Criminal Minds Season Premiere Review: J.J. Saves the Day

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Criminal Minds' sixth season picked up where the last left off, with a cliffhanger, a beyond-creepy Tim Curry and a performance of a lifetime from the departing A.J. Cook.

It's a shame that "The Longest Night" marked a career high point for Jennifer Jereau, a character who just delivered so strongly, only to be shown the door next week.

Was this CBS' way of sending her off on a high note? If so, it worked in a sense. She was great. But it made us even more confused and sad about Cook's departure.

Morgan, JJ and Reid

Casting issues aside, this was a solid episode of Criminal Minds. NCIS remains the network's procedural gold standard, but Minds isn't too far behind on nights like this.

We picked up right where we left off in May, with the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit fighting the Darkness, literally and otherwise. Darkness is one ruthless adversary.

With power grid maxed out, Los Angeles County plunged into a different kind of darkness, shifting the balance of power squarely to Tim Curry's uber-creepy character.

Eventually, we learned that his real name is Billy Flynn and that he killed his mother, a prostitute, when he was teenager. Yeah, that will scar you for life, no doubt.

With that piece of information, along with some intel about how Flynn loves to listen for news about his crimes, JJ got clearance to address Darkness via the radio.

Could she convince him to let Ellie go?

This was where Cook shined as JJ took on Hotch's usual negotiating role. She was petrified, but found the will to remain focused and strong. Very nuanced. Kudos, AJ.

Her impassioned plea may not heal the wounds of her character's departure among fans, but it did somehow set Ellie free. Soon after, the team confronted Darkness.

With hostages on the ground and gun in hand, Darkness' madness led to an even more intense scene. In it, the maddening Curry showed layers of this complex killer.

Morgan and a Medic

Displaying a trace of humanity, he wept as he recalled his mom's death, proving that no matter how repressed, there was some good in him, or at least a desire for it.

To say Morgan was unsympathetic would be an understatement. When Darkness aimed at a hostage, he ended up with a half-dozen rounds in him. Rapid-fire. Wow.

As the end quote, stemming from Buddha, said of families, "if these minds get out of harmony with one another, it is like a storm that plays havoc with the garden."

Morgan did what he had to do, and as a result, Darkness will never be allowed to play havoc with anyone again. A powerful ending to this strong, two-part episode.

What did you think of the sixth season premiere of Criminal Minds? Are you upset AJ is leaving? Are you excited for this season? Chime in below.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (138 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Well, like Joe Mantegna's character said, "your on everybody's wishlist, our loss is someone elses gain". AJ is young, talented and smoking hot, I am confident she will do very well for herself. Personally, am going to miss her character very much and believe it was a mistake to let her go like that. Good luck AJ Cook, you helped make this show the monster success it has been!


Can'r believe they let JJ go - one of my favorites...They should have left the cast alone. I love this show - it's just not going to be the same. Is there no way to get her back??


Who is in charge of the casting crew of criminal minds, are they crazy??? Why mess with a good thing, they need to be getting on the internet and see what us fans of Criminal Minds are saying about getting rid of JJ's character. Definitely a huge dissappoint.


What was the quote "JJ" quoted as she was leaving the show tonight????


Why ???? You have a good thing going. Now your trying to fix something that isn't BROKE! Get a clue......wake up and smile the success!


Getting rid of JJ is so stupid. Forget for a moment that she is the most beautiful woman on TV, she is also a recruiting poster for the FBI. Why do they have to screw with great ensemble casts.


I just watched JJ get on the elevator to leave the show. Paget Brewster facing a similar, if not fatal, fate. With all the cowboys left and cowgirls not, why not just make it a western shoot-up.


I cannot believe they are letting her go.. Stop being so cheap we know you have the money - heck we are the fans of this show and we support this show the least you can do is support us and what we want..... BRING HER BACK - KEEP THE TEAM TOGETHER.... IF FOR NOTHING ELSE DO IT FOR THE FANS....THE ONES THAT ACTUAL PAY TO WATCH - BY PAYING REDICULOUS CABLE BILLS.......


JJ should not leave the show. The team is what makes the show awesome. She makes the show awesome. There has to be a way to bring her back. please... don't break up the team......


I have watched CM from the first season on. JJ is a needed character - dramas work if they have balanced characters. This will indeed through off the balance of the show..

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Criminal Minds Season 6 Episode 1 Quotes

When I shot her, she looked at me with such ... she was ... I think relieved. I think I helped her escape. Was that really true, or did I just imagine it to make killing her easier to live with?


The question isn't why do I kill people. The question is, why I don't kill everybody.