Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Review: "Lonely Hearts"

by at . Comments

The second offering of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, "Lonely Hearts," took a very big step towards its name sake and reminded us why we wanted a spin off.

Honestly, after last week’s pilot, I was not sure if Suspect Behavior would be able to find its way on the path of being a decent show. I had my fingers crossed and threw down the gauntlet and challenged CBS to make it right.

I am happy to say that this week the show made great strides in finding the path and rhythm that could make it as strong as Criminal Minds

Running Out of Time

While the overall flow of the show felt smoother this week, here are the parts of the show that stood out to me as having improved the most over last week’s pilot:

  • They actually used the behavior of the suspect. From the first conversation about the “UnSub” they began formulating the behavior that would create and motivate the person they were hunting. Thank you for remembering what the show is about.
  • The whole team participated. Each member of the team actually had a key moment of dialogue. It drove home how much this didn’t happen last week when I realized Matt Ryan is using his English accent.
  • Janeane Garofalo wasn’t so angry. There were a lot of comment last week here (and other places) that felt Garofalo was mixing her personal views into her character. I am thrilled that it doesn’t appear to be the case as this week she fit right in. I loved her performance with Marcus.

However, that is not to say the show doesn’t still have a ways to go. If CBS can iron out even a couple of these points, it could rank up there with other great shows:

  • Introduce us to the team. The episode of Criminal Minds that featured the team aired in April of 2010, more than 10 months ago. Please take a moment and work in telling us more about the strengths and weaknesses of the team, something more than the “red cell” text intro we are getting.
  • Use team members names. While I know Whitaker character is Cooper, I only heard names mentioned once when he was giving assignments and that was done so fast I didn’t catch them. I know it is a bit cliché, but how many times does Catherine call Hodges by name in CSI? How about Castle’s name (I think there is a drinking game for this one)? We need to hear their names more often so we can learn them if you want us to be attached to them as a character.
  • Get an appropriate office location. I am not saying it can’t be unconventional, but the current choice is too unconventional. They made a point of showing the neighborhood the office is in when Whitaker drove up. There is no way the FBI would have a team where 4 of the 5 members do not look like the locals and stand out horribly setup in that location. 
  • Tone down Whitaker’s brooding. Why does Whitaker feel the need to be on the verge of an emo attack and be so brooding? I get the strong, troubled, history type, but he needs to bring it back in about 50 percent. Doing the job he does, if he doesn’t find a little more internal happiness he is not long for this job.

Lastly, I am curious if Cooper is supposed to be highly religious? He said last rites over one of the corpses and had a cross on a silver chain hanging from his hip (not to mention hanging out in the church at the end). Don’t get me wrong, I think it is adding some depth to the character and I am happy to ride along to see where we go, it just seemed out of the blue.

What did you think of the second installment? Am I being too hard on it? Am I being too forgiving? We had a lot of really good comments from TV Fanatic readers last week and I look forward to reading your thoughts on this episode. 

Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
  • 3.7 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 3.1 / 5.0 (32 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

Tags: ,
Like Us On Facebook

Want more Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior?

Sign up for our daily newsletter and receive the latest tv news delivered to your inbox for free!

From Around the Web

    More From TV Fanatic

    Consoling-jessica

    Gang Related Review: Crossing the Line

    It's getting crazy on Gang Related! Lines are being crossed by gangsters and officers, is anyone in the right?
    Begging-andy

    Rookie Blue Review: Out of Control

    On Rookie Blue, Andy assists Sam in a missing persons case. Elsewhere, an undercover operation to track down illegal handguns sends Chris scrambling to maintain control.
    Nate-jenny-kiss

    Gossip Girl Rewatch: There Might Be Blood

    Join us for the rewatch of Gossip Girl Season 2 Episode 9 "There Might Be Blood." What did you think of this episode?
    Willie-on-duck

    Duck Dynasty Recap: A Brand of Brothers

    Duck Dynasty Season 6 Episode 5 was all about re-branding. Read on for our latest rundown.

    Avatar

    If the producers would get rid of Janeane Garafalo, the show might be a success. She has a big mouth and is not a good actress.

    Avatar

    So disappointed. This seems so contrived compared to the original show, and somebody please tell the writers that you can't "ping" a file to someone. Nobody is really grabbing me here. Not that I don't like the actors, just that they don't seem to be hitting their marks. Or, maybe it's just poorly written and directed and not their fault.

    Avatar

    The show doesn't feel like it has hit its stride yet. Forest Whitaker is a great actor but so far we have seen a very limited range. And, I agree, he seems awfully dark and brooding. Nothing as yet seems to hang together. Penelope doesn't seem to have a natural rapport with them. The stories seem a little forced and even more unrealistic than most shows of the same ilk. In fact, not much of this show seems to hang together well—not the writing, not the team (which doesn't feel like a team unlike the original show's team), not the sets, and not the characters. I also don't see enough of a difference between this one and the original to make it interesting in itself. So far it seems more like a bad sequel. That said, I hope they get it together because Mr. Whitaker has the potential to bring a lot to a show like this. I just haven't seen it yet.

    Avatar

    These are professional actors, yet they MUMBLE! The story lines are interesting, but the execution is poor.

    Avatar

    If Matt Ryan is supposed to be playing an english character, it is a poor accent and all the better for it, for is so clearly speaking in his native welsh accent. The show is ok, its not going to live up to the expectations of the original criminal minds straight away, each show needs time to grow and characters develop. However it is pretty much the same chow with different people, so if the spin off was trying to achieve a diffrent vibe than the original it has not had much success in doing do and probably wont, its exactly the same concept.

    Avatar

    I watched for about 20 minutes and then turned off the TV. I just can't get past Forest Whitaker's mannerisms. He delivers his lines in a choppy manner and slurs the words so it's hard to understand him. And, his movements are jerky. If some other actor were leading the team, I might stick around, but as it is, I just don't care for Forest Whitaker and the way he plays his character. Contrary to what every one else seems to think, I like Janeane Garofalo the best of the other team members. The rest are too bland. As for Penelope Garcia, I find her a bit of comic relief to so much that is disturbing and depressing in both shows. She is unconventional but super smart at her job. As a creative person, I can relate to her unconventional individualism. Not everyone has to fit inside the society norms to be relevant. But, she's definitely better as a blonde than a red head. I'm glad she's gone back to blonde on the original CM. I don't know if I'll watch again.

    Avatar

    Three things that both CM and CMSB seed to do going forward to have some (more) longevity. 1. Turn up the suspense/darkness/gore ect... These are shows about serial killers after all. Simple recipe; killer kills, team analyzes him/her to death while killer kills some more, gunfight with death/arrest, stir and move on. 2. Unless any character side story involves adhering to #1, remove it. I don't really care. Leave all that fluff for shows like Bones. 3. For the love of all that is holy please put a bullet thru Penelope Garcia's head. I think the lowpoint so far of the season is when Garcia tells the CM team to save their pre analysis for the plane b/c she was grossed out and they acutally listened. The character just caters to the lowest common denominator. Stupid people and 14yr old girls with purple hair who think they're different but are actually like everyone else should be watching something else...Bones?

    Avatar

    Forest's eye drives me crazy, and I find myself focusing on that whenever he's on screen :( Janeane Garofalo is awful. I hated her in everything I've ever seen her in. She's bland and tries too hard. She's also dressed terribly for someone who's so short.

    Avatar

    This would be a great program. Forest Witaker does a wonderful job in his part. I'm sorry that I can't say the same thing for Janeane Garofalo.

    Avatar

    CMSB is it's own show with its own characteristics,why have 2 criminal minds with similar approach to crime and punishment,we need to let the creative minds behind the show introduce the players to us {the audience} the way they visualise each one of them,build our interest in their criminal savoir-faire,make us curious as to how they gathered their unique blend of skills.it's too early in the show to question why jeneane is too passionate or how coop became a jesus crusader against what he perceives as demons walking amongst us.if the writers started to answer your every whim ,you might as well apply for a job @ CBS.give CMSB a chance to reveal hidden content in due time,please i dont want to watch the same show with just different people.