Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Review: "Devotion"

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I knew it was inevitable that Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior would move into the sensationalized stories - and "Devotion" raised the “creepy factor” to 11 as Cooper and his team raced to stop a killer who was lynching his victims.

Honestly, you can only chase kidnappers and snipers for so long before the writers try to outdo themselves.

To that end, we got a very strong "11" in the form of a homicidal-schizophrenic-necrophilic-brother who carted his dead sister’s corpse around while he was lynching random father figures on the way to kill their father for leaving them years earlier. 

Red Cell Team in Action

I have to give it to the writers: this was not a plot I could have predicted. When Cooper revealed that the girl was actually dead, I said “no way” out loud. Then, when Mick and Beth found it was the guy's sister, I mumbled “what the...” to myself. 

The ironic part of the sensational story in this episode was that it actually worked. As much as I want to bang at the episode like it was a tent stake coming out of the ground, it worked in all the items I have been saying for weeks were important:

  • All the team members’ names were used (more than once).
  • We learned about Gina and her not wanting a family.
  • The team worked very well together in the final scene. 
  • We got a clear picture of how the team was profiling the unsub.

Another pleasant surprise for this episode was that the production team has finally figured out a great visual way of showing us Cooper working through building up a profile on a target he is chasing. I was really impressed with how well the story moved both times that Cooper was working through the behavior of the unsub and when they were showing flashbacks to images and scenes we had seen before. 

Crime shows are not strangers to using effects. CSI uses “ghost overlays” and “weapon-cam” all the time to show where a bullet, knife, rope, etc. went or how it did something. Some may feel that a show sells out when you rely on this much visual aid to help tell your story. To those people, I will remind them that this is TV and not a radio broadcast; it should be visual. 

This episode felt the most put together, with a good blend of dialogue, team interactions, and case action. I hope we get to see more of this quality level going forward? What did you think of this week’s episode? Am I being too generous with my standards? Sound off now.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (43 Votes)

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

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This entire cast is very disappointing, except Penelope. We want to see more of the original cast.

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I don't like this show at all. It is boring and Forrest Whittaker acts like he is some kind of mine reader. Its goofey. We just need the one original Criminal Minds. Its a great show.

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So far I have not been impressed with this show. The writers seem to feel that they have to "explain" everything to the point of boredom and insult. This is one series I will not continue to watch. Sad, since they have a high caliber of talent that is going to waste. :-(

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I am still not convinced this show is going to be one I watch in the long run. While I liked the surprise that the girl with the unsub was the guys dead sister, I am tired of Cooper being the one doing all the figuring out of why the unsub does what he does. This is supposed to be a team and I just don't feel it. I am still hopeful that this show grabs me more then it has so far.
I agree with CMinds1001 in regards to Garcia. In this show she seems more like a talking head then the wonderful over the top Garcia we have come to know and love.

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he was carting around his sister's corpse the entire time!!! he was talking to it, and listening to it talk back to him like she was still alive the entire time! That was awesome. if they can do more eps in this completely gonzo and over the top way rather then doing the rather shrug worthy eps they'd been doing thus far--i think they can actually start to differentiate themselves from their originator. (Unfortunately i don't know if its a good thing for america that there has to be an over the top version of criminal minds when the regular is pretty damn gruesome itself a good majority of the time. still can't deny--this one was by far the best of the series so far.)

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I don't like the acting that Forrest Whittaker does. I just can't watch him.

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The show has grown more and more comfortable with its storylines and its team interactions and I am more proud of it every episode! This one is probably one of their most consistent episode and mixed in with some great character interactions. Obviously every episode can improve but I can honestly say this time I was pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns this story took, I had not been expecting the whole sister was dead thing until seconds before it happened. I hope more episodes coming down the line will be great like this one and we see more character interactions and character moments. And I am hoping against all hope that this show will come back for another season because I want to see it grow and develop the way the original show was able to do. One season does not show us everything and I hope to see more!

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I thought this was the best episode they have had so far! I also think your review was right on the spot.

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There were definitely some positive points in this episode, but alas, I think you are being too generous. It was a fairly original script, which these days is almost a miracle, but I had some real problems with it still.
First, while I love Garcia, on this CM she just doesn't seem the same, maybe it is her interaction with this team, I don't know. It just didn't seem to feel like the character we know and love from the original.
Second, when Cooper goes into his "If I am the unsub" monologues, I start to wonder if this is the psychic version of CM...it seems like he is trying to channel the unsub. Some of it just isn't very believable to me, and while I am willing to suspend some belief, I won't let go of all of it.
Third, Garafalo just does not seem suited to the role she is playing. It's like it just doesn't fit well. Maybe I am wrong.
On a positive note, I did like that they made the sister's death "real" to the unsub by having Mick shoot her, but how weird would that have been if you're Mick...shooting someone you know is dead. I liked the twist, even if I knew that target "bravo" was not the unsub...I thought Mick was going to have to shoot the rope, but I was wrong.

Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Season 1 Episode 6 Quotes

Cooper: I want you and Mick to head there.
Beth: Absolutely, I love road trips [hangs up cell phone] I hate road trips.

Gina: This is why I don't want a family.
Cooper: Family is the only real thing we have.

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