Criminal Minds Review: All in the Family

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I don't know about you, but I'd say butterflies have never seemed creepier than they were on this week's episode of Criminal Minds. And a total cliche, and computer-generated, but mostly... creepy.

Okay, those of you who have been complaining that there wasn't enough profiling this season should be happier now. You could practically hear the wheels turning in the heads of the BAU team as they pieced together the twisted kidnapping story. Little by little, they figured out that the victim wasn't just abducted, she was abducted to try and reproduce another child like her own kidnapped daughter. What. The. Eff.

Even though "Hope" was rife with cliches, I still thought it was a decent episode, though there have been better this season. First of all, Garcia upped the ante on her involvement when she told Morgan he'd have to "forcibly remove her from the SUV" because she was riding along to find her friend no matter what. Aw, you tell 'em, Garcia!

Photo of Garcia

Then, she went all hostage negotiator on us and tried to talk the UnSub (who by then was a very KnownSub) out of killing Monica. Who knew that excessive blue eyeshadow complimented an FBI bullet proof vest so nicely?

Also doing some standout work on the team this week - again - was Reid. Though he wasn't as funny as usual, he still kept us on our toes with his rapid fire thinking. And Rossi pretty much nailed it, too, when he figured out the UnSub's real kidnapping motive. I can only say I would've liked to have seen some more Hotch. He barely said anything this week, but maybe they're saving all of his dialogue for the episode when he gets a love interest. Hotch is a man of few words anyway.

When Monica grabbed the gun at the end, did she actually shoot our UnSub Bill? I mean, they made it look like she killed him (or at least shot him), right? But then at the end she was with Garcia at the butterfly-releasing memorial, and I'm assuming if you shoot someone they wouldn't just let you walk around free like that. Was anyone else momentarily confused? (Insert "how could you be so stupid?" reader comments here, no doubt. Kidding!)

I liked how Prentiss and JJ confronted Hope's friend, Heather, and got through to her, despite her hesitation. They're always tossed into the touchy feely sensitive roles for the team, but it seems to be because they're genuinely good at dealing with people. Well, it took Prentiss a minute to get there, though. Maybe coming back to life has softened her up a bit.

Did anyone else notice that it seemed like Morgan was going to say something to Garcia when she was freaking out right before JJ interrupted them to say it was time to deliver the profile? They showed his face and it was almost like he was going to have a more personal moment with her, but I guess we'll never know. Or maybe we're all just so starved to see Morgan get a personal storyline that I'm putting him with anyone these days.

Throw the man a little plot action, please!

As for the actual criminal case, it was an interesting twist to have the UnSub kidnap his victim's mother after having sat behind her in a support group all that time. Makes you wonder how susceptible people are to being taken advantage of while they're grieving. I could've done without the decaying corpse, but it is a crime show after all, so no biggie. It also made me realize what Garcia carries around with her all the time about her own loss and how much she wants to help people after what she sees every day. If her character were ever gone, they'd have virtually no way of replacing her. Garcia is one of a kind.

I'm curious to hear what observations the Criminal Minds faithful came up with after this week. Since you all do your homework, there's sure to be some strong feelings about whether the writers got it right or missed the mark. I just hope that Morgan and Reid get a little more development soon, just as long as the writers don't skimp on the profiling as a result.


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (100 Votes)

I think the writers did an excellent job; the twist of the mother being taken by the man who kidnapped her daughter and her fervent hope that she was still alive was stellar. That the girl died while pregnant brought the storyline together as the unsub wanted to recreate the daughter by attempting to impregnate the mother. Very Criminal Minds!


The main reason I watch Criminal Minds is because of character development and the "family" atmosphere. I have always been a fan of mystery/crime dramas anyway, but it is not like I watch them because I like creepy or watching crazy people do unspeakable things; the best part is stopping them from doing those things. I have enjoyed all the episodes this season. As long as it does not become a soap opera kind of thing, it is good.


I thought it was weird for the mom to release butterflies at the memorial service. You'd think she'd never want to see anything even remotely butterfly related ever again. As far as Garcia's grief group (I also wonder what her credentials are to lead something like that) when she looked at the empty chair, perhaps it meant that the mother was able to move on because she now knows what happened to Hope. And of course, that's where the trouble started with Bill, so she'd probably be too scared to go back.

Renata sellitti

@Sandy03, on the contrary, I am a fan of the show - of course - or else why would I be reviewing it, like you pointed out? The comment meant exactly what it said, I'm curious what all of you, the loyal watchers of Criminal Minds, were going to think of the episode. Because there's my opinion, which I sometimes get vocal disagreement with - as is your right to do - and then there's what everyone else thinks, too. I encourage you guys to speak up and weigh in, that's what makes writing these reviews interesting. So keep doing it. After all, just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't make them wrong. That's the beauty of a subjective opinion.


@Art Right, having character development doesn't lowers the quality of the show and the IQ of the audience it make it higher and then is no proof that it does not do anything beside that


Right, having character development doesn't decrease the profit for CBS, on the contrary, it probably increases it. It just lowers the quality of the show and the IQ of the audience! :-) Documentary shows are obviously not profitable because the vast majority of the population prefer to watch junk, so documentaries are mostly left to PBS.
Criminal Minds was, in seasons 1 to 5, a high quality fiction show. Add more character development and it becomes just another lousy show in the big heap of junk that television is today. And no, I am not going to stop watching, (for now), or expressing my opinion, because I have the right to do both.


@art then don't complain about a fictional tv show! there's always going to be character development, not just for 'silly shows', for EVERY tv show. deal with it or stop watching. and sorry, but having character development doesn't decrease the profit for cbs, because most people like learning more about the characters


No, the priumary goal is to make a profit for CBS.
Yes, you can say there's been some "character development", but a sentence or two here and there is OK, and that's all there's been in the first 5 seasons.
That's different from several minutes out of each episode, as it's been the case in this season.
As for other shows, you're right, I'd much rather be watching Forensic Files, (documentary).


I don't even know if Art has a clue what she talking about but she is a woman so what new right


@Art have you not been watching this show? morgan's girlfriend, reid's mother, gideon's struggles, garcia's boyfriend, hotch's home problems, j.j's baby. if you want to just watch profiling, go watch true crime or something. this is a tv show, and the primary goal is to get people to care about the characters

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Criminal Minds Season 7 Episode 8 Quotes

Reid: So this letter Monica allegedly received from her daughter contains no indication of female authorship. It lacks expression of emotional attachment.
Hotch: The UnSub wrote it?
Reid: I believe so. The language used is inconsistent with that of a 15-year-old held in captivity the past seven years.

Agent Morgan: There was no sign of struggle at the scene.
Agent Prentiss: What if she went willingly? He could've approached her and had Hope with him.
Agent Rossi: That would certainly get her attention.
Dr. Reid: Still it's pretty high risk to abduct in such a high traffic area. The parking lot was right next to a strip mall.
Rossi: Any witnesses?
Garcia: I was the last person that saw her.