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|“||I never meant to hurt her, but make no mistake, I will shoot your boy right now.||„|
|~ Cory Bridges threatening to kill Derek Morgan.|
Cory Bridges is the main antagonist of the Criminal Minds episode "The Popular Kids". He is a nihilistic teenager who murders two of his classmates to prove his superiority over the other residents of his small town.
He was portrayed by Will Rothaar.
Cory was born and raised in the small town of McAllister, Virginia, the son of widowed town sheriff John Bridges. He is one of the popular students at his high school, and the quarterback of its football team. He is brighter and more intellectually sophisticated than his peers, and loves to read, particularly philosophy and true crime, with his two favorite authors being the philosopher Friedrich Nietzche and the criminal profiler Jason Gideon, the head of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU). He becomes obsessed with Nietzche's ideal of the "amoral superman" who is above societal notions of good and evil, and begins fantasizing about proving his superiority by committing a murder and getting away with it.
Cory and his friends discover the dead body of a hiker in the woods of Massanutten Mountain, and they occasionally go to the woods to watch it decompose. While it is merely a prank to his friends, Cory takes it as a sign that he needs to put his fantasies into action. He then murders his teammate Adam Lloyd while he is on his morning run near the mountain by beating in his head with a rock. Adam's girlfriend Cherish Hanson unexpectedly shows up moments later, having joined Adam for the run. Cory panics and kills her, too before he hides the bodies in two different locations.
He tries to frame a local Satanist cult, the Lords of Destruction, by spray-painting a pentagram and the letters "LOD" by Cherish's body and leaving a blood-stained note by the hiker's skeleton reading "Satan Commands the Virgin Must Be Sacrificed at the Next Full Moon". Adam's body is eventually found, attracting the attention of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU).
"The Popular Kids"
The BAU warns the community that there is a murderer in their midst, but cautions them not to turn on each other. Nevertheless, Cory's father asks him to form a search party and round up anyone he finds suspicious. Meanwhile, Cory approaches agent Spencer Reid and tells him he is interested in joining the FBI, as he also mentions the LOD as possible suspects.
After finding the note and graffiti by the corpses, the BAU brings in the LOD members for questioning, particularly their self-appointed leader Mike Zizzo. They quickly realize, however, that the "cult" is merely a bunch of rebellious teenagers, not murderers. Meanwhile, Cory steals a revolver from his father's gun safe and follows the BAU to the abandoned Jenson house, where he had hidden Cherish's body, and "helps" agent Derek Morgan find the corpse.
Morgan and Reid are suspicious of Cory, however, and ask him why he has been there at every step of the investigation, and why he was so eager to incriminate Zizzo and his friends. Morgan accuses Cory of committing the murders, provoking Cory to take him hostage. He claims that he had only meant to kill Adam, dismissing Cherish as "collateral damage". Reid distracts Cory by saying that he had been inspired to commit the murders after reading Nietzche's Thus Spake Zarathustra, which he had seen Cory reading earlier. Morgan then angers him by saying that he had killed Adam simply so he could have Cherish for himself, only to fly into a rage and kill her when she rejected his advances. Cory tries to shoot Morgan, but Reid disarms him, while Morgan tackles him and punches him out. Cory is then taken into custody and imprisoned.