“Epilogue”, written by Rick Dunkle
This episode opens with a father and a teenage son on a fishing dock at night. The father is verbally abusive to the son and when the son fights back with words, the father beats him with a belt. When the father orders the son to remove his shirt, we can see that the son bears many scars from previous beatings.
When we see the team at the BAU, Reid has been watching Rossi read something for longer than it normally takes Rossi to read. JJ, Prentiss, Reid and Morgan confront Rossi and ask him what is going on. Rossi denies that there is a problem and claims to have had a late night playing Rock Band. Here we learn that Emily has played Rock Band with Rossi before – they seem to share a special bond since “Demonology”.
Hotch calls the team into the Round Table room and Garcia presents the case to the team. There have been several kidnappings and murders at a lake in CA. It is nice to see that Garcia has grown from not being able to look at the pics of victims anytime she used to walk into the room to being able to present the case, pics and all, to the team. Before the opening credits, it flashes to the UNSUB drowning a victim.
When we return for the 1st act we flash back to the father and son on the fishing dock. The son makes a comment to the father about why his mother left and the father hits the son and knocks him into the water. We then see the son, in present day, sitting near the lake reflecting on the past with his latest victim lying dead in the background.
While the team is on transit on the plane, Garcia lets them know that the latest kidnapping victim has been found. When Hotch asks her to compile a list of missing persons in the area, she replies “Faster than a Hotch rocket.” I am fairly certain that Hotch fans around the world will forever love Rick Dunkle for this new quote.
While analyzing the crime scene, Hotch and Morgan determine that the UNSUB has changed his victimology – his latest victim is smaller than previously and is not weighted down in the water. The question is why has he changed who he is targeting?
When Rossi is interviewing the latest victim’s brother he determines that the UNSUB blends in with a younger crowd. We then see three girls riding their jet skis on the lake, one runs out of gas. What she doesn’t know is the UNSUB siphoned gas out of her jet ski before she started out. He lays in wait for her along the lake shore.
Next we see Reid and Prentiss at the coroner’s office discussing the victims. They discover that the UNSUB has been drowning and resuscitating his victims.
As we return to the scene at the lake, Chase, our UNSUB, is offering to help the girl whose jet ski ran out of gas. The team is discussing the reasons the UNSUB may be trying to bring his victims back to life while he is drowning and trying to resuscitate Lacey, his latest victim.
Rossi receives a phone call while the team is discussing the case and excuses himself from the room.
When the second act opens, we have another flashback to when Chase was knocked out and into the water by his father. His father believes Chase is dead and buries him alive. In present day, we see the UNSUB coughing up blood and a plethora of medications he is taking.
When Lacey is found, there is blood on her body that isn’t her type. From this blood it is discovered that the UNSUB is very sick and this is possibly the reason his victims have changed. Hotch and the team give the profile to the local authorities. A vital piece to the UNSUB is being able to bring his victims back from the dead.
We now see a mother and son stranded on the side of the road. The mother decides to walk to get help while the son stays with the car.
Prentiss steals a moment to check in with Rossi and he opens up to her about his ex-wife’s disease and what she has asked of him. When Prentiss asks Rossi what he’s going to do, he replies “I don’t have a choice.”, which leaves us wondering….what will Rossi do?
While driving, the UNSUB comes across the mother from the stranded vehicle and he offers her a ride. The mother is so thankful that help has arrived and explains about the flat tire and that her son, Evan, is up the road waiting on her to go get help. Chase says he’ll give her a ride.
Reid lets the team know that Chase has cancer of the blood. Hotch calls Garcia to get her to pull a list of patients in the area with blood cancer. And this is where we hear my favourite quote of the night, “I will make HIPAA my bitch, sir.” While researching the first victim, the team learns that he technically died and was brought back. The team determines that the UNSUB is bringing his victims back to life so that he can try to learn from them what he will face when he dies.
Next we see the UNSUB convincing Evan that his mother, Samantha, has been in an accident and Evan needs to come with him. As we cut to commercial, we see Samantha unconscious and duct taped in the back of the UNSUB’s SUV.
As we begin the third act, we have another flashback to the night the UNSUB was almost killed as a child. He is covered in dirt and running toward a light while a dirt creature tries to hold him back. Then he breaks out of his grave. We assume at this point that this was his near death experience. Then we flash to present day and Chase is resuscitating Samantha and asking her about what she saw while she was dead.
Garcia is talking to the team about the first victim’s life before his accident and his death. The mother tells Prentiss that Jake was saved and he woke up a changed person. Morgan claims that no one ever really sees the afterlife. Then Reid discloses that he did when he was with Tobias before Tobias resuscitated him. Emily reveals that her experience when she coded in the ambulance was quite different than Reid’s. To ensure that the UNSUB’s victims actually have an experience, of any kind, the UNSUB must keep them dead longer before trying to bring them back.
Now we are back on the dock at the lake while Chase is resuscitating Samantha for a second time. She is not as responsive as Chase would like, so he decides to give her a break and now tries to drown Evan. The team learns that an abandoned SUV has been found and that it belongs to Samantha and she was last seen with her son Evan.
As we return for the fourth act, the team is trying to determine where the UNSUB would have taken his victims for the greatest chance of resuscitation. They determine it would be in the coldest areas of the lake. While cross-referencing, Garcia learns that Daniel Whitaker was killed 15 years ago by his son Chase. She also learns that Chase had lymphoma when he was 10, it went into remission when he was 12, but he was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma and that he only has three months to live. She sends the address to the team.
Meanwhile, Evan manages to cut his bindings while Chase is trying to drown him and he is able to pull Chase into the water while he tries to escape. They are both running through the forest, Chase struggling to breathe while Evan is screaming for help. The team discovers Samantha on the dock. They also hear Evan screaming for help and go off in search of him. Chase and Evan end up in the lake again with Chase holding a knife to Evan’s throat. Chase then decides to try and drown himself. He sees a light and he is walking toward it when the hands try to pull him back again. Then he sees himself as a young teen confronting his dad and his father says “It’s not your time Chase.” We see Prentiss and Reid have drug Chase from the water and have resuscitated him and Prentiss says to him that it is not his time and Reid tells him he is under arrest.
Morgan and Rossi bring Samantha to her son as Reid and Prentiss turn Chase over to the local authorities.
For the closing scene, Rossi knocks on the door of Carolyn’s hotel room. He tells her that he can’t lose her again. She tells him that he will have to let her go. Rossi tells her that he can’t help her take her own life. What he doesn’t know is that she has already taken an overdose and that she just wanted him to be with her on this night. She begs him not to call 911 and not to let her die in a hospital. He holds her tenderly in the last few minutes of her life. She asks if he thinks “he will be there?” and Rossi replies, “You know he will.” As they cut to Rossi visiting Carolyn’s grave, we see a smaller gravestone, David and Carolyn’s son, who was born and died on the same day.
I really enjoyed this episode. The reasons behind the UNSUB’s killings were deeper than the team first thought and they had to uncover the layers to catch him. Both Isabella Hoffman and Joe Mantegna gave a very touching performance. We had wonderful new quotes that will never be forgotten and the hour just seemed to fly by. This is one I will watch over and over again. Great job to all the cast and crew and to Rick Dunkle!