Wednesday, September 11, 2013

CRIMINAL MINDS Summer Rewatch. WEEK 12


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823. BROTHERS HOTCHNER
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Written by: O
Rick Dunkle
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Directed by: O
Rob Bailey
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Original Air Date: O
May 22, 2013
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The BAU is called in to investigate a string of deaths in Manhattan tied to apparent ecstasy overdoses, and Hotch discovers that his estranged brother, Sean, is caught in the middle. Meanwhile, The Replicator begins to zero in on the BAU.
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824. THE REPLICATOR
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Written by: O
Erica Messer
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Directed by: O
Glenn Kershaw
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Original Air Date: O
May 22, 2013
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The Replicator zeroes in on the BAU when the killer targets one of the team as the next victim. The team must now struggle against his endgame as the stakes grow higher.
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  • What worked? Why?
  • What didn't? Why?
  • What could have been better? Why?
  • What was nearing perfection? Why?

9 comments:

  1. Neither episodes were my favourite. I had high hopes for both of them and was a little disappointed.

    I loved little things, like continuity snippets, seeing Jack and Sean, seeing Sean and Hotchs relationship was good and something I want to see more of, seeing Hotch in that t shirt, I thought that JJ's hair was pretty and it was good to see they hadn't dropped the senator watching the team, I liked the pace of the second episode and I liked the drama of it.

    I also disliked a lot. I have grown to dislike Beth a lot, i cant even vocalise it, i just find her and the relationship she has with Hotch boring. I hated that they pronounced Edinburgh wrong :p, I didn't really like the way either of the cases played out, or the way the two episodes felt together, I thought Brothers Hotchner was going to give us so much more insight into Hotch than it did, I thought the replicator was going to have a stronger connection to the whole team, although I already figured out he was connected somehow to the case which got Alex demoted. I thought there was way too much packed into The Replicator and a lot of it was unnecessary.

    I didn't see why they introduced Rossi/Strauss for forty minutes in the entire season or why they felt they had to kill Strauss, or show that the team were so close to her. I get that they want to be there for Rossi but they never really liked her that much in previous seasons, the clinking wine glasses is cheesy and I still don't get why we were supposed to feel that the replicator was a true evil (I know he killed Strauss and kidnapped Blake and killed others) but the team weren't that worried through most of the season.

    Overall not my favourite two episodes of season 8 but not the worst either.

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  2. I am actually of 2 minds when it comes to the season finale, while I liked it better than that 2 hour JJ drama crap we got last season, I also felt it was rather poorly executed.

    IMO. Brothers Hotchner should've been a stand alone episode the week before, followed a week later by the 2 hour season finale involving the Replicator.The season finale lost quite a bit of it's impact bc they had to jam 2 hours worth of action into one.

    For instance there was Alex Blake's kidnapping. Hey no suspense there for me.I knew she was going to be alright, bc Strauss had already died.And the fans had already been in formed that there was only going to be one fatality.

    Oh and lets not forget the Replicator causing the helicopter to crash so he could grab Alex. The fact that it happened with less than 15 minutes left to go and it wasn't a cliff hanger also killed the suspense for me.

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  3. I really didn't want to rewatch Brothers Hotchner at all. It says something for it that the only, the only thing I remembered from it was the sheer ugly awfulness of the decor in Beth's apartment. I find the whole Hotch/Beth thing implausible,irritating and impossible to watch - insulting to the complex intelligent character that was Aaron Hotchner. I had been excited to see the return of Sean Hotchner but honestly the case was blah and the relationship of the brothers didn't ring true. I also think this episode should have stood alone earlier in the season as it was not very connected as part of a 2 part finale. Not an episode to rewatch.
    The Replicator was ultimately disappointing. After all the speculation, it was such a dampener to find the Replicator was someone we had never heard of and connected to Blake and not the whole team. I don't know why they felt it necessary to kill off Strauss - except perhaps they felt it was about time someone in the cast died. That said, she died with a great deal of pathos and I was touched by her death scene. I think she should have been kept as the hostile antagonist to the team - all the softening and making amends really took something away from the show.
    Mark Hamill was okay but tended to become a bit of a melodramatic villain at times - I expected him to have a moustache to twirl!
    I did like the helicopter scenes - one of the few moments of real tension. A nice shot of the helicopters against the full moon. Blake's kidnapping - well we knew we'd had our death with Strauss already so no cliffhanger there. I liked that Rossi got his revenge at the end. It was all a bit rushed and I think it would have been much better if they had made this episode into a two parter and built up the tension a bit more successfully.However, flawed as it was, it was still better than the bad (in a bad way!)finale last year - a definite one to avoid, that one!
    /

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  4. I agree completely with Anon @ 7:24 (including about the season 7 finale two parter---the only episodes I will never watch again).

    Every part of the action in "The Replicator" was short-changed by trying to cram it all into a single episode, as was the loss of a long time character. There was simply no time for tension to build, and let down, and build again. I think they do 'intellectual' better than action, and should probably stick with their strengths.

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  5. I am glad that I am not the only one that felt "The Replicator" was a very rushed episode. This is the story that should have definitely been a 2-part season finale.

    I did like the fact the Rossi got his revenge on the Replicator by using Strauss's coin but am still confused as to how the team was let out of the room and the house in such a hurry and why the Replicator bothered to go back in. I definitely think I missed something but even after re-watching the ending I am still confused. Much too rushed at the end and disappointed that the whole season were just little bits and pieces leading up to this last 10-15 minutes and have it end in such a hurry!

    With saying all this I still love the show and will never miss an episode!

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  6. I think it is too easy for those very closely involved in creating an episode---and specifically, the writers, directors and producers----to not realize when they've edited out the parts of the episode that help it to make sense to the viewer. They are so familiar with the full story that they don't realize when they've cut the crucial plot point, or explanatory scene or sentence. It still makes sense to them, so they don't realize that it no longer makes sense to us.

    There were a lot of holes in the sequencing and logic of "The Replicator", most likely because it was edited down to a single episode. There were also so many lost opportunities. It would have been nice to have had more time with Rossi dealing with Strauss' death and her family. We should have had more solid scenes of JJ and Hotch each worrying about their families. We should have been worried about those in the fallen copter, but there wasn't time. We barely knew it had fallen, and they were out. There's no tension in falling out of the air if you're running across a field in the next scene. Then, how did they find Alex? As asked above, how did they get out of the room? Why did the Replicator go back there? I would have liked to see Rossi struggle a bit afterward with his taking revenge on the Replicator.

    It all reminded me of similar holes in the episode "It Takes A Village". The timeline and behaviors of the team members are simply too jumbled to make any sense in that episode, and there were some important questions raised and left unaddressed. (Like what Reid was doing during those months; what did it mean that he hadn't chosen to come back; when did he change his mind; what, exactly was Hotch doing in Pakistan (I know, he was thinking about whether to sign his contract, but we shouldn't have known that). That episode was another example of trying to cram too much into one week's story, and losing the story in the editing.

    I don't know if the show already does this, but it seems like they would benefit from having someone, completely unfamiliar with the episode,view it and give them feedback as to whether it makes sense, before finalizing it.

    This is, essentially, a thinking person's show. It's why I watch it. So I am disappointed when the logic is lost on the (no longer existent) cutting room floor. I understand how easily it can happen, but I also think it would be easy to fix.

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  7. They found Alex because they were heading for that house to begin with.
    Rossi was the one that let them out of the room. (They said that as they were running away from the house.)
    The Replicator went back in because Garcia and Kevin had blocked the signal and stopped the countdown at 1 minute and 1 second. (Garcia was talking to Rossi when she said she couldn't block the signal for long.)

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  8. One thing I found weired on the replicator plot.... If he wanted revenge because Blake was in the team, why did he take pictures of the team at the bank on season 7 finale .... way before Blake got into the BAU?

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  9. "The Replicator" was rushed... because the initial idea was to leave us with a cliffhanger at the end of the season, and finish him off in the S9 premiere.

    CBS, with so many contracts up for renewal (5 out of 7 cast members + all writers + the showrunner), feared they couldn't get the key people back and the show had to be canceled, so they didn't want a cliffhanger and the last scene, with the whole team at Rossi's toasting and relaxed would have been the last of the series.


    Again because of CBS -changed its mind about how to schedule its shows finales,- they had to alter a bit "Brothers Hotchner" so it could lead to "The Replicator" and be aired on the same day as a 2 hours finale. Both episodes have been thought and planned as stand-alones.


    About Hamill's character (John Curtis, The Replicator) fixation with Blake...

    ...wasn't so much with Blake, but with Strauss. His problem was with Strauss, hence why he started targeting Strauss' teams before Blake came to the BAU.

    When Blake, who had been blamed as he'd been by Strauss for a fiasco during the Ameritrax case investigation, was able to repair her reputation as an agent, was admitted on the best team of one of the most elitist units of the FBI, and went back to work under Strauss, he zeroed on that particular team (our team), and too singled her out to get his revenge against, but as he tells her, his plan is still to wipe the whole team out, not only kill Blake.

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