Wednesday, June 26, 2013

CRIMINAL MINDS Summer Rewatch. WEEK 1


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801. THE SILENCER
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Written by: O
Erica Messer
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Directed by: O
Glenn Kershaw
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Original Air Date: O
September 26, 2012
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When a Texas prisoner escapes during a transfer, he leaves behind victims with his unique trademark, sewing their mouths shut, a signature the BAU remembers as unique to the infamous serial killer "The Silencer". While they investigate who he was and who he's become, the BAU also gets to know the newest member of the team.
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802. THE PACT
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Written by: O
Janine Sherman Barrois
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Directed by: O
Karen Gaviola
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Original Air Date: O
October 10, 2012
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When the bodies of two seemingly unrelated victims are found just hours apart in San Diego and Los Angeles respectively, the BAU suspects that that not one, but two killers are working together to commit these murders.
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  • What worked? Why?
  • What didn't? Why?
  • What could have been better? Why?
  • What was nearing perfection? Why?

19 comments:

  1. Hello! Forgive me, English is not my first language. I'm Brazilian, fan since the first episode of the first season, I collect DVD's and have a discussion group here in Brazil about Criminal Minds. Watching "The Silencer" again, the season finale is much clearer, the complicated relationship between Strauss and Blake and the unsub's planning. I enjoyed an unsub who chased the team throughout the season in an arc that caught the interest for the whole time, but gradually appearing. I also enjoyed having appeased the spirits of Emily's fans, through the character more emotional, Garcia. Great choice of Jeanne Tripplehorn to compose a team.

    As for "The Pact", personally thought one of the best of the season, because it shows how people go through the same trauma and deal with the problem in different ways. The Darlene's pain is almost palpable. Great interpretation of Kim Wayans. The ending makes it clear that for some people the personal vendetta is a greater burden than the actual pain of losing a loved one.

    Very good idea to listen to the fans.

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've only rewatched the premiere and as an episode I liked it.

    The good:

    -Blake: her introduction was actually quite good. It paved way for the Replicator and the uneasiness she had with both Strauss and Garcia was interesting and should have been continued.

    -The time lapse was good. It gave the team breathing space since the S7 finale and allowed Blake to be settled with some of the team and allowed Garcia and Morgan to help out with Prentiss and to mention Prentiss in a way that sounds like she's still a part of the team.

    - Blake and Reid work great as a team and I like the snippet of Blake and Rossi, I hope we see more.

    -JJ and Hotch got some scenes, only it was to do with the case.

    -The actual case was good and interesting and set up the replicator. It was the right level of suspense and gore.

    -The team felt like a team. The adjustment to Blake was good and felt real, with Reid loving her and Garcia and Morgan unsure about her.

    -Strauss was nice and present, but there was a lot of foreshadowing, her transformation as a champion of the team and making amends was inkeeping with her AA steps yet it feels a little like we were supposed to connect with her in this episode so they could get a big reaction of killing her later on.

    The Bad

    - I feel like they had a good platform for Blake, especially with her conflict with Strauss, but I feel like she came off a little too cold and a little too much of a know-it all. I know she's smart, I know she's supposed to have been on other cases with the team, so she's settled, but I couldn't really connect with her off the bat. It's like they want us to know she's super 'Reid' intelligent and belong in the BAU all along, but there was no warmth to her at all (until episode #6).

    - It didn't feel like a season premiere. It felt more like a filler episode. It was probably on par with the pilot, but every other season had a better season premiere than S1 and S8.

    - It was actually quite dull until the last few minutes. It mostly kept my interest again, but at times I did zone out and it was when Blake was on the screen.

    - I miss bitch Strauss.

    - Not enough Hotch as the boss for my liking.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have rewatched 'The Silencer' as a season premiere it did lack the usual adrenaline rush that season premiere and ender usuallly have. Probably because season 7 didn't end on a cliffhanger that carried to the season 8. The episode felt more like a regular episode. What did work for me was how the writers did deal with Prentiss departure and Blake coming abord. It was cleaver to use Penelope as 'our' (the fans) voice to express how we felt about losing Emily, changes and how we felt about the new agent Blake. Yes as usual CM fans did not embrace Blake from the get go, the fans did not embrace Emily either when she came on board and neither did Rossi. We CM fans can be a tough bunch but by season end, I got to discover more about Blake and I now actually like her.

    I was intrigued by the unsub and why he killed, like many of those killers, he had been abused as a child. The sewing of the mouth was pretty gross!

    Love how the ending did set the stage for the replicator arc. All those pictures of the team taken while they were working a case was scary.

    What didn't work, this episode as a season premiere. Season premiere is a time to grab people, to get them excited about the upcoming season. Yes the hook was at the end of the episode but when a show comes back at the same time as all the other shows on other networks, you need to get people to NEED as oppose as wanting, to watch the premiere. 'The silencer' lack that, unlike says 'To hell and back' with the reaper showing up at Hotch's place and ending with the shot being fired and we had to anxiously waits until next sept to see if Hotch would be ok. I sure totally excited by the season 5 opening 'faceless, nameless'. And talk about ending the season with a bang there was 'LoFi' then the brilliant season premiere of 'Mayhem'.

    If there is one thing I hope for season 9 is that the premiere start with that sense of 'wow gotta NEED to watch CM NOW'!

    and agreed with Anonymous, there was not enough Hotch. Hope we will have much more of him in season 9!

    Will be rewatching 'the pact' this weekend and will post about it then.

    ReplyDelete
  4. While 'The Silencer' wasn't the greatest, most exciting premiere, I preferred it to 'The Pact'.

    I liked the actresses who played the women unsubs and I liked the idea of the story line, but it wasn't my favourite episode. It was Unsub heavy and while they had an interesting story, I felt there was a lack of team at times.

    I liked the humor between the team members at the beginning, like JJ and Rossi's back and forth about his 'normal face'. And I liked Blake a lot more but I still don't think she warms up until her husband arrives on the scene. I think she and Rossi are a good pairing during the case, so are her moments with Reid, but I don't really like Morgan and JJ pairings. It wasn't as evident in this episode but I there's something that is starting to annoying me.

    I don't know what it is with them pairing up, but they have better rapports with every other single team member than they do with each other. I get that JJ is the lead field female agent now and that Morgan has been pushed into the role of lead field male agent, with Hotch and Rossi often staying in the station or the morgue and only really being prominent in raids, but I hope next season they switch the pairings up.

    I didn't even realize that it aggravated me so much but looking back on season 8, the JJ and Morgan pairing up really bugs me. It's fine every now and again and I like their quips sometimes, usually when they're joking about Reid, but I think it's because JJ has been on the team as a field agent since season one, yet they were rarely paired up or showed as being good friends.

    They rarely had much screen time together, unless in group scenes, before season 8. They started to put JJ with Morgan more in season 7 with Prentiss leaving, but they've never come across as being particularly close and now they're together constantly in the field together.

    I know they've been paired up before season 7 but they were usually with other people and there was never any familiarity between them. I know in interviews, AJ has said that she wanted JJ to be more badass and for JJ to become the female Morgan or the next Prentiss, but it would be far more interesting if we saw more of the JJ from the season 6 episode 'Lauren'. In that episode, she was caring and warm, yet she had authority, was a little more put together and was really badass (i hate this word), in a confident, knowledgeable, being a boss kind of way.

    I know this is off topic now so I'll stop talking, but I think for next season, I want to see every character have a clear, well defined personality, which differs from each other. They can similarities and differences in common, but I would like to see them use individual specialties more and explore the different dynamics within the team, rather than pairing the same people up every episode.

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  5. I thought The Silencer was a good transition episode. I liked the references to Emily and I thought they did a good job introducing Blake. I was always ready to give Blake a chance and I think she has settled down into the team very well - although re-watching this episode reminded me that I was annoyed that her linguistic expertise seemed to cover skills Reid had demonstrated many times in the past - notably in Soul Mates. I still am not sure why they felt it necessary to bring someone in with those skills when Reid had it covered. Strauss making amends made sense but I did miss the evil Strauss a bit! Can't wait to see who is the new Section Chief. I didn't mind the Unsub-led episode - the actor playing the Unsub did a terrific job in a non-speaking role and I felt a degree of sympathy for him.It also introduced the Replicator arc in a suitably menacing way.
    The Pact - I liked the banter between the team at the start. Rossi is great and Season 8 was a good one for him. Add me in to those not loving the JJ/Morgan team up. They really need to mix the team up more as there is no chemistry between those two. You know, I always cry when I watch the episode "JJ" and I hated seeing JJ leave. But sadly, it feels like a totally different person rejoined the team in Season 7 and I simply cannot warm to her. It always seems like she is trying so hard to be badass that her other great qualities got lost and she comes over as cold and icy and uncaring. In this episode even when she was talking to the father I didn't feel the compassion she used to show. More female unsubs - they do seem to have a disproportionate number of female killers lately. Again, we see the unsubs at the outset and I don't mind this so much as long as the profiling is front and centre. There was a great twist bringing in the psychopath Jason. They also made us feel some sympathy for Darlene - a good job of showing that things are never just good and evil, black and white. I loved the way they used the picture of the beach in Mexico to segue to the action with the 2 women and Rossi. They used that a lot in the first 2 seasons and it was nice to see. Oh and a final thought - at least in these two episodes they showed Reid as the 30 year old professional he should be and not as some kid to be mocked and also the Garcia/Morgan interchanges were not too over the top.
    Two good episodes setting up the Replicator arc and introducing Blake - but not favourite episodes.
    M

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  6. Hi there, I'm new here, but I thought I add my two cents to the first episode of last season. English is not my first language, so please forgive my mistakes!

    What I liked about the silencer:

    -Good introduction of Blake. She had a good start, but that was it for me. I liked the tension with her and Morgan and I wished they had pursued that kind of storyline a little more intensive. I know the writers embrace the "the team is a family" idea, but some conflict once in a while would be great.
    Aside from her history with Strauss, Blake didn't add much to the whole season. I also don't like her being paired with Rossi on cases. Actually, aside from Reid, she hardly works with any team member. Give her something useful to do next season or ship her off to her husband. She is too much of a know-it-all without Reid's charme! I still think Tripplehorn is a good actress and Blake could be a great addition, if she wasn't so boring.

    The evolving of Strauss was well done, but a hint of her and Rossi would have been great. It would have added a lot to the continuity of the season and especially the finale.

    The replicator: great introduction of the storyline itself. It was the best scene of the entire episode!

    The bad....

    The case... it was an okay episode, but not a good kick off for a new season. It was too unsub heavy and it felt like a routine case. It was nothing special, nothing that kept me on the edge. The writers should give us some more mystery in the future.

    I started to watch CM, because of the suspense and the creepiness. These days it often feels lame, because we know the Unsub from the very first moments of an episode and the episode often followes the same formula. I used to watch the show for the cases, today I watch, because I love the characters!



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  7. I agree with some of the others re The Silencer being a little to like a day in the life of the BAU rather then something to pump up the volume. I like Blake and think she is increasingly winning us over after a shaky start but she came off too "cool as a cucumber" for the newby. I appreciate that Reid is finally getting his dues as the young competent team member as opposed to the weirdo in this ep, and I was relieved that Morgan and Garcia were put on solid footings continuing to show each other concern and support. Their chemistry allows them to be great friends to the point that they can have their occasional spats, always entertaining. More return to a strong Hotch needed, and more evidence of team work. A little stronger role for the women collectively, perhaps one ep at least would be nice, without diminishing the guys of course. I'd love to see something like a gals night out turning into an unsub event with the guys rolling in a little later into the ep. Or maybe the guys night out, with the women coming to the rescue. Now that gets my blood up. LOL.

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  8. I agree with the premise that "The Silencer" wasn't a good choice for a season premiere. To me it was rather underwhelming and would've indeed been better as a filler episode instead. However, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree about it being on par with CM's pilot. Imho "Extreme Aggressor" was way better than this episode.

    I also had a problem with Blake's introduction. I felt she got way too much focus in her first episode. I also feel it was a mistake to have written her as already being established in the BAU. Perhaps had we been allowed to see her struggle somewhat while trying to fit in, she might not have come across as such a know-it-all. And just maybe there would've been a little less resentment of the character.

    Another problem I had, was not only was Alex Blake given one of Reid's expertise, she got to show it off in her first ever episode. As a huge Reid fan I found myself really resenting her because of it. Especially in lieu of the fact it has been ages since we'd gotten to see Reid use that same ability.

    I have since warmed up to Alex quite a bit, mainly because she treats Reid decently. I love the rapport between the 2 of them.And I feel Alex and Reid have good chemistry with each other.

    Speaking of chemistry or should I say lack of... I am glad(at least so far)that the majority of the people posting here have given 2 thumbs down to the pairing of Morgan and JJ. Indeed those 2 are seriously lacking in the chemistry department and their pairing should be kept to a minimum.

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  9. I don't think the pilot was that bad either, but compared to seasons 2-7, I'd say that the pilots of season 1 and 8, weren't up to the others standards, although the pilot got me interested in the show, it seems a lot different to what the show actually became and a lot of the characters in the first episode are totally different now, which is a good thing I suppose, as it means they've developed.

    I didnt mind that Blake and Reid had the same speciality as Ried has a lot of specialities with being the team geniusand and all, but I also liked the fact that Reid and Blake had a connection outside of the Bau with him guest lecturing in her classes or attending her classes, which is something I'd like to see more of. I liked in the premiere when Rossi called Blake and Reid out when they were getting too involved in their conversation. I think Blake shines more when she's paired with Reid or Rossi, so I hope to see her with them more.

    I'd like to see less Morgan and JJ, it feels like theyre substituting JJ for Prentiss when they should be working on giving JJ her own, stronger identity as the Lead female in the field.

    I think the first two episodes of season 8 were good, but not strong, but I think the writers found their footing this season with a new team member and I have high hopes for the beginning of season 9.

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  10. Silencer:
    What worked: Not much.
    What didn't work:
    -One of the most boring season premieres I can recall watching.
    -Poor Blake introduction - nothing about her was likable. Also, why was Blake added to the team when her specialty is also Reid's to the extent that he lectures at her Georgetown classes? Right from the start she was superfluous.
    - weak plot didn't hold my interest
    - too much Unsub.

    The Pact
    What worked: Interesting premise.
    - I liked the one Unsub escaping at the end of the episode.
    What didn't: Way too much Unsub. Seriously.

    -Sher

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  11. Agreed with all the sentiments on JJ and Morgan. This is one of the dullest match-ups on Criminal Minds. JJ and Morgan do not have any "partner" chemistry at all and prior to season 7 barely shared any scenes together. Since they basically have no history besides what the writers interpret that the viewers do not see, JJ and Morgan just don't work.

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  12. I've always thought Morgan acted quite coolly towards JJ pre season 7 and out of everyone on the team he was the one to vocally question case choices, I can think of at least North Mammon, Legacy, Mosely Lane and The Crossing, possibly Angel Maker and Risky Business too, where Morgan didn't seem to think JJ made the right decision or questioned her motives, almost because she wasn't a profiler he didn't trust her process or perhaps there was an other reason but that's how I always interpreted it. Even in JJs first episode, where she introduces her self to Elle, Morgan pulled this face which seemed to convey some sense of unfamiliarity between the pair.

    It wouldn't be so bad now when they're paired up, if those moments were addressed and they talked about how they moved passed the distance between them, but I wouldn't mind in season 9 if there was more conflict between the pair and they weren't partnered up as much, as it seemed to be something many of us didn't like in season 8.

    I think from the first two episodes of season 8, I'd like to have seen less Unsub and more partnership/scenes between the girls. The reason Premtiss fit in so well, was because she had chemistry with absolutely everyone including the jet. prentiss wasn't a fav of mine, but I liked how the team meshed with her on the team. I think Blake had a rocky start because it became evident that the team were a team rather than the family the writers seem to think they are and try to show they are through the use of clinking wine glasses. The only episodes I felt the team were a family were the Reid/Morgan baseball game and Reids grief, so I think in order to have Blake fit in a bit more and to see the team as a family season 9 should have more scenes of the team outside of the qworkplave and doing things friends and family do without making it too cheesy. Have them watching a sports game, shopping, getting drunk together after a case, something which highlights their bond without making it seem forced.

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  13. I personally enjoy Morgan and JJ working together. It was very established in "Closing Time" (S7 - just re-watched on ION) that Morgan worked with JJ when she was making the transition back to the BAU from the State Dept.

    However, that brings up what I would like to say to the writers. While I probably won't get into every discussion of this GREAT idea by our super CMRT staff, I have one point I would like to get across to the writers.

    Continuity for the back stories of the characters.

    JJ was where when she was away? She was at the Defense Dept.; she was at the State Dept. And that's just one. We CM diehard fans could point out countless more. I mean countless. That is my only, fervent hope.

    My personal wish list to the writers:

    1) Finally address what Hotch said in Natural Born Killers. Answer the question Hotch fans want to know. Was he abused or not?

    2) Write excellent episodes for JM, MGG and hopefully, TG to direct. And please, please, give MGG a "regular" episode; not one of the "off the wall" story lines. Want proof? Look at what MGG did with "Lauren". It was brilliant.

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  14. Lauren was great but IMO Mosley Lane and Alchemy were also brilliant. In fact Mosley Lane made TV Guide's top 50 list of the best things on TV for the season it premiered. It's just a matter of personal taste. MGG likes to direct "off the wall episodes" and I like to watch them. I think that the "regular" episodes might appeal to some of the older fans more but I also believe that in an entire season there is room for both types.

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  15. My favorite partner for Morgan in the field will always be Prentiss and I enjoy Morgan/Rossi and also Morgan/Hotch because of their interesting dynamic. But I also don`t have a problem with Morgan/JJ. One of my all time favorite CM scenes is in S4 Ep11 "Normal" when JJ waits for the team in the BAU room with little Henry. It is a very beautiful scene for Morgan and JJ. He looks so happy holding Henry and JJ looks very happy that Morgan wants to hold her little boy.

    My wish list for season 8:

    Back stories on each team member on when and why they joined the BAU and who recruited them.

    Back stories on Rossi founding the BAU and on Morgan`s 18 month undercover.

    A new section chief as antagonist for the team but not too much screen time for the new boss.

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  16. My wishes for Season 9:-

    More focus on the cases and the teamwork. The profiling is the heart of this show so it should be as good as they can make it.

    Less out of work scenes - unless they can do them much, much better. With very few exceptions, they are so cheesy, sappy and unrealistic the show would be better without them. For example, however buff Shemar is, the shower scene in Garcia's flat and how that played out still makes me cringe at the cheesiness of it!

    Mix up the teams a bit. I like Morgan/Rossi, Blake/Reid and Hotch/Reid together best but Morgan/JJ just isn't working well.

    I quite like having a major story arc running through the season but I think they could have done better with The Replicator - it would have had more impact if it were someone we had met before.

    They have a great opportunity over the need for a new section chief to surprise us and inject something new. We could see the team and their work from a whole new perspective that could be fascinating - and it might be a platform to look at the BAU's past as well although I am not too keen to get bogged down in back stories - I would rather have great cases and great teamwork.

    Continue to improve on continuity.



    /

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  17. I completely agree with / (8:29) on everything you said.

    The stronger team moments are when they're at work or even when they have a meal together during a case, like in Real Rain back in season 1.

    I used to love bitchy Strauss, so I want to explore the same thing as you with the antagonistic section chief. I think often these writers play it a little safe, they dont want to do something that they can't undo, even if the storyline could be interesting or altered later on, instead they'll start something and drop it or go in a completely safe direction, which adds nothing to the show and diminishes the impact.

    I want to see the team as people, but without the cheese and with some relevance to the job.

    I do think season 8 did a great job on continuity and hope that follows on in season 9 but I completely agree with hacking up the pairings. Maybe some Morgan and Blake would be an interesting pairing, I like Rossi and Reid from last season and think they could bond over their grief for next season and I just need some JJ and Hotch pair ups, they always add something to an episode when they act like theyre actually friends and have been through a lot together/separately...

    Sam

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  18. So in The Silencer, it might just be me, but Blake gave off vibes of being a female Gideon, although not egotistical, the way everyone was acting towards her, her fountains of knowledge, giving orders and her friendship with Reid was a little gideon-ish.

    I mean, she kind of melded into the background throughout the season and softened up in #6. But her cold behaviour and superiority throughout working the case in the season 8 premiere, gave off Gideon vibes to me.

    Just a thought.

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  19. Re Anon 4.29 - I think Blake's cool demeanour in the premiere is due to her finally having clawed her way back after the incident with Strauss years before - and coming back to Strauss herself as section chief. She is a hugely experienced and highly qualified agent - this is as far from Seaver as you can get! I think Blake soon relaxed into the team and is starting to become a really good fit. I don't see the Gideon vibe - I think she was just adjusting. Also her relationship with the team and with Reid in particular is now one of respected and equal colleagues.I always felt Gideon put himself on a pedestal of arrogance and superiority that he didn't deserve.
    /

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Respectful opinions, and constructive disagreement is welcomed, but insulting/foul-mouthed, malicious, or just plain disrespectful comments towards anyone are not, and will be removed.