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Criminal-minds

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.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (257 Votes)

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

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It was bad enough letting JJ go...but now Prentiss??? I don't know if I will watch any more or not. I don't think Seaver fits in and I don't think she ever will. In my opinion it goes back to the old saying...If it ain't broke...don't fix it!

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I saw that members of the team served as pallbearers. Any of the FBI agents think it felt like a body inside? Shouldn't her mother, an ambassador, played by Kate Jackson, should have been there? Just wondering.

Steve-marsi

Apologies for the photo, I meant to use a different one (which now appears). As for the funeral criticism, I felt faking her death seemed a bit manipulative, but I thought the scenes were very well done, and the episode was terrific overall.

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Sorry , my mistake: I DON'T agree with Michael but with CMinds1001

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I agree with Michael, I think the episode was great but the scene with Rossi and Seaver seemed forced. I believe she will add some interesting character to the show (considering her past) but somehow I don't think she will outshine the superb character of Prentiss!

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I also liked the episode, and as CMinds1001 said, a good part of it was predictable, especially for those of us who follow CM cast and crew on twitter and facebook. They had given us some very strong hints without actually telling us anything, just so we could deduce some small things. The kid killing plot wasn't given away but we as fans who dealt with Emily for 5 years just knew she could never have killed him. Still, the episode was pretty intense even with all those things already on the table. I kinda realized very early that AJ Cook wouldn't just have brought her JJ back if it weren't for her to shine. And so she did. I knew that it couldn't be a coincidence that they would need JJ's help in this international plot just to have reprise her old status on the team. It had to be related to her actual job and the power she got through it. I'm glad I was right, and I loved JJ's comeback in that respect. Garcia and Emily... one of the only moments I actually cried during the episode. Very, very well-done. Kudos to both actresses. I also found Morgan's misjudge of Emily's character and their consequential final moment of redemption very well-done and very in-character. I expected Morgan to have strong feelings about Emily's lawbreaking behavior but I'd be really sad if Emily disappeared before Morgan got the chance to redeem himself for the way he misunderstood her. A five-year partnership could not have ended on a sour note. The other moment I cried was of course, the funeral. Not over thinking Emily was dead for it was pretty clear by then she wasn't, but because I felt incredibly sorry for the team having to go through this. It was implied that only JJ and Hotch knew the truth. It's truly unfair that the others had to grieve a friend's "death" under these circumstances. And it was clear that Reid and Garcia are the ones that will have trouble dealing with the aftermath of Prentiss's exit. The cliffhanger was a clever strategy to end the episode, although I really don't believe Paget would come back, at least not as a regular. The same applies, I think, to AJ. If we are ever to see them again on the show it'd be, in my opinion, in a recurring status. But I was glad to see I can expect some Seaver development. I didn't find her scene with Rossi weird at all. I think she needed a little push into the right direction, and Rossi was right, they were all too emotionally involved in the situation to have done an accurate comprehensive profile. Being the least attached to the team, Seaver had an insight in a aspect she knew well - that is, bringing down families - given her background. What they intend is to sell Seaver as a newbie that is put into this team in a life-and-death situation and gradually gains confidence in her profiling skills. Of course she won't get BAMF overnight, but the scene served as a turn-around to the character. Or so I hope. All in all, a really solid episode that I liked very much, and an episode that did justice to our strong female lead.

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First...That is NOT AJ Cook in the picture with Joe Mantegna at the top. That is Rachel Nichols, whose character Ashley Seaver, has NOT gone over well with the majority of CM fans (don't believe me, go to any CM message board. For every positive Seaver post, you'll find at least ten BEGGING for her to be killed, transferred, or otherwise removed from the BAU. Second...The episode was AMAZING. MGG's direction was brilliant...the flashback format could have gone very, very badly but it didn't. It was really well shot and the pacing was good too. Third... I really don't get your criticism of the funeral. Of course they had a funeral for her...JJ told them she was dead. A funeral, especially for a fallen FBI agent, isn't out of place. It's common sense. Especially considering her death was being faked. Do you not think it would have been a wee bit suspicious if an FBI agent was killed by an escaped terrorist and there was no service? You don't think the team wouldn't have questioned that? I'm sure Doyle would have, let's not forget that Doyle got away after finding out that his son was alive. Since he believed that Emily knew where Declan was and he was determined to get his child back, he'd NEVER stop coming after her until one of them was dead. I loved seeing AJ Cook back..she needs to return. Paget needs to return...although quite frankly after the way they were treated I wouldn't blame them if they told CBS to kiss their backsides. And if Paget's pilot gets picked up the odds of her coming back go from slim to none. I'll miss Emily. This episode showed why Prentiss is so important to the BAU family and to fans. We lost a strong, capable, qualified, BAMF female lead and are left with...Seaver. Thanks a lot Nina Tassler and CBS. You messed with perfection and the fans don't appreciate it one bit.

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To Michael: You are right, Seaver is not overpowering, to many of us, she is kind of annoying. In fact, I thought her role originally was to dumb things down for the viewer because she had to have most things explained to her. Thing is, most folks who enjoy this show, don't need things dumbed down.

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That not AJ in that picture just so you know I do not see what the big deal about Seaver see seem find to me and at least she not over powering the team like Ziva did when she came to NCIS. So if JJ and Hotch know she alive and no one eles does I wonder what will happen when the team finds out when they quit or get Hotch fried. I really am strating to enjoy these show a lot more then I was and it looks to be getting better

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I have to admit, I liked this episode overall, and Gubler's direction was excellent, but I still had a few issues. I felt like the scenes with Seaver were forced, especially the one with Rossi. Yes, it eventually led to a reveal, but it just didn't feel right. We can't be forced to accept her as part of the BAU family this soon, and I hope that this "breakthrough" she had doesn't lead her to all of a sudden be the strong female lead.
There were a couple of things you just knew...first, you knew she didn't kill Fahey in the car, and second, you knew there was no way she killed that little boy, that just isn't in keeping with the character. Next, you knew something was up when AJ wouldn't let Reid go see the body. I am assuming the team does not know she is alive and if that is the case, other question arise regarding the funeral.
My favorite scene had to be when Emily was in the car and heard the voicemail from Garcia...how wonderfully emotional on both their parts. You could hear the passion and love in Garcia's voice. Matthew Gray Gubler's direction was superb, especially the transitions between the past and present. Very well done.
Overall, a strong, quality episode. I just wonder if they will be able to keep it up with their two strong female leads gone.

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