Once again, it was a societal indictment.
It was two brothers avenging the loss of a third brother, but in the wrong way, on Criminal Minds Season 14 Episode 7.
Oh, yeah, and Prentiss may be getting a boo.
Although the latter is the more interesting development, it isn't what the series is primarily about, so let's come back to that later.
This case was different from most because the unsubs, the Wells brothers, were making a statement that someone besides a profiler could actually grasp.
Everyone could understand "They're pissed because their brilliant younger brother died because the ambulance took too long to get to their poorer section of the city."
They set out to make the point that violence could happen to anyone in any part of the city, and the victims would need medical help. They even called 911 in advance. Granted, having two of the first four victims die really blunted their message.
Still, that was much clearer than the justifications spouted by most of their nutjob unsubs. The Wells brothers' approach was wrong, but at least their goal was to open people's eyes to socioeconomic inequality.
That certainly beat "I killed all those women because my mother treated me badly." That reasoning is just hard to get behind.
This episode was also about how Prentiss got along with others outside her team. I'd say pretty well, for those that were willing to listen and learn.
She did screw up somewhat equally, with her description of the unsubs inadvertently giving those who feared black men permission to act, with that young man shot as a result.
She was short with the DC police chief, who seemed to be more worried about optics than getting dangerous criminals off the street.
Prentiss was smart enough to keep the punished Alvez confined to the office for about a half-hour until she had need of his tracking abilities, sending him with Reid and JJ to patrol what they corrected predicted would be James's next target area.
That decision resulted in a big break on the case, as Luke was able to capture Marcus and give Prentiss an in to understand what was behind the brothers' rampage.
Even though Marcus endeavored to tell Prentiss absolutely nothing, his reactions gave her just enough for her to consider Tom's university as James's fifth target area.
Mendoza and Prentiss made a good team throughout, a generalist learning from a specialist. He knew enough to cede control to Prentiss, since tracking down serial killers was her thing.
This was a good outing for Prentiss. Although she was in touch with her team, she was largely flying on instinct, working against the killers' clock. She and the BAU were soon able to catch up with, then get ahead of, the brothers.
It was brave but foolhardy of Mendoza to exchange himself for James's student hostage. The Wellses weren't trying to kill, but they'd proven they weren't good enough at it not to accidentally kill.
I guess those Kevlar vests aren't machete proof. But Prentiss was able to keep James talking, distracting him with the news vans long enough for Mendoza to trip him and escape and then Prentiss took him down.
It was good to see at the end that there was minimal loss of life, especially for a Criminal Minds episode, where you usually need a certain body count just to get the BAU's attention. It's OK to keep the gruesome level down, so viewers won't get numb to it.
The hospital scene between Prentiss and Mendoza was enjoyable. She took the lead in inviting him out for a beer, then he went off on the painkiller-fueled list of ideas for their first date. She may have said she'd think about it, but that smile walking away told the real story.
Why have Prentiss enter into a relationship? A better question would be why not? She could certainly use a break from the intensity of her job, and Mendoza would at least understand what she's going through. It's would be something like JJ and Will, since Will can draw on his police experience.
The attacks every 27 minutes kept the tension level high since they were literally racing the clock this time. Also, the attacks were being carried out by the brothers, who were more victims in pain than cold-blooded killers.
To check out Prentiss as leader, watch Criminal Minds online.
What did you think of the brothers as unsubs? Does Prentiss play well with others? Should Alvez have served more punishment?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.