Criminal Minds Review: Let Me Go ...

at . Comments

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
  • 4.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
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.


Let just remember these is not our show so we have no right to attack the actors


First, Gubler is incrdeibly talented as a director as this episode demonstrated. It would serve the show well to utilize him more often in that capacity. I found the episode to be a compelling send off for Prentiss, and, even though the faked death is somewhat cliche, it was still 1)the most efficient way to keep it open for PB to return, and 2) the best way to keep Prentiss safe until Doyle can be captured/eliminated. All in all, it was a great episode, but not perfect. I cringe everytime the cadet appears onscreen, and this ep was no exception. The BAU is supposed to be an elite unit that agents have to work for years to become a part of. A cadet is as far out of place there as it gets. The scene where she became nearly hysterical when Rossi asked for her "fresh eyes" perpective is one more example of what's wrong with the character. Anyone who would react so badly when pressed to make an important contribution to a profile, certainly couldn't be trusted to maintain her composure in a high stress field situation. And a mentally unstable agent is a danger to everyone around her. The cadet is a major fail! She is the dark cloud to an otherwise silver lining. I hope the producers realize how badly it hurts the show when the veteran characters have to be written out of character to accommodate an unnecessary addition to the cast. If Prentiss must be replaced, they need to bring in a character who meets the requirements of the BAU and is of the right mentality for the job. I apologise for the rant, but I want my CM back on track with profiling being the focus, and credible profilers doing the job!


Maybe Emily and Elle can meet for tea somewhere and discuss how humorless Hotch has become. Bah, I thought everyone was out of character in this episode. What was Rossi doing yelling at the new chick for "fresh eyes" and she actually teared up, so professional. The faux funeral is par for the course when going into witness protection, but come one, Doyle obviously has deep connections inside the agencies and could find her that way, she's on her own, but she should be dead. I will have to give up on this show and I loved it so much in the first seasons.


@Yasmine, JJ said "We did the best we could."
Hotch said "I know." They're both in on it. Emily's handler asked him to take an oath, and he's fulfilling it by helping her disappear until Ian is captured (or helping her pursue him...).


I don't believe for a second that hotch and JJ would put the team through something like this. If it ever came out Prentiss was still alive Morgan would go on a killing spree, Prentiss first Hotch and JJ second and third (and Penelope would cover his tracks). If these people can't keep a secret like this nobody can. It's just too cruel and unrealistic


Does anyone know what JJ says to Hotch in the end ?
Could she have told Hotch the truth ?


Great episode! It definitely had the feeling of a finale, I teared up when she was asking Morgan to let her go and then cried even harder when JJ came out to the group & during her funeral. JJ was one of my favorite characters & mixed perfectly with the team, it was hard enough having her leave that I contemplated not watching, but now Prentiss too is gone and I'm wondering what they heck they are thinking. I don't dislike Seaver, she just isn't JJ or Emily, nor does she have the chemistry required to be with the team IMO. I will continue to watch half b/c despite 2 of my favs going away I love the show and half b/c I need to know if it can survive without the 2 characters. I agreed with your review, except one thing. The funeral didn't seem out of place to me at all. The whole goal of being placed into relocation/witness protection is to have Doyle & any of his associates believe that she is dead. Which means no one else including the team can know the truth & they have to believe it too. So that made perfect sense to me. Obviously JJ knew & I'm pretty sure Hotch knew too.


The reviewer mentioned that he didn't necessarily like the cliffhanger ending with Prentiss apparently still alive and going undercover again (with the fact that they went so far as to even have a funeral for Prentiss). But it is definitely a way for their to be closure for the other characters (so that the show can go on), but this way there is also an opening to possibly bring Prentiss back at some point. It's reminiscent of Law and Order: SVU, when ADA Cabot (played by Stephanie March), was apparently killed. They had a funeral for her too (though Benson and Stabler learned different in the same episode). But everyone else believed she was dead (giving necessary closure), but then they brought her character back later on...albeit several years later... Personally, I loved everything about this episode EXCEPT that Prentiss is gone and of course so is J.J. No offense to Seaver, she just doesn't fit. Maybe that will change as we get more used to her, but getting rid of Prentiss and J.J. in the same season is just killer to me. For that reason, I'd give this episode 4 out of 5 stars. I loved the episode. Matthew Gray Gubler's direction and acting was great, artfully done in my opinion. But I was already missing seeing J.J. every week and will now miss Prentiss as well.


The show was excellent but prentiss needs to come back


I agree with everyone that last night's episode was great, and that both JJ and Prentiss will be missed. However, I disagree with the review on the ending being 'out of place.' Obviously Ian Doyle escaped before Morgan got there and he'll want to track down Prentiss again since she's the only connection he has to his son. Prentiss probably goes into some sort of witness protection deal, and faking her death was necessary. The only way to make it convincing is if very few people know the truth, and I'm guessing only JJ knows Prentiss is still alive. Not having a funeral would have been out-of-place, and Doyle probably had some minion observing it.

Tags: ,