Friday, May 17, 2013

Joe Mantegna on 'Criminal Minds' Finale, Revisiting 'Glengarry Glen Ross'

By: Brittany Frederick

Joe Mantegna is one of the great actors in show business. Whatever the medium or the genre, he always delivers an outstanding performance. On television, he's best known as Special Agent David Rossi on CBS's long-running procedural Criminal Minds. Mantegna joined BFTV yesterday to discuss next week's double-length Criminal Minds season finale and what it's been like for him to bring Rossi to life for the last six years.

"It's a two hour episode," the actor said of Wednesday's final installment. "It's like a little movie in a way. We're able to pull out all stops and devote our energy, our finances and all that for two separate episodes into one, which I think it makes it more exciting. We get some time to explore this thing. We're able to give a proper end to our season. I think it'll be very satisfying."

One of the things the season finale does is put a period on the mystery of "The Replicator," the Unsub that's been stalking the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) team throughout this cycle. It's the latest recurring-villain plot for Criminal Minds, and Mantegna told us, "I think we've done a good job of kind of playing both sides of that street. We're certainly not like a soap opera, where it's continual story that you kind of have to tap in every week.

"For the most part, probably 80 percent if not more of what we do are stand-alone episodes and I think that's a good thing. That's what really happens in...

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Criminal Minds Promo Video for The Season 8 finale 'The replicator' from CTV

Criminal Minds Comments Thread for episode 8.22 '#6'

Here, you can post comments and talk about tonight's new Criminal Minds episode titled '#6', and written by Breen Frazier.

Enjoy tonight's episode, and once again, remember that next week it's the 2 hour season finale!

Episode Review for NANNY DEAREST (8x21)

Note: This review presumes that you've seen the episode already, so there ARE spoilers but NO plot recap.

I am fast becoming a fan of @VirgilWilliams. [I SWEAR it is just random coincidence that the weeks for which I signed up to review episodes -- hey, we sign up at the beginning of the season! -- often turn out to be his!]  And considering that I really disliked his first outing as a CM writer, There's No Place Like Home (7x07) , I'm relieved to reverse my initial opinion. 

Case in point: NANNY DEAREST is one of the very few episodes that made me weepy. Many CM episodes can make me angry or disgusted, sure, but the only ones that immediately come to mind which make me sniffle and/or break out the hankies are 100, VALHALLA, and LAUREN and Virgil didn't kill off a major character to make me teary-eyed this time.

Instead, it was the catharsis experienced by the "one that got away" -- Tara Rios (portrayed excellently by @Yara_Martinez) -- at the end of the episode with baby Phoebe's mother which touched me. That could only happen because Ms. Martinez (and veteran returning CM director Doug Aarniokoski , @dougaa ) pulled off the delicate balancing act of manifesting Tara's traumatization without making the viewer (well, this viewer anyway) want to throw up their hands in frustration.

EMDR:  bet you can't say "eye movement desensitization and reprocessing" 5 times fast!

Clearly this episode dealt with issues of survivor's guilt (both Tara's and the UnSub's -- we'll get back to HIM later) and promises: JJ was mighty free with her guarantees (to her son Henry, semi-acceptable; to Tara, even in Hollywoodland FBI, NOT okay). Morgan seemed to agree with me, judging by his concerned glances at JJ when they were on the BAU jet with Tara. 

I was glad to see some traces of JJ's old media liaison savvy show through in this episode (DO Amber Alert newscasts go national?) as well as her returning sharpshooter skills (see: Deputy Jason Clark Battle in Penelope, 3x09 and note to self: do NOT tick off the women of the BAU).

Speaking of the women of the BAU, it's a pity that Jeanne Tripplehorn's character seems remarkably development free, aside from her Maeve-related interludes with Reid. What a waste of a talented actress' skills.

As for the UnSub, he was appropriately creepy / slimy / deluded, without verging into the dense / thickheaded territory of the blood artist in Magnum Opus, 8x13 , whom I found entirely, well, stupid. With his patience and stalking, THIS UnSub was quite the opposite. To me, the final reveal of his sister's drowning after HE distracted their nanny explains why he was so enraged by Gina Mendes' sincere protestations of caring for Phoebe. (Of course, that could just be me and @VirgilWilliams may be thinking that I'm as deluded as the murderous and sadistic Mr. Covey.) 

Tempting as it is to cap off this review with a LOVELY close-up of the killshot that JJ delivered to Jonny Ray Covey (who really made my skin crawl), I'll just post a link to it instead. 

So all in all, wholehearted applause for NANNY DEAREST! 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Behind The Realistic Crimes On “Criminal Minds”

The crime procedural has a crime library, a full-time researcher, and a full-time former FBI agent to keep the show as accurate as possible. But all this research also makes the writing staff a little paranoid.

by Ariane Lange

The full-time researcher who sifts through grisly headlines and gleans the finer points of making soap from human skin for the writers of Criminal Minds didn’t exactly see her career going in this direction. Ticona Joy started as a production assistant who liked horror movies and has since become one arm of the research-apparatus that keeps the CBS show realistic. The other is Jim Clemente, a writer-producer and former FBI agent who says he's read every script to check for accuracy. (The show also has a forensic linguist, James Fitzgerald, as a technical adviser.)

Clemente, who spent 12 years profiling killers in the Behavioral Analysis Unit, fact-checks the profiling and procedural elements of the show, while Joy's work is more on the front end of the process: she spends her mornings going through the weirdest headlines and sending them to the writers for inspiration, and she has a network of experts who field questions that range from mundane to miscellaneously macabre.

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