Criminal Minds Review: "Safe Haven"

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When two Midwestern families are killed just miles apart, the BAU is called in to track down the grisly murderer before he strikes again, and their discovery was not what we expected.

The investigation, along with the surprise return of Ellie Spicer, memorable from the season six premiere, made "Safe Haven" a rather Morgan-centered episode of Criminal Minds.

It was a good one, too - made all the creepier by a young Ben Linus sighting!

Remembrance of Things Past Pic

Criminal Minds' Midwestern road trip continues.

Lost is one of those rare shows where every bit character is memorable and may be forever linked to that program. That even goes for someone like young actor Sterling Beaumon.

He wasn't a big name star on Lost, but he played young Ben Linus, and one of the scarier, more fascinating TV characters ever. We can say his Criminal Minds turn did Ben justice.

Playing Jeremy, his troubled teen character enacts revenge on surrogate mothers. Why?

For pretty much his whole life, he's blamed for everything by a mom who despises him.

The case has the BAU team stumped at first, as both sets of parents not only let the killer into their homes, they fed him dinner, and apparently left them alone with their children.

It’s not until a third victim, Minister Louis Hannum, is discovered dead in a truck on the side of the road that the BAU discerns that they're likely dealing with a teenage psychopath.

Abandoned in Omaha by his mother due to a loophole in the state’s safe haven law, a real development which made headlines years ago, Jeremy's on the loose - and out for blood.

In a powerful and devastating scene, we learn that the mother was at first pregnant with twins, but one "consumed" the other. This is why she loathed "rotten" Jeremy for years.

Young Benjamin

We had to.

Note to parents out there ... it's probably not good to hold your child responsible for behavior in utero. You may just turn them into disturbed, Ben Linus-like serial murderers.

Fortunately, Jeremy is arrested, but he somewhat defiantly tells Morgan he'll be out by age 18. Morgan (Shemar Moore was terrific in this episode) vows to not let that happen.

Meanwhile, Ellie Spicer has away from her foster family and came to see Morgan. Interestingly, the BAU calls the foster family to let them know that she had been found safe.

The surprise? No one knew she was even missing. Ellie wants nothing to do with her mom, but Morgan tells her he lost his father too and can understand her plight and pain.

From "The Longest Night" to this week's installment, could the producers be setting up an ongoing, Morgan-Ellie story that continues intermittently throughout the season?

It will be interesting to see if Ellie resurfaces again, but it added a little something extra to the episode, providing a nice B-story to a typically solid Criminal Minds episode.

What did you think of "Safe Haven"? Comment below!

Safe Haven Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (35 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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