Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 10 Review: Submerged

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Some episodes are just more depressing than usual.

That was the case with Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 10, as the unsub tried to make up for a wrong choice in his youth by killing others in the present day.

Backyard Pool Homicides - Criminal Minds

A string of backyard-pool murders, coupled with theft of trinkets, in a depressed California town was bizarre, even by BAU standards.

The trigger for the unsub was the local manmade lake, which used to draw tourists to town, at least until a drought caused bodies lost in the lake to begin popping up. Nothing ruins a fishing trip like hooking a corpse.

So every time a body would pop up, a murder followed. 

It took a fourth murder which didn't follow the pattern for the squad to determine the unsub's pirate theme. And that took Reid literally phoning in the solution. (Come back, MGG! We need you!)

Then suddenly diving boards became gangplanks and pools became the ocean. Yeah, OK, I get that. Once you get inside a diseased mind, it's easier to follow what he's thinking.

Dangerous Waters - Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 10

But the BAU would still be trying to identify the unsub, Jess Carney, if the fugitive Casey Peters hadn't come back to town, looking for his son.

Peters, himself on the run from Treasury agents, lost track on his 13-year-old son Leland when the boy ran away after the Peters' property was seized by eminent domain to build the manmade lake.

Once the team learned about Leland's enjoyment of pirate fantasies, it was a short leap to making him the unsub. But there was no sign of Leland over the past 20 years. 

Then it was a quick pivot to Leland's friends, and it was another Garcia-saves-the-day episode, as she tracked down Carney and his spotty record. 

So it all came down to the guilt of one man-child unable to forgive himself for his friend's accidental death decades earlier. Carney was commemorating those who died in the lake with more deaths. What a wonderful tribute!

Unusual Unsub - Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 10

Carney made a new friend in young Timmy, and he seemed to think he was doing Timmy a favor to allow him to drown as Leland did.

It was nice that Timmy befriended the oddball that lived by the lake. But he has now learned the valuable lesson that sometimes a weirdo can be a dangerous weirdo.

Fortunately, Prentiss sent Simmons to the boathouse in time to rescue Timmy from drowning, about the only scene resembling action.

The conclusion was a little anti-climactic when Rossi announced that, well, Carney killed himself so he could be with Leland. No chase, no death scene, just, "It's over."

Carney did what he could have done at any time without leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. Instead, many others had to suffer for his guilt.

Also, Peters, admittedly no angel, found out that his son had been dead all along, and once he had closure, he got sent away to pay for his crimes.

Hometown Sheriff - Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 10

I felt worst for Sheriff Clifford. His high-school sweetheart died in the town's main attraction, and now the town that he dedicated his life to was drying up. But hey, at least it finally rained.

When a little rain is the highlight of an episode, that's problematic.

It's not a good thing when I have to struggle to remember which BAU members were present. Simmons saved Timmy from drowning, and an offscreen Reid put the team on the right track. Of course, Garcia was there with her magic network.

Beyond that, no one made an impression this time out. Rather than sad, lonely unsubs, it's time to rachet up the freak quotient once again. With no overarching storyline this season, it's been pure procedural, all the time.

I'd settle for a spotlight episode once in a while so we can get some character development. It's time to stop the drifting.

SPOILER ALERT: The good news is that Reid will be back on Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 11 when the team investigates the world of secrets in a small Virginia town, following a home invasion and attempted homicide of the police chief's wife.

Here's another thought: Are we done already with Reid's recovery from his harrowing stay in prison? I remember it being touched on early in the season, then bupkis.

To try to find the thread of this season, watch Criminal Minds online.

What did you think of the unsub? Did you feel sorrier for him or his victims, or for Lou Diamond Phillips? Did it leave you yearning for Pirates of the Caribbean...any of them? Comment below.

Submerged Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (25 Votes)

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

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Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 10 Quotes

You want to hear my idea about closure? Let the dead rest in peace.

Sheriff Clifford [to Rossi]

If this is arrested development, something arrested it.