Based in Quantico, Virginia, the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) is a subsection of the FBI. Called in by local police departments to assist in solving crimes of a serial and/or extremely violent nature where the perpetrator is unknown (referred to by the Unit as the unknown subject or unsub for short), the BAU uses the controversial scientific art of profiling to track and apprehend the unsub. Profiling entails coming up with basic characteristics of the unsub and the victims (referred to as the victimology), using evidence from the case and matching that information to historic precedents and psychological analyses as a means to solve the case. Because of the nature of the work conducted by the BAU - the work being time consuming and psychologically demanding - its members are fiercely loyal to the Unit and to its other members. Also because of the work's overall demanding nature, not many members of the BAU have been able to maintain a happy or stable family life.
Their job is to catch criminals. Their specialty is to think like them.
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Did You Know?
One of the signature images of this show is the brief shot of a business jet flying the team to a crime scene. Often these shots are paired as book-ends at the beginning and end of an episode, with voice-over of a cast member reciting a famous quotation. The jets shown are always Gulfstream products, including models G-IV, G-V, and G-450. Occasionally the shots are reversed left-to-right (for example, episodes "A Thin Line" and "I Love You, Tommy Brown"). The tail numbers shown are often registered to Gulfstream Corporation, indicating that the shots are taken from Gulfstream publicity materials. See more
On several occasions, cases have taken place in Southern Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania all within several hours driving time from the BAU's QUantico headquarters. Yet the group is shown flying there in the executive jet available to them, a process that would actually take longer than driving, if flight prep time and travel to and from the plane are included. It would also be far more expensive.
It's very unlikely that a government agency would pay for extravagant travel when cheaper options are available. See more
Special Agent Derek Morgan
So tell me, what does keep young Dr. Reid awake at night? Wait, let me guess. Memorizing some obscure textbook? No, no, no. Working on cold fusion? No, I got it, I got it, I got it. Watching Star Trek and laughing at all the physics mistakes?
Dr. Spencer Reid
Actually, there aren't that many scientific errors in Star Trek, especially considering how long ago it was made. There are certain improbabilities, but not that many outright errors.
Special Agent Derek Morgan