While Criminal Minds gets plenty wrong about the criminal justice system, fans feel that Haley’s inability to recognize Foyet’s face is too huge a plot hole to accept. Reddit user sjog presents the case particularly well: “My issue: the fact that she saw Foyet’s face and still let him into the house means she didn’t know what he looked like. They never showed this woman a picture of the man that was hunting her and her son? No. I refuse to accept that.” User mccabebabe added that it’s been a point of contention for a while. They said, “I find it next to impossible to believe that Haley wouldn’t have been completely briefed on Foyet, given his ‘relationship’ with Hotch. Not very clever of them at all.”
However, user happylilthrowaway777 provided a counterpoint, saying that it isn’t always so easy to recognize a suspect from a photo: “I work for a law enforcement agency. I see mug shots every day. I guarantee I would not recognize someone just by seeing their mug shot. People just look different … We recognize C. Thomas Howell from the picture because we KNOW he’s the bad guy. I don’t consider it a plot hole when someone doesn’t recognize someone from a photo.”
Instead, happylilthrowaway777 brought attention to a different aspect of Haley’s behavior that doesn’t make sense: When Foyet tells her that Hotch is dead, she doesn’t try calling Hotch to find out for herself. She might be too upset to think of this in the moment, but it could have saved her life. Though this episode’s tragic ending is frustrating to some, it’s still a fan favorite. However, there is a Criminal Minds episode so disturbing, even fans don’t want to watch it.