Suspect Behavior 107: Jane

Tonight's cavalcade of stupidity opens with a guy being slashed in a parking lot after a doctor House-style fakeout. An excessively drunk woman is led out of a club by a man - is he a murderer? No, just a guy who tries to stop a kidnapping, and winds up with his throat slashed for his troubles!

He's still alive, though, and I'm not sure why he's not clutching his throat. Was he just that surprised? Anyhoo, the team rushes to the hospital to see the guy, where they discover that he has, at most, a few hours left to live! Huh? What's killing him, exactly?

Okay, so there he is, lying in a hospital bed - he tries to talk, but his throat was slashed, so he can't. Here's the thing, though - he can still move his arms and legs, so there wasn't any spinal or nerve damage. Also he's awake, focused and able to attempt communications, so it's doubtful that he lost enough blood to do any major damage to his internal organs.

So I'll ask again - why, exactly, is this guy dying? Is it so that Forest Whitaker can have a dramatic scene with a dying person, David Caruso-style? Almost certainly, which just makes this additionally contemptible!

Now, let's visit with the killer, who's stripped his victim naked and locked her in a concrete tunnel! Then get grabs some wire, planning to tie her up. Christ, not another freaky bondage guy, please?

Also, I know you're naked and all, but this would be your best chance to fight back. Before you're tied up. Take a shot - what could you possibly have to lose?

The team goes over the previous two victims. A black grandmother and a young black woman. They have nothing in common - so why were they picked? In an interesting note, they've yet to identify the currently missing woman - hence the title of the episode, I suppose. Forest makes the hilarious assertion that if they can find out some background about the victims and how they lived their life, it'll tell them what kind of person could get close to them, and that will help them find the killer!

What do you want to bet that doesn't work out? Seriously, Forest, here's the kind of guy I'm suspecting: someone capable of knocking them down with a club and dragging them into a vehicle while they're alone, like he did with the latest victim.

Murderer and Mick head out to the crime scene to look for any clues about the killer's behaviour. The scene is ridiculously badly written, and contains the Prentiss award-winning line of the night.

That's right, murderer. It wasn't his first time. Why do you think they called the serial killer task force in?

Hilariously, that isn't even the stupidest part of the scene, which comes when we get a look at the ground.

Yes, that's a chalk outline on the ground. When, exactly, did they make that? Did the paramedics have to wait around while the cops finished drawing a line around their still-bleeding charge?

Also, please note the incredibly small amount of blood on the ground. No way was that a fatal amount. Anyhoo, Murderer and Mick head into the club, hoping to gather a clue about the kind of person they're looking for. They assume he must be young, since an older guy would have stood out among all the kids in the bar. Which is a great note, except for two things - 1 - they have no reason to believe he was ever inside the club in the first place. He could have just waited outside until a tipsy woman came out on her own. 2 - We've already seen the killer's face:

And he's a beardo with scraggly hair. Who would have been just as out of place (or moreso) than a 40-year-old in the club.

Forest swings by the family of the first victim - the son feels guilty about not picking her up on the night she was kidnapped. He also asks an important question, which is answered by the team's newest recruit.

Forest doesn't learn anything, and lies to the family about thinking that their mother is still alive. A visit with the second victim's best friend is equally useless. Then it's back to the killer, who grabs his bound, naked victim and drags her up to a workshop.

Did he tie off her arms so tightly that he cut off all blood circulation? Ick. Seriously, what is going on with this guy? And why is he staring up a bandsaw? This is disgusting, even by the standards of a Suspect Behavior episode.

The next morning the team is frustrated by the fact that the Jane Doe victim still hasn't been reported missing. They worry that they don't have enough information about the case to build a profile. There's a line that almost stupid enough to win the Prentiss Award, when the blonde one mentions that no 'high risk' women have been reported missing. Um... the fact that they live the kinds of lives where they don't get reported missing is what makes them high-risk, moron.

A ridiculous montage of the team talking to pimps and social workers follows, hoping to discover the identities of any other women that have recently disappeared. And it's got to be recently, remember - every killer in the world of Criminal Minds is a spree killer. They discover two prostitutes that have disappeared and offer the profile to the cops (it boils down to 'ask people on the street if anyone creepy has been around' - they weren't doing that anyways?), then spend some time trying to figure out why the killer might have changed his MO. A vice detective has an answer for them - there was a vice sweep two weeks running, so there weren't any prostitutes on the street for him to abduct. Interesting, yes. Useful? I can't imagine how.

Then it's time for another startlingly disgusting scene, as we watch the killer hose down his blood-covered bandsaw.

Hey, hold on a second - are we really supposed to believe that he cut off her limbs with that? How? It's not like there's a bench next to the thing. He would have had to pick her up (with no circulation in her arms or legs it's not like she could stand on her own) and push her limbs into it. That couldn't possibly go well. And wouldn't she be struggling? Unless she was dead already, I guess. Damn you, CMSB, why are you making me think about this?

The killer then dumps some cement into a drum so that he can dispose of the body. Oh, and even though her limbs have been removed, apparently the woman is still alive.

What is wrong with everyone involved in this show?

Immediately following this, something else incredibly stupid happens. Like, so moronic that I can't believe I'm actually having to type it out - so I can't imagine the shame the episode's writer must have felt in actually scripting it in the first place. As the team are trying to figure out where the killer might be dumping bodies, Murderer mentions that while he was in jail he talked to mobsters, and their favorite method of getting rid of bodies was to put them into cars that were then crushed, and melted down - so maybe they should check a local scrapyard!

The team rushes over there, and some corpse dogs lead them to... the cement bags, which have blood spattered on them? What the hell? Okay, first off, junkyards are full of blood (that's something that tends to get spread around in car accidents) so I'm fairly sure the dogs should be finding plenty of leads, rather then almost none, as the show suggests, but more importantly, why would the killer hide the cement bags in a junkyard? Either he thinks they're incriminating or he doesn't. If he doesn't, he'd just put them in his regular garbage and they'd go to the dump. If he does think they're incriminating, he'd just burn them. They're made of paper. Which burns easily. As do the bloodstains on it.

Did the killer seriously just head across town, dig a hole in a random junkyard, and then hide the garbage bags in it so that Murderer could use his 'insight' to find them? God, this is a terribly-written show.

Okay, so now they know that the killer is making concrete coffins for his victims - logically the only reason to do that is if you're going to sink them underwater, so the team checks out the local river, and the barrels prove to be almost comically easy to find-

Literally right at the end of a dock, just six feet below the surface. So the killer kind of half-assed things right at the end there, didn't he?

Notably, the latest victim's body is in one of the barrels, which is hugely confusing, because according to the show'd timeline she was kidnapped 48 hours ago, and only killed that morning, a maximum of 12 hours earlier. Which is profoundly not enough time for a drum full of cement to harden.

They pop the barrels open and have an ME examine the corpses, hoping to find a clue about the killer's identity. They don't find any, but something comes up that, um... Well, it makes the whole world feel dirty, even if they haven't seen the episode. While discussing the injuries, they mention that the victims' limbs were removed while they were still alive (which I'm still not clear on the logistics of, especially when the ME refers to the cuts as going 'clean through' - what about the inevitable thrashing?). During this whole sequence, their language become very delicate, as if they're dancing around something, careful not to describe exactly what they're talking about.

Then Forest says something that makes it abundantly clear what's happening, and it makes me want to vomit. Forest announces that they should be looking for a known sex offender who's had problems with overpowering victims in the past.

Yes, that's right. They don't want to say it outright, but they've seriously made an episode about a killer who cuts off women's limbs while they're still alive so that they won't be able to fight back while he's raping them.

Jesus Christ, Criminal Minds, what the hell is wrong with you that you would put that on television? Seriously, that's so pointlessly awful that I'm not even going to review the rest of the episode. I mean, there's some more stuff that I'll go over, but man, am I not going to go point-by-point on this any further.

So all of their 'profiling' and 'checking into similar M.O.s' comes to nothing. A woman gets kidnapped when her car breaks down, and Garcia checks nearby surveillance cameras for anyone circling the area, looking for victims. They find a muscle car, then pull it over, but the guy inside has an alibi - he just picked up the car half an hour ago! So the mechanic must be the killer!

The team rushes over to the mechanic's garage and save his latest victim, but the killer is sadly not killed in the process.

Forest almost chokes him to death, but Janeane stops him. I doubt anyone working on the show could explain why she does this, however.

Once again proving that Forest has no sense of propriety or understanding of people's emotions, he's the one to go down into the basement to rescue the woman - as if the first thing a bound, naked, abused woman wants to see looming over her is Forest Whitaker - who's terrifying when playing mini-golf, for god's sake, so imagine how he would look in that situation.

Alright, so, there's just two more scenes in the show. One in which Forest tries to make the killer feel bad about himself, as if that's a useful way to spend his time (dude, just kill the guy if you want to - do you really think anyone's going to have a problem with him dying in custody?), and then the team goes to watch Jane Doe get buried in an anonymous grave. Which happens pretty quickly, given that she only went missing three days ago. Hell, now that they have her severed head (it was in the killer's fridge), can't Garcia just check it against her national Driver's License/Yearbook registry to find out who she is? Or do you not want to ask her to do any more since she already solved the crime for you this week?

Also, couldn't you wait a little while before interring her in a pauper's grave? What if no one had reported her missing because she was on vacation when she was murdered? What happens when someone calls up the police next Monday when she doesn't show up at work? Isn't it going to be kind of awkward to explain 'Oh, her. Yeah, we tossed her in a hole. Why?'

Since I've got a little extra space, I'll take the end of this article to point out two things that I've found weird about Criminal Minds in the past week.

1: About Michael Kelly's character

That's Simms, who I often refer to as 'murderer' because that's his backstory, and I forget his name a lot. For the entire episode Forest called him something else, but because Forest slurs his words, I couldn't tell what it was - only that it wasn't 'Simms'. So I looked it up on IMDB, and it turns out that his character's nickname is 'Prophet'. Which is ridiculous.

2: Remember DJ Qualls?

Do you think he was in the pilot episode of Criminal Minds because the casting director really liked him, but they went with Matt Gubler instead of him for Reid, and they offered the completely superfluous 'killer's assistant' part as a consolation prize?

Because that's what I think.

1 - Was profiling in any way helpful in solving the crime?

Oh, Christ no. Literally nothing they did this week was of any relevance up until the killer grabbed someone in public and Garcia found that video footage. Up until then the characters were just wasting everyone's time.

2 - Could the crime have been solved just as easily using conventional police methods given the known facts of the case?

Surveillance cameras solved the crime. Stop being so pro-Big Brother, television!

So, on a scale of 1 (Dirty Harry) to 10 (Tony Hill), How Useful Was Profiling in Solving the Crime?

1/10 - Seriously, everyting every character did for the first 30-odd minutes of the episode had nothing to do with the solution. Screw you, Criminal Minds.

Would this episode have played out any differently had the regular team been running things, or was there some advantage to having a rogue Red Cell that operates 'outside the bureaucracy'?

Honestly, I'm not sure why I even have this category any more. There hasn't been an episode of this show where you couldn't have just changed the character names in the script and filmed it as a Criminal Minds episode.

Why didn't they just make this Criminal Minds: West Coast or something - let them handle everything west of the Mississippi, and Greg and co. could take care of the east? That would at least give us some difference in setting between the show. As of now, it doesn't even offer that.

1 comment:

BedazzledCrone said...

so, you haven't finished writing it yet??

thought the episode was a bit much - can't wait to read the review & get your take, Count