‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’ Recap: Season 16 Finale “Dead End”


In this week’s episode of Criminal Minds: Evolution, Elias gets caught up, and the race is on to save Rossi. Keep Reading for everything that happens in the season finale, “Dead End.”

It’s Not Your Time

The episode opens with a flashback to 2020, Rossi and Crystal are celebrating their anniversary over wine in the office. Rossi reassures her that this is the last anniversary they’ll have to spend there. Crystal knows that’s a lie though — she heard he got offered the position of Unit Chief from Prentiss after JJ turned it down to work at the New Orleans field office. Crystal gets to witness firsthand what he does and how few people in the world can effectively stop real monsters. She knows who she married and she never wants him to feel he has to be anyone else for her.

Rossi is still inside the shipping container but he has a few tricks up his sleeve. First, he builds a bomb that will blow the locked door off so he can escape. While doing so, he also hijacks the camera so that Elias has no control over the situation anymore. Once he blows the door off, he’s still stuck underground. His oxygen levels are depleting fast. He starts to give up hope he will ever make it out when he envisions Crystal telling him it’s never been in his nature to just give up. He wants to be with her again, but it’s just not his time yet. Luke makes the rescue and helps pull him out of the ground.

Course of Action

The Attorney General wants to see photos of Voit’s family in the national media in order to catch up. Prentiss, however, thinks that’s the worst idea. If he knows he has nothing to lose he will kill his family and Rossi. So, she suggests they instead make him believe it’s possible to negotiate. His family for his freedom. The act will give them enough time to locate Rossi. Rebecca offers another suggestion (for the time being). If they limit their all points bulletin to border patrol and local law enforcement, when Voit reaches out again it will give the BAU more wiggle room.

Voit wants to speak with Deputy Director Bailey so Prentiss allows it, under the pretence that he will make Voit believe there is room for negotiation. Voit says if they don’t lift the bolo in the next 24 hours, Rossi will be a dead man. Bailey is nervous that he just got Rossi killed but at the very least he got under Voit’s skin.

Bailey tells Rebecca and the AG that Elias is aware of the “Gold Star” and they throw out ideas on how to keep it from getting out. The AG thinks that the Voit family and Rossi would be “necessary collateral damage” but Bailey knows the BAU would stop at nothing to figure out what happened to Rossi. So, they devise a plan to keep the BAU from coming to sniff them out.

Rebecca and Bailey let Prentiss know that the department doesn’t want to get any blood on its hands so they are prepared to let him and his family go. They are confident Mexico and Canada can and will extradite him when the time comes. Bailey gets a little too confident, believing that Elias will give up Rossi’s location with ease when he makes contact again and hears the bolo has been lifted.

Burney, California

Voit brings his family to an abandoned family property to hide out. He pulls out a case of fake ID’s and passports and Sydney wonders where they come from. He claims that he got involved with some bad people that work in the government but he’s communicating with a lawyer to get them out of it. As Sydney is unpacking, she comes across another container of Voit’s supplies, including Moose’s dog collar (R.I.P. furry friend). Puzzled, she decides to ask where it came from. Elias lies (of course) telling her it belonged to his boss’s dog. After asking one too many questions, Elias lashes out at Sydney telling her to do whatever he says. As she attempts to grab his phone off the arm-chair, they get into a brief altercation right in front of their daughters.

Meanwhile, Penelope makes a breakthrough. She learns that the Lennox/Duval family has property in California that has been in trust for years. Theresa was Sirus’ half sister and there are records of an Elias Voit getting into a car crash with his father, all signs pointing to this being their current location. But if they’re going to go, Bailey wants to be on site to negotiate Voit’s surrender.

A Cover Up?

While this is happening, Bailey and the BAU pull up to the house so Elias forces them into the bedroom and pulls out his gun. Bailey, despite the BAU’s concerns, walks right up to the front door and Voit lets him in. Prentiss wonders if they share a secret and that’s how they “know” each other. On site, JJ, Luke and Will make the move to help Sydney and the girls escape.

Bailey asks how they can fix this and says that the AG has fully authorized him in this matter, and there’s only two people that know about it: Voit and Bailey. Knowing this, Voit pulls out his gun and shoots Bailey right between the eyes. Hearing Harlow scream after the gun went off, Voit rushes to the room and pulls Sydney away from the window. After a brief shoot out that ends with Will getting shot, Sydney stands up and when she does he attempts to shoot her in the head but he’s all out of bullets. Luke makes the arrest and takes him into custody.

Tara informs Rebecca of Baileys death and asks what Gold Star means. Bailey reacted to it like it was a code. Rebecca refuses to talk about some issues going on at the DOJ with Tara. JJ is talking to a distraught Sydney who believes a lot of this is her fault. JJ promises they are going ahead with putting her and the girls in witness protection as well as prosecuting him under his birth name, Lee Duval, not Elias Voit. This will give them a semblance of normalcy. However, it isn’t and she’s the only one that could get through to him right now.

Sydney attempts to ask him where Rossi is but Elias doesn’t think it matters. Does their 15 years together matter? Their children? What about their time together? How is she supposed to believe any of that was real if he doesn’t prove it?

Lean on One Another

Penelope gets a call from the hospital that Tyler is on his way into surgery. Just when she begins to think she can’t tackle all of this at once, he reassures her that everything will be okay. She’s afraid she’s going to lose both Tyler and Rossi, but Luke suggests they lean on each other to form the strength to get through it together.

Penelope visits a recovering Tyler in the hospital. He knows he’s messed up royally. Not only that, he disrespected boundaries set. Penelope lets him know she’s grown a lot and she’s not the person she used to be and she no longer has to accept that kind of behavior from anyone, but especially her partners. She knows there’s a parallel reality where they end up together but not in this one. She gives him a goodbye kiss and wishes him the most magical rest of his life before leaving.

I’ve done a lot of work on myself to make sure I’m not that person anymore.

Penelope Garcia

At the end of the episode, the group is talking about Bailey’s funeral where Prentiss gave a eulogy. They cheers to him as Penelope and Luke decompress. She’s upset she fell back into old patterns but Luke assures her that if they didn’t they’d be out of jobs. She tries to think of a quote by Emily Dickinson, one that Luke finishes for her, “the heart wants what it wants or else it doesn’t care.” Penelope is surprised he knows Emily Dickinson, but he claims he only knows that quote.

Knock, Knock. Who is it?

Rossi, Tara, and Prentiss try to piece together what happened with Bailey. As they do, we see an overlay of armed men clearing an entire floor. They let Elias off the elevator and put him in a room, seemingly awaiting to speak to someone. The door cracks open and the episode ends. Who could it be?

All 10 episodes of Criminal Minds: Evolution are available to stream on Paramount+. Check out all of our coverage on the series, including past recaps and interviews with the cast and crew.

Haley joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2019 as a Writer and Editor. Her main fandoms include Criminal Minds, Wrestling, and The Walking Dead. You can find her on Twitter @haleyanne_.

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