sawyl: (A self portrait)
Having rushed through season ten of Criminal Minds ahead of going away, my feelings are rather mixed. Although it's definitely not as good as it used be in its glory days, Jennifer Love Hewitt proves a solid addition, while the better episodes stand comparison with the best of anything that has gone before.

Of the episodes the best is by far and away Mr Scratch, directed by Matthew Gray Gubler — responsible for some of the most disturbing episodes of previous seasons. The story concerns an unsub who seems to be able twist his victims into murdering their nearest and dearest, culminating in a nasty moment where Hotch rushes in, alone and without backup, only to find himself in the clutches of the manipulative mastermind behind the whole thing. Although everyone appears to come through the experience, the ending is ambiguous enough to leave unpleasantly lingering doubts.

Lockdown, an investigation into a series of murders in a private prison, is also rather good. Locked in, with limited connectivity to the outside world, and CCTV that never seems to show anything useful, the episode has a claustrophobic feel that emphasises the team's isolation and vulnerability. Honourable mentions also go to Breath Play and Rock Creek Park, both of which are pretty solid.

Special mention goes to Nelson's Sparrow, which finally rounds out Jason Gideon's story. I very much liked the attention to detail — Reid's car matching the one he used at the start of season three, for example — and I thought Ben Savage did a superb job as Jason in the flashback sequences — he'd obviously picked up on Mandy Patinkin's mannerisms but without turning them into a parody.
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OK, where were we? 6x18 Lauren, I think, and Emily Prentise's dark past. Nice jump back to Boston 8 years ago. I love the way Doyle introduces himself. Lauren infodumps. And speaks French. Badly, I'm assured. Aliterative cover names. Surely a giveaway? Dr Memory strikes. Prentise leaves her desk unlocked? Very sloppy. "She knows all of our tricks. We don't know any of hers." Morgan has spent the last 5 years asleep. JJ! Fahey the Weasel. Elizabeth Bear quote for the open: "The secret to getting away with lying is believing with all your heart. That goes for lying to yourself even more so than lying to another" Squee!

Ramblings... )
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Storm warning. Man speaking Italian. A quiet house. A woman getting ready for a party. Prentiss on the metro. Spilt flowers. A flash of faces. Execution-style murders. Are the scarves a sign? Emily warns up her French. She wants to protect the BAU from catching Doyle's attention. (Kirsten Vangsness sounds very coldy) Two houses, two fires. It seems the man and the woman weren't husband and wife. Or at least each others'. Murder/suicide? Someone has been sitting on the oress. Prentiss is tardy. Garcey teases Em about a boyfriend and Em, uncharacteristically, snaps back.

The Italian guy was paranoid: heavy duty doors, a big gun, hardwired sprinklers. No signs of household stress. The ME spots the key detail: everyone was dead before the fire started. Reid tells Prentiss about his migraines — there's something very sweet about the way that he knows Prentiss will respect his autonomy — but Prentiss don't break her own confidence. A common link: a Britisher. Those child masks are really rather creepy. I hope Morgan has car insurance. I love how cool the bad guys are under pressure: the way they mosey; the way they casually execute the guy Emily winged. "A kid with an assault weapon isn't just a kid any more" Is Morgan thinking of Jeremy in Safe Haven? The victim's house was a fortress. But he still decided to running. Someone tipped him the wink. Prentiss' slight flinch one someone mentions the leader is a nice touch: she's starting suspect who might be behind it.

Garcia's social engineering skills are l33t. Plus that purple lipstick? Also l33t. "Follow the money!" Clearwater Securities: the common link. Clear and unequivocal proof. An allegorical nightmare: Emily is the child and she knows what's coming. But is the dream a blind so Garcia doesn't realise she's saying goodbye? I love the way the profilers take the CWS guys to pieces. What happens in the SCIF stays in the SCIF. The tattoo: the symbol of Valhalla, the leader of a breakaway IRA section. Also known as Ian Doyle. Plainchant. "Was Doyle on your radar when you were at Interpol?" And Emily lies. "Take Prentiss with you. She might have some insight" Does Hotch suspect something? Derek profiles Emily: "You really need to trust people" Projecting much? "Profile me again and you'll wish you hadn't!" Which could be playful or it could a foreshadowy warning: don't profile me because there's bad stuff to be found.

The dead CWS people were responsible for transporting Doyle to a prison in North Korea. The arrest was in Tuscany and Seaver has the skinny: names and, maybe, photos. The net closes. Clyde is shifty and evasive, so it's time for Tsia to run. Prentiss lists of Doyle's possible contacts. I love Garcia's is enthusiasm about the whole taskforce thing. And Prentiss, the Woman Who Doesn't Blink, blinks. "Did you pull a whiskey pete?" "I don't know what that means but if it involves getting vomit on your boots, then yeah I'm guilty..." That's a nice foyer. A ring. Which she kept. So Doyle was more than just a mission. One last look around, fixing faces firmly in mind, before it's time to edge out of the profile and go on the run.

CM6: Coda

Feb. 8th, 2012 07:20 pm
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Minimalism. Kid going about his day: eating; cleaning his teeth; playing the piano. Hotch with Jack; Reid on the way to work; Seaver studying. Bass line. Flash of a gun in the background and the kid is sprayed with blood. Prentiss in Alias mode: anonymous phone conversations in public spaces. Banter: Prentiss knows them; they're friends from her Interpol days. "I don't trust anyone anymore" Sammy Sparks, the blood spattered kid, is the only witness to his parents kidnapping but he's also autistic and has trouble communicating.

Reid is a Whovian! "I'm really sorry." "For what?" "Asking!" Poor Spencer. Garcia has cat ears! UNSUB is on a mission: not theft but extortion. He's someone they knew. Flashbulb memory. "Some autistic children don't handle touch well" Rossi with the obvious. Time to crack the mystery of the drawings. Hotch has awesome pattern recognition skills. The parents spent a lot to accomodate their son. Routine: it makes you an easier target. "A loan around here is like winning the lottery" Even the bank is short of ready cash. Table covered takeout boxes. Garcia on skype eating takeout in Virginia is a nice touch.

The UNSUB wants a specific amount. He's trying to put his family back together. Drawings. Air-playing. "Can we get a keyboard in here?" Yur, because no copshop is ever without a piano. Abductee has agency! Also ouch. "You made me do that!" No, she didn't. "Why didn't you just ask us for the money?" Allie is still trying to be understanding and suddenly it's all gone south. Morgan spots a key detail: the UNSUB is a fisherman. Meanwhile, elsewhere, Em's old buddies are hot on Ian Doyle's trail.

More minimalism. Reid and Sammy duet. Garcia, Em and Seaver play Guess Who. Aunt Lizzie finds herself in Sammy's flip book: "I always assumed he'd never know who I was" Rossi with wise advice: "He was afraid... Learning his child isn't going to have it as easy as he did" "You sound like you talk from experience" So does Rossi have a kid or is he thinking of his father? Rossi cracks the case. Reid wearing his watch over his cardigan? Drink! The music cracks the case and Garcia has an address. Finally, the UNSUB shows his true psychopathic colours. Despite the survival rate I'm not sure this can be counted as a win. The final scene with the bodybag is too painful for that.

As we opened so shall we close, with the profilers going about their routines. Garcia and Morgan having a movie night. Hotch looking in a sleeping Jack. Rossi and Seaver putting in some time on the Xbox. Reid carrying home a new keyboard. And Emily? Drinking coffee with her arch-nemesis. Who seems to know exactly what the rest of the team are doing. "You took the only thing that mattered to me. So I'm going to take the only thing that matters to you: your life. Honoré de Balzac once said 'Most people of action are inclined to fatalism and most of thought believe in providence.' Tell me. Emily. Prentiss. Which do you think you're going to be?" Yikes.
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"Tsia, it's Emily..." A friend from the files in Emily's safe. "Lauren Reynolds is dead." You just had so say that in front of Doctor Memory, didn't you? Garcia is blonde again. A disappearance. Molly Grandin. With links to a previous case where a woman was tortured for three days and then drowned. "Its hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head." Prentiss gets Seaver to handle the lead-in. The women have similar backgrounds: students, blue collar, shy, physically similar. A romantic weekend? COTW has just pulled in Molly's punchy ex. "I would never hurt..." Oh, but you would and did. "He was arrested but never formally charged with assault"

Reid knows way too much about dumping bodies. "Sounds like a classic water burial" The UNSUB is female. Which goes to explain the lipstick covered coffee cup in Molly's spare bedroom. It's back to square one. The UNSUB gets a name: Jane. Well that motivational skit didn't quite work, did it? "I call this a humility check" Oooh, Misery! "Saying you're happy isn't the same as being happy" She weighs her bowel movements!?! Seaver is completely unphased. Another family in denial: nice dynamic between the brother, who wants to tell it like it is, and the mother who glosses everything. Both Gail and Molly pulled themselves together in the months before their disappearances. Shank! Reid has read 22 self-help books. Cue evisceration. So that's what the UNSUB was doing: he mentoring her victims, but she doesn't want her program to end. "She's the motivational speaker from hell!" Prentiss is appalled.

"It's hard to learn anything when you always need to be the expert" Bingo! Pa Grandin spills the beans about Molly's treatment for anorexia; Rossi's disappointment is a thing of beauty. Syracuse General is a common point of contact. "Where are you on your positivity spectrum?" The UNSUB isn't impressed with Molly's attitude towards her ex. "He's gone" Bad news from Tsia. This is why you never run a predictable route. Garcia cracks the case: the UNSUB is a creepy stalker woman. Ex is a Rush fan? Why am I not surprised. "God you're stupid!" Yes, he is, isn't he? OK, a sex tape is not a good way to break it to someone that their boyfriend is a nasty. Jinkies! A match: Jane Gould.

Transformative moment: Molly realises that the only way is up from here on. Time for Lyle to practice a spot of the old ultraviolence. Agency! "Loss of parental figures at such a young age turns your world upside down" Seaver speaks from experience. It's a nice lake, but it's right next to the main road. Molly helps to save her own life. Even after everything, Jane is still delusional. A touching family reunion: definitely a win. A mysterious text and a sinister arrival: Emily's past is getting closer and closer to her.
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Los Angeles. Misanthropic taxi driver sounding off. A fare. A flash of cornfields. "It must be my lucky night" Oh don't say that. At home with Prentiss: her dark past locked up in the safe. Em has a cat! Called Sergio! <3 A surprise An open window. Call to the cat sitter: a white lie about the trip, reassurance about the window, and a brunch date. Just how you'd expect standoffish!Emily to run her life. An anonymous phone call. Paranoia: perfume bottles on the windows; a table and vase in front of the door; a night spent watching for possible intruders.

Prentiss is tardy. And grumpy. Reid's social skills are offline. Abductions and murders. Different victimologies and dump sites. All drowned in methanol. Intriguing. Hey UNSUB? You've forgotten to connect your condenser to a water supply. He's collecting scents? Infodump on methanol. "It's essentially the chemical used to separate other chemicals from each other" Because the word solvent is way to confusing. What's with the skin patch taken from the foot? It's all about smell? Wow but that passenger is obnoxious. "Maybe the soaking serves a purpose" He's extracting something. Chloroform: very old school. Hotch realises its a cab.

Garcia is on form: "Taxis are tracked more than Gaga's twitter" Poor Spence: he needs Rossi to explain pop culture to him. Meanwhile back at Mad Science Central, we're in serious breach of H&S regulations. "I think this guy's a scientist and he's experimenting" Reid cracks the case. Nudity hidden by convenient bits of furniture: didn't Austin Powers do this trope to death? I begin to see why this guy is a taxi driver and not a chemistry post-doc. Profile: he's a grumpy taxi driver. "Combinations are my life's forte, O tall and smart one." Obnoxious customer doesn't get any less obnoxious with more exposure.

Derek and Em practice being driver and fare. Morgan tries to get Prentiss to unload: "Derek, because I like you I am going to ask you not to do this" Prentiss cracks the victim selection method. "Distillation/extraction" Prentiss obviously wasn't a science nerd at school. Hyperosmia. Garcia with the address. Depersonalisation: the UNSUB calls them by a subject number rather than by name. Saved by the bell. Again with the coy object placement. Chase! An echo of Reflections of Desire. Ouch, that's gotta hurt. Irony by dictaphone.

Nabokov for the close: "Nothing so completely revives the past as a smell that was once associated with it" Prentiss gets a mystery parcel. Hypervigilent entry regime. Reid asks Emily to the cinema: "Did Morgan put you up to this?" "Morgan has no idea what Solaris is!" Prentiss firewalls her life, as Reid's confusion over Sergio shows. "Thank you" "For what?" "For being you." "Thanks. I don't know how to be anyone else" "Yeah. That's what I love about you" Because Emily Prentiss knows all there is to know about being someone else. The box? Contains a flower. Flashback: Em in France, doing the gardening. A raid. "I want to talk to Sean" For some reason, although Prentiss is speaking French the police seem to be Italian. Doyle, I presume. An extremely cool character: "Kill me or arrest me, but I will not lie on the ground like a dog" A flower — the same flower as in the box — left crushed into the ground. Meanwhile, back in the present, Em decides it's time to grab the kitty and run for the hills.
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Pickup truck. Cute young couple. Gas station. Argument about marriage. Chance comment from a bitter old guy. Love the woman's expression. Massacre. NBK! "I'm a little tired. I went salsa dancing last night" Emily Prentiss: the coolest person in the BAU. Garcia with a phone message and Em's attitude shifts dramatically. "Spree killers often repeat themselves" Jump from Rossi to a scene of wholesale destruction. Charmingly unflattering video camera footage. Our UNSUB couple: Ray and Syd.

Nietzsche quote for the open. Up to 14 deaths so far. "This is just foreplay" Cue lingering footage of Syd in a state of deshabille. "Till death do us part" Yeah, because there's no way this can possibly end well. The ME is way too excited by it all. Rice: they're newlyweds. Garcia tracks a trail of dead store clerks. Ray goes to an AA meeting and unloads his backstory. "Screw you and your bottle" Tim says the wrong thing. Syd gets serious with the guy who was flirting with her. Consistency: Reid's insider knowledge of twelve step programs. The thirteen step: don't get involved with someone from the support group. Al fresco profile. "We're seeing that alcohol plays a significant role in these crimes" And yet, somehow, they're sober enough to drive from crime to crime. One's a sociopath, the other's a psychopath.

Homecoming. Video footage. Ray's dad's dawning realisation. "A bit of a lush and a meanie" Garcia's take on Ray. Russian roulette. Is the father in denial or it all in Ray's head? (I love the job the makeup people have done on Syd and Ray) Morgan and Prentiss walk through the scene. Prentiss gets a Significant Text: foreshadowing for Emily's backstory? The first marital argument solved with a quick public shag. Is Sydney the psychopath? And did she kill Ray's ex? Spokane? We haven't been there since Open Season. Syd tries to seduce her father. He's found God and tries to apologies, but she isn't having any of it: it's about vengeance. But she's not so far gone that her half-sister can't bring her up short.

Morgan wings Syd. The gas station is dry. Negotiations to buy time to get the kid out. Morgan can read Ray and Syd like a book: planting doubts, predicting behaviour, driving wedges between them. And the shots hit home. Remember the death do us part thing? It's time for a dramatic Bonny and Clyde exit, the car riddled with bullets. A brief vision of happiness snatched away and we're into the aftermath. William Glasser for the close: "What happened in the past that was painful has a great deal to do with who we are today" Which neatly presages Emily's meeting with the mysterious Sean McAllister. "Ian Doyle vanished from prison" A vengeful ghost from Emily's hidden past.
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Rapid flashes of Miami. No wonder Reid is Mr Migraine — a call back to his airsickness in JJ? "You're never late" Except for that time he was at an NA meeting. Garcia makes a joke about bad fashion whilst casually displaying more cleavage than can have been imagined in Jedger's wildest dreams. The cowrie shells on the eyes and mouth are seriously creepy. Home invasion! "All of this could have been religious?" Seaver is appropriately horrified.

Mary Wollstonecraft — wrongly attributed to Mary Shelley — for the open: "No man chooses evil because it is evil. He only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks" Reid with an infodump on santería. "Sorry, just thinking" "Aren't you always?" Seaver has Reid's number. Squick: dead animals. (I hope this episode has got the AHA seal of approval) The victim's cat is gorgeous. I like the daffy geezer with a chihuahua. Incense and computers don't mix, Garcia. Plus, your coffee mug is on fire. Who is the UNSUB trying to communicate with? Reid not speed reading. Are his headaches and flashes the first signs of schizophrenia?

"I've never seen a first edition Tractatus before..." Is the Wittgenstein reference important? The professor cracks the case: it's not santería but something darker and he just happens to be writing a book on the subject. The chihuahua guy has been used for spare parts. Brief sidebar on the amoral nature of African-based syncretic religions: actions, not nature, make things right or wrong. The murderer may be making some gruesome spiritual artifact. "Outside of the human head, it all seems fairly traditional" Yikes. Time for a profile: organised but emotional when the killing starts, with a rationalised motive. Garcia is a Spark! The building from the migraine vision. Intense interview: is Reid uniquely vulnerable to Julio? It's enough to worry Hotch. Rossi, Em and Ashley find some obvious clues. Transpossession. (Hakeem Kae-Kazim is fantastically intense) Is Elian the murderer? "The guy's torturing them now" He's devolving. Julio cracks the case: "It means nothing just to put a tongue in a dish" Reid is carrying ghosts around with him.

Maybe someone's trailing Elian. Someone who's been watching all along. Media attention. "What better way to get publicity than a series of murders?" Emily Prentiss, PR guru. Seaver understands all about crappy paternal behaviour. A fridge full of hands? Reid trips a breaker and goes AWOL, leaving his ballistic vest behind. "All the victims were killed in their homes" The UNSUB really hasn't thought things through: his end game depends on being caught and Reid calls him on it. Was that a feint? Hotch doubts: he knows something is up and he probably had a good idea what it might be. A win: the abductees get to live and the bad guy gets a prison term, or possibly, serious psychiatric treatment. "I have something physically wrong with me. It's not that" Reid admits the source of his terror. Helen Keller quote for the close: "the best and most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart"
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Hotch is Sir Not Appearing in this Episode. Setup for Seaver's return. I love the way Rossi says "I'll say" in a way that clearly says "No shit" An old case. Don Sanderson, a man who claimed his family were killed in a break-in is up for parole after 25 years. Dr Strauss clearly doesn't understand the basic principles of judicial punishment. Morgan tasked to do the risk assessment. More than a slight nod to both The Fugative and, with the pictures and the surviving son, Ride the Lightning. "I have learned that behaviour does not lie" Morgan believes in Sanderson's innocence; a decision I suspect he's going to come to regret. Nice montage of Sanderson's first few hours of freedom. Seaver and Prentiss bond. Reid and Rossi gossip. Strauss, unnecessarily aggressive when she breaks the bad news about the man Sanderson has just killed.

Mandela quote for the open. COTW is judgemental. Morgan takes Sanderson into FBI custody. Everybody discusses the facts that don't fit: the unloaded gun, the opportunistic weapon, the call to 911, the CPR. Why the rush to kill Tom Whitman? Morgan seems to have picked up on the wrong part of Sanderson's ambition: he wants to convince his son of his innocence. Dump of the backstory: home invasion, Sanderson with superficial wounds, the addition of a woman later in the statement. "I can see why you fell for it" Strauss, for all her lack of manners, sees through to the heart of things. If Garcia can't find any dirt, there isn't any dirt to find. "The overkill is on Mrs Sanderson" Misogyny? Drink!

So Tommy was Sanderson's first point on the trail. "It couldn't have been random" He's had plenty of time to dig through his memories: a chance word, a memory of a delivery boy, that's how he did it. The Internets cracks the case. Morgan buys Sanderson for a second time. "This used to be a great place to live" Nicely done. "I'd been on rotation for 36 hours" Explains why the UNSUBs didn't wake him up. Flashback. "She wanted to take my son" Retail robbery: a team sport. Garcia correlates the world. "That's her!" I thought you said she was just a blur. Morgan with his action hero shtick. Prentiss wiping off the blood off her hands: the way she keeps on and on scrubbing, even while calming talking to the COTW, is a nice touch. A VHS slasher tape: how determinedly 80s. It's proof of innocence too: Sanderson flips back to his family rather than watching the murder footage. Reid and Prentiss spot an opportunity for blackmail.

"You want me to find rich and powerful men in DC? Explain to me how to narrow down this list!" Seaver is shocked that a businessman might be a psychopath. How cute! Morgan goes back to basis: a previous tenant would know about the faulty security window and might also feel jealous. He's running for congress!?! Strauss is appalled. "You don't understand what the politics are, do you Dave? You never have." "No, I do. I just don't care!" Rossi smacks down Strauss. The UNSUB is now officially a serial killer. Nice house. The profilers play the UNSUB like a violin. "I don't PANIC!" The closet psychopath revealed. Nice final scene of reconciliation in the garden: a very definite win. Galileo for the close: "All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered. The point is to discover them." Spoken like a man who's never had to try and understand quantum theory...
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Scorpion as metaphor: walls and towers can't keep you safe, something can always climb them and poison you from within. A woman at home, writing, surrounded by family photos. A murderer in the mirror. Gated community. The UNSUB is part of the community. One where everyone's a Stepford. Assault course. Blond woman who definitely isn't JJ. Ashley Seaver. I hope I'm not supposed to recognise her from another episode, because I totally don't. She has history with Rossi. And a bad childhood. Make that extremely bad.

Madeleine L'Engle quote on vulnerability for the open. "You should know that security office is particularly efficient" "Except that someone is killing people under their noses" Rossi cuts to the heart. I like Garcia's flippant remark about her relationship with Morgan. Hotch/Rossi banter reminiscent of Hotch/Gideon banter. Has Prentiss always been an SSA? Reid sucked at the Academy: "What was my issue? Marksmanship. Physical training. Obstacle course. Hogan's Alley. Y'know, pretty much everything that wasn't technically book related. They ultimately had to make an exceptions to allow me into the field!" Which explains LDSK. Charles Beauchamp, the Redmond Ripper. I like the way Rossi deflects the credit on to Hotch. (What a relieaf: it looks like Seaver's a new character and I haven't missed anything).

Muttonchops! Reid in Star Trek geek mode. "Colour coded and annotated" COTW lives in the burbclave. Vanilla profile. Nice banter between Garcia and Reid. Reid casually assumes that the FBI's DBs might be better than the rent-a-cop's. Hotch uses parental disappointment to pop the COTW's bubble. Nice contrast between goth!Emily, calm and static and dark, and the edgy, bouncy husband of the latest victim. I don't think garage door openers actually work like that. Seaver tries to pump Reid for info about her father. Body language in a group environment. I like the way Seaver's wardrobe doesn't blend with the rest of the team. Woman at home alone, creepy heavy breather staring in through windows. Seaver unpacks: at home with a serial killer. Pets are verboten. To temping, presumably. "Profiling is a process. It's about puzzle pieces. Things that don't fit until they do" Prentiss the pedagogue.

The security guy gets payback for Reid's crack about his database. Escalation. Is he devolving yet? Time to start over. "Why you gotta be in such a hurry?" "Because we're trying to catch a killer!" Prentiss slaps down Muttonchops. Ashley picks her confessor. COTW stripped out the victims' husbands? What a doofus. (I wonder if I could knock up a blinking pager like Garcia's) PG and COTW crack the case. Seaver mirroring the daughter's body language is a nice touch. Is Ashley projecting? Didn't she say she hadn't spoken to her father since he was convicted? Suicide by cop. Power ballard and montage. Again Heather and Ashley are mirrored, right down to the way that Rossi rests a paternal hand on the window of the car door.

Hotch is stern and forbidding. Dave is father confessor. Seaver feels guilty about not hating her murderous, puppy drowning father, no matter how hard she tries. "I just feel like he's winning if I don't hate him." "No kiddo. There's no winning. There's just... living. Moving forward. And if you keep doing that, you'll be alright." The Rossi philosophy. A Wilde quote for the close: "Children begin by loving their parents. As they grow older they judge them, sometimes they forgive them."
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Bickering couple wandering through the woods. Spooky shadows. "Wait, were is Sammy!" Hah! Made me jump. The skull beneath the skin. Nastiest transition ever? Daniel Lanham. Reid infodump on the Appalachian Trail. And we're off on a hiking holiday. Cue a cute camping family with adorably moppety kids. I'm already afraid for them.

Ralph Ellison for the open: I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Mufti! Except for Reid, who seems to believe that outdoor gear means a pin-stripped suit. Geographic profile! Victimology! The father is impressively broken in his conversation with confessor!Hotch. "This guy has moved passed that. He feels no remorse about his compulsions" Em shows off her woodcraft skills and Morgan knows all about marking territory — why am I not surprised? Graveyard. confessor!Hotch works his magic. The moppets step outside for a natural break, precisely mirroring what happened to Daniel. "The dates and locations of the abductions create an unmistakable pattern" A murderer's walking tour. "He's slowing down" Prentiss unleashes the Aviators of Justice.

Meanwhile, back at the dungeon, the kids try a spot of bargaining and Robert gives Anna a pep talk. "Robert? Whose toys are these?" Exactly. Poor Mr Lanham: not allowed to help. Reid really doesn't know anything about kids, does he? Wow but Grizzly Adams is a scary, scary guy. Bloodhounds! Al fresco profile. Spence finds the right line to take with Lanham. Both the kid playing Robert and the Grizzly guy are great in the return scene: they make it clear what has happened without saying a word. CM: home to the feistiest victims on TV. "Pills and flowers. I don't see this guy as a botanist" Prentiss gets cell reception underground, in a cave in the middle of nowhere. She must have the best provider ever. "It's a homeopathic pain treatment" You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

The UNSUB is called Shane!?! (Shane, Brandon, the moppets, everyone else: whoever cast this is on a serious roll) Garcia is Sir Not Appearing in this Episode, but she still finds time to crack the case: "This is super weird. Eleven of these men paroled in the early 90s have the exact same last known address..." "A cluster of... pervs?" Prentiss calls it as she sees it. "Wanna watch a video?" Brandon the Skeeze is such an 80s guy. I like the guy on the desk: he's such a smart arse. Yay! A door kicking! I can't remember the last time Morgan kicked in a door. Impressively grimy basement — it's like something out of Half-Life. Man, Brandon is a weasel: ready to kill to keep himself out of prison, then spilling his guts out just as soon as he can to try and win favour with the Fibees.

Rossi counts the case as a win, which is good enough for me.
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Garcia making herself up in mirror. A existential, slightly-noirish voiceover. Cut to woman with 40s makeup and a man with an old style movie camera and light. She's tied up: all is not what it seems. "Everyday since, I have put on a mask to hide what no suffocates me: the truth. And nothing speaks louder than the truth" Celluloid. The starlet is reading dialogue with the director. Cue a very Hitchcockian exit, complete with a Bernard Herman sound track. And the trick of Garcia's monologue opening is revealed in a very satisfying way. "Seen a lot over the years. But nothing like this." COTW is appropriately noir, standing there in the rain. Reid discussing the murderer's cannibalistic tendencies whilst eating a pastry.

Marilyn Monroe for the opening quote. COTW had hoped to retire without seeing his name in print: he's the polar opposite of the UNSUB. The Rhett at the train station. I love the scenes with the child, especially the final payoff. "I'll never get used to that..." "There's something in her throat" Reid has a tougher stomach than the ME. At least it's not a moth. "Chloroform. The Glamour shots. It all feels like a throwback to the last to another century" Them's the words on the paper in the throat. "Derek, you're doing that silence that means you're on to something" Oh my, I've just worked out what Rhet's doing and I'm grossed out by it. We're in Psycho territory. Nice reveal of the Hill Ripper's latest victim. "In a matter of hours, she'll be more famous than you will ever be!"

Garcia is a make up guru (wouldn't it have been funnier if they'd given those lines to Reid? It's just the sort of weird thing he'd know) Three act structure. Again with the titivation and the photography. Great shot of Robert Knepper with his back to the mirror. Meanwhile, back at the station, Reid is making an arse of himself: "Well, standing in the middle gawking at passing women would certainly attract attention. Like you're doing now." "What's that? " "Just like that! An IQ of 187 is slashed to 60!" Prentiss FTW! Hotch has an encyclopedic knowledge of parking in the District. I like Penny — she's smart and determined and autonomous. (The blood spatter from the chloroform hanky is a nice touch) Ugh. What the FBI need a spokes-Garcia. In blonde.

A dolly zoom. Because it wouldn't be a Hitchcock homage without one. "I have a phobia about having a video camera even pointed at me" This from the woman who spends her life on FaceTime. Morgan with the pep talk. Nicely demented scene with Penny and Rhett on the couch. Penny Hanley's father crashes the news conference. Ah, I see, they're trying to force the UNSUB to dump the body. "Do have a lead in the Hill Ripper Case?" "No we don't. We have an address." Melodrama. Hotch and Rossi practice their curb crawling skills. Winged him! He lives on Hope Street? And now for the final twist. Another very definite win where everyone gets to go home happy.

"We all have things for ourselves, y'know. You have property. I have the theatre." Slumlord versus leading actress. No comparison. We end as we began: with Garcia facing an audience, this time populated by her co-workers (Sounds a bit like the stuff of one of my nightmares). The closing quote isn't so much a closing quote as the trailing end of the monologue that opened the show: "Maybe that's why in all of us lives a dark side. Some of us embrace it. Some have no choice. The rest of us fight it. And in the end, it's as natural as the air we breathe. Some point, we're forced to face the truth: ourselves."
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"You'd better run Meredith!" See this is why distance running is an important life skill. Creepy rapists in creepy masks in a creepy cornfield? iPads! "Woah!" Right back at you, Prentiss. Spencer "I don't have email" Reid is sticking with paper. "But exactly where did the funding for these come from?" "I did a thing?" The word you're thinking of, Penny, is embezzlement. "We've got less than two day to save Stephanie Wilson". Meanwhile, back at torture central, it's a tracking close up of a semi-naked woman. Oh, foul. There's now way that beer will ever wash off. Poor Steph, handcuffed to a dancing pole.

Napoleon for the opening quote. Time to unpick the pack mentality. "Prostitutes and strippers make easy targets" Rossi: so un-PC. Garcie uses FaceTime? COTW is a hardarse, but Hotch's takedown is a thing of beauty: "It's not a show. It is your case. And you can watch from the outside" Ouch. The news is out. And the low men in the pack are ruffled. I like the father and the dynamic with Hotch is great. "I'm from Las Vegas! I don't have a problem with it. These are questions we have to ask..." Reid strikes the wrong note at the pole dancing club. "Did anyone try and take her home last night?" "Everyone tries. Every night." Rossi obviously hasn't heard of GPS. Morgan cracks the case: "Manpower... Maybe we're dealing with more than one UNSUB."

The more I see of that basement, the dodgier it looks. That, junior boy, is the sound of your illusions being shattered. Hotch and Rossi with the predictions: the pack dynamics are under threat and the leader will be forced to kill Stephanie to reassert his authority. OK, shooting up your own place? Never a good a way to assert your sane and rational credentials. Junior's having qualms: he's brought his victim breakfast. (Poor Steph isn't the most assertive of CM victims but not everyone can be a Bobby Baird). COTW is in serious denial. Hotch spots the giveaway detail: the UNSUBs are students. I like the way the profile is intercut with shots of the pack. (Wow, but the leader is rocking a Johnny Depp look). Time to crank up the pressure. Except that you're wrong about the leader's response to pressure: he kills his partners when he gets run to ground.

Dear junior: you should always be wary of trips out into the middle of nowhere. And LT? You're going to have to do something unspeakable to show your loyalty too. Oh dear God! Cut to LT retching. I bet that's how the combine driver feels too. COTW has a leak on his hands. Is that really how you spell paraphernalia? Junior was a drop out: it's what made him vulnerable. "Their actions must have been deemed inappropriate to get them kicked out. Not just drug offences" Reid doesn't have a lot of time for frats. Rossi orders backgrounds checks on the copshop. OK, this is why you delete your the call lists from your cellphone. "I need to take to you guys really, really alone" Bingo! Garcie strikes oil. Hotchalanche to bring the COTW on-side. "Trust is earned" Not a phrase you really want to here from a crazy guy. Emily Prentiss, negotiator extraordiniare: "No one wants to shoot a cop's kid. But you? I might shoot you myself" And then she comes out with the Awful Troof: Michael has form for killing his team mates. "Us? Me? It's all the same..." "Medic. We need a medic!" Paging Dr Freud... I think that counts as a win.

Another great scene between Hotch and Salters. (Gibson and Newman manage to set up a nice dynamic tension in all of their scenes together) The Sheriff broken and desperate. Hotch with the pep talk that isn't anything like the sort of rousing half-time 110 per cent tirade that you might imagine would appeal to the COTW, but instead is a quiet and dignified reminder that whatever Salters thinks he has lost, he's still got a son, he's still got the time and ability to rebuild their relationship, and that there are better ways to be a father than the ones he's tried thus far. It probably says something important about Aaron's character — and about his own regrets about his marriage and his relationship with Jack — that he's able to make the point as well as he does. Just time for a quick quote from Bernard Malamud and we're done.
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Nice montage of decaying Detroit. An warehouse. A creepy neighbourhood watch sign. An immolation. Cut to Hotch and Jack prepping for Halloween. (Gibson and the kid are immensely cute together) Oh, yeah, I remember now: Reid is a Halloween nerd. "I'm toying with the idea of notion of either going to the Edgar Allen Poe shadow puppet theatre or the re-enactment of a 19th century phantasmagoria" "I don't want to know" "Oh yeah you do. Phantamasgorias are these amazing pre-cinema projected ghost shows invented in France where the showman attempted to spook the audience using 'science-magic'. And, it just so happens, I have an extra ticket..." This, Emily Prentiss, is why you never ask your co-workers what they're doing at the weekend. Garcia seems to be dressed as a pumpkin. Hotch with the bad news about the burnings. Reid with the stats: the Immolator doesn't fit the pattern.

Machiavelli for the open: "If an injury has to be done to a man, it should be so sever that his vengeance need not be feared" Reid expounds on Devil's Night: it's like a destructive Mardi Gras. "Civil servants with a hero complex" Prentiss recognises the answer, the others recognise the UNSUBs care. COTW is Ernie Hudson! Yup, creepy watch group. (Is the warehouse a greenscreen?) The UNSUB is organised: he knows precisely how much time he's got before the police and firefighters arrive. Victimology: the first victim is the most important. Wow but the wife looks shattered. Emily: the John the Baptist of the BAU. Cognitive interview! "This year we decided not to dress up" They were targetted because the UNSUB was able to recognise them? Nice the emphasis on the barbecue flames. "He's wearing a mask" Burn scars. If you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

He's got the whole world in his hands. Irony much? Never ask Reid if he knows something. Because he does. Right down to the last decimal point. The Immolator has got a name — Kaman — maybe a welder, and also Forrest Gates. "Not more than 40 minutes" Yur cities they is too big. Garcia, the Correlating Queen. "Like a cave" Not the swankiest bachelor pad in the world. That's an unduly literal response to being fired. Hotch is plan is just to bottle him up and wait till he blows? Cherchez la femme. Carl Lumbly! Running a dinner. Time of an insurance job. "You ran into a burning building!?!" Call back to the days when Morgan was in charge and Hotch was horribly reckless.

"Where's Tracy?" Nice horror movie pose. "There's one more thing I've got to tell you..." As if we can't guess. What sort of crazy person keeps butanone in their hall cupboard? (And hey, didn't that can just flip round between shots?) "She's moved on with her life. Why can't you just accept that?" Oh, uncle, not a good way to placate the psycho guy. I like the generate worry about Hotch's flakiness: after all, he did just run into a burning building. "Mummy?" Because that wasn't obvious. "The boy's confused..." Yeah, he's probably loaded on all the MEK fumes floating around. And surprise, he's converted by the moppetty appeal of the moppet he never knew he had for a big fat win.

Thomas à Kempis on the strength of love (presumably of God) for the close. "The is definitely not spiderman..." Jack has the awsomest bad tie knot in the world. Aw, he's a junior G-man. And with that, Hotchners are off to go trick-or-treating...
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Flashback to the Prince of Darkness and Morgan's promise to Spicer to look after Ellie. I'm sure there's a reason for laying this on with a trowel. MTV video UNSUB. Disorganised but a snappy dresser. "No sexual abuse on any of the children. That's odd" I'm so glad I'm not David Rossi. Again with piquerism. Definitely the word of the week. Surprise visit from Ellie: so much for much for flight security. And so much for foster care. Garcia FTW. I love Morgan's look of total cluelessness: he really doens't know what he's going to do. Gandhi channelling Donne for the opening quote. Rossi spots the clue: the families invited the UNSUB in. The Fox! And a religious angle. "He uses the children as bait!" Nasty. Tacos and tofu — the UNSUB's a vegan!?! And definitely an insider. "This guy hates his mother?" Bingo, Dr Freud.

"We have a disorganised killer on a spree who appears perfectly stable" Yikes. "And people trust him on sight" Double yikes. Cue a priest in a pickup. But does he wear converse? Evidently not! Serious change in victimology. "If I get herpes, it's your fault!" A budding psychopath and conman. The kid playing Jeremy is great — he oversells his pitch ever so slightly perfectly. Who knew Des Moines was so lively? Jeremy's and Ellie's cases mirror one another: let's hope Garcia gets her transferred. How not to draft a Safe Haven Law. Nice trick with the answerphone. And nice follow-up with Reid and Rossi. Triple yikes.

And the kids are alright! "He said it was a game" I like Nancy. She's smart, autonomous, and she keeps trying to reassure Jeremy, to tell him he isn't a bad kid. "Niko Bellic is the name of the main character in Grand Theft Auto 4... What? I know things!" Rossi is a gamer! "I could climb in to her room some night, when you're sleeping..." "Or you could just ring the doorbell and come over for dinner" Again Nancy tries to persuade Jeremy that he's not so bad. Morgan sets Garcia off in search of Ellie's mom. Ouch. Penny comes through with an address.

Thank goodness for call waiting. Jeremy's sounds like a gem: I wonder what the rest of his homicidal triad looks like? "Say what I heard you telling Father Quincy!" "The doctors say that one twin ate the other" Oh purleze. "You can't shoot a kid" "I can shoot a killer and I do believe that" Morgan is hardcore. I like the quick switch from the whiny kid calling for his mom to straight psycho — "Whatever. I'm thirteen. I'll she her in five years anyway" Nancy's going to life and Garcia has found Ellie's mom: win, a very palpable win. Just time for Robert Frost's On Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening for the closing quote and we're done.
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Moon on the lake, romatic music, couple having sex in a car, and were in In Name and Blood territory. Ellie has just been placed with a foster family. Em's is clearly worried that Morgan is getting too involved. Hotch with the exposition: couples being killed with at short intervals; different victimologies and locations; forced sex. Garcia offers to taken on JJ's role and even offers to tone down her wardrobe: this is so not going to end well. Significant Lincoln quote for the opener: "Whatever you are, be a good one"

Today's theme: piquerism, stabbing as a substitute for sex. Reid has obviously memorised the wikipedia page. Sexual sadism, control freakery and something missing from the victimology. Garcia looking very normal. And she's also hyper efficient — the idea of emailing photos of the team is a nice touch. "His blood's flowing to his extremities, just not the right one." Morgan with the quote of the episode. The heat's turned way up and the cheesy soul music isn't one of the presets: more control freakery. Both husbands were driven over-achievers: the missing bit of victimology and the overkill is a sign of dominance; the control is part of a fantasy. Ok, touchy and trusting nerds don't make good press liaisons.

Agency! The 3rd husband seems to have been a cage fighter. The wife's survival instincts don't keep her safe. Could the UNSUB be stalking victims at the gym? Prentiss cracks the case: the UNSUB was a swinger! Garcia gives is in over her head. Time to call FBI Technical Analyst Kevin Lynch! Heh: the the swinger matriarch mistakes Derek and Em for Jehovah's Witnesses. Parallel profiles: one at the cop shop, one with the swinger couple. The Fibees know the lingo but not scene. Decompensation! Prentiss picks up on the dynamics of marriage must faster than Morgan: "You don't control a girlfriend the way you control a wife" Psychotic break, revisiting old patterns. Cue a trashy swinger's party — I like that there are a couple of guys chatting in the corner, as though they were at a regular party — and a massacre. The hostess survives to identify the UNSUB. Sort of. Prentiss: "So you have sex, but you don't ask for last names" Reid and Rossi spot a key detail: the UNSUB is a locksmith. I'm never leaving anything in a gym locker ever again!

Garcia in meltdown. Mom's attitude superb: I though you'd tell me if you weren't coping; but that doesn't matter now, you just need to focus on the core of your job. Yet more decompensation: has the UNSUB killed husbands before? Hotch prods Morgan into giving Garcia a pep talk: don't try to be JJ, just try to be yourself and do things on your own terms. "How often do I tell you I love you?" "Every day. It's implied" Garcia is, apparently, a quick change artist and her whole exposition thing is pure gold. Yikes, Maryann is pregnant. Which gives Reid a way in, albeit an awkward and nerdy one. "Instead of swinging, he's killing" Denial much? Reid gets the brass ring. Em plays the femme fetale. "You've got to choose someone who's stable. Who's secure." Like you James? Prentiss doesn't blink. André Berthiaume for the close: "We all wear masks and the time comes we cannot remove them without removing our own skin."

Hotch with the lesson from his own life: do the thing you're good at and don't try to be something you're not. And Garcia with the perfect response: "Here I'm Mozart. And out there I was like a monkey playing the trumpet. And you guys need Mozart... Have I let you down?" "I no way whatsoever" I think Mom might just be perfect boss.
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Bickering family, missing tickets, an air of menace, and more than few jumps before the pay-off phone call. Rossi has writer's block. And also noisy neighbours. I'd always imagined he'd live in a vast, detached palazzo. Hotch with the news: a phone call and a death, with similar details to a significant and unsolved ase from Rossi's pass. Cue the Box File of Doom.

Garcia tidying JJ's empty office. Morgan is still in touch with Ellie. Mom is all business, all details of torture and murder. Morgan with the name: the Butcher. Reid does exposition, Em handles snark, while Rossi recaps: he was on the trail in the 90s, they warned every blonde in the county and the killings just stopped. Given the passage of time, Hotch thinks it must be a copycat. Proust, naturally, for the opening quote: "Remembrance of things past is no necessarily remembrance of things as they were" Victimology. The phone calls: scripted; a display of control and dominance. "What's in the box?" "Evil" Oooh.

Guy unpacking his shopping. Colby. I don't know yet but I already fear for you Joe's Coffee Girl. Crusty guy is crusty. And also psychotic. "Would you say the lexical features are consistent with her vernacular?" Reid backslides, Rossi interprets. Hotch does a beter job with Jenny's parents. Coby and crusty guy going through slides: guy obviously has memory problems and also a murderous temper. iPad! Em and Morgan work out how to blitz someone from the carpark: it's a team. "Stunningly creepy" Reid sums the phone calls. Consistent lexical features from the Butcher's last kill. The old guy can still turn on the charm when he needs to. OK, what happened to Heather's dog? Re-creation. Rossi is doubtful about the copycat theory; it's the nuances, stupid.

House full of junk, creepy discussion about the details of the murder. Crusty guy is clearly losing it. Cody helped with his first murder aged 10. Joe's Coffee Girl is called Anna, apparently. Latest victim is selling knives at the pharmacy: irony much? Rossi realises the murders are father/son thing. Heather's call features the signature. Knife woman shows signs of agency! Drink! Reid realises the significance of the breaks in the pattern. "If I'm doing work like that, then you need to kill me. Just kill me!" Crusty guy realises he's loosing it. Rossi and Garcia crack the case! Lee Mullens and Colby Bachner: a father/son team of electricians related to one of the Butcher's earlier victims.

Colby tries to make things right: poor Coffee Girl Anna. Rossi gets his man. Sort of. "This guy gets to forget, while the family has to live with this forever" Alzheimer's. The Butcher is trying to recreate the murders he can't remember. (The guy playing Mullens is great in this scene, a mix of senility and calculating evil) "I like trophies. It proves you won something" Colby doesn't know that his father killed his mother. "When she saw the Lexwell, her eyes went so wide she scared me half to death." An ECT machine: the clue that's going to save CGJ. Rossi talks the boy down, breaking him with the truth about his mother's death. With Anna safe and the Butcher, pere et fils, in custody, I think this counts as a win.

Morgan and Prentiss discuss Ellie. Morgan gets it: Ellie is clingy because she's got PTSD and she needs to talk to someone who has been through the same thing. "Hey Rossi. I do remember you. In the end, you're the reason I stopped." Beautifully creepy read from Daniel Travanti on the Butcher's last line. And what a punitive ending: the Butcher as a broken man, imprisoned, wheelchair bound, his mind shattered.

CM6: JJ

Jan. 18th, 2012 09:46 pm
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So that's how the BAU pick their cases: from TV. (On a side note Morgan seems to have healed up nicely since the last ep, Em has a new barnet and Reid has discovered a hairspray in really big way). Cassandra!Prentiss does her foreshadowing thing. It's Erin Strauss! I love Dr Strauss! JJ is being headhunted by the DoD. (How much of this scene was writers working out their reaction to the network's decisions?) "You'd think profilers would cover better than that, would you?" And you'd think Rossi would be better at fishing for information. The shot of JJ surrounded by the team through the closing lift doors is pure love.

Racine quote for the open and we're off to Maryland. Reid is feeling queasy. Is it a ruse, hairspray fumes, or foreshadowing. JJ unburdens; Em's history with Strauss still burns. Hotch neatly dissects COTW's Jaws reference. Two UNSUBS: one cocky, one avoiding conflict. Prentiss unsettles the cocky kid with a combination of food and cleavage. Hotch explains the waiting game. Rossi can't understand why Kate left with two guys she didn't know. Reid sees it: she'd me them before. "Has she always been a fish?" Shocking ringtone is shocking, the struggling parents struggle. Morgan takes the cocky kid apart. "That is so annoying! Do you know anything about video cameras?" Em plays mindgames with the submissive kid. Hotch spots the nuances.

Polygraph! Both of them. Simultaneously. You do know those things don't work, right? "What if they didn't do it?" "They know something. An innocent person doesn't sit quietly for three days..." Hotch realises they're way too calm. "Is Morgan's anger a ruse? Probably. "My DNA is all over that girl" Gross. And he has pictures? What a scumbag. The submissive doesn't think much of Reid. Morgan and Rossi go old school on Sid. "The only thing he's guilty of is being a scumbag..." The sub has thing for the inlet. "Is that some kind of metaphor" JJ cracks the case! "The blood from the catch attracts hundreds of sharks..." Again with the Jaws thing. Reid, Prentiss and JJ for the confrontation. "Kate's an amazing swimmer..." A fish, even. Was that a call back to Cold Comfort?

"The brass is really good at replacing people. It makes them feel like they're in charge" Too true. The group scene is very sweet with everyone struggling not to cry, as is Garcia's moment: the shift from disbelief to pep talk to the realisation that no matter what they promise, things have changed forever. Time for a quick final montage and a closing shot that mirrors the lift moment in the cold open, this time JJ is all alone wither her back to the camera, and it's the end of an era.
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So, where were we? Ah, yes, with LA in darkness, Matt Spicer dead and Morgan knocked out, and Ellie Spicer on the road with the Prince of Darkness. The Prince's internal soundtrack features Leonard Cohen! Poor Ellie; running is just what he wants you to do. The backup team find the Prince by profiling Morgan. Cognitive interview under suboptimal conditions. The way the Prince wipes off the blood is uber-creepy. Shocked Prentiss is shocked. And tough Morgan is tough. The Prince is a talk radio fan! Derek lets things get to him. Hotch: master of the game face.

Ellie doesn't buy into the Prince's attempts at Stockholm Syndrome. "The question isn't, why do I kill people. The question is, why I don't kill everybody... I'm like God" OK, issues much? "Uh-oh. Even a God finds that sometimes, people just have bad luck." And the police have just identified Ellie. The BAU play psychobabble tag with COTW. Devolution! Reid is worried by the change in behavour and Emily is the woman with plan. JJ realises the Awful Troof but Rossi is still optimistic. Emergency Alert System: "How hard can it be?" Very, I'm guessing. Ellie has trauma hair. The Prince has a pedagogic bent. Hah! Smart girl! "You can't kill them all, can you?" "I can try"

Prentiss tries to get Morgan to unburden. And getting access to the EAS is enough to make Saint JJ swear. Lynch mob! Of course the door won't open: there's no power, you dummy! "Ballsy neighbours!" "California has its moments" Rossi and COTW exchange wise-cracks. Reid: ever the optimist. Morgan's turn to realise the Awful Troof. JJ uses the big big D. "That's a pretty twisted delusion" "It only has to make sense to him" Hotch cuts to the core of things. "This is the room" The vision shatters: from cornfields to Blue Velvet. (My god, Tim Curry's teeth are horrible!) "I don't know who was talking right then. But. Word" Garcia and Morgan make up: "Our love is rock, no bad day can come between us!"

Hotch has strategies but JJ plays it her own way: pulls the Prince in to her narrative; refusing to forgive but getting him to empathise. "Yes, there are monsters and it's OK to be afraid of them. But it's not OK to let them win. And it's not OK to be one." Thematic statement! "Hello Doctor..." No way that's going to be good news. "What!?!" They teach you that on a negotiation course, Derek? "This one is mine" Morgan recognises his nemesis. "I know more about you than you know about yourself" The Prince is working himself up to suicide-by-cop. Self-aware UNSUB is self-aware — Tim Curry is fantastic in this scene.

More Cohen, a quote from the Buddha, a touching close up of Ellie, and that's a pretty respectable season opener wrapped up.
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Scratchy film of a road trip with a Leonard Cohen soundtrack? News of rolling blackouts? Bickering suburban couple, I fear for you. JJ and Hotch discuss the case: Strauss has ordered them to LA to investigate the blackout murders. Morgan with a quote from Tennyson's In Memoriam for the opening. Lovely top-down shot in the gulfstream. CoTWs are heroes from Another Series. The suburban wife is still alive. "She tried to killer herself. Twice." Rossi and Reid dodge when she asks if she's ever going to stop seeing her husband's murder. Reid approves of the CoTWs. Spicer and Prentiss on predestination: he believes, she doesn't. "Media's been asking for you." "Yeah, well nobody else around here wants to talk to them. Figure it hasn't hurt me yet." Don't tempt fate like that, Matt. Oh, Annie, please don't leave your door open a go back to the car. JJ seems to be working a rock chick look in the press briefing. "Hello thir" Our UNSUB wasn't top of his class at school. Spicer and Morgan are both good and empathetic with kids who've lost parents.

The Prince of Darkness. Because he's a sadist and because always attacks in the dark. Spicer and Morgan bond over past tragedies: Spice lost his parents to a drunk driver; Morgan's father was killed on the job. Garcy discovers that our UNSUB has a history and I've just realised that the UNSUB is Tim Curry. How did I miss that? They've cancelled the rolling blackouts? That doesn't bode well. Em spots the blip in the pattern. Oooh sneaky with the misdirect. Morgan does his cognitive interview schtick. Blue Velvet anyone? Who has their breaker box outside the house? I was right: the entire world — OK, LA — has gone dark. Careless, Derek. "Promise me she'll be OK Morgan." And Morgan does, knowing he's signing a death warrant.

And with nary a closing quote, that's us done for another season.

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