Wednesdays 9:00 PM on CBS
Criminal-minds

Criminal Minds Review: Semper Fi

by at . Comments

Tonight's Criminal Minds served as a brilliant and heartfelt backdrop to a story that serves as a grateful nod to military veterans. 

It had it all: personal sacrifice, honor, "no one left behind" and, most importantly, appreciation for the personal sacrifice of our nations' military.

Rossi Investigates a Homeless Man's Murder

The UnSub in "The Fallen" became unhinged after being ironically kicked off his firefighter job because he had contracted TB after saving two infected homeless people from a fire. The twig in his mind evidently snapped to the extent where he felt an OCD compulsion to "cleanse" the homeless population through the liberal use of fire and bleach. 

In this case, the more compelling story - that of the history of Rossi and Sergeant Harrison Scott - became entangled with the UnSub's when Scott grew determined to help his fellow homeless friends not become victims of Mr. Clean. How cool to see that first 1969 flashback - to the tune of "Born on the Bayou" - when we saw Rossi at age 19, reporting to Sergeant Clark.

Particularly revealing is the motivation for Rossi, a man who - as recalled by this week's revealing interview with Joe Mantegna - is independently wealthy and still feels the need to work in the BAU:

Rossi: Do you know why I joined the FBI?
Sergeant Scott: If you say...
Rossi: Because of you. You can say the Corps changed me, or the war. But it was you who made me honest. | permalink

This compelling second second story also painted a picture as to why this particular veteran - Sergeant Scott - ended up turning to the bottle.  There are so many veterans who end up this way, each with their own unique story. This served, I think, as just one possibility.  

Rossi: Why don't you come back with me? I can get you a room.
Sergeant Scott: This is my home David.
Rossi: This is no way for a war hero to live.
Sergeant Scott: Do you know how many veterans are on the street?
Rossi: Too many.
Sergeant Scott: More every day. | permalink

Sergeant Scott had lived with a secret for too many years: that, in a time where the nation sneered at Vietnam vets, he had been ordered to take credit for the actions of a third Marine (Private 1st Class Anthony Hernandez) who had thrown himself on a bomb in order to save Rossi and Scott. He seemed to be punishing himself by drinking and living among the homeless: typical and just one of the countless stories of veterans who live on the streets today.

Rossi: Hernandez? But why?
Sergeant Scott: Why did he do it? Or why did I take credit?
Rossi: Both.
Sergeant Scott: The short answer is: I was ordered to. We were fighting a PR war back home. The government needed a face - a living face - to parade around to solicit support for an unpopular war. I was chosen.
Rossi: And Hernandez?
Sergeant Scott: He was paying a debt. He was being a Marine. He died so that we could live.
Rossi: And you couldn't tell anyone. | permalink

So moving to see the final scene, where Hernandez is finally honored, and to see his grandson accept the posthumous award on his behalf. I know it's just a story but sometimes you can't help being affected, especially when watching Rossi and Scott hugging at the end.

Rossi: Welcome home Marine. Semper Fi.
Sergeant Scott: Oorah. | permalink

I applaud the writers of this episode for telling a story of pride and honor, during a week in which grateful nations remembers their warriors, both living and fallen.

Final thoughts: 

  • In case you're wondering why Sergeant Scott looks so familiar: Meshach Taylor (Sergeant Scott) played as Anthony Bouvier on Designing Women.  (Not that I ever watched the show.  *cough*)
  • Correction:  Michelle Trachtenberg has been cast as a stalker, not Reid's love interest, in an episode which will feature Reid's mysterious love interest.  The episode airs early next year.
  • Visit our updated section of Criminal Minds quotes now.

So what did you think of tonight's episode, and in particular, its revelation around Rossi's passion for the BAU?

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
  • 5.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (108 Votes)

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

.

Tags: ,
Like Us On Facebook

Want more Criminal Minds?

Sign up for our daily newsletter and receive the latest tv news delivered to your inbox for free!

More From TV Fanatic

Facing-off-against-kate

Teen Wolf Review: No One Else Dies

Scott decides to get tough on Teen Wolf after rescuing his Beta by declaring he won't sit back and watch more deaths. Find out what else went down in the review!
Debating-at-dinner

The Real Housewives of Orange County Review: Pity Party, Table For One

Heather and Tamra consider making peace with Shannon on The Real Housewives of Orange County. See what went down in our TV Fanatic review!
Winding-down

Murder in the First Review: And the Verdict Is...

On Murder in the First, the trial of Erich Blunt reaches its conclusion. But what is the verdict? Find out when you read the review.
Andi-dorfman-on-the-finale

The Bachelorette Review: Andi Dorfman Is Engaged To...

Andi Dorfman chooses between Nick Viall and Josh Murray. Find out who she chose now on our The Bachelorette review!

Avatar

Andi the song is by Rockie Lynne and is called "Home"

Avatar

What is the name of the song at the end of this episode and who sings it?? This was one of my favorite episodes in a long time. A true honor of our vets!!

Tiva

this was one best episode of Criminal minds that I seen had in some time. I this is best episode of the season. Rossi and Sergeant Scott flasbacks were good I liked how Sergeant Scott helped Rossi with the case it was sad during the end when Sergeant Scott told Rossi what really happened and that Hernandez saved both of them by dying and it was a very moving moment when Hernandez grandson accept the posthumous award, and how Rossi and Sergeant Scott hug and talk was good. I liked how Rossi dedicate the book to both Sergeant Scott and Hernandez