Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 12 Review: Bad Moon on the Rise

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Aah oooh, werewolves of Central Park.

Okay, there was only one werewolf stalking victims on Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 12. And, when you come right down to it, he was just a sad, lonely man who couldn't adjust to the turn his life had taken.

In other words, Mitchell McCord was as much a victim as an unsub. Life dealt him a lousy hand. The man had lost everything.

Murder in New York - Criminal Minds

Obviously, the history of Criminal Minds is filled with more heinous, diabolical unsubs, killing for a less noble cause than protecting a family.

Still, that isn't to say Mitch wasn't batshit crazy. I mean, who creates wolf teeth (a spectacularly bad use of his dental-technician training) and then attacks and kills those he sees as miscreants? How was a woman walking her dog a threat to anybody, as long as she scoops? Or a fat jogger?

Adele blamed Mitch for their son's death, and left him as a result, starting a new life with another man. That set off Mitch.

Mitch could have opted to see a psychiatrist about his feelings of inadequacy for failing to keep his family safe. But frankly, as logical as that path may be, it wouldn't have been a grabber of a storyline. Other than Tony Soprano and Dr. Jennifer Melfi, has any session made for lasting drama?

So instead he was mild dental tech by day, feral vigilante by night. Yeah, I could see why a nut-job killing people in Central Park would result in lousy optics for municipal officials.

Out went a call to the BAU, after only two murders. Thank God they ruled out escaped zoo animals or wild dogs fairly early on.

Checking In - Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 12

Oh, sweet nod to Kojak with the local contact, Captain Martin Savalas, although he more closely resembled the newer Ving Rhames version than the iconic Telly (we still love ya, baby!)

With a straight face, the BAU had to tell the NYC cops they were hunting an unsub who thinks he's a werewolf. That naturally drew many a smirk from the assembled officers. After all, their budget doesn't allow for silver bullets.

Why MItch adopted the whole werewolf motif, I truly don't understand, other than for dramatic effect.

There are handguns available, both legal and illegal, all over the Big Apple. That most famous of vigilantes, Charles Bronson, used a .32 caliber Colt revolver in Death Wish. He didn't need no stinkin' metal teeth.

Rather quickly, the team had Garcia Googling "family tragedy" and "Central Park," after realizing the landmark had deep meaning for the unsub, and not in a good way. Mitch was determined to prove his manhood and make Central Park great again.

Becoming Informed - Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 12

At least Alves was able to coach Adele through saying the right things to get Mitch to surrender after only five deaths. If it hadn't been for the ubiquitous passerby calling in a tip, who knows what would have happened? It's a big city in which it's easy to disappear.

I felt terrible for all that Mitch had gone through, but get help, man!

Hey, we also got a bit of an Alvez spotlight, after only a season and a half.

His former partner, Phil Brooks, did him a serious solid by setting him up on a blind date with his doctor, Lisa Douglas. Finally, Alvez gets to do more outside the office than rush home to everyone's favorite dog Roxie.

Lisa was played by Daniella Alonso (the late, lamented Revolution), who has guest starred on the two CBS Wednesday dramas in consecutive weeks, after appearing on SEAL Team Season 1 Episode 11 last week. I'm guessing that Lisa is going to be a recurring character.

Reviewing Evidence - Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 12

Even Garcia didn't manage to derail the relationship, although her rambling soliloquy upon meeting seemed to have thrown Lisa for a loop. They almost broke up over the misunderstanding of who Roxie was. 

Then Alvez, accustomed to being a lone wolf, gushes like a schoolgirl to family man Simmons about this woman he's met, who isn't calling him back.

Fortunately, the confusion got cleared up, and they were out on date No. 2 by episode's end. As slowly as storylines get continued on this series, I'm not expecting date No. 3 this season.

Beyond Alvez, the other standout was surprisingly Lewis, who delivered some solid deductive reasoning. Reid came through with his trademark minutia, and Garcia her comic relief, but the rest of the cast was primarily wallpaper.

SPOILER ALERT: The good news is another new episode next week. On Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 13, the BAU doesn't need to go "wheels up," as there's a series of D.C. murders with cryptic messages left in the victims' mouths. Cryptic messages are coming out of Washington, now there's something new.

To follow Alves' character development, watch Criminal Minds online.

How much sympathy did you have for the unsub? Should Alvez be allowed a personal life? Which character next needs to get a little love? Comment below.

Bad Moon on the Rise Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (9 Votes)

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

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Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 12 Quotes

Wild beast or human, either way, wheels up in 20.

Prentiss

[About Garcia] There's a very colorful girl who's trying to get your attention.

Lisa [to Alvez]