Criminal Minds Review: One Twisted Momma

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As ghoulish as this week's Criminal Minds episode may have been, it managed to capitalize on its procedural element, feeding the audience with clues and guesses all the way through.

"The Good Earth" featured the lovely Anne Dudek as the hypochondriac UnSub Emma Kerrigan. You may remember her as Annie's sister on Covert Affairs or a certain cutthroat bitch on House.

Here, she abducted four men, and it took the team a while to figure out what she was doing with them and why. Eventually we learned she was providing them with sustenance - through their noses - in order to make them ready as human fertilizer for her garden.

Searching For the Link

I keep wondering each week if the show's writers have a contest to see how much they can get their viewers to squirm.  First, it was the food through the nose thing. Then we got to watch as Emma kidnapped a pregnant woman and began doing a wide-awake Caesarian section on her:

Pregnant victim: What are you doing?
UnSub [exasperated sigh]: Hold still. | permalink

Then we find out that she didn't want the woman's baby (thankfully both mother and baby were fine) but that she wanted the placenta.  And then we find out she wanted it so that she could feed it to her daughter. Along the way, we see her washing the blood off of a wood chipper and axe, and our suspicions are aroused. That can't be good.

What a relief when Alex Blake found a way to slip inside her psychosis and talk her down from killing the last man. Blake earned some cool points with Morgan on that one.

With such intense drama, it's a relief to see some of the team interactions. There was another example of the Derek Morgan-Penelope Garcia flirty talk (toned down this time):

Morgan: You're talking to the room, PG.
Garcia: If by "PG" you mean parental guidance strongly advised, I say PA. Prudent advice. | permalink

And we had a funny exchange between J.J. and Reid:

Reid: I don't like the beach.
JJ: Why's that?
Reid: Sandy food, pink skin, limited and unengaging topography. But mostly the drug resistant bacteria spread by seagull feces.
JJ: Sorry I asked. | permalink

And I laughed out loud when Rossi caught Reid mumbling to himself:

Rossi [to Reid]: I can hear the high pitch from your IQ all the way over here. | permalink

(There are more quotes on our Criminal Minds quote page)

The best part was seeing Henry come around and finally land on a Halloween costume he liked when he decided to go out as his favorite profiler: Reid.

What did you think of the episode? Would you like to see more of J.J.'s home life? Has Alex Blake grown on you?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (80 Votes)

Douglas Wolfe is a staff writer for TV Fanatic Follow him on Twitter



I was enjoying this episode until the unsub attacked the pregnant woman. What was the purpose of that? To work a female victim into the story line? That was a jump-the-shark moment. Putting that in the storyline was completely out of place. And then trying to feed the placenta to the daughter? Come on. I just think this cast deserves better than some of these writers. Very sad that it's come to this, our team having to compete with the creep of the week. It's also clear most of these writers have no law enforcement background which is why I miss Ed Bernero so much.


Henry was absolutely adorable as Mini Reid! Would love to see more of JJ's home life this season, especially Will. This was by far my fav episode this season. And for the record, i couldn't help but squirm throughout all those scenes mentioned above. THIS is defo one of the really creepy CM eps i'm well familiar with.


@tiva - My mistake!!! I was thinking of Kari Matchett - not Anne Dudek!
That's a first! Going to my room now. : (


@tiva - Anne Dudek is a regular cast member on spy drama, Covert Affairs.
She's terrific and so is the show. You may remember her also from another Criminal Minds episode on which she guest starred previously: S4/Ep6, "The Instincts" in Las Vegas a couple's small son is kidnapped - causing Reid to have nightmares and flashbacks. At the end of the show, he's sleeping on the couch in his mother's room at the institution. One of the great Reid episodes and Anne Dudek was excellent.


Henry was so CUTE


This episode was EERIE!!!!!!
I was closing my eyes!!!!!!!! I, too, wonder where and how the writers come up with this stuff!! I didn't know that "Henry" was AJ's real life son.......he is adorable!! Nice shout out to Reid having him dressed as him....... Anybody else STILL WONDERING about the mysterious photographer in the season premiere???????


Fantastic show, I don't know where they think this stuff up but it's great, 10/10


All your quote selections were spot Henry's costume. These episodes get stranger and stranger...


I thought Henry dressed up like Reid was so cute. Many favorite thing of the night


I liked the episode Anne Dudek did really good at playing her role I rmember she played Amber on House I don't get why she don't star in drama show she is very good. Rossi Comment about Reid High pitch IQ. Blake was really smart when she got the ashes from the fire place and told her that it was her husband's ashes.

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Criminal Minds Season 8 Episode 5 Quotes

Reid: I don't like the beach.
JJ: Why's that?
Reid: Sandy food, pink skin, limited and unengaging topography. But mostly the drug resistant bacteria spread by seagull feces.
JJ: Sorry I asked.

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity - Edgar Allan Poe