Criminal Minds Review: Knock Down Drag Out

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Well, well, well. Hotch and Beth, siittin' in a tree...

Look who finally smiled this week - a lot! I know this episode was primarily enjoyable because of Shawn Hatosy and Charles S. Dutton's killer performances, but can we just pause for a moment and recognize the awesomeness that is Hotch finally being given some dating story love? Thank you, writers, even if it only totaled fewer than five minutes of screen time. We'll take it. And I hope this Beth ends up helping Hotch with more than just his triathlon training, if you know what I mean.

But seriously, this week on "The Bittersweet Science," Dutton did a stellar job playing an old school Philadelphia boxing trainer, as did Hatosy in convincing us he was a mentally unhinged fighter with a critically ill child. The scene where Jimmy killed Tony was so spectacularly acted by Dutton, it was almost painful to watch.

Shawn Hatosy and Charles S. Dutton on Criminal Minds

I could probably have done without the part where Jimmy has a vision of his son bleeding out the eyes (but again, that may just be my eye phobia), but other than that I felt the flashbacks/visions worked well in explaining his mental state. I was still a little bit unclear as to how Hatosy's character was driven into his blood lust - even their profile didn't fully explain it, in my opinion - but I don't think it particularly hurt the plot. I just had to rewind here and there.

Rossi was absolutely adorable in encouraging Hotch to get out into the dating world, and when Reid said, "Who's getting a bicycle?" I couldn't help but laugh. Moments like that, and Garcia making fun of the final Rocky movie, are what bring a little extra levity to frequently heavy material.

I thought the scene where Hotch convinced Jimmy to tell his son it's alright to let go was just heart breaking, and seeing Hotch cry was really powerful. We so rarely witness any cracks in his armor, and I really, really enjoyed getting more of a glimpse at his human side. Hatosy's performance in that scene was also gut wrenching. I do see what everyone means when you readers say that it's anti-climactic to know who the UnSub is the entire episode. Knowing this was the culprit from the beginning did seem to take a little something away in the suspense area, but coming off last week I suppose I can forgive them.

Prentiss was pretty much set furniture this week, and it would've been cool to see a little more of Reid, but those are minor complaints that didn't really detract from my viewer experience. I will say that the scene on the plane where Garcia puts her foot in her mouth about Hotch was hysterical. Even if you're one of those people who wants more crime talk and less banter, you have to admit that was an endearing moment.

Other than that, I'm not sure what else there is to say about this week other than any time boxing is involved you can't really go wrong. As always, jump in with your thoughts on Hotch's love interest, the guest stars or even the terminally ill child story line - whatever suits your fancy. We'll be treated to reruns over the next few weeks, but keep it right here for all things Criminal Minds after the holidays.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (91 Votes)

Episode sucked from beginning to end. The whole Beth and Hotch thing was awful and it’s a bit rich for Rossi to say life is short. Too short for women on this show that’s for sure. Haley death was as tasteless as JJ and Emily being written out and that fact that Erica Messer is doing a big production about Emily ordeal with Doyle seems pointless as the writers of this show haven’t even touch on the fact that Haley death has had no impact on either Jack or Hotch yet the audience are suppose to believe he loved her. Interesting way to describe a clean and good way to get rid of an ex especially for FBI agents.


I can think of very few Criminal Minds episodes I didn't enjoy. I just wish they would dispose of Garcia.


As usual love this show every week boxing doesn't do a thing for me but the acting was superb


Really enjoyed this episode :) Hotch crying got me crying!


My favorite show. It would be nice to see Hotch have a little bit of love interest in his life.


One of the reason I love Criminal Minds as much as I do is BECAUSE it's one of the few shows of it's type, on tv, where we actually get to see the personal sides to these characters, and not just their work personas (SVU). They manage to balance love and laughs with grief and darkness in a way I don't see anywhere else. I find the group on CM, actually do feel like a family unit and not just a bunch of people that work together. I love this series and I hope it keeps going for a long time


Worst episode ever. No suspense, no intrigue, no mystery. Boxing is gross, characters were not interesting, episode was just plane boring. Using a dying child to play on viewer's emotions instead of having a quality script felt like cheating. If it continues like this, I'm afraid you loose me as a a viewer


Criminal Minds jumped into NCIS world for a second in the scene where Hotch overhears Garcia talking about his possible romantic interest. DiNozzo would understand. @ROSE: I think the quote was "SOMETIMES letting go..." Can't remember it verbatim. Praise for Charles S. Dutton!!! I have to criticize the ep. for being too short. The investigation was way too quick. I guess there's only so much you can fit into an hour. I would have liked to have seen this as a two-parter.


Anyone know who the actress was that played Beth? She looks familiar but I just can't put my finger on it. Thanks.


@Sue Ann, That blonde in NCIS was Swedish, not Arab. There are no Arab blondes. :-) @zamerixxzm: Take your spam elsewhere. You're going to ruin this board for all of us.

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Criminal Minds Season 7 Episode 10 Quotes

Dr. Reid: You know statistically, widowed men start dating much faster than females, but Hotch is refuting the data. It's been two years and nineteen days.
Garcia: Venus has aligned with Mars which means love is in the air and maybe we will have weekends off.
Agent Morgan: (clearing throat).
Garcia: What? Is he standing there? He's standing there isn't he?
Hotch: Hello Garcia.

Agent Rossi: Is she cute?
Agent Hotchner: Yes, she is but I need to be focused on my training. I don't need to be distracted.
Rossi: Yes, you should be. Distracted is good. What's her name?
Hotch: Beth.
Rossi: I like it. And, you know what they say about riding a bicycle.
Dr. Reid: Who's getting a bicycle?
Hotch: Nobody.