Criminal Minds Review: An Unhappy Birthday

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Zzzzzzzzz. Zzzzzzzzz. Oh, I'm sorry, someone wake me when it's over - this week's Criminal Minds episode was nothing short of filler. I know that the writers only had two hours left this season, but that's no excuse for just tossing one away.

This week on "Profiling 101" the team headed to a college to give a lecture about profiling serial killers. And what did the students learn? That the agents' lives are bombarded with tragedy and death day in and day out. Awesome. Raise your hand if you're shocked by this at all.

Rossi Stresses

I don't mean to sound unsympathetic, because I really do think that the lives that BAU agents lead must be incredibly hard from a personal stand point. It's like psychiatrists and grief counselors, they have to find a way to siphon off that heaviness or else it consumes them. But just because it was interesting to hear more about what they do and to see the toll it took on Rossi doesn't mean I want them devoting the second-to-last episode of the season to what essentially amounts to a Q &A.

Also, a lot of the dialogue read like a PSA about what we should know about profiling. It was robotic and forced, albeit cleverly packaged.

But speaking of Rossi: how twisted and cruel is it of Tommy to reveal his victims on his birthday? On his birthday dude? Really?!? That's just cold, there's no other way to describe it.

I think it speaks to how good a person Rossi is that, in his desire to bring closure to the victims' families, he's willing to drag out Tommy's inhuman demands over time. It must be impossibly difficult for someone who's trained not to play into the whims of criminals to allow someone else to call the shots just to have a means to an end. I liked how the team played off of each others' strengths (the Garcia/Reid simultaneous "thank you" was gold), but I don't think that an entire episode should've been dedicated to this case. They could've managed to put something else in there, too.

Now at least we have a glimpse into how they're going to kill off Prentiss (or at least I'm assuming that they'll have her die in an explosion). Next week's season finale looks good, but I'm not sure if a standoff that ends in pyrotechnics was what Paget Brewster had in mind when she asked to be written off of the show. Any way you cut it, I'll be sad to see her go (but I know many of you don't share that sentiment).

I'll just be happy to have a regular episode back, with no more of this BS filler and wasted time. What did you all think of this week's show? Am I the only one who was underwhelmed? Here's hoping next week isn't a disappointment, too.


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (123 Votes)

i love love love criminal minds! i was sooooo happy that they went back to basics and focused on pure profiling and really talked professionally with all the terminology and profiling work and all. i soooooo miss it in the current season or two.


Then maybe someone who not basie and understand the show should cover it nexts

Renata sellitti

So glad everyone's engaging in a strong discussion. One thing though - just because you don't agree with my take, does that necessarily mean it's a bad review? Everyone's entitled to their own opinion, and I welcome them and love that you take the time out to comment. But because this episode didn't do it for me doesn't mean I'm less introspective or sophisticated in grasping the profiling analysis they were aiming for. It just means that I prefer that, if they're going to do an episode like this, it come early on in the season, and not in the home stretch. Especially coming off of some stronger eps recently, it was all the more glaring.
Sure, it's fascinating to hear about how the criminals that they profile try to assert control over the agents. But they could've fit something else into this ep along with the flashbacks/commentary. And the only thing better than their awesomely 90s hairstyles this time around (Reid's mullet anyone? Prentiss' feathered locks?) was the lingering and yes, highly creepy Happy Birthday tune to end the show. That one sent chills up my spine for sure.


I liked the episode. I've always like the epi's that flashback, if for nothing else to see if the continuity is maintained. They did a great job bringing Reid's age back down and even gave him the nerdy glasses back! And I it was great when Morgan asked Hotch if he was calling Gideon. I also liked the young "aw, shucks" Hotchner early on, and it was nice that we once again were reminded he was stationed in the Seattle office, which I think was only mentioned in the pilot episode. Nice job!


I liked this episode. I am an intelligent adult who appreciates the profiling and study it takes to do this job. In the past few years it seems that the show has veered away from that, and it was nice to have a show that was cerebral and not all gore and "action". If you found it boring and sleepy, perhaps you need to look within and see why you need that to entertain you.


I liked the episode, but for the next to last episode of the season it was boring. Would have appreciated it more earlier on. Hope we get more of Reid next season, but can't wait either way.


I for one liked it very much. Hate that he has to spend his birthday like that. But the epi was great.


I loved the episode.


I did love the episode. yes it was different but it was a nice change. We had lots of profiling, we didn't see the unsub in the first 5 seconds. I love this season much better than last season. Will be sad to see Prentiss go. Hope next season will go back to focus more on Reid and Hotch and less on Morgan, Garcia and JJ.


I think it was a good episode and done quite well! I think those of you who found it boring missed something, or maybe you slept through it, and should watch it again.

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Criminal Minds Season 7 Episode 22 Quotes

Agent Prentiss: There's a lot about Rachel that tells us about the UnSub. She was young, so most likely he was, too.
Student: What makes you think that?
JJ: Well she lived in a shelter and had a part-time job, so she was a street kid, but not necessarily the reckless type. She wouldn't just go off with anyone.

Agent Rossi: Now these two girls couldn't be more different. But the one thing they both have in common is that they both crossed paths with the most prolific killer the BAU has ever seen.
Dr. Reid: What you need to understand is that no two killers are the same. They each occupy their own spot in the behavioral spectrum. Genetics, brain chemistry, psychology, they're all factors.
Agent Hotchner: But we believe this particular killer grew up in an environment so adverse he never had a chance.