Criminal Minds 1606 – True Conviction

We’re back for the second half of season sixteen – now for the real question: are they going to let us know what happened with the explosion immediately, or jerk us around a while first? Let’s find out by pressing play on the episode!

Although the bodycams were disconnected in the explosion, Garcia is able to quickly reestablish the uplink, and it turns out that JJ is fine! Whew – that’s a relief! No news on Luke yet, so that’s a really bad sign. Emily gathers everyone to rush off to Whitfield county in their new jet! Which gives her a chance to say “Wheels Up”, which I know is important for the fans, but again, this is gibberish. Wheels up is supposed to mean something, and she’s transformed it into a catchphrase attached to nothing but the idea that they’re going to be going somewhere at some point in the future.

Am I being petty about this? You’d better believe it!

On the plane Joe, Emily, and Tara stare into the distance, stressing over the situation. I’m not sure why, though – the uplink to JJ has been connected, they could be talking to her and finding out what’s going on right now.

Speaking of what’s going on, JJ finds Luke as the ambulances and fire engines turn up, and he’s still alive! So it’s fair to say that show misled us quite a bit about exactly when that bomb went off – the editing suggested that they were still in the container when it happened, but given how far both of them are afield of the hillside, it’s fair to say they got a good distance away before the blast knocked them down.

Meanwhile MM watches the emergency vehicles drive by – the killer from last episode is nowhere in sight, although I’m sure we’ll learn of his fate soon enough. Is this a situation where they were really misleading us about timelines and his body was already in the container? MM calls his wife to let her know he’s going to be gone a few extra days on his current job, then he searches out routes from his location in Keith, GA, to Falls Lake.

So, two things about this route search…

1: Keith, GA is NOT in Whitfield Country.

2: Those routes and distances are super-weird. Ranging from 460 miles to 810? That’s nearly twice the distance. What app is he using, and why does it hate its users? I ran this through google maps, and the three routes it offered three routes, ranging from 425 to 467 miles – weirdly all of them predicted the trip would take exactly the same amount of time, give or take a single minute.

The point is, none of these suggested routes encouraged the driver to drive South through Atlanta and Colombia on the way North to Falls Lake.

While he’s trying to decide which route to take MM flashes back to his childhood, when he was running through the woods being pursued by someone. The predator turns out to be Haywire from Prison Break, who we remember from last time where he appeared to MM in a vision, revealing himself as the guy who taught MM how to serial kill. Haywire knocks MiniM out and tosses him in the bed of a pickup truck. So was he a kidnapping victim who was shown the ropes by his abductor, or is this a family business type of thing? Given what happened to Moose, the former seems more likely. A quick glance at the license plate reveals that this is a North Carolina truck, suggesting that MM is going ‘home’!

We then get a quick montage of MiniM being locked in a closet with a dead cat for a long period of time, only being fed pieces of toast shoved in when the door is opened a crack. Then MiniM wakes in bed, as his period of punishment for attempting to flee has ended. Haywire comes into the room and we learn that he’s a relation of the kid’s parents, and since they’re dead, he has custody of MiniM! So it’s actually kind of both a kidnapping and a family thing!

The rest of the team arrives to check on JJ and Luke, and it turns out that we were even more lied to in the previous episode than we thought – MM called the container twice to make sure they got out before the explosion, knowing full well what targeting FBI agents would result in. We all remember how Mr. Scratch and the Copycat and the Birdmaker ended up, don’t we? The point is, the team likes to murder people who target them.

Searching around for any sign of MM, they instead find the Jaws killer dead in a car, shot in the head with a gun lying next to him on the seat. Unfortunately he’s in the passenger seat, so even if he’s left-handed, this doesn’t look like a suicide. Of course, I’m just assuming that’s what MM had in mind, it’s possible that he had no particular interest in pretending this was anything but a murder. The team’s dialogue suggests that it’s a staged suicide, but again – why’s he in the passenger seat? Could MM not have had Jaws drive them somewhere and shot him in the head?

Joe makes a strange statement, announcing that the killer had an unusual level of discipline because he was able to blow up all of his trophies. Except… do you know that his trophies were actually in there? Also, this is not new information – remember the other container full of trophies that he abandoned, the one that started the whole series off? Not having connections is kind of this guy’s whole thing.

In what has to be one of the biggest fails of Closed Captioning in recent memory, we see this-

What is the ‘alternative’ music in question? A country and western cover of ‘Spirit in the Sky’. Get your act together, subtitlers.

MM has a flashback to listening to the same song as Haywire took him out into the middle of nowhere to bury the body of a random person he killed. I mean, they say it’s the middle of nowhere, but this bridge in the background:

I feel like that’s a pretty familiar filming location.

Bailey calls Emily to let her know that the Justice department wants things hushed up – since a Senator was murdered by her son, they’d prefer it if they could just say that he was the MM of the murder frat, and close the case. Otherwise the press will have a field day! Emily demands a chance to find proof that Jaws wasn’t MM, and Bailey promises to bring said evidence to the attorney general if they find it.

Um… the container had a diary of all of MM’s early killings, and some of them happened while Jaws was at University in the UK. We heard about this last week. Also, they have a series of text messages between MM and Jaws, with MM promising to build Jaws the murder teeth he used to kill. You’ve got plenty of evidence already, is my point.

Then, in a nice and subtle scene, Garcia has finally confirmed via DNA that Green’s sister was one of the victims. Not clear where this DNA was from, I guess it was one of the skeletons in the container?

On the flight back the team goes over what evidence they have, and this whole scene is ridiculous. I know we’re in a rush to get things back to normal, but this is just crazy, they all instantaneously have so much information that you’d think Penelope worked up a dossier for them before they got on the plane.

In one of the cases that wasn’t burned they find a stalker photo. It’s of a woman who facial recognition identifies as being a murder victim from twenty years earlier. What’s the problem? Luke – who instantly knows the details of her case somehow, finds it suspicious that there’s a clock in the picture that says 1:43 AM, when police thought that the woman was murdered before midnight. Except they have no reason to suspect that the picture in question was taken on the night she was murdered. And it turns out that her boyfriend confessed to the crime, and he’s going to be executed in just 48 hours! What an amazing coincidence!

Also, they suggest that MM must have just used masterful psychological manipulation techniques to get a guy to confess to a crime he didn’t commit, but isn’t it way more likely that the cops did that? Cops famously love manipulating people into false confessions. It’s one of their favorite things to do!

Are you ready for more coincidences? Tara’s girlfriend who works at the department of Justice? Turns out that she’s from North Carolina, and she was the DA who jailed the guy for killing his girlfriend!

Back at home base Green is released, and when Garcia tells him that they’re out of leads on the MM case he gets very quiet and it immediately clear that he’s planning to take matters into his own hands. In a funny note for me and possibly no one else, she announces that he’s not going to be charged with anything even though it’s never been in any way clear what they would have charged him with. Getting tackled by FBI agents?

After Garcia hugs everyone who almost died we head into the interrogation room, where it turns out the purported killer knows literally nothing about the crime he’s supposed to have committed. They offer to help him if he just reveals the truth, but this angers the boyfriend, and he announces that he just wants to die! What happened here?

JJ calls Will to check in, and these two are so great together! No notes, show.

JJ and Joe look over the contents of the new container – the victims’ records in there suggest that he tortured people more extensively, as if he was growing more cruel the longer his crimes dragged on. They bring up the possibility that he could have more containers scattered across the country! The scene is interrupted by Garcia getting a phone call – she has to bail Green out of jail! That was fast.

It seems that he went straight to a bar and got into a fight. But nobody wound up pressing charges, so Garcia is able to drag him – still drunk, so this is all taking place super-fast – back to her place! Turns out the fight was because the guy had seen him on the news and thought he was a terrorist! Yeah, they never print the retractions above the fold, do they?

MM has returned to the place where he first helped bury a body, and takes off his shirt to contemplate the scar that Haywire gave him. We flash back to him reading one of Joe’s books about serial killers! It turns out he’s doing this while Maria, the first victim who started all of this, is chained up in the corner of the room. She begs MM to let her go, so he opens her chains, but instead of fleeing, she stabs him in the back, explaining the scissors! Haywire then overpowers and murders her, then chides MM for his incompetence.

The team mulls over what MM might be holding over the boyfriend’s head to get him to want to be executed – after all, twenty years in jail is plenty of time to turn on your partner. Does he have a secret child or something along those lines? They decide to go through the boyfriend’s belongings in the hopes of finding a clue.

Also, Tara’s girlfriend shows up – Tara didn’t bother to call and tell her about the situation, and she’s kind of pissed off. Which she has every right to be. How would you not give her some warning about this?

Tara’s girlfriend threatens to break up with her if she pursues this any further, and while that might seem extreme, you’ve got to remember the psychology of DAs - they imagine that they’re infallible arbiters of justice, even though that’s almost never the case. Let’s not forget that the evil DA who railroaded the Central Park 5 still maintains TO THIS DAY that she was right to do it, and that they were secretly guilty.

In going through the second container, it turns out every single victim other than Maria, as far as they know, had a child. There’s got to be a meaning to that… he’s trying to make more orphans like himself?

They go through the boyfriend’s personal effects from his cell, and discover a bunch of stalker photos of a guy from the gang he was in, all with a Catholic prayer of confession written on the back. They confront the boyfriend with this info and he doesn’t respond, but Tara has figured out what’s going on! The guy in the picture was the boyfriend’s secret lover, another gang member, and he can’t out himself as gay or bi, due to the violent, machismo-obsessed culture he grew up in! MM is threatening to kill his lover if he doesn’t go down for the murder of Maria!

Back at her apartment¸ Garcia has found out where the lover is – living under a new name in Norfolk, VA – so it shouldn’t take them long to bring him in! Then she and Green bond over shared trauma, and he moves to kiss her, which freaks her out!

Time for another flashback, in which we learn how Maria’s body was found. We see MM and Haywire looking at the cops as they dig up the corpse, and Haywire says they don’t have to worry because he has a fall guy all planned out. He does wonder how the cops happened to get out there just in time, however – meaning that he thinks MM tried to rat him out! They have a confrontation over this as MM plans to leave, and MM almost kills Haywire, but manages to stop himself. As Haywire points out, it’s public knowledge that his nephew lives with him, so were MM to kill him, the cops would know just who to look for. MM leaves, but Haywire announces that he’ll be back!

Which is exactly what happens at the end of the flashback – MM is home!

The lover turns up at Quantico with a ton of evidence in hand – it turns that Haywire used to sell guns to the gang, and knew that the boyfriend and his lover were an item! He was also fixated on Maria, so obviously he thought that Haywire was responsible for Maria’s murder. Luckily he has pics to back up his story – he and the boyfriend at a gay club on the night of her abduction! So Tara brings the evidence to her girlfriend, who proves to be the one good DA who agrees to call the governor and encourage him to stay the execution. They talk about her withdrawing the case, but of course she can’t do that, as she’s no longer the DA in that state, but the call should still be important.

We see Green and Garcia going for a walk, and he talks about how his sister worked in the area – which makes Garcia realize something, forcing her to rush back to the office. But not before kissing Green! Finally.

Tara’s girlfriend gets the stay of execution, but discovers that she’s going to be put under review – which is hugely unrealistic. Law enforcement covers for people who make mistakes, especially ones like this. It’s not like she did something unethical. The guy literally confessed to the crime. In any event, she says she’s not going back to Tara’s place because she can’t trust Tara to be honest with her. Which is a little extreme, but we’ll see what happens when she’s had time to calm down a little.

This isn’t related, but wow is this woman short. Like, Aisha Tyler is tall, so there was likely going to be a height difference between her and any woman hired to play her girlfriend, but their notable height difference is there despite the woman wearing 4-inch heels!

Okay, here’s what Garcia noticed – all of the victims had a connection to places called ‘2nd street’. That’s why MM picked them. Yes, they’re really building his whole MO around a piece of Reid’s random trivia. Cannot say I was expecting that!

Also, they’re guessing that because he’s grabbing higher-challenge victims on the east coast, it’s probably far from his home, which is likely on the west coast near the first container. Also, Joe assumes he must be a parent, since after the gap between abandoning container one and starting container two he started killing parents. This is a gigantic stretch that’s utterly preposterous, and there’s no reason to think this is the case. But they think they’re going to find him via his family, and Haywire is known to the guy they just got off death row, so that’s probably accurate.

Speaking of, MM goes to see Haywire, and announces that he’s poisoned the now-old serial killer! Before he dies we discover that there’s a ‘real’ reason MM came to live with Haywire, and since he says it in response to MM announcing that Haywire turned him into a monster, we have to wonder if MM killed his parents as a youth? That would be a weird twist, considering what a good job they’ve done of establishing what turned him into a monster.

In a nice bit of doubling, Haywire says that family is what gets you killed, which is essentially what Joe was suggesting! Things are looking pretty bleak for MM’s wife and daughters, but hopefully they can get clear somehow!

So, how useful was profiling in catching this week’s killer?

0/10 – They did not catch a killer this week! Fun episode, though!

Oh, and I wasn’t exaggerating earlier – the show totally lied in the cliffhanger. Went back and checked 1605 and no, there were no warning calls and JJ and Luke were still in the container when the feeds from their cameras cut out. Yes, there was a call – but it was the call that activated the bomb. Thankfully the bomb had a generous timer, I suppose?


Anonymous said...

Would love reviews of the end of the season. The podcast is great but it's nice to see it written out too.

Anonymous said...

So sad the whole season isn’t on here, I love your reviews :(