The latest Criminal Minds episode, “There’s No Place Like Home” tells the story of an unsub that lost his brother several years back and somehow believes that he can recreate his brother a la Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. Garcia presents the team a case involving two white teens found mangled in the wreckage of tornadoes near Wichita, Kansas. The local medical examiner has come to the conclusion that the boys died from blunt force trauma to their heads prior to the storms hitting the area. The bodies of the boys are missing limbs but the ME isn’t sure whether the storm or the unsub did the damage so off to Wichita the team heads.
New CM writer Virgil Williams weaves a story of how Travis James preys on vulnerable young men, choosing them for their body parts as he attempts to piece together his late brother Tucker. Tucker had protected Travis against a pedophile shortly before he was killed by a tornado. Travis believes that he can gather the victim’s limbs and use the lightning and energy created by the tornadoes to bring the brother he worshiped back to life. For me, the story was every bit as far-fetched as it sounds.
It wasn’t just the story that seemed a bit out there but this reviewer didn’t like the way the story was presented to us. Just this reviewer’s preference to have the story unfold rather than have it spoon-fed to us by a member of our team, in this case Garcia. The end of the story found Travis kidnapping the final piece of his body puzzle, a young man that must have reminded him of his brother enough that he wanted his head, and the BAU coming to the kid’s rescue before Travis could harm him. Travis ended up suffering the same fate as his brother as he gave himself up to a twister.
This episode had a “B” side to it that involved JJ; we got to see her at home with her family, long-time boyfriend Will and their son, Henry. It seems that the comment made to Emily in the season opener about how Will was taking to JJ returning to the BAU is still present. Long story short, Will seems to still be struggling with the long hours and time away from home JJ’s job causes. Henry is sick when JJ gets the call about the case in Wichita. Will seems to want to guilt JJ into staying but reluctantly concedes to the demands of her job. JJ wasn’t happy working for the State Department, a fact she admits when she tells Will she didn’t feel she was helping anybody while in that role. The BAU is where she belongs and one would hope that Will would understand that given that he used to be ( or still is) in law enforcement himself.
While in Wichita Henry suffers a mild seizure. JJ wants to head home to her son but cannot because of the inclement weather. JJ doesn’t let her personal dilemma interfere with her job, she can’t be home with her son so she will help rescue someone else’s.
There were several really good team moments in this episode that made it enjoyable in my own opinion: I did enjoy getting a glimpse into JJ’s private life.
- Reid did a great job of getting into the unsubs head and help put the pieces of the case together (no pun intended)
- I loved the scene on the jet with the team experiencing turbulence. We’ve never seen that before. I loved Rossi’s nervousness and Reid teasing him with his facts and statistics about weather and micro-bursts.
- I do love the interaction between Hotch and JJ. There has always been a tremendous amount of respect between the two of them.
And, most of all, I love the end of this episode with JJ reading the story “Bedtime for Baby Star” to Henry. That Henry is portrayed by AJ Cook’s son Mekhai makes it all the more special. He is truly adorable and the fact that AJ shares him with us every once in a while is amazing. I’m sure I’m not the only one that hopes we get to see more Henry in the future.