Criminal Minds Review: Drained and Confused

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All in all, this was a decent Criminal Minds episode, due in small part to the story continuing from where we left off last Wednesday. 

Like many, I watched the recap at the beginning and hoped that maybe the bullet had merely grazed Maeve's head and that she would be okay. Reid's two-week funk put that hope to rest. You don't give a guy seven gift baskets if his girlfriend is merely recuperating. 

Investigating In San Francisco

"Magnum Opus" refers to the greatest achievement of a writer, artist, composer or craftsman. This gave us our clue into this week's Unsub, who decided he needed to create a great work of art by draining victims of their blood, which he then used to paint their picture. His method evolved to the point where he removed his victims' eyelids so that they could witness him creating his art. He left the drained bodies next to abandoned works of art, too... so that the BAU could eventually realize his motive. Which, when you think of it, was quite decent and helpful of him.

I'm grateful to the writers for once more leaving the gruesome acts to our imagination, rather than displaying it in gory detail.  The dance sequence from "The Lesson" still resonates, and not in a good way.

After a two-week silence, interrupted only by his response to Garcia (Knock twice if you're conscious), we now know what motivates Reid enough to drive him out of his stark grief: puzzles. His work as a behavioral analyst actually defines him, in a way. Despite his pain, he quickly returned Morgan's phone call query about the case and eventually flew down to be with the team during the end stages of their work.  

His grief is not yet done, though, and it remains to be seen whether he'll fully recover or perhaps revert back to his old addiction. Maybe that's what Hotch and Morgan were thinking about when they both encouraged him to stay home until he's ready to come back.

I really only had one problem with the episode: when the Unsub's friend was up on the table, all sedated and ready to have his eyelids removed, he realized what was going on and was able to push through the drugged haze enough to thrash about, pretty much making it impossible for the Unsub to get to him. And when the Unsub got his hand too close, Paul bit down on it. This all makes perfect sense.

What about the other victims? I don't understand how they didn't also make it impossible for the Unsub to do his thing. In one instance, the girl was awake and when she started protesting, the Unsub shushed her.  Did she really just shrug and say "okay" and let him cut off her eyelid? One could argue that because they were female and likely smaller, the sedation had a greater effect. However, they weren't all female. One was a fairly large guy.

No matter. The story worked anyway and I suppose we can ignore little details like that. And maybe such problems are mitigated by the sight of Rossi and Blake having to walk into a sex dungeon and have a conversation like this:
Creepy dude: Like I said, I buy a lot of paintings. I don't remember them all.
Rossi: Oh really? Because last I checked, withholding evidence would make you an accomplice.
Blake: We just want to see the painting. Just want to see if it's from the guy we're looking for.
Rossi: Remembering now?
Creepy dude: Possibly. For that piece you'll have to follow me to the spanking room. | permalink

Were you at all surprised when the museum director (played by Jamie Luner) rejected his work, and the Unsub came back for her?  

Let us know your thoughts in the comments! And don't forget to check out our Criminal Minds quotes.


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (104 Votes)

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



I just want say that I'm in love with watching Criminal Minds. Its so addictive that I be trying to solve the cases at home. I love all the cast members so much. Watching your show has inspired me to go to school for criminal justice. Thank you! I would love to be apart of your team.


I am so disgusted with tonights episode! Why are they narrating everything everyone does! Damn it, I loved this show and now it sucks! Quit narrating, your ruining it!!


This episode was so/so for me. However, I do agree with Derek that it was great to avoid all the gory details and to leave some things to our imagination. This was the silver lining in the story for me.
@DouglasWolfe - Great Review.


@maroonlevitte I agree they need to have more focus on the crime, but if they are going to give character based story lines, I feel everyone should have their fair share. Morgan is just used to bust through doors lol... @tgarciaforever so just because I like Morgan i need to leave sheesh... Its not like I said he should he should be the primary focus of the show, just that I like him... I like JJ and Garcia too... do they need to leave??? I liked Elle and Emily too, guess that's good riddance huh??? Also I'm not a Morgan fangirl, I'm a fan of the show.


Yesterday, there was no criminal minds, which sucked.
I want Morgan and his celf-concerned idiot fangirls like @Nay to leave the show, not Blake. They degrades this show. But abt Blake...give her more time!
My fav is Garcia but the silly telephoning with Morgan is getting on my nerve now. Garcia is special without confirmed by freaking tough guy. THANK YOU. Want to see tough guys? Just go to see the action movies.
I'm quite enogh of shown how tough, confident and great Morgan is. Who cares? It's a crime show. I'll just turn off TV if Mogan is getting more centered.
I heard Thomas Gibson may leave the show. I'm now so worried about it.


@Nay I don't like Morgan at all. I really can't see why this only having muscle guy can manage to get in FBI.
I'm not a fan of Reid neither, but for me in recent seasons Morgan seems to be the one who is focused on and got every meaningless shots from directors. Criminal Minds need to solve the cases, but Morgan is not a brain type.
So for me, it's rediculous to make Morgan center. It would be a cheep sorp opera.
All I need is Gideon.


HUGE Criminal Minds fanatic. Best crime show on TV !!! However, I DO NOT like new girl, she isn't worthy of washing Prentiss's bathroom. What really stood out to me was this is really the only show where Reid shows great sorrow. Over the years, a smattering of emotions have appeared but never in this way. I love all the shows # 1 Criminal Minds fan.


Reid should not be at a point to put that book away, particularly given the depths of their love the show made great pains to keep pointing out. I didn't believe I could get any angrier about this messed up storyline, but I was wrong. Tell me again the point of doing this pathos of a storyline if they're not going to capitalize on it? Oh that's right. There isn't one. Yes, you can tell. Angry viewer is still angry.


I haven't liked any of the episodes for the past two years. I guess no one is supposed to be happy. They sent Hotch's girlfriend away, they killed Reed's. The subjedt matters are gross. This used to be one of my favorite show.


@Kelly, I agree. Huge red flag when the unsub said he used some of his own blood. They should have notified the cops of a whack job. @lexi, please leave Blake alone. Fans never like the new guy, or girl. Look how they treated Rachel Nicholls, who is such a good actress. She was in GI Joe: Cobra, and now starring in Continuum on SyFy. Nothing is wrong with Blake. You just don''t like her because she's new. Get over it. @Diana, do you seriously think there is or could ever be anything serious between Morgan and Garcia? Take it for what it is, harmless flirtation. If they bring them together I will laugh and not take the show seriously. Be serious and just be entertained by the flirtation. They don't take themselves too seriously. You shouldn't also.

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Criminal Minds Season 8 Episode 13 Quotes

Paul: You're insane!
Unsub: Guess every artist is a little crazy.

Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go, but rather, learning to start over - Nicole Sobon.