9.1.20

Criminal Minds 1502: Awakenings

The episode opens with a recap of the Faceoff killer's situation, and JJ getting shot. Because, again, she's terrible at every part of her job. And not a great person, generally. Then it's off to the races, as Faceoff and FD speed away from the crime scene, hijack a car, and flee into the aether! In a hilarious bit of what should be time compressive editing – but can't be, because all of the characters in the same places between the two scenes – we see Garcia get word of the hijacking literally seconds after it happens, as if it's been reported officially already.

Meanwhile JJ is rushed to the hospital and prepped for surgery! Reid is there! Has anyone called Jr.?

Let's find out together, after the credits! Seriously, that's all that happened before the credits. Is the whole week going to be about chasing down Faceoff? They can't resolve this storyline yet, can they? What else would they do for the rest of the year? Then again, if the first two episodes feature the team losing over and over again, maybe they can build up some momentum for the rest of the season!

At the office, we get a crazy scene of Emily apologizing to Joe for not believing his hunch about the Faceoff killer being responsible for the torso rippings. I don't know why she should – he wasn't responsible for those. More importantly, though, the real villain here is Joe – he was absolutely sure that Faceoff was in town, killing people, and no one had the slightest idea why he would come to Baltimore County, since that's far away from his normal sphere of operation. Then suddenly he gets word that FD is being flown to DC. No reasonable person working on the torso killing would see a connection between those two things – but since Joe believes that Faceoff is doing the killing, how could he not?

Here's the bigger issue, though – Emily specifically ordered Joe to go and deal with FD. Instead, Joe went to visit the torso ripper. If Joe had followed orders, he would have been at the building when Faceoff arrived to see his daughter, and would have instantly recognized him, because, again, the man wasn't wearing a disguise of any kind.

What I'm saying is, Joe disobeying an order got JJ shot, and now Emily is apologizing to HIM. What is this world coming to?

We get a follow-up on the stolen car, and – hilariously – we see a police report that doesn't have the car's license plate number on it:

I know it was found soon after, but why would you not ask the person what their car's license plate number was? I'm sure there's more than one Silver 2011 Subaru Forrester on the road.

Remember my theory about every single person who works on the show phoning it in? Let's just say there haven't been a ton of license plates around lately...

They decide to look for other stolen vehicles in the area, which seems like a stretch – they all agree that Faceoff has been planning this escape for months, doesn't it seem likely that he would have a clean car waiting for him? They assume he has a safehouse, I feel like a car is at least as important a thing to grab. Also, is this really the best use of their times? There's hundreds of cops out there searching for Faceoff, what are two more guys in an SUV going to accomplish?

Jr. gets to the hospital, and Reid is forced to consider what a terrible person he is!

Faceoff and FD park their car in the brush at the side of a rural road, and he announces that they should split up. She's not psyched about this, and points out that it's only because she pulled the whole 'fake hostage' thing that he was able to get away. Which is a good point, but not actually accurate – that was supposed to be the plan, but instead of fleeing, Faceoff hid in the barn and shot at the agents, ruining his chance to escape. It's only because the team is completely terrible at their jobs and didn't being backup that he was able to escape.

Still, she wants to stay together, because she's missed having a father all these years! And then months behind bars. Also, she has a plan for how they can stay together. This should be good.

That night Eric and Aisha find the car, which was, in fact, stolen! So presumably that car has a GPS unit in it, or how else could they have possibly tracked it down? Weird, so if Faceoff had just bought a thousand dollar car and stashed it in an alley, they would have never been caught? Kind of a big thing to miss when planning, dude.

Garcia searches for every rental property within a couple of miles of the stashed car – because, of course, every person who rents a house in America gets immediately listed on a national database – and finds one rented using the dead lawyer's ID! They assume this can't possibly be the safehouse they're currently using, since that identity has been burned, but they keep searching in the area, assuming that he'd have another hideout nearby.

I don't know why they're staying in Maryland at all. They got away relatively clean. From Washington DC you can be in Canada in six hours. Seven if you obey the speed limit. He sprung his daughter at like 10AM, and it's night now – why are they still in the country?

FD goes to a random house, knocks on the door, and shoots the two middle-aged people who answer it. Wait... this is the plan? Just kill random people and hide out in their house or steal their car? Wait... so the place rented by the lawyer was the safehouse Faceoff and his daughter were talking about? None of this tracks.

Anyhoo, FD points out that the dead woman of the couple is Faceoff's type, so maybe he wants to cut her face off for his new collection? She even gives him a knife!

Wow, Reid is just the worst. He's in the hospital waiting area when the nurse comes out to say that JJ is stable, and instead of getting Jr., who's on the phone with their kids, so he can immediately tell them that their mother might be getting better, he asks if he can be the first one to talk to her! You're trash, Reid.

We get a scene of him crying over JJ, regretting that he didn't tell her how he felt when he could! Way to make this all about you, Reid.

At the latest crime scene, we get some details about Faceoff's plan – it seems that there was 75K and an elaborate disguise kit at the safehouse, so he was definitely planning to go there at some point. The team thinks that Joe 'ruined his escape plan' somehow. But Joe accomplished nothing. Faceoff's plan was always to go into the lockup as a fake lawyer and shoot his way back out. The moment he did that, the lawyer persona was always going to be burned – so why would he have a safehouse connected to that identity?

To reiterate, Joe accomplished nothing except to get a bunch of people killed by disobeying orders, and the show is treating him like a hero for it.

Also, what exactly is FD's plan so they can stay together? Shoot people and steal their wallets? That's not going to get them very far. Did they even steal the couple's car?

The team tries to figure out why Faceoff stole the lady's face – what, exactly, is his relationship with FD like? So they go to talk to Sharon, finally! Weird that Joe didn't do this yesterday while everyone else was looking for stolen cars – it could have been a useful source of information while Faceoff and his daughter were 'in the wind'.

Sharon refers to the previous two people she met with as 'muscles and brown eyes' and I'm absolutely baffled. Both Matt and Eric are muscular and have brown eyes. Is this a subtle joke by the producers about how redundant the addition to Matt to the show was? Because that's 100% accurate, but also a weird thing for them to be pointing out.

Sharon's not psyched to hear that FD is killing people. She says she was a good grandmother, and it's not her fault that FD is a monster!

At this hospital, Jr. is psyched to find that JJ is awake, so he grabs Reid, who she's asked to speak to! Then he runs off to grab their sons so that they can see their mother! Who are they staying with, since Jr. spent the night at the hospital? Maybe the nanny spend the night there?

We get a scene with JJ and Reid where they finally talk about their relationship! She lets him down as easily as possible! Then Jr. and the kids come into the room, so I guess they stayed over at the hospital?

Emily then arrives – she wants confirmation that FD is the one who shot JJ, since that would mean she's as dangerous as her father! Um... the first time this woman got near an FBI agent she tried to stab him to death. How is her level of threat not completely established at this point?

Reid then gets a call from the care facility his mother is in – she's taken a turn for the worse! Are we going to get a tearful goodbye scene with Jane Lynch?

At the assisted living facility, a nurse tries to tell Reid that he needs some information before going to see his mother, but he announces that there's nothing that can surprise him at this point and just charges in. Oh, Reid, there's nothing you won't be arrogant about, is there?

It turns out Jane is fine! Like, better than she's ever been fine. Her meds have suddenly worked, so she's going to have a couple of days or weeks of lucidity before plummeting into dementia. Reid thinks this just means he's going to have to 'lose her all over again', which is true, but Jane thinks it's great because they can spend some time together before she goes! His father goes completely unmentioned, as usual.

So, is Jane aware enough of the world that she's going to be able to apologize to Reid for what she did to him? Or no?

We get some background on FD – Sharon sent her to a fancy boarding school by lying about her history! Then she was kicked out when they found out the truth, and then she went looking for her father! How did she find him? She hadn't seen him in years, and he's a con man who's constantly switching identities. How was he this easy to track down?

The operating theory is that she might try to rob one of the rich people she went to school with. Which isn't a bad observation, really!

As predicted, FD goes to see one of her old classmates to beg for money! It turns out that the roommate was also her girlfriend! She invites her back to the place she's staying it, and the girlfriend accepts! The team is on to the relationship, though – will they simply call the girlfriend's phone to warn her? Of course not!

Next we see the killers cutting off the friend's thumbprint so that FD can go into a bank pretending to be her and steal a significant amount of money! I'd have to imagine this plan will be foiled by the team knowing who all these people are, but let's see just how it happens!

We get more with Reid and Jane. They actually talk about her husband! She's amazingly dishonest about their relationship in an attempt to get Reid to stop pining over JJ and get on with his life! Is this a knowing thing by the writers, or do they honestly not know that Jane was a monster up until this moment?

The team digs into the grilfriend's finances, and discover that, like all scummy rich people, she has a safe deposit box full of cash hidden away in case the government ever decides to start taxing them at a reasonable rate! Since no money has been taken from any of her accounts, they send the team over to the bank where the safe deposit box is located! But they're too late!

Back with Reid and Jane, he wants to live in denial and hope she gets better, and she wants him to face facts and start the healing process. Wow... the show is SO CLOSE to having her just confront him with the fact that she abused him for his whole life, and it's ruined him as a person – will she get there, since being told that by his mother is the shock to the system he'd need to start down the road to recovery? She would have to be a very brave person to take that step – especially because it might mean he would abandon her to her disease!

Okay, things just got nuts – it turns out that the couple they killed in the woods wasn't a set of random victims, but rather a rich couple who funded a scholarship that FD had won while she was at prep school! Wait... people she had a clear financial link to just happened to live within walking distance of where her father randomly ditched a car? And she knew that? And knew that they had an apartment in DC that they used to hold the girlfriend? No. Not one word of this makes the slightest bit of sense. None.

The team gets to the apartment and finds a dead woman lying on the floor! But it's not the girlfriend, she's tied up in the next room. So who is the dead woman? I guess it's FD? That's what the next scene suggests anyhow, with Faceoff driving away, listening to a terrible cover of The Passenger, a severed face and picture of his daughter on the passenger seat. Why would he kill his daughter but leave the hostage alive? Dude's making weird choices all over the place.

It's not like this can be a misdirect, and they somehow found a third woman of the same build to kill, because FD's fingerprints are on record, so I'm just baffled about Faceoff's choices.

Joe and Emily try to explain the situation – they believe that he broke her out of jail because she was a liability, and he always planned on killing her! Except he tried to split up earlier. And he was zero threat to him, because she had no idea where he was or what he was doing. Zero parts of this make sense.

Joe confronts Sharon with the fact that Faceoff murdered FD, and she takes the news badly. She agrees to help them catch Faceoff as a way to get revenge for the death of her granddaughter!

Are they seriously continuing this story next week? Wow. I initially failed to see how they were going to get two episodes about this character, and now they're doing four? Criminal Minds? You're a mess.

Back to the hospital, where JJ is cradling her real-life son, who hopefully isn't too traumatized seeing his mother in a fake hospital bed. Mostly he just stares at the lighting rig. Good for him. Penelope drops by with balloons! She takes the kids to get ice cream, giving us time for just JJ and Jr.! As I hoped, her almost dying has made her focus on what a good thing she has, and stop being such a selfish jerk! Let's see if the self-awareness lasts, or if it's a fleeting thing!

More with Reid and Jane – he can't get over self-identifying as someone who pines over JJ and looks out for his mother. Jane says the he needs to finally grow up and live his own life! Which would be easier for him to do if you were just honest about what a monster you were and how thoroughly you crippled his emotional development. But the show wants us to feel good about her during what's presumably her last appearance on the show.

THE END

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

The didn't solve it, so no.

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

They had FD in custody for six months, and in that time they did zero research into her as a person. They should have known about the girlfriend and been able to intercept her the minute she went looking for her old flame.

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

0/10 – Still no resolution on this story! Will it be wrapped up next week, or are they going to be obsessed with this guy for still more episodes?

Seriously, though, FD can't still be alive. They cannot pull that twist. I'm sure they won't, because it's incredibly stupid, but then again, this is a terribly written show, but at this point, can I put anything past them?

As usual, nothing made sense this week. Faceoff left his money where it would definitely be found, he didn't have a car to escape in, FD's targets lived half a mile from a completely random place her father parked, no one bothered to check into the victims' resources to see if their killers might have been hiding out nearby, and, strangest of all, in Joe's supposed 6-month journey of being obsessed with Faceoff, he apparently spent zero time learning anything about FD, otherwise he should have known all about her connections to people in DC already.

Really, everything that happened this episode made the least amount of sense possible.

It's no improvement on last episode, is what I'm saying.

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