|“||I know I can't help every young person who needs it [counseling]. And I know I'm a joke to lots of the students. But I do help some of them, and that makes everything worthwhile.||”|
As a child, Bakken had a friend who he was very close to. However, when both entered high school, the friend was able to fall in with the popular crowd while Bakken was considered to be one of the losers. As a result, Bakken became a target of bullying, including by his own friend, who did nothing while his new friends tormented Bakken. When he was fifteen, he was arrested and charged with assaulting a bully, but the charges were dropped. Bakken became jaded by the harassment and insults but chose to pursue a career in education so he could assist others during similar times of crisis. Bakken eventually became a counselor at Pillsbury High School in Winona, Minnesota, but the school's anti-bullying efforts were mostly unsuccessful, with bullies continuing their behavior and victims usually being afraid of coming forward. Bakken came to be known among the school populace as a "joke" because of his high enthusiasm to combat bullying, which victims saw only as a means to worsening the behavior of their tormentors.
The Anti-Terrorism Squad
Bakken is first seen with Principal Vicki Dahl, talking to students and their parents about two familicides that occurred in recent days. However, the parents are unsatisfied when Bakken prioritizes labeling emotions over updating them about the perpetrator's capture. As everyone leaves the classroom they are in, Bakken witnesses a bully named Austin Settergren tripping another student, Kyle Ecklund. Though he is visibly upset at the scene, he does nothing about it. Later, Garcia narrows Bakken down as a possible suspect, and he is taken in and interrogated by Rossi and Prentiss. Bakken tells them about his mission to combat bullying at Pillsbury High and the challenges posed by his efforts. He also tells them about his personal experiences with bullying. After being exonerated due to not fitting the profile, Bakken gives the BAU the names of the six worst bullies at school, who were potential targets for the unsub. Though five of them and their families are put into protective custody, the sixth bully, Austin, is brutally murdered by Kyle, who was the actual unsub.