Criminal Minds 913: The Road Home

It's raining... somewhere... as a man writes a note while sitting in his truck. He tried to make something right, and failed, now he's asking for forgiveness. Then he goes to the glove compartment, grabs his pistol and - will he kill himself, or someone else? Well, the pistol has tape all over the handle, which might be intended to repel fingerprints, but who knows?

The man - you may recognize him as the reclusive nerd from Real Genius, or the other guy in Napoleon Dynamite, but to me he'll always be Broots from The Pretender - sees some kids in coasts walking to a gazebo to get out of the rain. Apparently he's in a public park?

The show cuts away before we see him decide to kill someone else instead of himself, and suddenly we're in Joe's office, as he stares at a gun lying on his desk. It's an old-timey semi-auto, and it came with a note. Maybe an old army buddy? I've got to stop making guesses about things that aren't related to the plot, and just watch the show.

Turns out Joe is worried because the gun is a gift from Mescach Taylor (his army buddy from the homeless burner episode) - it's a Vietnam-era army sidearm with custom-made handgrips designed to look like the Vietnam War Memorial! But how could a recently homeless fellow have afforded that? Did he liquidate all his assets and buy extravagant gifts for his friends prior to committing suicide? Joe has tried to get in touch, but Mescach has disappeared, not showing up to work or his at his housing unit! Greg tells Joe to fly out to LA and check on him.

Back at the park, the three youths start harassing the old men playing checkers in the gazebo, and when they flash their guns, Broots appears and shoots them to death! Two of them, anyhow - the third is smart enough to run away full speed.

It's time for the team to get involved! Although they really shouldn't, given the details of the case - he killed the two guys at the gazebo, and chased the third to a gas station a mile away and shot him. That really does sound like the kind of standard gang violence that the FBI is profoundly disinterested in. So they add another person getting shot at a bus stop a little while later to justify the team's interest. It's off to Cleveland!

Where Broots his back at his flop, pouring out his whiskey because he's found self-actualization through murdering scumbags! Just like that Death Wish movie! Then it's off to the gun store to buy boxes and boxes of bullets for his gun! Hopefully some extra magazines as well, because, you know, it's kind of awkward to ask the gang toughs to just hang out while you reload a clip.

What's he going to do with all that ammo? Let's find out after the opening credits!


Criminal Minds 912: The Black Queen

It's 2004, and we open in a interrogation room inside the San Diego field office of the FBI. There's gothed-out lady sitting at the table. We don't see her face right away, but it's obviously Penelope, right? This is when she got caught for hacking? I don't know why, but I guess I always assumed it had happened earlier. Had she really only been working with the team for a month or two when the first episode started?

Greg enters the room to chat with Penelope about her crimes, and they don't do a very good job of making either of them look a decade younger. That takes more expensive computers than are available to the people at Criminal Minds.

Greg immediately offers her a job because someone talented at hacking into pharmaceutical companies would naturally have the skills and temperament necessary to hunt serial killers. Preferring a job to jail, Penelope signs up. Then Derek comes in, and wow, did they not bother at all to try younging him down:

That's some preposterous facial hair for you to have had back in 2004, Derek. I know Shemar Moore wouldn't want to shave it and grow it back for continuity reasons, but wow, should he have been written up for looking unprofessional. On the other hand, it's nice to know that at some point in his life, he was capable of dressing like a professional!

In a super-cute scene, we then cut to Quantico in the present day, where they're having a sexual harassment seminar because of Penelope and Derek's incredibly unprofessional behaviour! Greg then pulls Garcia out of the meeting to go and visit the attorney general - I guess something from Garcia's days as 'The Black Queen' (of course she'd be a big X-Men fan) have come back to haunt her!

It seems that when Garcia was recruited, the team was also in town to arrest a super-hacker who also killed a bunch of sex workers! And now the Justice Department website has been hacked to demand justice for the guy! It seems that a bunch of online would-be sleuths have decided that he's innocent, and are making a fuss until the case is reopened. So the team is going to do just that!

Because they're known for giving in to the demands of extremists, I guess?

Let's find out after the credits!


Criminal Minds 911: Bully

Before I press start on the episode, let's just take a moment to notice that Criminal Minds reached the point where it can have an episode whose number is '911'. Will this be a emergency services-themed episode? Are the producers kicking themselves for not shifting 'The Caller' into this slot?

Let's get this thing rolling!

A man walks into a basement which is supposed to be dilapidated - we're shown dripping water and a rat, but there's an almost shocking level of organization displayed on the toolbox visible in one shot. Heck, the the screwdrivers have even been arranged symmetrically! It's a weird situation where the set dresser can't stop themselves from doing a good job of setting up a work bench, even if it shouldn't be that good looking.

Also there's dust cloths over things to protect them from the elements. This is not an ill-cared-for location.

The man opens up a huge chest in the middle of the floor, removing two chains with padlocks. He helps a woman stand up out of it, but just as he's about to start molesting her, he hears a creak on the floorboards above. So he chains her to a pipe so he can focus on the unexpected intruder.

Which, naturally, turns out to be the team, who are busting in and arresting him! Jeanne tries to talk him into dropping his gun because the woman he's hiding behind 'isn't his mother'. Apparently he'd been sending the team taunting letters about his crime?

Then, proving my long-standing point that they should have their fingers on the triggers during tense standoffs like this, the man has plenty of time to move the gun away from the woman's side, aim it at Jeanne, and pull the trigger before any of the FBI Agents get around to shooting him.

They say not to put your finger on the trigger until you're ready to shoot, and their not being ready to shoot just almost got Jeanne killed.

Yes, Jeanne is fine. Just grazed in the arm. Think of how awful it would have been if we didn't have her around to... um... she was supposed to profile linguistics, right? That never really comes up, does it?

Outside, as the killer's body is carted away, Jeanne gets a phone call from her father! Something has happened! Is she going to be getting another character episode? We haven't had one of those since she decided not to quit the team even after her husband stopped being an MSF just to be closer to her!

On the plane, Garcia checks in on the tip Jeanne's father sent - a guy was stripped of his clothes, forced to put on women's underwear, and then beaten to death! Also, a year earlier two teens were beaten to death in an alley, without all the fetish nonsense. Could they be connected? The team is going to go to Kansas City to find out, even though Jeanne's dad isn't actually on the force any more!

While the plane is on the way, we cut over to the presumptive killer, a roided-out nutbag who works on his boxing skills while listening to speed metal! Because sure, why not.