So kids, and what did we learn from this gruesome story?
Here's a hint: don't trust ride-sharing programs. And if you ignore that advice and use it anyway, try not to lose your head.
Criminal Minds Season 11 Episode 12 gave us the case of the frustrated moral cowboy who became the judge, jury and most importantly, executioner of all those who broke any moral code at all. The list of infractions ranged from stealing a bottle of champagne right up to cheating on one's spouse.
The mechanics of it were interesting: he still had access to the ride-sharing app, even though he was barred from using it. We're not too sure how he managed to scoop legitimate fares, but that wasn't too important anyway.
What's really interesting was the exchange between Lewis and the CEO of Zimmer, the ride-sharing app:
Bruner: Zimmer isn't responsible for the conduct of its drivers.
Lewis: And why is that?
Bruner: They're independent contractors.
Lewis: So if a driver were to kidnap me or get drunk and drive off a bridge with me sitting right next to him, you're claiming Zimmer's not responsible.
Bruner: A bit dramatic, but true. Zimmer is merely a technology platform that matches willing drivers and passengers.
"Merely a technology platform." Change the name of the app (which we won't do here, for the same reason Criminal Minds didn't), and you have an argument many of us have heard before.
Quite simply: regulations, particularly in matters between the general public and the service industry, serve an important purpose. It allows them to be accountable to clients and take responsibility if things go wrong, as they invariably will.
I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when the Criminal Minds creative team put their heads together on this episode's plot. It would have been a fascinating conversation, about a subject pulled straight from the daily news.
As for the Unsub: we've been down this road many times before, haven't we?
A guy who was abused as a child decides to revisit that abuse on others when he becomes an adult. The impetus for the abuse could be sexual, or as in this case, moral bordering on religious.
It's not a new plot, but it was deliciously gruesome.
The idea that life should be fair has been shouted from various soapboxes for a long time. It's a theme that's not likely to go away, despite the fact that no matter how hard you try, life just isn't going to accommodate.
Still, it's hard to get your head around the idea that a denial of fairness would cause anyone to go off the deep end, as our Unsub did. It's not as if his pervert teacher lopped off anyone's head, right?
You had to love the irony when Simmons jumped into the Unsub's car:
Simmons: Listen I'll pay cash and double the tip if you drive me to Dorchester. Name your price. The car I ordered is ten minutes away and I've got to get home.
Unsub: Get in.
Simmons: Man you just saved my life. You have no idea.
Scenes like this, and the guillotine scenes made this a classic Criminal Minds offering, of the kind we've grown to expect.
All in all, a well-written, well-acted episode.
- We now know that Lewis is handy around cars, and shares that bond with Rossi. Another piece to the puzzle.
- I was hoping Simmons wasn't cheating on his wife, and that he was planning some elaborate surprise for her, which the Unsub would find out about. That would have been a good little twist, as the Unsub had to figure out a way to stand down and let the guy go. Could he have done it, now that the guy knew what he looked like? It would have been interesting to explore.
- Be sure to tune in next week for Criminal Minds Season 11 Episode 13, entitled "The Bond."
- Or, if you need your fix before then, you can always watch Criminal Minds online.
Now over to you. What are you thoughts on this story? Be sure to chime in, on the comment section below!
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.