In this crime series, a crack team of FBI profilers fly from Quantico to
the focal point of the criminal activity of various serial killers. There
they investigate the evidence from the crime scenes, compose a profile and
try to prevent the next fatal strike. Top brain is academic Jason Gideon,
with his more by-the-book operational right hand man Aaron "Hotch"
Hotchner. The still juvenile Dr. Spencer Reid is an erudite on everything
except real life, Penelope Garcia a brilliant computer whiz who gets access
to any database etc. As they are mobile, cooperation with local police and
FBI agents is important but often poses jurisdictional and other problems,
as do some witnesses and suspects.
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 use 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.