Criminal Minds Review: Let Me Go ...

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After weeks of ominous buildup, the time came for Emily Prentiss to deal with Ian Doyle once and for all. But would she survive this IRA villain's malicious intentions?

As the BAU profiled one of its own to prevent a terrorist from shattering the "family," Prentiss again took matters into her own hand as she confronted nemesis Doyle.

In what was a gripping final episode wrought with violence, emotion and suspense, Paget Brewster's character left Criminal Minds last night, but with a surprise twist.

Prentiss in Trouble

If this was her last turn as Prentiss, Paget Brewster left on a strong note.

Following a gruesome fight to the death with Doyle, we were led to believe Prentiss perished in Morgan's arms, pleading with him, "Let me go," with her final breaths.

Perhaps he did, but not in the way we thought.

In the episode's closing moments, Prentiss was shown (presumably) only from the rear at an outdoor cafe in Paris, implying she somehow escaped death by stake.

Unlike The Vampire Diaries, there are no mystical rules that could have saved her after being impaled. Yet there she was, living to fight another day, in a new life.

The episode title, “Lauren,” referred to the secret alter ego of Emily. Will she assume that alias again, or adopt a new one? And will we ever see Prentiss' face again?

As much as I like the character, the open-ended conclusion seemed a bit out of place. They even went as far as having a funeral for her? It was just a little bizarre.

Maybe Emily really will return? It was an awfully long buildup to her demise in any case, only to be faked out in the closing moments. But it was a strong episode.

Timothy V. Murphy’s Ian Doyle was as convincing as a bad guy gets on TV, and the climactic fight scene as gruesome as you'll see. Parts of it were hard to stomach.

A major highlight for me was Kirsten Vangsness’ Garcia showing so much emotion over these events, especially given how the BAU "family" is trained not to do so.

The possibility of losing their colleague definitely hit Garcia and Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler, who directed the episode) the hardest, and the actors played this well.

Matthew's direction was also excellent. Cutting between the past and present scenes could have easily been hokey, but it was done seamlessly and effectively.

Criminal Minds Scene

A.J. Cook returned to Criminal Minds last night.

While she obviously took a back seat to Brewster, it was great to see A.J. Cook back for this one episode as J.J. We can only hope it wasn't her last appearance as well.

It was J.J. who told the others Prentiss assumed the identity of Lauren, that Doyle was their last case, and that Prentiss went undercover on it because she's his type.

In France, it was J.J. who hooked Emily up with her new identity before she disappeared. A.J. playing a central role in Paget's exit was both bittersweet and compelling.

Brewster will be missed on Criminal Minds. I doubt I'll be the only one to say that. Her style was a nice counterbalance to some of the melodrama exhibited by others.

Her last episode really had the feel of a season or series finale, didn't it? That's a compliment to the cast and crew, but it had an air of finality. Certainly momentous.

It's hard to imagine the show just picking up with a standard installment in two weeks, but we'll be watching when it does, of course (and missing our favorite ladies).

What did you think of last night's Criminal Minds? Can the show be as good as it has been without these terrific female characters? Discuss below.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (259 Votes)

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


I hate to see a show I have watched for so long ruined. Especially if it was for the spin-off. If Cuba has some illness that makes him act so strange, please excuse this comment but in the first episodes I couldn't understand a word he said! If his sort of trance speech pattern and weird facial expression is an acting choice, it is truly awful. If he is recovering from a stroke then I get it.
In any case the original CM is so much better but only with the women.


Did anyone notice we don't know Prentiss' true dentity? How is it there are people who remember her as Emily Prentiss? Her mother is a diplomat!! For all of you who don't believe in conspiracy theories & shadow governments, all - have to say is truth is stranger than fiction.


Prentiss is not in Wit Sec, she is on another assignment. They showed her from behind because her facial features have been altered. I like Mandy Patinkin but I don't miss him because the casting director & the writers handled it well.


I agree with all the comments about JJ, Prentiss, and Seaver… my only additional comments are: 1. I hope the reason JJ was reassigned to the State Dept was specifically to assist with the outcome of the writing of this case. 2. Cutting 2 excellent female characters to create a less than stellar spin-off was a stupid move on the part of CBS. 3. Now the team is short another agent and will havve to hire another. With Seaver being such an obvious "newbie" as we saw on this episode, they are going to need someone more experienced, ie a transfer or reinstatement. My suggestion? Wise up CBS, listen to your viewers and bring back JJ, clean up the case with Doyle - heck make it the season ender, and send off Seaver as a hero to bring back Prentiss next Season. Just IMHO.


I have missed JJ since she left. Now Prentiss has left and I don't think the show will ever be as great as it was before. I doubt if I continue to watch with 2 strong characters removed from the show.


Please Please do not end Criminal Minds!!!!!!!
I hate the new one and won't watch it any more!!!!!
It was the only decent show on TV!!!!


To the poster Michael who said it's not our show lets not attack the actors. I think it's fair to say that any show on television lives or dies by whether we tune in or not so our opinions count. If we don't like a character (which is sounds like the majority do not like the new blonde) then the producers should really think about it. I'm going to hazard a guess to say that this was all money related. CBS wanted to launch Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior and didn't want to pay Forrest Whittaker $$ plus the JJ and Prentis $$ so they got rid of some of what they viewed as dead weight and left half doors open for them to return. I think this was a stupid move but probably made becuase other characters have left before and the show has become even more successful. We will see how the ratings play out now that they have gone. It won't be the same show for me but we will see...


Prentiss' and Garcia are my favorite female characters. Its sad that prentiss had to go. It seemed pointless for them to get rid of her. She had the look. But its typical for shows to do that. All tv is going to crap with reality shows such as basketball wives!! seriously? But oh well, people don't need to sit on their asses and watch tv all day anyways. Just a thought :)


I agree that the show is not the same without JJ and now Prentiss. Why let the character JJ go and then hire someone who is so like her in appearance but without the chemistry of JJ. The show is not the same and I don't think it will ever be the same. I did not care for Ellie and was glad she left. Seaver is just not on the same page with Hotch, Morgan, Reed, Rossi and Garcia. She will never fit in, her personality is all wrong. I love Hotch, he is a professional in his role. He has to keep his group together. I am all for bringing JJ back and Prentis when Doyle is dead and gone. Hope Morgan or Reed is the one to kill him in a future episode. It is best that the team does not know the secret of Prentiss being alive.If the producers or who ever is in charge of bringing her back would do so. The team will realize that it was for the protection of Prentiss and they will accept it because they love her and respect her.
Only when CBS sees the decline in the ratings of CM will they bring back the two valued members. Kick Seaver out. Any new member should be someone like Linus Roach from L&O. I loved him as Cutter. I also like the actress who play Casey ada on SVU.
Hope CBS opens their eyes soon or they will lose one of the BEST shows ever on CBS.
Get rid of Criminal Minds: Subject Behavior. What a farce that show is. Bad acting, lines, and characters not to mention a bad choice of actors. I do not watch it after the first episode and will not watch it again.


Assuming that Prentiss is alive, and JJ and Hotch know, that was extremely cruel. Garcia was crying. Reid didn't get to say goodbye. Morgan held her, pleaded with her not to die. It's cruel not to tell them that she's alive. I understand the whole witness protection thing, but this feels like something the writers did to keep the potential of Prentiss coming back while still having several episodes of angst with the team. I absolutely hated the end of this episode.
On a side note, the acting was awesome. MGG is an amazing director and actor.

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