24.12.19

Criminal Minds 1110: Future Perfect

A couple is going frog gigging in a swamp somewhere. It's the totally unfair way, where you shine a light in their eyes to stun them, then stab them. These people are cruel and unsporting. They murder some frogs, and then stumble on a corpse half-sunken in the muck!

At Quantico, Garcia is going stir crazy, so she's playing cards with Joe! Um... Garcia spends half her life online anyhow, and she has access to video games. Why are they acting like this is such a hardship for her? It's been two weeks, Garcia. Relax.

They go to a case briefing! Apparently two bodies were found in a swamp earlier that evening! Yeah, there's no way this is the same night. I was already pitch black in Florida, making it at least a couple of hours after sunset at 5:30. So let's say 8PM. The couple have to get on their phones and call the cops, the cops have to get out to the swamp to check on the bodies and realize how bad the situation is, they have to call detectives, who then have to call their superiors, who then have to call the local FBI, who then have to call Greg.

And this all happened while everyone was still at the office?

No, they'd be working this the next morning, and it's weird that they're pretending they wouldn't.

Oh, and BTW - no ID on the bodies yet. The woman had all of her blood drained, the man didn't. Although I don't know how they have this information without having done an autopsy yet. It's not the kind of thing you can tell just by looking at a body that's been in a swamp for a couple of days.

In Florida, a woman drives her car to a place and checks her makeup! It turns out she's walking into a graveyard, planning to meet someone! She meets a man who wants to blindfold her - is it time for a satanic blood ritual? She balks at the idea, so he drugs her with one of those magic Dexter syringes that you can stick anywhere on someone's body and immediately knock them out!

Because science!

On the plane, the team talks about how there are scratches on the body which might be animal bites and scratches, but the media thinks is a Satanic ritual! Is this a reference to the Paradise Lost film?

More importantly, how does the media know about this? According to the show's ridiculous timeline, the bodies were only discovered like 5 hours ago - details of the crime have already leaked out and stories about what the bodies look like are being reported in the media?

This would all make so much more sense if this was just the next day. How are you so bad at this, show?

Okay, the very next line in the show after I unpaused mentioned the West Memphis 3, so yeah, that was a reference.

Garcia gets the body ID - a young woman and an old man! Supposedly with no connection to each other. She'll keep checking, though! Apparently they've been missing for three days - but only in the water for one, according to the coroner. Who somehow as already filed a report.

I'm going to stop talking about the terrible timeline now, because it's not getting any better.

At the police station, Greg and JJ get ready to convince the press that this wasn't about Satan, and over at the morgue, Aisha discovers that an exact triangle of skin was cut out of the woman's leg! Aisha gives the wound a meaningful look before getting the big news - all of the blood taken out of the woman was placed in the man! Strange!

Then Greg finds out about the kidnapped woman from the teaser - she worked with the female victim, so there's no doubt that there's a connection. Also she told people that she was going to meet a creepy guy at a graveyard, so yeah. Obviously there's a connection.

I'm not blaming the victim here, but doesn't it seem a little weird to - three days after your co-worker mysteriously disappears - still be going out to meet a guy in a graveyard? Even if you didn't think he was involved, wouldn't you be weirded out enough to put off the date?
When we find the latest victim, she's being rolled down a hallway on a gurney by a man wearing scrubs! Where did this killer find an abandoned medical clinic? Are there tons of those in Florida or something?

It would be crazy if this wasn't a traditional serial killer, but a Ray Wise-type of situation where the killer genuinely thinks that they're attempting a medical treatment, when they're really just insane? Like he's trying to reverse the aging process in old people by filling them with 'young blood' or some such nonsense!

Then we get a scene with the whole team, save Reid, who's got another week off, in case I didn't mention that earlier. They basically lay out my theory from above, although I had help because I was able to see the setup the guy was working with. Their conclusion - the missing triangle might be a tissue sample to check out the treatment is going! More importantly, though, if the latest victims is a planned donor, who is the blood recipient?

Even more important - how fast can JJ read?

She's been off talking to the press for hours, so she doesn't know anything about the blood transfusion story. But she's able to look at the paper for one second and immediately take in all of the relevant details? That seems like a stretch.

Then Aisha wins a Prentiss Award-

No, Aisha, the 'host' is the person who gets the thing, not the 'donor', which is what you're looking for. And people only call them 'hosts' for tissue grafting, not for blood transfusion – those are recipients. That's why there's a different term for the possible bad effects - 'Transfusion reaction' and 'Graft vs Host'.

I know that you're not the kind of doctor who needs to know about this type of thing, but come on, these are really basic terms you're getting wrong.

Over in his torture lab, the villain has tied up the young woman and an old man, then he leaves for work! Then we cut to an elderly couple waiting on test results - maybe this is where the killer works as some kind of an assistant?

Meanwhile Garcia is told to search for bad doctors in the area!

Back to the testing - the couple gets the bad news, and find out that the woman won't live for more than six months at the outside! This is a perfect time for a guy to turn up with a crazy therapy idea. The scene is strangely written, because the doctor and couple are both weirdly obsessed with talking around exactly what's wrong with the woman. The only drug she offers them is an anti-depressant!

Then the killer rolls a wheelchair in to take the woman to a room for some further testing!

When searching for bad doctors, Garcia finds a 'mad scientist club' where med students used to gather to chat about crazy experimental treatments for diseases! The place they gathered? The graveyard where the killer lured his latest victim! Garcia's going to try to track down anyone who was in the group!

The ME calls Aisha with yet more bizarre news. Not only did the old man have parkinsons medication in his body, he's also had bits of jellyfish and turtle blood thrown in their. Presumably because Jellyfish are immortal and turtles age slowly?

Then it's over to the torture lab, where the killer is hanging out with his own jellyfish! Is he already back for the day? He was not at work long, if that's the case. Suddenly the old man starts convulsing and dies! Now he's got a blood donor, but no one to give her blood to! Damn it, if only he'd just today found a terminally ill woman to replace as the recipient in his mad science experiment!

Hey, wait a minute...

At the police station, Greg announces that Garcia's going to start looking for people buying jellyfish supplies, and then they get a call about the old man's corpse having been dumped! Wow, this guy's having a busy day. He sets up an operation, puts in a full day at work, and then kills a guy and dumps his body, all before 4PM. We know the timeline because it's still bright outside, and as we previously established, the sun sets at 5:30PM at this time of year.

I'm not fully sure why the team got called on this body, however. It's a fully dressed old man with bruises all over him dumped in a ditch. That's a far cry from 'expertly hidden medical test subject'. The complete lack of similarity in the MOs suggests a lack of involvement - this really should have been a setup where the cops reported a new body but didn't think the team would want to care about it, and then someone responded with the high improbability that two old men would be coincidentally murdered the same week.

Having the cops already do that makes the team seem irrelevant.

The team gives the profile: He's a mad scientist. While they're talking, we see the killer getting frustrated with something he sees through a microscope, and takes out his anger on one of his tanks full of jellyfish.

You monster! How could you do that to poor, innocent jellyfish?

Hey, have they bothered to ask anyone at the diner where the two young women worked if any doctors or nurses eat their regularly? It can't have been an accident that both women worked in the same place, right? Also, the killer is buying or stealing huge amounts of drugs and medical equipment - isn't that a decent lead?

We check in with the sick couple, trying to come to terms with the fact that the wife is dying! It's rough. Once the husband leaves his wife to let her sleep, he hears a knock on the door. It's the killer, there to offer a crazy solution!

Greg and Joe talk about the crazy menagerie of animal blood that the killer is using. Can they track him based on access to those? Also, one of the mad scientists will be coming in to chat with the team!

The killer has a chat with the old man. He makes a fairly compelling argument - his wife has an incurable disease, so why not take a chance on mad science? That's not a terrible pitch, actually. I mean, he's crazy and he's going to kill her, but as pitches go, it's solid. So he gives the woman a transfusion of his strange blood mixture, and says she'll need another one in three days! Presumably he does the first step to make sure that - within his mind - they can take it, and then does the full monty.

Hey, how does he know the blood types of the women he's planning to abduct? If they're no O Neg there's a really good chance of causing a transfusion reaction almost immediately with the new patient. Unless he's carefully selected old people with AB Pos blood to make sure that isn't a problem?

Aisha talks to the mad scientist lady, who remembers a super creepy guy dropping by the club a couple of times. She knew he was named Robert or Richard, and he was from the area! That's enough for Garcia to get started on a med school search, right? Actually, that's probably more than enough - the med school wouldn't have that large of a class, and guys named Robert or Richard who are also from that part of Florida - how many can there be?

Over at the old people's apartment, the wife is feeling better! Is it the transfusion, or the anti-depressants, though?

Then, in the dumbest move I've ever seen a character make on this show - and this is on an episode of Criminal Minds, mind you - the doctor finds the killer in her office, stealing a bunch of drugs from a locked cabinet, and announces that she's calling security. Now, at this moment, she's standing in the doorway and he's at the other end of the room. She could run down the hallway and yell for security or nurses. Instead, she runs into the office - towards the killer! - to get to the phone on her desk.

Because she's the dumbest person in the world. Who gets clubbed on the head with a hammer for her trouble. That's right, she got murdered because she did something no one would do in that situation. How can I possibly even sympathize with this woman?

We next see the killer wheeling the doctor's body out in a body bag, right past other doctors! Turns out that yeah, this hospital is well-staffed, even at night, and there's no reason she couldn't have called for help.

Seriously, why is this kill even happening? It makes everyone look like an idiot, and the team didn't need it to help them find the killer. All it serves is to make the story more unpleasant, sacrificing believability for gore!

Oh, okay, that's why they did it.

Joe and JJ go to the doctor's office, and wonder how the doctor's body was removed without anyone noticing. Um... check the security camera footage? Spoiler alert - hospitals and clinics, really, anywhere drugs are kept, are full of security cameras. How has the killer not already been caught.

Oh, and nearby, in his apartment, the husband finds news of the doctor's disappearance on the front page of the newspaper! But how? Morning newspapers are delivered at like 5AM. That means it went to press at like midnight. There's absolutely no way they could have gotten a story written up about the doctor's disappearance by then. She was murdered sometime late enough that the guy thought he'd be clear to break into her office, so at least after 9PM. Which means someone had to - at some point later - find the bloody carpet in her office, call security, perform a minor search of the building, then call the police, and have the police come out before the press would have heard about it.

No way all of that happens in three hours. Then again, this show has always been garbage with timelines!

We then see a meeting the home base, where Aisha announces that the list of every medical student in North Florida named Richard or Robert is incredibly long. Is it, though?

The list can be narrowed down by:

1- The year he was at the mad scientist meeting.
2- The school(s) that the mad scientist club advertised their club to.
3- Relative proximity to the graveyard (is anyone going to drive more than an hour for this?)
4- Long-time resident of North Florida pre-med school.
5- White male.

Oh, and there are only four medical schools in North Florida, so yeah, this would not be a long list.

How can that list have more than one or two names on it? Hell, it could have zero, and it turns out that he was just learning to be a nurse practitioner and found out about the club online.

Instead of going through the list, Joe suddenly announced what I mentioned ages ago - that all of the animals have super-long lifespans, and the killer is just trying to cure aging! Nice that he caught up eventually! Aisha then makes the connection between St. Augustine and Ponce De Leon, who was looking for the fountain of youth in that very area, and has a state park named after him just north of the city!

Then we get more with the killer, where we hear a story about how, at age seven, he was traumatized by the fact that people get old eventually, and he decided to devote his life to curing aging!

Back at the apartment, the wife starts having a seizure - the husband calls the killer, who says he'll do another transfusion! The guy just has to bring his wife in to the creepy abandoned clinic! Here's what that clinic looks like:


Yeah, I don't care how desperate the husband is - the moment he sees that decrepit building he's going to know the guy is crazy and turn the car right around. I mean, this is a terribly written show, so he won't but obviously he would.

Turns out the bird lead turned up something useful! Garcia finds the only place where a that exact bird has been stolen in the past year, and the suspected thief was the killer! Who's also an orderly at the hospital and went to med school with the mad science people. So they know they've got their guy!

Isn't it almost unfathomably lucky that they had a DNA database of every kind of bird on earth so that the trace bits of its blood in the victim's body could be matched within hours to an incredibly specific breed of parrot?

I'm being sarcastic, of course - this is all madness. Also, once the doctor was murdered, couldn't they have just done a search of anyone named Richard who worked at the hospital, and compared that to the list of med school people that the mad scientist lady gave them?

Wow, this is just their most solvable case in ages!

As predicted, the moron husband has brought his wife to a creepy abandoned hospital, and leaves her in a room alone with an obviously unhinged creep!

Derek offers a useful clue - he checked with the people who've been selling saltwater tanks and jellyfish equipment, and discovers that a bunch of it was delivered to an abandoned hospital at the edge of town! I guess that's all the evidence they need, so they rush over there!

As the team drives up, we get another establishing shot of the creepy haunted hospital, which not only looks far more eerie:

But it's somehow lost two of its stories while they were on the way?

The team saves the victims and the killer is arrested without incident.

THE END

Except for a sad ending, where the wife dies from a transfusion reaction!

Ugh.

Then there's more with Garcia, who's not happy about her office bedroom, so she takes to wandering around the halls in her pajamas, talking to herself.

In one of the best jokes the show has done, Greg shows up and tells her he needs her to come with, and he's still impeccably dressed in his suit, despite the hour. He says they have a way to bring down the whole Legaue of Assassins!

But that won't happen until next week - it's to be continued!

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

Not at all! They just followed the physical evidence and Garcia's discovery that there was a group of mad scientists who met at the graveyard.

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

There were videotapes of the guy murdering the doctor and removing her body. Yes, he would have been caught almost immediately.

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

1/10 - You know how I said that the doctor's murder seemed like a last-minute addition because someone didn't think there were enough dead bodies in the episode? They never even find her body, or bother to ask the killer what happened to her. Like, they have no idea whether the doctor is alive or dead, all they found was a small pool of blood in her office.

Yet they act like she's dead, and don't even bring it up when arresting the killer. The episode didn't need this extra body - the first two old victims were presumably also found at the same hospital - wasn't that enough of a connection for them?

The fact that the two women worked at the same diner never amounted to anything - or was even considered a lead. And, again, there was obviously video footage of the killer wheeling a gurney into the doctor's office and a body out.

This episode was garbage!

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