In light of reports that A.J. Cook may return to Criminal Minds next season, the role played by Strauss in her evaluations of the BAU certainly took on a new meaning.
They're definitely missing a little something, don't you think?
The episode began with Hotch defending his team to Strauss, who wants to evaluate them in the field. Fans have been doing their own reevaluations all season long.
Seaver did prove herself to Rossi and Hotch last night in "The Stranger," but you have to wonder about the producers' plans for Seaver, who hasn't been well-received.
In the hunt for the Unsub, who targets and stalks college-aged babysitters as a means of avenging childhood trauma, the team hones in on the next potential victim(s).
Reid and Morgan observe that there were plenty of places the UnSub could've struck before waiting until his prey gets home, but he does not. He waits. A telling sign.
Meanwhile, Seaver is interviewing the latest victim's roommate and is trying to step things up from the get-go, which foreshadows her key role in the case later on.
It's a case getting deadlier by the minute, due to the UnSub's growing confidence.Babysitting playing a central part in this guy's M.O. made for a particularly twisted and creepy experience, even by Criminal Minds standards. Very disturbing stuff.
As a flashback reveals him mirroring similar actions as a kid, Seaver notes that he made the effort to protect the child, and Hotch makes another breakthrough:
By cross-referencing boys who lost their mothers that with those who have recently been released from correctional facilities, now they've got their man. Greg.
Having threatened his stepmother with a knife, the stepmother had already filed complaints against Greg. Eerily, as he waits for her, he organizes things just so.
As he's cutting Kate's arms, fully intending for her to suffer, Greg blames Kate for getting him locked up, but she says his actions are to blame. Then the FBI arrives.
Greg tells Hotch that he has no demands, just revenge. Not a good negotiating position for the BAU, but Hotch manages to talk his way inside, with Seaver in tow.
As Rossi climbs in the window, Seaver tells Greg she understands what he's going through, and that he felt betrayed. This buys them enough time to save Kate.
In the aftermath, Seaver explains to Kate that gaining Greg's trust was why she said what she did. Hotch and Rossi give Seaver much-deserved kudos on her work.
Earlier, Strauss told Hotch that his team's grief assessments were incomplete because his wasn't in there. Despite his job responsibilities, he needs to fill this one.
Will he continue to hold up? The end posed a number of questions.
Strauss tells Hotch his team is functioning surprisingly well, but that the Director has some concerns. Without elaborating, Strauss says she may need Hotch's help.
While she's away for a few months, he may need to cover for her somehow. With what, and for what reason, we don't know, but we welcome your theories below!
What did you think of last night's Criminal Minds? Discuss!