Criminal Minds Review: "Dorado Falls"

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The Criminal Minds writers sure do know how to make us gasp in suspense now, don't they?

When this week's especially deadly UnSub answered Rossi's question - "Where are you?" - over the phone with a chilling Right behind you, I nearly lept off my couch. Yeah! Now that's the kind of action this show is stellar at creating.

I have to say, of all of the fast-moving episodes in past seasons, this one took a little rewinding and re-watching to figure out completely. I did, however, think "Dorado Falls" was a solid episode, even if it did have me feeling a little slow on the uptake. The use of the psychological detachment disorder known as Capgras Syndrome to move us seamlessly between an office massacre, a double murder, a kidnapping and an FBI headquarters infiltration was pretty brilliant. Plus, I learned a little something, and who doesn't like getting a little education with our entertainment, right?

Close Up of Hotch

First things first: Reid with a vest on and what I can only assume to be a pocket watch chain hanging out? Adorable. Also, his haircut is starting to grow on me. Oh, and there's the whole "genius memory and deduction skills" added into the mix, and at this point I'm ready to just change Criminal Minds' name to "The Dr. Reid Show" and call it a day.

He was a total badass again this week, especially when he figured out what each victim in the office was doing at the time of the rampage and what disorder Dolan suffered from. Reid's always been a stand out at his job, but lately he just seems to be owning it a lot more. If Matthew Gray Gubler ever leaves this show, I swear I may have to stop watching.

Next there's the whole Rossi saves the day part of the plot, which I also loved. His phone negotiating skills were impressive, even if the Navy Seal UnSub did end up literally under their noses... with a gun pointed as their heads. Oops. This was the first time the BAU has had a suspect bring the action to them at their headquarters, no? (If my memory is wrong I'm sure you guys will not hesitate to correct me!). I know the agents and their families have been attacked at their homes before, but bringing the fight to their home turf to a building full of highly-trained agents is bold. Really bold. But I guess if someone's going to do it, a Seal is as good a choice as any!

Also, J.J. flexed her muscles a bit when she basically told the Defense Intelligence agent what's up (metaphorically) and scored that classified file. Owwww! Way to go, J.J. Now if only we could get around to her personal life storyline we'd be all set.

Speaking of which, aren't a few of the agents' home lives supposed to be brought to the forefront again this season? I know it's early on, but I'm eager to see what they do with some of those plots. Now that we've gotten a few season 7 episodes under our belts let's crack open the shutters, please.

There were only two very minor things that I might've improved upon, and that is that:

  1. Hotch smiling last week made me want to see more of him, smiling or not.
  2. The actor that played Dolan's father seemed really close in age to him. Like, 10 years older close, which was a somewhat odd casting choice, but whatever - we roll with it anyway.

The whole Prentiss fake death fallout was touched on briefly - and I mean briefly - again with regards to Morgan. He doesn't seem to be mad but he's obviously having some issues with worrying about keeping his teammates safe, especially Prentiss. It seems honest, if a wee bit underdeveloped. I'm not sure what her re-certification would entail, but if any part of the 10-hour training involves sparring with Morgan I'll gladly volunteer to take her place.

In the end, this week tackled some heavy topics fairly well. Psychological dysfunction? Check. Killing your own parents? Check. Pistol whipping a military general? Check - and ouch. They also managed to balance out the heavy with some lighter moments. Any time Morgan calls Garcia "Baby girl" or, in this case, she tells him to rub her...uh, genie lamp, it tends to bring some levity to the show. I just hope next week is as good as the preview makes it look.

And that Reid rocks a vest again.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (91 Votes)

The blood and guts don't bother me- but my hubby quit watching cause of it- wimp!
LOVED this episode- and i loved your review!!!!
Not many things on TV have me feeling slow on the uptake- hadnt crossed my mind til i read it!!!
Brilliant! Love to be challenged by TV-
maybe it's just the novelty of the occasion - but it's awesome
and this show is awesome :) Oh and the casting was fantastic- patcularly happy that CBS hasn't skimped on guest stars for this show :)


All these comments about blood and gore? What do you people want!? The title of the show is.......wait for it.........Criminal Minds! That alone implies you're going to see some blood and gore. If that's not what you're looking for, move onto PBS or something equally G-rated. Too much Hotch and Jack? of the previous killers on the show killed Jack's mother and the love of Hotch's life. Revisiting how Jack's doing and showing the dynamic between Jack and Hotch is expected. You people sound like you don't like anything about this show. Why are you watching? They could just cancel it, then you won't have anything to complain about. How do you like them apples?


"Dorado Falls" -Season 7 Thomas Gibson CHARACTER: SSA Aaron Hotchner


@Kaci, I stand corrected.
It's good to know that someone is actually reading what we write. :-)


Actually in the episode The Reckoner when the judge- who was also 1 of the unsubs showed up to confess that was not at the BAU HQ... It was at the local police station they were at, which was in Rossi's hometown.


I liked this episode. I prefer character based episodes, but judging it for what it was, a case based one, I thought it was a good one. The team worked well, I think everyone got something to do. They worked well together. I also liked the touches of character stuff. Morgan not being completely okay now that Prentiss is back. Prentiss saying she understood the unsub's head space. I also appreciate the way they handled showing the killings. Use of camera angles and cuts let you know what happened and how bad it was without it coming off as being focused on the gore. And, I love when the team isn't superhuman. I loved that the profile wasn't correct right from the start. It made sense, but they had to adjust it as new information came. Makes it seem more real. Also, I think if they try too hard to give us cases that have no resemblance to anything they've shown before, you'd get stuff that seems blatantly fiction. Like something that doesn't seem like it would happen in real life. To me, even though he was a veteran, the fact that his actions were because of Capgras syndrome made it different from typical PTSD. He wasn't having flashbacks or thinking he was in a combat zone. He had a head trauma. So it was different enough (I mean, we've never had an unsub think their loved ones were replaced with imposters) without it coming off as them trying too hard.


your kidding right I work with mary woman who come to work without wearing a bar


Enjoyed the episode much more than last weeks. I'm still so darn glad both JJ and Prentis are back. I think the skills of the complete team are very complementary. I'm glad to see Reid evolving and becoming more agressive. There was an episode where JJ shot the guy (police officer) that had shot Garcia. I think that was in the BAU office space. Garcia was getting access to cameras by internet wrestling with the guy that later become her boyfriend. They called JJ on her cell phone, she was in her hoffice and behind the guy. She shot him in the head. The way JJ is dressing I'd be a bit concerned about her home life. I don't remember females dressing like that at work who had a good home life. JJ looks like she is either looking or about to start looking.


did you tell your hunband to man up


What seemed like three minutes in, my husband said "another especially bloody episode like last week, CM really sucks these days." I agree. The writers do not have to ramp up the icky murder count to have a good episode. Remember the episode with Mitch Pleggi as the unsub who had already murdered his family but was seen arguing with his wife whilst being delusional and there was no pan of the dead family until almost the end of the episode? That was good suspenseful writing. Sigh I know CM can do better.

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Criminal Minds Season 7 Episode 3 Quotes

Agent Prentiss: Definite overkill. Somebody was angry at the boss.
Agent Morgan: Somebody with hunting skills.
Prentiss: Or a law enforcement background.

Garcia: Eight victims in total. All employees, including the CEO. Five were shot and three were stabbed to death.
Dr. Reid: A gun and a knife? That's highly unusual.
JJ: Could be two killers.
Agent Rossi: That would be the first time for an office killing.