Thus far in Criminal Minds Season 10, we've seen a change-up in the cast (welcome, Kate Callahan!), along with the break-up of Beth and Hotch.
In addition, Rossi has discovered a new family member (or rather, she found him), and we've learned that there are possibly a few new love interests for him and Hotch on the horizon.
Let's review the show and find out what worked and what might be lacking in this first part of the season, shall we?
Best episode: The show that packed the biggest emotional punch was Criminal Minds Season 10 Episode 9. This was the one in which a woman named Joy stalked Rossi for a few weeks before finally revealing that she was his daughter. Although at first he didn't believe her, Rossi eventually accepted her story – and then learned he also had a grandson named Ky.
The brilliant performance by Joe Mantegna pretty much nailed the moment near the end of the episode when in tears he asked if he could accompany her back to her home so that he could get to know them better. Her response was perfect: Yeah, yeah. I'd like that. Dad.
Worst episode: The honor goes to Criminal Minds Season 10 Episode 5. This one features a religious bigot who had an annual habit of kidnapping a wayward kid on Halloween, then imprisoning him in a pit in his yard, where he kept him until the following Halloween. Ostensibly, this was done to punish him for his misdeeds. Like TPing houses, for example.
What made it bad was the fact that the unsub's behavior was a result of the abuse his own father had done to him when he was young. In effect, he was only perpetuating that behavior. The case made for an unrelentingly depressing show. The fact that it spoke a truth about child abuse only made the show that much more grim.
Where We Root For The Bad Guy: Criminal Minds Season 10 Episode 8 gave us the very dark tale of a pair of unsubs who kidnapped their (sexual) abuser and eventually killed him. Normally, the tendency is to hope the bad guy gets caught before he can murder his victim. In this case (and with the caveat that vigilantism is never an approved method for justice) we couldn’t help appreciating their actions.
Most Unusual Episode: Criminal Minds Season 10 Episode 3 began with the downing of a jetliner. The scene of the passengers complaining about mundane things like the lack of WiFi juxtaposed brilliantly with the horror of discovering they were about to die in a crash.
From there, the show took us through a true procedural exercise as the BAU examined the crash scene for clues. They ended up with only a very few to start, and had to built the case piece by painstaking piece.
As well, viewers were treated to an education on the structure of an airplane, courtesy of Reid, in which we learned only too well the fragility of the fuselage.
Award in Casting Excellence: This one goes to whoever hired Jennifer Love Hewitt as Kate Callahan. Kate has come in with a well-grounded back story as a seasoned FBI agent who has to switch her methodology from months-long undercover investigative work to the more urgent BAU types of case work.
So far this year she has established herself well with the team, often trading quips with Rossi and Reid. And Garcia loves her to death. She seems to be an excellent replacement for Jeanne Tripplehorn's Dr. Alex Blake – who departed the series in Criminal Minds Season 9 Episode 24.
Hope for 2015: We know that Beth and Hotch have split. Criminal Minds Season 10 Episode 10 introduced us to her possible replacement in Audrey Hansen – a highly intuitive woman who rightly guessed that he and Rossi work for the FBI.
This happened when Hotch acted as Rossi's wingman when the latter wanted to go to a jazz bar. He had his eye on Celine Justin – a jazz singer at the bar.
The hope here is that we get to see the four of them together again.
Overall Grade: B+.
What midseason grade would you give Season 10?
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.