This Criminal Minds Episode Was Too Much Even For Fans

It's wild how something meant for entertainment can stir up such unease, right?


  • Criminal Minds is known for its gruesome stories that can easily cause nightmares.
  • So it comes as no surprise that the show was at the top of the fan discussion of scenes that really disturbed viewers.
  • Judging by the popularity of one comment, one episode was particularly difficult to watch for many.

Criminal Minds will forever remain the show that managed to draw huge crowds of viewers for years by depicting the dark and gruesome. During its original run, the show was made in a 'case of the week' format, which meant that each year the creators had to come up with 20 or so shocking stories that delved deep into the twisted thoughts of serial killers. For better or worse, real-life criminals provided plenty of inspiration.

While each new episode was a rollercoaster of thrills and discomfort, exploring the darkest corners of the human psyche, some proved more disturbing than others. Especially when they hit too close to home.

Episode Viewers Had To Turn Off

Unsurprisingly, Criminal Minds ranked high in a Reddit chat about tough-to-watch TV scenes. Fans listed the episodes that were so intense that they felt sick while watching and had to hit the pause button.

One episode stood out for many as being seriously disturbing. The comment mentioning it ended up being one of the most popular in the discussion.

'I was watching the episode on my iPad and when it went to commercial I caught my reflection in the screen. I looked so mortified and I think I ended up just reading the wiki summary,' the author of the comment wrote.

So what was the story about? It is called 'Proof' and is the second episode of Season 7. It introduces Ben 'Cy' Bradstone, portrayed with chilling intensity by Andy Milder, a mentally unstable serial killer with a fixation on blonde teenage girls. The unsub kidnaps his victims, ties them up, and tortures them with sulfuric acid before killing them.

The victims are substitutes for Lyla, a girl Cy had been infatuated with since high school. As fate would have it, Lyla married Ben's brother, setting off a chain of events fueled by jealousy and psychosis.

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When Cy's advances are rebuffed by the adult Lyla, his twisted obsession escalates, culminating in the kidnapping of his own niece, Tammy, who becomes the perfect new object of obsession after dying her hair blonde.

Horrifying Ending

Fortunately, Tammy survives her captivity in her uncle's shed. Although her hands are badly burned with acid, the BAU rescues the girl. But the ending of the episode is still a lot to handle. Those who decided to ditch it in the middle definitely did themselves a favor.

After Cy is taken into custody, the agents find a lot of videotapes in the shed, indicating that he tortured and killed many more victims than originally thought. Cy's brother, who has always done his best to accept all of his quirks, ends up watching the tape of his brother torturing his daughter and breaks down in tears. This scene has stayed with viewers for years.

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'This is very high on my list of TV show episodes I will be skipping,' one viewer wrote in the Reddit discussion, and we can't help but agree.

Sources: Reddit, Reddit.

Was 'Proof' one of the most disturbing Criminal Minds episodes for you?