Ask and ye shall receive.
After lamenting that there wasn't enough Hotch last week... boom! A thoughtful storyline with not only Hotch, but Jack, too. And for those pining away, wanting more Reid antics? Done. Oh, and the suggestion that plots are no fun when the Un-Sub is figured out early on? Well, how about a few pump fakes to throw us off? Step up, Criminal Minds writers, and take a bow. This was one hell of an episode.
Now I know that lately readers have been criticizing some of the story lines for being too familiar and formulaic. Case in point: last week's Combat-Veteran-Who-Snaps-And-Kills-People plot. And yes, some could argue that a Columbine-esque story line isn't original, either, but I still think that they did a solid job with "Painless." They threw in a few unforeseen twists and another little-known affliction (Anyone heard of Pain Asymbolia before now? Didn't think so.) and made it interesting until the very end.
Granted, the chase through the kitchen and boiler room is another oft-seen trick, but show me someone who's heart doesn't race with suspense each and every time and I'll show you a liar. In all honesty, I didn't have any complaints about this episode, aside from the issue of familiar themes (which didn't even bother me, I'm just trying to anticipate your reader comments!). In fact, I think it was one of the strongest of this season. If you disagree, don't hesitate to chime in.
My hands-down favorite thing was the Reid/Morgan prank war. Actually, more specifically, when Reid yelled "Son of a b-tch!" and then started to hurl an insult at the caller's momma... followed by him threatening Morgan for daring to start a practical joke war with an M.I.T. graduate. Maybe Reid's scrappier than we thought.
He recovered quickly, though, and the "I'm gonna crush you" mumbled under his breath made me laugh out loud - literally. Couple that with Reid calling JJ out for being a mean girl in high school and revealing that he was hustling Morgan in their office pool, and I may just start a campaign to officially anoint Wednesday nights "Dr. Spencer Reid Night." On CBS and every other network, too.
It was nice to see more of Hotch with Jack because we haven't really seen much of their life post-Haley. Also, Jack's solution to his classmate being mean to him was truly adorable, even if Hotch knows he can't protect him from everything. I'll say it once more and maybe next week the Criminal Minds gods will conjure up my request: I'd like to see more of JJ's home life - after all, she has a child, too (and a husband who she may or may not be on the outs with...) Pretty please?
An honorable mention needs to be made for Garcia's Heathers reference, as if it was possible for me to like her even more. Also, Rossi's verbal sparring with a teenage Brandon showed us one more time how much of a connection Rossi makes with the people he meets. He seems to have a real soft spot for kids, as we've seen in the past. But I'm curious to see why he never had any? Maybe it'll be explained with the return of one of his ex-wives this season.
As for the amount of profiling in this episode, I thought it was sufficient. After all, they did have to revise their information more than once. Plus, the idea of an Un-Sub who doesn't feel any physical pain was pretty cool... if not a little disturbing that such a syndrome actually exists.
And finally, one last shout out needs to be given, this time to the wardrobe department. Though it's not a proper vest, we did see Reid in a sweater vest this week. Close enough! Now if only we could get Morgan in a muscle tee, we'd be all set. Or maybe that's just me.
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