Last night’s episode of Criminal Minds got very Silence of The Lambs, featuring gruesome skin peeling, literal face wearing, a damsel in distress and a mole in the DEA.

Criminal Minds Season 11, Episode 9 Recap

Hotch is called in by man named Axel Rod to investigate the death of one DEA agent and the subsequent disappearance of two others. The agents had been working on the case of a drug cartel called “Liberta.” Axel Rod believes there could be a mole in the DEA and suspects Assistant Director Bernard Graff. Hotch surmises the case might also lead him to the four hitmen who are targeting Garcia, forcing her to remain on lockdown at the office.

The team head to El Paso to solve the case and quickly realize that the brutal and ritualistic murders aren’t the hallmark of your run-of-the-mill drug cartel; a serial killer is responsible, a serial killer with a penchant for removing people’s faces and wearing them. The killer is using Liberta to cover his tracks and the team suspects someone in the cartel could be supplying him with victims.

Meanwhile Hotch thinks he’s pinned Graff as the mole but he’s shot dead while on his way to meet Hotch with information. Graff’s death is strangely branded a suicide, leading Hotch to suspect the mole is higher up.

The team uncovers the killer’s location after interrogating a woman called Jillian, who helped lead the unsuspecting agents to their doom. The unsub is Jacob DeFore, an animal skinner with severely psychotic tendencies. They close in on him and after a chase and a shoot out, kill him and prevent him from carving up another agent.

Hotch uncovers NSA Director Cochran as the mole. Cochran had worked out a system to sabotage the DEA agents efforts to infiltrate Liberta, by arranging for agents to be sent on a “meeting” with Jillian, who would then lead them to DeFore. Cochran is arrested.

The episode was thrilling and was the first truly evil unsub we’ve been treated to in a while. Not everything was tied up, however, as Garcia’s hitmen are still at large, meaning the poor gal is holed up in the office for another week.

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