Criminal Minds 921: What Happens in Mecklinburg

So no, the next episode doesn't start with them catching the Jason from last week, so I guess the team just sucks at their jobs? At least the Jason probably didn't kill that couple - after all, he was oddly directed for a Jason, and only killed people specifically related to the target of his vengeance. Or, you know, cops who were trying to catch him. So, what's up for this week?

It's late at night, and two college students are leaving a grocery store when a car blocks them in - could it be a kidnapper, or are we in in for yet another misdirect?

No misdirect - the killer zaps both of them with a stun gun, and is also wearing a pig mask! Is this because Jigsaw was in last week's episode?

The next morning, Derek and his lady are just waking up when he gets a call - she's disappointed to learn that he's got a case in Memphis! Which is weird for him to already know, since generally their texts just say 'come into the office'. It's almost like Greg gave him more information than usual just to precipitate this specific fight!

The girlfriend is extremely disappointed because her parents are coming into town to meet him, and Derek offers to let her break up with him over it, which she calls out as super passive-agressive. Way to go standing up for yourself, doctor lady!

According to Garcia, the killer has grabbed three people in two nights, all from grocery store parking lots! Turns out that the first two victims were men, one middle-aged, one younger, and of the two college students from last night, he only grabbed one of them, leaving the other woman behind!

Sadly there's no other information in the opening sequence, other than some random theories, because they haven't found any bodies yet. The absence if proof doesn't count as evidence, though, since the victims could either be alive or simply thrown in a ditch somewhere that no one has randomly stumbled across!

While the team might be in the dark, we discover that all of the victims are still alive - also in the dark, as luck would have it, chained to the ceiling in a basement somewhere! The pig-masked killer arrives to menace them, and then it's off to the credits!

At just six minutes, which is also very quick for this show! I wonder why they're changing up their format?

On the plane, the team continues rambling about the fact that they don't have any information to go on, other than to theorize that the crime isn't sexually motivated because two men and one woman were abducted. Which sounds smart, but isn't helpful in any way. They also mention that they should check out the middle-aged man specifically, since he was the first one abducted and doesn't seem to fit with the college kids who were taken. It's kind of weird that you felt the need to say that, but whatever gets us to the next scene faster, right?

JJ and Derek go to interview the coed, and JJ oddly asks her what she remembers from 'that night'. Wasn't it last night? Like, the whole thing on your show is ridiculously accelerated timelines, and you don't even know that this is the next morning? Weird.

Wow, things get dumb fast this week, as Joe reports that there was plenty of time for the killer to grab both women, but he only bothered with one. Greg's takeaway wins the Prentiss Award this week:

There's no way you can infer that, Greg. The other three victims are white, and the woman left behind was black. It's entirely possible that they are surrogates, and the remaining woman didn't fit the profile of his fetish/obsession. Weirdly, if the other woman had been a white lady with brown hair, like the abducted woman, you could have made the leap that a specific target was kidnapped, but because they're so demographically distinct, that part of the profile makes no sense.

Joe and Reid opine that the abductions were likely carefully planned, and the result of stalking. But that seems a little far-fetched, since it requires all three intended victims to coincidentally be going to grocery stores in the middle of the night on subsequent days. How would you plan something like that, unless in each case you were personally directing them to go to the grocery store? Also, where's the security camera footage of the parking lots? It would be weird for one grocery store not to have that, let alone three.

Jeanne drags in a doctor that the first victim knew - he was the last person to talk to the middle-aged guy before the abduction! It turns out they played football together in college, and they went to the same school that the other male victim attends - could this be the connection they've been looking for?

More importantly, why did it take this interview to find the connection? When Garcia was looking into the victims, wouldn't she have cross-checked them to see what they had in common? It's almost as if they're making it look like Garcia is bad at their job just so the rest of the team can pretend they're of some value!

Over in the torture dungeon, the killer shows up with a knife and start menacing the young guy! Still no dialogue, though, since the killer is quiet and everyone else has taped mouths, so let's move on.

Garcia has turned up a possible motive! The young guy was the president of a pig-themed frat where a guy was killed during hazing last year! It was such a shameful incident that the frat lost its charter! I was going to say that this is another connection the team should have already picked up on, since the female victim was wearing a sorority sweatshirt in the opening, but no, I went back and checked, and it was her friend with the greek letters.

Back to the dungeon, where the killer is watching footage of two ladies on vacation somewhere. Then he goes over to his victims and takes the tape off of the young man's mouth. The young man explains that he's already confessed everything, and begs to be let go. Instead of doing that, the killer pours acid down his throat.

The next day (I think? Timelines on this show are pretty much always garbage) two bowhunters find the young guy out in the woods... still alive! What? How is that possible?!

In the hospital Derek and JJ go over what they know - the young man was raped with a blunt object, then had hydrocholoric acid poured all over his face and down his throat.

Then things get so dumb, it basically buries the needle. Here we go:

Time for a breakdown!

1: You can't say that acid is poison. It's not.
2: There's nothing clean about blunt instrument rape and burning a face off with acid.
3: A taser does not suggest a physically weak killer, just a smart one who didn't want to risk killing their prey before the torture could start.
4: You said that a taser was used on 'all but one' of the victims. Which one didn't have a taser used on them? The two women were both tased, and you don't know how the other two were abducted. What is this based on?
5: The left-behind woman reported that the killer picked up the kidnapped woman and dumped her in the back of the truck - that's eyewitness testimony that flies directly in the face of your 'physically weak killer' theory. Especially since the killer would have had to pick up the much larger frat guy and middle-aged man to get them in the truck and drive it away.

So, to be clear, no part of your little back-and-forth is accurate to the facts of the case, and there's no way you could come to the conclusion that a woman is the killer.

Time for the profile! Which is random nonsense, as it always is, but at least we get some sidestory about the killer - she's a middle-aged woman, and she goes from the murder basement to check on her daughter in a long-term care facility!

It's the two women from the phone video!

We catch up with her being told the procedure to pull the plug on her daughter, but she's not ready. Obviously she can't let her daughter die until everyone has been punished! I wonder how the daughter connects to the pig party tragedy? Was she another victim people forgot about? The significant other of the guy who died, who tried to kill herself? I'm sure we'll find out soon enough!

It's a nice twist that she's not directly related to the dead guy, but considering that the team found out about the dead guy at the pig party a bunch of scenes ago, it's weird that no one has mentioned his extended family, who would be the most likely suspects and first people to talk to.

Reid brings the frat guy's ex-roommate in for questioning, and asks him to remember everything he can about the party! He remembers the kidnapped woman arriving at the party - and she brought coma woman with her! According to the witness, frat guy sent some goons in pig masks into the basement, then escorted coma woman down as well! So she was the other victim that night, and it's just a complete coincidence that someone died from a drunken stunt the same night coma woman was assaulted?

Also, the witness points out that it was strange that non-pledges were wearing pig masks, so maybe that was the middle aged guy and his frat buddy, the doctor? Or perhaps there's a bunch of other victims on her list we don't know about yet?

After the tragedy of seeing the killer pull the plug on coma woman, we get a frankly hilarious scene where she watches a guy leave a frat in the middle of the afternoon, then grabs her taser - and it immediately cuts to the guy tied up in the basement! So apparently she was able to approach this guy - in broad daylight - hit him with a taser, drag him back to his truck, and get him back to her house without anyone noticing?

Gosh, this is dumb.

Garcia checks in with the team - she's tracked down coma woman's identity based on the first name the witness remembered and the college woman's social media footprint, and from there it's easy enough to discover that the only relative she has is a much older sister (not the mother, as we might have assumed). Since that's obviously the killer, the team rushes over to her house, without taking the time to get a warrant, naturally.

Of course the killer isn't home, which we knew she wouldn't be, since she lives in an apartment, and she's using a house with a basement. Which is presumably the frat house that was closed down the previous year. Since, you know, prime pieces of property on college campuses tend to stay totally abandoned, right?

Wow, I'm being super-sarcastic before I even know that they're in the frat house - putting the cart before the horse pretty hard there, buddy.

When going through the killer's apartment, they find a shrine to her sister's tragedy, which includes a picture of the middle-aged-man and his doctor friend! How did she get that? Anyhow, Garcia checks into his background and discovers that he was the doctor who examined the sister when she ended up in hospital - and claims that she reported 'rough but consentual' sex with three men! Wait, didn't she wind up brain dead after severe alcohol poisoning and hypothermia? How was she answering questions about her night?

It turns out there were two medical files from the night she was brought in - one that said she was raped and strangled, and then the final one! It seems that the middle-aged-man was covering up for a star football player, and pressured his friend to change the report! Which happened within three hours of her being brought into the hospital, apparently.

How is that possible? What circumstances allowed the middle-aged guy to find out about the assault that quickly? Isn't it unbelievably lucky that his best friend happened to be the ER doctor who'd seen the sister? Also, how did the killer discover the middle-aged man's involvement?

They bring in the remaining rapist and have two women interview him - which is something they do a lot on the show, because it seems empowering to have women confronting sex criminals, but is actually way more likely to get them to open up, so it's yet another way in which they're bad at their jobs.

Meanwhile, the killer is finding out all of the details about the rape (and now murder) of her sister! Because she's a bit of a masochist, I guess? Really I suppose she's trying to feel as awful as possible so that she can get herself psyched up to commit murder. Over at the office, they find out that middle-aged man was one of those corrupt team boosters that buys cars for players and underwrites the equipment budget of teams, so of course he helped cover up the crime.

There's still no clear way that the killer could have found that out, though. If the middle-aged man hadn't been the first victim, and she'd gotten his name from one of the football players she was torturing, that would be one thing, but she got him first. Weird. I wonder if they'll bother explaining it?

It turns out that the frat house is, in fact, occupied, but there are two other condemned buildings on campus, and the team guesses she'll go to one of those!

The team rushes in and saves the day! Although she's already stabbed the middle-aged man to death, but, you know, two out of three isn't too bad.


Except for a bit more with Derek's relationship stuff. Which is just JJ calling him on what a jerk he is, and him apologizing to his girlfriend.

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

Slightly, in that they base their assumption that she'd be in a campus building on an understanding of the kind of person who wants revenge on a specific place as well as people.

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

I'm not sure as to why it wasn't solved already. The killer knew who to go after because her sister called her from the front lawn of her house and mentioned the names of the three rapists. Couldn't she have gone to the police with this? You know, reported the rape, and the fact that leaving her on a lawn in a drunken stupor is reckless endangerment that might rise to the level of attempted murder? I feel like in the real world she would have called the cops, and then it would have been covered up, and the cover up would have been the motivation for the murderous rampage a year later. Of course, they couldn't have that happen on the show, because if she'd gone to the cops, then it would be immediately obvious who the killer was, and the team wouldn't have even needed to get on a plane.

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

2 - This is a perfect example of the team writing themselves into a corner. The woman's sister was brutally raped at a party, then given so much alcohol she went into a coma, and was also left to freeze to death. There's no reason that this character doesn't go to the cops immediately, except that doing so destroys the mystery, so in order for the episode to happen, everyone has to behave wholly unrealistically. Which is kind of Criminal Minds' brand, isn't it?

Seriously, though, there's absolutely no way that she could have known about the booster being responsible for the cover up unless she's gone after the doctor first, but once again, that would have broken the show, because there would have been a paper trail of her confronting him.

Also, and I know the show wants us to forget this, but the three people she wanted to kidnap all coincidentally went for late-night food runs on subsequent nights, all at grocery stores isolated and unpopular enough that she was able to attack people in the parking lot without being noticed, and then drag people - two of which were larger than her - into the bed of a truck.

You're so sloppy, Criminal Minds.

One final note - she doesn't get to have her rampage unless the sister phones her and tells her about the rapes and the names of her assailants. But then the sister doesn't call the cops and tell them that her sister was raped and given alcohol and needs an ambulance, she waits until she gets all the way home and finds her sister near-dead on the lawn.

Okay, the rape and poisoning was the frat guys' fault, but the hypothermia is on you, sister.

And hey, why didn't she sue the frat? The show talks about her being driven to the end of her rope because of her sister's medical bills, but couldn't she have sued the frat to help with that? It's not like they would have had many defenders, what with them being investigated for that guy that died the same night.

God, no part of this episode's plot worked, did it?


Anonymous said...

You are such a uptight bitch .
Stop reviewing fucking whore get busted in the ass

Tom from Detroit said...

I started bing watching Criminal Minds when it was on ION television. while I was in chemo.

Later when I tried to watch it when my brain was clear, I saw a couple things that didn't make sense.

I did a search for "Does profiling work?". The result was I found this site. I've left Criminal Minds but I still come back here to read CV's reviews. They're vastly more entertaining and make sense.

So to any spineless weasels, if you don't like the reviews just stay away. I don't write to the producers of Criminal Minds and tell them their show sucks. It might just suck but I've better things to do.

Keep it up CV! I'm looking forward to the next review. You're now at the point where I haven't watched the episodes you review. And your reviews just make me want to watch Perry Mason reruns instead.

-Tom from Detroit