1.8.14

Criminal Minds 802: The Pact

It's San Diego, California, and we're deep in the land of pool parties and toy poodles. A husband and wife are fighting about something trivial, which is just a microcosm for their relationship troubles - just as husband leaves the room, wife gets a text about an illicit assignation! Wow, lucky she didn't get that text literally one second earlier, or she may have had to have come up with a story! Wife jumps into her car and drives to another part of town, where someone sneaks up behind her and hits her with a bat!

Well, okay, technically swings a bat nowhere near her if you're watching frame-by-frame to get a screengrab, but still, it's shocking! The killer attaches the woman's dead body to the back of his(her?) car with chains and then drives off, proving both a sadistic intent to mutilate a corpse, and that they're apparently in a part of town so dead that absolutely no one would notice that, somehow.

Over at Quantico Garcia is trying to convince Joe to take his 30 vacation days before they expire, and the team debates the best possible destination for him. Joe claims that he doesn't want a vacation at all, but I think the guy desperately needs one. After all, he already can't take his birthday off, what with having to visit that serial killer - when else is he going to get a break? In the end, Alex suggests that he donate the days to an FBI agent who needs it more than he does. Which is a thing you can do, apparently? Just give someone your vacation days? I've never heard of that before.

Then Greg arrives to run down the case, and we discover that two victims were killed the same way that night, one in San Diego, and another in LA! Each one was texting with someone who was using a disposable cell phone (how are those legal again?), went to meet them, and then was knocked out and dragged to their deaths!

Okay, first off, how did it take the dragging to kill them? They got hit in the head with a baseball bat. That doesn't seem super-survivable. Also, how did no one notice this happening twice in the same night? Are the streets in either one of those cities so empty at night that you wouldn't notice someone dragging a corpse a few blocks?

It's pointed out that dragging people behind cars is generally associated with hate crimes, but since the people killed were white and straight, there doesn't seem to be a clear connection. Unless, of course, the killer didn't know them well enough to guess their sexual orientation. Reid pipes up with the utterly useless bit of trivia that in Ye Olde Englande, drawing someone behind a horse was the first part of a punishment that involved disembowelment, beheading, and quartering. So thanks for that.

Then the team is off to the plane, making me wonder once again why they couldn't have just had this conversation on the flight, what with them dealing with a spree killer and all.


On the flight we discover that the woman was a suburban teacher, the man was a drug addict, and the two had no obvious connection to one another. They lament that they don't know what the killer was saying to the victims when s/he called each one twice a day, but I'm unclear why they haven't gotten the texting history yet. We saw the wife texting with the killer already, and it's unlikely that's the first time it ever happened - so where are those records?

They talk for a little while about how awful the dragging behind a car was, and then Alex wins her first-ever Prentiss Award with this groaner:



How can it be 'uncharacteristically high-risk behaviour' if literally the only thing you know about this guy is that he lured people to a place, wanged them on the head, and then dragged them behind a car? You have no other characteristics for this to conflict with! It's extremely high-risk, even unusually high-risk, but absolutely not uncharacteristically high risk. And remember - she's the team's linguist. Before you say anything - no, it doesn't conflict with the care the villain took in luring them to their deaths. The method you use to get a crab into your kitchen has nothing to do with the way you cook them once they've arrived.

They address how unusual it is that the killer was able to commit both crimes on the same night, but Reid assures them that so long as the killer was speeding, knew the route like the back of his hand, and faced no traffic whatsoever, it's just barely possible.

What's considerably less possible is that no one saw this dragging-to-death, especially since at least one of the victims screamed the whole time. It seems to me that the show isn't taking into account how long this whole thing would take. Knock out, bind, drag, hitch - just getting them hooked up to the car would take like five minutes. Then you've got to drive until they're dead - and as the driver, you have no good way of knowing when that is, unless you've set up a rear-bumper camera - so say at least another five minutes of driving. Then you've got to stop, disconnect the corpse, and then drive away. How could there be no witnesses to this? It's not like the killer's doing it in a secluded area - the woman was on a large street, and we're told the man was grabbed outside of an open-late drug store, just around the corner from the halfway house he was staying at!.

And in the most pointless observation of the scene, JJ reminds everyone that the killer would have to be familiar with chains and hitching equipment. As if that could possibly be used to narrow down the suspect pool. "We've got five guys we like for it." 'Ah, but how many of them have the physical capability to clip a ring through two links on a chain?'

Damn it, JJ, please go back to working with the press/families. At least then I knew what you were here for.

Derek and JJ check out the drug store parking lot, and discover that the place was under renovations, and closed - so the killer picked a location less likely to have accidental foot traffic! But then s/he dragged a body three blocks down a wide street before detaching it from the car. Maybe the killer could know that the cameras were dead in the parking lot, and there wasn't anyone going to the drug store - but that assurance wouldn't be possible for the rest of the drive.

JJ posits that both people could have been meeting a drug dealer - that's someone who people from vastly different backgrounds/socioeconomic classes could have in common. One problem though - what kind of a drug dealer has clients in two different cities a hundred miles apart. And why would you be having phone conversations with your drug dealer twice a day?

Then we cut to a black lady who gets a text message from the killer, setting up a meet for that very night! Will they be able to catch the killer in time to save her? Probably not.

Greg and Reid arrive at an LAPD office, and Greg continues introducing Reid as 'Doctor Spencer Reid', rather than 'Special Agent Reid'. At this point, it's just starting to sound condescending. Doesn't this guy have to grow up sometime?

In an amazing (for me only) moment, when they're arriving at their work area Greg reads a text message and reports JJ's theory - and Reid actually points out what a terrible idea it is, based on the points mentioned above. So wow, he and I agree on something! Weird.

Just then Garcia calls, and I'm sad for the actress having to read this nonsense aloud.



Dear writer of this scene. That's not quirky dialogue. You've just made her sound like someone who doesn't know what words mean. At least it's not Alex this time.

Garcia does have some neat information to offer - it seems the murdered man had changed his name recently to get out from under his scandalous history - it seems that he was charged with the rape of a missing 8-year-old girl! The show claims that since they couldn't find a body, he couldn't be charged with murder, but 10 years seems a little light for that crime. Here's an interesting note - the little girl was black, so could the black lady be related to her, and possibly be the killer herself? Or at least a friend of the killer that the killer believes that s/he is helping out?

My theory doesn't account for the death of the school teacher, though. Was she involved in the girl's death as well? The screen indicates that there was DNA from the dead guy and another unknown male found on the girl's clothes - that doesn't really get us any closer to an explanation for the woman's death.

I'm not sure how that interrogation could have gone, though - he kept the missing girl's stained underwear in his car (which somehow the cops connected to the missing girl - was her name written inside the band?) and then he confesses to rape... but what were the circumstances that they'd give him a pass on the rest? How could that story have gone that didn't involve him also kidnapping her? Then murdering her to keep her quiet? And once you've got that charge ready to go, it's going to be a life sentence without too much trouble.

Also, there's some fun stuff in the graphics from Garcia's computer. Here's the dead guy's driver's license and booking photos, supposedly taken years apart-


Please note that not only does he look exactly the same, but those two photos seem to have been taken at the exact same time, in front of the exact same background, with him probably wearing the exact same t-shirt. That's the kind of rush they were in, they just asked him to tilt his head to the side, mussed up his 'do, and cranked up the lights to wash him out a little. Not exactly the transformation they were hoping for.


This one's just nerdy - it seems we've got a Star Trek fan somewhere in the prop department. Not only is 1701 the last four digits of his SSN, but it's also the number of the court case where he was convicted. What a happy coincidence!

Wait - do you get a new Social Security Number when you change your name? If not, then Garcia really shouldn't be patting herself on the back for her 'cyber-sleuthing', since all she did was just type in the guy's SSN and look up his criminal record. Literally anyone could have done that. Also, isn't he a registered sex offender? Name-change or no, you still have to sign up for that.

Next we come back to black lady, who's eating at a diner. Her meal? Soup so thin it may as well be water!


Maybe she's has a weak stomach ever since her daughter was murdered? She's approached by a red-headed lady who demands they speak outside! Is it about crime?

We don't find out right away, since it's time for a detour over to the San Diego morgue, where the ME says something puzzling - that it took the LA medical examiner four hours to track down all the parts of that body. Joe confirms that the corpse was 'spread out all over the place'.

Really? But just a couple of scenes ago you told us that the guy was dragged just three blocks. Is that really enough distance for road friction to tear a body to pieces? You wouldn't even be going full speed until the end of the second block, would you?

Here's another nice note - it turns out that yes, the first victim was dead from the baseball bat to the head, so she didn't experience the dragging like the second victim did. Joe and Alex think it's puzzling that a guy could have evolved fast enough - grown bold fast enough - to massively change the M.O. from crime to crime. Does this mean he suspects there's more than one killer? Not a bad guess - although there's another way to read the evidence - the killer badly wants to drag people to death, but having never hit anyone in the head with a baseball bat before, s/he had no idea just how easy it was to kill people by doing that. So on the second attack, the killer was way more careful to simply knock the wind out of the guy by hitting him in the back, so he'd be docile enough to chain up.

JJ's got evidence to back up the two killers theory - apparently tire tracks have proven that two different vehicles were used! Shouldn't that have been something the cops reported to them already? Or do the cops not even look at crime scenes once the FBI is involved? Also, isn't it incredibly lucky that both cars left tire tracks on pavement? Don't you have to either spin your wheels or stop incredibly fast to do that? Why would the killers have done either of those things?

The team decides to run with the theory that between the two killers, one must love torturing their victims, and the other is unsure. Although, again, hitting people in the head with a baseball bat isn't a science - this could have been accidental.

They prove to be right though - black lady and redhead chat in the parking lot about their respective murders. Red is disappointed that black killed the lady before dragging her behind the car - to her, suffering is an integral part of the process. Now that their targets are dead, black wants to wrap things up and forget it ever happened - so this is looking more and more like vengeance for that dead girl. Red's having none of it, though - she announces that when she was killing dead guy, he confessed that two other people were involved!

Okay, so is she lying to black lady to get more murder help, or is the show lying to us, since that obviously didn't happen?



That's the last couple of moments of the guy's life. His last words of note were 'what did I do to you?Please don't do this!' These are not the last words of someone who has just been interrogated about their involvement in a child's rape and murder. In that case, the person would know full well why they're being killed, and their last words would be them begging for their life, feigning apologies, and maintaining that they told everything that they knew.

Thanks, show, for lying to us.

So, red wants Darlene (that's the black lady's name) to help her finish off this list. Which I guess means killing them immediately with none of the weeks of preparation that went into the previous crimes? There's no reason it should mean that, but this is Criminal Minds, where every killer is a spree killer.

While the kill team prepares to go out and murder somebody, the FBI team tries to figure out what the killers could have in common. Derek points out that since the dead guy had changed his name to hide from his crimes (wouldn't he be on the sex offender registry, whatever he changed his name to?), perhaps the dead lady also had something to hide! Greg's plan: let's start digging!

Wait one minute... you hadn't already dug into her past? Earlier in the episode you implied or outright said (I'm not going back to check) that the victims had no connection with one another. Was that just a guess? Did you not have Penelope actually check into both of them and look for points of commonality? What on Earth has she been doing all day? It's not like she's working for Forrest Whittaker any more.

Okay, back to the murder team. They waylay a guy outside of his work, attach him to their car, then confront him about the gang-rape and murder he was part of. He claims to have been there, but that he didn't do anything. That's not a good enough alibi, what with him not going to the cops and all, so they murder him.

Isn't it incredibly lucky that the random guy whose name they were given one day earlier had a job that he regularly worked at until late in the night, one where he parked on the street, despite the facility clearly having a parking area inside-


-and that his remaining co-workers are all deaf, since they didn't hear someone being attacked just fifty feet away, and then the screams as that someone was dragged down the road behind a car?

Yeah, it seems like somebody high above is definitely on the side of these killers. That somebody being a bad writer.

Greg, Joe, Alex and a cop meet in the common area outside a hospital to talk about the latest victim, one Paul Montgomery. No one comments on how weird it is that he has the same last name as Greg, because this isn't the show where he has that last name. Also, I have no idea why they're all outside the hospital, since the guy was dragged to death across town. Did they just want to shoot outside for a scene?

Anyhow, Garcia calls to reveal that Paul was the dead guy's college friend, who even testified as a character witness in his trial! Wait, the child-rapist elected to have a trial? The prosecution had physical evidence and a confession! What was his defense?

Garcia hasn't turned up any juicy gossip on the dead lady, who seems to have led an exemplary life. So Greg asks if she has a sealed juvenile record, which, of course, she does. Garcia chides herself for not thinking of that - as do we all. Snooping illegally into people's records is your one job, Garcia, what, did you think they just wanted you to look at her facebook page?

Literally three keystrokes later Garcia has broken a bunch of laws and unsealed the woman's records, revealing that she caused an accident in which a 2-year-old was killed. Presumably this was red's son, and they decided to strangers on a train their murders, then throw away the entire point of that scheme by committing those murders in a way that could only attract attention to the connection between them. That's what happens when you don't actually watch the movie you're basing your crimes on, killers.

Hey, why did Garcia have to look so hard to find out the dead lady's evil backstory? When she was a teen she caused an accident that killed a child. Wouldn't there have been a bunch of newspaper stories and TV pieces about that event? Whether or not her juvie record was sealed, news stories don't disappear. Shouldn't a simple google search have revealed her dark secret?

JJ interviews Dolan, the dad of the dead boy from the car accident, in one of the strangest rooms I've ever seen in a police station.


There's children's paintings everywhere. I have no idea why. Is there a 'family room' at LAPD headquarters?

Dolan has an alibi for the lady's time of death, but his wife is dead, so she couldn't have been responsible! So who is red, exactly? The wife did therapy over the phone and joined support groups online, could red just be a fetishist who hangs around support groups, looking for people to kill? Also, we're told that the wife killed herself 'a few' years ago, which would put her death at something like a decade after the death of her child. Which seems like a long waiting period.

Darlene is having trouble with all the murder, and red is trying to talk her into feeling great about herself. I've got to say, red may be crazy, but she's not wrong. Maybe it's not helping Darlene come to terms with the death of her daughter, but at the very least, people who participated in the rape and murder of a child are no longer alive, which can only be seen as a net positive.

Can I just pause for a second and point out how insane it is that Darlene isn't already under arrest? As the mother of the original victim, she, along with her husband, are the most likely suspects, and it's been like 24 hours since the reason for the crime was identified. What's keeping the team? No, I don't know if they could guess who red is, but Darlene's phone records could certainly fill them in!

More importantly, when the cops show up at her door and ask her for an alibi for the time of the murder, what's she going to say? Oh, I couldn't have committed that murder, I was in San Diego committing an identical murder. You two are terrible at planning crimes.

The team finally figures out that the victims were both going to meet women, and they do it through entirely logical means, so I'm not going to object there. They do gloss over exactly why the suburban lady was so psyched to sneak off and meet a person she's never seen face-to-face at a restaurant late at night, though, which is weird. JJ manages to say something objectionable in the scene as well, announcing that the killers being women explains the blitz attack - it's not because the killers were nervous men, but because they were weak women that the victims had to be subdued before being tied to a car!

Here's the thing, JJ - people don't want to be chained to the backs of cars. No matter the gender or size of the attacker, they're always going to have to physically subdue their victim before chaining them to the back of a car.

Time for a profile - although I don't know why it's necessary - the most obvious suspect for a crime like this is the family of the dead kids. We're finally told that they left messages with the little girl's parents, but that seems like a crazy idea - these are your top suspects, and instead of just showing up at their home/places of work, you're giving them a warning that you're looking for them, so they'll have a chance to bolt/destroy evidence? What kind of cops are you?

The team gives the profile, but none of it matters, since nothing can be used to help the police they're talking to find the victims. The only relevant detail we pick up in the montage that plays during the profile is that red's name is Ellen! Let's move on.

Time for Garcia to solve the case! She looks up the support group that the dead boy's mother was obsessed with, and finds out that just two people on there were talking about the dead boy after her death. Despite it being a theoretically anonymous website, both murderous moms used their real first name and last initial as their user names, which makes it unbelievably easy to track them down.

JJ still finds time to remind everyone of her pet theory - Ellen works at a boat shop, so she must have access to hitching equipment! Again, JJ, it's a chain and a clip. Everyone who lives within thirty miles of a hardware store (so... everyone) has access to hitching equipment.

Okay, a lot goes down in the remainder of the scene, so let me get through it quickly - the women were so bad at hiding their crimes that they actually talked about using a disposable cell phone to start calling dead guy once he was out of jail, 'posing as a friend'. Whatever that means. The team then talks about swapping murders in hopes of getting away with it, but doesn't point out that the killers did the murders in the way least likely to end with them getting away with it.

Then they start talking about Paul's murder - why kill him, if he was just a character witness at the trial? But maybe he was more than that - apparently Paul drove out to see dead guy once every week. And it was a three hundred mile trip! Which, okay, maybe they mean 150 there, 150 back, but what the hell prison are they talking about? Don't guys who commit crimes in LA generally get sent to the local state prison, which is something like 30 kilometers away? Where was he sent that was eight times further?

More importantly, no one bothers to mention the fact that Garcia's screen showed that the police knew other people were involved with the little girl's rape and murder - there was unidentified DNA found on the clothes that dead guy had with him on arrest. Shouldn't you jump to the conclusion that Paul had some involvement?

The team get to Darlene's house way too late to catch her, and discover that Darlene and her husband divorced some time back, over the stress of their daughter's disappearance. This leads Joe to unleash the following groaner.



Yes, Joe, those are the two things that happen to every marriage, all the time. Congratulations on saying absolutely nothing. Your ability to make sounds with your lungs, vocal chords, and mouth remains intact.

Do you think Joe ever sits in his dressing room, while waiting for his call to set, and stares in the mirror thinking "You know, David Mamet used to write things specifically for me. He'd sit in a room, and think to himself, 'How can I best use Joe's abilities?' And then I'd be in movies like House of Games and Things Change and Homicide. How did I end up here?"

I hope he doesn't. That would be too sad.

Then Joe wanders around the room, looking over all the evidence that the mother hasn't changed a thing since her daughter vanished. He focuses on a picture of Mexico, seemingly tacked up to raise anticipation for a trip that the daughter had already packed for. But what significance does it have now?

Meanwhile the kill team is headed off to the home of their next target! As for the FBI, they're trying to figure out who else might have been in on the rape, since the other DNA was never identified. It turns out that Paul and dead guy where on a relay team together, so naturally the next logical suspect for a gang-rape participant would be the people who ran with them in amateur athletic events! Garcia checks it out, and discovers that Jason, one of the other members of the team, still lives in the area, and also regularly visited dead guy in jail! I guess he's the next name on the list!

Jason, the rapist in question, is sitting on his bed, watching TV while fully dressed, when he hears someone breaking into his apartment. Instead of calling the police like a sane person, he grabs a golf club and heads out to check on it. For his trouble he winds up with a gun pointed at his head - but to keep from being killed he offers to take the killer mom's to where the dead girl's body is buried. They certainly like the sound of that!

I'm not sure whose side I'm supposed to be on this week. I'm fine with these people killing their victims, and am not rooting for the team to track them down before they finish their work. This seems like a very strange second episode for the season.

As usual, the team takes their sweet time getting to Jason's apartment, when they likely could have saved him by just sending nearby cops. They decide to look around, attempting to find a clue to where the killers took Jason.

In the car, Darlene demands to know what happened to her daughter, while Jason claims to be a different person, one who has bettered himself, and even fallen in love! I'm not sure why he thinks that means he shouldn't be shot in the head, but let's see where this is going.

Back at the apartment, the team finds Jason's self-help books and pictures he's taken with his girlfriend. Is the show trying to humanize this guy? If so, why? Hitler loved animals, you know.

Jason, in the car, reminisces about getting high with his friends and chatting about how none of them had ever raped a little girl, so they decided to go ahead and do that. He then taunts Darlene about how much he enjoyed raping and murdering her daughter, leading Ellen to drag him out of the car and beat him up. Darlene says to stop, since they have to find the body. During all this I can't help but notice that Jason isn't tied up at all, despite the team's historical love of chains and zip-ties. Did they just get lazy?

Jason then explains that he told his neighbour to write down the license plates of any cars that showed up in the alley he lives off of, since he was expecting to get murdered once his two friends turned up dead. Not entirely sure what his game is, here - it's not like they can let him go. If it's true, they're getting caught for the other murders no matter what they do, if it's not, they aren't. Nothing that happens with Jason could possibly change that. It seems that his better play would have been to call the cops for protection or just leave town. I'm not sure why he didn't do either.

Okay, I have some ideas about the cops.

At Jason's place the team finds his rape/murder trophies! The team realizes he's a full-on psychopath, and worries that the vigilantes are overmatched! Which they kind of are, since once they arrive at the wooded area where the body is, Jason announces that he won't tell them its specific location unless the murder moms kill an innocent bystander.

In what might be the most ludicrous twist yet in a terrible episode, Ellen is completely down with this plan, feeling that a human life is less valuable than knowing where a body is buried. So she shoots a guy as he's driving by. What.

On the upside, the guy isn't dead, his car just drove off the road and they didn't bother to check.

The team immediately figures out everything that happened in the last scene by chatting with each other. Meanwhile Jason tries to convince Ellen to just give up the pretense of vigilantism and start killing people with him. I have no idea why Darlene isn't just shooting him during this entire scene. She can clearly see how out of control things are getting, so why not just stop this before it gets any worse?

She doesn't, though, and Jason leads them to the burial site - and in the entire scene Ellen has been given the gun. At this point, why on earth would Darlene trust her with that?

Alex and Reid check out Jason's locker, and discover that he has a shovel - he must have just moved the body! Also we find out that Alex's husband is never around because he's a medicine sans frontieres!

Out at the dump site they find the body, and somehow Jason isn't executed a single second later. He tries to buy time by saying that the parts other than the skull are buried elsewhere. So Darlene kills him with the shovel. Finally.

Garcia searches for the kind of dirt from the shovel and its proximity to running trails that Jason might be familiar with, and literally seconds later Joe and Derek are arriving at the dump site. They didn't lock down the area, though, so the murder moms had time to get away! Hold on a second... if the murder moms' car wasn't parked by the side of the road, how did Joe and Derek find the dump site? Did they literally just walk along the jogging path until they happened upon it? How would that have even worked, when the body wasn't in sight of the main path? Is this actually nine hours of searching later?

Back at HQ, the team is trying to figure out where the killers might have gone to, and Joe assumes they headed to Mexico, like in the picture he saw at Darlene's house. Which is right, of course - naturally they would go to the one place on earth that they could be intercepted. Darlene and Ellen chat about how killing didn't make them feel any better about their missing relatives. Darlene is super-depressed and planning to kill herself, while Ellen believes that justice needs to be done, no matter the cost.

Just then Ellen gets arrested by Joe and the Federales, and Darlene runs off. Joe seems okay with Darlene escaping, since he figures they'll get her eventually. As if the woman who killed a bunch of murderers is at the top of anyone's international criminal list.

THE END

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

Gosh, no. They profiled their way into some correct guesses, but they found the killers by asking the incredibly simple question "who might want these people dead?" Basically the most simple and basic question in police work. I will award them an extra point for Joe's ridiculous assumption that they'd flee to the place that Darlene kept a picture of in her house being correct.

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

There is a body. The first question asked is: "Who might want this person dead?" In this case, there was an incredibly obvious answer to that question. So yes, the cops would have found them without much trouble.

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

2/10

So... are they just not familiar with Strangers on a Train? The entire point of 'swapping' murders is that you can't be connected to the crime - it's someone you don't know, and therefore won't be a suspect in their killing. And when the person you hate dies, you'll have a rock-solid alibi. So they way they chose to make this film a reality is by committing the exact same crime, at approximately the exact same time, in two different locations. They created - out of thin air - a connection between the two crimes that the police would have never known existed. This is the opposite of Strangers on a Train. This is People Who Know Each Other In A Diner, Loudly Discussing Their Murder Plans For All To Hear.

A few more things-

There was no time for dead guy to implicate his accomplices.

Nothing Jason does after learning he's being targeted makes a lick of sense.

I don't believe for a second that they wouldn't just shoot Jason the second he started gloating about raping and murdering that child.

How did they get to Mexico? They had something like a twenty-minute head start, and the police had an ID on their car, and the ability stop it at the border. It's like the producers wanted a specific ending and had zero idea how to get there.

Were they always planning to leave the country after the murders? Did they have money/clothes/passports stashed somewhere? Where could their resources have possibly come from?

When they find Jason's trophy box, we're told that the trophies match up with little girls who've disappeared over the past decade. This scene takes place - charitably - six hours after Jason's death. Here are the contents of that box.


A scrunchy. A ribbon. An ID bracelet. A sequined broach of some kind. Two other things that are too shadowed to recognize. You can't tell me that those could have been used within six hours to close a bunch of missing little girl cases.

Well, except for the ID bracelet. Obviously, that's what it's for.

Why did Jason have those self-improvement books all over his house? He's clearly not trying to better himself. Was it to fool someone who knows he's a rapist/killer into thinking that he's trying to become a better person? Under what circumstance would that ever happen?

How is it that the cops haven't figured out about Jason before now? Here's the facts - there were two samples of male DNA found on the dead girl's clothes, so they know it was a team murder. One of them is too degraded to match to anyone. But that admitted child rapist has two best friends who show up for every day of the trial, testify to his character, and visit him every week in prison like clockwork. Maybe it's one of them?

Even by the standards of Criminal Minds, this episode didn't make a bit of sense. This season is off to a terrible start. And Alex didn't even get to use one bit of word etymology to solve the crime! It's almost as if the circumstances required for linguistic expertise to help solve a crime are so immensely unlikely that the idea of considering linguistic expertise an asset for a team of profilers is almost patently ridiculous!

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