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)
Sue ann

I, too, figured that the meet-cute with Hotch was a setup for future villainy, as it was for Tony and the blonde Arab assassin in season 1 or 2 of NCIS, and as it has been in countless other television shows. I am not sure that it is not. As I never particularly liked the way his wife's character was portrayed, except that she died very bravely, I would be pleased to see his character get a lady friend, and some relief from his unrelenting ill humor. Another episode with no Prentiss to speak of. Excellent! Personally, I dislike fighting very much, so I did not watch this, mostly. I listened to it. I admire the emoting of Charles Dutton in his voice, because I did not see him killed. I've never seen him do a bad job; this time, I HEARD him do a great job. He is brilliant. The ending with Hotch crying was very well-written and well-acted, but over all, I will not be watching this episode next year when I borrow the DVD's from the library. I just don't like boxing.


This was a great episode for Hotch, displaying a nice range of emotions. I actually teared up when Hotch cried as the unsub comforted his son before he died, and I was grinning like an idiot during his scenes with Beth. It was a cute-meet and, while I wouldn't want to see her on every single episode, Beth could definitely work in the same way that Kevin and Will work as love interests for Garcia and JJ.


What was the quote at the end? Does anyone remember? Something like " Holding on makes us strong but letting go makes us even strong"?


With the exception of that very powerful, very heartbreaking,gut wrenching, and truly painful final scene where we had to watch a killer tell his dying child that it's okay to let go and therefore the kid did let go right before our eyes and our typically stoic fearless leader cried....with the exception of that scene Dutton kind of stole the night with his acting. Man he acted his arse off...I mean lines like "What about my family Jimmy?!" Those are golden..GOLDEN!Finally a guest star making the best of their appearance! Things I did like...Rossi playing cupid, Garcia being Garcia, Reid's knowing the exact amount of months,days, and hours that Hotch has been single, Dutton's performance, and Hotch smiling. Things I wasn't so fond of...the lack of Reid for the second week in a row : ( , the lack of Garcia/Morgan cute bantering, the fact that Hotch even had time inbetween traveling around the country and raising a son to train regularly for a triathlon, Beth's approach...I couldn't even enjoy potential love interest because it seemed more like some sort of trap or something, having to watch the little kid die. Things to note...Prentiss continues to be underused...background furniture is right...I don't care either way because I've never been her biggest fan but if you're going to have her use her...and the fact that I actually forgot for a bit that JJ was in the episode...again, could care less either way as not a huge fan of hers either. But it goes back to this...what was the purpose of bringing these two women back to appease some of the fans who for whatever reason missed them, if you aren't going to actually use them?!


Good episode, not the best of the season but it was entertaining. Love the Hotch and Beth scenes. It was nice seeing Hotch smiling. Don't know what some people have been smoking when they think she is a future unsub! Problem with the writing and in particular with this writer is that she is in love with her own creations and don't care much for the team or some of the aspects of what makes CM interesting, its team of profilers and profiling. So instead of having good profiling, she cuts corners by giving us more of the unsubs and their stories when we, as long time fans, are minimally intrested. What I want is more of the team, I want them to tell us about the unsubs via their profiling them. This gives the whole team something to do and not just stand there for a few seconds. Too much unsubs often results in the sense that the cast are the guests stars on their own show! btw Art, Erica Messer IS now CM showrunner!


Loved it!! Loved it!! Loved it!! Wonderful to see a different side to hotch. Rossi ribbing him was so funny. Very emotional with the unsubs son. Huge congrats to the cm writers, guest cast, and main cast


I love this show but this week was one of the worst episodes I've watched. I thought the Hotch and Beth thing was cute but I don't have a good feeling. CIA or something, maybe


Stop Hotch - its a honey trap! Remember Jeremy Wolf (Tsia's fiance in the Doyle debacle) he also trained for a marathon and then suddenly he died of a heartattack - after someone bumped him while training. jaja, Tailgating. Beth is definitely a spy or Unsub with evil intentions. That's why CM writers and Gibson are so touting for this Beth side character! Never stopping to say how nice and lovely she is and hype her. If the audience actually beliefs, the shock will be much greater when she shows her true face. If I'm not right with her, it's the stupidest romance subplot I've ever seen because there won't be any connection to a main plot.


Worst episode I've seen in a long time! It was plain boring! Once again no UnSub, only a Sub, and I hate boxing. We had to campaign to bring Prentiss and JJ back, now we need to campaign to bring back the old writers as well.
Edward Allen Bernero, Chris Mundy, Erica Messer, Simon Mirren, where are you guys? Please, please, please come back to writing and rescue this show!


Crim Minds has drifted into typical lame Network
Junk. Was glad the blonde came back. It is what
It is if you gotta $lum on tho$e channel$.

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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.