23.1.20

Criminal Minds 1504: Saturday

The episode opens in the Quantico office, where a klaxon is blaring and red lights are shining. Is this a biological attack on the FBI? That would be a twist! Especially since the FBI has been attacked a whole bunch on this show. Like, special forces guys, evil cults, rogue cops, hackers - the FBI building of Criminal Minds is not as secure as one wants it to be.

The camera pans down from the red light to the floor - passing a photograph of a bald man along the way. I'm not watching this in HD, so I have no idea who it might be. It's not the president or the attorney general, so maybe this is a cameo by one of the producers? Could it be what Jim Clemente actually looks like?

We pan across the room - turns out it's the main work area where most people's desks are! And it's full of bodies, and people have guns lying next to them. Is this some kind of a drill? I feel like a full-on assault on the FBI is a weird way to start an episode. It would be quite a drill if it was, though, since a bunch of people are covered in blood!

Reid enters the room, his gun drawn as he looks for his target. Maybe this is a dream? Of course, that's happened already, while a drill would be fresh, if kind of preposterous. Okay, it's a dream, or maybe a book someone is writing - out in the hallway Reid find a guy in a butcher's apron with a bloody axe.

God, how great would it be - since they're leaning on slasher imagery anyhow - if they'd used the Jason from that Gubler episode in season 10? You know, the one they never bothered to try and catch?

The Jason attacks Reid, but then it turns out he was just telling his therapist about a dream he'd had! That's right, after getting definitively dumped by JJ, Reid is finally seeking help for his issues! Good for him! Seriously, I am proud of the guy.

The therapist gives him the hardest assignment of his life - go for one day without thinking about his job, and try to actually speak to a human being. She even gets him to admit that he has no friends or life outside of work! I cannot express how happy I am that the show is finally realizing just how screwed up Reid has always been, and is working to set him on a good path before things wrap up. Better late than never, right?

His new project leads to awkwardness when he thinks a woman in the elevator is talking to him, but no, it's just a phone call on her headphones.

Joe drops by Matt's house to help him prep for the new baby! Which leads to some wackiness with him trying to assemble a crib! You'd think he'd have this down by baby #5, but apparently not. Also, he's annoyed at himself for having accidentally ordered the crib in red, so he's pretending that's what he meant to do! I don't know why he's so hard on it, though, the red crib looks awesome. What was he going to have, white? Bare wood? Live on the edge, dude.

Emily is also there to help! If by help, you mean 'drink wine and eat donuts'. Then she gets a phone call - is it a case? No, it seems that Garcia is hosting a hacking workshop in the office! That's right, she invited a bunch of hackers into FBI headquarters, and they're working inside the FBI with only her supervision. This breaks basically every kind of security protocol there is, right?

One of her students asks her for help on dealing with a cyberstalker! Wait... is there not going to be a murder this week? Are they doing another episode about stalking? It's been what... 11 years or something like that?

Let's find out after the opening credits!

17.1.20

Criminal Minds Video Reviews!

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Criminal Minds 1503: Spectator Slowing

The episode opens with a mother and daughter arriving at home in rural Memphis! The mom finds a package sitting underneath her mailbox, and brings it into the house with them. I'd be a little annoyed at the mailman at this point, since the package looks to be book sized, and it only wrapped in brown paper. If any water gets on that it will wreck whatever's inside. Couldn't the mail carrier have at least dropped it off on the porch?

I guess since this place is rural all of the mail delivery is done out of the side of a truck, so that's not actually possible, but make an exception once in a while, people!

The family heads inside and it turns out that the package was a bomb, so you can just disregard everything I said about the mailman in the past two paragraphs. Weirdly, the bomb was disguised as a photo album, and it didn't blow up until the mother opened the cover and saw something sinister inside!

Let's think happy thoughts - it wasn't a very big bomb, so while the mother, who was standing next to it, is probably dead, the daughter who was at the end of the table is probably fine!

In whatever suburb of DC they live in, Matt and his wife talk about her being on bed rest due to the imminent birth of their fifth child! Wow. Lots of kids. Based on the size of the littlest one, maybe one of them was born during the first season of Beyond Borders? Something for me to find out at some point, anyhow. Looks like Matt's going to take a week off from the whole 'flying around the country' thing to look after his wife. Will we have a new kid by the end of the episode? Fingers crossed!

At the office we find that JJ is back at work. So I guess this is eight weeks after the last episode? I mean, she had a lung collapsed by a bullet, that's not something you bounce back from. What do you want to bet no one is going to mention the face off killer until - maybe - the end of the episode? I mean, a wanted serial killer did a mass shooting at the headquarters of the justice department then stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from a rich, well-connected family, torturing the daughter of that family in the process. I feel like that's all anyone would talk about until he was in jail, you know?

Time for case details! The mother and daughter are both in the hospital, but might pull through! I guess they need the mother to tell them what was in the photo album? They confirm that the killer dropped off the packages himself, rather than actually mailing them, which Reid thinks is strange, because 'mail bombers' generally want to stay as far away from their victims as possible. This is a better of a stretch in describing the MO, though - many bombers drop off the bombs personally. The unabomber dropped off bombs himself (hence the sketch), the show's fake version of the mormon bomber (and the real guy) dropped bombs off himself - it's not as big a deviation from the profile as Reid would suggest.

Emily ends the scene by suggesting that Matt should consult by phone, since his military experience with explosives should be helpful. You know, Eric's sitting right there. He was also a special forces guy. Like, unless Matt's actual job in the military was bomb disposal I don't know why he would be especially good at this.

Oh, and she once again says 'Wheels up in 10, because after being in charge of the team for 4 (4!) years, she still doesn't know how long it takes to drive to the airfield'.

Then we get a disgusting scene of a guy buying a dead body so that he can see how a bomb destroys it. The question is, is this guy the bomber from the last three bombs, or is someone out there giving these bombs to people in order to let them settle scores of their own? The only reason I suggest such a crazy idea (that's certainly wrong) is that it's kind of strange for a guy to only now be testing what his bombs do to a dead body, three bombs in. Then again, maybe he was unsure of himself because the last two victims survived? Yeah, that makes way more sense.

Oh, and the killer was annoyed that the grave-robber wasn't able to get the body of a woman, so he puts the dead old man in the yellow dress that he'd bought for the occasion - that's how focused he is on he fantasy of blowing up a specific person.

So, who is the focus of this killer's rage? Let's find out together, after the credits!

9.1.20

Criminal Minds 1502: Awakenings

The episode opens with a recap of the Faceoff killer's situation, and JJ getting shot. Because, again, she's terrible at every part of her job. And not a great person, generally. Then it's off to the races, as Faceoff and FD speed away from the crime scene, hijack a car, and flee into the aether! In a hilarious bit of what should be time compressive editing – but can't be, because all of the characters in the same places between the two scenes – we see Garcia get word of the hijacking literally seconds after it happens, as if it's been reported officially already.

Meanwhile JJ is rushed to the hospital and prepped for surgery! Reid is there! Has anyone called Jr.?

Let's find out together, after the credits! Seriously, that's all that happened before the credits. Is the whole week going to be about chasing down Faceoff? They can't resolve this storyline yet, can they? What else would they do for the rest of the year? Then again, if the first two episodes feature the team losing over and over again, maybe they can build up some momentum for the rest of the season!

Criminal Minds 1501: Under The Skin

Well, here we are! We've got just ten episodes of Criminal Minds left! Fifteen years, 324 episodes, and it's all coming down to this! Will the show try to get JJ and Reid together? Will they kill of Jr. to do it? Will... other things happen? Honestly, I'm not emotionally invested in any other part of the show. I mean, it would be great if Aaron would drop by for one more episode, but I have no expectation that's going to happen, so I'm focusing on the more likely plot threads to get wrapped up.

What do you want to bet they never grab Appalachian Trail child molester or skull hand child murderer? Those are the ones that got away, and only one of them was ever mentioned again!

So, yeah, the episode. Let's get to it.

Things open up with a flashback to the faceoff killer who almost murdered Joe that one time. I maintain that he's not an interesting enough character to build the show's final arc around – and the fact that the actor played the same recurring serial killer role on Castle just leads to distraction. Am I saying that they should have announced that Ian Doyle or the Reaper was secretly still alive and gone with that instead?

Yes. That's exactly what I'm saying.

After the recap we find a guy driving up to a mansion that's suspiciously dark. The guy finds it weird as well, and calls someone on his phone. A man answers and confirms that yes, he really is inside, and encourages the guy to enter the house and grab some wine while he waits for the man to get out of the shower.

The guy enters the house and finds the promised wine waiting for him. It's a red! The room is fully of creepy art suggesting hanging, stabbing, and someone walking on a tightrope. Has this guy walked into a deathtrap?

Yes, he absolutely has. He flips through a photography portfolio left on the piano, and it quickly moves from BDSM photography to pictures of mutilated corpses. Corpses mutilated in the very room he's standing in! The guy tries to flee, but naturally, he's been drugged, and collapses to the ground!

So, we've got another art-themed killer, like the photography tableau guy from the comedy episode that Eric directed back in season 13! Neat?

Over at Matt's house there's a baby shower going on! As you may remember, we found out his wife was pregnant in the season ender, and it's been seven months since then, so now she's ready to pop! Eric and Garcia are there, along with extras who smile politely. One of them looks a lot like Elizabeth Moss!

Then it's over to Aisha and Reid, who are chatting about gifts! I'm immediately concerned about Aisha, because her voice is really ragged. Hopefully she just had a cold that day and it's nothing serious. Matt Also looks quite strange – he's got 5 O'Clock shadow that stands out really oddly from his too-pink face makeup. Did their regular makeup person or cinematographer get another job since this last season was only going to be 10 episodes?

Anyhoo, he gets a text about his mother degrading even further, which makes him wistful about his desire to go back in time and 'do things differently', which is a comment about his love for JJ, but I'd like it to be a realization that he should have escaped his mother's madness.

Then we see Emily and JJ, and find out that Emily is still dating that FBI agent from DC! Also, Jr. is mentioned as existing!

Emily calls Joe to find out where he is – and it turns out he's still looking for faceoff! She's concerned that his obsession with catching the guy is harming his work and life. I'm concerned that they're having this much trouble catching the guy. Like, you know what he looks like, and you can have his face all over the internet at all times. Unless this guy is hiding in the woods somewhere, how is he still on the loose?

And don't give me the 'he's a master of disguise' thing – they can put beards on photos.

Actually, maybe he is hiding in a shack in the woods? Joe is currently meeting a small-town sheriff in the middle of nowhere! Apparently everyone is calling Faceoff 'the Chameleon', everyone except for me, that is.

She shows him to the latest crime scene – it's the victim from the start of the episode! Lying dead on the ground with all of the skin cut off of the front of his torso, just like in the photographs! Wait, why is Joe here? Faceoff murders middle-aged women and cuts their faces off as a way to attack his mother, Sharon Lawrence. How could this be connected?

Oh, okay, the point is that it's not connected, Joe is just reaching because he's so desperate to catch the guy. He's convinced himself that Faceoff has started skinning men because, now that he's on the run, he's 'uncomfortable in his own skin'. This whole speech is so idiotic that it would win a Prentiss Award, but for once the stupidity is intentional – the show is making the point that he's confidently spewing nonsense because he's desperate to find a way to make sense of the world.

Good work, show! If only this made up for all of the times they exclaim nonsense without realizing that's what they're doing! So, how long until Joe is humiliated by just how wrong he's got this? Let's find out after the opening credits!

7.1.20

Criminal Minds 1415: Truth or Dare

A red truck drives up to a small Mexican fast food place, and the driver heads inside. Watching him is a bedraggled man in a black plaid shirt. I mention this only because I've never understood black plaid. Using black as a colour in plaid? Sure, go nuts - but a shirt that's just black and grey? You're being extravagantly emo at that point.

The waitress notices that Black Plaid hasn't eaten any of his food, so presumably she'll be able to identify him later on. Unless he shoots the place up, or something. Happily, he doesn't, instead waiting for Red Truck Guy to leave and then following out into the street!

Over at Quantico, Eric and Reid walk into the briefing room, with Eric busy chatting about Reid's amazing shooting skills! I've already pointed out how weird it is the way they're trying to butch up Reid which seems redundant, given that they've already got two hunks on the show, and the cast doesn't need to be any more generic than it is, but it's especially disquieting to see that the way they've chosen to make Reid more manly is to say 'he's better at killing now'. Um... do you not see the bad psychological path that takes you down, show about the psychology of serial killers?

It turns out that they haven't had a case in a couple of days, so they're just hanging out and playing cards! Um... isn't there something more important they could be doing? Writing up psychological profiles of nonserial killers for police departments across the country? Giving lectures? Nope, they're going to get paid to play cards, because they're all a little on the terrible side. Just a little, though.

Once again it's pointed out that Reid has been banned from Vegas casinos, and he gives a little spiel about math being the basis of all card games - which is true, but not relevant to the situation. Everyone knows that card games are just math, knowing that didn't get you kicked out of casinos. Your memory did, because you were counting cards at 21. If the team was going to be playing blackjack or chemin de fer, then you would have an advantage, but this is draw poker, where it's just luck and bluffing - no math skills are needed. Math only comes up in games like hold 'em, and even then, everyone knows the math, so it doesn't give anyone an advantage.

Back in crimetown, Black Plaid T-bones the red truck and then gets out and shoots the driver a few times! Also, he doesn't seem psyched to be doing it. Is someone forcing him to commit the crime? It's not like it's personal - the show is good enough to give us a shot of the driver seeing Black Plaid and not recognizing him before getting shot.

At the poker game, JJ wins, despite the fact that Reid says she has a tell proving that it's a bluff! This leads JJ winning one more Prentiss Award before the season ends-

No, JJ, this has nothing to do with lying. You weren't bluffing. You actually did have an unbeatable hand. There was nothing dishonest about anything you did.

How are you this bad at such basic concepts?

Time for the case! Two people have been crashed into and shot in the past two days! Obviously it's a serial killer! Emily humiliates herself by referring to police's initial belief that it was a 'road rage incident gone wrong'. Um... road rage is something that - by definition - has gone wrong. It cannot go right. What you mean is that it was road rage that escalated to murder.

They spend some time wondering if it's a guy who's aroused by car accidents, but we already know that it's someone who's being forced to murder people, so let's skip all of that and check in with Joe, who's checking out the wedding venue with Crystal! This seems like a weird time to do it, since the wedding is in two days, but the whole thing has been pretty last-minute, so why not?

Then Joe gets a call and has to go with the rest of the team to LA for the case - so he's gotten out of dealing with caterers and florists. Great work, Joe! He promises to be back before the wedding, though.

More with Black Plaid - this is a long teaser, huh? He goes to steal a third car, which is modern enough that it has an alarm that goes off when he breaks the window. He's not great at this, huh? The owner rushes out to see what's happening with the alarm, and Black Plaid demands the keys at gunpoint!

So yeah, he's being forced into this. Which makes this episode a remake of Death By A Thousand Cuts, the final episode of Suspect Behaviour! So, which member of the team is going to get kidnapped to force another member of the team to shoot someone? Joe, since it's his wedding in two days? One of the women, because that's just how this show is?

Let's find out after the credits?

31.12.19

Criminal Minds 1414: Sick and Evil

We see a woman talking on the phone with a friend. She's sad, because she lost her baby (as evidenced by the empty crib in the background, and is envious because the friend has one! Also, there's a killer in the house. She sees him at the end of a hallway locks herself in an office that has a fireplace in it! She grabs a poker to defend herself, but for some reason doesn't bother to push the desk in front of the door.

Instead, she just watches helplessly as the killer unscrews the lock and opens the door. The killer attacks her with a knife, while wearing some kind of two-colour plastic mask! It's a strange choice. Especially because whoever directed this episode isn't up to staging all of this like a slasher film the way Matt Gubler would have.

Joe goes to talk to Emily about his failure to find the conman, but she tells him that he can't worry about it too much - there's plenty of other cases that they need to work on. I'm not sure how the nationwide BOLO and adding him to the most wanted list hasn't helped - not to mention the bounty likely placed on his head by the surviving relatives.

They get a call about a new case! But it's already midnight. Why is Garcia even there to send them an e-mail. Then we see the team gathered around the table to chat about the case - it must be, what, 1AM at this point? Could this not have waited until the morning?

I know I explained in an earlier review why this can never wait until morning, but wow, is this troublesome from a writing standpoint. Like, I know most of you are job-obsessed weirdos, but JJ and Matt both have young children at home. Do they just never see their kids? Jr. and that Lawyer must be the best spouses on earth.

Emily reveals that both victims were clubbed into submission, then tied to a bed and stabbed 22 times in the stomach. Out of nowhere, Joe announces that neither of them were mothers, or pregnant at the time of their stabbing. What does that have to do with anything? Why would you bring that up? I mean, based on that opening scene, I'm sure that's going to be part of the killer's whole 'thing', but there's no reason that Joe should be talking about it already. They weren't stabbed in the womb, Joe.

And if they were clubbed into submission, why wasn't the killer brandishing a cudgel in that opening scene?

They head out to the plane at some point - we're not sure when, because Emily has continued giving people no information about when they're supposed to be at the plane. How is this continuing to be a thing? Oh, right, literally no one working on the show cares at all.

Then we cut over to a hose where a couple is cleaning up after a dinner party. Will the killer finally strike when it's not just a woman home alone? Yes! He murders the couple with a kitchen knife! Weird that people aren't taking more security precautions, what with two women being brutally slaughtered in their homes in the past week. Lewiston may be the second-biggest city in Maine, but less than 40K people live there, so it's not like this wouldn't be huge news.

Criminal Minds 1413: Chameleon

The episode opens as Joe is starting his day. Notably he has a band-aid on his head! No wonder dramatic music is playing over an innocuous scene! He grabs his gun from a secret panel that opens up when you put a magnetic card against a table. That's just a weird thing to have. You live alone dude, it's find if you have a gun safe.

This is the second time we've seen the team having this kind of secret gun safe - the weird part? No one had a secret gun safe until the Roswell episode. It's almost like the prop team had so much fun building the secret gun safes for that episode that they just decided that all of the team members should have them as an excuse to keep building the things.

Joe sits on the bed for a second, trying to get his head together, then goes down to leave, when he's intercepted by Crystal. She wants to know why he won't talk about 'this', and they're both really oblique about what's troubling him. Hey, what does Joe do on his birthday now that the Womb Raider has been dead for two years? Just curious.

When Joe gets to the office, we see that Eric's arm is bandaged and in a sling - apparently something bad happened to everyone? Also Reid has spent all weekend at the office, working on a case! What's going on here? Reid's mad it himself for not seeing something that should have been obvious. Apparently a case went horribly awry, just like the arson from last year - so... when do the flashbacks start?

From Joe's conversation with Emily we learn that a killer escaped and the investigation is still ongoing - Joe blames himself for what happened, and can't ask anyone for help, because that's the kind of person he is! So Emily sends him home to talk to Crystal, which is where the flashbacks will happen. So yeah, I guess this is a redo of that JJ and Jr. episode.

We get our first flashback scene - Joe is working his way through the woods completely on his own when the killer tackles him, knocks his gun out of his hand, and tries to choke him to death! So, is this the first time Joe's had a near-death experience while working for the team? I can't remember any others, but maybe I'll check later on!

Crminal Minds 1412: Hamelin

It's night, in Iowa, and a kid is sleeping peacefully in bed. But how long can that last? Like three seconds. Then he hears mysterious whispering and goes to investigate! He heads straight out the front door and heads down the street! We find him next in a playground, where he starts swinging. Then he's joined by more kids doing the same. Is this an episode about some kind of super-swami?

The next day, JJ gets a call from her mother announcing that she's coming to stay while her house is being repaired. For a moment I think this means we're going to have Josh Stewart show up, but no, their house is being painted, so JJ is staying in a hotel for a week while he takes the boys to Florida.

Wait... Florida? Why would he not take them to Louisiana? That's where he's from - shouldn't they get a chance to see their ancestral homeland? And I mean ancestral, they've got a French last name, they've probably been in New Orleans for ever!

Time for a case rundown- three kids went missing! Crazily, the team actually takes a moment to wonder if this is just ten-year-olds spending all night out with friends. Hey, remember when that actually happened last year, the kids were going to spend all night out with friends, and the team went anyway even though there were no signs of foul play?

This time they at least have reason to be weirded out - no clothes or shoes were taken, so the kids must have gone out in the bedclothes. Suspicious!

Then, Emily once again uses 'Wheels Up' as a catchphrase with no unit of time attached to it. When are they supposed to be in the plane, Emily? You're the boss, you should be planning this better, Emily.

Before they can leave, Garcia gets an e-mail from the police - they've got footage of the kids swinging in the park, and then getting into a white panel van, beckoned and dragged by a white guy, based on the hand!

Criminal Minds 1411: Night Lights

In bed, a woman is awoken by her smartwatch! It warns her that the motion sensors outside the house are detecting someone. Her husband assures her that it's just the cat, and they should go back to sleep. Why even have an alarm system?

Then they hear someone banging on the door downstairs and screaming! So naturally they check the door camera and call the security office, who are already sending a car!

The couple debates whether to open the door, and decide not to - but it woudn't have mattered, because the killer comes and grabs the guy less then 30 seconds after they turned on the camera. So by the time they got downstairs and opened the door, he would have been there, killing them. I'm not saying that this guy is an idiot, but if you're ever in this position, running away from a killer in a suburban neighbourhood, here's what you do - run across lawns, screaming for the police, and every time to pass a house, smash every window you can without slowing down. A dozen families waking up at once is the kind of thing that gets the police super-mobilized, and might even scare off a killer.

At Quantico, the team is talking about the fact that DRGF is planning a housewarming party so that she can meet the whole team. Eric is hesitant about it for no good reason!

Time for the case! It seems that a week ago a couple was wound with duct tape and killed in their home. Last night a man with duct tape on was banging on a door, screaming about how someone was going to kill 'us'. That suggests another couple has been attacked! Although the victim hasn't been identified yet. Despite Garcia's access to Portland's DMV, and the fact that they have a high-resolution image of the man's face from the door camera. Garcia explains that 'nothing's come up' on the guy. So what, he doesn't have a driver's license?

Then it's over to the killer's lair, where the couple are tied down with nowhere near enough duct tape. Seriously, there's just a single piece over the guy's forehead and neck, he could easily sit up with no trouble at all. They talk about how scared they are, and then the killer arrives with a blow torch and night vision goggles, even though it's super-bright in the room! Apparently the killer's thing is to burn people's eyes out with blowtorches? Disgusting!

Criminal Minds 1410: Flesh and Blood

In yet another SAW-type opening, we find a guy hanging from the ceiling of a torture dungeon, with a bag over his head! A killer shows up with the baseball bat and murders him! Based on the victim's statements, he's probably a murderer.

Then we cut to Emily, who's making dinner for FBI Guy! She doesn't like how the dinner is turning out, though, so she calls Joe for advice! Turns out she was using cooking wine instead of drinking wine! He's a snob, you see, and cares about that sort of stuff. This gets into her head, though, and suggests they order a pizza instead!

This is why you don't listen to cooking snobs, people. Your tomato sauce will taste fine if you use cooking wine.

The date goes fine until it's interrupted by a phone call! It seems that the latest guy was a lawyer - as was the previous victim! Was he a mob lawyer? Because he sure talked like a scumbag! Both men where smashed to death with baseball bats and then had their hearts cut out. Ick! The team divvies up duties to go and look for info on the killer - who's local, as most of their killers seem to be these days.

Seriously, they do not fly a ton. Does their new, lower budget mean they can't pull the jet set out of mothballs very often?

Then it's over to the killer, who makes a fancy storage case for the victim's heart! Just like that guy did back at the start of Season 3! Wait, has he been sprung from prison? No, wait, he was dying and wanted to find a replacement mother for his son, right? So he can't be the killer.

Criminal Minds 1409: Broken Wing

At a suburban house a woman is enjoying her first day back out of drug rehab! Her friends are worried about her and offer to stay over to help ensure she doesn't relapse, but she says she'll be fine! We'll see about that...

Then we cut to Aisha giving a lecture to students, accompanied by a kooky image. You need to see this, because I have no idea what it means:


Okay, so... doesn't recidivism rate measure the number of people who reoffend? How can those two interchangeable terms be the different colours on a pie chart? Let's see what Alisha has to say! She says that recidivism rates capture only a small percentage of the crimes repeat sex offenders commit. So I guess the chart means that 100% of sex offenders reoffend, but only 7% are caught so only that is registered in the recidivism rate? Or maybe she means they only get charged for a small number of the crimes they actually commit? In any event, this is flat-out bizarre.

At the end of the speech a guy comes up to harass her, and based on her reaction, I'm guessing this is the ex-husband/drug addict she talked about a little while ago? He demands her attention, because he's been working on counseling addicts, and he thinks someone is murdering his clients via overdose to make it look accidental!

While Aisha' ex is showing her some documents about spikes in overdose rares, we check back in on the addict! She's preparing a picnic lunch for her kids, but pauses when she notices that she's sweating way too much. It's withdrawl! She tries to call someone for help and asks them to come over. Is it her sponsor, or her old drug dealer? Whoever it is is probably going to kill her, either way.

Aisha calls the team with the details! Seven people have overdosed on heroin the day they got out of rehab. The weird part? None of them were in rehab for heroin addiction! That's good enough for Emily, who wants to fly the team out immediately!

Oh, and that lady gets murdered by a white guy. We see him open the front door with his bare hands, but that probably won't come up later.

Criminal Minds 1408: Ashley

A minivan pulls into a driveway at night. A man walks into the house, seemingly up to no good. I assume this because he turns no lights on, and wears his shoes as he goes upstairs. If he lives there, he must be an animal.

He doesn't, of course, and shoots the parents while they sleep! We cut to a little girl in another part of the house. She's awoken by the screams and gunshots, and darts under her bed! Somehow she thinks this will work - I guess because she's so tiny? It doesn't, and the killer drags her away!

At Quantico, Reid is prepping his next course! Weirdly, they say that Emily has to arrange for him to take a sabbatical to teach it. Um... are you still not on the restricted duty that Tuvok gave you last year? Do you really have any choice in whether you teach or not? It's going to be another terrible class, though - that's for sure!

Then Eric goes to see Emily, who lets him back on the team because he was able to follow orders, and played an integral role in solving the last case! Only he really, really, didn't. The man just followed a trail of blood. The other two cops with him could have done that even if he wasn't there. Still, this isn't a show about making people suffer consequences for their actions (see previous paragraph for example), so he's back on the team!

Then Garcia - just the worst person, overall, confronts Joe with the fact that he's planning to propose to Crystal loudly in the middle of the office. She feels betrayed that he didn't tell her this was happening!Naturally, Crystal is in the room for comedic purposes! Crystal isn't sure about getting married, but before they can talk further, the case comes in!

We get a rundown of the case - dead parents, abducted girl, you know the drill. Then Emily humiliates herself with the worst Wheels Up yet.

You know you're not on the plane right now, don't you? Like, you're aware of that fact? Because unless you're actually on the plane, the wheels can't go up. If the wheels go up now, that means the plane is leaving without you, moron. How hilarious would it be if the pilot had been on a conference call with them and took her statement seriously, then they get to the runway in twenty minutes and the plane is already a hundred miles away?

Speaking of, if I ever got the chance to pitch a Criminal Minds spinoff, it would be the lives of the two pilots who fly these people around the country. What do they do all day when they're in all of those cities, waiting for the team to need to go home? And they've got to have plenty of free time most weeks, since the plane has to be available whenever the team needs it. Those pilots are on staff, making a decent living just waiting around to ferry people to a place where serial killings are happening. And sometimes they don't work for a month.

That's an interesting story.

You know what would be the best episode for the last season, though? If someone noticed a pattern of 230+ murders over the past fifteen years, each one while the team was in the city, and Reid is briefly suspected of having murdered all those people, until they realize that their pilot had been a serial killer this whole time!

Okay, we've reached the point where I'm pitching Criminal Minds episodes, so let's move on.

Before the credits roll, we get a glimpse of the killer doing a bad job of washing bloodstains out of the little girl's clothes!

Criminal Minds 1407: Twenty Seven

A pair of women are taking pictures on the street when a madman with a machete slashes someone up right in the middle of frame! When he notices that he's being filmed, and hears the police being called, the madman runs away! He's not a handkerchief over his nose and mouth, but they've still probably got pretty good footage of him.

Everyone runs to help the slashed man while the ambulance is on the way, and in a closeup we notice that even though we saw the madman slash at his victim one more time before fleeing, the man has no additional wounds from when he fell. Maybe the guy missed?

An FBI agent arrives moments later, and starts organizing the scene! Emily, JJ, and Matt get there twenty seconds later, which is amazing. I guess this guy is a known criminal they were already chasing? Because he ran off approximately 90 seconds ago. In fact, why are you parking cars and talking to people - drive around and look for the guy?

According to Emily, a guy has been running around downtown for the last hour, slashing people with a machete! His first victim just died in the hospital! Wait, why are there still people out in the street? Shouldn't this news have already gotten around to everyone in downtown Washington? Shouldn't they all have been alarmed by the hundreds of cops cars that would be swarming the streets, looking for this guy?

Each slashing has taken place exactly 30 minutes after the previous one. So Emily sets a timer on her phone - is this going to be a real-time episode? That's ambitious, if so! I guess we'll find out after the credits!

Criminal Minds 1406: Luke

Looks like they're doing more with Eric, since the episode opens with a flashback to his injured friend and him dating that woman! Yup - the first scene has both those characters (as well as the dog) over at Eric's apartment! His injured friend is even walking again! They chat about their lives! The friend encourages Eric to set he and Garcia up! He's able to dodge all inquiries when a call about a case comes in!

At the office, it turns out Garcia actively wants to be set up with the friend, and Eric isn't doing it for some reason! Weird choice, Eric.

We get the details of the case - the killer has shot three middle-aged men in the back of the head with the same pistol. And he seems to be moving south in a straight line towards their neck of the woods. Could it be an assassin? Are they witnesses in some kind of a crime? Or does the connection exist only in their heads?

Hey, you know what no one says in this scene? "If there wasn't something shady in their past, they wouldn't have ended up with a bullet in the head." Weird that it's only female victims that Aisha is into blaming, huh?

Then we get a scene of the next killing - only this time it's a much younger guy, and he has bleach poured into his mouth while tied to a chair! That's a twist!