"The Instincts" is the sixth episode of Season Four of Criminal Minds.


When a young boy is abducted in Las Vegas, Reid begins to have dreams that force him to recall forgotten memories from his childhood as he investigates the case.

Guest Cast


  • "Shelter From the Storm" by Bob Dylan

Bookend Quotes

  • Aaron Hotchner: Amos Bronson Alcott said, "Who speaks to the instincts speaks to the deepest in mankind, and finds the readiest response."
  • Spencer Reid: Bob Dylan once said, "I think the truly natural things are dreams, which nature can't touch with decay."


  • A baby appearing in Reid's dream at the beginning of the episode is a possible callback to the Season One episode "The Popular Kids", in which Reid professed to having nightmares about being unable to save a baby from a killer.

Criminal Minds Episodes