‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’: Major Gold Star Discovery Sets Up Voit’s Trip To The Bau


The BAU has the best lead it’s gotten yet on Gold Star after the latest Criminal Minds: Evolution episode.

The team is divided, at first, with Rossi (Joe Mantegna)—and his hallucination of Voit (Zach Gilford) along for the ride, of course—and Tara (Aisha Tyler) heading to Nevada to investigate two deaths that could be Gold Star since the eyes were removed and badges taken; Prentiss (Paget Brewster) trying to figure out why Brian Garrity (Paul F. Tompkins) told the cops she attacked him, not the three men who did; JJ (A.J. Cook) and Luke (Adam Rodriguez) helping Voit’s wife and daughters before and after they visit him (the oldest child attacks him, having discovered who he really is); and Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) reluctantly working with Tyler (Ryan-James Hatanaka) to crack the phone of the person who made sure the strike team sent to kill Gold Star was paid. There is zero time for JJ to talk to Prentiss about learning about the site on the dark web that consists of deepfaked porn of her, though she does try.

Tara realizes their UnSub is a woman since she appears to have used the Good Samaritan ruse to lure in her victims; that would mean it’s not Gold Star, since they’ve profiled that UnSub to be male. But then they realize that both victims worked at Stuart House, the same place their UnSub from the second episode, Aiden, had been a patient—just as the latest UnSub (identified as Jade, played by Liana Liberato) finds a third victim, but he forces her into a car at gunpoint. (He’s her father, and he killed her mother; he becomes her third victim.) Gold Star is meticulous, while these other two are acting out of emotion, but there is one thing in common: revenge and a shared trauma going back to Stuart House.

Meanwhile, Garcia turns Tyler away when he tries to get her to decrypt Sebastian’s phone; but once he does what she tells him to and fills in Prentiss and Rossi, she’s brought in to do just that—and with what it means to Prentiss, she can’t say no to her. But when a Recovery Password Required screen pops up with the hint Star Light Star Bright, Garcia must turn to Tyler for help since he has a history with Sebastian. He does know the password (WISHTONIGHT) and, while in her office, takes the opportunity to apologize an promise to stop taking advantage of their really intense connection and help her forget that part of them ever existed. He’ll leave her alone, and he knows he doesn’t deserve her.

Then, Garcia gets the Gold Star file open (“All hail the Black Queen”) and sees something…

As for Prentiss, she’s brought to the police station and booked, then makes her phone call: “Hey, it’s me, you are never going to believe what’s happening.” Rossi is the one to pick her up as “Voit” wonders about her mugshot and taunts him about the case falling apart around him. Rossi argues with the hallucination that the hallucination is “how I figure you out” and says, “You’re not the first one to ride shotgun with me.” Once released, Prentiss is determined to find Brian (“that little prick”) after he dropped all charges and checked out of the hospital. The only camera in the parking lot gives them nothing. Could Brian be right and there is a conspiracy theory behind Gold Star? Prentiss refuses to even entertain the suggestion or “mix his bulls**t with Voit’s bulls**t because then we’re just investigating bulls**t that’s not there!”

Then, Brian calls Prentiss and insists he had no choice; they said they’d hurt Sheila if he didn’t blame her. He’s getting to the bottom of who “they” is, he continues, but he knows it involves a program called Gold Star. Since they jumped him, he thinks they trust him. And so now Prentiss is worried about him.

But Brian seems to be right: Damian, with a Gold Star bullet in his gun, joins Jade and gives her Isaac Sanchez’s badge—his job was to hunt her down and kill her—to add to her collection.

Garcia’s discovery on Sebastian’s phone is that each member of the strike team had a specific target: Arturo Mendez and Isaac Sanchez’s have specific IDs, Aiden and Jade. Bertoli’s was Damien B., Riggs’ was Pete B., and Fulton’s Dana M. Gold Star is a program, with five members for five points of the star. Chances are they’re trauma bonded and it goes back to Stuart House. But who funded the escrow account and started the Gold Star program? They don’t know yet, but Tyler thinks it looks like the work of a private contractor. The fact that Don was punished more than the others does lead to the revelation that they’ve been profiling Damien; Don was sent to kill him, and Damien took out the strike team. They could all be reunited, and the BAU can’t let this be the start of a new spree.

If they’re right, Damien is the leader, the protector and eliminated the strike team so his friends wouldn’t be killed, so what if they reach out to him and lure him into trap? Get one, get them all. But how reach out to Damien? Voit. He talked to him through his Sicarius network. If he helps, Prentiss will get his daughter who attacked him treatment through an FBI counseling program. Voit agrees but says he can only contact Damien on a complicated rotating protocol. She knows what that means: He needs to be let out of cell, transferred to the sixth floor at Quantico, so he can be treated like one of them, like he has value, like a profiler. She’s already made the arrangements.

What do you think of the big Gold Star reveal? What are you hoping to see when Voit is brought to the BAU? Let us know in the comments section.