"False Flag" is the ninth episode of Season Thirteen of Criminal Minds.


The BAU travels to Roswell, New Mexico to find an unsub who killed two people belonging to the same conspiracy group.

Guest Cast

  • TJ Alvarado - Gary Hiles
  • Matt Baker - Carl Lee
  • David Elson - Bryan Behar
  • Richard Gilliland - Bob Orci
  • Amanda Howell - Medical Examiner Leslie Jackson
  • Antonio Robles - Doug Downey
  • Darrett Sanders - Sheriff Mike Bowman
  • Zelda Williams - Melissa Miller

Referenced Criminals


  • "Truth" by Angus Powell

Bookend Quotes

  • Penelope Garcia: "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Tara Lewis: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." – Daniel Patrick Moynihan


  • The title of the episode comes from the term "false flag", which describes a covert operation in which the activities of that operation are made to appear to have been planned and executed by a group, nation or individual other than the ones who actually carried them out.
  • Despite being credited in the opening sequence, Matthew Gray Gubler, who portrays Reid, doesn't appear in the episode.
    • This is, in fact, the twelfth episode in which a main character has not appeared despite his or her actor or actress being credited as usual. The first episode was Broken Mirror, in which A.J. Cook and Kirsten Vangsness do not appear as JJ and Garcia, respectively, despite being credited. The second was 25 to Life, in which Thomas Gibson does not appear as Hotch. Three Season Eleven episodes were part of a small story-arc, in which Gubler also did not appear as Reid. The sixth and seventh were Taboo and The Anti-Terrorism Squad, both in which Tyler did not appear as Lewis. The eighth and ninth were Profiling 202 and Seek and Destroy, in which Gubler did not appear as Reid either. In the latter episode as well as the tenth episode Dust and Bones, Tyler also did not appear as Lewis. In Neon Terror, Matthew Gray Gubler and Aisha Tyler do not appear in that episode as Reid and Lewis respectfully.
Criminal Minds Episodes