The gravity of Reid’s comeback is heightened by the fact that it happened during one of the series’ most intense and personal storylines. Former Irish Republican Army member Ian Doyle (Timothy V. Murphy) proved to be a formidable thorn in the BAU’s side for much of Criminal Minds‘ sixth season — so much so that one team member, Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster, who was briefly fired from the show for dubious reasons), had to fake her own death to prevent him from coming after her.
However, on the season 7 premiere, Doyle is in FBI custody. His partners in crime are still at large, though, and they kidnap his son, Declan (Conrad Bluth), whom the team is desperate to save. The episode, aptly entitled “It Takes a Village,” uses frequent flashbacks to show the extraordinary measures the team used to finally bring Boyle’s storyline to a close — while in the present day, each of them is testifying before a Senate committee to explain their unorthodox (i.e., illegal) approach to the case.
Reid faces harsh questioning from Senator Cramer (Mark Moses) about his decision to briefly free Doyle from custody to lure Declan’s captors out of hiding. Cramer is flabbergasted that the team took such a potentially ruinous action with a notorious criminal, but Reid stands firm, telling the Senator, “A young boy’s life was at stake. I ran the probability of his survival, and it wasn’t good. If you wanna punish me for taking a risk, then I encourage you to do that, but do not put the rest of my team on trial for something that I suggested.”
After Reid rattled off his impassioned plea, Cramer responded, “Calm down, Agent.” That’s when Reid unleashed the mic-drop heard ’round the Criminal Minds universe: “This is calm, and it’s ‘Doctor.'”