James Van Der Beek gave a memorable performance as serial killer Tobias in Criminal Minds; here’s the character’s different personalities explained.
Here are the different personalities of James Van Der Beek’s Criminal Minds killer Tobias Hankel explained. CBS’ Criminal Minds debuted back in 2005 and quickly became one of the most popular procedural shows on television. The story sees an elite team of FBI profilers tasked with finding and capturing serial killers and these cases can often take a personal turn. The series proved so popular during its run it received spinoffs in the form of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, though they both proved short-lived.
Criminal Minds was also known for its harrowing violence, which famously prompted star Mandy Patinkin to exit after only two seasons. The killers on the show came up with some endlessly inventive methods to dispatch victims, meaning the series could often make for a brutal watch. It survived other high-profile departures such as Thomas Gibson’s Hotch and Shemar Moore’s Derek in later seasons, before finally coming to a close in 2020 after fifteen seasons and over 300 episodes.
Criminal Minds featured many memorable guest stars playing the “Unsubs” the team track down too, including C. Thomas Howell as George Foyet – AKA” The Reaper” – and Tim Curry as the horrid “Prince of Darkness” killer. One of the most memorable was James Van Der Beek’s Tobias Hankel, who appeared in two episodes back in season two. Tobias famously kidnapped BAU agent Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), subjecting him to torture, games of Russian Roulette and even getting him to dig his own grave, with the incident leaving lasting mental scars on the agent.
Criminal Minds’ Tobias suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder and was driven to commit religious killings by his two other personas. One is that of Charles (Don Swayze), his Christian zealot father who beat and abused Tobias as a child and later forced his son to kill him when he became ill. Tobias became a serial killer following his father’s death and is driven to “punish” those he perceives as sinners. His other personality is the wrathful archangel Raphael, who would be the one selecting victims and doing the killings.
The Tobias personality was tormented by the killings being carried out by Raphael and Charles and is actually thankful to Reid when he fatally wounds him, as this “kills” his other personas. Criminal Minds’ Tobias left a major impression on both Reid and viewers and is often considered one of the show’s most sympathetic unsubs.