24.12.19

Criminal Minds 1222: Red Light

In prison with Reid, Aubrey wants to have another chat session about what kind of a person he is! Will she get the truth from him this time? Hopefully the episode won't be nearly plotless like the last Aubrey episode, because that will leave me with almost nothing to write about!

Aubrey lays out the rules of her new game - Reid can ask her questions in the hopes of figuring out what the secret she knows about him is. If he succeeds, Jane goes free, if he fails, she dies! The one hint she gives: It's a secret that Reid will never admit to!

Oh, that he was molested by Jane? Yeah, we all know that already.

The team tries to figure out why HD would be going along with a plan that can only end in her own death or a lifetime stretch in prison. Did she knew Aubrey somehow? It has to be a hell of a good reason, since she could have kidnapped Jane without anyone knowing she was involved, but she decided to specifically appear on video cameras, so that her cover would be blown and it would be impossible to get away with her crimes for long.

Why would someone do that?

While the rest of the team looks into how Aubrey and HD are communicating, hoping to find evidence of a plan they can foil, Emily has Garcia put out an Amber Alert listing HD as a child abductor! Hopefully that will wake up the whole city and get their help.

Hopefully she will also be able to keep her job afterwards, since this is clearly an illegal action!

The team turns up some info - they've got a list of every guard who had contact with Aubrey. One of them has to be involved, so they start investigating! Also, in a far more preposterous clue, they discover that HD has bought her custom bullets at the same Virginia gun store on multiple occasions using multiple different fake IDs!

Wait... what? She's a cartel hitwoman who operates exclusively along the border. Why is she in the DC area at all, and why is she buying her bullets using different IDs at the same store? This is nonsense.

In prison, Reid makes a guess at what the secret is. Actually, no, he doesn't - instead, he just talks about how probably she wants him to feel the way she does by losing a parent. Then they talk for a while about how he's been a bad godfather by never ever visiting Derek and DRMRS and their son!

That's not a secret about him, though. We know he's bad at relationships. That's like, the one thing that is best known about Spencer Reid.

Reid does manage to get one piece of info out of Aubrey without her knowing it - he uses the wrong name of Derek's son, and she doesn't correct him! The team assumes this means that she has access to Reid's FBI file, which would have info about Derek's injuries and Mandy getting murdered, but probably not have biographical information about Derek's son! Then again, she could have just googled birth announcements and found out Derek's son's name that way - it's not exactly a national secret.

Aisha and Steven go to the gun store, where the owner doesn't want to help! He explains that HD is gay, and supposedly buys bullets with fake IDs to protect the privacy of her and her fiancee. So she and Aubrey were secret lovers this whole time?

In a slightly more confusing note, we learn that her weapon of choice is a .50 Desert Eagle, which is just an incredibly stupid weapon for her to use. She is a petite woman, and that is a gun which is literally longer than her forearm. It weighs 1/20th of her body weight, assuming she's around 100 pounds. There's no way she could comfortably fire it. Also it's impossible to conceal, would be a bitch to travel with, and is one of the loudest guns in the world. Making that her gun of choice is an absolutely ludicrous idea.

Especially since the dead nurse has a hole in her head - the Desert Eagle with hollow-point ammo would have left her largely headless.

Reid interviews Aubrey some more, trying to figure out what topic the secret might be. Does she want Reid to admit that he's in love with her? No, that would be too crazy. She offers a clue - the XX-XY from the scrapbook picture. Can he figure out what it means, though?

He can't, so Aubrey reveals the twist - she had HD steal Reid's semen while he was knocked out: that's why they needed a doctor there! Then she killed the doctor as Reid was waking up, and started the chase! We have to assume the semen was later spirited into the prison somehow, although that might not be so much of a challenge.

Reid freaks out at the news, losing a bunch of his leverage!

The team gets together to go over what they've learned - during the ride back from the gun store, Steven and Aisha cracked the whole 'gay marriage' code, which took them a lot longer than it should have, given the owner's fairly explicit language. Now that they figure Aubrey and HD are a couple, and likely on a suicide run, is there any chance at all of Jane getting out of his alive?

Emily hears the pregnancy story and is left with a puzzle - is the story true, or did Aubrey just have a male guard get her pregnant? More importantly, does figuring out whether it's true or not in any way change how they're going to deal with her over the next few hours?

At a gas station, a goon harrasses HD, then notices the Amber alert. Even with a new hair colour, it's obviously her!

The guy goes to call 911 and succeeds, but then HD shoots him - which is a pretty dumb move on her part. In the time it takes her to get her gun out of the car and walk over to where he's making the call, she could have been a block away if she's just started driving. He's already told the cops her location, and security cameras will give them the car, so this is violence for its own sake.

But hey, maybe that's her thing?

Reid goes back in to talk to Aubrey some more - he asks if the fact that she's carrying his child is the secret that he won't admit to. Which it obviously couldn't be, since he didn't know about it until five minutes ago. Aubrey says he only gets one guess, though, so he moves on rather than pressing the issue.

He pulls a power move, announcing that his mother is already dead, and this is just another one of Aubrey's games! So Aubrey offers to let Reid talk to his mother - she fell right into his trap!

Then things get so much stupider than they already were, because when we get back to HD for the 'proof of life' call, we find that she's in the process of dousing her car with gasoline after transferring Jane to the goon's truck!

Why is this so incredibly stupid? Let's consider the situation, shall we? She knows that the goon called 911, and she shot him just after he reported her and her location, but before he got a chance to report the car. 911 was listening when she fired the loudest gun in the world two feet from the phone, so they know it's a real call.

So what does she do? Spend 3-5 minutes moving Jane from one car to another, finding the guy's keys, and dousing the car in gasoline, while cops are on the way. You could have been a quarter mile away already, moron. There's someone inside the gas station who also called the cops on you when they heard the loudest gun in the world being fired. Unless she also shot that person - but that's another minute for the cops to get there.

Also, why switch cars? You might suspect that your car has been compromised, but you don't know for sure - the goon's pickup, on the other hand, comes pre-compromised. The 911 operator knows who called them, and when his car isn't at the gas station, they'll assume - correctly - that you're in it and add it to the APB. You've just wasted up to 5 minutes of your head start and made yourself easier to catch, dummy.

Reid wants to know what the gunshots on the phone were about (they were about igniting gasoline in a really inefficient way), and Aubrey refuses to answer and instead insults Jane, so Reid starts strangling her! JJ pulls Reid off, yelling that Aubrey is pregnant, but seriously, who cares? She's a monster.

So, is Reid secret that he'll never admit that he hates his mother for utterly ruining him as a person, and he's finally reached a point of self-awareness where he's ready to admit that happened? Damn, I hope so, because it would be the truest thing the show has ever said about the character.

JJ goes to comfort Reid, saying that she knows that he poisoned a bunch of people to save himself after his buddy Luis was killed, and that it doesn't make him a bad person. Then JJ wins an end-of-year Prentiss Award for this bizarre train of logic:

I had to watch this three times to understand her line of reasoning. Apparently JJ thinks that only a psychopath would think that a person who does what they need to do in order to survive is a psychopath. Would a psychopath think that, though? Do you really think that psychopaths don't understand that people will do anything to survive without it necessarily affecting their core ethical values?

Reid and JJ decide that the truth Aubrey knows but Reid won't admit is that he's a psychopath as well! I mean, he's not, obviously, but maybe she thinks that he is? They wonder how to use the information, though, since they believe that Aubrey will change the rules if it looks like Reid is going to win. Reid has a plan, though - but he doesn't tell us what it is so we can be surprised later on!

In their next conversation, Reid asks if Aubrey had someone watching him in prison, and she confirms that she did! Who could it have been? The only guard who ever had a line, Richard T. Jones, obviously! Apparently he worked at both prisons at the same time - obviously he couldn't have stolen Reid's FBI file or interfered with his move to protective custody, though, so he or Aubrey needed a connection higher up in the FBI!

The team checks Richard out, and discovers that he has a cabin near the exploded gas station! They're off!

Richard, somehow thinking he's going to get out of this alive, brings Jane into the bedroom. He's immediately murdered. Then HD sets up some explosive to blow up the house with Jane still in it! Of course, Aubrey knows the team must be on the way, so she confirms Reid's suspicion that it's a trap! I still don't get why HD is so psyched to commit suicide, but she's still in the house as the helicopters land outside!

The team stacks up in the room, and then shows HD video of Reid confessing about how much he enjoyed hurting people, and that he thinks he and Aubrey deserve one another, even though he knows that the baby is actually Richard's. HD is so distraught that Aubrey cheated on her that she surrenders to the team immediately!

THE END

Aubrey says that Reid won't ever be able to go back to being normal after he poisoned a bunch of people! Yeah, last year Reid executed an unarmed man. I think a mass poisoning in self-defense would have been a fairly easy thing to deal with.

Then we get a reunion with Jane and Reid - yeah, the real truth at the heart of Reid's character has still gone unrevealed!

Then Emily gets an emergency call - Derek's in her office, and they need to talk! Apparently no one told him Reid was in jail, because they didn't want to worry him! Then he got a text from Garcia telling him to meet Reid at an FBI safehouse!

Of course, Derek was immediately suspicious, because whoever sent the text didn't know that he wasn't looped in on the whole 'jailed Reid' situation, since Garcia wouldn't have broken the news to him that way. It must be another one of Scratch's traps!

So, will Scratch be there? I can't believe that he would - after all, he would have texted Derek assuming that he'd rush over immediately. But instead Derek went into the office to check on the authenticity of the information, which must be an extra hour. Is Scratch dumb enough to have stuck around?

Before we find out, we get one more Garcia/Derek scene, maybe the last one we'll ever get! Actually, they'd be crazy not to bring him back for one more of these in the last season. Also, he's wearing work boots and tattered jeans - is Derek just restoring houses full-time now? He was always better at that than profiling, so who knows?

On the drive out to the 'safe' house, Scratch has set up nails to slash the teams' tires - apparently the FBI doesn't use run-flat tires, and both cars spin out! Then Scratch or one of his people rams the two SUVS with a truck!

Season over!

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

Yup, although it was so nonsensical that I can't give them any points. Figuring out that Aubrey wanted Reid to talk about something he felt guilty about was easy enough - but the idea that they could come to the conclusion that HD would be so destroyed that Aubrey cheated on her that she would abandon the whole suicide pact? Yeah, there was no way they could have known about that. They had absolutely zero reason to think that HD wasn't in on every part of the plan.

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

I feel like real cops would have arrested her at the gas station, or like two blocks away from it.

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

1/10 - A mediocre end to Criminal Minds' worst season yet!

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