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Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Review: "Night Hawks"

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Is it true that the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree? 

This is the base question we are presented with in "Night Hawks" as Cooper and his team tried to stop a killing spree in Tulsa.

Last week there were a few fans that scoffed at my declaration that Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior had hit its stride. To those fans I can only reply with, See! as this week's episode helped to certify the comment. 

Red Cell Team Members

Lets take a look at a few points of what made this episode so good and my statement so correct:

Leonard Keane: Even after we know that Keane has brutally killed three people, you couldn’t help but feel his pain and struggle of his wife on the verge of being evicted from the hospital and the repeated harassment. Keane was incredibly portrayed by William Sanderson who I always enjoy seeing perform. His reaction to his cat being killed and left on his porch nearly made me want to pick up a bat!

Teamwork: From the moment Cooper introduced the team to the Tulsa PD all the way through them working out who Keane was, they worked like a precision instrument. I especially enjoyed them showing off Beth’s “special power” of being able to profile Leonard from his speech and dialect on the phone call. Additional, Cooper’s retort that she had been fired before being proven right on another case did a nice job of humbling her while showing some banter between them.

Imagery: While I know this will be a bit more subjective, we can all agree having the opening scene be an interview featuring Keane that actually turned out to be about his son, but also a foreshadowing of his behavior. Then using his comment from the same interview as the closing scene of the episode provided some fantastic symmetry.   

Story: When you blend the idea of "we are our parent’s children" with the question of "are killer’s born that way or become that way?" you get a plot that is nearly tangible it has so much substance to it. Increasing the potency of this mix is having someone like Sanderson present this story to us. 

There were so many subtle layers to this episode I am planning on rewatching it this weekend.  I am pretty sure there is some additional imagery and messaging in the conversation(s) that Cooper and Keane had about darkness and looking into those dark places that I didn’t fully absorb on the first pass. If you happen to have caught it, please comment below and enlighten me in.  

Overall, this is the first episode were nothing felt out of place. The unsub was more than believable, the case was solid, and the team truly felt like a team. I really hope this is the caliber that we will see for the rest of the season. 

What did you think of this week’s episode? Sound off below. 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (28 Votes)

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

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I watched an episode of the show "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior" or the first time - the one that aired this week "Strays." I thought overall the show was interesting, but saw something truly DISTURBING at the end that I think the show's director and producer should address. Around minute 56, when they get to the house and find the FBI director's goddaughter and her fellow-captive, while panning into the room, and back out they used an angle that didn't make sense as far as showing much of anything important other than the actors, and I noticed (and it gave me bad chills) that going into the room and out the footage clearly showed a mezuzah on the interior door of that room. A mezuzah is put on the doors in Orthodox Jewish homes, and that guy was clearly not an Orthodox Jew. Why ruin a good episode by having footage that shows Judaica while a viewing audience is emotionally charged and when they might subliminally associate something beautiful and meaningful like a mezuzah with the creep who bought those two girls and took them home at the end of the show, and why link it visually with human trafficking??? I've read the blogs about his new show as well as the postings on the CBS website about how carefully crafted this show is. How do they account for something this twisted in and around minute 56?

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I agree with CMinds1001. I felt a connection between Mick and Gina, but now, I think I might have been imagining it (though they do a lot of their profiling together). There is a sense of camaraderie between Beth and Cooper, but I think that's mostly professional. I seriously can't seem them spending time together outside of work. And poor Prophet, he's kind of like the third wheel in this group. Someones gonna have to fix that! Something is going to have to happen to this team to make them pull together. To make them feel more like a family. I am interested in seeing what that situation (devastation?) might be.

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I was one of the naysayers last week, and still hold to what I said. This episode, however, was a good one and was in many ways decidedly different from the previous. There was no "Okay, I'm the unsub" divination from Cooper, and that helped out A LOT!!!! Beth was at least a little toned down, even though she did get her time to shine with the linguistics bit. I will agree that they may have found some sort of stride with this episode, but the question is, can they continue moving forward? I am more than willing to give them to the end of the season, but right now, I am still not all that invested in the characters, or the team. Perhaps they need a cataclysmic event to happen to a team member, like a kidnapping of one of them or something, to make them more connected. I don't know, but I do know something is still missing.

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Watch Stone Phillips' interview with Jeffrey Dahmer and his father (some footage with his mom). The glasses, the appearance of the father and son, even the mother in this episode of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior are drawn from the Dahmer family. As I watched the episode, I recalled seeing the interview...the episode does an excellent job of exploring the psyche of the family of a serial killer and the unexplainable "why?"

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For the first time, I managed to watch a whole episode. The plot was a good one; with that I do agree. It left me pondering that nature or nurture question. However, I still cannot connect with any of the cast members. I just don't think they are suited to their rolls. The delivery of the dialogue seems rushed and at times incoherent and slurred. I had a hard time understanding a lot of the dialogue which made it hard to follow how the team figured things out. And, Cooper's comments at the end seemed totally lame and out of context. They spoiled the moment. A show such as this calls for really strong, engaging actors/characters, and this cast just doesn't have it. That fact was brought home even more after having just watched another compelling episode of Criminal Minds. Suspect Behavior is just a third rate imitation of the original Criminal Minds. I doubt that better plots will save it without a major overhaul of the cast.

Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Season 1 Episode 8 Quotes

Evolution is a mighty big idea for four hours' worth of carnage.

Beth

A postmortem examination made you want to call me; I find myself firmly planted betwixed, touched and skeeved out.

Garcia