Criminal Minds

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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.

Review

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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@makayla i've been watching from the beginning. maybe i'm just not a Reid fan. who knows. i just feel like there is more insight about reid then the other characters. i feel a lot of time the show dwells on reid and how fragile and how much of a genius he is. i like morgan too. i think he's gonna get less play time since it seems the new direction is to get reid super close to blake to get all the fans to like her more...

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I've been watching this show since it started. Over the years, there have been storylines about some of the characters. Morgan had a couple, one involving his cousin and one when he went home to Chicago and was arrested for murder and the team had to delve into his past to help him. Since the work they do is the primary force behind them, having a peek into their personal lives is nice but it is not overwhelming. I would like Reid to have a relationship outside of the BAU, someone he can relax with, not necessarily a romantic relationship but maybe a really close friend. There has to be a balance in their lives. As for this episode, it was different and as one person pointed out about the friend putting up as much of a fight as he could, the man he killed first did not have his eyelids removed. That came with the later victims.

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I think the friend was able to thrash around more because the unsub was hurrying and likely didn't wait for the drugs to take full effect before he started his gruesome work. I liked the followup on Reid's grief, I hope they don't just continue on as if nothing happened from here on, there should be some change in him.

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@Nay:
Did you watch seasons five, six, and seven?? Reid had pretty much nothing.
In season 5 he got shot in the leg which, IMO, decreased his screentime the rest of the season until 5x12 'The Uncanny Valley' and he was pretty much in the background the rest of the season. In season 6, he had one episode, 6x12 'Corazon', about his headaches which were mentioned only twice more in that season afterwards. He also had a little bit more grieving for Emily and the fear he was becoming Schizophrenic in 6x19 'With Friends Like these' but that about it for season 6. In season 7, he had a bit more focus in 7x02 'Proof' and 7x13 'Snake Eyes' and much more focus in 7.11 'True Genius'.
That's about it the for seasons 5-7. Reid's not even my favorite character. Morgan is but I've been missing Reid lately and I'm so glad the writers gave him something this season.

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My favroite was when Rossi and Hotch were talking
rossi I can't imaged not being able to say goodbye to my wife
Hotch just looks at him
Rossi: Oh sorry

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@Terrie no I've been watching since the beginning but to me it seems Reid gets the most stories... I know the others have had their little arcs, but Reid has had so many that has had multiple episodes to develop with the exception of Hotch and the Reaper... to me it just seems Reid gets more "play" than the rest of the characters. That's what I was saying.

Terrie

@Nay you must be a fairly new watcher of this show. There was the arc with Hotch's wife being murdered, the one where Garcia was shot, the one where Rossi was asked by his ex wife to be at her side when she died, JJ getting married, the one with Morgan and his cousin........while these may have been small arcs they did delve into the personal side of each of the characters. I'm still waiting on more with this mysterious photographer. My guess is we'll be left hanging with the season finale with this.......and no new episode next week.........ugh.......

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I understand that they have to close up the rest of this relationship story with Reid, but do the writers ever go into detail for the other characters? No. Why is that? I want to know more about the other characters or at least give them more memorable stories. Now-a-days it seems as though its all about poor Reid. Overall, the episode was okay. I liked the artist as the unsub.

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.

Reid