Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 19 Review: True North

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At last, a little progress for Reid (emphasis on little).

Also, a case of the week featuring an unsub that was kinda the anti-Reid on Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 19.

Tied To a Stake - Criminal Minds

First, we were subjected to Reid's zombie-like wandering through prison life, as he's haunted by Rossi's positive words from Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 18.

Look, we get it. Prison is bad for the innocent, and especially for a sensitive soul such as Reid. So put a stake in this storyline already.

But I digress.

Lunch Break - Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 19

Next came a bit of foofaraw that got the whole BAU excited. Mr. Scratch had been recently spotted in Honduras. That meant he's on the same subcontinent on which Reid's life took a turn for the worse.

Surely that coincidental fact, tied to Reid's spotty, drug-addled recollections, was enough ratchet up an FBI manhunt for Scratch.

Not really. Scratch doesn't seem to be anybody's priority.

An Important Call - Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 19

So Prentiss sent off Lewis to do another cognitive evaluation on Reid, with the hope that something significant might shake out. And for some reason that I never caught, Prentiss jetted off to London, to see a guy who knew a guy. I'm a little fuzzy on that tangent.

Lewis, under the guise of being a real doctor, kept taking Reid on trips down memory lane. These led to a lot of dead ends, especially the one where Reid thinks he actually stabbed Rose. 

But finally, a breakthrough! The person who dosed him and probably killed Rose (that part's still really fuzzy) was a woman. 

Good. That narrows it down to a majority of the population.

And now we wait some more. Yea!

With three agents tied up on Reid's case, the rest piled onto the Crazy Plane and headed to Arizona.

Kind of a head-scratcher of a case this episode, with smart kids getting electrically shocked and posted on stakes to roast in the Arizona sun.

It's hard to work up much sympathy for Ben, the underachieving unsub.

No, I take that back. His mother Virginia was a piece of work and was very abusive to him. I didn't wonder for long why Ben's father had run off. Why she was that way was never really made clear.

Ben was your stereotypical momma's boy. He meant well, but his mouth was writing checks that his abilities and drive just couldn't cash. No wonder Virginia wasn't more maternal.

Still, Ben was definitely stuck in the past. He missed out on a scholarship and a path away from Virginia when he failed to win a science fair four years earlier.

So work some menial jobs and take some night classes. Or develop your kinder, gentler shock collar in your garage.

Crucifying students as they triumphantly return home just wasn't a real productive solution to his quandary.

Building a flux-capacitor car to go back in time would have been a more practical way to change the past than kidnapping the judge who voted against him.

And frankly, sun dials are a sexier science-fair project than shock collars. Alarm bells about Ben should have started ringing earlier.

It was yet another Garcia-saves-the-day episode, as uncovering Joey's scholarship led to how he won the scholarship, which resulted in the event when Ben's future ended.

What those other three people did to deserve killing beyond being smart and resourceful is beyond me. Once again, chalk it up to the unsub being nuts.

A Cautious Approach - Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 19

This led to another too-quick wrap up. Sly JJ tripped the circuit breaker so that Ben couldn't fry himself, although frankly that would have been poetic justice in this case.

Then it was quickly back to Reid's revelation.

Now it's time for an encore presentation (doesn't that sound so much classier than rerun?) on April 12. Then hopefully it's a pretty straight run until Morgan's triumphant return for the Criminal Minds Season 12 finale on May 10.

If you want to try to make sense of the Reid storyline, watch Criminal Minds online.

Who's the mystery woman in Reid's flashback? Did the case of the week feel like filler in between Reid scenes? Will Scratch ever be a priority? Comment below.

True North Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (25 Votes)

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

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Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 19 Quotes

'Is it progress if a cannibal uses a fork?' -- Stanislaw Jerzy Lec


Prentiss: You are a doctor, right?
Lewis: I earned a doctorate, right.