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.

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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


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I still have a hard time seeing her as part of the team. takes a long time for any new person to gain that status. So I can maybe cut her some slack for a while. What do you think?


I don't think Blake fits in at all. What do you all think?


It seems like Blake is making her way to the center with everyone else, but doing it slowly. That's a good tactic on the part of the writers, I think. As for Reid: this story arc was fairly intense, which may give some reason to believe that the show focused on him a fair amount. Back when Hotch lost his wife, it was just as intense, and the show focused pretty much on him as well. It's the way it goes. @Annie: thank you for that important plot point. I had forgotten that the early male victim had his eyelids intact.


So sad moments with reid... I could cry all the time!
But I like the team handling with the circumstances... until now: my absolute favorite episode (my english is not so good... sorry!)


I love all episodes they make a great team. I feel sorry for Reid losing his girl and trying to get over it. I hope that everything works out from him. I hate the fact it won't be on next week. I miss it when it is not on. My two favorite characters are Morgan and Penelope. I feel everyone of them should expose a little of their personal life.


I was thinking the same thing about JJ! I honestly thought she was only wearing a coat. Obviously, she had a short dress on underneath, but still she's dressed like that to go to work?!
On a side note, the actor playing the Unsub did a much better job in this episode than he did in his guest arc on Gossip Girl. Yes, I watch both shows, no matter how vastly different.


MGG injured his leg while filming a movie so the CM writers had to create a story that caused Reid to injure his leg. If you notice in that episode, Reid spends most of the time (before getting shot) sitting down. That was why Reid used crutches and a cane for so long. The injury was real. In an earlier season, Gideon used crutches for one episode after injuring his leg. I don't know if Mandy Patinkin actually need those crutches.


When the unsub said, "I even used some of my own blood.", that should have been a HUGE red flag for the museum people. Even when he revealed earlier that he uses blood, they should have realized that they were dealing with a nutjob and called the cops.


More Reid! More Morgan & Garcia-those 2 need to finish the flirtation that's gone on the entire show, 1 way or the other! Do it or stop the games!


When JJ first show up did anyone eles think she had nothing on under that jacket we didn't see a dress or pants I was like OMG JJ what are you going to do sleep with him.

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.