Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Review: "Night Hawks"

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Is it true that the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree? 

This is the base question we are presented with in "Night Hawks" as Cooper and his team tried to stop a killing spree in Tulsa.

Last week there were a few fans that scoffed at my declaration that Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior had hit its stride. To those fans I can only reply with, See! as this week's episode helped to certify the comment. 

Red Cell Team Members

Lets take a look at a few points of what made this episode so good and my statement so correct:

Leonard Keane: Even after we know that Keane has brutally killed three people, you couldn’t help but feel his pain and struggle of his wife on the verge of being evicted from the hospital and the repeated harassment. Keane was incredibly portrayed by William Sanderson who I always enjoy seeing perform. His reaction to his cat being killed and left on his porch nearly made me want to pick up a bat!

Teamwork: From the moment Cooper introduced the team to the Tulsa PD all the way through them working out who Keane was, they worked like a precision instrument. I especially enjoyed them showing off Beth’s “special power” of being able to profile Leonard from his speech and dialect on the phone call. Additional, Cooper’s retort that she had been fired before being proven right on another case did a nice job of humbling her while showing some banter between them.

Imagery: While I know this will be a bit more subjective, we can all agree having the opening scene be an interview featuring Keane that actually turned out to be about his son, but also a foreshadowing of his behavior. Then using his comment from the same interview as the closing scene of the episode provided some fantastic symmetry.   

Story: When you blend the idea of "we are our parent’s children" with the question of "are killer’s born that way or become that way?" you get a plot that is nearly tangible it has so much substance to it. Increasing the potency of this mix is having someone like Sanderson present this story to us. 

There were so many subtle layers to this episode I am planning on rewatching it this weekend.  I am pretty sure there is some additional imagery and messaging in the conversation(s) that Cooper and Keane had about darkness and looking into those dark places that I didn’t fully absorb on the first pass. If you happen to have caught it, please comment below and enlighten me in.  

Overall, this is the first episode were nothing felt out of place. The unsub was more than believable, the case was solid, and the team truly felt like a team. I really hope this is the caliber that we will see for the rest of the season. 

What did you think of this week’s episode? Sound off below. 

Night Hawks Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
  • 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (28 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Season 1 Episode 8 Quotes

Evolution is a mighty big idea for four hours' worth of carnage.


A postmortem examination made you want to call me; I find myself firmly planted betwixed, touched and skeeved out.