Wednesday, September 4, 2013

CRIMINAL MINDS Summer Rewatch. WEEK 11

Written by: O
Virgil Williams
Directed by: O
Doug Aarniokoski
Original Air Date: O
May 8, 2013
The BAU travels to Los Angeles looking for an unsub who is abducting nannies and the children they care for on the same day each year.

822. #6
Written by: O
Breen Frazier
Directed by: O
Karen Gaviola
Original Air Date: O
May 15, 2013
The BAU goes to Detroit to track down an unsub with a rapidly changing M.O. Also, Blake's husband returns from overseas with a life-changing career proposition for her.

  • What worked? Why?
  • What didn't? Why?
  • What could have been better? Why?
  • What was nearing perfection? Why?


  1. I liked these episodes but I didn't love them.

    Both case lines were okay, and a little bit reminiscent of older case's, so it felt a little like we'd watched it all before, but I think they were better cases than the few episodes before them (and after).

    I did like how JJ and Blake's home lives fit in with the case content, rather than being just a piece of fluff attached at the beginning and end of the episode.

    JJ's 'B' line was fine.

    We already knew she struggled with being a mom/wife and being an agent. We didn't really learn anything new there. It was nice to see Henry again, the parallels at the beginning with the baths was very creepy. I actually saw some chemistry between JJ and Will for the first time, so I guess that was alright.

    I think the issue with this episode was that we've seen these type of episodes for JJ, 3 or 4 times now, so there wasn't much character development. I did think they balanced action-JJ with compassionate-JJ a lot better in this episode and it was good call back to her ability to shoot straight. But this episode could have been shown in season 4 and the only thing that's changed is that Prentiss is gone and JJ is a profiler.

    Also, I really, really, really, really, really, really want them to stop, or at least spread out, JJ and Morgan being paired together in field!

  2. As for Blake's 'B' line, I thought it was great to see Blake a little more warmer and her relationship with her husband is very mature and it feels established. I liked her husband and I want to see more to them. I think this episode made Blake much more human. I actually really like the character, she isn't my favourite but in comparison to Seaver and even season 7 Prentiss, I really like her. I think they didn't want to give us so much Blake throughout the season like they did with Seaver so, at times she was like wallpaper and just cold, but I think this episode really made her character a little more relatable.

    I do wish they added a bit more of personality to Blake and that we get to see her gel into the team a bit better. I still feel like she's not a member of the family yet, just a visitor, that being said, I do want to see more of the other characters before I see Blake, but if they gave us more Blake and her husband, Blake and Reid and Blake and Rossi, even Blake and Morgan something we seldom see, I'll be happy with that.

    Overall, I want character centric episodes to STOP being about their personal relationships. We know they exist, there's no need to keep seeing them, when know so little about the characters as agents.

    Every one, except Morgan, had their love lives feature in some way this season. For JJ, Blake, Garcia, Reid and Hotch their love lives/personal lives were big chunks of their centric episodes. Even Rossi's relationship with Strauss was a big chunk of the finale. There surely must be other ways to get so-called development without seeing their love lives as should there be ways to see that they're human and see them outside of the office without seeing them loved up. It's nice every now and again, but for the last few seasons it's becoming the only arc for a lot of these characters and it's changing the feel of the show.

    Wasn't the entire premise of the show was who these agents are that look into the minds of evil and are the heroes of the innocent, and only every now and again they would go into their homes to show the effects of the job or how home life effects the job. Until season 3, only Gideon and Hotch really had personal lives. Then JJ got pregnant, fine, there really wasn't anyway of hiding it looking back, so that needed some form of explanation. Garcia's love life nearly got her killed, so at least they got a decent story line out it (the best two parter for me) and her and Kevin were cute but kept to a minimum back then.

    But I wish they went back to those early seasons where it was about the team and the team as agents and family, not who they are separate from the team and separate from their characters in the office.


  3. @ Sam, I agree with just about everything you said, but also wanted to add I liked the way they showed us bits and pieces into Reid's background in the earlier seasons but it was done within the context of the case the were working so it felt like it belonged there. It wasn't just put in far the sake of giving a character a personal moment.
    And the same goes for Morgan's episode Profiler Profiled. And even though the episode Elephant's Memory was focused on Reid and we learned how it was for him in high school,thus giving us some insight into why Reid was behaving the way he was, We also got a bit of a glimpse into Morgan's time in high school.

    "I really, really, really, really, really, really, really want them to stop" ME TOO

  4. I agree with mujch of Sam's comments above. Henry was super cute as usual and I suppose JJ was slightly better than in much of this season. I am not a fan of the AU over-the-top badass JJ who returned to the show but at least in this episode we had a glimpse of the compassionate JJ we used to know. I kind of dread S9 as it appears to be very JJ centric - I can only hope they make her character more likeable.
    Rossi and Reid always work well when paired up but yes,PLEASE stop with the Morgan/JJ team or at least mix it up more. No chemistry at all. I thought Blake was good in this episode - really finding her place in the team.
    Overall an OK episode.

    #6 was a good episode - not great but a good solid episode. I really liked Blake's husband. Their relationship is very believable (unlike the awful Hotch/Beth!). I think they did well in introducing Blake gently and letting her settle gradually into the team. Blake and Reid always work well together. I like that the husband/wife theme was tied into the episode so well. I like the personal moments when they are relevant to or highlight the theme of the episode. Too often lately they just throw in unrelated personal moments as a sop to those wanting the show to be more of a soap opera than a crime procedural. I read people on social media criticising those who, like me, feel that the uber sickly family vibe is vastly overdone. I do believe the team is like a family but families argue and fall out and lately the team never do this. I would love to see the focus shift from badly drawn romances to how the team interact with each other.
    So please CM mix up the teams more and not so much Morgan/JJ. Please make Garcia stop complaining about the ickyness of the crimes when presenting cases - in the real world she would have got past that by now.
    Please make the personal moments secondary to the profiling and relevant to the episode and PLEASE stop devolving the show into soap opera territory.

  5. I'm dreading season 9 too. I would like to be able to once again watch CM and not have these feelings of irritations towards JJ.I am hoping her story line will maybe help endear me more to her character. But what I fear instead is that it'll further cement my notion that she is a Mary Sue.

    Having said this I was actually ok with her in this episode. Some people were critical of the way she so easily shot the unsub down.
    I personally had no problem with it. It's been shown before that JJ is a crack shot. So it isn't something that just all of a sudden came out of left field, like this ninja crap.

    I agree they need to mix up the team more.JJ should be paired with Morgan as little as possible.

  6. "endear me more to her character" I'm not sure I said that right. Maybe I should've said "endear her character more to me".
    LOL I can't quite figure out which way is the right way.

  7. I love JJ, she's been my favourite female since season1 and I'm looking forward to season 9 arc for JJ, I just wish we had more focus on her in the earlier years with the earlier writing staff.

    I think these writers aim for something completely different for the show and for the characters. Which changed the feel of the show and which makes me a little apprehensive of how they're going to come up with an arc for JJ.

    I'll be happy with whatever focus they have on JJ. But I think in the last few years there have been way more opportunities for better story lines than they chose. They've overlooked so much for JJ throughout the years, and now that they've had a second chance to give JJ good stories, they fell back into their old patterns rather than adapting story lines for JJ. They've recycled JJ's home issues and given JJ stuff to do in the episode that Morgan or Prentiss or even Elle would/could have been given, rather than giving JJ an improved identity, they made her role generic.

    I dont know if all that makes sense. But JJ is my favourite, I will love focus on JJ but I'll probably believe that there were 100s of other directions to take and I just think they've missed so many great opportunities that now it worries me what direction they'll take season 9, especially for JJ.

  8. I`m not looking forward to a JJ centric season. I liked her as media liasion but when she came back as badass profiler field agent, the writers took scenes that usually would have gone to Prentiss and/or Morgan away from them and gave them to JJ. With a JJ heavy season she probably will even get more scenes from other characters who get nothing in return of her usual scenes.The team certainly didn`t need a sixth profiler. There already were often not enough profiling scenes for five profilers.

  9. I agree, the team never needed a sixth profiler, but it happened and that's probably not going to change.

    I wish they managed to integrate JJs role as a media liaison better and I wish they showed us why she made that decision and how she dealt with the changes and I wish they answered questions about her time away in season 7, rather than her family life and wedding, but I've accepted that she's a profiler and I am looking forward to a JJ centric season.

    They've never really known what to do with JJ as a character or really known who she was IMO. She was a secondary character (although I've always loved her) and they overlooked what potentially could have been some great arcs for JJ and could have avoided getting rid of her in the first place and avoided changing her personality.

    I think season 8 started to blend old and new JJ better, All That Remain and Nanny Dearest showed that they were capable of focusing on JJ and not making her too OOC, but it's a shame that they felt that they had to make changes in JJ, and the changes were so the network wouldn't see reason to get rid of her and so AJ felt like there was a reason to come back rather than just playing a character that the network didn't want, but it's especially a shame that they had to make these alterations after the fans made so much noise to get the old JJ back.

    They've never completely focused on JJ as an agent, not really and although I probably have high hopes, I'm interested to see how it all plays out. Sam

  10. *i should have said she was viewed as a secondary character because they didn't know what to do with her character, other than being a mom(because she was one irl), and because she wasn't arp filer (just as Garcia was viewed as a secondary character because she wasn't a profiler, but Garcia has a quirky personality that American networks/CBS seem to think is needed in most shows).

    I do wish they hadn't made JJ a profiler. I wish we got to see her in a more authourative role. She could have been badass in the ways we saw her in season 6 before she became Morgan 2.0.

    But I don't think we see her in combative roles as much as we think we do, but because she's in the field more with Morgan, we see her running around more. She was always a field agent, she was always a good shot and she could always hold her own, but the devil may care attitude/pairing with Morgan so much, highlights the active side of JJ we rarely got to see and she's now in the same amount of scenes as the other profilers, which is a lot more than we used to see her when she was media liaison. Bt why that doesn't work is that they haven't explained her new attitude and they haven't given her a unique personality.

    Her role as liaison made her unique. Now her lines are interchangeable with the other profilers and so are her actions in scenes. She isn't doing anything different to the others and it's annoying because she used to do so much more.

    Sorry for the rambling, Sam

  11. JJ used to be my favorite female character and I was really upset when she left. I've tried to work out the time frame in the show that she was away and it surely was only a few months. Despite such a short time away, she came back so changed that since her return, the new cold and hard edged ninja JJ now irritates me 95% of the time. What I fear most is that the 200th episode, which should be a big team episode, turns out to be some lame backstory with the new section chief and JJ. Honestly, she has gone from hero to zero in my book which is such a shame.

  12. I was one of the people who signed online petitions and sent CBS feedback demanding the return of the JJ character. Sadly nowadays I can barely stand her character. It didn't sit well with me, their decision to make her a profiler bc I missed her as the media liaison.

    Five profilers were more than enough, especially since the show cut way down on the profiling, which is ironic bc that is what the show was originally suppose to be about, but somehow under this show runner and these writers it became more about the unsubs and the crimes they were committing.
    Not only did their decision to make JJ a profiler not sit well with me, but the way she was written her first season as a new profiler. At times it seemed like she was the seasoned profiler and Reid was the rookie profiler.

    There was no reason whatsoever not to put her back in the role of media liaison. The network bought her back by popular demand.So did AJ Cook and Erica Messer think that the network would turn around and try to get rid of JJ again if they had put her back in her original and unique role.
    I'm sorry but that was rather lame thinking on their part.

  13. I'm pretty sure I read back when they first got rid of AJ, that the networks reason for getting rid of AJ before they said it was to do with money, was creative reasons, or something to that effect.

    They wanted the original show to fit in with the spin off, instead of the other way round.

    Garcia was going to appear in both shows but they saw no reason to have a media liaison when it was a show about profilers. (I think whoever decided that, didn't watch the show).

    Saying they were reducing Prentiss' scenes it became apparent that it was budget costs, supposedly to do with funding the spin off.

    They wanted the premise of the show to be more edgy, technological (for product placement hence everyone using iPads), explosive etc. Thats probably why we got super spy story line for Prentiss.

    I see why AJ and the writers would think that they need to change the role after all that happened. I just don't think they handled it well. They rushed over JJs comeback, to bring Prentiss back and get back on with their routine cases. If they had wrote JJ back in a way that alluded to something going on during her time just something to give reason for her changes other than her sudden personality change, and had taken more time over developing JJ as a profileR and why she wanted to be a profiler, I dont think there would be as many complaints.

  14. JJ becoming a profiler could have worked if they integrated her role as a media liaison into her new position better. She could have had specialties in media or been the lead victim/agent person.

    They could have given us a line about how JJ didn't want to be a profiler but it was the only way to come back, they could have given us a snippet of JJ telling someone that she saw stuff or did stuff while she was away that altered her perspective on life, just something to indict that she had been through something, which changed her,

    It would have been nice, to have someone on the team, even if it was JJ, nod t the fact that she had been away for a year at the DOD or State, wherever she was, because I think there was a blink and miss it moment in season 7 premiere and that was it. Aft after Prentiss returned there really was no indication that season 6 happened, other than as a way to write Prentiss out again.

    The writers came up with a way to transfer JJ without killing her, and they didn't think it through. It wasn't explained why JJ was chosen out of everyone in the Country, what she was going to do and why after all the hassle it was easy enough to transfer her back in a profiling role, something she never wanted to do before, and we never got to see her deal with anything, because we had to make do with everything happening off screen. Her personality change was mentioned in interviews to do with her experiences and her new role demanding a tougher personality, but that was never addressed onscreeen,

    Then they paired her with Morgan and Rossi a lot more. Yes they were friendly beforehand and we saw JJ with both of them, but not to the extent that we've seen since season 7. JJ was a lot closer to the other 4 and now we don't really see that much interaction with JJ and Hotch and Garcia, the two people she was probably closest two (yeah she was close with Reid too, but I imagine that could be explained by his reaction to her lying about Prentiss) .

    I thought season 8 was a better season for JJ than season 7 was and I'm hoping for these things to be addressed in season 9, but it should have been dealt with strait away so people didn't have issues with her.


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