Criminal Minds Season 3 Recap!

Another season of Criminal Minds down! Some high highs this year, with the arrival of Joe Mantegna livening up the show a little, and the team finally battling that satanist they'd been itching to match wits with since "The Popular Kids" back in season 1.

The lows were especially low, however - between the show robbing us of our Santa-themed killer and the trip down bondage and child molestation lane, there was a glut of especially contemptible content this year.

Of course, we're not here to wallow in nostalgia - let's examine the only hard-and-fast metric ever designed to judge the relative psychologicality of Criminal Minds storylines!

Due to the writer’s strike there were just 20 episodes this year, featuring a total of 21 serial killers. The season didn't feature a two-parter, and while Penelope's shooting did occur over two episodes, the solving of it was featured entirely in episode nine, so I've counted their investigation there.

The total profiling score for the year was 50/210, or 24%. While this is up from last year's 20%, it's still lower than the series high-score of 25% in the first season.

Picking this year's best psychological writing was simple enough - it was the one time an episode climbed over five. Its inclusion is a little on the questionable side, though, because, much as in 'Riding the Lightning', in this particular case a crime wasn't actually solved. When we're introduced to the killer in question, he's already on Death Row, in the middle of a plan to have his execution delayed by adding a few more names to his list. When Reid stopped him with an impromptu profile, I decided to count it as 'solving' the case, despite the lack of mystery. Hell, it doesn't even really count as difficult profiling, because Reid wasn't actually using evidence to reverse-engineer a portrait of a killer, he was merely explaining how the killer's insanely bad childhood led him inexorably to murder - a task that was made immeasurably easier by the fact that he had access to the killer's entire life story.

It was much harder to decide on the worst showing for the profilers this year - beyond the now-standard format of most cases being solved by completely traditional policework, this season offered a shocking number of examples where the team had almost no measurable impact on the investigation. Where things would have turned out essentially the same had they remained in their comfortable chairs back at Quantico. Of all of those failures, though, one stands out above the rest. In the episode 3rd life, not only did the team fail to catch the culprit, they were beat to it by a mob hitman, who was trying to rescue his daughter from a group of vicious rapist/murderers.

When criminals are doing a better job of catching serial killers than the FBI, it might be time to turn in your badges, guys.

1 comment:

Maaian said...

Just started watching CM a few months ago.

I am honestly very disappointed with Criminal Minds because, as I imagine most of its viewers do, I look forward to actual CRIMINOLOGY and not CSI p.2. I cant stand those shows.

The first season was brilliant and the second one as well. It all went downhill when Prentiss arrived and hit rock bottom once Gideon left and Rossi filled the place of the cliche hard-boiled detective. Also at some point "Greg" as you call him became much more of a lawyer and a very crappy policeman.

Season 3 is also when the crimes starting getting ridiculous and when, as you stated many times, when the BAU is left mostly completely useless. What I also liked about CM is how gruesome and dark it was and its just... ok-ish at this point. I really hope that Season 4 picks up or this will be the single most disappointment of TV ever...