Criminal Minds Review: Here's Looking At You

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After last week's fun puzzle, this episode of Criminal Minds sort of fizzled, at least when it came to the crime of the week. It's possible the writers needed more than an hour to do this episode more justice. But at least we got to meet the new Section Chief.

"To Bear Witness" featured an Unsub who felt rejected by his family because he aspired only to be a veterinarian, while his sister studied to be a doctor. So naturally his siblings and father had to pay for his lack of self-esteem. And what better way to do that than by lobotomizing them (to symbolize his emotional abandonment), implanting an ocular-nano camera into their eyes and then beaming the resulting video out to the world?

The New Section Chief

For all of its gruesomeness, it was pretty much a straightforward though difficult to believe premise, featuring an Unsub profile which was quickly explained by Reid. Except for the torture scenes with the Unsub and his sister, it was tough to care very much about the case itself. We've seen a lot of weird stories in this series, but this was one that I found particularly hard to credit: the idea of a man feeling so rejected and angry that he would lobotomize his siblings and implant a camera in their eyes just sort of flew off of the map of believability.

For what it's worth, the technology was interesting - nanotechnology has apparently come a long way. Apparently ocular implants is a thing: if you're not careful you can become an inadvertent spy. Spy candidates are given an implant in both eyes so as to ensure maximum coverage. If you're given an implant involuntarily (like the poor souls in this episode) there's a website out there that outlines what you need to do to disable it. It's all so very bizarre and surreal.

The more important plot to this episode belonged to JJ and the new Section Chief Mateo Cruz. It's going to be fascinating to see how their relationship plays out and how quickly their secret gets revealed to the team. Clearly, their relationship revolves around something that's work related:

JJ: I know why we can't tell them. I get that, but we can't have too many of these conversations either.
Cruz: That case could stay open for a couple of years.
JJ: It's already been almost three. | permalink

Yet they seem awfully close, don't they? Except that when he offered to meet her for a jog the next morning, she declined, stating that she was going to "make breakfast for my boys." So they have a close working relationship and there's a case they can't talk about.  

JJ's concern about the secret becoming eventually revealed came through:

JJ: Every time your name was mentioned today and every time I didn't say "hey yeah, I know him" I'm lying.
Cruz: I know it's not easy. I don't like it either.
JJ: We're surrounded by profilers, Mat. One side glance and they're going to figure it all out. | permalink

And then, like the fulfillment of prophecy, along came Rossi. The man walked right up to the elevator, paid special note to the fact that the button had yet to be be pressed by either of the two of them who were just standing there, pressed it... and then turned to ask them both if they were leaving for the day. They should have both said yes but instead Cruz said he had other work to do. Yeah, that's the way to keep a secret from Rossi. He'll have them figured out by the time he arrives home. He won't know the details but he already knows something's up.

I think we're in for a fun ride.

Final notes:

  • You may have recognized David Anders who played the role of Anton Harris - the Unsub.  He's had a number of roles in such series as Heroes, 24, The Vampire Diaries, Once Upon a Time and Necessary Roughness.
  • In case there was any doubt between the brain power of Reid versus Blake, their crossword puzzle sort of cleared it up: it takes Blake seven minutes to do what Reid can do in two. Not that anyone's counting. Rossi's Happy Wednesday, my nerds sort of sums it all up.
  • Unlike Strauss, it appears Cruz has a true appreciation for the BAU team and its dynamics, which put Morgan's fears to rest. Kind of cool to see him shake hands and welcome him near the end.
  • For more clues on the relationship between JJ and Cruz, take a look back at our interview with A.J. Cook.
  • Don't forget to check out this week's Criminal Minds quotes.

So, what did you think? Will Cruz be a good addition to the team? Any thoughts on the secret that he shares with JJ? What are you thoughts on the case of the week?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (102 Votes)

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



@Lila and Terrie: got mixed up between Section and Station Chief. The latter are found in the CIA, not the FBI. Thanks for the heads up - now corrected.


Esia Moralas is always a great add to any show! I,m looking forward to his work as the new section chief. What an unexpected treat to an already great show.


Esia Moralas is a great addition to any show! As section chief Cruz I'm sure the writers can add plenty of new dimentions to an already splendid, thoughtful, intellectual program. Really gladto see him back in prime time!




The spy ware in the eye has been done before, as recently as this past week's episode of AGENTS Of Shield!


It's SECTION CHIEF ....... not Station Chief......... I will give you that this episode was over the top in belivability......but to me it was a bit terrifying. JJ and Cruz knowing each other will definitely end up biting them both in the ass before it's over with. Someone on the team WILL figure it out. Rossi will be the first one and he'll probably try to privately talk to JJ about it and then go to Hotch. I don't think they had an affair at all and that theory I believe has already been de-bunked by show runner Erica Messner(I think I got her name right)....It has to do with a case they are working.......that I'm sure will eventually end up involving the whole team before it's over with...... Next week is sure to be heart wrenching as we get a look at how Hotch has dealt with Haley being gone........


I guess I'm in the minority. I was riveted by the heartbreaking condition of the Unsub's first victim. I liked it when Cruz shook Hotch's hand and said that he understood why the director wanted to keep Hotch in the field. He really seems like he'll be less oppressive than Strauss was. Cruz is the Section Chief, not the Station Chief.


The episode was ok, could have been more interesting. I do like the new chief but I'd like to see him have a more intersting role in the show...


I am agree with tannerose5, I don't think JJ and Cruz had an affair, but I don't like the JJ's acttitude. JJ continues to hide things. Although not revealed the details of that case still open, it is counterproductive to deceive the equipment, taking into account the consequences that this has brought in other arcs, as the Doyle case, the break between Reid and JJ for the resurrection of Prentiss and Maeve's stalker later.


I think Cruz is a refreshing new face to this program but lets just have him as an ex working partner of JJ's no strings attached to them !

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Criminal Minds Season 9 Episode 4 Quotes

Morgan: You ever hear of this Cruz guy?
Rossi: Yes, but we've never crossed paths. You?
Morgan: Nope.
Rossi: JJ?
JJ: Yeah, I've heard his name.

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside of us while we live - Norman Cousins