Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Criminal Minds Review 'A Thin Line'


by  Sir Gareth

As a long time fan of crime shows – and a long time watcher of Criminal MInds - I don’t feel as though I’m gloating when I say that it takes a tremendous amount to surprise me. Thankfully, this episode, written by Virgil Williams did exactly that.

The episode opens up in a true-to-form horrific manner. Somehow, though, the way this one goes is even worse because for half a second, I actually thought that the little girl might just get “lucky” enough to survive. But this is CM, friends, and we never go the safe and sound route. So instead, we’re looking at color photos of several bodies, including that of the little girl I’d been routing for.

And then we’re back to California to work on what appears to be a nasty hate crime involving a creepy guy with an obsession for a scumbag older man running for Mayor. My first thought when I heard the rhetoric he was spewing was, “I consider myself conservative, but even I would have wanted to punch this dude in the throat.” That so many people were drawn to his horrific message was either pure fantasy or worse, a reflection of the sad state of society as it stands today. Either way, it was thought provoking as the best of CM episodes are.

Which meant that it was time for the episode to twist around. Suddenly, the kid who’d been doing the killings wasn’t quite the evil bastard I’d made him for. And suddenly, the wanna-be-mayor was quite the sociopath. He was the puppet master, pulling the strings on a poor kid, and not because of race or hate as we’d all been led to believe, but because of power and greed. It was an appalling turn of events.

It was a brilliant turn of events, and I never saw it coming.

Now let’s talk a bit about the personal parts of the show. First, we were treated to a Murder House with a gruff and unrelenting Morgan and a placating Emily. Later on, after Emily had been shot (in an unintentionally funny scene where JJ recognized that Emily had been hit and called out the obvious), we were treated to a wonderful plane scene between the two of them that included a much-adored Morgan impersonation by Emily. Sure, the scene wrapped up the conflicts of the ep (including Morgan’s belief that he had through his own mistake “allowed” Emily to get shot) in a nice and tidy bow, but I found that I didn’t care because it’s nice when our guys are permitted a smile and a laugh after such a difficult and painful case.

All in all, this is the kind of episode that I fell in love with the show for. Thoughtful, frightening, dramatic, painful and utterly engaging. I couldn’t have turned away from the screen if I’d want to. With more episodes like this one, I don’t see a reason why I’d ever want to anyway.

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