Wednesday, August 21, 2013

CRIMINAL MINDS Summer Rewatch. WEEK 9


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817. THE GATHERING
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Written by: O
Kim Harrison
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Directed by: O
Michael Lange
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Original Air Date: O
March 20, 2013
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The BAU investigates victims who were documenting their personal lives and inner desires on blog posts and social media. Also, Kevin gets jealous when he learns Garcia may have a new love interest.
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818. RESTORATION
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Written by: O
Jim Clemente
Janine Sherman Barrois
Directed by: O
Felix Alcalá
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Original Air Date: O
April 3, 2013
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The BAU goes to Morgan's old neighborhood in urban Chicago in search of an unsub targeting middle-aged men, and a clue leads Morgan to believe that they are after someone connected to the man who molested him as a child.
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  • What worked? Why?
  • What didn't? Why?
  • What could have been better? Why?
  • What was nearing perfection? Why?

12 comments:

  1. I thought that these two episodes were good, but I preferred some of the episodes aired just before these ones.

    The Gathering had an good case, a lot of guest cast and good twist of who the actual UnSub was. I did hope when I originally watched this episode that the Replicator story line would have been continued. For that reason it felt a little odd. Looking over the whole arc it was a bit stop and start, and I think that made the season a little choppy and episodes like 'The Gathering' felt a little off.

    Also the Garcia + Garcia/Kevin thing was... idk... I'm mixed.

    I love Kevin and I thought it made way more sense for Garcia and Kevin to get married in season 7 finale, seeing as they actually discussed marriage that season, Garcia could have had a change of heart, Kevin could have continued the chase rather than going off with Gina, (anything rather than JJ and Will being the ones to tie the knot after a traumatic experience, and who seemingly had settled into their established family without the need for marriage then were faced with a surprise wedding), but I'd like to see Garcia and Kevin to get together and just lay Garcia's romance life to an end, soonish (this Sam dude will probably never be mentioned again or if he is, it'll just feel random). But then Kevin again probably deserves more. Garcia's relationship with Morgan borders on the extreme and she comes across as very demanding, but then when Kevin wants something, be it a promotion or just a conversation about something serious she wouldn't give him a second and does things her way.

    I know Garcia/Morgan is a big draw for some people, but they can still be flirty friends if she marries and tone it down a bit. (I really hope it gets toned down).

    Then there's the other side of my feelings to Garcia. Since season 1 she was a fav of mine, but lately she's just too much, too over the top, too humorous in places where humor isn't needed, too flirty with Morgan (I have to fast forward their moments because I just feel uncomfortable at the whole baby girl, smarminess of it all)and just too present. If Garcia wasn't there, they wouldn't solve half the cases, but they never use much profiling anymore, Garcia's typing skills solve more cases and a lot of the time it's so unrealistic what she can find in such a short amount of time. I know there's only 40 odd minutes in the show to solve a case, but I'm sure they didn't used to be so reliant on Garcia. And JJ or Hotch need to start presenting the cases more, I know it gets Garcia involved more, but honestly it's a little annoying when she squees at the ickiness and makes jokes when everyone else in the room is serious and discussing dead people and serial killers. There's a time and place for Garcia's humor and presenting the cases is not the time. Also, JJ used to add something to case presentations, i can't place it but it felt right when JJ had the clicker, but when Garcia presents it feels very scripted, pull face here, add a quip, tell them she's got her feelers out etc..

    I want Garcia to be a favourite of mine again, but they have to redirect her episodes for me. I've had enough of the characters love lives, I want to actually get to know these characters.

    I want to see Garcia's love for her computer and job, I want to see her hacking days and I would like to know more about how she was basically forced into the Bureau so she didn't go to jail. I would like to meet the person that gave her that option and hear more about her family, anything other than her and Morgan's friendship or her love life.


    pp2123



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  2. Restoration...

    I always feel a little torn about this episode.

    The fact that Jim Clemente wrote it and it's very personal to him adds another layer to the episode, it usually makes his episodes on a different level to the other episodes, every time.

    It was a great episode for closure and for Morgan to reveal his past and lay ghosts to rest. Buford met his maker and the whole episode was very Criminal Minds. It was also nice continuity and nice to see the team returning to a previous police station to see familiar faces and to get that sense that CM can do continuity and episodes aren't always stand alone.

    But I was often uncomfortable watching this episode. It wasn't so much the episode content. I think Morgan's past needed to be re-addressed at some point but it just didn't have the same impact on me as Profiler Profiled did.

    Also I have a personal taste level, Morgan episodes aren't usually my fav. I find these emotional Morgan episodes a lot more interesting than when he's in tough guy cop mode, but we've had a lot of emotional Morgan episodes with his past, his father, his cousin, his family, his attachment to victims and while it's great to see the range of an actor, it's just with how he acts with Garcia and the uber confidence he usually portrays, I can never take him completely seriously and I don't get as invested in his story lines.

    I don't know if I can explain it properly, but when you watch some of the character focused episodes, you sometimes forget that they're actors, for me 100 was a prime example of that. I forgot all about TG and it was Hotch and my heart broke for him. But whenever I watch Morgan episodes it's always SM acting as Morgan. In this episode, unlike Profiler Profiled, it felt very acted to me.

    I hope emotional Morgan episodes get put on the back burner along with the words 'baby girl' next season and again we learn a bit more about the Agent rather than the man, and see his career past/present more than his personal life.

    That being said, it was still a great episode, but these two episodes weren't my favourites of the season.

    pp2123

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  3. I didn`t care for "The Gathering" when it aired the first time and don`t feel like watching it again.

    "Restoration" is my favorite episode of season 8 and one my faves of the series. It was about time that the writers addressed the sexual abuse again. We didn`t see any of the pschological impact the revelation of the abuse and the confrontation with his abuser had on Morgan after "Profiler Profiled". The team went on to their next case to Golconda and it was business as usal (the Gideon show)again.

    Restration had and was everything I had hoped for. Hardly any annoying Garcia, many Hotch/Morgan scenes. I loved SM`s and TG`s subtle quiet acting in the ep. The two actors have a great on-screen chemistry. The episode had lots of profiling, great guest stars and the whole team had good scenes.

    The directing was outstanding. The pace of the episode and the music choice was perfect. There were some interesting and beautiful shots in which the characters could just be seen as a silhouette in a window or a glass door.

    It was a great choice for the tone of the episode that the characters in some scenes had hardly any makeup on. AJ without most of her usual perfect model-like makeup in the scene when Morgan told the team about the abuse, made JJ look pale and so sad for him. I loved how JJ was written in this epsiode. JJ and (I assume Hotch) know most about Morgan`s abuse. JJ was there when Morgan talked to Angel in "Foundation". She even knows that he had thought about suicide as a kid. She desperately wanted to help him, but was helpless.

    Shemar with no makeup in the car scene with Hotch, emphasized Morgan`s vulnerability. Another great choice was to have Morgan, who usually even when it is cold only wears a t-shirt and a leather jacket, wear a thick down jacket almost the whole episode. Morgan wanted to hide and protect his body and his soul. Thoughtful directing.

    Side note: The whole cast is attractive with less makeup and I sometimes wish the first seasons back where the characters didn`t all look like models and were still allowed to sweat.

    Outstanding scenes in Restoration for me Morgan telling the team about the abuse, the Morgan/Hotch scenes and Morgan talking to Buford in prison. Disturbing and unforgettable Buford raping Morgan all over again "You still have that mouth. I always loved that mouth." Powerful Morgan`s "Let me be direct. Write!" It was also thoughful writing to mention that Morgan had undergone (4 years) of counseling since the revelation of the sexual abuse.

    Powerful episode.

    Z






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  4. I think they were two good eps, the second better than the first but there's something really bugging me.

    With Restoration, a powerful Morgan episode. Reid and Maeve's arc, Zuzwang being the biggy. Hotch's relationship with his brother in Brother's Hotchner, Rossi's military past in The Fallen. JJ had Nanny Dearest, Garcia had the Gathering, Blake in #6. There was a lot of character focused episodes, without really getting into the characters that deeply, but still character driven.

    But then the season was supposed to be about this big bad that was only mentioned/featured half a dozen times throughout 24 episodes, is there any wonder why The Replicator fell a little flat?

    Even in non team centric episodes there were some big, gross Unsubs which seemed way worse than the Replicator.

    They said they dropped some stories they had planned, like JJ going undercover because it would take away from the Replicator, yet the Reid/Maeve arc and follow was featured and developed better than the seasons big bad.

    Sorry for the rant, but to have these two episodes after they set up the Replicator in a big way in Carbon Copy, the episode before, it just makes the Replicator arc even more of a let down.

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  5. I so agree with pp2123 above about Garcia. She used to be one of my favorites also but over the last few seasons she has become an annoying caricature of her earlier sparky and sassy self - especially with Morgan. I simply cannot see Garcia and Morgan as anything more than flirty friends and co-workers but they do need to tone it down - a lot! And all the silly comments on the ickyness of the cases just strikes now as immature and unprofessional. It was OK when she first got more involved with presenting cases but by now you would expect her to have grown up just a little. I also have issues with how she manages to pluck obscure information from her computer at the drop of a hat to solve the case - it smacks of the worst kind of fanfiction - " Quick! We need the name of a left handed red headed scuba diver with an IQ of 200"!
    I am not sure about them sending Reid to do the interview at the mental institution. I get that Morgan probably felt he was used to dealing with inmates because of his mom but I felt sorry for him having to do it. it felt like they just tossed him into the thick of things when it was still so soon after the events of Zugswang and surely must have contributed to his actions at the end. And the way Hotch let him walk away at the end made me feel he wasn't as supported as he could have been.

    Restoration was a powerful episode, beautifully directed with some haunting scenes - especially Morgan talking to Buford in prison. However, I also have an almost indefinable problem with it that makes it not one of my favorites. I think it was probably all the hype and spoilers before it aired - Twitter and Tumblr etc were all humming with the production telling us that this was the best, most outstanding thing we would have ever seen and I think that had the effect of putting me off it. I don't like people basically telling me "You will adore this" - I like to form my own opinions. I also agree a little with pp2123 above - it IS always Shemar acting and I never manage to really submerge myself in his stories.

    And of course I fully agree with Anon at 9.26am above - after Carbon Copy the Replicator arc just fizzled out and it ended up as a huge disappointment. A lost opportunity for sure.
    /

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  6. So much here to digest from comments above, and I too agree with a lot of things already said. The Gathering was not very memorable to me, and I'd like to see the Kevin and Garcia thing ended once and for all. In my opinion they are so mismatched, she is such a dominent personality, and needs a match every bit as strong as her and I never saw chemistry between them ever. I did like her line to Kevin about staying out of her business, showing her to be a stronger woman for it. I too feel they have taken a favorite character and made her into an OTT caricature of who she was which really sucks when the reasons you watched in the first place are being steadily eroded. They get the same results when they do an OTT Reid, both characters have really "unique cool" but need to be handled skillfully. That includes the Garcia/Morgan relationship, that had depth and now looks forced (lately how often do you see Morgan smiling when they flirt?) At the same time they are trying to create a JJ/Morgan bonding, that too just looks like "well let's just get this scene over and done with." I did think that the unsubs acted out their parts pretty well, but the story line was just weak.

    Restoration on the other hand was far more interesting,and SM did a good job although not as powerful as on Profiler Profiled. That was his "stellar shot". I do agree that the scene in the jail with Buford was powerful, and both actors did that scene wonderfully, right to Morgan's bathroom scene. I felt the "I'm a hero for going back and telling the world I was a Buford victim" was somehow anti-climactic and it's interesting how we differ in what message remains. For me it was that, no matter how on top one rises to overcome, abuse remains with us our whole lives. (Morgan looked anything but at peace at the end but he walked tall never-the-less.) I did feel that the supporting cast in this ep were all very good, esp. the Rodney character. But now enough Morgan, let's get into great team work with the former subtlty maximizing on each of their strengths.



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  7. Kim's episodes are usually a hit or miss for me. Ok I'll admit most of the time they're a miss.
    So I was pleasantly surprised to find myself liking the episode The Gathering. I thought it was way better than that crapisode Wheels on The Bus, we gotten from her earlier in the season.

    I liked that they wanted to show Reid was still being effected by what happened to Maeve, but omg my heart just broke for him over his failure to talk the unsub down.
    Now as much as I love Reid angst, I do believe the writers need to give the poor boy a break. I also happen to adore snarky/bitchy Reid, which I sometimes like to refer to as bitchy Reid.
    However I wouldn't want him written that way too often, bc it'd get tiresome really fast.
    And I was beyond pissed that they chose to break away from that very poignant moment between Hotch and Reid, just so they could show us Garcia playing the ukulele.

    I'd have to say Restoration was one of my least favorite episodes. I too liked Profiler Profiled better. But than again I've never been a big fan of Morgan episodes. And it isn't bc I don't like his character, I do.
    It's just that for me personally, I find Morgan much more interesting and compelling when he is playing a supportive role for someone like Reid or Hotch.

    Here's hoping Carl Buford's death has put this story line to rest once and for all. Now I could be wrong but I sort of got the impression Shemar wants it to be over and done with also.

    I would really like to see some episodes where they utilize Morgan's expertize in fire arms and explosives as well as obsessional crimes. It irritated the hell out of me that they had Prentiss as the one trying to disarm that bomb instead of Morgan in the season 7 finale.
    I would love for them to have an episode with a serial bomber. It's been ages since we've had one of those and something like that would certainly require Morgan's expertise in fire arms and explosives.

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  8. Garcia either needs to grow up or they need to hand the clicker back over to JJ.
    I saw no reason whatsoever JJ couldn't have gone back to presenting the cases just bc she (unfortunately imo)became a profiler.

    The only reason I can think of is that they wanted to guarantee KV more airtime for her character

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  9. JJ was indeed the better team liason and presenter, Garcia on the otherhand handles the computer whiz and brilliant hacker roll very well and so I don't mind that they gave her more of the sleuth role with her hardware. They just seem to be chasing their mistakes a lot these past few years and I wish there was some way they could skillfully pull them back to what they all excelled at. Like 12:54 wanting Morgan to use his bombing expertise, Hotch to show more of his brilliant profiling skills, JJ a softer thoughtful negotiator and family communications expert, Reid his analytical skills, Rossi providing his steadying influence, and Blake providing her linquistic interpretations. The family-like ties the characters feel for their fellow team members should continue but I'd like to see them go back to doing it subtlely. I'd like to continue seeing the Morgan and Garcia relationship with it's old depth but with a more mature look without taking it to soap opera heights and just drop all those other peripheral romances for Garcia, keep her the empath (did it well in Magnum Opus)but make her stronger. I do wish that they could do something about the way they present the profiles, they all sound like they have rehearsed their lines for a high school play, one after another in que. Just not realistic.

    And after all of that, I shall still be watching in season 9 just because CM still remains one of the best dramas on the tube. (Whoops, ain't tube any longer.)

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  10. I think in order for Garcia to mature, they need to realise quirky doesn't mean childish, and flirty doesn't mean crass. Garcia is the comedic light of the show, but it doesn't have to be constant and in every scene, they don't always have to put her scenes with Morgan as well. Yes they have a unique friendship, but the can have other unique friendships on the show, because not everyone loves their banter.

    I do wish they integrated JJ's former role into her new position better, just because now its like she was never the media liaison and we have to have Garcia in presenting the cases. There is a time and place in the episodes for Garcias humor and childlike horror during cases, but when everyone in the room, is being serious, and they're discussing the details of murders, then Garcia's quips and face pulling is not required, and diminishes the serious nature of the scene.

    For Morgan, I really hope they go back to his specialities and perhaps look more into his trust issues with Hotch. I don't want anymore really emotional episodes for Morgan or have them delve more into his backstory. He's more developed than Reid. They just need to tone down his relationship with Garcia, have him date outside the office and pair him with someone other than JJ in the field. Explore his relationship more with Reid. Their partnerships in season 3 were brilliant, getting stuck in a lift together, is still a highlight. See how he works with Blake. Have him work with Rossi, they're never really on screen that much together, anything to shake up the pairings a little bit.

    I'll still watch season 9 too, I'm looking forward to learning more about JJ, as well as Hotch's emotional issues and learning more origin stories. I am a little apprehensive, because I don't think the writers have the same understanding of these characters, writers from earlier seasons do, but I'm still interested to see what they do.

    But for me, I hope they concentrate on the team and the individuals in the team, in their professional roles and careers, rather than venturing too much into their lives outside the office. Romances are fine, just as long as they're mentioned in passing rAther being the only arc for the characters throughout a whole season. I want to see the team bond and be happy, but there doesn't need to be romance involved or a loved/special one added to the mix. We still haven't seen all of the teams' dynamics with each other, we don't know why certain people act certain ways to each other, we don't know who everyone is closer to who for whatever reason, we dont know how friendships in the team grew, if there was any real professional competitiveness, who perhaps knew each other before the BAU, or if anyone disliked one another, how do they bond outside of work, without making toasts, or playing some kind of sport, surely they bicker every now and again when stressed, surely they have traits which annoy each other, there's plenty of pointless b stories we could be getting from the team, about the team as a team, rather than seeing Garcia on a date with a randomer we'll never see again and learn she plays an instrument that no one really cares about, we really don't need to see Hotch and Beth Make goofily eyes at each other, or see JJ have even more Mommy/husband issues, because we already know these things or they're so insignificant they just feel placed.

    And breathe...

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  11. "Which I sometimes refer to as bitchy Reid"

    OOPS I meant to say pissy Reid. LOL, Am I the only one who can proof read what they wrote at least 2 or 3 times and still find a mistake after it's posted.

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  12. In my opinion they need to look back at what was good, and return to that. Shaking things up is just what they've done, and it's turned out a disappointment.

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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.