Criminal Minds 7.09 – “Self Fulfilling Prophecy”, written by Erica Messer
“Self Fulfilling Prophecy” was filled with twists and turns and a surprising development with Strauss.
The episode takes place at Somerville Academy, a military school for boys. Both Strauss and Garcia accompany the team on the trip. There seems to be a rash of student suicides at the school that started with the hanging of a first year student named Bailey. Several weeks later, during an unsupervised survival test, five more students are found hanging. There is one student, Josh Redding, who is missing from the group.
The team discovers that Josh Redding is the common link between the suicides. They begin to wonder if Josh actually killed the other students. Their investigation is greatly hampered by the fact that Col. Massey, played by René Auberjonois, is hiding facts from the team and misleading them. He and his lieutenant, Tawes, have been running the school for the past thirty years. Massey and Tawes, with the help of some of their favourite cadets, have been abusing the younger cadets in order to break them. Since Massey doesn’t want the truth about his treatment of the cadets to be discovered, he is more than willing to place the blame on Josh. In the meantime, he has Tawes out hunting down Josh to kill him. Massey seldom makes and maintains eye contact with any of the team members who are questioning him.
Eventually, the team uncovers the clues, discovers that Josh didn’t actually kill the students in the woods, but Bailey’s father did. Massey has set up Josh, hoping Bailey’s father will kill him as well. Josh is the only cadet that Massey and Tawes could never break. Just as Tawes is getting ready to kill Josh, Hotch and Morgan arrive on the scene and are able to keep either man from killing the other.
During the course of the investigation, Morgan learns that Strauss has a drinking problem. He confronts Hotch about it. Hotch said that Strauss had been getting help. Obviously, it wasn’t enough help! The episode ends with Morgan getting ready to take Strauss to a rehab clinic and see that she gets checked in privately.
This episode was well written and well directed. I enjoyed it very much. I didn’t however like Morgan’s confrontation with Hotch. Morgan seems to have a chip on his shoulder lately and I wish he would lose his attitude. I am glad that Erica followed up on what was going on with Strauss at the end of last season.