Criminal Minds 1116: Derek

The episode picks up in the aftermath of the last episode! Derek has been placed into a pine box, loaded into a truck, and driven out into the woods to a creepy house! He's carried inside, and then hooked to the ceiling and bound to some kind of a bondage table! Also, not for nothing, Shemar Moore is in great shape!
That's it - 200 crunches every morning. Shemar Moore is a decade older than me and he looks amazing.

The leader of the goons notices that Derek is awake, but sees that he's completely unfocused. He immediately realizes that Derek is dissociating himself to deal with the fact that he's about to be tortured! A skill he no doubt picked up during those years of abuse!

This leads to a dream sequence, where Derek comes home, dreaming of his happy wife and children! Even in his fantasy, though, his wife mentions that he works too much. She's right, Derek. If you do have two kids, you'd better take a high-paying private sector security consultant job so you can be home at 5 for the kids, while your wife does her way more important doctor work.

He's shocked out of the dream when he sees Danny Glover in the corner of the room, smiling at him! Not his dad, not his abuser, but Danny Glover. What's he doing there? Wait, is Danny Glover playing the memory of his grandfather? That would be neat!

The leader, who I recognize from somewhere, but can't place it, and I'll look it up once we get to the credits, hits Derek, snapping him into a new reverie! This time, the whole team is there to yell at him for being bad at relationships, ending with Danny saying the same thing!

Another hit, and a third take! This time Danny's out front, and Derek doesn't recognize him. But this is a dream, so who knows what that means? In the dream, he follows Danny out into the street! In reality, the mercenaries light a fire to prepare torture implements!

Uh-oh, Derek, things are going south fast!

Inside the fantasy, Danny is revealed to be the idea of Derek's father! So instead of the 35-year-old man he was when he died, we're seeing what Derek imagines he would have looked like had he lived!

I'm guessing Derek was a big fan of Danny Glover when he was a kid, and that's why he's picked this form, like Homer and Colonel Klink?

At the office, they consider whether this could be related to the whole ring of assassins they took down. Greg announces that he's put all of their families under guard, just to be safe. That must sting a little for Reid to hear, huh? DRGF is in Joe's office, talking to him about the call, frustrated that she doesn't know any more. Then Reid summons Joe for the briefing, and she's left alone to stew!

Oh, the reason I recognized the lead merc is that he was on one episode of The Mentalist. But according to IMDB, he gets plenty of other work as well!

Speaking of, he gets ready to set Derek's skin on fire, but rather than making us watch that, we cut over to his fantasy time with Danny! Danny explains that if Derek wants to figure out who the bad guys are, he should start by figuring out why they wanted to take him. And to understand that story, they'll have to go back to 1985, when he was a teenager! For some reason.

Reid points out that it's unlikely that this is related to the League, since the encrypted satellite communications that the mercs are using are far beyond the tech level of most internet crime. Most internet crime is phishing attacks and fake websites that steal credit card information. The league was on a whole other level, and kidnapped a legendary-level hacker to do their bidding. No, sat phones are not beyond the capabilities of the people associated with them.

Greg tells Garcia to go with JJ and DRGF to Derek's house. While DRGF packs a bag, Garcia can check to see if they were being surveilled! Except that's incredibly far from her area of expertise. She can check their computers for tracking software and programs that capture audio and video, but she knows nothing about sweeping for bugs and cameras. You're the FBI, you have people who specialize in that, send one of them.

Hey, is DRGF pregnant? Is that why she wanted to talk to Derek? That could provide for kind of a happy ending, no matter what else happens!

Danny guides Derek into a cognitive interview, so he can remember the day his father was shot! I'm pretty sure the actor playing his father isn't the guy from the pictures we've seen, but that's not something that they need to get right, so I won't kick up a fuss.

Derek blames himself for his father's death because it was while his father was driving him home from school because of an upset stomach that the robbery in progress that abruptly escalated to a cop killing!

It's a rough scene to watch, naturally, and I'm kind of impressed with the show for waiting so long to go to this well! Danny and Derek talk about the trauma that was heaped upon Derek by seeing he father die, and Derek drops a bombshell - he doesn't resent his father for getting killed, he resents his father for making him believe that the world was a place where the righteous were protected! We flash back to his father reading him King Arthur as a child, and young Derek asks if cops are protected by God the way knights of legend were. Sadly, he says that they are. Oof. Bad message, dad.

In the real world, the mercs light the phosphorous that has been spread across Derek's chest, and watch as it sears into his skin. He still doesn't scream, and manages to get his heart rate back down to normal. Assuming that there was something medically wrong with Derek, they unstrap him from the bondage stand for a closer examination - and it turns out this was all part of Derek's plan!

Lucky that he had a superhuman pain resistance and ability to put himself into a psychologically protective self-defense coma, right?

The minute the straps are off, Derek fights back, grabbing a gun and shooting the place up!

One brutal gunfight later, all of the bad guys are dead (save the important one, of course), and Derek collapses to the floor, blacking out in agony!

Checking over Derek's house, Garcia discovers that yes, the mercs were hacking into their home electronics! And they were doing it through CIA computers! Shocked by the information, JJ calls one of her contacts, presumably at the state department, and demands to know what's going on!

Derek wakes up in the torture cabin and grabs a jacket. I guess he's cold? He then puts a knife to the throat of the barely-alive merc leader and asks what's going on! The merc leader says he doesn't know, and that they're going to be alone for the next six hours, at the end of which backup is coming!

Turns out he's telling the truth, at least part of it - there are no vehicles outside any more! Also, he doesn't suggest that he was supposed to get any information out of Derek. It seems to just have been about torture for torture's sake. Who could be behind this? Did Helo have friends in the CIA still?

Then we get a brutal scene of Derek pouring bleach on his chest to disinfect the wound. Which seems like the least of your problems at the moment, guy - isn't bleach just going to make it more painful? Don't you need to be able to focus right now?

We take a trip back into Derek's mind, where Danny is waiting for him! He explains that the place they are now is the dissociative prison he built for himself to hide in when he was being molested! Generally that's something that only younger victims are able to do, but there's precedent for this type of psychological phenomenon. It's kind of weird how much focus Derek and Danny are placing on Derek figuring out who's after him. As if knowing that is going to help him survive.

I could be wrong about this, and it'll turn out that figuring out that the CIA is after him is the key he'll need to beat them, but I really feel like they should focus on keeping him alive, and worry about the how and the why of it later.

Oh, and it turns out I was wrong, he wasn't disinfecting the wound, he was using laundry soap to neutralize the phosphorous so it wouldn't continue burning him. If only they'd made it visually clear that was what was happening!

We get a heartbreaking scene of Derek talking about his abuse with his father, and his father letting him off the hook for being a victim! Really sweet work here, show!

JJ gets back to the team with her contact's information. It's not the CIA, it's ex-CIA and special forces goons who kidnap people for money! And they still have access to the CIA's intratnet for some reason, but let's just move on.

Back in Derek's head, he uses an image of Garcia to represent his memory! He tells her about the special forces tattoo, which she remembers is an SAS 'who dares wins' deal! I mean, the fact that the lead merc was a British special forces guy should have told him that the SAS was involved, but either way it's nice to see Garcia for a moment. The scene ends on a weird note, when he remembers that the SAS designed most of the torture techniques used by the US army to train its soldiers! The conclusion - these guys are torturers, and they're going to be coming back to get him!

Wait, that's what that whole scene was about? Seriously? You already knew they were torturers, because they were torturing you, and you already knew they were coming back, because the merc leader told him they were.

Dream-Garcia's not great at this, huh?

Also, whoever writes this episode kind of sucks at their job, because Garcia sources the SAS information to Derek spending a drunken night hanging out with someone from 'Scotland Yard'... I know that they like to pretend Suspect Behaviour never happened, but you still should have said that Derek spent a drunken night hanging out with Matt Ryan a couple of years earlier. He was an SAS sniper for gosh's sake, and he's a guy you know who could have told you about all of this.

When Derek wakes up, he finds the lead merc talking on a cell phone, asking for an extraction! Wow, Derek, you neither searched the guy, nor restrained him in any way? You're terrible at this when you're injured!

The lead merc swallows his phone's sim card - at least that's what it looks like. The scene goes by so fast it's hard to tell. He doesn't seem to break it, though, so you'd think Derek could just call 911, since all phone can do that without a sim card or service plan.

Then again, maybe it's a foreign phone that doesn't have that feature?

When we come back from commercial, Derek has sliced open the lead merc's body to get the sim card back! It turns out to have been a satellite phone, so yeah, that wouldn't have been able to call 911. The thing is, though, satellite phones are HUGE -
So I have no idea how Derek missed it on the guy. Like, if it was on his front, you couldn't have missed it, if it was on his back, it's so big he couldn't have laid flat on the ground. When he gets it started up, though, the phone is password-locked, and Derek cries out in anguish - he can't die like this!

Why do you think you're going to die? You're not that seriously injured. Your chest is badly burned, yes, and you're still woozy from the drugs, but that will wear off in a matter of hours, as long as you stay hydrated - and these guys must have water around, even if the cabin doesn't have plumbing, so just grab some extra magazines from the dead guys' bodies and make for the woods!

Danny encourages Derek to picture what will happen when his team gets to the house. He pictures everyone being sad after he's dead. Not a good thing to wallow in.

Danny reminds Derek that his team is good at their jobs, so they'll probably be on to the sat phone by now - if he leaves a connection open, they can probably trace it! Amazingly, even without a password you can redial the last few numbers on the phone - that's a terrible security feature, people.

So Derek calls up the mercenary's partner, who says that he'll be there in minutes to kill Derek, long before the team arrives!

As Derek starts to pass out, he talks to his father about DRGF - can he use this traumatic experience as a motivator to propose to her? Also, he finally figures out that she's obviously pregnant, as we figured out much earlier.

The mercenary shows up, planning to kill Derek, but he doesn't bother to bring a gun for some reason, which gives Derek a chance to get the knife! I don't know why this guy is wasting so much time - he doesn't know that Derek's team is so insular and arrogant that they do all this work themselves, there could be state troopers just thirty seconds away as we speak!Speaking of backup, where is the mercenary's? More than one vehicle was driven away from the scene, so there can't be just this guy left on the team, right? Where are the rest of them?

The team arrives to rescue Derek! He's wheeled out to the ambulance on a gurney, then his heart goes into fibrillation and stops! He has a final heart-to-heart moment with Danny, who convinces him that he's ready to be a father, and boom - he's brought back to life!

Show, you needed to explain way more clearly what was killing Derek this whole episode. Was it the drugs? The severe, but not particularly deep burns?

Might be time to take an early retirement, Derek. You shouldn't be out in the field any more after something like this. We get a happy ending with DRGF and Garcia hanging out in his hospital room! And Derek finally proposes!


But wait, who was responsible for this? Does Derek have secret government stuff going on that we don't know about? Or is there someone super-rich out there who wanted him dead? Have there been any super-rich killers lately? I mean, the last one I can think of was Sark from Alias, but there could be others I'm forgetting.

We don't find out, or even get a hint about what was going on.

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

Nope. They waited around for a cell phone signal, then went there when they got it.

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

Real cops would have called the state troopers who might have taken the mercenary alive and given them a lead on who was responsible for all of this.

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

1/10 - I think it's worth noting that the team made things way more difficult for themselves by choosing to execute the mercenary rather than make any effort to take him alive. Yes, he said he was going to kill Derek, but he was standing a few feet away from the man, completely unarmed. If he'd been raising a gun to point it at Derek, sure, shoot him - but why not take a chance that the guy will surrender before blowing him away, Reid?

Wait, was Reid secretly behind this all along, and he killed the guy to cover his tracks? Of course not, but what an amazing twist that would be!

And, for the record, 'considering victimology' was complete waste of time - knowing why he was targeted - a thing that was never established, didn't effect his chances of survival in any way, shape, or form.

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