Criminal Minds Review: The Other Side?

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Talk about wrapping it up quickly. Damn.

No one thought Criminal Minds would drag Rossi's personal drama with his ex-wife out indefinitely, but I could've blinked and missed that story line. At least we know how it all turns out now.

This week on "Epilogue," the buzz centered on the ever popular question, "What happens after we die?" Is it all warmth and light, like Reid says? Or something more ominous, like Prentiss felt? Whether you lean towards the Patrick Swayze Ghost route or think that the tape simply runs out, this episode gave us something to think about, that's for sure.

Joe Mantegna Promo Pic

The idea of an UnSub who prolongs his killing so that he can ask his victims what they saw is at once horrible and also terribly sad. I can't think of anything that would torment you more than wondering if you were going to face an eternity of suffering one day. It's enough to drive someone crazy, or in this case, drive you to pick off unsuspecting victims and bring them to their untimely, watery graves. Harsh, dude, harsh.

It took the BAU team's heavy collaboration with the Medical Examiner to piece together the clues that would point them to their man this week. Not that they haven't ever consulted with a coroner, but it served as a nice vehicle to help drive their thought process forward and suss out the profiling part of the story. Some have complained in the past that there hasn't been enough profiling this season, but I think they leveled it out pretty well here.

Apart from actual killings, the topic was equally weighty. I think we could open up a discussion about what people feel comes "next" (if anything) and get 10,000 different responses from 10,000 different readers. But what I'd really like to know is how everyone thought the writers dealt with the question of after life? Gimmicky and stale? Or thought-provoking and relevant?

Either way, I found it absolutely fascinating that Prentiss' experience was a negative one, while Reid's was akin to classic descriptions of heaven - and that it left his scientific mind confounded. Why do you, the Criminal Minds faithful, think they chose to split it this way? And what of Morgan's complete skepticism? Looks like someone's not buying into the hoopla.

And now for the other huge topic of the night: Rossi's ex-wife's suicide. Whoa.

When he spoke to Prentiss earlier in the episode and confided that he "didn't have much choice" in how he'd handle her request, I knew he wouldn't help her end it. But there was something about the way he said it that made it seem like there was a slight chance he'd end up honoring her wishes in the end. Or maybe that was just me. Then, when he went to see her and she was all, "it won't be long now" I was like, "HUH? Seriously?"

It's one thing to tell us he won't contribute to her demise. It's another to have her end it in under five minutes after a total of 15 minutes (give or take) of total air time since she'd been introduced on the show.

They certainly didn't waste any time tying that one off with a bow and setting it down.

We also learned what many had suspected, that Rossi had fathered a child in the past. A child named James, who had either been still born or else died of complications on the day he was born. How awful for both of them, especially as he reassured Carolyn that she would see their baby again when she passed. I can't say that I know the pain of losing a child, but I do think that perhaps this explains a lot about how Rossi's behavior of moving on and never having a family again was a result of this tragedy. Oh, the things people carry with them that we sometimes never know...

Speaking of knowing things, it looks like we'll find out next week what's been going on with JJ's family life. I hope they inject a little bit of levity (or at least some more banter) next time. This week saw very little chiding and zero Reid witty one-liners, which I rather missed. If it wasn't for Garcia's sense of humor there would have been nothing to break up the action - except for an amazing landscape that made me want to book a ticket to California. Immediately.

But regardless of whether they pepper the profiling with Reid-isms or not, I can't wait to see what lies behind JJ's closed doors at home - other than a husband with a kick ass accent. Until next week, TV Fanatics, keep it right here and remember to keep the comments coming. Get involved.

Epilogue Review

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Criminal Minds Season 7 Episode 6 Quotes

Hotch: If the dump site is doubling as his trophy collection he won't be happy it's been disturbed. He'll want to make another one quickly.
Garcia: Uh, guys, I'm afraid that's just happened. Nick Skirvin's body has just been discovered but it wasn't found in Ridge Canyon, it was found in Lake Banter, which is twenty miles away. Visual aid to follow. And, post script, you don't want to know how many hits you get if you Google this forest plus murder. To say it should be called the "Angeles National UnSub Dump Site" is an understatement.

Agent Morgan: What's really going on?
Agent Rossi: Look, it was a late night with Ringo and not enough coffee. I mean the guy's a world-class drummer, but don't think I didn't wipe the floor with him in "Rock Band."
JJ: Alright, what do you think?
Agent Prentiss: He could be telling the truth, I only played him to the easy level.
Dr. Reid: I can't tell.
Rossi: And you never will.