Criminal Minds Review: The Other Side?

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Talk about wrapping it up quickly. Damn.

No one thought Criminal Minds would drag Rossi's personal drama with his ex-wife out indefinitely, but I could've blinked and missed that story line. At least we know how it all turns out now.

This week on "Epilogue," the buzz centered on the ever popular question, "What happens after we die?" Is it all warmth and light, like Reid says? Or something more ominous, like Prentiss felt? Whether you lean towards the Patrick Swayze Ghost route or think that the tape simply runs out, this episode gave us something to think about, that's for sure.

Joe Mantegna Promo Pic

The idea of an UnSub who prolongs his killing so that he can ask his victims what they saw is at once horrible and also terribly sad. I can't think of anything that would torment you more than wondering if you were going to face an eternity of suffering one day. It's enough to drive someone crazy, or in this case, drive you to pick off unsuspecting victims and bring them to their untimely, watery graves. Harsh, dude, harsh.

It took the BAU team's heavy collaboration with the Medical Examiner to piece together the clues that would point them to their man this week. Not that they haven't ever consulted with a coroner, but it served as a nice vehicle to help drive their thought process forward and suss out the profiling part of the story. Some have complained in the past that there hasn't been enough profiling this season, but I think they leveled it out pretty well here.

Apart from actual killings, the topic was equally weighty. I think we could open up a discussion about what people feel comes "next" (if anything) and get 10,000 different responses from 10,000 different readers. But what I'd really like to know is how everyone thought the writers dealt with the question of after life? Gimmicky and stale? Or thought-provoking and relevant?

Either way, I found it absolutely fascinating that Prentiss' experience was a negative one, while Reid's was akin to classic descriptions of heaven - and that it left his scientific mind confounded. Why do you, the Criminal Minds faithful, think they chose to split it this way? And what of Morgan's complete skepticism? Looks like someone's not buying into the hoopla.

And now for the other huge topic of the night: Rossi's ex-wife's suicide. Whoa.

When he spoke to Prentiss earlier in the episode and confided that he "didn't have much choice" in how he'd handle her request, I knew he wouldn't help her end it. But there was something about the way he said it that made it seem like there was a slight chance he'd end up honoring her wishes in the end. Or maybe that was just me. Then, when he went to see her and she was all, "it won't be long now" I was like, "HUH? Seriously?"

It's one thing to tell us he won't contribute to her demise. It's another to have her end it in under five minutes after a total of 15 minutes (give or take) of total air time since she'd been introduced on the show.

They certainly didn't waste any time tying that one off with a bow and setting it down.

We also learned what many had suspected, that Rossi had fathered a child in the past. A child named James, who had either been still born or else died of complications on the day he was born. How awful for both of them, especially as he reassured Carolyn that she would see their baby again when she passed. I can't say that I know the pain of losing a child, but I do think that perhaps this explains a lot about how Rossi's behavior of moving on and never having a family again was a result of this tragedy. Oh, the things people carry with them that we sometimes never know...

Speaking of knowing things, it looks like we'll find out next week what's been going on with JJ's family life. I hope they inject a little bit of levity (or at least some more banter) next time. This week saw very little chiding and zero Reid witty one-liners, which I rather missed. If it wasn't for Garcia's sense of humor there would have been nothing to break up the action - except for an amazing landscape that made me want to book a ticket to California. Immediately.

But regardless of whether they pepper the profiling with Reid-isms or not, I can't wait to see what lies behind JJ's closed doors at home - other than a husband with a kick ass accent. Until next week, TV Fanatics, keep it right here and remember to keep the comments coming. Get involved.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (97 Votes)

Why is Garcia's picture covered up with an "upcoming episode picture of Hotch?


@Art How is building a character Sopa opera

Beverly brooks

When I saw the age of the baby, I just broke down. One of my grandsons passed first of the year living the exact time. It was like viewing his grave site. Most of the shows are so graphic, it was a pleasure to view one that wasn't.


When the case was solved, the time was only 53 minutes passed the hour. That means that we got short changed by 7 minutes, and that was the point at which I changed channels. I don't care about Rossi's wife, Hotch's tie or Reid's hair style. This was a show about criminal profiling, and it saddens me that it is now catering to the less intelligent viewers who'd prefer to turn it into a soap opera. I guess CBS is run from Wall Street after all.


Morgan was always the skeptic of the group. In fact, he's always the one saying "Is there a case here?" He annoyed me when he said that we all know that no one actually sees anything. Really? When was the last time his heart stopped? I agree that it was fascinating that Prentiss went to a dark place when she was temporarily dead. Reid is so angelic that I'm not at all surprised that he saw the warm light.


I enjoyed this episode immensely. Seeing Rossi's dilemma about his ex-wife gave new depth to the man and the last scene at the cemetary was heart-wrenching. The case was fascinating and hearing Reid and Prentiss mention their death experiences was good in bringing back past circumstances. It is good to remember that we are who we are from what happens to us in the past. I am getting irritated more by Prentiss though. She has never been a favorite character of mine and it seems that now that she is back she is a better profiler than she was before. She seems to be more attuned to others and less self-absorbed. It seems OOC for me about her now. She is getting way too much screen time and it makes the show slightly less good. I want to see less of her and in the teams role as before not as a confidante or better profiler than she used to be. I liked that she asked the simple questions and was more of a tough, wise-ass.
There was not enough of Morgan or Hotch in this episode.


I felt a bit insulted that we are supposed to believe that Reid is a genius but has heard nothing of the many scientific findings on near-death experiences. Or when Morgan used the age-old "he saw the hospital lights" argument when as I said earlier, there is much better evidence that supports his point. I think that both characters are smarter than this and felt that bit just showed the writer's bias to one side.


Gimmicky and stale, IMO but not necessarily bad. Near-death exps. have and will continue to be used as topics for TV shows and movies. How many times have we seen police procedurals use rewritten wills as motives for murder? Or the classic Dirty Cop scenario? The effect on the characters and their reactions are what's important. I'm guessing Prentiss' change in behavior is a result of her ordeal. After seeing how much her staged death affected her coworkers perhaps she is overcompensating by playing the role of concerned confidant. I don't have any issues with her current role, although I do prefer Kick-ass Prentiss.


LOVED AS ALLWAYS, butneeded something? love allthe cast but I think HOTCHNER was put somewhat on the back burners this episode. Rossi we now know hw has had a lot of grief in his life, that says a lot about his character. the story line was a little bit of a twist,liked it. As for another comment, it is possible to make it through flat lining many times I made it through it 5 times.

Josie leeds

The last scene explained more about Rossi than anything since he came on show. Now, leave well enough alone. Each member of the cast has had some story arcs that worked and didn't work. The trouble with writers, and to a significant degree, producers, is that they keep trying to re-invent the wheel. A strong ensemble cast that survived a primary character (Patinkin) leaving and maintained its high ratings, needs to be left alone, not re-invented. CSI:Vegas has very little left of its original ensemble strength. NCIS, now in its 9th season, figured out early on that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Good story lines, strong writing and superb actors=long running program.

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Criminal Minds Season 7 Episode 6 Quotes

Hotch: If the dump site is doubling as his trophy collection he won't be happy it's been disturbed. He'll want to make another one quickly.
Garcia: Uh, guys, I'm afraid that's just happened. Nick Skirvin's body has just been discovered but it wasn't found in Ridge Canyon, it was found in Lake Banter, which is twenty miles away. Visual aid to follow. And, post script, you don't want to know how many hits you get if you Google this forest plus murder. To say it should be called the "Angeles National UnSub Dump Site" is an understatement.

Agent Morgan: What's really going on?
Agent Rossi: Look, it was a late night with Ringo and not enough coffee. I mean the guy's a world-class drummer, but don't think I didn't wipe the floor with him in "Rock Band."
JJ: Alright, what do you think?
Agent Prentiss: He could be telling the truth, I only played him to the easy level.
Dr. Reid: I can't tell.
Rossi: And you never will.