Criminal Minds Review: Guys and Their Families

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Something great is going on with the writing team for Criminal Minds. Lately, their stories have been consistently realistic.

Criminal Minds Season 9 Episode 13 features arcs involving families and fathers.

The first centered on the estranged family of Rossi's old army buddy.

Rossi's trip to L.A. to visit Harrison Scott (who we last saw in Criminal Minds Season 8 Episode 7) allowed us more of a glimpse into his pal's story, into why until now he's been alone and distant from his son. 

Seems that Rossi will forever be the guy who works hard to help the underdog. Never say die, I suppose. Which in this case proved accurate, as his friend was planning a slow suicide, until Rossi came along.

I was glad to see that his trip to Harrison's son's house didn't result in an immediate reconciliation between the two. That wouldn't have rang true: people generally don't forgive quite so quickly or easily. 

I was pleasantly surprised when the family came up the walk to greet Harrison at New Directions. 

The second story - and the BAU's case of the week - was about a broken man who had suffered the loss of his wife and son to a home invasion robbery years ago. 

Upon learning of the death of his family's killer in prison, he was just about to off himself when he saw some gang members hanging out in a park, getting up to no good. The switch was flipped and he determined that maybe he should provide some justice instead.

Unlike most episodes, the sympathy meter for the BAU was just not that strong: this Unsub was doing a lot of good - though illegal - work. The story tapped into our collective rage against the animals in society who manage to get away with so much evil.

Such as the man who severely burnt his wife and then attacked her again after she got a restraining order. Or the gang members who tried to hold up two old men in the park that were just trying to play a peaceful game of checkers. Or the meth dealers. Opportunistic bullies, the lot of them.

It wasn't so surprising that the witnesses weren't all that forthcoming with clues about the vigilante, was it? 

I hope you don't find him. Whoever he was, I hope he gets away.


Interesting that they had to have the Unsub misidentify one of his victims, resulting in his murdering of an innocent in order for us to get back on the BAU's side again. Such a sad ending to an otherwise engrossing story.

And now....JJ's been abducted. We don't know why, exactly. This is where you can weigh in on this week's poll.

Final notes:

  • This was Joe Mantegna's directorial debut for Criminal Minds. You can tell he's a seasoned pro at it, as he has directed other TV episodes and a movie before. You can also tell because this episode was polished and driven: you had no choice but to care about everyone, including the Unsub.
  • The body count for this episode was quite high. I don't know if we've seen this many folk killed before. Certainly not this many bad people anyway.
  • It's always great to see Meshach Taylor (Harrison Scott) in an episode. His acting was on target, as was his chemistry with Joe Mantegna.
  • We have to wait for two weeks to see what happened to JJ. The episode is entitled "200."

What do you think happened with JJ?

The Road Home Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (27 Votes)

Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter


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Criminal Minds Season 9 Episode 13 Quotes

Unsub: Mrs. Clark. You know who I am, don't you?
Clark: Yes.
Unsub: Then you know why I'm here.
Clark: Am I going to die tonight?
Unsub: Yes ma'am. I'm afraid you are.

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future - Paul Boese.