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‘Criminal Minds’ Episode 808: ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ Recap


In tonight’s episode of Criminal Minds, “The Wheels on the Bus,” the BAU races to save a group of teens taken hostage and forced to play a deadly game of survival.

Tonight’s episode opens with a high school bus ride home. As some teens talk about the upcoming Winter Formal their bus driver pulls over to help what looks like a motorist in distress.

But the man waving for assistance is actually a ruse. He boards the bus and immediately shoots the driver in the leg. Carrying heavy duffel bags, another man boards the bus behind the first and they start tying up the kids.

With several kids’ lives at stake the BAU is all-hands-on-deck, and Garcia’s ex-boyfriend Kevin (Nicholas Brendan) arrives to assist the team in the search. They trace one of the teen’s cellphones to an abandoned barn and find the bus and 14 of the children, which means that ten are still missing.

Those unlucky ten are taken to an abandoned building. Equipped with shock collars and Bluetooth headsets, the UnSubs are using the kids as teams in a “real-life” version of a fictional video game called “Gods of Combat.”

Rossi somehow figures that out, which is odd as he has never been portrayed as a gamer. In the game, you take over a means of public transportation (bus, train, etc.), and you split your hostages into two teams of five players.

You outfit your team members with gas masks, collars, and a means of communicating with you. Each “commander” (our UnSubs) sets their team against the other player’s team and the commander with the most people left alive at the end is the winner. Follow that so far?

The BAU realizes they have two seriously crazy gamers on their hands. Can they find out where this “real-life” game is being played and rescue the kids before they are forced to start murdering each other?

What did you think of tonight’s episode of Criminal Minds, “The Wheels on the Bus”? Was it too outlandish?

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7 Responses to “‘Criminal Minds’ Episode 808: ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ Recap”

  1. Mike Hillman

    I found this episode offensive, as it demonized MMORPG players and pandered to technophobic parents.

  2. Brianne Triggs

    Great episode. Too many people are quick to defend violent video games and media when addicted players commit crimes of a similarly violent nature.

  3. Matt Atkin

    Rubbish. There's ZERO scientific evidence that proves any link between violent games & actual violence & I challenge you to provide any evidence when scientists & researchers are still unable to find any that proves the misconception that violent games causes people to act out real world crimes.

  4. Brianne Triggs

    It's controversial, yes, but it's far from rubbish. Harris and Klebold at Columbine. Noah Wilson and Yancy S. almost two years before, in 1997. Jose Pardo and his avenging mission. Daniel Petric. Gary Alcock who killed a 15 month old for crying and interrupting his Xbox game. The five-year-old I babysat who played T-rated (and higher) games and tried to stab me with a knife when I wouldn't let him have ice cream ten minutes before bed. I'm a senior psychology major; I wrote a semester paper examining both aspects of the controversy, and looking at the catalyst and general aggression models. There is no misconception. I didn't say everyone who plays a violent game will extend that violence into the real world–I just don't readily accept that it doesn't happen, and isn't a problem. And I disagreed that this particular CM episode was "offensive" based off a previous comment.

  5. Mike Hillman

    First off, reffering to players as "addicted" is extremely negative.

    Second off, as the guy above me said, video game violence fears are influenced by technophobia and neophobia (fear of new things and change), and are typically associated with fringers like Jack Thompson.

  6. Sadie Heldberg

    Interesting article Faye! First, I want to say that these days I think teenagers would have fought back differently, but that‘s my opinion. Secondly, I love Criminal Minds and the ideas they come up with, especially given the technological age we’re living in with all the games and all the idiots playing them. There is no way I’d be sitting there doing nothing, while one of my friends killed another teenager; I was a rebel with a serious attitude back then. I really got into this one it made me think. Wednesday’s episode will be awesome, but I’m working late at DISH, so I’ll end up missing my show. When I enable PTAT the shows from the big four prime time networks auto-record and are ready for me to watch on my DISH Hopper. Criminal Minds has been a part of my life for many years now; I have no doubt “Magnificent Light” will be another fantastic episode.

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