Criminal Minds 1105: The Night Watch

The episode beings with a masked man graffito-tagging a wall while a guy lies nearby, bound and gagged! The killer then hoists his victim up against the wall, places a giant comedy mousetrap around him and sets it off, so the bar hits him in the stomach. Obviously a mouse trap this big couldn't function, so this obviously couldn't be fatal, but I guess we're just supposed to assume that it is?

So the criminal is a comedy street artist/performer? That's a weird way to go, show.

Aisha is busy listening to her therapy tapes with one her serial killer patients, as she tries to dig into what internal processes made him feel like he had to kill. He's evasive, and unwilling to ascribe any particular motive to his actions, beyond kind of passively wanting to do them. So... delusional, or a liar?

She goes home to talk to her fiancee, who's been waiting up for her! She talks about how her work with interviewing inmates is vitally important, because it will bring profiling 'to the next level', whatever that means. Her fiancee says he's leaving her, because all she has time for is work. Which is true. Like, Aisha, the interviews don't help anything, and you're already spending your days on casework. How can you work two jobs and expect to still have a relationship?

Aisha says that he's being terrible by not continuing to work on the relationship, but obviously they'd previously talked about her working too much, or he wouldn't be acting like this. I feel like Aisha's probably the problem in this relationship, exactly the same was Greg was when this thing happened to him.

Proving my point, Aisha goes to work the next day and makes a joke about her fiancee leaving her! Yeah, so you got into this field of study because you were already screwed up, right? It's really starting to look that way.

Garcia lays out the case - the killer is Banksy! The victim was a community figure who was pretending to be against gentrification, but was secretly taking bribes! So Banksy, or a guy effectively pretending to be him, decided to kill the guy to make a point!

But how do you find a killer who's famous for his anonymity? I don't know, call his art agent or the documentarians who made a movie about him?

I know I'm talking about this killer as if he's actually Banksy, rather than the show's fake version of him, but since the show is capitalizing on the idea of Banksy, I think that it's fair game.

Speaking of Banksy, he sneaks into a house in the middle of the afternoon and steals a baby!

Opening credits - JJ is still in them, despite being on maternity leave, Aisha still not in them.

On the plane, they talk about how Banksy arrived in town just six weeks ago, and he's already done a bunch of social commentary artwork there. One of them was destroyed by a local street artist, though - could that guy have killed the corrupt guy to frame Banksy?

Oh, and the baby Banksy kidnapped was the child of one of the developers involved in the bribery scheme.

Greg goes to see the local cops about the child abduction - it turns out that in the rich suburb in which the parents live, the houses are so far apart that no neighbours witnessed anything. The irony being that the very thing you did to keep yourself safe brought more danger to you! Presumably because the parents and maid were home, I guess they're saying the alarm was turned off? That doesn't answer the question of how Banksy got through a locked door or window.

Or maybe these are rich people who leave doors unlocked in the middle of the day? Crazier things have happened.

The signature on the wall of the nursery is the same as the one near the kill site, and as far as the cops are concerned, that means Banksy's the culprit! Of course, it's not really that complicated a signature to copy. Just the name layered in three colours - you can't get a signature match from spray paint, after all.

Aisha and Joe go to talk to the bereaved gather, and discover that in addition to the murder and kidnapping, a few weeks earlier Banksy had vandalized a storage facility the guy owns, and posted a video of it to his website. Weird that they don't already know about this. Garcia has been dispatched to find out Banksy's true identity by any means necessary, and she didn't even let them know what was on recent video uploads to his website?

They check with the mother and discover that the baby's stuffed giraffe was taken when she was kidnapped. Which might be a good sign! We also learn that all of the doors were locked, which makes me wonder about the alarm system. Seems crazy that they wouldn't have had one, right?

Greg checks with Reid for a geographic profile of Banksy - it turns out that he normally just does art projects in New York and LA, but occasionally he'll work in Florida as well. From this they extrapolate that he might live in, or be from Florida. The implication being that while there's reasons to go to NY or LA, especially if you're in the art scene, no one goes to Florida unless they have to. That's mean, Criminal Minds.

Reid also thinks that if he studies Banksy's style, he might be able to figure out which art school he went to? Of course, there's no reason that Reid should be doing this - if the guy is as popular as the show is suggesting, then there's probably a huge amount of resources already dedicated to figuring out who he is.

We take a quick trip over to Banksy's workshop, where he's painting roses black while the child watches, somewhat disinterested. And who can blame her?

Derek has an interview with the guy who sabotaged Banksy's work. He claims to know nothing about the baby or murder! He claims that he was just annoyed at Banksy for trying to grab headlines by putting up protest art whereever it's most relevant. The guy is mad that he's not getting the attention for his own protest art!

Please, no one tell him that zero people care about protest art. Let him live in this self-important bubble.

Then the artist gives a really shady explanation for how he was able to destroy one of Banksy's art pieces before anyone saw it, since he works in the middle of the night. The guy claims that Banksy is tired and predictable, so it was easy to figure out where he was going to strike. Except, you know, Detroit is a huge city, and most of it is vacant warehouses. The idea that this guy could predict exactly where Banksy would strike and be able to get there in the tiny window between him completing the art piece and the information about it going up on Banksy's website is completely preposterous.

So did he get a tip-off, or is he actually Banksy or an associate, and this is part of his game? Or, is it the third option, the writers have no idea how he could have found the art, and they just don't want us to think about it?

The artist's theory is that Banksy is going something desperate to stay relevant! Derek doesn't ask the important question - if you know the guy well enough to have found one of his art pieces, what is he going to do next? Of course, that would require the writers to know how he got the information in the first place, so maybe there's a reason Derek keeps his mouth shut.

Aisha arrives at the station to let Joe know that Garcia may have traced a money trail from Florida to NY and LA while Banksy was there! This seems like a good lead, actually. Now just match flight information, and trace that money to its source, and you've got him!

Joe and Aisha spend a little while puzzling over what Banksy could want the child for. They run down a standard list of child abduction reasons, which they should know aren't relevant here. Seriously, can they really not see that he wants the child for one of his tableaus? What else could it be?

Oh, and the artist who sabotaged Banksy never showed up at his opening and he's not answering his phone. So is he guilty, dead, or kidnapped to be used in another art piece? More importantly, if he's innocent, why wasn't he super-worried about Banksy coming after him? I mean, he publicly destroyed some of Banksy's artwork, and a couple of days later Banksy killed a guy. I'd be nervous if I were him.

Aisha and Joe go - alone - to the artist's workshop, and they find that he's been transformed into the centerpiece of a giant mobile that hangs over a crib with the aforementioned giraffe in it!

How long has it been since he was brought in for questioning? It seems like this would have taken a huge amount of time to put together. When Reid looks at the signatures in the latest crime scene, he notices that it's less carefully drawn than Banksy's signature usually is - these three crimes could be forgeries!

Aisha finally mentions the big problem with the artist's testimony - how did he know where Banksy's piece was going to be! Yes, that is a problem. And had Derek noticed it was a problem, that artist would be under arrest right now and spilling is guts, rather than dead in his workspace.

They start working a new theory - that one of Banksy's crew tipped off the artist. But why, and for what reason? They go to Garcia to check for possible associates of Banksy, people who might have bought the art supplies or wired money to support the projects. Wasn't she doing that already?

Joe then suggests that they narrow the search to ex-cons, because the associate hasn't announced themselves, which means they have something to hide! Are you an idiot, Joe? This is a secrecy-based art collective - if a guy announced that he was Banksy's leg man, then he wouldn't be useful to Banksy any more, would he? Public shaming over a criminal history would be the least of their problems.

While Reid notices a piece of blanket used in all of the recent crimes, Garcia manages to turn up a likely suspect for Banksy's accomplice! He's a Florida ex-con who loves art and wires money to Banksy every week. Right up until three weeks ago! Reid helpfully chimes in that that was when the killing began.

Except no, it didn't. The killing began two days ago. Up until then Banksy was just in Detroit, making a fuss.

Again, how is everyone working on this show so garbage at keeping the timeline straight?

We then find Banksy's sidekick in a motel room, watching the news about himself on the television. Which I guess means he's not the killer, since Banksy is presumably sleeping at his worksshop. I guess he just came to town to ruin Banksy's plans?

Reid checks the blankets from the various crime scenes - they all match! Could Banksy be the killer after all? Banksy then calls Greg to give him an address at which the child can be found. Helpful!

They head out there and find a laptop with a video link to Banksy. He claims that he's not involved in the kidnapping or the murders, and that he was only involved in the earlier works, not the death tableaus. But can he offer proof?

No, but when they tell him about the second half of the blanket being used in one of the murders, Banksy freaks out and shuts off the communication. So I guess at least Banksy must know who the killer is? The team also guesses that Banksy is a woman, because she said that she would never hurt a child.

They put in a line about 'the cadence of the speech pattern', but that's just nonsense.

Of course, they're right. Banksy is a blonde lady.

Garcia goes looking for women who went missing from Florida when Banksy started working eight years earlier. This is a crazy thing to base a search on - why would she be 'missing'? It's not like she would have had to disappear from her life entirely to become Banksy. To me missing someone has to report you as such, and there's no reason to suspect that she'd cut off all of her ties to family and friends.

I mean, the actual real-life Banksy has been in a popular band the entire time that he was an outlaw artist. To accomplish this stuff you don't have to live in hovels anonymously. Living in hovels anonymously actually makes it more difficult!

The sidekick returns to his motel room, and gets clubbed in the head, either by Banksy or the real killer! Presumably Banksy, because she thinks he's involved in the murders. Unless he turns up dead, in which case it's the real killer, covering his tracks.

I know it's a bit late to be mentioning this, but why weren't they able to track the killer via the giant comedy mouse trap? That's obviously something that would have had to be made for them.

The team finds out about the dead sidekick, but still assumes Morpheus isn't the killer. Then Reid notices that the two halves of the blanket have very different colouring - as if one is much more sun-bleached than the other! Could they have been cut years and years ago?

Could Banksy have a long-lost identical twin?

They try to figure out what motivated Banksy to come to Detroit, and they realize that the first piece of art she did - the burned car representing a homeless mother and child who died of heat stroke because they slept in their car on a hot day! Could that have been personal to her in some way?

Um... she came all the way to Detroit to do an illegal art piece about it, so I guess I'll say yes? Shouldn't you have been assuming that all along?

Garcia goes to the list of missing Florida people and finds that one of the women on it lost a child months before becoming Banksy! So she must be Banksy! The father of the dead child is a mentally unstable weirdo who bought a bus ticket to Detroit after finding out about the car fire artwork, so he's obviously the killer. But can they catch him in time to save the baby?

They try to suss out the possible motivation of the killer. Perhaps he was so offended to see the baby blanket in the art piece that he wants to kill Banksy and destroy her reputation at the same time? Not a bad theory, per se! They also think he tortured the sidekick to death in order to find out where Banksy was? But would that guy have even known? I mean, he stopped sending cash to Banksy three weeks ago, and there's no reason to believe he'd know where she was holed up.

Then again, I guess he was the one who tipped off the artist about the upcoming Banksy piece, so he might have known - but then again, if Banksy knew that her work was being targeted, wouldn't she have relocated just to keep safe?

Hey, here's something that's left out of their profile - if the guy was motivated by rage against Banksy, why murder a guy who wrecked one of her pieces? That's more obviously a protective act. Couldn't this be him attempting to reconnect with Banksy instead?

Anyhoo, he grabs Banksy on the street, even though it doesn't make sense how he'd have known where she was.

The team goes looking for places he might be squatting in the art district - they send out photos of him to all the stores in the area, hoping to find that he's been spotted buying groceries and baby needs!

Then it's over to Banksy and the killer. He blames her for their son's death, and thinks she shouldn't have used the blanket in art! He wants her to choose between her life and the baby's as his final statement about her and art!

Meanwhile, the killer had bought baby food at the store literally across the street from his hovel, so he's not hard to find.

While the team rushes to save her, Banksy is actually doing a really good job of talking the killer out of murdering anyone! Then Greg shows up and points a gun at him, undoing all of her work. Long story short, he jumps off the building, taking Morpheus with him - landing on the baby coffin he'd placed on the ground over a decal about Banksy's career!

Wow, Greg, you really screwed this one up, huh? If you'd taken five more minutes, he would have surrendered, but you convinced him to finish his crime spree!

You're not often this worst, Greg, but it happened this week!


Except a scene where the kid gets back to his parents, and Joe talks to Aisha about her failed relationship!

And then she visits the killer in prison, who's super-psyched to learn that she chose talking to him over her fiancee. She claims that she chose herself, but it's really the same thing, Aisha - you've chosen your obsession with the psychology of murderers over the possibility of a happy married life. This isn't a positive choice, Aisha.

By all appearances, your fiancee was fine when you were just doing psychological investigations into killers, but when you doubled-up your workload so that serial killers were your entire life, of course he had to leave you. He was right to do it, rather than get dragged down with you into a pit of obsession and misery.

For all of Greg's problems, he still goes home at the end of the day and puts an effort to make time for his son. He's not always successful, but he tries. Aisha, on the other hand, is in for a world of self-destructive misery.

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

Kind of! They realized that leaving the baby blanket was a maternal thing! The problem is, they didn't actually solve the crime. It played out exactly the way the killer wanted. The only person who could have solved it was Banksy, but the team stopped her from trying!

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

Honestly, probably not. Then again, since Banksy would have fixed things if the cops hadn't turned up, it doesn't matter.

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

0/10 - You really screwed up this week, team.

Also, I don't believe that there's any way the killer could have found Banksy. 100% she was aware who the killer was, and that he was after her - but she still went back to her workshop? It's just not plausible.

Why did the guy kill the local artist? When the sidekick found out he was being sought for questioning, and he knew that he'd done nothing wrong in any way, shape, or form, why didn't he go to the cops?

Nothing that happened this week made sense, people!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ive been reading the reviews for the last while and i agree with a lot said, but if anyone else reads this can they explain how the mouse trap wouldnt work the same as a normal size one? Assuming its made right, it should act the same just larger