Criminal Minds
“Criminal Minds” Season 12 returns with new episodes in 2017. CBS

The Season 12 fall finale of CBS’ “Criminal Minds” had a usual case of the week episode. The most interesting part of episode 8 wasn’t the case, but the ending.

The Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) headed to Washington to catch an unsub that targets prostitutes. By the time the team started investigating, several bodies were discovered. The clock was also ticking because the serial killer just took its latest victim – a prostitute who also has a son.

The team put on their profiling hats, and with the help of tech genius Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), found out that the killer had a dominating parent who refrained him from acting on his sexual desires. He uses a cilice to atone for his sinful thoughts.

While the BAU was busy locating the murderer, Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) got a disturbing call from his mother. She thinks that her friends are kidnapped. Of course, it’s just her disease talking. Reid thinks his mother may be in the placebo group in the clinical trial. So he asks Unit Chief Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) for some time off to meet her.

Finally, the profilers get a lead – the unsub’s first victim was a member of the True Believers. They are a group that practices self-harm in order to atone for their sins and attain spiritual growth.

“Criminal Minds” Season 12, episode 8 eventually saw the team locate the missing woman who was being held captive by the killer. However, before they could catch the unsub, he died. He buried himself alive.

The end of the Season 12 fall finale, titled “Scarecrow,” saw the BAU welcome a new member of the team – Stephen Walker (Damon Gupton). He is a seasoned profiler that both Prentiss and Rossi (Joe Mantgena) knew well. He replaces Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner (Thomas Gibson).

Gupton was added as a cast member after Gibson was fired due to an on set altercation with a “Criminal Minds” writer and producer. Of course, several fans of the CBS series want Hotch back. For now, we will have to wait and see what Walker brings to the table.

“Criminal Minds” Season 12 returns on Jan. 4, 2017 on CBS.