Criminal Minds 618: Lauren

It's part 2, folks, which opens with Emily arriving at an Irish Pub in Boston! Which certainly suggests that the show isn't going to be too concerned with explaining how Doyle escaped the city-wide dragnet of law enforcement officers from five different agencies who all knew his name and face. It seems that this pub is the selfsame one that an undercover Emily met Doyle at eight years ago!

They were introduced by that famous weaselly character actor on the left, who was something of a fixer at the time, it seems. She showed up one day, looking for 'Valhalla', which naturally led her to Doyle. What exactly had Doyle done to warrant this kind of huge multi-agency attention all those years ago? I'm sure it will be explained when Emily goes to talk to the fixer, who's fallen on hard times since the flashback.

Meanwhile, back at the office, the team (apparently not noticing that Emily's been gone for hours) finally looks over Emily's information from Cia, which includes a list of all of the cover names of the people working on the Doyle case, save for Emily's which has been left off. All of the cover names start with LR, though, which is enough of a clue to make Reid remember Emily talking about Lauren Reynolds on the phone a few weeks earlier!

In case you're wondering, that is officially the first time Reid's photographic memory actually helped them with a clue that couldn't be figured out any other way. It only took them nearly seven years for it to come in handy!

Now that they realize she's missing, Joe is able to intuit that Emily must have been keeping her involvement with Doyle a secret in order to protect them - no one bothers to question how stupid this premise is, however - especially because Doyle has demonstrated no ability to get to any of them. At the height of his power since escaping prison Doyle has had three gun-toting henchmen on his side. Now he's presumably down to just two. What chance would they have against the combined might of the FBI and DC police?

Instead of discussing how ridiculous Emily's stupidity has been, the team decides to use their normal tricks to find Doyle - they'll profile him as the killer and Emily as the victim! They'll even bring in a terror specialist and friend of Emily's to work the case... JJ! Ah, it's good to have her back. Although, given how frequently profiling fails to help them catch anyone, I don't much like their chances of success.

Back in Boston Emily confronts the fixer, demanding to know how many people Doyle has working for him. The fixer suggests it's just 15-20, local mob thugs and ex-IRA goons with a few rifles between them. If this is true, it's a threat that should have been established a while ago. More importantly, it's reason enough for Emily to bring in the authorities - after all, she's not some manner of Jason Statham, does she really think there's a chance that she'll get past more than a dozen armed guys?

The fixer offers to tell Emily where Doyle is, but she just replies that she already knows (information that could be shared with the FBI's SWAT units, perchance?), and shoots the fixer in the head. Seriously, that happens.

Good work? I'm not even sure how I'm supposed to respond to this reckless murdering, especially as it's accomplishing nothing but endangering her own life and the lives of her friends further. Also deafening her, since she just fired a gun in a tiny soundproofed space.

Okay, it's time for a blast from the past, as JJ lays out the case information! It seems Emily used to work for the CIA, as part of a group tasked with 'profiling' terrorists. And all the members of her team are being killed off - including Angus, who was apparently murdered with his family in Brussels seven days earlier, and we just never heard about it.

Why wasn't he in hiding? He knew Doyle was coming for him, and it's not that hard to do. Just go somewhere and don't tell anyone you're there. Unless your pursuer has the resources of a governmental intelligence service (and Doyle doesn't) , there's basically no way to find you.

Oh, and apparently Cia's name was spelled Tsia. Which is just nuts. I'm not saying you're not allowed to have that name, I'm just saying the show should have put it in print for me much earlier so I didn't think I was going crazy by hearing the nonsense assemblage of letters 'Cia'. It seems the only surviving members of the team are Prentiss and Sebastian Roche! They also learn that Emily had an affair with Doyle as part of his cover which, along with the dead child they still don't know about, probably has quite a bit to do with his hurt feelings.

Then Joe and Derek take a trip to Emily's apartment, and the show demonstrates how little respect it has for its audience's intelligence.

You know, producers, we've spent at least one scene in this apartment in like four out of the last six episodes, and the first two lines of dialogue reference in the scene the fact that it's Emily's apartment. Is the title really necessary?

Joe and Derek debate the relative morality of Emily's actions - sleeping with Doyle in order to get him arrested. Or get his 'profile', as they keep saying, although I'm not sure they're using that word right. Derek is understandably upset about all the lying, but Joe defends her, reminding Derek that Emily was trying to protect them. Of course, she wasn't actually trying to protect them for the first three episodes when she knew a terrorist was coming to America to kill her - during that period she was keeping quiet for no reason at all. And the protection doesn't seem very effective if people are shooting at Derek with assault rifles.

Then, while trying to prove that Emily isn't going off the grid for good, Joe finds a piece of evidence and interprets it in the most Prentiss Award-Winning way possible.

No, Joe, you wouldn't. Because real passports allow people to easily trace your movements. If she was going to vanish she'd leave all traces of her real life behind. Which is exactly what she's done. Who's looking after her new cat?

You used to be in David Mamet plays all the time, Joe. Does reading this stuff out loud make your tongue burn?

Joe then finds the engagement ring that she flushed down the toilet, and decides that this means there's far more between her and Doyle than they realize. They also come to the completely reasonable conclusion that everyone's probably in Boston - what with that being the city where Doyle has connections, and where Emily first met him.

Meanwhile, in Boston, Emily is proving to be absolutely terrible at surveillance. She somehow (still not explained) knows what random warehouse Doyle is hiding out at, and she's driven there to watch him with a camera.

From fifteen feet away, since that's obviously the same chain-link fence and dumpster.

Okay, a couple of fun facts here - nice to know that this 'random warehouse' is right next to a huge newly-built soundstage (that grey building in the upper-right), and unless I'm mistaken, it's the same bottling company where William Sanderson worked in that episode of Suspect Behavior.

Yup. I should not have been able to recognize that so easily. I saw that episode once like a year ago.

Okay, so, back to Criminal Minds - Emily gets caught because of her being terrible at sneaking, right? Of course not! No, Doyle doesn't see her despite her complete inability to be subtle - possibly because she's busy having another flashback to their time together. This time it's a remembrance of when she managed to sell his terrorist group a rocket launcher, and Doyle's beardo sidekick thought that Emily's sources were too good to be true. Doyle was blinded by love, though, and refused to execute her.

There's a little exchange where he explains that he always rides in the second car because the first takes the hit in an ambush. Which isn't entirely accurate - if there's a landmine, sure, the first car's gone. But if it's just guys at the side of the road with rifles and grenade launchers, and the two cars speed off, it's the second car that takes the most hits, since it's between the shooter and the front car during the escape.

Wow, that was a waste of all of our time! I'm sorry.

During the flashback Doyle proposes, and admits that he's the head of the nefarious Valhalla terrorist group. Which then leads to a super-awkward hug.

Even though the entire US government has been unable to to find a single internationally wanted criminal driving from Washington to Boston, they do quickly turn up Sebastian, who decided to fly there in the hopes of saving a few hours. Greg announces that the team is going to Boston immediately to interview Sebastian and hopefully save Emily! Even Garcia is coming (although I'm not sure how she'd be more help away from her computer)...

Also, what's going on with Garcia. Here she is in the previous episode-

Now get a look at her in a scene set 24 hours later-

What happened to her hair? Sure, curls can relax overnight, but bangs don't grow out like that in a single day. Where is their hair continuity person?

The TSA successfully arrests Sebastian with a suitcase full of cash... suspicious! So he was evil? If so, you'd think he would have a better plan for escaping that getting on a commercial airliner inside the US.

Now it's time for Emily to put her plan into action - but first she listens to a teary voicemail from Garcia, begging her to wait until help arrives. This was Garcia's plan to find her, BTW - leave teary e-mails on all of Emily's phone numbers. Not use the network and GPS to actually locate those phones. That would be too easy.

So now for that plan. The most-wanted Irish criminal in America walks out of an Irish bar in Boston (which the authorities know he frequents), then he and his team of thugs pile into two SUVs - lucky Emily learned that he always rides in the second car, right? So Emily grabs a flash grenade and an SMG, then charges across the street (after the first SUV has driven away. It's not like they're driving together for protection or anything... I seriously have no idea what Emily would have done if the front SUV had waited until the back SUV was ready.) shoots into the back window (certainly killing someone), tosses a flash grenade inside, and then looks over the people who come crawling out. She demands to know where Doyle is, but he's anticipated the ambush, and was never in the SUV at all. So he shoots her a bunch of times in the bulletproof vest, incapacitating her.

I don't know whose plan was worse here - Emily's or Doyle's. She was hoping that the guy with an army of mercenaries would just let himself be left unguarded, and he was seemingly counting on her not killing anybody and being distracted by the fact that he wasn't in the SUV. Had she used a real grenade and killed everyone inside the car, he couldn't have gotten the drop on her. Of course, had he not cared about theatrics and just sent a bunch of guys with assault rifles to go get her where she sat in a car across the street, there was nothing she could have done about it either.

These two deserve each other.

On the plane to Boston the team discuss Emily's actions - with Derek once again being shocked that she through a flash grenade into a car of mercenaries. "Someone could have been killed!" he laments, worrying for the safety of the hired killers who shot a child in the face last week. The rest of the team understands that in order to take down Doyle she has to be as ruthless as he is, and that's generally accepted as true. Except, you know, she didn't use a real grenade. Also, since she knew exactly where this incredibly high-profile criminal was, she could have just called the authorities and had him taken down. Not that we're supposed to think of that possibility...

They also puzzle about how Doyle could have known Emily was coming for him. Their conclusion? The 'mole' must have ratted her out! You know, the mole that's been feeding Doyle the names and locations of everyone he has a problem with, that's only mentioned for the first time in this scene? They're operating under the assumption that it's Sebastian, and Greg announces that he'll break the British ex-SAS guy with little trouble. Of course, Sebastian didn't actually know that Emily was going to chase Doyle to Boston, so that can't be how he knew to set up an ambush. Not that he needed and special information, what with Emily's habit of sitting in a car fifteen feet away from the guy she's taking pictures of in broad daylight.

Now it's torture time! Doyle has Emily tied up in the warehouse, ready for some torture! What form will it take? Branding her with a 4-leaf clover! Ick!

Over at the police station it turns out that Emily didn't kill the fixer after all, just fired a gun next to his right ear, utterly destroying it. So also ick. It seems they found him because there have been calls between him and Sebastian - but will they be able to get information about Doyle's whereabouts from the fixer before it's too late for Emily?

Then things get really weird, as Doyle finds out that the fixer has been taken into custody, and his henchman feels that they should skip, since it's only a matter of time before the cops come knocking on their door. Doyle wants to spend more time with Emily, though, and he says he'll be able to take care of the fixer - after all, the man smokes, right? What does that mean?

Time for Sebastian's scene with Greg! It starts with the letter of recommendation he wrote to help her get into the FBI's profiler program, which is some major new information. Greg refers to it as selling her to the FBI, the same way he sold Doyle to the North Koreans. Hey, how and why did that happen again? Oh, you just don't want to tell us? Fine. Then the terrible writers of this episode craft a terrible exchange in the attempt to make Greg look tough. I'm just going to excerpt it here, because it's too terrible not to share:

Can you believe that? Even one word of it? Doyle didn't betray anyone for self-preservation, that's what you're accusing Sebastian of. You don't look smart for saying that, Greg, you look like a man who can't remember the beginning of his sentences by the time he gets to the end of them.

Joe and Reid demand information from the fixer, who freely admits that he talked to Sebastian, who apparently offered to pay his medical bills in exchange for information about Emily. Which makes it sound like he was coming to Boston to try and save her - which doesn't really jibe with his standoffishness towards Greg. The team make the mistake of letting the fixer know that they care what happens to Emily, so he demands two hundred thousand dollars to reveal the location of Doyle's warehouse. Rachel suggests that instead they simply give him a cigarette and hope that loosens him up.

Here's a better idea, morons. You have Sebastian's suitcase, which has something like a million dollars in it, in the police station with you. Count out 200 Gs, offer it to the fixer in exchange for the information, and then when you've rescued Emily, take the money back. Or let him keep it if Sebastian's cool with that. Can't hurt to ask, right? Isn't that far better than trying to play a psychological game with him?

Then there's some more time with Doyle and Emily, who roleplay their first meeting, turning her captivity into a creepy sex game. Apparently she seriously thinks he's stupid enough to fall for her again and let her go. He's not, instead planning to torture her because she killed 'an innocent', and he wants her to suffer the way she made him suffer. I don't know why they're being so coy about this - if Emily was somehow responsible for the death of his child, why is he afraid to say it?

Oh, and they decided to give the fixer a cigarette on the roof of the police station, surrounded by the myriad hundred-story skyscrapers of downtown Boston. Cough. They're being watched by a sniper, who also has a webcam broadcasting to Doyle's laptop. His plan? Make EMily watch as one of her team gets murdered! Emily tries to claim that they should be left out of it, but Doyle points out that if she didn't involve them, how did they get to Boston? Um, because you're the most-wanted man in America, and you're known to have connections to Boston? Emily begs them to just shoot the fixer, because that way her team won't have anything they can use to find him. Doyle's happy that she's encouraging him to commit a murder, so he okays the plan.

Of course, Doyle has knowing that the Fixer hasn't already given them the address, so it's just an incredibly stroke of luck that his sniper manages to gun the guy down before he can turn over the info.

Wow, that was way smarter than giving him the money, FBI agents.

With no leads left (other than Sebastian, of course), Joe has a final, desperate plan - ask the newest member of the team, the one who knows Emily the least, what's struck her as odd about the case, hoping that her fresh eyes will notice something everyone else missed! Wow, finally something for Rachel Nichols to do! Will wonders never cease? Her conclusion? The fact that he's killing families is super-important!

Now that's a shocking insight! Or at least it was when they made it to the head of fake blackwater last episode.

Garcia and JJ actually do some real work, checking to see if anyone might have been the mole other than Sebastian. It pays off, as they discover Cia's (yes, I'm sticking by that spelling) fiancee came into a suspiciously large amount of money right before his death. Then Garcia has a weird line when asked if she thought Cia knew about the betrayal.

Um... but she was running from a terrorist. Remember? That line makes no sense. If she was in on it than she wouldn't have known that she was a target until her fiancee was killed, same as if she wasn't - in either case there wasn't time to empty accounts, she got on a plane immediately, fleeing the county.

Greg then goes to talk to Sebastian, who claims that he was keeping quiet because he'd suspected Cia and her fiancee were both working for Doyle. Greg wants to know everything he knows about Doyle the terrorist, so that when combined with what they know about Doyle the serial killer, it should tell them... what? Where his warehouse is? How would that help? Sebastian agrees to help so long as Greg will promise to kill Doyle rather than arrest him, since he's too dangerous to jail.

Note that we still haven't actually heard of Doyle ever committing a crime other than buying weapons before his arrest. Why is everyone so scared of this guy?

Sebastian then agrees to consult with the team, and by going over Doyle's psychology, they figure out that he must have lost a child, since that's the only reason he could have murdered that kid in DC. Unless, of course, the child could identify him. Sebastian states that Doyle didn't have any children, but Emily obviously knew that he did - why not mention that to other people on her team?

Speaking of children, over at the warehouse Doyle mentions that the fixer told him Emily was in town, and that's how he knew to ambush her. Wow, so I guess she should have killed him after all, huh? It seems that she knows where Doyle would be staying because that warehouse is where his son died! Oh, so it wasn't during the raid then?

She has a flashback about playing with the child, and the happy life they all had together in Italy. It seems that the Irish housekeeper was asked to pretend that the child was hers, so that no one would be able to use that information against Doyle. They got into a conversation about whether she would help him raise the kid, but she said no to having a child grow up in the world of arms running and contract murder.

Then we finally spill the backstory - he wouldn't talk to the North Koreans, despite all the torture. Not until they showed him pictures of his abducted maid and child! Wait, he had information the North Koreans wanted? Why would killing his family make him give it to them? how did he know that this random photo-

Was taken in a Boston warehouse? How did North Koreans, get people to kidnap and kill someone in Boston? Still, despite all that, it's all Emily's fault since she's the only one who knew about the identity of the child!

The child's existence also tips the team off to where Doyle is located, because for no reason that I can think of all of the pictures of Doyle's housekeeper and child being shot are just sitting in a databse somewhere, along with the address where it happened. What, did the killers publish them?

Well, not killers, Emily's the one who faked the murders and got him a new identity. I mean, in the show they briefly claim that she killed them, but we're not seriously supposed to think that's true, are we? Even the serial killers don't kill children on this show, what's the odds one of the main characters would?

After a bit of brutal beating, Emily admits that she had the kid relocated, which naturally leads Doyle to demand information about where his son is. Emily explains that she was motivated to help the son escape because Interpol would have tortured the son in order to get information out of Doyle via the North Koreans, which seems wrong on eight or nine different levels. Does Interpol torture people? It's not like they're Americans, so it seems doubtful. And are they exchanging intelligence information with North Korea?

Meanwhile the FBI has surrounded the warehouse, and is busy shooting all of the exterior guards. Their plan? Go inside and kill everyone but Emily! Which is actually the first sensible plan I've heard across two episodes.

The beating turns into a fight in which Emily taunts him, explaining that she's just been stalling him since she found out that the FBI had grabbed the fixer. Wow, so she was relying on them to be something other than blithering idiots! Bad bet, Emily. She finds out how bad a bet seconds later, when Doyle grabs a piece of broken wood and stabs her in the stomach with it. He demands to know where his son is, but she falls unconscious, so he just runs off.

Somehow escaping past the FBI agents who have the place surrounded. Because I hate this show.


Except for a coda where we're briefly supposed to think that Emily has died from her injuries, going so far as to have a fake funeral, only it turns out that she's actually been relocated to France in order to keep her protected from Doyle.

Who apparently escaped Boston. Not that the show bothers explaining this to us. In fact, after Derek finds Emily injured in the basement, Doyle is never mentioned again. Which is a completely plausible sequence of events after the sixth most wanted man in world 'killed' a federal agent in the middle of an American city. It's not like he even has any more resources - all of his henchmen were gunned down summarily by the FBI.

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

Let's see - I can't really give them credit for the big solve 'Doyle had a kid' for one reason. It's impossible that no one else knew Doyle had a kid. Emily put the child in her 'profile' and the report to Interpol. Then she faked the kid's death because his identity had gone public. Which means Interpol knows about the kid. So why wasn't it in the file that they got from Interpol? It's not like the fact that he had a child that was later murdered was some kind of a secret - Interpol had no reason to think that it had done anything wrong, so why cover it up?

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

Let's see - at any point Emily could have called the FBI and told them where every single member of Doyle's gang was holed up. So yes. Even if she continued to be a moron, the FBI could have easily gotten the information about the warehouse from the fixer, but instead they went with a terrible plan to bring a guy who wants to snitch on mercenaries outside of a police station where those mercenaries will have a chance to kill him.

Or seriously, just ask someone in the organized crime community. This guy blows into town and hires every available thug - how well-kept a secret could their whereabouts possibly be?

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

3/10 - Yes, the figured it out, but it was only because of terrible writing that this wasn't information that they already had.

Here are some questions left unanswered by the second part of this story.

How did Doyle escape Washington?

How did Doyle find out about the existence of Cia and her fiancee so that he could bribe him?

How did Doyle escape Boston?

Why did no newspapers cover the two fires/dead families story?

If Sebastian knew all along that he wasn't evil, why didn't he try to help Greg right away? And don't tell me it's because he needed to make sure Doyle was dead, and could only do that on his own - he too had no reason to suspect that he could deal with a dozen mercenaries with assault rifles.

Why was Derek so concerned that Emily might have hurt some mercenaries, yet utterly blase about gunning down those selfsame mercenaries with silenced weapons, without even giving them a chance to surrender?

Why did Emily make any of the bafflingly absurd decisions that she made over the course of this storyline?

Since Emily's still alive, and presumably told Greg about the kid in witness protection, have they set up people around him to catch Doyle when he inevitably comes looking?

Seriously, who is looking after the new cat that Emily just got? Last we saw wasn't she putting it into a cat carrier? Where did it go?

On that note, I'll retire for the evening, and bid you a fond farewell, Criminal Minds, see you next-

What? This wasn't the season-ender? Huh? They wrote Emily out with six episodes left to go? What is going on with this show?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, they used Reid's iedetic memory to figure out where Foyet took Haley and Jack. So no, didn't take them seven seasons to use it!