Wednesday, July 10, 2013

CRIMINAL MINDS Summer Rewatch. WEEK 3


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805. THE GOOD EARTH
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Written by: O
Bruce Zimmerman
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Directed by: O
John Terlesky
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Original Air Date: O
October 31, 2012
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When four men go missing in rural Oregon, the BAU searches for a common link among them in order to track them down. Also, JJ gets upset when her son Henry doesn't want to celebrate Halloween this year.
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806. THE APPRENTICESHIP
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Written by: O
Virgil Williams
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Directed by: O
John Bailey
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Original Air Date: O
November 7, 2012
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When prostitutes in Miami are discovered murdered in a similar style to local animals found dead there, the BAU must work fast to find an unsub whose confidence is quickly escalating. Also, Morgan tries to increase Reid's athletic skills by convincing him to join the bureau softball team.
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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. I think these two episodes are a lot better the second time around. There was a good supporting cast within both episode with interesting cases and the team were bonding together. They weren't amazing (season 1-5 filler)episodes but they were entertaining enough.

    Any episodes with Jack and/or Henry are cute, and we got Henry for both episodes. I thought Henry dressing up as Reid was sweet, but it would have been cuter if Jack hadn't already dressed up as Hotch in season 6. It kind of felt like they'd recycled/forgot they had done the cute kid dressing as their profiler hero thing before, and wanted an aww moment but couldn't really be arsed to think of a different way to write it. It was also a half hearted attempt of a JJ episode. The whole JJ worrying thing was a bookended two minute thing and became mostly about Reid and Henry.

    But I liked that it showed Garcia and Reid in godparent mode. I never really understood why JJ and Will chose them to be godparents, well Reid, unless both JJ and Will really have no family or friends that they're close to outside of JJ's work... (or it was just because Henry was 'born' during a Reid episode). But I do like how close Reid and Garcia seem to be with Henry.

    I liked the team moments in the second episode better, although it was still cheesy. I liked the little hint towards the Replicator and although the whole Reid playing baseball was almost rom-com, cheesy blahness, I do like it when they show Morgan and Reid's friendship.

    Over all I think these episodes were better than average season 6-8 filler episodes and they showed some good team-as-a-family moments, which I don't think are any of the writers strong moments as of late, but 'The Apprenticeship' made me want to know more about the Replicator and 'The Good Earth' was probably Bruce Zimmermans best episode til that point and he gave us a female serial killer which is always going to get bonus points (for some twisted reason!)

    Louinjk

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  2. I thought these two episodes were enjoyable. The cases were interesting and the guest cast were excellent.
    The Good Earth:-
    Another female unsub - CM seem lately to have a much higher proportion of female unsubs than in reality. I'm sure I've heard Reid give us statistics a long while back on how rare female serial killers are!
    The actress playing the unsub did a great job of portraying her extreme psychosis.
    I loved Reid dissing the beach "sandy food, pink skin, limited and unengaging topography but mostly the drug-resistant bacteria spread by seagull faeces". I also liked the fact that Reid deduced that the victim was dumped because he was seriously ill and later that he connected the dots about the sawdust and the victims being used as human fertilizer,Far too often the writers have him just reeling off facts so it was nice to see him using the intellect. I liked Rossi saying of Reid " I can hear the high pitched whine from your IQ from all over here" but didn't like JJ's snarky eye-rolling.
    Hotch was very much more present in this episode - the complete Unit Chief directing the investigation.
    I agree with Louinjk that Henry dressing up as Reid lost a lot by Jack having already dressed as Hotch but it was still awfully cute.
    All in all, a good episode but not an epic one.

    The Apprenticeship:-
    Another good episode. The unsub kid really creeped me out which means he did a great job. I thought the dynamic between the two psychopaths and how they turned on each other was interesting. The profiling was well done and it was chilling how they started ramping up the Replicator.
    I always love seeing Morgan and Reid together and although the home run ending was sooo predictable I still enjoyed it. CM doesn't seem able to do the "family" moments without a huge amount of cheese, This was fortunately endearingly cheesy rather than cringingly cheesy like most of them.
    Overall a decent episode that I will watch again.

    I wish CM would concentrate more on the cases and the profiling and cut back on the family moments unless they learn how to do them better or carry them through more realistically. I still haven't understood how they managed to sort out all the mistrust within the team at the start of S7 with just a pasta dinner at Rossi's. How much more believable would that have been had it still resonated through that season.
    /


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  3. Loved the Reid/Henry Halloween scene, but would have loved even more seeing Reid taking him out trick or treating. Liked the softball scene, but found it too telegraphed to sustain my interest.
    As to the cases....I generally enjoy the quality of the writing on the show, especially when there is more convoluted profiling and less gore. But whenever they deal with anything medical, the quality of the writing is so tainted by the medical mistakes that I can't pay attention to the rest of the case. In "The Good Earth", they are completely off-base with what scleroderma is (a life threatening, chronic illness), looks like (it's not a rash), and ultimately, does to the patient (it doesn't just get better). Nor can one have attached an unmatched limb for even a few hours without it looking like it's about to die off (The God Complex). And, going back, nor does there exist a drug that paralyzes skeletal muscle yet allows the patient to breathe without a ventilator (The Uncanny Valley---which would have otherwise been a great episode if not for that one, fatal flaw).
    I know it's a TV show, but it's most effective when it seems real---real cases, real outcomes, real relationships among the team. Thank goodness, most of the time they get it right!

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  4. It's hard for me to be able to watch these episodes again unless I can find them online, but I still want to offer some general thoughts regarding the unsubs of season 8.

    As a long time CM fan I have grown increasingly tired of the types of unsubs that we got in episodes like The Good Earth and God Complex as well As Magnum Opus. At onetime those types of unsubs were the exception, sadly nowadays they seem to have become the norm.

    I long for the unsubs like Frank Breitkopf, Karl Arnold, George Foyet and many more who killed either bc they were just plain evil or a psychopath or perhaps both, and whose only agenda for killing someone was that they derived pleasure out of it.


    Louinjk, I too wonder why JJ even bothered to make Reid her son's godfather, since at times she seems to have very little respect for him.
    She absolutely pissed me off with that snarky eye rolling she did and that snide remark of hers "Sorry I asked" in the episode The Good Earth.
    It reminded me of the way the Seaver creature dissed Reid on the plane in the episode Coda. And it's one of the reasons I often refer to JJ as Seaver 2.0

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  5. See I'm the opposite, I don't think JJ and Seaver, dissed Reid. It's how everyone acts towards Reid when he gets carried away. It's the dynamics of the group, and Reid is the baby who gets poked fun at.

    (IMO, Reid fans are......... Dedicated. Shall we say.... No disrespect, but they're probably the loudest, most invested fans...)I get that Reid fans love him and want to protect and defend him, but I don't get why they think other characters disrespect him when they eye roll, call him kid, or stop him in the middle of a rant. When the team poke fun at Morgan for his womanising ways, or Rossi for that matter, it's not disrespectful or bullying, but I think some people see Reid as being vulnerable and making fun of him a no go area, even though he's an 30year old FBI agent, who should be able to take care of himself. for me, when JJ rolls her eyes, or any of the team do for that matter (because they've all pulled faces and cut him off at one time or the other), that's just sibling/friends behaviour, and perhaps, admittedly, it's because I like sarcasm and I'm not the biggest Reid fan, that I don't see those moments as a diss.

    Reid can be quite bitchy himself, and those moments for me, just help towards them being a family. (although i get annoyed when reid is bitchy and whiny but god forbid i said that out loud). They're not going to be sitting on the edge of their seat, absorbed in Reid's monologues every time, he goes off on a tangent or in too deep. Now, I'm not saying you're wrong, everyone interprets those instances in their own way, but that's how i don't see them as damning as other Reid fans. Now I'm rolling my eyes at my own rambling.

    I don't think Reid and JJ come across as close as the writers seem to think they are, though, they perhaps seemed a little closer earlier in the series, but I don't think they ever came off so close to warrant JJ asking Reid to be Henry's godfather.

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  6. "See I'm the opposite"

    I get the point you are trying to make, however they both asked him a question and then got annoyed when he tried to answer it. Now maybe I'll give Seaver a little bit of a pass, bc she didn't know Reid all that well at the time, but JJ is a different story. She should know him well enough by now, to realize that if she asks a question he is going to try and answer it. He just can't help himself.

    The writers sometimes seem to imply that the team may suspect Reid has Asperger Syndrome. If that is indeed the case, one would think that some(JJ) of them would be a little more understanding of him.

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  7. Sorry, I forgot to add Anonymous said... to my post above.

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  8. What I found odd about JJ asking Reid to be the godfather was that everyone decided to leave the hospital room (including Will) so she could ask him in private. I thought Will should at least stayed.

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  9. As I remember it, Will asked everybody to step out of the room except Reid.
    My guess is that both Will and JJ figured Reid would be more comfortable be asking to be the godfather without the rest of the team being in the room.
    Poor Reid seemed nervous enough to me and with a lot of people in the room he probably would've been even more nervous.

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  10. I didn't like how Henry's birth was more about Reid than JJ and Will, but hey, they had to write it in somehow, might as well make it a Reid story line (sarcasm)

    I don't think when the team react sarcastically, or disinterested in Reid's speeches, that it's in malice.

    They're rolling their eyes more because they should have known better than to ask him something which could set of a long explanation/discussion, rather than the few worded response they were hoping for.

    It's a part of Reid's character to be geeky and the smartest person in the room, the others know this, but still they're allowed to roll their eyes and be like, 'oh Reid you lovable, nerdy person, we didn't need to know all of that, but oh well, I probably shouldn't have said anything in the first place' sigh.

    Whereas I think some people read into those situations like, 'Reid, I didn't want to know all of that you numpty, just shut it.' Arrrgh!

    And then people react like how dare they act that way towards, poor, baby Reid, don't they know that he's just answering the question, he's so cute and vulnerable, he doesn't know what he's doing, it's just who he is. JJ/Prentiss/Seaver/Morgan/Rossi/Hotch/Garcia are acting so mean towards him for rolling their eyes/smirking/pulling faces as he speaks, damn them for not appreciating every little thing that comes out of his mouth, even though it's completely off topic.

    Wow, this wasn't intended to be so long or sarcastic either.

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  11. You know the Reid hate out there is starting to annoy me. One of the things I like about CM is that they spread the stories around the ensemble cast but any sighting of Reid seems to ruffle all sorts of feathers! For example, Season 5 was ALL about Hotch and quite rightly so as it was a great season - but no-one piped up to say it was top heavy with Hotch. Then in S6 and S7 Reid was only seen sporadically to trot out information needed to take the stories along. Last season he actually had a bit of a storyline in the first half of the season and all the Reid haters come out of the woodwork!
    This show is well balanced and has an ensemble cast that work well together. That said, I do not like the new snarky JJ and I do not think the writers do the so-called "family" moments well at all. Personally, I could easily lose "Willifer" altogether(eyeroll of my own!) but everyone is entitled to their opinion as long as it is respectful.
    /

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  12. I don't hate Reid, but he's not my favourite. Just because we view things differently, isn't necessarily hate. I could go on and on about how much Morgan irritates me at time, and for all intents and purposes, we know just as much if not more about Morgan.

    Reid has been a central character for many years and we know a lot about him. I would never say Reid doesn't deserve a story line or that he shouldn't be a focus, but I think I do prefer it when the other characters have a bit more focus.

    Reid has been through so much. He has so many emotional and physical turmoils, (to name a few)from putting his mom in a care home, being a carer, the potential for schizophrenia, drug addiction, potential Asperger's, bullying, Maeve's death, random headaches, contracting Anthrax, Gideon issues, torture, held at gun point numerous times, been held hostage numerous times, been shot, personal and professional uncertainties, connections with victims and unsubs, PTSD, grieving, genius childhood issues, dead childhood friend nightmares, daddy issues etc

    So when Reid is put in the background then for other fans (I don't speak for everyone just ranting), well, it gives our favs a chance to shine a little more. Yes season 5 was Hotch's season, Reid still got shot and had to deal with that as well as Uncanny Valley and those issues, it wasn't much, but MGG wasn't supposed to walk on his injured leg, so that's going to reduce his screen time.

    I think season 6 was mostly about Prentiss, but he did shine in his assigned episodes and was prominent, then season 7 was a little all over the place. I don't think one person out shone another. But at least season 8 was Reid centric for the most part to satisfy Reid lovers.

    I'd love to see Reid get a happy story line. Let him explore a relationship without the randomness of only meeting her once. Let them explore more about Reid's recruitment to the Bureau or pranks with Morgan.

    But I do think Reid has dominated for the majority of the series, not that it's a bad thing necessarily, but I'm going to prefer when other characters take centre stage and I yes, I don't sympathise with Reid as much as Reid fans do, but when it comes to the team acting a certain way, I don't think it's hate and just because I believe many things have been about Reid and would like to see the writers take a different approach to Reid, that's not hate either, it's just a preference/opinion.

    (I could do without Willifer too, love JJ though)

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  13. I do think this season was a great season for casting. They have good actors playing UnSubs and vicitms but the cheesy family moments do need working on, as does the team's cohesiveness. I think they've always been very close but not quite the family they try to push.

    I get that this is another new team, but the cast have better chemistry than their characters do. That should be monopolized on rather than making those overly cheesy moments.

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  14. Anonymous said...
    "You know the Reid hate out there".

    I could not agree more. I wonder how the Hotch fans on here,who complained about his lack of presence, would've of felt, had they been accused of wanting it to be the Hotch show, like us Reid fans were last season when we were complaining about the lack of Reid.

    I don't like this new snarky bad ass JJ either. It just seems to me they are trying to make her a female Morgan. It just doesn't work for me.
    I also have some online friends who adore JJ and they don't like what's been done to her character either.

    When you think about it JJ has always been a bit of a bad ass. As the media liaison she had no problem getting in the face of some obnoxious reporter and ripping them a new one. One of my favorite JJ moments was when she threatened to use the Patriot Act against that one reporter who was refusing to cooperate with them. And unlike the bad ass JJ we have today, I kind of liked the bad ass JJ we had in the earlier season.

    Now about this story line JJ fans have been wanting for her. The idea of JJ going under cover just doesn't make sense. How can she safely go undercover when she use to go on television to give press conference back when she was the media liaison. The only way it would work,would be for it to be a situation where JJ isn't trying to hide who she really is, but merely the real reason for doing what she is.However I still rather they didn't do it at all.

    I think a better story line for JJ would be the story behind her decision to become a profiler.She had previously turned it down,when Hotch offered her the position bc she enjoyed her job as their media liaison. So what happened to make JJ change her mind.

    Now imo they actually should've done that storyline when she first came back, but I see no reason why they still can't do it.


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  15. I'm a huge Hotch fan and I don't like that his only story line for the last two seasons has basically been about Beth, but I don't begrudge any of the other characters for having bigger arcs or centric stories.

    And I love JJ, she's my favourite female agent on the show, but there are things like her pairings with Morgan, that I'm not a huge fan of. I also think her behaviour has evolved, I don't think it's changed so much that her character is completely unrecognisable, I think season 8 has done a good job at blending old and new JJ, but I can understand why some people think she's changed for the worse.

    JJs always been sarcastic and a badass, but before season 7, she was probably in a quarter - half an episode. Now she is getting the same screen time as the other profilers and I think a lot of people are just starting to realise that she has a personality/ aren't liking what they see.

    Dont get me wrong, I think she is a lot snarkier now, than before, although I love it, I can understand that it might put people off. She's still compassionate and warm, but her main role isn't too be the mother hen anymore. I too, wish the writers had approached why JJ chose to become a profiler, I think their only explanation has been, it was the only way we could bring her back and make her useful. Not much thought obviously went into it and we had to make do with everything happening off screen. I hope the next season, delves more into her personality evolvement. Why she behaves the way she does now.

    It's probably to do with watching how everyone else behaves and trying to fit into the new role and do a good of a job as the others, after years of the other profilers knowing JJ in a different role and probably judging how she is doing as a profiler.

    Yes, she was a field agent for many years, she worked just as hard as the others on those cases and would have picked up a lot of profiling knowledge as well as using profiling in her day to day liaison role, but I think for some people, it would help to actually hear JJ talking about her reasoning for taking the classes, how it was learning a new skill and her adjustment to being profiler. Keeping emily's secret must have toughened her up too and if something happened while she was away, then perhaps that would add another layer as to why JJ is a little harder now and why an already field trained agent wanted to brush up on her defence training.

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  16. One of the things I really missed from the earlier season was learning about the unsubs thru the team profiling them. So it was rather disappointing when they decided to shift the emphasis off of the team and on to the unsubs.
    I got so sick of our team playing second fiddle to the unsubs, just bc they were being played by some well know guest star.Does anyone ever remember this happening to the main characters on CSI or NCIS. I sure don't.

    I will admit I did see an improvement this season. There seemed to be a little less unsub and a little more team, but I would've liked even less unsub and more team.

    Also I am tired of getting so many of these off the wall type unsubs, a few episodes here and there is ok, but I feel we've been getting way too many of them and it's gotten to be a real turn off. Many of my online friends happen to agree with me. And I am willing to bit we are not the only ones who feel this way.

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  17. I agree, I think writing the UNsubs has become a priority for the writers and seems to be their strong point (if you can call it that) in comparison to writing the team as a family, their personal lives and even the way they interact with each other and deliver profiles.

    I know a lot of them didn't start writing for the show until later seasons, so I guess they believe that because the show is about serial killers then that should be the focus and I know with new show runners, they'll want to put their own stamp on things, but the past basis of this show was about the team and the victims they help.

    We nearly always used to see two unsubs, the real one at the end and the nameless one played by an actor as the team profiled the unsub. That changed later on in the series and it gave the show a different feel.

    I agree, the big bad unsub has become the norm, or the unsub we're supposed feel sorry for is at the forefront a lot more now. In the good old days, the unsubs would just be evil with something that happened in their childhood and were triggered, now we don't even get that much of a profile but we get to see the unsubs journey and gory endeavour into killing people. I guess it's sort of dumbing it down in a way, let's show everyone exactly what happens so they can follow along with it and no one has to guess who is the unsub and why they kill people, rather than being on the same page as the team and figuring it out along with them.

    Every now and again, it's nice to have an episode from the unsubs perspective or having the big bad unsub who haunts the team, but sometimes it's nice to reflect on the old school unsubs like Lucky, who in my opinion is still one of the creepiest/best unsubs the show has had.

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  18. Anonymous said...
    "I think writing the UNsubs has become a priority"

    OMG, Thank you for your post. You really articulated what I have been feeling even better than I could have.

    Now I know these current writers want to bring us the best show possible. I seriously doubt that they sit around the writing table discussing ways to make the episodes as sucky as possible.

    But as you said they came on a board later and got it into their heads that the unsub was suppose to be the priority and not our team.

    I also feel the previous writers knew our beloved team members so much better and it showed in their writing.
    And had it not been for the stupidity and greed of CBS, I no doubt CM would still have some of those writers.
    And I just bet it would've made a tremendous difference in the writing,one that would've been for the better.

    At first when they started showing us the actual unsub earlier in the episodes, I really didn't mind it too much bc the focus was still on our team.It only became a problem for me when the focus began shifting more and more away from our team and onto the unsub.

    I totally agree with you about Lucky. The end of that episode shocked the hell out of me, as I'm sure it did many others. And I really loved that they were able to do it without resorting to some gory endeavor.

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  19. The Good Earth: I’m sorry, but I really did not like this episode. It had it’s good points so I will start there. I liked Henry and Reid. I always look forward to seeing Henry and Jack. Even though the same thing was done with Jack and Hotch, the cuteness of Henry and Reid’s reaction was very nice. Showing Blake squirming under the Hotch stare was also an enjoyable moment. She made a call and Hotch wasn’t any too pleased with it. Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that I don’t like Blake, you are wrong. I definitely like Blake. But it was nice to see her make an independent call and Hotch let her know, without a word, just how much he disapproved. The team, overall, was working together. The bad. Showing the unsub shredding her victims in a wood chipper and spraying blood and gore on her prized tomatoes. Which she sold at the local Farmer’s Market. In Mosley Lane, the ashes of cremated children was used on the unsub’s prize roses. I didn’t see it as a necessary thing to show us all that blood and gore coming from the wood chipper because in Mosley Lane, the thought that the ashes of those poor children had been used on the roses was bad enough.

    The Apprenticeship: I really liked this one. The fact that there were two unsubs was a plus. Having them turn on each other, another added plus. Cheesy or not, I liked seeing the team together for that ball game. It was predictable that Reid would hit the home run but I still liked it. It also gave us a glimpse of The Replicator and how easy it would be to gain access to our team. What didn’t work? I thought it all went well together so I don’t have a negative comment.

    The only other comment I will make is that I am one of those fans who doesn’t like seeing the unsub right away. Having so much time spent on showing us why the unsub does what they do, takes that more time away from the team and profiling. Like has been said, some do it because they are evil. I don’t want to feel sympathy for these unsubs. And giving us reason to feel sorry for them is taking away from the tragedy of what they did. I’d rather feel sympathy for the victims and their families, not someone who goes on a killing spree because they had a tough childhood.

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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.