‘Criminal Minds’ Season 9 Finale Part 1 Recap and Part 2 Season Finale Expectations

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"Criminal Minds" Season 9 is about to end--and it's going to be a very explosive one at that.

Though this starts as a fairly regular case, wherein the unsub is targeting prostitutes in Texas, the BAU team has called in and told to drop everything to attend to the case.

It was none other than section chief Matt Cruz (Esai Morales) who has finally returned to do some work with the team following his riveting appearance in the JJ episode this season. He had been called to consult with the case, as it has been the first that has happened in the area.

The unsub has already started to escalate in his killings, with the timeframe between kills and even the gender of the prostitutes having included a male victim. All of the victims had been tortured with deep slash wounds on their backs.

As the BAU team starts to dig into the case, they find a number of possibilities with the case, starting with the so-called Mack the Knife, who appeared to be the one person connecting most of the victims. As they started the hunt for the possible unsub, the team has also started thinking about the possibility of sado-masochism at play in the killings.

Face-to-face with Mack the Knife and a Religious Context?

Digging deeper into the case, the "Criminal Minds" BAU team soon run into the real Mack the Knife, who was apparently the principal of a school. With their latest possible help in the case (Tabitha, another prostitute and a friend of a previous victim) having been killed in her own home and her body slashed post-mortem as a symbol rather than following the pattern, the team has already given out a profile of the unsub.

It was that the unsub could be a white male with a submissive role in the public eye, but at the get-go, Mack the Knife, or rather, Mr. MacIntyre, the principal, is a very aggressive figure in the school. And as agents David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) and Alex Blake (Jeanne Tripplehorn) interrogate him, they realized that, for all of his S & M fetishes, he was the submissive one in the S & M play, discounting him as the unsub.

Another figure that had appeared during the investigation, Preacher Mills, who first appears as your regular trying-to-save souls minister, turns out to be possibly deeply linked in the crime, or at least the killer. BAU tech genius Penelope Garcia (Kristin Vangsness) has dug into his past and discovered that he wasn't as holy as he appears to be, having had connections with sex trafficking and even having had a history of cutting one of his employees in the same pattern as what had been found in the victims.

As the hunt for the unsub continues, Preacher Mills is also on the hunt for the real killer who he thinks is trying to frame him for the previous actions that he has done. As the real killer sets up Preacher Mills, giving him the option of an out in the form of a major shootout--which he takes!--"Criminal Minds" finale part 1 ends with a major cliffhanger: two of main characters, Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) shot in the crossfire.

What to expect for the finale: A sad secret?

The explosive cliffhanger will mean that the second part is going to be more of a definitively changed entrance into the "Criminal Minds" Season 10, but it also means that one (or maybe both) of the shot characters may suffer a fatal blow.

In an interview with Buddy TV, A.J. Cook, who plays the role of Agent JJ Jareau in "Criminal Minds" has a few words to say about what to expect for the second part of the season 9 finale.

"When our team is affected, that's when things get personal, that's where we just want to get these bad guys, and it turns out that it's just a really deep, deep web of corruption," said Jareau to Buddy TV.

"The deeper the team digs, it's just kind of this crazy mess, so we have that to deal with, yet we also emotionally have to deal with one of our team member's life hanging in the balance and we also find out something really kind of sad, a sad secret from one of our characters that we didn't know about.

Definitely either Reid or Morgan will be in peril by the season finale, and even though Jareau gave a clue in the interview--Garcia will be jumping into action, and she has been known to do that when Morgan is in danger--it isn't as definitive as to who will be holding on to dear life come the next episode.

Check out the promo video for the "Criminal Minds" Season 9 finale part 2 below. It's going to be a wait-and-definitely-must-see season ender for "Criminal Minds."

Criminal Minds Season 9 finale part 2 "Demons" promo (via YouTube/TvPromos PreviewHD)

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