Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Criminal Minds Review: THE GATHERING

Our last episode of Criminal MindsThe Gathering – starts out with our team still working on trying to figure out who The Replicator is. The team seems a bit frayed as they try to uncover who the person is that is stalking the team and replicating some of their most recent cases. Section Chief Strauss interrupts the team's meeting with news that the Director has deemed The Replicator's case to be inactive and wants his best team to be focused on current cases.

This leads the team to St Paul where at least two women have recently been murdered and had their tongues removed. How gruesome to think of someone cutting out your tongue while you are still alive. That is one of the things I love most about Criminal Minds, they can make you shudder without actually seeing any real gore. By the time our team arrives in St Paul, two more lives have been taken, this time a brother and a sister but only the woman's tongue has been removed. The women that have been murdered all seem to have one common denominator; they lead very active virtual lives.

We meet Peter who is socially awkward but has a different persona in the virtual world. He also writes short stories as a way to deal with the demons in his head. Turns out he is involved with a community that writes stories about murder and death and shares them as a group with their leader, Mark Jackson. Mark is using these stories as fuel for his own murderous fantasies and is bringing the stories he gets from Peter and others to life. Mark has been taking the tongues as a symbolic way to claim the tales as his own. Peter sees a local news report about the murders and feels betrayed when he realizes what Mark has been doing. Peter also knows that Mark intends to kill Tammy, the object of Peter's latest writing obsession. Thus far Peter has only been able to write about his murdering fantasies but Mark becomes his first victim.

Actual blood on his hands for the first time gives Peter the courage to go after Tammy. He kidnaps her and takes her to the local community center because Peter's latest story involves saving Tammy from downing in a lake. Tammy tries to reason her way out of harm's way but Peter throws her in the pool anyway. Of course our heroes arrive in the nick of time, Morgan diving in to try and save Tammy while JJ and Reid try to prevent Peter from taking his own life. Morgan rescues Tammy and saves her life, but Reid is unable to prevent Peter from slitting his throat thusly ending his crime spree as well as his life.

Not a bad episode but like most I've seen lately it was a bit rushed at the end as they try to fit The Replicator story and the current case into 42 minute especially when you add to that the cute little story about Garcia and Kevin trying to move on past being romantically involved to being just friends. Criminal Minds has always been adept at bringing to light things in our own lives we do that put us at risk, things that we can perhaps change in order to make our lives a little safer. In this case it is that we sometimes share a little too much about ourselves on-line. It is what got these women killed. As someone who is involved in social media, I had to ask myself what is available about my personal life on Twitter, Facebook and other websites I have joined. This is one of several episodes that Criminal Minds has aired that highlights this point. Be safe and don't over-share, just one of the many things that I have added to my list of things that I have learned from Criminal Minds.

~~ Sir Bedivere

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