Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 9 - 911. Bully - Review

Beginning quote from Blake:
Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet. Vietnamese proverb.

As the episode begins we see someone open a trunk and pulling out a woman who was trussed up, crying and about to be killed. The Unsub hears a noise, which stops him for a moment, and in bursts the BAU and saves the woman. In the scuffle, Blake suffers gunshot wound in her arm. She is fine, bandaged up and says she is bullet-proof. I was thinking - a flashback episode? I thought they were going to do that for the 200th episode, would they do that twice in one season? But, no, Blake gets a phone call from her father, a retired Captain of the Kansas City Police Department. He thinks there is a serial killer in Kansas City, but seeing that he is now retired, the BAU might not be welcomed. Blake tells him that she will bring the team and check it out. This is the real case.

There are three victims. The newest victim a 50 year old man was found beaten to death, stripped and in woman's underwear - his clothing was found nearby. A year prior, two victims left a house party and were found beaten to death. The younger couple were fully clothed.  Blake's father thinks the crimes were related. The team debates taking the case since Blake's father is retired and it wasn't an official invitation. Hotch decides to check it out.

The scene cuts to a pumped-up guy shooting up what we believe are steroids and hitting a punching bag to some loud music.

It's hard for Blake to return back home. Blake deals with her issues internally and sometimes that leaves her friends feeling deliberately pushed out. Rossi tells JJ and Morgan that Blake's older brother was killed while on duty as a cop and Morgan is a little put out about it and asks how come they never knew that. Rossi said it happened 25 years ago, but Morgan presses the point and says he lost his father the same way to which Rossi replies that he (Morgan) never talks his father either.

Blake's brother, Scott, is a detective on the Kansas City Police Department. He wonders why his father had to drag his sister all the way from Washington just to deal with a case at home. It was embarrassing for him to have his father go over his head. Their dad wants to reunite his kids for this case because he sees how distant they've grown.

Going on her father's instincts, Blake and Scott reinterview the father to the teenage boy who had been killed the year before. After a tiff between Alex and Scott, Alex asks the father if his son and girlfriend were clothed and the father confesses that they were naked and his son had been wearing her underwear. He couldn't let them be found like that so he dressed them and then called the police.

The killer strikes again. This time he broke into an occupied house and attacked an older married couple. Whoever the killer is; he's escalating. Violent overkill and breaking into a home.

Through the technical wonders of Penelope Garcia, a connection was made between all the victims. Everyone had either attended or worked at Jefferson High School four years previously, except for the married couple, but their daughter went there.

The only notable thing that happened that Garcia could find was that a senior, Riley Wilson, was killed in a car crash that many believed to be a suicide as his tox-screen was clear. Riley had been a straight A student, with nothing in his disciplinary file. He had been there at the same time as the previous victims. Hotch asks for a list of all students and employees, and parents who were affiliated with Jefferson High School.

The team figures that the killer must have a connection to that school as well. Everyone is split up into teams to go and question possible suspects.

The scene cuts to a home with a man, Charles, working on the computer. The doorbell rings and it is Scott wanting to ask questions. The Unsub was in the house and listened to Scott and Charles talk and suddenly bursts into the room, beats-up Scott who winds up in the hospital and kills his former classmate. While at the scene, Blake reads her brother's notes and notices he had written words "Charles and Riley, good friends" and the words "good friends" were underlined and recalled that he used underline words when he was irritated. Their mother used to make them write notes/letters to one another to resolve their conflicts as she thought it was a good way for them to learn to express their feelings. She wonders what got to him about the words "good friends".

JJ interviews the daughter of the couple recently killed. Her name is Laurie. She tells her that the killer struck again. She asks her about Charles and Riley Wilson. She says Riley didn't have any friends. She says they used to bully him all the time - tease him and beat him up, and then there was the underwear thing. Some of the jocks thought it would be funny to steal his clothing in gym class and made him wear a pair of girls panties. They sent a mass text to everyone telling them to line the hallways and Riley had to walk throughout the halls in girl's panties with basically the whole school watching. JJ asks whose idea it was to pull the prank, and it was Laurie's ex-boyfriend, Lance Tate. She says he was a jerk. JJ asked where the teachers were and Laurie said that Mr. Ramsey and some substitute teacher (victim #3) broke it up and sent everyone back to class. JJ asked if Lance got into trouble for it and Laurie said no. Then JJ asked if any of the other kids were bullied or if Riley was the only one. Laurie said others were bullied and then asks if that was what this was all about, if that is why her parents were killed!

Garcia finds someone who had been friends with Riley. Ronald Underwood, who dropped out of school after Riley died. Ronald's father is out of the picture and his mother has had 4 DUI's. He spends an incredible amount of time on the internet mostly looking at porn and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) sites and oh, it is also where he buys his anabolic steroids.

The team thinks he could have been bullied himself, may feel responsible for what happened to Riley and may be targeting the bullies and adults who did nothing to stop it. They find out the teacher is still working at the high school and go out to find him and to search for Ronald Underwood.

We see the teacher, Mr. Ramsey in his car. His phone rings and it is Blake calling him to warn him about Ronald Underwood, but it is too late; Ronald breaks the car window and takes Mr. Ramsey.

Ronald takes Mr. Ramsey to the locker room, beats him and strips him. Mr. Ramsey doesn't know why Ronald is doing that to him and Ronald screams "RILEY". He said Ramsey knew what they did to them and he wanted them to shake their hands!?! Did he actually believe that would solve anything?!? Ronald is making Ramsey walk through the halls where the team finds him. Blake talks to Ronald and gets him to let Ramsey go. The act of cuffing him, freaks Ronald out. I kind of think that it reminded him of getting attacked by the bullies in high school.

Afterwards JJ and Blake are talking and JJ asks Blake if she wants a ride to the hospital to see he brother. We learn that the hospital is where her mother and big brother Danny died, so she isn't in a big hurry to go there.

Blake does go to the hospital though because the next scene see her in the car with Scott, driving him home from the hospital. They seem to come to an agreement, leaning towards a better relationship. He tells her that he misses her. He chides her that she is a hotshot linguist and she can never say anything, she never calls, she never writes... Blake apologizes and tells him coming home is hard for her, but she will work on it, and that she misses him, too.

The final scene, which is one I love, is at her dad's house, and Garcia walks into the room. The look on Blake's face is priceless. The whole team is there in the backyard for some Kansas City Bar-b-que.

Closing quote by Blake:
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. Helen Keller

I really like the closing scenes from several episodes this season, showing the team doing things together, decompressing and enjoying one another's company.

I really liked this episode. I am glad we finally got to know something about Blake. She had always been a generic character to me, and this episode made her feel real. Virgil Williams did a really great job showing the sibling rivalry and relationships between Blake and her brother Scott.

And more importantly, this episode touches on a very important topic: Bullying. I hope the message touches someone's heart.

~~~~The Lady Of The Lake

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