third day, third month.

REID: It's that convergence of 3s that causes the overwhelming anxiety. Obsessive compulsives ease the anxiety by performing the compulsion.

HOTCH: What about the other fires? Professor Wallace?

REID: Office number 3. I checked for more patterns of threes. His class was on Tuesdays.

HOTCH: Third day of the week.

REID: Matthew Rowland was in that class. It was his third class of the day. If we looked into each of the fires we'd find a lot of patterns having to do with threes because our minds are incredibly adept at seeking out patterns. But to the unsub, once that pattern hits--

REID clicks his fingers.

REID: Bam-- he sets a fire.

HOTCH: But if the target was always people, why did no one die in the first few fires?

REID: They were failures. Up until Matthew Rowland.

GIDEON looks at HOTCH, who is staring out the window.

GIDEON: What is it?

HOTCH: I think I know who it might be.And it's not a he. It's a she.

TURNER is sitting with ZHANG. There is pizza in front of them. She is talking on speaker.

TURNER: Clara Hayes. A chemistry student. I'll get you her records now.

GIDEON is holding his cell phone and talking to TURNER.

GIDEON: First get campus security out and find her. She could set her next fire within hours.

MORGAN is walking down some stairs, holding his cell phone. He is followed by ELLE and a SECURITY GUARD.

MORGAN: OK, got it. Her apartment's off campus.

ELLE: But how is he sure it's this girl?

HOTCH is sitting and talking to REID and GIDEON.

HOTCH: When I was talking to her and her classmates, I noticed something-- a ring on her finger. And she kept turning it.

REID: At intervals?

HOTCH: Of three. And she counted off the ingredients of a light bulb bomb.

They flash back to the FEMALE STUDENT speaking in the chemistry lab.

CLARA: Potassium, sulfur, and normal sugar. Sugar.

REID: And the word "sugar."

HOTCH: Yeah. And she kept repeating it. Once she started,she couldn't stop.

REID: Yeah, it's palilia. It's the involuntary repetition of words. Howard Hughes had it when his O.C.D. worsened.

HOTCH: Clara and her classmates were working on a project about gravitational pull.

GIDEON: The three body problem.

The SECURITY GUARD walks into the apartment first, gun drawn. It's apartment number 7. ELLE and MORGAN wait in the doorway. The walls are covered in pictures and writing. The word 'Fire' is repeated.

SECURITY GUARD: No one in here.

MORGAN and ELLE walk into the room.

MORGAN: Oh, you gotta be kidding me. O.C.D.? I'm thinking more like O.M.G.


MORGAN: Oh, my god.

ELLE reads a passage from the wall.

ELLE: "A fire is kindled in my anger, and shall burn into the lowest hell." Deuteronomy.

MORGAN: "And again the fire of heaven came down and killed them all."

ELLE: "I do this for Charon." That's Charon.

ELLE points at a printed picture of a man on a boat.

ELLE: That's the Greek mythological ferryman of the dead.

MORGAN: It's also the name of Pluto's only moon. Paradise Lost. "Moloch, horrid king, besmeared with blood of human sacrifice and parents' tears."

REID is on the phone. Still with GIDEON and HOTCH.

REID: Moloch was the demon sun god of the Canaanites. In order to keep from incurring his wrath, the people would sacrifice their children to him by burning them alive.

HOTCH lifts a page from the printer.

HOTCH: 16-year-old survives inferno. The mother Ellen Hayes called it a miracle. "My daughter was tested by God. He tested my child and she came through blessed." Look at the house number.

HOTCH shows the copied article to GIDEON. It has a picture of a fence marked "333".

GIDEON: 333.

ELLE walks toward MORGAN.

ELLE: Hey, Morgan, you know what magical thinking is?

MORGAN: Obsessive thoughts. It's like a superstition. It controls them.

ELLE: Kinda like step on a crack, break your mother's back.

MORGAN: Except she actually believes it.

ELLE continues looking at things on the walls.

ELLE: God tested her with fire, and now when three 3s-- three 3s show up around another person...

MORGAN lifts a bottle of a bluish liquid.

MORGAN: God tells her to test them.

TURNER is now sitting with GIDEON, REID and HOTCH.

TURNER: Security's checking the science building.

GIDEON: Well, where else would she be?

REID: We need to find the next pattern of 3s.

ELLE looks at a candle, and a book with a lot of black and white photos in it. MORGAN is on the phone with HOTCH.

MORGAN: Hey, Hotch... we're lookin', man. I don't think she would have left behind a day planner that says "set next fire here" written in it.

ELLE looks behind the beaded curtain.

MORGAN: I under-- wait 'til you see this place.

ELLE: Uh, Morgan?

MORGAN: I'll call you back.

MORGAN shuts his phone and walks toward where ELLE is standing. There are a lot of jars with different liquids inside them, sitting on the shelves.

HOTCH is on his cell phone with MORGAN.

MORGAN (V.O.): There must be 30 homemade bombs in here.

HOTCH: Morgan, seal the building get everybody out of there and walk away.

GIDEON: We need to send our people into every building and have them start pulling fire alarms. Please, go.

The SECURITY GUARDS in the room exit.

GIDEON: Mead, a map of the campus. We need to find anything and everything having to do with the number 3. Where's the blueprint?

JEREMY is on his cell phone, walking down a corridor, with the other two FEMALE STUDENTS.

JEREMY: Hell no, I'm not leaving. I have too much to do. All right. I bought one of those mini halon fire extinguishers. They started selling them at the bookstore. It's pretty morbid, right? Hey, I'm about to get into an elevator, so I'll probably lose you. All right, bye-bye.

JEREMY hangs up his phone and they arrive at the elevator door.

The elevator door opens and the three of them walk in. JEREMY presses a button and the door closes.

SOMEONE is holding a lighter flame beside a panel of lights, tracking the elevator's progress up the floors. When it gets to 3, the key is turned to stop the elevator. The flame is extinguished.

The lights flash in the elevator and an alarm sounds.

A SECURITY GUARD pulls the fire alarm. STUDENTS begin evacuating the building.

Another SECURITY GUARD runs down a corridor.

FEMALE SECURITY GUARD (V.O.): You got the science building?

MALE SECURITY GUARD (V.O.): All the corridors and stairwells are clear. The elevator closet's checked. No elevators are in service.

FEMALE STUDENT #2 presses a button on the control panel.

JEREMY: It's not gonna start.

FEMALE STUDENT #2: Don't you have the key?

JEREMY: I put it back on the hook in the office.

FEMALE STUDENT #3: Aren't you supposed to be able to hear the emergency call button?

FEMALE STUDENT #2: Maybe it's broken.

JEREMY presses a different button. He looks up at the lit number three.

JEREMY: Or turned off.

FEMALE STUDENT #2: I say we pry open the doors.

JEREMY: You can't pry 'em all the way open. It's a safety precaution.

FEMALE STUDENT #3: Maybe we can try yelling for help.

They all look up as they hear an alarm.

FEMALE STUDENT #2: That's the fire alarm.

HOTCH stops GIDEON as he tries to leave the room.

HOTCH: Jason, wait. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Clara Hayes is very likely a good person. Someone who never wanted to do anyone any harm, like any other rational person. But there's nothing rational about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

REID: Research suggests O.C.D. involves problems in communication between the frontal of the brain and the orbital cortex. Plus deeper structures. The basal ganglia.

HOTCH: You can't reason with her because you can't reason with a physiological problem. She's not setting these fires because she wants to, but because she has to.

GIDEON: What are you trying to say?

HOTCH: Don't try to convince her to stop, because you won't be able to.

GIDEON nods.

JEREMY is trying to pry the elevator doors open with his fingers. It opens about a foot, exposing cement wall. There is a gap about a foot from the ceiling.

FEMALE STUDENT #2: That's it? It won't go any further?

JEREMY: I told you, it's a built-in safety precaution.

FEMALE STUDENT #3: Help! Somebody help us! Hello? Somebody help us!

JEREMY tries to give FEMALE STUDENT #2 a boost, to go through.

CLARA pries the outer elevator doors open with her fingers.

FEMALE STUDENT #3: Please, somebody, we're trapped down here. Somebody help us!

CLARA kneels on the ground and looks down through the small gap at the three students trapped in the elevator.


JEREMY: Clara, thank god.

CLARA: It's all right.

JEREMY: Clara, go back to the office and get the elevator key.

CLARA: It's OK. I'm here to save you.

JEREMY: Go-- go get the key, Clara. The elevator key.

CLARA gets up and walks away.

FEMALE STUDENT #2: Clara! Clara, wait!

JEREMY: The key! Clara! Get the key!

FEMALE STUDENT #2: Is this building on fire?

CLARA comes back and sticks her head through the hole.

CLARA: Not yet.

MORGAN is rushing through corridors on level three, holding his cell phone in front of his face. Alarms are still ringing.

MORGAN: It's clear up here. Anything?

ELLE walks along a bridge between two buildings, also holding her cell phone in front of her face.

ELLE: Nothing. No girl, no smoke, no fire.

The three students are staring through the hole into the rest of the building.

FEMALE STUDENT #2: Where did she go?

JEREMY: Maybe she's getting the key. I don't know.

CLARA stares up at the lightbulb just outside the elevator. She is holding a container in each hand.

FEMALE STUDENT #3: What is she doing?

CLARA kneels down and looks into the elevator.

JEREMY: Someone coming to help?

CLARA: I'm here to help. I'm here to save you. God chose you. Chose you... chose you...

JEREMY: Clara?

CLARA places two bottles in front of the hole.

CLARA: Father, Son...

FEMALE STUDENT #2: Oh, my god! Oh, my god!

CLARA squeezes the third bottle over the students in the elevator.

CLARA: Holy Ghost.

JEREMY: Clara, listen...


JEREMY: It's gasoline!

CLARA starts squeezing a second bottle.

JEREMY: Stop it, clara! Listen! Oh, god!

CLARA ignites a flare.

HOTCH is walking down the long steps.

HOTCH: Security's sure that they've cleared the science building.

TURNER: The guards made sure all floors are empty and no elevators are in service.

HOTCH: Hold on.

HOTCH remembers being in the elevator with JEREMY earlier.

JEREMY: You need a key to get it moving after 10:00 P.M.

HOTCH speeds up.

CLARA is holding the flare like a candle. She seems to be praying.

FEMALE STUDENT #2: Clara? Clara?

CLARA: God chose you.

JEREMY: Put it down, clara!

REID is on the phone, staring at several monitors.

REID: I'm still looking.

GIDEON (V.O.): Focus on the girl.

REID: She's failing out. This was gonna be her last semester.

GIDEON (V.O.): That's the stressor. What else?

REID: She was a researcher in the science building.

GIDEON (V.O.): We know that. They've already cleared the science building.

REID stands and looks at a map on the wall.

REID: The third floor of the science building is under construction.

GIDEON (V.O.): I'm on my way.

HOTCH runs up the stairs, and sees CLARA holding the flame. We can hear the muffled cries from the students trapped in the elevator.

HOTCH: Clara.

JEREMY (muffled): Clara, you don't have to do this, all right?

CLARA: I have to do this.

HOTCH: You know it's not rational, Clara. You were trying to tell me.

CLARA: God chose me to be tested, and now he's chosen them. If I don't do this, something terrible will happen.

HOTCH: What's gonna happen, Clara? A flood? An earthquake? You know this isn't rational.

CLARA: I know. I know. I know.

HOTCH: Then resist.

CLARA: I can't.

STUDENTS: Clara? Clara, listen to me. Clara, don't.

CLARA: They must be tested. God's wrath...

CLARA brings the flame closer to the elevator. HOTCH reaches for his gun.

GIDEON runs up the building stairs.

HOTCH: Clara, you told me it was a chemistry student. You left the message about Charon. You want to stop.

CLARA brings the flame up and down.

CLARA: Father, Son...

HOTCH: clara...

CLARA: Holy Ghost.

HOTCH: Clara, stop!

GIDEON reaches level three and has his gun drawn.

CLARA: God chose them.

HOTCH shoots CLARA. CLARA drops the flare and it rolls toward the students in the elevator. GIDEON steps on the flare, extinguishing it. GIDEON points his gun at CLARA.

GIDEON: I thought you said not to reason with her.

FEMALE STUDENT #3: Get us out of here.

ELLE walks down the aisle carrying her bags. GIDEON follows her.

ELLE: You know, I figured it out. The stutter.

ELLE sits down.

GIDEON: You know why the Footpath Killer stuttered?

ELLE: When you and Hotch were talking earlier, that's when I got it. He said he was just trying to stall Clara.

GIDEON: Right.

ELLE: Well, that's it, isn't it? The Footpath Killer.  You were just trying to stall him. You said, "I know why you stutter" because you were buying time. You were stalling. But you don't really know why he stuttered.

GIDEON: I don't?

ELLE: I looked it up. No one does.

GIDEON: There are some theories about a neurological basis.

ELLE: But they're just theories.

ELLE leans forward, resting her elbows on her knees.

ELLE: What really happened in the convenience store?

GIDEON: I'll tell you what I do know about a stutter. I know how to provoke one.

GIDEON turns and is transported back to the gas station.

GIDEON has his hands raised and is walking down the corridor. The CLERK walks behind him with his gun pointed at GIDEON's back.

The CLERK points above GIDEON's head and we see GIDEON is standing at a door. There is a key on the door frame.

CLERK: The key.

GIDEON reaches for the key, puts it in the lock, and opens the door. The CLERK follows GIDEON down a couple of stairs. GIDEON stares at a refrigerator with Polaroid pictures of the Clerk's victims. They're all labeled, except for the last.

The CLERK moves around and points his gun at GIDEON's face.

CLERK: Thirteen.

GIDEON: We only found six.

CLERK: Are you impressed?

GIDEON: Yeah. I didn't know you could count. Our profile said you'd be too stupid. We also said you're be a chronic bed-wetter.

The CLERK cocks his gun.

CLERK: You-y-y-yo-Y...

GIDEON: what?

CLERK: Th-th-th-the cam--

GIDEON: I don't know what you're trying to say.

The CLERK looks to his left where a Polaroid camera is sitting on a benchtop.

CLERK: You take th-th cam-- the cam-- the cam--

GIDEON smiles.

GIDEON: I'm sorry, I have no idea what you're trying to say.

CLERK: You take-- you take the cam-- the cam-- the cam--

GIDEON: ay it.

CLERK: The ca--

GIDEON: Say it.

CLERK: The ca-

GIDEON: just spit it out. Just...

CLERK: The cam--

GIDEON uses his distraction and reaches for the gun. They struggle with it. GIDEON uses the gun to knock the CLERK to the floor.

GIDEON: Come on!

GIDEON is staring at the chess board.

GIDEON (V.O.): Faulkner once said, "Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself."

REID smiles and clears his throat.

REID: Check in 3.

GIDEON: Not bad.

GIDEON imagines the next three moves.

GIDEON takes the white bishop with his black rook.

GIDEON: Checkmate.

GIDEON starts resetting the board.

GIDEON: Don't worry, you're gettin' there.


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