Criminal Minds Review: Ignorance Isn't Bliss

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Break out the white hoods, Criminal Minds watchers, this week's theme of intolerance left me thoroughly unsettled. Of course having an episode that basically doubles as a PSA can come off as cheap if done poorly, but in this instance I think they pulled off the message well: racism and bigotry are dangerous... on multiple levels.

When "The Thin Line" began, I thought it was going to zig, and it ended up zagging. What seemed like a clear cut case of home invasions being used as a tool to cover up a different motive for murder revealed something larger: fear. And ignorance. And hate. But mostly fear.

Criminal Cause for Concern

The browning of America? I'm with you, Morgan, I scrunch my nose up and say that phrase with as much disdain as you did (even if they did come dangerously close to making you the cliched "chip on your shoulder" character this week).

I have to say, I secretly wanted Morgan to reach across the table and punch Clark Preston in the face, but I'm glad that he didn't... and that Preston got his in the end anyway. When he told Morgan that he realized that she "probably had to work extra hard to get into the Bureau" and that he "wished there were more like him" I nearly snorted out loud. I guess that was his attempt at a compliment, but I can't really tell because I don't speak Jackass fluently.

The fact that the writers used home invasion as the vehicle to uncover such a shameful motive (to "take back" our community) seemed ironic on two levels. First, because it's one of the most violating crimes you can endure; and second because someone revealing their unabashed ignorance also leaves us feeling horrified (though I'd imagine on a smaller scale).

The idea that a politician was using - brainwashing, whatever - an Aryan supporter into inciting fear and hatred for his own gain while simultaneously framing undocumented workers and gang members for crimes they didn't commit is just too many stereotypes to digest at one time. But it shows how far we haven't come, I suppose. There were lots of not-so-subtle moments in this week's episode, and also lots of this-is-too-blatant-to-be-plausible moments, too. As far as this season goes, this week's action wasn't exactly top three.

As for the early reveal of who the UnSub is, they did it again. Even with their attempt at creating intrigue as to how he knew about pain killer dosages and the real backstory into his own family's home invasion, it still felt a little forced. It wasn't terrible, don't get me wrong, but when we think back to past UnSubs like the Reaper, sometimes these little filler bad guys just seem to fall short.

On an unrelated note, did you get a load of Prentiss speaking Spanish? It wasn't the most flawless accent I've ever heard but she did a pretty damn good job! I'm sure there will be a bevy of opinions on this comment, but coming from someone who lives in NYC and has to listen to Mayor Bloomberg's pathetic assault on such a lovely language, I was just happy that she didn't massacre it in a similar fashion. In fact, I think she was pretty impressive.

And then she got shot.

I think her moment with Morgan at the end when she acknowledged that it comes with the job was a heartfelt scene, if a wee bit campy. I'll be sad to see her go (again), but if it inadvertently gives Morgan more of a storyline, I guess that's one up side to it. As it stands they've both been woefully underused, and even Reid has been sparse lately.

JJ was pretty much a ghost this week - no matter, after her JJ-centric episode last Wednesday. But we've also seen more about Rossi, Hotch, Garcia and even Strauss this season. We still need more than just some funny Reid one-liners to even things out.


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (104 Votes)

I have been catching up on all seasons of Criminal Minds, having run across it only lately. Some shows are absolutely fananstic, but others...I agree with Mandy many women can you rape and torture? This episode put the bow on the leftist propaganda that permeates multiple seasons of this show. If these writers/producers had the balls, they'd do some shows on Muslim violence and honor killings in America. The problems Sharia Law is creating in regular American cities. I'm sick of feeling sorry for the black man like this show once again shoves down our throats. I was raised with absolutely no bias but I've been beaten over the head with the victimization of blacks to a ridiculous degree. My city currently has stabbings and/or murders every night and they are always perpetrated by black man. Criminal Minds would have us believe that the greatest threat to America are white serial killers entrenched in sexual sadism. This show was so full of left wing propaganda it was nauseating.


Not all fans are liberals! So what??? thats what racism does or can do


I think more and more homes will start seeing one of their rooms covetrned into a computer lab' style environment like yours!I'm seeing this more and more already, unfortunately it's currently taking over the family dining room rather than an area set aside for the computers.


This was the worst episode I ever saw. I love Criminal Minds and was angry and dissapointed at the blatent left wing agenda that was weaved into the whole episode. Poor minorities - bad white boy and right wing candidate. Please writers keep your liberal bias out of a great series. Not all fans are liberals!


This case seemed a far stretch and it was because the show has strayed away from real FBI cases. Morgan's ugliness toward the agent in training was jarring. Shocking really. Prentiss lost her purpose on the show by episode 2. Her character is maxed out. JJ has gotten more interesting stuff to do than Emily. As far as Paget leaving, I hope her character is killed off in a cliffhanger or season 8 just opens with us being told she has moved on. I don't want the show to spend any more time on her whatsoever.


Millie... It wasn't BECAUSE he was Hispanic. If they'd cast a white character, Morgan would have been just the same. For an episode centered on NOT being racist, you kind of missed the point... though maybe that was because you switched the channel prematurely?


Dude what with all these Reid crap i mean the dude ok but come on he not that great he good but i mean these is the same character that they wasted two eposide in season 3 on just to find out that the reason his dad left him was because a boy ried never knew die


I hope with the departure of Prentiss, the main cast will be given more screen time instead of bringing in a new member.


Sorry, i agreed with people can't take it easy on NEW agents...and emily has NEVER been a favorite of mine....she's always seemed to have a "chip" on her shoulder....morgan KNOWS what he's talking about....if the young agents CAN'T handle a high ranking agent getting in their face, how are they going to deal with a suspect....i WON'T be sorry to see emily GONE...and i HOPE, it's for GOOD this time. alisa


Well, to tell you the truth, I did not continue with the episode. I switched the channel when Derek shot his mouth off at an obviously Hispanic Agent-in-Training. I don't give a damn what the reasons for those script lines were, he was nasty and condescending. Prentiss was right in calling him on it. Unfortunately, Derek did not see the error of his way and definitely ruined my affection for his character. Frankly, I see WAYYYY too much of this on t.v. AND movies - disdain for Hispanic characters. I'm sick of my favorite programs going south.

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Criminal Minds Season 7 Episode 15 Quotes

Dr. Reid: This wasn't a burglary at all, there's a higher purpose. They're staging the crime scene so that they can send some kind of message.
Agent Morgan: This guy's trying to make it look like black guys from the 'hood are killing white families in white neighborhoods.
Agent Prentiss: Pretty powerful message.

Agent Morgan: Nothing about that house says rob me. Beat up eight-year old minivan in the driveway, there's nothing fancy inside to get.
Agent Rossi: Violent hardcore burglars don't pick random targets, so why these homes? These people, they're terrified. Half of them are moving, the other half are joining neighborhood watch.
Morgan: Well can you blame them?
Rossi: This whole community's going to be on edge until we catch these guys.