Criminal Minds

Wednesdays 9:00 PM on CBS
Criminal minds
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Criminal Minds Review: Let Me Go ...

by 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.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (258 Votes)

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

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I agree with everybody that the show last night was excellent. I didn't see that Doyle got away, they just didn't show that. I knew Prentis didn't kill the boy, that is not what she does. I cried at the hospital and the funeral. MGG did a fine job last night directing and acting. I loved Garcia's message to Emily. I hope they can make Seaver better, along with everyone else I don't like her. But I will give her a chance.

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Well,I know that Emily is alive,because it showed her thumb in the last scene. I know her hands anywhere.Maybe the new girl is a plant by either the good guy's or the one's that tried to take Emily out!

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I love Criminal Minds, but please bring our two girls back, send the other girl home and leave the show alone. Last night was great but Emily needs to come back and so does JJ. There's unfinished business with the bad guy. As for the spin off....it's just not there. The cast just doesn't seem to interact with each other and that's half of what makes a good show. You just can't get a personal feeling about them like you can with the cast on the original show.

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Great Episode and Storyline in general. Yeah, I'm not too fond of the new girl.....No Spunk! She always seems to be scared holding a victims posture that isn't a believable addition to the Team. I don't think Hotch or the BAU would have ever hired her, therefore CBS shouldn't have either.

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I have to say I've never felt the need to post on any shows before, but I guess there's a first time for everything and this is the one. I am so dissapointed in losing Emely, she was one of the strongest characters, and one of the most humble. She wasn't dumb, as someone put it by her having to explain a lot of things, she was humble, and wanted to be accurate. JJ....I miss her very much also! I think future shows are going to be dissapointing from now on with now both of these ladies gone.
Good Luck Emely, we'll miss you GREATLY!

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I was unhappy with the 'death' of Emily, to say the least. Not having followed along, I wasn't aware of tension on the set, I do hope if Paget is in something else, I can find it! I appreciate that changes are important, but i am never happy with killing someone off, and especially, as has been said, someone so strong to the integrity of the show. I have watched from day one, and love the growth of the characters. I don't have a problem with the new girl, i can see potential for her, but if she's going to stay, they need to mature her faster, grow her up, or the show will lose the edge it has had for so long.
I do agree, i knew something was up when Reid didn't get to see Emily - dead giveaway! On another note - I am not happy with the spinoff - it's too campy and cheesy - i don't like the lead guy - he's too much in the lead, and everything is too simple minded, yet you feel like he's got this insight he shouldn't be able to have given the lack of info. I probably won't continue watching it. Hats off to Matthew's direction of last nites episode - he has a great talent as an actor - good to know he's stretching his wings.
:)

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Screw CBS. I haven't watched since JJ left, and the new female they forced on is crap, just crap. They mess with the veteran female actresses and yet the men are untouched. I still say Rossi is expendable, and should have been dismissed. The team held their own succesfully before he showed up.

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It was such a good episode fromt he first 10 minutes it had my attention to the very end. I am so mad they got rid of JJ and emily especially when they found such a cast with good chemistry they go mess it all up..but I am so glad they left both parts open for the actresses to reprise them. I just can't see how they can get any better now or top that....

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Last night episode was awesome,a little sad,i really liked Emily and JJ I hope they bring them back...I knew when JJ talked to Hotch after they said that Emily was dead,I knew she wasnt because Doyle got away..this story line is not over yet,I think we will see Emily again,because there is some unfinished businees.all in all they better not even think of taking anyone else out

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I thougvht the show was excellent last night. It was so great to see J.J. back on the show (I miss her sooo much!) I am very sad to see Prentiss' charater leave the show. I thought she was a great replacement for "what's her name" from 5 years ago!! She will be sorely missed!!