Criminal Minds Review: Hit it, Maestro

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Criminal Minds writers decided to honor the show's 150th episode by changing up the formula a bit.

As promised by A.J. Cook, theĀ  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?

Dina Meyer on CSI

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.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (149 Votes)
Renata sellitti

As I said, rape is no laughing matter. The "take requests?" line was meant to poke fun at the music supervision. Obviously I'm not pro-violence or leaving women w/ physical/emotional trauma, was just joking that adding cringe-worthy music in too is almost too much for this girl to bear.
And yes, I'm a female. But thanks for defending me! (PS, more reason why I obviously don't think rape is funny) Thanks to all of you who read into my tone the way it was intended, as a way to lighten a heavy subject. @CMinds1001, you of course are entitled to your opinion. I wouldn't begrudge someone of it, even if he/she didn't show me the same courtesy. I apologize to anyone who felt my comment worsened their own personal pain, but not for choosing to make fun of cheesy music.
One of the best parts of writing is hearing people's take on your opinion, but writers accept that you just can't please everyone. If we all worried about treading lightly, no words would ever be written.


Honestly, those of you freaking out about the 'wonder if he takes requests' comment, calm down. He wasn't making any sort of joke about women getting raped. He was trying to lighten the serious tone of the review. Sometimes writers do that... don't overreact.
I think this is a very mature review reflective of a mature show. This episode definitely kept me guessing until the end.
I personally love Garcia, and would LOVE even more of her. I'm a little disappointed though. Shemar Moore was on Ellen on Monday, and they showed a clip of him in a towel. Morgan was not in a towel at any point in this episode.


Something even more interesting...Was that George Eads "Nick Stokes" from CSI as the bartender at the club where the piano man was playing? Play it back and take a good look!


What a great episode! Usually it's easy to pick out the unsubs and the red herrings, but the twists and turns in this one did having me wondering until Hotch slapped the cuffs on the creep at the end. I love how "Criminal Minds" is rediscovering its beat again, how it lets some characters shine one week and others shine the next week, and the fantastic chemistry between the characters.


I am not a member of Facebook. I tried to join as a member but it was virtually impossible to do so. That was a big disappoinment as I missed last night's show and wanted to see it. Thank you for alowing us to make comments. I will have to wait for a repeat of it.


Brilliant episode, as usual. Yes, it kept you guessing, but kudos to the actor playing the piano man. It is no mean feat to play a character who is a baddy just nicely enough to make you think he is a victim but not well enough to completely convince you of his innocence. Well done.


i loved this episode the entire thing kept me guessing till the very end like who the hell is the piano man and did regina get the right guy or the wrong guy. also i couldn't help but laugh at Garcia lines when she said whta will ssa hotchner do and how she pictured herself in a really nice suit. and how Prentiss finally opened up about her trauma that occured last year.


First of all, can i say Congratulations to Criminal Minds on 150 episodes It has become one of my favorite crime dramas. Hotch basically saying to Prentiss that its not okay to bottle up the pain and she needs to talk when she's not having a good day. and Garcia channeling Hotch on connecting the dots was the comic relief. I love the fact that the first victim took her life back and held her rapist hostage. it kept you wondering if he really was the rapist because he kept pleading for his life and she held her own. It takes a brave woman to do what she did. they lied to her to get her to let him go so they could make the arrest. The moment with the victim and prentiss at the interrogation room was incredible when she realized that it brought back her nightmare and realized that it wasn't a good day. bravo criminal minds!


I love the scenes with Emily and Hotch, and that he knew she was still having problems. It was clear when he was telling her she'll have a bad day, that he was referencing his own trauma after Haley's death. I also love that Emily said she was dating Sergio (her cat). Lol.


I thought the show was great. Had alot of twist.

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Criminal Minds Season 7 Episode 12 Quotes

Garcia: At 7:36 he loaded an mp3 via USB drive, played it and promptly deleted it. Cleared the history so he could cover up his tracks.
Agent Morgan: The Un-Sub brought his own music to an abduction?
Garcia: Yes he did, and that is creepy.

Agent Prentiss: Vanessa Campbell and her husband moved to a new address. They put locks on the doors, they took precautions. She even knew what to do if she was dosed again and it still wasn't enough. That's what he gets out of it.
Agent Hotchner: Their fear. He wants them to know that no matter what, he can still get to them.