Breen Frazier ROCKS! He really is the best writer on the Criminal Minds staff.
First things first. Many fans were upset because there was no Hotch/Morgan denouement in this episode. Or at least not the one that so many fans wanted. I can understand that – I wouldn’t have argued with Hotch giving Morgan a taste of his own medicine, to treat Morgan with the anger and disdain that Morgan treated him when he found out Hotch had lied about Emily’s death. But when you think about it, it would have been out of character for Hotch. Hotch doesn’t get even or throw things back in people’s faces. He moves on. And frankly, I think Morgan got plenty of tastes of his own medicine from his sister, Aunt and Garcia. All we get is Hotch telling Morgan the two of them will need to talk when he arrives in Chicago and it is inferred that they probably had a little chat.
Background: Morgan has a cousin, Cindy, who went into hiding 8 years previously after being stalked by a man named John Hitchens. Two weeks following Cindy’s disappearance, Hitchens supposedly committed suicide and Cindy had not been heard from since. Last year in the episode 'The Sea', Morgan told his Aunt that the serial killer in that episode had killed Cindy, not that it was true, but to give his aunt some closure. He lied about Cindy’s supposed death. At the beginning of this episode, Morgan’s sister Desiree, is in her car at a stop light and a car pulls up beside her with Cindy in the passenger seat of the car. Desiree tries to get her attention and the car flees. She tries to follow the car and gets into a car accident, which gets Morgan to come back home to Chicago and the story unfolds.
Synopsis: When Morgan hears Desiree's story and her insistence that it was Cindy that she saw, Morgan confesses that he lied to his family about Cindy’s death. His other sister is upset with him when she finds out he lied and his Aunt wallops him upside the head! When the team starts their investigation with Hitchen's suicide, they find that the high powered gun used, overkill for a suicide attempt, was not purchased by him but by a man named Malcolm Ford. In the meantime, Cindy and Ford are packing up their things, loading up the SUV and throwing papers into the fireplace to burn. Ford gives Cindy a gun and tells her to put it in the glove compartment of the car. While Cindy is loading up the SUV, she tells their neighbor they are going to the cabin for the weekend. Remember the cabin, it is important later on. They go to a Company member’s home to get a new vehicle and contact information for another Company man to get them into Canada. Cindy is very upset that they will not be going to the cabin. While they are waiting in a grocery store parking lot for the contact, Ford sends Cindy into the store to get him something to eat. He finds that the gun is not in the glove compartment, he goes into the store and yanks Cindy out and takes possession of the gun. Cindy had put a can of stew in her purse and it sets off the store alarms when they try to leave. The manager gets suspicious and calls the police.
Meanwhile back at the ranch . . . the team follows the lead to Ford’s house, but find it empty with a partially burned contract of indentured servitude between Ford and Cindy and deduce that they are now on the run. They respond to the grocery store manager’s call and find Ford but no Cindy. They arrest Ford and bring him back to the police station but Rossi tells Morgan to work the scene. Morgan has a conniption fit about this and when Garcia calls him to give him some information, he is snippy with her. Garcia TOTALLY lets him have it, tells him that this isn’t about him, it isn’t personal, it is about finding his cousin and until he gets his head back together, she didn’t want to talk to him anymore. And then she hangs up on him. Garcia is not afraid to speak her mind! Morgan is PO’d but Garcia’s blessing him out makes him reevaluate and work the scene, leading to an important discovery. The can of stew Cindy shoplifted was the exact same brand that they used to eat as kids. It was a message!
At the police station, Emily and JJ go into the interrogation room talking about JJ’s son and Will, and when Ford tries to speak, JJ shushes him and tells him they will tell him when it is time to talk. WHAT A GREAT MOMENT, they totally got under his skin. They leave and Morgan goes in, promising to keep his cool – which didn’t happen. What did happen is that Ford’s lawyer showed up and Cindy was with him. She said she didn’t want to press charges and said she needed to go home and fix Ford his dinner.
Cindy’s mother was at the station and tried to talk to her, but Cindy turned her back to her and didn’t want to talk to her.
Once Ford and Cindy were in the car, Ford said they could go to the cabin and Cindy was very happy about that.
Back in BAU-land, Morgan starts analyzing what Cindy said – about fixing dinner and took out the can of stew and told the team that they used to eat that very brand of stew when they were kids. He asked Hotch what his mother fed him for breakfast as a child and then asked what he fed Jack for breakfast and the team catches on – Morgan though that Cindy and Ford had a child. That would be a reason why Cindy came back with a lawyer – Ford kept the child from her to keep her in line, which fits the profile.
Morgan talks to the lawyer, asking how Cindy found a lawyer so quickly when she had been held as a prisoner for 8 years. How could she do that unless Malcom told her where to go. Then he tells the lawyer that he must be a company man and tells him they know about his mail order Russian bride. The lawyer caves and tells him about the cabin where the children are kept.
Ford and Cindy are at the cabin going to get their son, and when they wake him, he is surprised to see them because it wasn’t Christmas – how sad is that? The kids were only able to see their parents at Christmas. They are exiting the back door as the BAU is pulling up at the cabin.
Morgan hears the boy cry out and goes out back looking for them. Ford jumps Morgan, but Morgan quickly gets the upper hand. Cindy makes him stop and points the gun at Ford. Morgan takes the gun from her and turns to leave. Ford gets up and tries to run, but Emily and JJ are there and arrest him.
The episode ends with a reunion Cindy’s mother who gets to meet her grandson. As they walk off, Garcia appears and hugs Morgan and calls him her hero. A little sappy, yes, but still a great episode.
Lady Of the Lake