Wednesday, July 3, 2013

CRIMINAL MINDS Summer Rewatch. WEEK 2


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803. THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
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Written by: O
Sharon Lee Watson
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Directed by: O
Dermott Downs
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Original Air Date: O
October 17, 2012
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When a family in Kansas turns up dead and another goes missing, the BAU looks for a link between the cases to find out who is behind these crimes. Also, Hotch gets surprising news from Beth.
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804. GOD COMPLEX
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Written by: O
Breen Frazier
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Directed by: O
Larry Teng
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Original Air Date: O
October 24, 2012
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When a legless body is found in the New Mexico desert and a second unwilling amputee shows up at the hospital, the BAU team searches for this amateur surgeon before he preys upon his next reluctant victim. Also, Reid's phone calls to a mystery woman have the team intrigued.
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  • What worked? Why?
  • What didn't? Why?
  • What could have been better? Why?
  • What was nearing perfection? Why?

16 comments:

  1. I struggled to get through these two episodes the first time. On the second watch, I fast forwarded a lot of the episodes.

    I think I preferred the case topic in the first one but preferred Reid's b storyline in the second one to Hotchs in the first.

    God complex was quite gory. Which could have been toned down in favour for suspense, which I would have preferred, and the actual case plot got a little boring for me. I did like the Reid and Blake interaction, and I even didn't mind Reid and Maeve, although I didn't like the arc overall this episode showed them quite cute and interesting. Also it was a nice call back to Reid's headaches.

    Through the looking glass, for me rested on the supporting, guest cast rather than the team. It was alright, but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again. I thought the Hotch and Beth part was pointless. If they knew Bellamy wasn't going to be available, they should have just had Hotch mention her in passing like JJ does for Will, Garcia used to do for Kevin or like Hotch used to do for Haley. The writers just added unnecessary potential drama/storyline for no reason, especially as they want the relationship between Hotch and Beth to be happy/cutesy/stable/boring as possible. I'm not going to go on another Hotch/Beth hate rant, I just hope we don't see her much next season.

    In summary, filler episodes which led to further storylines later on in the season (Maeve's death/Beth in NYC), that both should have been handled better...

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  2. I agree with much of Anon 10.27.
    Through the Looking Glass - I forced myself to watch the whole thing with difficulty. I don't want to go on a Hotch/Beth rant either.... but seriously? NO! No-one wants Hotch to be happy more than me but this relationship is just wrong. It alternates between sickeningly cutesy sweet and wooden - I too hope we don't see Beth much in S9.
    The episode was an OK filler - the guest cast playing the family did a great job of showing how they disintegrated under pressure.
    I'm in two minds about Blake calling Reid out on the jet about having Aspergers but I do like them working together. I liked Rossi working with JJ which doesn't often happen and is much better than the Morgan/JJ combo which doesn't work at all. I certainly didn't like Garcia's calling JJ "Girl Wonder" - yet again the writers thrusting JJ's new superwoman persona down our throats.
    Not a bad case, the unsub not seen till the end for once but I won't watch it again as the Hotch/Beth fiasco just winds me up!

    God Complex = yes it was fairly gory but hard to avoid with this storyline. And this is a show about serial killers so we should expect to be shocked - in any event it is not in the same league of goriness (is that a word?) as other shows such as "The Following".
    I liked Blake doing the prison interview. I think she is a good new addition to the team - experienced and professional. I miss the Prentiss from earlier seasons but you could tell that Paget's heart wasn't in it throughout S7. I don't understand all the shouting for Prentiss to be brought back when Paget really didn't want to be there anymore.
    Reid and JJ at the morgue was great as JJ was much more like her old self. I thought the profiling overall was pretty good in this one - after all this is what the show is all about. It was so good to see Reid connecting the dots and also phoning Maeve for help to break the case. I hate when they show him just spouting facts - nice that he is shown using the intellect for once.
    I did like the Reid/Maeve arc but I wish they had not killed her. She and Reid had a gazillion times more chemistry without ever seeing one another than Hotch and Beth ever had or will have!
    I liked this episode and will watch again.
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  3. Disappointed that my strong but not disrespectful comments on these two episodes were taken down. They contained both praise and adverse criticism - but obviously were too removed from the views of the site management. I will not be taking further part as it is not an open debate.
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  4. @Anonymous (July 4, 2013 at 2:28 PM)

    The mysteries of the inner workings of Blogger will never cease to amaze me... nor I'll get to understand them even if I live 100 years.

    In a pitch: you comment was caught by the spam filter; no idea why so I have released from it now. Sorry, but none of us (administrators) where online earlier to do so.

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  5. Thanks for explaining the glitch and I am sorry I thought the worst!!
    /

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  6. I really liked episode 8.03. but I agree that the Hotch/thing is a bit pointless. I have nothing against Beth, but somehow the writer doesn't seem to know what to do with her and Hotch. So, unless they can think of something more interesting for this couple, it would be enough if Hotch mentions Beth once in a while without actually showing her.
    The case I liked very much - the unsub wasn't revealed until the end and the scenes with the family closed up in the room were intense. Finally something psychological creepy again. Haven't had that in a long time!

    I had my problems with 8.04 though. The case was just not interesting. I was bored by the whole thing. The gues stars were great, but the story wasn't good. I liked the introduction of Maeve. It gave Reid something new to deal with and I liked the phone booth thing very much. Blake had a great scene in jail. Hopefully she'll get more scenes like that in season 9.
    I also miss Prentiss, but I understand that Paget wanted out and so I won't rant about her leaving the show. JJ Superwoman is really annoying at times. I was never a big fan of JJ, because she was (often) only a whiner, but this new kick ass personality of hers doesn't fit either. Maybe they should try to balance her a bit more. Make Blake less cold and JJ less kick ass. JJ has always had a warm personality and I don't understand why they had to change that.

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  7. I think with JJ they tried to make her another Prentiss (spy edition), with knowing PB was leaving and that PB was asked to stay after the S6 debacle. The writers/show runners seemed worried that if they brought JJ back, in exactly the same role, being exactly the same JJ then there would be no reason for her to be there. They obviously had a vision for JJ when she came back, and I think they justified her changes to themselves but overlooked explaining it on screen in favour for Prentiss returning to the team. Instead they talked about JJ's evolvement in interviews and I would hope amongst themselves, but it never really translated in the show, why JJ had become more guarded, why she took more defence training (she already was a field agent, so her prominence in raids isn't that much of a stretch), and why she chose to become a profiler as well as why was it so simple for her to return after all that hassle about her leaving.

    Tbh, I don't think the writers are as invested in their female characters as much as they are with their male characters. Less effort goes into their story lines and character development, or that's how it sometimes seems.

    I hope season 9, the BAU women are given thoughtful and entertaining story lines.

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  8. Re read what I wrote, and ignoring all the spelling and grammar mistakes, I don't want it sound like I was bashing anyone.

    It's just frustrating. JJs one of my favourites, so it's annoying that she gets overlooked or rushed storylines. If The story doesn't become about someone else, it's a half hearted attempt or a complete one eighty of who JJ is supposed to be.

    The writers missed so many opportunities when JJ was a media liaison, that season 6 could have been avoided. Yes JJ wasn't a profiler and that's what the show is about, but they could have easily done story lines about JJ which would have kept her in the show. I would have liked to have seen an episode where she chose the wrong case and saw the repercussions, or had to go solo to get the team on to a case. It would have been good to see JJ facing danger during a press conference or when dealing with the local Leo's. It would have been nice to see her actually liaising on screen instead of off screen. JJ could have handled more politics or it would have interesting to see communications being put in charge of a case for national security reasons and we could have seen JJ in charge for once.
    These things won't happen now, I know that, but when JJ returned, the writers had this great opportunity to write some proper development for JJ instead it was focused on prentiss and Reid. Then JJs first centric episode was about Henry, the next she fought a dude (which would have been better if there was reason for it) then she got married (which again seemed rushed and in place to counter balance Prentiss leaving).

    I don't want to rant on and on, I just want to explain that its annoying when one of the main characters has had less development than say Strauss or Blake...

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  9. Anonymous said... Quote: "I would have liked to have seen an episode where she chose the wrong case and saw the repercussions"

    That would have been a storyline I wanted to see since season one. But they ALWAYS made her chose the right cases and she never made any mistakes that had repercussions. And even now as a profiler she is always right. She always is perfect and that makes her boring IMO. I like my characters to have flaws and edges and making mistakes. Make her less perfect and I will love her more.

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  10. And to me that's totally the writers fault for not taking risks.

    None of the characters have ever messed up so bad (other than Elle) which has led to serious consequences. Even during Reids drug days, it never really amounted to much.

    I like that JJ is a strong, put together, independent female, but she just deserves better stories!

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  11. It is true that the writer`s don`t take much risks. They fear the fans will be mad at them if their fave character makes mistakes. And some fans would be mad because they want their fave characters to be perfect "badass geniuses". A few times though the writers took the risk. Reid not telling the team about Maeve`s stalker earlier got her killed in the end. Rossi dismissing Zoe got Zoe killed. Hotch and Rossi interviewed Foyet and didn`t realize he was not a victim but the killer got more people killed. Morgan telling his cousin to go into hiding because of her stalker and not even to tell him where she was got her kidnapped.It is of course the unsub`s and not any of the characters fault what happened to the victims but they nonetheless made a mistake or at least a bad decision.

    I`m sure there are more examples. But I cannot think of any storyline where JJ made a mistake that had consequences. She is always perfect.
    The writers should risk more with the writing for JJ. I hope if they do another JJ in peril storyline it is her and not anybody`s elses fault that she is in peril and that for once she does not win a badass fight. Everybody loses a fight now and again and so should JJ. By the way, I do like JJ. I just want her to be more interesting and less flawless.

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  12. With the exeption of Rossi in the Zoi case and Hotch in the Foyet case, where they actually contemplated that maybe there was a mistake, the other examples where not treated as mistakes by either the characters themselves or the others around them and I don't think that the writers considered them mistakes as well because then there would/should have been some kind of follow up. And did Prentiss ever made any mistakes (or had any flaws at all)?

    In the same spirit, just to name a few, JJ letting Reid go after the unsub alone in The Big Game where he ends up being kidnapped is her equivelant mistake and she felt really guilty about it. Also in The Crossing JJ pushed hard for the stalker case because she had overlooked a similar case in the past that ended with the victim getting hurt, so indirectly we had an example of missed cases as a liaison. In The Peformer she went to interview the "friend" alone and she almost got herself killed. I can think at least 2 episodes where the press conference went terribly wrong. In Risky Business she let it slip in front of the parents that they didn't believe the kids had killed themselves...
    And all of the above with JJ getting much, much, much less storylines and development than the rest of the characters.

    I could also give you some of her flaws, but my main point is that JJ is as layered and complicated as the rest of them IF you pay any attention an her storylines. Even with her being overlooked time and again, especially when she was a liaison, there are plenty of details and small moments that show how well-rounded character she reaaly is but she gets so easily dismissed by both writers and fans that it is really frustrating.

    "Anonymous said... I like that JJ is a strong, put together, independent female, but she just deserves better stories!"
    My thoughts exactly!!!

    LJ





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  13. But it's kind of sad that we've had to make do with just small moments for JJ. I think sometimes, as a JJ fan, I read too much into little details and tidbits thrown into JJs character. I totally agree with you LJ, JJ has flaws and she's got some development. But it's not as perhaps obvious (?) as it should be. Idk if that's the right way to phrase it, but I love JJ and I pick up on all the little things she does in episodes whether it's being attached to her phone or cringing when suicide is mentioned etc, but its only because I'm a fan of the character that I'll hear her phrase something a certain way, then draw my own conclusions. There's been moments like the crossing or risky business where JJs faults have been obvious, but I think a lot of the time, those moments get overlooked, especially when comparing characters.

    Let's be honest out of everyone, JJ is the most 'normal'. Im pretty sure she was supposed to be the audiences view into the team, that's why early seasons JJ would ask a lot more questions.

    I don't want JJ to become completely flawed or become a parody of what she once was, but I hope season 9 allows for more exploration into JJs character.

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  14. I disagree with much of the above. I think JJ has had more developement since her return than almost anyone - I just am not sure I like what she is developing into. I used to love JJ - we saw so many times when she really struggled to balance her job with being a mom to a young child -such as in Amplification and later on in There's No Place Like Home. This really resonated with me as a working mother. She used to be really funny and friendly with the others - I remember her winding Morgan and Reid up in The Boogyman in S2.We also have heard on a number of occasions about the effect of her sister's suicide. And her compassionate nature was showcased in episodes like North Mammon, Legacy and Risky Business. But sadly the JJ of the last two seasons has become this icy, snarky, eye-rolling, badass superwoman and I look back on earlier seasons with a pang at the loss. I know everyone grows up and changes - I just think they are taking JJ too far from the character she used to be. And in my opinion, she probably has had one of the highest profiles in the show in the last two seasons. They are pretty good at spreading the actors equally with maybe each one coming to the fore more in a season. Season 7 brought JJ to the top - this time we need to perhaps see more of Rossi.
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  15. I understand why people think JJ has changed so much, she has, but I think I can understand why they wanted a change in JJ. JJ needed to show less emotion as a profiler than as a media liaison, Hotch chastised others who got to emotional with cases, it must also be difficult to rejoin a team (after a forced transfer) and be placed into a new role (which is elite and everyone else already knew her in a different role) and be accepted as a profiler, which must feel weird and she mustn't want to let anyone down. I think the writers definitely failed JJ in the first few episodes of season 7, they could have mentioned her becoming more guarded, it could have to with keeping prentiss secret or something that happened at the DOD, but they overlooked it and I can understand when people say she's superwoman, litttle miss perfect and bad ass (urgh that's totally AJ and the writers fault in interviews where they keep on mentioning her being badass). But I can also accept that JJ had a lot of experience already profiling inner old role, she worked so closely with the team beforehand that she could easily pick up profiling ad she was already a field agent so it stands to reason that she can protect herself (although bad writing and choreography let her down in one of the episodes).

    I think season 8 had several episodes which showed the writers hoarse starting to get a grasp on meshing old and new JJ, 'All That Remains' being the standout. So I'm hopeful that they'll explore JJ's character more and give everyone an explanation for all the changes next season.

    I disagree that JJ jhas had the most development though. She's had the same amount of screen time over the last two seasons as the other profilers get, but in contrast to JJ being a media liaison where she would disappear half way through an episode, I can understand why it seems the opposite.

    Looking back over the episodes of the last two seasons, for me season 7 was about Prentiss. JJ had two supposedly centric episodes but all we leart was that she has Mommy issues(we already knew) and she rushed into a marriage (to counter Prentiss leaving). JJ did had big 'moments' in other episodes but those episodes where about other people or the case, they weren't really development episodes for JJ.

    And season 8 was definitely Reid's season. JJ had her moments again and I felt like this was a better season for the new JJ. She became the lead female agent, with Prentiss gone and Blake in the background, so I'd say her screen time wasnt in competition with Prentiss and therefore she got the same screen time Prentiss used to. I think season 8, gave some developments in the way JJ copes when she connects to a case, but other than small minute things we haven't learnt anything new about her, IMO.

    I don't want to start an argument, I just disagree.JJs my favourite character so I'll defend her just like you'll defend your favourite :)

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  16. I absolutely agree that we all have the right to defend our favourites. JJ used to be my favourite female on the show - I have just re-watched Public Enemy from S5 which was very JJ centric and reminds me of how much I loved her character. But I still maintain that JJ has changed too much from that compassionate and likeable character. I actually relate more to Blake these days who seems much better balanced and believable.
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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.