S1:E6 – L.D.S.K.

Content note: gun violence, sniper, bullying, kicking/punching violence


Our opening scene cuts between a sunny park in Des Plaines, IL and the gun range at Quantico, where Reid is practicing for his firearms qualification.  Reid is kind of terrible at shooting, it turns out, and is being tutored by and exceptionally stony-faced Hotch.  The scene cuts back and forth between the views of the park through a gun sight and Reid shooting at the gun range.  Kind of a nifty little piece of editing!

Hotch tries to reassure Reid that profilers don’t HAVE to carry a gun, but Reid is unconvinced, seeing as how Hotch carries two.  Hotch retrieves his ankle gun and puts a series of closely-spaced shots right in the center of the shooting target while glaring, stony-faced.  You’ll want to remember the ankle gun for the duration of this episode, but after this you can forget about Hotch’s excellent marksmanship and Reid’s failure at shooting properly, don’t worry.

Back at the BAU, Elle tells Gideon and Morgan that Reid failed his qualification and asks everyone not to mention it because he probably feels bad about it.  Of course Morgan decides the best thing to do is to be a huge nasty bully, and gives Reid a whistle.  Ha ha it’s funny because they give those to LADIES and not real people who know how to shoot guns amirite guys?  It’s not that I don’t think friends can sometimes banter about stuff or good-naturedly rib each other, it’s that Reid is genuinely frustrated and upset and instead of being supportive, Morgan decides it’s more fun to make Reid feel WORSE.  That’s what assholes do, Morgan.  Ugh.

JJ saves the day by telling them about a series of long-distance shootings in Des Plaines, and we learn that we don’t call them “snipers,” but long-distance serial killers, or L.D.S.K., because the public doesn’t think the FBI has a great track record with snipers.  Gideon tells the team that they’ve never caught any of “these guys” using a profile, and of course a good way to redeem the public’s opinion of the FBI would be to use a tool that has never been found to be effective, so we cut to credits and then to the team meeting.

The team discusses how there’s no witnesses and no ballistics evidence except for a bullet lodged in one of the victim’s spines, and doctors aren’t sure they can get it out without paralyzing him.  Crap!  That is not much to go on!

Plane quote: Nietzsche on irrationality of a thing not being proof against its existence.  I guess we’re supposed to connect this to not knowing much about the sniper?  Meh.

On the plane, the team exposits for the audience that snipers are usually male, usually have a military or police background, and will usually contact the media or law enforcement to relive the ecstasy of their crimes.  They discuss the fact that the victims aren’t killed but only injured may be the killer’s signature (drink!), and wonder whether the sniper lacks the skill or the will to actually kill his victims.

Reid, Morgan, and Hotch go to the park to talk to the local PD; Hotch talks about where the unsub was located and what that tells him.  Gideon, JJ, and Elle are at the hospital where they talk to a bunch of real asshole doctors about the signature (drink!), and the doctors argue about whether they can get that bullet out.  Gideon, JJ, and Elle discuss the time of day of the shootings and determine that the killer may be related to law enforcement because he chose to kill when the police shift change was happening to ensure there would be fewer cops on the streets.  The asshole doctor comes in with the bullet and assholes at the team.

Garcia calls Morgan and flirts with him while we get a close-up on her lips, which is REALLY close up and not at all sexy because teeth just aren’t sexy.  Fact.

s1e6 teeth

Reid and Hotch fill in the local PD on their law enforcement connection, and Morgan gives them some info on the bullet and rifle used.  The unsub must have some specialized training based on the type of gun used.  We cut to a sidewalk cafe and more killings.  Chaos and screaming!

The team is ready for a preliminary profile that is not ready for the media, but needs to be given due to the decreasing timing between shootings.  The team delivers the profile in a really dark room with CGI swoopyness.  It sure seems like a really detailed profile considering how it’s supposedly not ready for the media, but whatever.  The local cops don’t like hearing it might be one of them, and give the team attitude.  The team wants to re-enact the park shooting, and Gideon gives Reid a pep talk about not having a gun.  “The deadliest weapon we have is a good and thorough profile.”  Insufferable mentor face.

s1e6 insufferable 1

While the team and the PD re-enact the park killing, JJ hears a report on tv breaking the news that the sniper is a local police officer.  Whoops your not-ready-for-prime-time profile!  Gideon thinks that the cop who leaked the story might be their unsub, and the team talk to the news reporter, who Gideon kind of arrests, apparently for being kind of an officious prick.  They get Garcia a cell number from the news dude and she traces it to the guy who is playing the unsub in the re-enactment!!!  Haha whooooooops!

The police sergeant calls in SWAT to take the cop out of the car trunk where he is playing the unsub.  Hotch thinks it’s not a super good idea, but the sergeant doesn’t want to risk any of his men.  The guy comes out of the trunk and they tackle and handcuff him.  As they walk him away, he is shot in the head!  Back at the PD, the team brainstorms about why the unsub killed this time, and think maybe the killer didn’t want anyone to take credit for his crimes.  Garcia calls with a geographic profile (drink!), which indicates two centers, both hospitals.  Gideon talks about how he may be a “hero homicide” killer, which indicates the unsub is arrogant and conceited.  Gideon thinks it might be the asshole doctor from before, who you will remember was a totally arrogant asshole.

The team meets with the hospital president or someone, and Gideon goes to talk to the asshole doctor while the team gets a warrant for his house.  Elle, Hotch, and Reid observe Gideon talking to the surgeon through a convenient big glass window.  Gideon and the surgeon try to outsmart each other and the surgeon talks about how he’s basically a god.  Man is this guy an asshole.  Hotch and Reid head to the ER to find the doctor who is the surgeon’s alibi, and talk about how he’s probably not the unsub.  They realize an ER worker would be on the same shift change as the cops, and may be shooting to injure and not kill so he can save the victims and be the hero.

Hotch and Reid talk to Carlton Lassiter, which is a delight, and he goes off to find the doctor they are looking for.  Hotch talks to a woman wearing scrubs, describing the unsub, and they figure out that the unsub is indeed Lassiter!  We cut to Lassie hiding from the cops in the building and getting a big bag out of his locker.  Reid heads off to get Gideon but is knocked out by the butt of Lassiter’s gigantic rifle!  Lassiter, now dressed like a SWAT guy or something,  takes the security guard hostage and shoots out the lights, then takes Hotch’s gun and handcuffs Reid, Hotch, and the security guard.

Hotch plays it cool with the sniper while Reid plays the scared kid.  Hotch tries to get on the sniper’s side by complaining about how annoying Reid is and how great and smart Lassiter is.  The rest of the team runs through info about the unsub, all of which actually matches their profile (military, can’t hold a job, etc)!  Hooray! Lassie does a great job playing a cruel and remoreless serial killer and seems to have a great time chewing the scenery.

s1e6 lassie

Hotch and Reid continue to play “cool stony faced dude” and “scared whiny kid” with Lassiter while the SWAT team suits up.  Hotch claims that he wants to help Lassie since his bosses set him up by sending him to confront an armed, ruthless killer with nothing but an unarmed brat by his side.  Hotch rocks some really great stony-faced glares.

s1e6 hotchface

Gideon tries to hold back the cops to give Hotch and Reid time to negotiate out of the situation before the SWAT team goes in.  Hotch complains to Lassiter about Reid’s continuous failure of his firearms certification, and asks him if he can beat up Reid a little before he dies.  Sure, says Lassiter, nothing about this seems weird at all!  Reid makes such a cute alarmed face, despite his crap hair situation!

s1e6 reid scared

Hotch kicks Reid repeatedly and tells him that the firearms certification is so simple “a dalmatian could do it,” which seems oddly specific, and Reid grabs his ankle gun.  Just as SWAT starts to move in, Reid rolls over and shoots Lassiter in the head!  It’s honestly kind of sexy, but maybe that’s just because he’s got his hands tied up?

s1e6 reidhot

End quote — Shakespeare on the wish to be remarked on.

Hotch talks to Reid by the ambulance, and apologizes for kicking him quite so much but he was afraid Reid didn’t get his plan.  Reid says he was aiming for the unsub’s leg, and that he caught on to Hotch’s plan well before he started kicking him, but that Hotch shouldn’t worry since he kicks like a nine-year-old girl.   Hotch says Reid passed his firearms qualification, and Reid hands Morgan back his asshole whistle.

Back on the plane, Gideon gets his insufferable mentor face on while talking to Reid about killing a guy.  It’s kind of nice to see SOME acknowledgement of the fact that in real life, there’s consequences to this kind of thing, but Gideon’s insufferable mentorness kind of ruins the moment.

s1e6 insufferable 2

Reid’s Hair Floppiness Rating:  Holding steady at 1.5 out of 10, ugh.



  1. The Reid shooting thing seems to be steady throughout the series – Reid clutches and shoots poorly at a range, but consistently shoots better when it’s real life.

    I think I know why the Morgan asshole thing didn’t bother me so much. My husband does very much this same thing when he thinks someone is too wound up about something not that serious – he teases them about it until they either give up moping, or until they get pissed off at him, either one of which he prefers to moping. It’s not nice behavior, but it’s familiar to me, so it doesn’t particularly catch my attention, if you will.


    • I can’t remember the Reid shooting thing! Interesting! I wish I had faith that the writers meant to do that, because it would be a great little bit of characterization, showing that when he’s all up in his own head at the range, he can’t shoot well but when he is in the moment he can shoot much better.

      I hear you on the Morgan thing — when I’ve had it happen to me, it was definitely from someone who didn’t have very many redeeming features, unlike (I hope) your spouse 🙂


  2. My spouse has some truly lovely redeeming features. The tendency to think that it’s his right and even duty to force people to not be wound up about things that he (not they) thinks aren’t important is probably his single least attractive trait, and I’ve given him hell for it more than once.


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