Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 17 Review: In the Dark

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It's hard to feel sorry for someone who killed close to 10 people.

But I ended up feeling sympathetic for the unsub on Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 17.

Keeping Reid Safe - Criminal Minds

Trey Gordon was himself a victim.

First, his father neglected him to the point where he was molested as a young boy. That left him with several mental conditions with which to deal.

Then the medical establishment failed him as well. He ended up with a drawer full of pills but still no peace of mind. No one would take his call when he realized what he had become, leaving him screaming in frustration.

That's why he was killing night and day, to get out his rage which started right after his father died.

There was a great opening scene when a hunter lining up a shot at Bambi was shot. It was kind of poetic justice.

But it was a really weird setup, with seemingly two unsubs killing by different methods in a small city such as Burlington, VT. 

Death by cheese, maple syrup, cannabis or high-end ice cream, sure. But shooting and stabbing, not so much.

My money was on a pair of unsubs, working together.

But the sets of victims didn't really add up. Shooting drunks and bullies, stabbing yuppies. Maybe both groups were deserving, but still.

I never did get why Trey, the unsub, got more precise at stabbing. Practice? it wasn't like he was any more alert as time passed. All the evidence he left proved just the opposite.

Also, I was fuzzy on why Trey's DNA wasn't in the system, and the team had to use a process of elimination to identify him. He was definitely a victim previously, but I guess he never did anything to get arrested before this.

It was good to see Lewis finally contributing something, as she was the one who picked up on a pattern that seemed to break the case. Maybe she'll get an additional scene in a future episode.

Double Unsubs - Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 17

I'm guessing that the lack of sustained sleep was what finally caught up with Trey when he messed up one stabbing and left his target alive.

Usually I get a feeling of satisfaction when the BAU takes the unsub into custody. Most deserve what they get.

But not this time. Trey fell through the cracks, and both he and his victims ended up paying the price for it. Even as he was being arrested, Trey was asking for help, not forgiveness.

It was a good week for the newbie.

Alvez finally proved he belongs.

In his prison visit, Alvez was derided by Shaw as being the slow one on the BAU.

That's fair to a certain extent. Going from the military to FBI's fugitive squad wasn't a difficult transition. But going to the BAU is a jump to the big leagues.

But his analysis of Shaw shows that he's been learning from the stellar profilers around him. It was he who determined why Shaw finally turned himself in and that his reason for killing his C.I. wasn't as noble as previously suggested. 

He also effectively put the screws to Shaw in order to keep Reid safe, which nobody else had been able to do through legal channels.

Upset Associate - Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 17

Also, he and Garcia finally reached a rapprochement. They're never going to coo at each other like she did with Morgan, but it seems like a better working relationship has been established.

That is good because he'd done nothing to deserve the abuse she had been dishing out. It's not his fault Morgan left (at least until the season finale).

Check and Mate - Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 17

Now back to poor Reid at the state pen.

So he's gotten beaten up, but doesn't want to cause any waves about it.

And he still felt a need to protect Luis, his buddy from the prison bus. 

That is an automatic weakness and probably led to Luis's graphic demise.

Alvez managed to get Reid protection from Shaw, but Reid better not make any more friends/targets while inside.

Now Reid is being pressured to run contraband for the mean prisoners. (I've failed to catch names. I think they just have numbers.)

And how useless has the super-lawyer Prentiss got for Reid been? "The justice system runs slowly" just isn't an acceptable explanation. Apparently she has no connections. Pull some strings, woman. At least figure out why Reid ended up in GenPop.

From the previews, it looks like Reid may be turning on his protector. It's already been proven that Shaw isn't the innocent he originally seemed to be. So what's his angle with Reid? Will Reid use that big brain to get on top of things inside?

And when are we going to get an update on his mom? His being imprisoned can't be helping her state of mind.

To follow Reid's travails, watch Criminal Minds online.

Did you feel sorry for Trey? Are you annoyed about how long Reid's imprisonment is being dragged out? Do you think more of Alvez now? Comment below.

In the Dark Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (51 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

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Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 17 Quotes

Life, of course, never gets anyone's entire attention. Death always remains interesting. -- Janet Malcolm


Alvez: We will keep Reid safe. We will find a way to get him through this.
Garcia: That's what I told him. But he looked at me like he didn't believe it.