Criminal Minds Review: Hit it, Maestro
Criminal Minds writers decided to honor the show's 150th episode by changing up the formula a bit.
As promised by A.J. Cook, the action in "Unknown Suspect" didn't disappoint, but it did keep us guessing until the very end. We're used to our UnSubs doing bad things, but they don't usually provide their own soundtrack (or share the same name as a Billy Joel song, ha!). Making a playlist to victimize to? That's just creepy.
It's also pretty brilliant, in a people-are-capable-of-doing-sick-things kind of way. I was amused by their choices of tracks as well. Some of those were torturous enough just to hear without having an UnSub assault on top of it. Rape is no laughing matter, of course. But I couldn't help but wonder a few minutes into the episode: do you think he takes requests?
It seems like writer Breen Frazier was really attempting to think outside the box when he wrote the script for this one. Our first surprise came when it was revealed that our victims had already been victims before, not to mention when they figured out the victims were being drugged via cigarette. Then, when Regina pulled out her taser and turned the tables on her attacker I almost leapt off my couch. Wow, didn't see that one coming.
I think the idea of throwing out a red herring to throw us off, in the form of the hospital orderly, was a good notion. It's nothing they haven't tried before, but I enjoyed the intrigue anyway. What I didn't expect, however, was to end up second guessing at the end whether or not the man being held hostage was innocent or if they'd known he was the UnSub all along. I'm sure our readers will have a wide variety of opinions as to whether or not this tool worked well, but I tend to think it was an effective way to keep us on our toes.
I have to say, though, my favorite part of was how they added little psychological factoids, like how the music we listen to at age 14 has the most lasting effect on us emotionally. How neat! You learn something new everyday. It also enabled them to deduce that the man in custody was too young to be the murderer, a bit of profiling I particularly enjoyed.
When Garcia made reference to "What Would SSA Hotchner Do?" and then said she imagined herself in a really good suit, I slapped my knee. I know she's been the subject of some love-her-or-hate-her? discussions in our comments sections lately, but for the record I think Garcia adds something to the show that can't be replicated. There weren't any Reid one-liners this week, but that's alright, you can't win 'em all.
As for the Prentiss dealing with her own death storyline, I was happy they finally acknowledged that Prentiss had turned into somewhat of a shoulder to cry on/sensitive advice-giver this whole season. Many of us have mentioned that her character seemed to be relegated to that role lately, so for them to at least own up to it was appreciated. It seems she's made progress by being able to tell Hotch she was having a bad day, even if she did blatantly lie to her therapist.
Did anyone else wonder why the FBI wouldn't have a psychologist capable of deducing if she was being lied to, especially since she was working with behavioral experts trained to control their physiological cues after all? Just a thought. Maybe they should've plucked one of their own BAU wannabe's or castoffs to fill that position; at least then they'd be able to spot when one of their agents was faking.
We'll be back in two weeks to dissect the next profiling madness on Criminal Minds. As usual, we love to hear your thoughts on this week's action, so pull up a seat and weigh in.