Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Criminal Minds Comment thread for episode 7.19 'Heathridge Manor'

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  1. I didn't care much for that one. It would've been a great episode of something not Criminal Minds and honestly, why does CBS bother to hold on to and pay that large ensemble cast when they've become little more than window dressing for the unsub of the week most weeks. They've always been on the peripheral of the case of the week, but these days they're barely getting a window seat. We went from that wonderful episode full of team work, profiling and characters with emotion and personality, right back to the unsub monopolozing the screen and the characters stiffly delivering dry dialog. Sorry Gube, as a stand alone episode of something else it'd probably be pretty awesome, but as an episode of Criminal Minds it missed the mark. I do plan to rewatch it as a creepy, scary ghost story or whatever it was and pretend it's not Criminal Minds so I can allow myself to try to appreciate the storyline.

    Oh, and there may not have been in your face blood and gore, but watching a person be drowned one bucket at a time was pretty awful.

  2. Heathridge Manor? Creepy, heartbreakingly sweet, beautiful, cruel, creepy...and uber-eerie.

    I was admittedly grateful for a break from the "blood and guts" of the usual fare, but I think the "mental" creepiness factor is much more powerful.

    Loved the beautiful scenery, the opulence of the home, the barrenness of the mental facility, the lushness surrounding the home... These contrasted perfectly with the intensity of James and the innocence of his sister.


    I could not BELIEVE the mother chopped off her own daughter's arm to protect her from becoming a devil's wife! O.M.G. *jaw is STILL dropped*

    And James ending up at the bottom of the well? Too fitting, sadly.

  3. I guess I really didn't know how to put into words how I felt about this episode, but sf pretty much hit it on the head for me. I know the big following of MGG will look past the deficiencies and I understand that. But as sf said, where was the team in this? Other than the end in the house, they were hardly there. Not going to be one of my favs either.

  4. Too much unsub. Too little team. Did not feel like a Criminal Minds episode at all.

  5. Um, no. It was hard to believe Sharon Lee Watson wrote this. Her other two episodes did have a fair amount of screen time for the unsubs, but the team still had a presence and it still felt like watching them be good at their jobs. Dorado Falls is still one of my favorites and True Genius was an excellent Reid episode. This was totally different. I can see MGG's touch and it was definitely the type of story I'd expect him to go nuts over. And, stylistically, with the children's story motif, it is vaguely like Mosley Lane. But, Mosley Lane (which is one of my top 10 episodes ever) had heart. I cared about the characters. The team was well served in that episode. This one, I didn't care about anyone. And it just felt like "hey, lets think of the weirdest things and jumble them in." Even the deductions the team made seemed to come out of nowhere. Except, I guess figuring out the connection to the theater.

    I agree the drowning was gruesome. Especially since, given what I read about the episode, I hadn't expected any on screen killing.

    Um, anything good? Well, Hotch's fight made sense. I mean, how it was written. It was just another thing tossed in, but at least the way it was presented, he did have to fight under those circumstances. And, at least they specifically showed the daughter at the end was staring at thin air. I'm taking it as them showing that she was starting to suffer the same delusions. Because I'd really hate if they were trying to hint that anything the brother thought was true. And, those things were less good and more "not bad".

  6. I loved this episode. While I agree there could have been a bit less UnSub and a bit more "stare at the team" time, this was I guess meant to be an UnSub-led episode. At least, that's what it turned into at any rate.

    Either way, I'm glad it wasn't as "in your face" bloody as some past episodes have been. You could feel the creepiness invading your mind in a strange and beautiful way. The drowning scenes were the worst!

    The ending was a shocker, that's for sure. Did not expect that, or the part how the girl lost her arm.

    It wasn't one of the usual garden-variety type episodes, and it's nice to have a break from that.

  7. I really enjoyed the episode overall. I was disappointed that there has been no resolution to Penelope and Kevin's relationship issues. I can understand what other posters mean by more team. I know I've grown to love the team and their relationships and I did miss it.
    That being said, this episode was intense, featured freaking Robert Englund, Freddy Krueger himself! Also featured was Kyle Gallner, who ironically was in the trainwreck re-make of Nightmare on Elm Street. Gallner has some pretty impressive creepy dude acting chops from his turn on The Shield to A Haunting in Connecticut. These two were a delight on the show!
    The storyline was incredibly interesting, however it's difficult to believe that the team went straight to Satanism considering Rossi's character debunked Satanism ritual slayings in a book he wrote that was referenced by Prentice in a previous episode.
    The mental hospital was perfect. The house was perfect. The intensity of the drowning scene (which was also set perfection) and the insanity of mutilating one's own child added just the right note of discomfort and fear.
    On another note, I always love when Penelope calls Derrick "Chocolate Thunder." Additionally it was refreshing not to see Garcia decked out from head to toe in quirk. We get it, already and we do love it, but follow that "take one accessory (or a couple) off before you go out."
    The ending, in which another manifestation of the delusion is discovered leaves me wondering if the team will have reason to revisit this family in a future episode. That would be an interesting notion, indeed.
    Gubler can pat himself on the back as far as I'm concerned.

  8. I really liked this episode. It was completely different than what Criminal Minds typically does, and I liked the creepy/cool gothic fairy tale/romance it was. It definitely matched up well with what Matthew likes to direct, and he was a perfect fit for this episode. He definitely did add a lot of touches that were very different, and I think enhanced the story. The story was so weird that it needed stuff like that.

    It was a more slower paced episode from a directing standpoint, which allowed time to linger on creepy images and implications (like the whole brother/sister romance). Of course due to the nature of this story, there would be a lot of unsub. But I think it was important to fully understand what was going on. This was definitely a story that needed to be shown and not told to the team by Penelope in the third act. But everything you saw from the unsub was mirrored by the team. The team was definitely featured and was profiling throughout. Of course Reid wasn't featured heavily, but he made significant contributions that propelled the team's understanding of what was going on. It made sense due to his genius, eidetic memory and ability to weave disparate elements into a coherent whole. I think Matthew did an amazing job with this episode, and I would love to see what he would do with a similiar type story for a feature length film.

  9. I grew up on horror and sci fi and I love it. I remember watching Thriller, Night Gallery, and Dark Shadows, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. I miss a really good fear provoking television series. X-files came the closest recently. I loved "Heathridge Manor." Creepy atmosphere, perfect casting, and the storyline was great. All the ingredients were there and assembled beautifully. I would like to see Gubler direct a really good remake of Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House." I think he could do it well. I wasn't fond of the 1999 one. I still shiver when I watch the original '63 "The Haunting."
    To get the "creepy" factor into a crime drama is marvellous thing. I can't wait until the 7th season comes out on disc so I can watch it and catch all the little things I might have missed.

    Good Job!!


  10. Obviously I was very disappointed last night because I never bother to log in immediately after an episode and express myself and last night I just couldn't help myself. As I said in my comments, it's not a bad little story and would've made a great creepy, ghost story of the week for some other program, it just wasn't Criminal Minds. MGG did a fine job with it. He can't control what the writers write and did a fine job with what he was given to work with. For him, I'm sure it's all about the work and the material and that whether or not it held true as an episode of Criminal Minds or whether or not the characters that at one time made this show so watchable were pushed to the background was irrelevant to him and that's cool, I think it's adorable how excited he gets over his work. He's probably destined for great things as a director if he maintains that passion for the things he truly loves about the business he's in. So to sum it up, good work by MGG, but not a very good episode of Criminal Minds IMO, but hey, they can't all be stellar and next weeks looks promising. I'll just remember to go back to what's been keeping me in a happy place this season and that's to have no expectations and to just enjoy it or in the case of some episodes this season, not so much. Sorry, if I spoiled the enjoyment of the episode for anyone.

  11. I agree pretty much with what's already been said here. The script was weak, but what MGG did with it was good. Visually it was very interesting and that was all due to him. I loved those theatre costumes the victims wore. But there was way too much unsub and not enough team. I understand why it was written this way, but I still think there could have been a better balance between profiling and the creepy brother. I couldn't bring myself to care about these people, even the poor sister. I can't believe she had no opportunity to get away from the brother or that she could be party to all those murders. What was really laughable was that the guy could pick up any women. If he'd kidnapped them, it would have been more believable. When I heard the bartender call him handsome, I laughed out loud. He was too creepy for anyone but a really desperate woman to give him the time of day.

    I'm just so tired of the writing these past two seasons. There's no excuse for them to get by with lapses in continuity. I fault Erica Messer for that. We viewers can spot them every time. Why can't the show runner who's been there forever see them and stop them from getting into the scripts? No matter how many times we say we don't want to constantly see the unsub from the get-go, they continue to write this way. I will not criticize Matthew because for his part he did a good job. But I'm no fan of Sharon. Let Jim Clemente write more scripts and bring back Andrew Wilder, Chris Mundy and Oahn Ly.

  12. sf81387, you hit the nail on the head when you say it wasn't a Criminal Minds episode. And, to me, that's not some interesting change. It's a fundamental fault. Criminal Minds should *never* not be Criminal Minds. That goes for any series. That's why the episode is an episode of *that* series.

    Unfortunately for me, even if I didn't mind the fundamental flaw of the episode, I can't enjoy it even as a separate entity from the rest of the series. I found it boring. Which I should be grateful for, I suppose, because I don't like being creeped out (no, CM proper doesn't scare me). But, I would guess an episode like this hinges on creepy. So, for me, it failed on that level, too. It just managed to be both weird and dull.

  13. Not enough team profiling and way too much unsub, but good job MGG!

  14. I liked the episode quite a bit. I thought it was good but it was also to my taste. I love the show Supernatural so for me it was a combination of them both and I loved that. There wasn't anything supernatural actually occurring but it gave it that feel. It actually delusions feeding his crimes so this was in line with Criminal Minds. I felt like there was a fair bit of profiling as well.

    CM has done plenty of episodes that are different (ex. True Night, 13th Step, all the spy-arch Emily Prentiss episodes). I thought this one was done well. I think our frustration is because there has been a lack of focus on the team lately and more focus on the unsub. I think if there had been more episodes lately with focus on the team it would have been fine to have this one with more focus on the unsub. I think this was one of the few episodes that actually required it. Many of the others could have easily been done without showing the unsub as much.

    Overall, I thought this was was a good episode. It held my interest and freaked me out in a good way. I also loved the ending.

  15. I liked the episode. It was very different from what we normally see on CM. You can see a lot more of Gubler's influence here than say Lauren and even Mosley Lane. It has an open ending in which could have us seeing the girl return as an unsub later if they wanted to try that. Of the ones Matthew Gray Gubler has directed I think I give Mosley Lane a bit of an edge over this one. That is merely a personal preference. There has been a lot of focus on the team's personal lives this season and we needed a case like this that focused more on the unsub. Otherwise we would be crying that the unsub is being neglected in the storyline.

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