The Season 10 opener is 'simply' entitled X, and it quickly starts the new season off on the right foot. Throughout the episode we are treated to multiples red herrings, a victim who fights back, and a new profiler joining the team, as well as our much loved returning team of profilers who are on the job and ready to catch this season's batch of unsubs!
The interview Hotch did with Callahan was interesting, not in what Hotch said to her, but by the fact she was profiling him by looking at what is on display in his office, family pictures, achievement awards and then, she noticed the big pile of folders sitting on the desk. Hotch, aware of what she was doing, choose to alleviate some of her apprehension, by telling her that no, they do not usually have that many cases. This got the reverse effect, she tells Hotch it takes her often months to close down one case, while they do that in one week. Now Callahan knows why Hotch has so many achievements awards/commendations on display, the man and his team are the best, and you march to their rhythm or you join another team.
The case was good. It had the creepy undertones that Criminal Minds fans have come to expect. Kerr Smith played a real weird creepy guy with a fetish for severed legs (which we find out later that he bought from the actual unsub!). The actor did a good job at playing the everyday dad who hides his creepy kink away from his kid. Of course he was a decoy, even if some of his behavior screams 'unsub!' For example, the scene where he got angry at his son when he came into the garage to pick up some tools, and saw that dad had JUST locked the chest in which he keeps the limbs; being secretive can be one big red flag.
The real unsub was creepy too, but add to that he apparently was a sadist; he loved to dismember people, but the sick twist is that he did it while they were alive and conscious, and he would take one limb at a time keeping the victims alive for as long as he could… Yes the BAU deals with the totally deranged!
I love when we have victims that don't give up, don't give in, and even fight back and don't just scream and hope the gods will save them! The last victim, who we saw the unsub bring in, despite having a limb cut off (nice unsub, he bandaged his evil handiwork), is wise enough to try to gain his trust and hope he will make a mistake giving her an opening to escape. Which he does after she begs him to let her up, and to untie her so she can do that. Once untied, she hit him and fled! Luckily for her, the BAU had already figured out who the real unsub was and where he was hiding. They got there just in time for Hotch, Rossi, JJ and Callahan to save the victim. The unsub hits Kate from behind and just as he is about to hack her to pieces with a VERY big knife, Hotch shows up and shoots the guy, thus saving Kate's life and, in this case, limbs!
Something that I found weird was how the team went from Rossi and Kate talking with Frank Cowles, and knowing something was off with him, to Hotch, JJ and Kate arresting him in the middle of nowhere. There seems to have been no transition from one scene to another. Maybe something was left on the cutting room floor, I don't know, but it felt weird to me.
All in all it was a pretty good start to Season 10. The introduction of new agent Kate Callahan played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, -whom I never saw in anything else prior, so my opinion of her is based on what I saw on Criminal Minds,- was handled well, and the actress did a believable job as a FBI agent. I hope the writers will not make the same mistakes they made with JJ (over-exposure and writing the character as if she was a super woman who cannot do wrong, and does it all with an attitude) with Kate. Yes, use the character, but remember that Criminal Minds
got to Season 10 because of Rossi, Hotch, Reid, Morgan, Garcia, and yes, JJ (I may not like the new JJ, but love the old compassionate one, and acknowledge her importance to the development of
Criminal Minds). As they say, moderation tastes better!
I'll give this episode an 8.5/10!