Criminal Minds 1213: Spencer

The episode opens in Mexico, of all places! They haven't solved a case there in over a decade!

We open on a car chase already in progress, as a pickup truck and sedan are chased by a police car! Or the police car and the sedan are together - it's not immediately clear.

They're not! The cops shoot at the sedan until the driver pulls over, then they stop and let the pickup get away! The driver surrenders, and the cops find both drugs and money in the trunk! Shouldn't they just find one or the other? What kind of transaction was this? They're careful not to show the guy's face - is it going to be a pleasant surprise?

It is! The driver is Reid, presumably involved in some kind of undercover thing!

Reid is put through processing, and put in a cell with just one other man. Then he starts talking about how he needs to talk to his mother - so is this a sting, or does it have to do with those illegal brain drugs her was giving his mother? The he tells the police that he doesn't remember who he is, or how he ended up with a nasty gash on his hand!

He claims not to remember why he was in a car full of drugs, and asks if he can call someone. The cops says he can't, but I'm not sure why they don't already know who he is - they've taken his fingerprints, and their police department can search the American fingerprint databases, so they should already have an ID. Maybe that will happen next?

Reid explains that he was in the desert meeting a woman, and it had something to do with helping his mother! The woman might be a doctor named Rosa! Then another cop arrives with Reid's badge, which was in his car, but they only just now discovered.

It's weird that this cop put no effort into finding out who his perp was before talking to him. Always go into an interrogation with as much information as possible, people. That's job 1.

Back in Quantico (which is introduced with a shot of DC, because these people don't care), Emily announces that she just got a call from Cruz about the arrest in Mexico! Hey, remember when these characters had a boss? Good times.

The Mexican cops continue questioning Reid, who has come to the conclusion that he was chasing someone, and that he was probably framed for the drugs. The Mexican authorities are understandably dubious, but back in Quantico the team is already working under the assumption that Mr. Scratch is behind it, hence Reid's memory loss! This is a really good guess, actually.

The team goes over the little they know about the case - Reid told his mother's caregiver he'd be gone for three days, and he was in Texas anyways, so it's not like this was out of his way! The team decides to rush down to Mexico for help - weirdly, Emily asks Joe if he was able to reach 'Jack Garret', and I have no idea who that is. Gary Sinise, maybe?

In Mexico, Reid is being given a drug test - and when he has to roll up his sleeve to give blood, he notices the name 'Rose Medina' written on his arm in faint pen! But will they be able to use the writing to confirm which exact pen was used on him? I should probably let that one go...

He doesn't mention the name to anyone, and then has a flashback to his torture at the hands of James Van Der Beek! But I guess they didn't want to pay Van Der Beek, because they only show shots of the scene that his face isn't in. Then the bloodletting ends, and Reid makes a conscious decision to hide the name on his arm. Even though the woman could be in danger right now, and you've got no reason to distrust the cops who are holding you.

Reid goes back to his cell and does some more flashing back - this time to when his dad left him and his mother! Seriously, I'll never forgive that guy for not taking Reid with him. Would Jane have immediately killed herself? Yes. Would that have been less psychologically damaging for Reid in the long run? Also yes.

Gacia and Steven are still in Quantico, trying to figure out how Reid got to Mexico. This is a strange question to have to ask. Shouldn't they already know if he did it in any legal way? You have to present ID at the border, and if he didn't they'd know immediately. Yet Garcia is acting like she'll have to individually check every possible way to cross the border. But no, you'll know right away if he crossed legally - once you have that information, the next steps to take should be obvious.

Then JJ arrives with all of Reid's notes about alternative treatments he wants to try on his mother. Maybe they can figure out who Reid went to in Mexico and figure out the situation that way!

Joe, Emily, and Eric arrive in Mexico. Reid finally tells them about the doctor, although if the extra four hours it took the team to get there gets someone killed, I won't be happy about it. He doesn't know if Scratch was involved, and has no actionable information to offer other than the name! Eric calls it in, and Garcia reports that Rose's name is super-common! Aisha then wins a Prentiss Award for this line-

I'll just put this Snopes link here: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/holistic-doctor-death-conspiracy/ Let's all take a moment to acknowledge that an FBI Special Agent just acknowledged an internet conspiracy theory as if it was plausible.

Ouch, Criminal Minds.

Then Steven thinks that Rose Medina might be an anagram for the woman's real name, since people frequently use anagrams when disguising their identities to hide from legal oversight! I'm kidding, of course, that's a crazy idea.

Naturally, the absurd anagram guess is right! She's actually named "Nadie Ramos" and she's working to reverse brain degeneration! Reid is able to identify the woman as the person he met, and they quickly find records that she's staying at a motel outside of town! The team rushes over, but naturally, she's already been dead for a while.

The cops are more wary of Reid when they find his passport and personal belongings in the motel room! Joe assures the guy that it was all planted, and Reid's not involved! I mean, I'm sure Reid didn't stab her to death(at least not without being drugged to do it), but the stuff wasn't necessarily planted - after all, you have no idea when and where Reid was drugged. Also, we see his passport, which suggests he got to Mexico legally, and there absolutely should have been a record of that!

The team ponders what they can do about the situation. Without any leads other than 'a knife is missing, and Reid doesn't have any blood on him, so he probably didn't stab a woman two dozen times', they're left without an obvious next step!

We get more at Quantico, where Steven and JJ talk about how worried they are about Reid. JJ says that Reid is her best friend, and stronger than people think he is. Which is obviously nonsense, but a sweet thing to say. Then Garcia gets a call from Monty (from Beyond Borders) who has tracked Reid's passport! Yeah, you didn't need him to do that. You could have done that search yourself. What, were they trying to remind people that Beyond Borders was back or something? This is a weird amount of time to spend mentioning that show.

Anyhoo, Reid has been going to Mexico for months without telling anyone! And despite the fact that he's a federal agent, his name didn't get flagged. Well, at least we know what the mystery vials were about! Speaking of, the cops found five vials in his luggage at the motel! Are they super-illegal? Reid doesn't answer, and lets the Mexican cop go run tests for himself. Wow, it's crazy how much they're keeping from the local law enforcement.

Emily gives Spencer a 'cognitive interview', where he recalls taking the bus to the border and then walking through and meeting Rose in a motel, because she didn't have an office! Emily asks why Reid wrote her name on his arm, if he already knew her. He doesn't remember, but hopefully he will soon. Maybe it was a Memento-style attempt to give himself a clue before being drugged?

Reid flashes back to the motel. He remembers being handed the vials and told that Jane would need three drops per day. Weird that she would give that instruction again, since this is his third meeting with her. Maybe she's upping the dosage? Then he remembers someone driving up outside the room. Goons broke into the room and attacked them! At least one, maybe more. Reid remembers grabbing an already-bloody knife, but doesn't get much more detail than that.

And he's going to need to come up with something fast, because as Emily leaves the room, she discovers that Reid has been charged with murdering the doctor! Garcia checks with the Mexican Bureau of Prisons, and finds out that Reid is going to a maximum security prison within the day! Can they not get the US ambassador to Mexico to pull some strings here? Time to make those political connection calls, Emily.

But no, instead she just stares at Reid and wonders whether she should delete the audio where he admits to holding the knife at some point. So professional!

Then some help arrives! It turns out that Jack was the Beyond Borders' team's Derek, and I don't recognize the woman he's with. Was she on the team in the backdoor pilot? Anyhow, they've arrived to help! And yeah, probably to remind people that the show has come back for its mid-season premiere next week.

We learn that the vials haven't been approved for medical use by the FDA, but that there's nothing illegal in them. Then why were they so hard to get? If they're not illegal, couldn't she have just mailed them to Reid?

The team actually mentions this, and suggests that maybe Rose had a specific reason to lure him down to Mexico. Maybe her family was being threatened by someone? They decide to look deeper into her background! Which, again, why weren't they doing that already? The moment you knew her name, why didn't you do a full background check?

Garcia finally gets around to doing her job, and discovers that Nadie was a Dual Citizen, which is why she was able to easily work in both Mexico and America! We still don't have a reason why she couldn't give him the drugs in Houston, though. Then the cops arrive, announcing that it's transfer time! The team says that since the victim was an American citizen, they have the right to extradite Reid back to America, but the cop asks to see some paperwork on that extradition request, and they're unable to comply.

After the commercial that call comes through, though, and Reid is saved! Wow, so before the commercial we were presented with a problem, and ten seconds later it was solved by a phone call. That's some fake drama, people!

So yeah, there's five minutes left in this episode, and we've learned basically nothing. Is this a two-parter, or a crossover with Beyond Borders? Because I do not want to have to watch an episode of Beyond Borders. And likely will not.

They prep the defense back in Quantico - calling lawyers and putting together Reid's file, hoping to get him back into cushy American custody rather than nightmarish a Mexican prison. Wow, this show really does have a lot of causal xenophobia when the BB team shows up, doesn't it?

The Mexican cop lets them take Reid out, but asks Emily for the recording of her interview with Reid, since their agreement was that he would get a copy. She lies and says she didn't make a recording! So sleazy! Then again, they have a proven record over covering up crimes to help their own, so why am I surprised?

Hey, was Joe in this episode at all? This show's cast has bloated to the point where he could have taken the week off and I wouldn't have noticed. I feel like he was on the plane and at the motel, but where has he been since?

I guess he was on the plane the whole time, because he's back for the 'escaping to America' scene! Also, they get a call from the Mexican lab proving that there was a third person in the motel room... but who was it?

They arrive back in Quantico, and everyone comforts Reid, but then Steven gets a troubling call! He calls Emily over to chat - because Reid wasn't in Mexico on FBI business, they won't be providing him with a lawyer! Emily thinks this means they're 'on their own', but can't they just hire a good lawyer? Reid's got money stashed away, and I'm sure Joe could kick in a few bucks, right?

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

No solution this week, so we'll wait on the resolution!

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


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

N/A - There had better be a good reason why he went to Mexico. Also, I find it impossible to believe that a guy like Reid wouldn't have had the drug cocktail tested by an independent lab before giving it to his mother. There's just no way that would ever happen. And if he'd done that, he would have known that she could have just mailed the stuff to him, and there would be no conflict. They're going to have a lot of explaining to do next time, is my point.

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