What an amazing and genius episode!
This was one of those jack-in-the-box surprising stories that had you thinking one thing all the way through....and then thinking something completely different when it pulled the rug out from beneath you at the end.
The chilling mother-son jail scene forces you to go back through the entire episode and re-examine everything you thought from the start.
Criminal Minds Season 10 Episode 18 started out with the disappearance of a woman.
Right away you had to wonder – as the BAU did – why they even had the case. It didn't fit the profile of the cases they usually take.
When Hotch revealed that the director wanted them to take it....and that the woman was a congressman's wife, the pieces all came together. The bigger the client, the higher the priority.
We were allowed to put our collective disgust at the politics of it aside once we met the congressman, who seemed to be a decent man who was clearly distraught.
When they brought the congressman's brother Paul in for protection, we began to get a glimmer about how interesting this case was about to get. He was clearly angry and not at all impressed with something. We just weren't sure just what was bugging him so much.
Then when he revealed that Congressman Troy had paid off Paul's mob debt in order to keep him quiet about Troy's affair with his intern, the team refocused their investigation.
That's when something odious and strong hit the fan...and we were treated to the two contrary scenes: one in which Congressman Troy denied his affair, and painted a compelling picture of a woman in distress; a stalker who constantly threatened suicide.
The other scene was the intern – Michelle – who told a story about an ambitious man who only married his wife to better his political career. Her story was that she and the congressman were in love.
The stories were so at odds with each other and yet so believable, that you had to wonder if perhaps someone on the team would have realized that one of the story tellers had to be a psychopath.
The man quite simply was a work of art. His dramatic angst over his missing wife – an act that no doubt had been carefully rehearsed – completely fooled the entire team of profilers.
I think this means that there is a personality type out there that functions as the BAU's kryptonite. A well organized psychopath can get past their radar, evidently.
I'm still flummoxed over how well the congressman acted. It almost defies belief that he actually doesn't care all that much for his wife, or that he really did have an ongoing affair with his intern.
We saw near the end that his mother was a psychopath, as well. She had no real emotions about what she had done to Sophie, and certainly no regret. Did no one on the team begin to wonder about her son?
I confess that I certainly didn't – not until the end anyway, when it became obvious that he was at least as callous as his mother if not complicit in her plan.
Then there was that scene with the BAU gathered around a television set watching the congressman as he thanked the FBI for their help. Garcia was almost in tears, and even Rossi wondered out loud if they were looking at a future President of the U.S.
The evil irony of that scene, when juxtaposed against the jail scene was just too much:
Troy: What you did to Sophie was unforgiveable.
Dinah: I'm sorry Benjie.
Troy: But it worked. Now what do I do?
When you boil it all down, the BAU was hijacked in order to better a congressman's career. Sure they had no choice as a life was at stake – but that's the bottom line, isn't it?
At least "pretty boy" Reid got something out of it, with his possible new love interest.
I like how he asked her out in Russian. I guess that was his way of backing into it, which was kind of endearing in a way. The man is so shy.
- Joshua Dov, who played the congressman's brother Paul, pretty much chewed up each scene he was in. It's a pity we didn't get to see more of him.
- Be sure to tune in on April 8 for Criminal Minds Season 10 Episode 19, which is entitled "Beyond Borders." Guest stars will include Anna Gunn and Gary Sinese.
What did you think of this episode, and in particular the startling ending? Did you see that coming at all? What are your thoughts on Reid's new love interest?
Be sure to watch Criminal Minds online and then chime in with your comments below!
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.