Criminal Minds 313: Limelight

The episode opens, rather strangely, with two dudes bidding on the contents of an abandoned storage unit. What they discover inside will haunt your dreams for years to come:

Bet you wish you had some sweet-ass Tonka toys like that, don’t you? Oh, and there’s also a trunk full of monstrously detailed sketchbooks about the owner’s plan to kidnap women and then torture them to death in hideous bondage contraptions.

But I maintain that the toys are the real find. The team is sent copies of the file immediately – Joe heads up to look over the material with Reid, so they can determine if the guy is actually a serial killer, or just a fantasist. When they arrive they meet Jill, the agent in charge of the office. She’s announces that the storage unit was rented under a fake name, and they’ve got no idea who’s behind it! Although you’d think that somewhere, among the thousands of sheets of paper in the crate he must have left a fingerprint somewhere, right?

After spending hours with the perverse reading material Joe and Reid come to a mixed conclusion. The guy wants to be a serial killer, but there’s no evidence that he’s actually killed anyone. Jill is disappointed to hear this, and lets them see the final piece of evidence – some hair that had been locked in the trunk – apparently according to Joe’s book collecting hair basically means you’re planning to start serial killing people. Who knew? With that crucial evidence in his hands, Joe has all the reason he needs to call in the team – which will happen, naturally, after the opening credits!


The Twenty-Fifth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics!

And now, from the annals of comic book history comes this example of the complex relationship that creators had with non-white races.

You know, if they could have just gotten an Indian Chief and a buck-toothed Chinaman in there, this might have been the most racially questionable panel ever!


Criminal Minds 312: 3rd Life

The episode opens with scenes from a young woman’s brutal murder, intercut with flashes of her mangled corpse lying in a ditch. For obvious reasons, I’ll spare you having to look at any images of it. The team is already on the scene, looking for some ‘missing girls’, and wondering if this corpse will be identified as one of them. The parents of the two girls are waiting around the scene – one of them is Brian McNamara, and the other one is a widower who brought a pal to the crime scene!

The twist? They don’t know which of the two girls is lying dead on the ditch, since her face and hands have been brutalized! Also, there’s something clearly up with the widower dad-

That’s just crazily creepy, isn’t it? He even offers to try identifying the mutilated corpse. What’s going on with that guy? Other evidence includes an audio tape of one of the girls being murdered! But which one? Can they really ask the parents to listen to the audio? The team seems to think it’s important that they know which girl they’re looking for, although I’m not sure why. In either case the remaining girl is being held hostage by a group of vicious torturers – will knowing the identity of the living girl really effect how they conduct the search?

Anyhoo, they all listen to the tape together. Broadcast aloud for the whole room to hear. Which seems like a stretch – haven’t these people heard of headphones? So what’s the identity of the dead girl? Find out after the opening credits!


Criminal Minds 311: Birthright

We’re out in farm country as this episode kicks off, where young people are partying despite the fact that two young women have disappeared recently! I’m guessing that the missing girl counts as victim number one, so the brown-haired girl who gets abducted when she and her boyfriend wander away from the party will be the victim we get to know a little before she’s brutally murdered.

The team has the case presented to them the next morning – the women are being held for weeks, then tortured to death, cut to pieces, and dumped in a national park. Here’s the hook – this series of murders is identical to a series from twenty-five years ago! Could the killer have returned?

The killer might be in his fifties – the show is careful to let us see only black-gloved hands in the next scene, showing us what happens to the women he abducts-

Ah, crying girl dangling from a hook. You’re not as disgustingly overused as ‘crying girl tied to chair’, but you’re damn close. The victim in the foreground explains the rules to the new girl – the killer wants to pretend he’s at a party, so don’t scream and he won’t burn you with cigarettes.

Ick. And on that unpleasant note, let’s drift over to the opening credits, shall we?


The Twenty-Fourth-Greatest Panel in the History of Comics

And now, the perfect crime!

Who could ever suspect foul play in 'The Case of the Puma That Was Dropped Off A Cliff'?


Criminal Minds 310: True Night

Hey, remember back in the kidnapped child episode, when I talked about how Criminal Minds never attempted artistic imagery? (Probably not, that was a couple of months ago, after all) Turns out I was massively underestimating the show. This episode seems to have been done up in Sin City-Vision.

So Malcolm in the Middle is fighting Werewolves. He’s also perhaps the worst hard-boiled fiction narrator ever, as you’ll hear in these opening seconds of the episode.

You couldn't get him a pack of cigarettes or something? Gravel out that voice a little?

So Malcolm’s a comic book artist who’s drawing a trite story about a guy in a trenchcoat killing werewolves. But he’s also going out and butchering people at night!

Seven people across two weeks! That’s some hard-core violence – no wonder our crew is headed out to LA immediately!

Damn. I was really hoping for Alaska.