Season 2 starts off directly where we left off in season 1, with the second part of the two-parter starting off as the season premier. In the Fisher King (2) Elle is fighting for her life after being found by an FBI agent and taken to the hospital. Dr. Spencer Reid discovers that the psychopath knew so much about the BAU team through his mother – he was a fellow patient in the same hospital as Mrs. Reid and got many details about the team her son was part of by pretending to just be interested in the proud mother recant her son’s cases. The killer is surrounded in his house where he kills himself by fire but the young woman he was holding prisoner is saved.
Elle takes the slow road to recovery and 4 months later rejoins the BAU 3 weeks early, telling Hotch that she got bored and she fine to work. She has a new look with a shorter haircut as does Reid. However it is soon obvious that all is not well with her. The team goes onto solved the cases of a young boy, kidnapped a year ago, being sold in an online auction for child pornographers and a case in which people are abducted and tortured and a dvd of the torture is sent to their families. A bank robber in Los Angeles who forced his hostages to undress is also stopped. A serial rapist attacking young women at religious schools suddenly changes his demographic of women. Elle is to go undercover posing as a victim-to-be, but finds and stops the suspect before the operation is accomplished. After the suspect, who is revealed to be the rapist, is released due to lack of evidence, Elle, enraged over his actions, confronts him and eventually ends up shooting him dead in cold blood although she seemingly claims self-defense for her actions.
Elle fights with Hotch but it is very obvious that she can no longer work in the BAU due to the way she is dealing with her trauma. She resigns and hands over her gun & badge to Hotch. In reality the actress who plays her Lola Glaudini wanted to leave the show as she missed NYC and didn’t want to work in Los Angeles. Enter Agent Emily Pretiss (Paget Brewster) daughter of a US Ambassador, who joins the BAU on the recommendation of FBI Section Chief Erin Strauss. Her appearance surprised both Agents Aaron Hotchner and Jason Gideon, as neither supervisor had signed off on the transfer. Hotchner was immediately suspicious of the new agent, but Prentiss, insisting that her mother had not pulled any strings for her to get the assignment, convinced him to let her join the team on a probationary basis, and eventually proved her competence and gained the team’s trust. The BAU is then called to St. Louis to investigate two serial killers who appear to be competing with each other. By setting a trap based on one killer’s profile, the team creates a media event by which to capture the second killer.
A real shocking episode is one in which a man kidnaps three teenaged girls and locks them in a cellar, he tells them only two of them will live and they must choose which one will die. The BAU takes the case when the mother of one of the girls travels to Quantico to ask JJ to intercede with the FBI on the girls’ behalf. Gideon, Reid and Prentiss travel to Guantanamo Bay to interrogate the leader of a terror sleeper cell being detained there after a chemical weapons dispersal device is discovered during a raid at a suspicious house. Reid suspects a teenager (Anton Yelchin) he met asking for his help is guilty of killing a series of prostitutes. Morgan is arrested as a serial killer after he goes home to Chicago to visit his family. Because the detective making the arrest had used a profile provided by Gideon, the team travels to Chicago to help the local authorities find the real killer and exonerate Morgan who they believe is being framed for the crimes despite the local detective insisting that Morgan’s responsible. Gideon is pitted against Frank (Keith Carradine), the scariest and most evil murderer in his entire career and who has been killing for thirty years.
The BAU are called to investigate after a wealthy couple is murdered in their home following a Super Bowl party. The team pursues what they believe might be multiple killers who use webcams to record murders and upload the tapes on the internet. Hotchner, Morgan and Prentiss soon discover the unsub is actually one man with multiple personalities. The episode ends in a cliffhanger as JJ finds herself trapped in a barn with bloodthirsty dogs who have already killed one woman and Reid is left alone in a cornfield, trying to reason with Hankel before he is eventually knocked unconscious and kidnapped. The BAU realizes Reid is being held captive when the unsub, Tobias Hankel (James Van Der Beek) who’s suffering from multiple personality disorder begins sending live videos of him being tortured to the team while Garcia, having been drifted out into the field begins working at Hankel’s computers in hopes of uncovering any possible clues as to Reid’s whereabouts. Meanwhile, Reid’s troubled childhood is revealed in flashback sequences as he drifts in and out of consciousness. He is drugged for two days before he is able to rescue himself. Reid becomes addicted to Dilaudid as a result.
Reid will soon struggle with his drug addiction due to this case. The BAU travels to Houston to investigate a series of murders that have occurred near construction sites and abandoned buildings. We have a copy cat killer of Jack The Ripper in New Orleans in a case that sees Elizabeth Prentiss, a foreign ambassador and SSA Emily Prentiss’s mother, seeks the aid of the BAU when a Russian immigrant is kidnapped and held for ransom. While the rest of the team are at the BAU HQ, Gideon, Reid and Morgan fly to Baltimore to meet up with Agent Josh Cramer who returns to help them with the case. Two Idaho brothers capturing their victims before releasing them into the wild and then proceeding to go hunting with human beings as the target as also caught, one dead. When the prolific and psychopathic serial killer Frank last seen in “No Way Out”, returns and murders Gideon’s girlfriend and old school friend, Sarah Jacobs in his own apartment, Gideon’s own life is torn apart and he starts his own investigation before disappearing altogether. Meanwhile, Strauss asks someone to give her inside information on Hotch and the way he runs the team. It’s soon revealed that the mole she’s chosen is none other than the BAU’s newest recruit, Emily Prentiss.