Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 9 - 905. Route 66 - Review

Route 66 comes 100 episodes after Nameless, Faceless, is a homage to that fateful episode, and follows the same structure. I found it equally as good.

Let's re-watch, and let's pay attention to everything that's not Hotch clad in a frack or clad in a unbelievably too well closed hospital gown!


We all saw it coming, no matter how loudly she said "NO!!!", he wasn't going to stop. Nobody saw the man coming, and throwing him out of the car to beat him to death a pulp. Dad? Ooooooooook...

Virgil Williams nearly lost me with this. Of course, the case couldn't be too heavy or complicated - there was another important plot going on, - but a straightforward dad-kidnaps-kid-for-whatever-reason was too simple. I was wrong, the case wasn't THAT simple, because while the relationship between dad and daughter can be seen as normal - they love each other dearly, - adding dad's crimes in front of his daughter's eyes, and the resolution, gives food for thought.

Normally, I don't like to see on my screen the unsubs doing their thing, very much prefer the team doing theirs. In this case, thankfully, showing the dad and daughter relationship didn't shadow what the BAU had to learn and do to find them, and to stop dearest daddy's killing spree, but added to our understanding of it.

Garcia was as I most like her, showing her sadness for the unsub's bad hand in life as a kid, but she didn't solve the case, not her job; she provided the information the profilers needed to complete their puzzle. Great!

Great too? This JJ, the one who talks! This time about her sister's suicide, which was honestly sad, but without losing focus on what was really important, to convince dad to let go of his daughter, and if possible, to surrender. You win some, you miss others...

And when "you miss others", sometimes you get help. The daughter (played by a good actress, Madison Davenport) took matters on her own hands, and showed her father (played by another good actor, Todd Stashwick) that she loved him and needed him in her life... alive!

And this is why I loved Virgil's writing here; no easy solution (the lazy shootout/suicide by cop) because his characters had complexity and depth, all of them, his original ones, but our profilers too. Ooooh, and he gave them great profiling to work with... Win-win!


Good way to nearly give me a heart-attack, making me... wait! Of course, if I hadn't known beforehand Hotch was going to collapse, the end result would have been the same, only from the surprise. In any case... Hooooooooooooootch!!!

Scar tissue keeps us in one piece after being wounded, but sometimes it misbehaves. Nothing strange then when we learn he had been bleeding slowly, unknowingly, for a long time; great writing making the simple action of standing up sideways too fast the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back, that's it, the move that widened the rupture enough to prompt his collapse from acute blood-loss. Melikes to avoid clichés, and Virgil was a master of avoidance this time around.

Rossi accompanying him to the hospital made the most sense, he is his senior agent, - but not his second in command (Morgan is, and the team had an open case to attend to), - and his friend.

The team during the plane trip was in shock, working the case in autopilot but out of their game. Rossi's talk after appraising them of Hotch's health status was what the doctor ordered, as seeing each of them wake up from their dazed mindsets and compose themselves back into their usual professional and sharp ones proved.

With Hotch in surgery all they were getting was the typical nothing-new-yet updates that grate on family and friends' nerves alike since surgery was invented. Watching them trying to cope with the lack of news was a curious exercise, but my attention was diverted to Reid because... Really? The Magical Mathematics of Quantum Physics? Reading such a "light" treatise while waiting for a break on the case could lead anyone to think you are trying to avoid thinking of... Hotch? News flash, Buddy: Busted!


Watching how Hotch's subconscious operates was mind-blowing and fascinating.

We weren't seeing Haley's ghost, nor Foyet's ghost, interacting with him, but Hotch's conscious insecurities (Am I being the father Jack's deserves?), fears (Will I be able to keep my people safe?), guilty (Why wasn't I smarter, faster, stronger to stop Foyet in time?), hopes (Can I be so lucky to have found the woman to move on with?)... addressed by the very same, dead people who generated most of them to begin with.

A mirror image of real life, the most important, living people in his world are shown in scenes from a look-a-like old movie, on the screen... His hopes.

His subconscious puts in that theater the Haley he fell in love with, sweet, fun and understanding; that's the woman he will love all his life, and the only one his son ever knew. Because he really knew her then, her validation of him as a father is what he needed to truly believe it, and he needed too her reassurances about his relationship with Beth, specially related to Jack.

Foyet, while alive, left him out of control of his life. This dream-Foyet, - so friendly and funny, even if too harsh and inelegant, - showed him what he should already know from his job, that there are some things in life he can't control, are meant to happen, depend on others' decisions, and his only option is to cope, learn and move on.

Dream-Rossi was there as his chauffeur, because who other than a real, good friend can guide us and help us to find our way when we feel lost?



Thomas Gibson is a great actor, able to show a myriad of emotions one after another in just a few seconds, wordless, and nearly motionless. He is able too to collapse and be unconscious convincingly, scarily so. Always, always a joy to watch his acting, amazing!

  • An episode full of subtle details, that gets richer and richer each time you re-watch? Gimme!
  • An episode that takes for granted I'm intelligent and can understand all that's going on? Gimme!
  • An episode where most of what's going on is everything but black and white? Gimme!
  • An episode where I get to delve into the mind of one of our profilers? Gimme!
  • An episode that gives me cookies for being a faithful fan? Gimme! 
Virgil Williams' episode gave me all of the above, and sent me to hardcore-fan heaven. Thank you!

~~~~Sir Elyan The White


  1. Nice review and right on target in my opinion.

  2. It's one view but not all of us hard core and faithful fans agree with it.I think the heated debate on the lengthy comments thread for this episode show just how divisive an episode it was. Not one I will rush to view again.

  3. great review! Yes this was a trip in Hotch mind, something we rarely get a glimpse off as the man keep everything about himself private. We get to see who Hotch care the most about, Hayley, Jack, Beth, Rossi.

    love this about Rossi "Dream-Rossi was there as his chauffeur, because who other than a real, good friend can guide us and help us to find our way when we feel lost?" So true!

    This hard core fan who have seen all the episodes at least twice already, did watched this episode three times and will retwatch it again and again, this is how good it was!

  4. Bravo Eylan Bravo... I agee with all you said, while I really didn't have interest in the case first time around it did fit in well with the distraction of Hotch being ill.
    As you said Thomas Gibson has a wonderful ability to display a mirad of emotions in the span of seconds. His portrayal is spot on for the Aaron Hotchner we have grown to love.
    Of course my favorite scene is at the end iwth Jack... In Nameless/Faceless Jack ask's his Daddy if he's going to be alright. Hotch doesn't answer. In this episode Jack asks the exact same thing and this time Hotch's response is perfect for his little boy.
    I love the subtleties and the not so subtle moments overall I just loved the Episode

  5. I agree that this review was spot on! And I loved the reflection of why Rossi was the chauffeur. Great review IMHO Sr. Eylan for a great episode!

  6. Excellent review! That's the only way to describe it from how the show was written to the comments on Thomas Gibson's acting ability!

  7. Loved the review. I agree with everything. I'm so happy hotch got to see how hailey felt about foyet and how hotchs stabbing wounds were finally discussed. The part where Garcia hugged hotch was amazing.

    The actual case was amazing as well. I loved the outcome. Since jj is my favourite charactor I am so glad we learned more about her sisters death! They played it out really well becouse the writers main priority was still the main part! All in all the ep was amazing!

  8. Agree with the review 110%. Thomas Gibson is an amazing actor, and it was wonderful to see him express emotions he normally doesn't get to show on CM.


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