After Prentiss and Reid go undercover to investigate alleged child abuse at the compound of an underground cult in La Plata County, Colorado, they are taken hostage by the cult leader, Benjamin Cyrus, when a state police raid on the fortress goes disastrously wrong.
- Ryan Barton-Grimley - Techie
- Jenna Boyd - Jessica Evanson
- Tim Clemente - Stunt Cop #6
- Julianna David - Sect Member #6
- Jessie-Blue Ewing - Little Girl
- Jeff Fahey - Leo Kane
- Colby French - Christopher Cole
- Jennifer Keister - Sect Member #4
- Jim Klock - State Cop #1
- Kellie Koppel - Sect Member #3
- Bob Levitan - Reporter
- Karina Logue - Nancy Lunde
- Gerard Marzilli - Sect Member #5
- Joel Murray - Attorney General Jim Wells
- Luke Perry - Benjamin Cyrus
- Timm Perry - Sect Member #2
- Jah Shams - Sect Member #1
- Connor Trinneer - Dan Torre
- Kathleen Wilhoite - Kathy Evanson
- The Branch Davidians
- The Weaver Family
- The Montana Freemen
- Jim Jones
- Spencer Reid: "To follow by faith alone is to follow blindly." – Benjamin Franklin
- Emily Prentiss: "Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it." – Ayn Rand
- The episode is based on the 1993 Waco siege.
- Thomas Gibson, who plays Hotch, and Joel Murray, who plays Attorney General Jim Wells, had previously co-starred in sitcom Dharma & Greg, where Gibson played Greg and Murray, slightly ironically, played a very poor lawyer who worked with him.
- In addition to this, Joel Murray would go on to reappear as a medical examiner in an episode of Suspect Behavior, the short-lived Criminal Minds spin-off.
- The Biblical quote used by Benjamin Cyrus shortly before his death is Matthew 10:34: "Do not suppose that I've come to the earth to bring peace. I did not come to bring peace but a sword." However, he erroneously cites the quote as Matthew 10:24.