Criminal Minds Review: Copycats and Check Mates

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New year, new episodes of Criminal Minds. Finally! Welcome back, BAU lovers, and welcome back to Hotch and the gang.

They say good things come to those who wait, and anyone who watched "True Genius" would likely agree. After five long weeks without any Un-Subs to profile or cases to crack, the folks at CBS delivered what I'd consider to be a pretty entertaining episode to kick off 2012. With copycat killers, an infamous case revisited and numerous chess references, there wasn't a dull moment for the team.

BAU Reaction

First things first: Reid was especially brilliant this week. His constant deciphering of codes was impressive even by Reid standards, and when the Un-Sub directly challenged him, I was positively gleeful in anticipation. Even though the killer was himself a genius, nobody better step to Dr. Spencer Reid unless you plan to come correct - he's just one step ahead of the game. The chess game, that is.

I think it was clever how the writers led us on a bit of a chase to first decide whether the killer could possibly have been the same from 40 years ago, then had him communicating through the newspaper, and finally made us wonder whether it was Harvey or Caleb who was ultimately more evil. The answer: both. The fiancee should be happy she dodged a (literal) bullet on that one.

The idea of incorporating such a well known case like the Zodiac murders, featured in many movies, TV shows and books over the years, was also a fun way to engage the audience because we felt like we already knew some back story. Plus, the killer wasn't revealed until almost half way through the episode, and I appreciated how it wasn't clear right away what Harvey's role had been all along. I also liked how they had to change the profile halfway through when they found out the killer's IQ was above 160, and when Garcia said the Mensa society was "slumming it because it only required an IQ of 130." I couldn't help but laugh.

Some things that I noticed this week, in no particular order:

  • Reid's refusal to shake the detective's hand reminded me that he's been known to have phobias in the past (like elevators), so we can add germs to that list now.
  • When Hotch checked his watch in the park it seemed like a fairly overt product placement for Rolex. Did anybody else notice that? Either that or they want us to believe that FBI agents just rock really expensive watches... which could be true, you never know.
  • Reid flexed his federal agent muscles again when he called that guy out in the press conference for being a fake. Way to lay down the law Reid. The actual law.
  • Rossi kissing Reid on the face for his birthday was priceless. Nice how Rossi is such a father figure for them, he balances out Hotch's quiet demeanor.

And, finally, I think Prentiss and Reid's conversation about what he could've been doing with his life was interesting, considering the timing. One would think that any reflection on whether he'd taken the right path would've come when he thought Prentiss had died, because people often reexamine their lives in the wake of a loss. But I suppose his run in with that youthful CEO was the nudge he needed for introspection. Either way, we just got the team back together this season, so please nobody dip out again, thanks.

Next week's official preview shows more Morgan, which could be fun because he wasn't terribly active this week, and also a deadly soundtrack for the crimes. And, I hope, Garcia wearing cat ears again. She's just too quirky not to love.

What did you think of this week's action? Glad the break is over? Wonder what Reid got for his birthday presents? Wish there had been more intrigue? Weigh in, as always I'm all ears.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (137 Votes)

I don’t understand why people have such any issues when comments are made about Gracia, not everyone has to like her. She common, brash, inappropriate and uncouth so why shouldn’t people dislike her. Then again a more annoying character than her has to be Hotch, the miserable, hard done by man. I don’t think there ever been a character on TV with as much self-pity as him.


At Wendi comments I think its ridiculous when people want to associate phobias to anti-social behaviour. If your job requires you to meet strangers in various situation then out of common curiosity you are obligated to shake their hand. Reid was in a work environment therefore social etiquette is important regardless if you like or dislikes the person. Are you saying that Reid behaviour would be appropriate towards a victim, because technically his phobia would not allow him to shake anyone hand.


I enjoyed the episode "True Genius" in large part because it was more about Reid and we haven't had enough Reid centric episodes lately. I wish they'd get back to his headaches and write a satisfactory explanation for those as well and NOT just pass it off as stress or something like that. I liked that Reid not only used his intellect to help solve the case but that he was also involved in the field! I agree that Morgan should have been the one to figure out they missed Reid's birthday. He should have had the scenes that Prentiss got with Reid. It made more sense to have it be Morgan. I also agree that Morgan & Reid should still have a conversation about how they really feel about the team betrayal. "True Genius" was a welcome episode. I loved the Morgan/Reid hug at the end even more than any of the other team members birthday greetings!


I have said before that I love this show. It is my favorite show on TV. But I am wondering what happened to Kevin, Garcia's boyfriend. He should be on more often. Don't ever get rid of her, she is a great part of the group.


please can you tell me when criminal minds and greys anatomy and bones are back on in the uk they took a break for christmas and werte still waiting soplz can you tell me when they will be back so i dont miss these 3 fantastic shows thanks


That was pretty darn good! I really enjoyed this episode. Best so far, this season. We're back in business! :-)


I keep expecting that Reid will have a love life but I doubt that is in the plans now. I think if he chose any one on the show it would have been JJ but she was otherwise occupied. Also, he makes strong eye contact with Emily at times but we shall see. As far as I am concerned, he is find just as he is. I'd like to thank you for allowing us to make comments without jumping through the proverbial "hoops" to do so. Up here in Boston, most are fans, if not, I tell everyone that I know to watch this wonderful show.


Psychotic breaks usually occur between the ages of 18 and 24. Reid is 30 and unlikely that he would be diagnosed with Schizophrenia now. Also, he the mastermind of this wonderful show and if he left, though I like you all, I might stop being such a faithful fan.


Remember that Reid has schizophrenia in his bloodline. Every time he does something a little 'off,' I wonder: Could he be becoming more like his mom?


can someone tell me why Garcia getting all these hate for what she say to Morgan but everyone ok with abby trying to sleep with gibbs and Ziva assuting her teammate and calling them stuipd and worthless

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Criminal Minds Season 7 Episode 11 Quotes

Dr. Reid: It's not the real Zodiac.
Prentiss: How can you be so sure?
Reid: I just know it. Sometimes I can't really explain it.

JJ: So how old would Zodiac be by now? The murders took place in the late...60s?
Garcia: Yeah, December 20, 1968 to October 11, 1969 to be exact. But he was suspected of other crimes and he sent letters and codes to newspapers until 1974.
Agent Morgan: Well at the very least the Zodiac would have to be about sixty by now.
JJ: Yeah but it doesn't take a lot of strength to pull a trigger.
Morgan: No, but it takes a lot of skill not to get caught for forty years.