Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 5 Review: Ghost

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Many times, things aren't what they seem to be.

That was certainly the case on Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 5.

What appeared to be a copycat serial killing took a bizarre turn in which two agents were targeted for their actions before they even became members of the BAU.

A Copycat - Criminal Minds

So instead of the return of an old Criminal Minds killer, it featured an unsub that most of the squad didn't even know existed.

With so few episodes this final season, does that represent a missed opportunity, injecting a new villain rather than bringing back an old favorite?

Copycat Uncovered - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 5

When it's this well done, I don't think so. This season doesn't have to be just the greatest hits. There's room for new songs as well.

In this case (double meaning intentional), the BAU's little Band of Brothers were in the spotlight.

Yes, with such a large cast, it's hard to highlight every character in a given season or even over the length of his or her time on a series.

Of the current team, Tara Lewis has suffered the most in this regard. But Luke Alvez would have to be a close second.

Even Matt Simmons, the most recent addition after CBS mishandled then canceled Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, has enjoyed more character development.

Finding the Angle - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 5

Pairing Luke and Matt, the two ex-military men and, let's face it, the BAU's muscle, just made sense, as they could discuss their common experiences as the squad's newbies.

Also, in Matt, Luke sees the kind of normal life to which he inwardly aspires.

Of course, watching Matt school Luke on the basketball court also spotlighted the differences in their ages. Having the two of them together in their off-hours foreshadowed what was to come.

Prentiss pairing them in the field also yielded a key breakthrough, when they discovered that there were two shooters working from close range, not just one sniper. This tossed the existing copycat profile out the window.

Up until that point, the episode had had a "been there, done that" quality to it. There have been way too many copycat/disciple/second-generation killers on Criminal Minds over its 15-year run.

Comparing Notes - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 5

That's what made the twist work so well, like a trick play in a football game. The unexpected is always exciting.

It was enjoyable to see Anthony Denison return in another cop role. He had played Chief Wayne Weigert befor,e after his long run as Lt. Andy Flynn on first The Closer and then Major Crimes on TNT.

Wiegert seemed so vanilla for Denison after all those years as the colorful Flynn.

But such is generally the nature of local law enforcement on Criminal Minds. It's "Thanks for coming to save us from something that's so far outside our comfort zone." Generalist versus specialist, in other words.

The first sign that something was amiss came when the heavily armed gang was shown preparing to leave the warehouse.

Planning the Next Step - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 5

Then, once Alvez and Simmons had been grabbed in the ambush, it became clear that the BAU had gotten suckered into a trap.

That meant a race against time to find them before their captors could do whatever they had planned with the pair.

Lewis was injured but still made J.J. do a cognitive eval on her to find out what she may have forgotten. Her rough sketch of one of the attackers' tattoo ended up playing a big role in the successful rescue.

Next, Garcia, as always, found the evidence that set the team on the right track, unearthing Louis Chaycon, who Simmons had chased and Alvez had caught nearly a decade earlier.

Chaycon had happened long enough ago that it took both Alvez and Simmons some time to recognize him, much to his disgust.

Survivor Guilt - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 5

Vincent Ventresca, memorable for the late, lamented Invisible Man on SyFy (however it was spelled back then), was chilling as Chaycon. He blamed the two agents for the death of his brother, imprisoned for harboring Chaycon (which makes him responsible, right?).

After watching his brother being beaten to death in prison, Chaycon tortured the two agents before their planned death later that night. Whatever deal he had in the works seemed to put a clock on his agenda.

However, Garcia had enough time to track the tattoo to a biker gang. This enabled Rossi to lean on an undercover agent inside a rival gang to cough up a possible hideout for those who had taken Luke and Matt.

Alvez and Simmons made the right move by cooking up dissent in the ranks, as Matt told Chaycon that his brother was snitching him out because he was afraid of a gang member named Flea. Chaycon promptly shot Fleabag but the seed of doubt had been planted.

Finally, they were able to flip free of their bonds and were gaining the upper hand on their captors. Then Rossi and the cavalry arrived just in time, right as Simmons was about to be gunned down.

No Way to Track - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 5

In the touching ending, Luke and Matt discussed the philosophies they had learned during their military service. It was a fitting finish for an episode about brotherhood, or family as Reid put it.

To follow the developments of Alvez and Simmons, watch Criminal Minds online.

Were you surprised by the twist in the plot?

Did you feel either Luke or Matt were in danger?

Did you enjoy having a new rather than a recycled unsub?

Comment below.

Ghost Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (54 Votes)

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

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Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 5 Quotes

We've taken to calling SImmons the Bus Drive because he took you to school.

Lewis [to Alvez]

In some ways the kids manage to keep me young.

Simmons [to Alvez]