Criminal Minds (2005– )
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Solitary Man 

The Highway Serial Killer Database exists so that information can be collated for serial murders that would not otherwise be connected due to different police jurisdictions. In reviewing ... See full summary »


Rob Hardy


Jeff Davis (created by), Kimberly A. Harrison (as Kimberly Ann Harrison) | 2 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Paget Brewster ... Emily Prentiss
Shemar Moore ... Derek Morgan
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Thomas Gibson ... Aaron Hotchner
Gabrielle Carteris ... Nancy Campbell
Obba Babatundé ... Sheriff Sanders
Bradford Tatum ... Wade Hatchett
Morgan Lily ... Jody Hatchett
Kimberly Adair ... Tanya Hill
Hugo Armstrong ... Manager
Brynn Samms ... Courtney Campbell
Ariana Savalas Ariana Savalas ... Bobby Lainsford


The Highway Serial Killer Database exists so that information can be collated for serial murders that would not otherwise be connected due to different police jurisdictions. In reviewing the database, the BAU determine that a serial killer has killed five women thus far, the bodies found hundreds of miles apart. However Reid determines that there is a geographical focus on Edgewood, New Mexico. Each woman was strangled, the bodies laid in a fetal position found in a public location such as a ditch, and there is no sexual assault. The BAU determine that the unsub is a trucker. The case takes a turn when a woman named Nancy Campbell is abducted in front of her teen-aged daughter, Courtenay, at a highway rest stop in Edgewood. Nancy does not fit the victimology, but her abduction clarifies to the BAU what the unsub is looking for in the abducted women and ultimately the reason for the abductions and eventual murders. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 March 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Stereo | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


"Solitary Man" is also the title of a song written by Neil Diamond and first released in 1966. A cover version by Johnny Cash is heard in the bar in the opening scene. See more »


When Penelope is pulling up the file of the unsub and they are looking for Lynn Clemons, the photo is already on the screen, then Rossi asks here to find a 'Lynn Clemons' the computer then pulls it up her photo. (also note that the computer is in the background, and the photo can be seen on the screen behind Penelope, the photo is still on the computer before it shows the photo come on to the screen) See more »


David Rossi: So, how long is it gonna take you to get in that ditch?
Dr. Spencer Reid: Get in that ditch? I got shot in the knee, remember? My doctor says I'm not allowed to do any climbing.
David Rossi: It's a ditch.
Dr. Spencer Reid: New boots, huh? Italian leather?
[Reid walks down to the ditch]
David Rossi: [after several conversations about the crime scene,] Do you have any ideas why?
Dr. Spencer Reid: No.
David Rossi: Well, I guess there is a first time for everything.
[Rossi walks away]
Dr. Spencer Reid: Hey, Rossi, I'm gonna need a little bit of help getting out of this ditch. Rossi? Rossi?
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Solitary Man
Written by Neil Diamond
Performed by Johnny Cash
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

May seem strange on paper, but quite a powerful episode
9 February 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

While not one of the very best episodes of 'Criminal Minds', "Solitary Man" to me is one of the better episodes of Season 5 along with the likes of "100", "...A Thousand Words", "The Uncanny Valley", "Mosley Lane" and "Risky Business".

'Criminal Minds', save a few exceptions (i.e. "The Thirteenth Step", "The Fight"), has more often than not being a very well made show. "Solitary Man" is no exception, it is photographed with a lot of classy style and lit atmospherically with lovely scenery. The music is haunting and moody with the odd bit of pathos, while the direction is alert and sympathetic and the pacing taut.

The script is thought-provoking, with the unsub telling of his crimes through his stories a la fairy tale style being a wonderfully weird and neat touch and with a nostalgic quality that reminds one of earlier seasons. Conceptually, the story seemed strange on paper, but actually it's told in a way that is not silly at all.

It is quite tension-filled, is sometimes creepy and has one of the most emotional endings of the season with only the endings of "100" and "Mosley Lane" ahead. Love the chemistry between the unsub and his daughter, and other than the ending there are some very nicely executed scenes, like the final one with Prentiss and Morgan, the very clever way in how the case is solved, the bond between Jody, JJ and Prentiss and the very funny scene between Rossi and Reid (even if Rossi showing a meaner side to him may be a turn off). Managed to feel sorry for the unsub too in resorting to drastic measures to get the one thing he wants more than anything in the world.

Acting is great all round, no complaints to be had from any of the regulars (the BAU chemistry is a delight as hoped) and there are strong supporting turns from Gabriella Carteris, Bradford Tatum and Morgan Lily.

To conclude, powerful episode. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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