Criminal Minds Review: So Long, Strauss

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Oh, how the mighty fall.

This week on Criminal Minds we saw an all-around collapse of authority. First, the Colonel's devious ways were uncovered, then Strauss' dirty little secret was revealed. Coming off of a few week break, this episode came out swinging.

One of the biggest pieces of reader feedback this season has been your desire to not know who the UnSub is right away, but you can't say that "Self-Fulfilling Prophecy" didn't keep you on your toes. The is-he-a-victim-or-the-aggressor? storyline that swirled around Josh for most of the episode was constantly changing, and it required some careful following along in order to keep up. Further, the introduction of the young cadet who killed himself's father, and then the killing of him off, was an interesting twist.

Matthew Gray Gubler Promo Pic

The message that the writers were sending with this episode - that of corruption and secrecy at upper levels of military authority (albeit a school and not the Army) - is nothing original, but it does venture into dicey territory.

Would such a place as Somerville Academy even be allowed to exist in real life? With no technology? Who knows. What I do know is that I'm kind of relieved that Strauss is out of the picture temporarily. Her alcoholism story line is nothing to be made fun of, but since she's been a less-than-savory character the majority of her dealings with with the BAU team, I won't necessarily be sad to see her go.

Of course, she has had her moments of compassion and kindness, but she never really meshed with the team, and now we see what she was battling all along. When Morgan confronted her, I was impressed. He didn't mince words, and he wasn't afraid to show her he meant business. I actually laughed when he said that at the beginning of her tirade against Col. Massey he was happy to see her go off, but then he smelled the alcohol and all bets were gone.

Morgan also had a rough time with Hotch this week. The guy made some valid points. I know Hotch is in charge of everyone, but for a group that relies so heavily on trusting one another, keeping things from them seems a very unwise move. Morgan's frustration with Hotch's tendency to withhold information lately - no matter how sensitive - really bubbled to the surface. I know they're handling Strauss' removal with discretion, but I doubt Morgan is the only one on the team who would feel that way towards Hotch if they knew everything, too.

Rossi was the one with the punchy one-liners here - his poison ivy knowing not to mess with him because he's Italian comment made me laugh out loud. And I still don't think Prentiss is being used to her full potential, but at least they gave her some more lines. Reid and Garcia's exchange about paranormal activity was pretty amusing, as well. He knows how much that interests her, and having his knowledge of the subject must be fun for her to dabble in from time to time.

The bullying aspect of this week's episode has been done a million times before since it's so relevant lately, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's any less important or enjoyable as a theme. I'm glad they touched upon it, though it's unfortunate that it exists at all.

Next week's boxer storyline looks like it'll be really solid (promo HERE). Not only is Charles S. Dutton co-starring, but Shawn Hatosy will also appear. I'm a sucker for his performance in Outside Providence, what can I say? Glad to be back with all new episodes, and as always remember to weigh in on what you thought of the action this week.

Something tells me the opinions on Strauss' departure and the Morgan/Hotch conflict will vary greatly...


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (126 Votes)

I would just like to point out Mogran face expressing at the end when Hotch ask him to come with him he almost said no


I absolutely LOVED this episode! Seriously, one of my favorites of the season! Yes, there were some stretches of the there always are, considering this is a fictional series, and SOME dramatic license always has to be assumed. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a HUGE Hotch/TG fan. However, he had it coming. I was actually suprised that the "butting heads" scene was as mild as it was. Morgan was rather easy on Hotch IMO. I really liked the way they handled it at the end though, with Hotch letting Morgan take the lead by having him go with Strauss to check her into rehab. Am I the only one who caught the unspoken sentiment when Hotch mentioned that she had Morgan to thank for the "privacy"? Favorite line of the entire episode!


It was intriguing not knowing the unsub until later in the show, though I did have the headmaster pegged as a part of the problem and not the solution. As far as Strauss, I was never so glad to see anyone go! I do hope they bring in a new challenge for her role. Perhaps someone less acidic! I, too, would like to see more use of Prentiss and JJ. It is so good to have JJ back but they aren't using her as much as they did in the past. Frankly, I am glad to have the team back together. I see there is still resentment toward Rossi for his replacement of Pantikin's character. Have they forgotten all ready that Mandy abandoned the show and not the other way around. Rossi has fit in well. There is a formula for this team and I hope they don't undo the recipe again!


Had to go out and forgot to TiVo grrr can't wait till next week


The whole Strauss storyline was pathetic with her drinking problem and completely out the blue for a woman that was suppose to be a mother of three, another storyline for Hotch to play the holy than thou saint and pass judgement on her. Her first introduction to the show was Hotch claiming she favoured her son over her daughters and he wants Morgan to respect his authority when he constantly disrespecting his own boss (talk about double standards). Hotch self righteous attitude is becoming a bore and Morgan flexing his muscles is tiresome. The whole show is just about male egos and if Hotch can be disrespectful towards his boss then he shouldn’t get put out when Morgan does it to him. May the title of the article should be So Long Erica Messer, and CBS should invest in a better show runner.


i liked it....i am wondering if strauss is drinking due to some sort of pain....i think back to the last eppy of last season, where she said,she was taking time off . as for hotch & morgan: i feel morgan was RIGHT to be pissed at hotch for NOT giving him a head's up on struass....they need to be able to TRUST each other....however, keeping information makes that hard...hotch maybe the BOSS of the team....however, they NEED to be able to TRUST him...he's sending them out into DANGEROUS things.....if he withholds information, can put them in danger....and that is BAD....if hotch wants them to trust him, then he needs to be MORE open with information.....STOP HOLDING BACK. i LOVED that morgan is STILL using the office that was setup for him, back when he was leading the team. LOVED the bit with rossi and the poison ivy comment....i did laugh out loud. i'm NOT a fan of prentiss....never really liked her. alisa


It doesn't matter what the reason for her drinking is. She's an alcoholic- that's the reason. I would think that her rise through the FBI was intensely tough, fraught with lots of macho discrimination towards her rise in the Bureau ( "You know she has to be sleeping with the boss.") We know nothing about her personal life now, if she has one. BUT, lots of people have the same kinds of problems and drink, but do not become alcoholics. She can't control her drinking, it controls her.


For those calling for more use of Prentiss, the 150th episode (episode 12 I believe) is going to be Prentiss-centric and focus on how she dealt/is dealing with the fallout from the Doyle case. It'll air Jan. 25. I can't wait, as Prentiss is a fave. I thought last night's show was solid, but I hope they explain the reasons behind Strauss's alcoholism. I hate it when story lines just pop up out of the blue and then disappear.


Good episode! No irrelevant fluff, therefore good. :-) Strauss is a secondary character. She's not even in the main credits, so if they want to get rid of her I'm fine with that, but Morgan is out of line. His bullish, macho-man attitude and total disrespect for Hotch, (and for Strauss), pisses me off. He did the same thing in the episode "Lo-Fi", at the end of season 3. I didn't like it then and I don't like it now.

Josie leeds

Hotch: guilty of serious hypocrisy. If he finds it a detriment that team members have "secrets", he then must include himself in the equation. I don't care if he is "in charge"...don't demand from your team what you will not do yourself. Your self-righteous streak is getting a little pronounced.
Morgan: did the right thing, with just the right touch. Dealing with alcoholics requires more brute honesty than mincing around. Good job, Morgan.
Strauss: good riddance. The woman has been an annoying, uninteresting, predictable irritant since day one. Unfortunately, the writers will deem it necessary to either bring her back, sober and even MORE obnoxious or, bring in another character equally irritating.
The rest of the cast: superb, as usual. Just wish the writers would make more use of each one beyond the same dialogue each week.

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Criminal Minds Season 7 Episode 9 Quotes

Agent Morgan: These kids are told what to say, what to wear and when to eat. This goes against the very nature of these boys. They're all looking for some type of control in their lives, and this place strips them of that.
Erin Strauss: And suicide is the ultimate power?
Morgan: Isn't it?

Dr. Reid: What drove them to suicide?
Strauss: A freshman cadet, Bailey Shelton, hung himself two weeks ago in his room.
Agent Hotchner: Identical bedsheet, hangman's knot.
Agent Rossi: Who takes bedsheets camping?
JJ: They would if it was the plan. Could be a domino effect.
Rossi: Campus would've been on high alert after the first one, so the kids wait until they're alone in the woods.
Morgan: They must've made some kind of pact.
Hotch: And there's something else. Six kids went on the trip, only five were found.