Sunday, January 18, 2015

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 10 - 1011. The Forever People - Review

This week's episode - The Forever People - brought us back around to dealing with the fall-out of the events of episode 200. As we all well recall, JJ was kidnapped and brutally tortured in that episode. She was eventually saved by her very worried team with assistance from Prentiss. It seemed after that that the issues had been swept away, but Wednesday's episode reminded us that such is rarely the case when trauma is involved.

First, I should admit, I'm incredibly biased when it comes to JJ episodes. She's my favorite character so I'm always going to perk up and take extra notice of her scenes and her complications. I was actually very pleased to see them return to this because, frankly, a show about the degradation and downfall of the human psyche and brain should deal with their own characters struggling as well.

In brief, this episode's plot was about a a man who had gone undercover in a cult in order to save his son. The mother of his child had already been killed after undergoing a bizarre "cold" ritual meant to encourage her to face her worst fears. And that was the underlying theme of the episode - facing fears. It was something that JJ was struggling to do throughout the episode and by the end of it, we realized that she had a very long way to go.




What I Liked:
  • AJ Cook was fantastic. I've watched AJ since her days way back on Higher Ground and have always known that she can knock intense and painful material out of the park, and she really showed it.
  • The Reid/JJ scene from the bathroom to the office was great, and you felt bad for both of them; he wanted so badly to help her and yet didn't have any easy answers. This wasn't neat and simple and that was a relief. I especially liked their final scene when he hopefully asked if she felt better and I would guess many of us in the audience expected a "yes"… so it was nice to hear a "no" because that felt real and honest. And I liked hearing Emily get mentioned.
  • The stand-out scene of the episode was the final one. From reading the cringe-worthy file to facing the ghost in her mind. Insanely good acting and just really compelling and meaty material.
  • The case itself was somewhat interesting but especially the father and his motives. The scene between he and JJ was really nice without going overboard into melodrama over the un.
  • Loved the Reid/Kate/Morgan plane scene… especially with the Hotch fist-bump. That was a nice moment of playing against character expectations and having some fun with them.

What I Didn't Like:
  • The lack of Hotch being involved. Hotch knows JJ pretty damn well. Don't tell me he wouldn't have noticed that she's crumbling. If she has a massive part of her mind telling her that these demons of hers are going to strip her of everything, then she really needs her family both at the BAU and at home. And I get it, right? Reid won't betray her confidence but this is an ugly situation and when people are begging JJ not to go alone and she does and she has shown other signs of distress, it doesn't make sense to me that Hotch isn't all over this. But hopefully this isn't the end of this arc and by the time it, he'll be stepping in to assist her because he understands better than most.
  • This is probably really nitpicky, but they should have brought the son to the hospital where the father would have been recovering likely from hypothermia instead of suggesting dad recovered instantly. 
Overall, this was a strong episode for me (and for JJ) especially thanks to extremely strong acting work by AJ. I look forward to seeing where this story goes.


~~~~Sir Gareth

31 comments:

  1. Sorry but I disagree. The only part of this episode I really enjoyed was the plane scene. I think it was the fact that we had to have the awfulness that was 200 reopened that killed it for me - especially after Erica Messer had previously said that it was over and done with. I was just angry and exasperated over it. Also I was annoyed that she had said Hotch would help JJ through this which would have made much more sense. JJ and Reid never quite got their friendship back since the Prentiss "death" and too often JJ has rolled her eyes at or mocked Reid since then. I suspect the change from Hotch supporting her to it being Reid was because of the recent fan backlash over how much Reid was disappearing. I hope to goodness we don't get too much more JJ angst because I am still fuming over the waste of the 200th episode andthe whole wretched story should be consigned to the garbage!
    The case itself seemed quite interesting but it was rushed through to make room for the PTSD story. And quite frankly it was nonsensical to think that Hotch wasn't involved or noticed that JJ was struggling - he would have been hyper vigilant with the team after mistakes made in the past with Elle and Reid.
    No this episode failed on so many levels and I felt it was just another push of JJ into the limelight when we are really fed up with the sight of her. I also feel Erica Messer went back on her comment that 200 was a closed door because of all the adolescent crazies on Facebook who kept calling for a PTSD story. Grrrr!
    Sorry for the rant Sir Gareth but this episode made me really steaming mad and really only had that one scene on the plane that was worth watching.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have to agree with Mary on this.... I know there are alot of JJ fans just gushing over how well she did with this episode. And most of them probably don't care a whole lot about plot, story, plausibility or even continuity.... HOWEVER,

    I do care about that the 'whole' package. Did AJC do a good job with the material she was given. Yes, she did....but doing good with subpar material does 'not' mean the episode is anything more then a poorly written, poorly directed 42 minutes of bad.

    Maybe, just maybe if EM had stuck to even ONE of the comments she made about this whole thing and kept Hotch as the one who recognizes what JJ was having problems this all may have turned out much better. But alas, EM and even Breen through EM listened to all the pre-teen, teen feel good action loving tweenyboppers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (Social Media in general) and developed this story line.

    As I said the case had merit, alot more merit then the dreck with JJ allowed them to explore. And sadly now we'll never get the much wanted details about that whole case. I fear now we'll just more dreck about JJ still suffering. All this epiosde has done IMHO is back JJ into a corner where the only option is for her to leave the BAU and the FBI to help her come to terms with what has happened and what she's feeling. Of course NONE of her fans ever wanted that to happen. But for the show sadly you can't so this level of meltdown and then plausibly have her back to work in the field acting like all is right in the world. Well done fans (insert snide voice) all your demands have now made JJ's departure the ONLY believable option at this point... *shakes head, walks away*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbara, it's looking like we have a double-standard here. You were very quick to call me out on when I made a generalization, the only offensive word of which being whiners, for which I've since apologized; yet, you've characterized JJ's fans as pre-teens, tweenyboppers and most offensively, people most of whom probably don't care about plot, story, plausibility or even coninutity! Now that is very disrespectful. And really? Tweenyboppers? What happened to no name-calling? I highly doubt that Breen wrote this episode based on Social Media fan-fiction... He is a highly intelligent individual who wrote some of the best episodes in the history of this show, like "52 Pickup," one of the segments of "100" and "Pleasure Is My Business." If the JJ plot was in response to anything, I'd say it would be the people who had said there was no follow-up to 200 regarding what JJ went through, and that the show is implying that JJ is some kind of superhero who can't feel pain.... Looks like she can.

      You're entitled to your opinion, and you've been posting here for quite a while, but that doesn't give you the right to denigrate JJ's fans and insult their intelligence. Because I am a fan of JJ who thought her acting was brilliant, and I'm too keen tooting my own horn so I'll just say I couldn't be any further from a tweenybopper who doesn't pay attention to plausibility or continuity. Not only have you offended me, but probably every other intelligent JJ fan who loves this show for the entire package. Although I may be fighting an uphill battle here because as a JJ fan I'm highly outnumbered, and I cannot stress enough that the last thing I want to do on this site is cause any trouble, I will not stand by while you insult my intelligence and that of many others just because their opinion may differ from yours. I respect your right to your opinion, something to which everyone on this board has a right; and as much as you dislike JJ, please afford her fans that same right. Thank you.
      Long live Criminal Minds.

      Delete
    2. No I did NOT classify all JJ fans as tweenyboppers etc... it is COMMON knowledge that the younger viewers on Social media is what EM listens to in regards to her favorite characters. Many of those viewers are often immature and want the sappy love stories, or prefer characters to be like the Avengers. With age comes experience .

      My opinion regarding how many of those Social Media fans react stands. Most want the action pack kick ass superwoman character as that is how many girls of that age group want themselves to be portrayed as.

      It is CURIOUS that you note Breen's best episodes were before Erica Messer took over the helm of CM. And you are right those are his best episodes. Anything after EM is slanted to please her preferences in my opinion and not just by Breen but all the writers.

      Again, the loudest regarding the lack of follow up to 200 were the younger skewing viewers on Social Media so therefore that just backs my statement up.

      I have never denigrated any JJ fan. Matter of fact please by all means go do some research regarding conversations on here that I've had with many a JJ fan. If you are so soft that you can't take honest criticism of a character you enjoy that is not of my doing. That is all you. I have put my opinions out here on this board and many others, and give reasoning behind those opinions. If you are expecting other's to glow over your favorite character to simply agree with you or to justify in your mind that your reasoning is sound that's your choice. Most on here give honest constructive criticism of episodes.

      I hope you enjoy watching CM... But my reviews and comments stand

      Delete
    3. Also, SCMA, I want to point out.. that I did not 'call' you out about anything. Also, the term 'alot, most, many' are generalizations as you put it...Also, saying that EM listened to the PRE TEEN, and TEEN age fans on Social Media is in NO WAY bashing you or JJ fans at all.... If you see it that way I can't help that.

      So please, if you want to jump on me to justify why people spoke out about what you were saying on here, before you were chastised be my guest, I have a thick skin.

      Delete
    4. Well Barbara, it looks as though we've reached an impasse. Clearly you're completely unwilling to admit the slightest fault on your part and your response to me was extremely passive aggressive, which I don't appreciate. I'm not willing to accept honest criticism? This conclusion that you have so inelegantly reached is based on one comment. That is amusing. What makes it even funnier is that although my comment was directed entirely at you, you've assumed that I expect everyone on here to agree with me and, even funnier, you claim to know how my mind works and that I want to justify in my mind that my reasoning is sound. LOL You've also claimed that I fail to understand constructive criticism, none of which was present in your original comment btw. Constructive criticism is when you tell someone what was right, what was wrong, and how they can improve. I've seen nothing but negativity and I highly doubt I'm the only one.

      This response would not be at all hostile nor would it be longer than the following four words, "Thank you very much," had you even slightly apologized for offending me, but you didn't. I find it ironic that you are so quick to insult my intelligence and call me soft when you're the one who wrote me a seven-paragraph essay - whose grammar and syntax barely reaches a high-school level - in an effort to justify your disrespect toward JJ fans while simultaneously deflecting the attention onto me, when all I did was tell you that what you said was offensive. Apparently you can do no wrong. Since internet claims are to be taken with a grain of salt I'll only say this: I, too, have thick skin, and I am quite far from soft.

      To CMRT, I would understand if you were to deleted this post, but I do not take kindly to being insulted and after I politely told Barbara I was offended, she insulted me again. The point of this response is to let her know that it is not okay to insult people and that I'm not someone who will just sit back and take it from a complete stranger. I'm merely trying to defend myself without being too hostile. So please, CMRT, forgive me, I can assure you this won't happen again and that I just want JJ fans to know that they can safely post about their love for their favourite character without being demeaned.

      Now, honestly, I could not care any less what your opinion is of me, or JJ for that matter; my favourite CM characters are actually Reid, Hotch, and Cruz. I just noticed from having done the "research" that you so kindly suggested I do, which I had already done months before joining, about your comments to JJ fans, that you have a bad habit of insulting them without appearing to be breaking any rules of conduct; that is a craft which in order to perfect to the degree you have requires an excess of spare time and a lot of malicious, misplaced anger. I hope you find peace, and I really do hope your love for Criminal Minds is someday restored. I'll say the same thing you said, I stand by my opinions and my comments; we all have a right to our opinion, but no one has the right to belittle the opinions of others or insult their intelligence. If you reply to any of my comments, do not expect me to acknowledge a single word. You won't hear from me again.

      Delete
    5. This will stop NOW. Any more posts of this genre ( flaming each others, attacking people) coming from ANYONE will be deleted. If this is not enough ALL posts on this blog will no longer be open for replies.

      If people cannot or will not posts without attacking/judging others then people can go and post somewhere else. This is a warning to everyone. Post about CM and it's containt not about what you think of other fans like/dislike/motivations.

      No more warning will be issued.

      CMRT Admin

      Delete
  3. I agree this episode was terrible. I think it may even be worse than 200, if that is possible. I am sick of the JJ show. My fear is the way it ended is going to have her fans demanding more follow up,the way the ending of 200 did,which of course resulted in this totally farce of an episode.

    And yes I was one of those fans demanding more Reid, but I sure as heck didn't mean I wanted him to be used as a prop just to show how damn awesome she is.Come to think of it though,the entire team was basically used as nothing more than props.

    I am not at all excited about Messer wanting to resurrect this so called friendship between Reid and JJ, especially ever since JJ has come back I've always felt that friendship had been a bit one sided on Reid's part.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not sure if I stated the last part correctly.My intentions was to say I've felt that Reid was more of a friend to her than she was to him.

      Delete
  4. I agreee Debra. I want more Reid as he is my favorite and seems to be doing a disappearing act worthy of Houdini ...but not like this, not as a prop to JJ. Yeah, the friendship, if you can call it that, seems to be extremely one-sided with Reid being the one to want to be friends. To be honest, Hotch should've stepped in and called JJ out on her behavior. She really didn't need to be in the field.

    Question: I'll have to sit through that scene again, but the scene where JJ shot the unsub...was that even a legal shot? It looked off to me, but by that time, I was so annoyed with all of the episode other than the jet scene, I might not have been totally tuned in by that moment.

    ReplyDelete
  5. And how damn on fair it was for this burden to be put on Reid like that.If this eventually comes to light and it's reveals that he knew this about JJ it puts him in a terrible position and he is going to have to answer to Hotch for it.

    No Hotch should have been the one to have to carry the burden of JJ's secret.Because he's her boss and that's his job not Reid's.

    So yet once again we have another team member having to keep a burdensome secret. Quite frankly this scenario is getting a bit tiresome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I cannot believe that Hotch wouldn't have noticed. He noticed that Reid was distracted but didn't follow that up. It just rubs it in that only JJ is getting the focus these days and the other cast are not even remotely acting in character. I also wanted to see more of Reid but not like this. He was really just there as background for JJ to act in front of. It makes no sense to me.

      Delete
    2. Yeah Mary and Autumn I am thinking maybe us Reid fans need to start being a little more specific when it comes to our demands.Keep letting them know that we want to see him but not as a prop for her.He needs and deserves his own story line and quite frankly I'd prefer JJ having as little as possible to do with it.My preference would be for Hotch to be involved in it, but Rossi would be okay too, as well as Morgan. Heck I'd even prefer it to be Kate over JJ

      Delete
    3. ^ agreed Debra 100% LOL, they just don't seem to get it!

      Delete
    4. Personally, I think everyone on the team noticed. Hotch had noticed Reid's odd behavior quickly and at the precinct everyone knew something was wrong when JJ ignored them

      Delete
  6. Very true Debra! I hadn't even thought of that, good insight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Autumn.
      You know I could maybe see this scenario having some kind of merit if Hotch had been shown as some kind of ogre that his people were afraid to come to with their problems,but that wasn't the case.

      Would Hotch had benched her and taken her out of the field.You bet he would, as he should.But there was no way he'd outright fire JJ. He would have done all he could to help her get back on her feet and rejoin her team mates.

      Delete
    2. You're welcome! Yeah, he wouldn't have fired her right away. I mean, he didn't with Reid, even when it was highly suspected that his agent had a drug problem and he didn't to other agents either. In fact, with regards to Reid, he gave him a talking too and concluded with suggesting that Reid catch the end of the "movie". JJ should have been called out and made to sit out of the case.

      Delete
  7. Bravo, Sir Gareth! That was an amazing review, I disagree with just a couple of minor things but they are so minor that I feel no need to mention them. I was so glad that Colton Grant wasn't the unsub; that was an awesome twist which is making me think that CBS might be learning their lesson about ruining the episodes with the promos. The promos for "Amelia Porter," "The Forever People," and even "Anonymous" have been excellent, and refreshingly so. There is, however, one exception. Although I thought this was an outstandingly interesting case. I think the morgue scene could've been cut short for at least a brief explanation as to why the unsub did what he did and what made him tick. Even though the profiling was excellent, with the references to the holocaust and Jim Jones's cult, and I know that Reid deduced that he was a psychrophile and that his actions were probably based on sexual urges, it would've been interesting to know what made him snap and act on those urges. For the positive aspects of this episode, I couldn't have said it any better myself.

    Sir Gareth, I'm glad you liked the final scene between JJ and the imaginational figment of Tivon Askari. I believe, like George Foyet in "Route 66," it was simply a manifestation of her insecurity, fear, trauma, and her internal battle to know that she is stronger than him and that although her state of mind seems grim to her, she has a lot more to lose and refuses to let Askari take away her smile, sleep, safety, job, and family; not the unravelling of her mind, making her unfit for duty, that many people may believe it to be. Don't get me wrong, she needs help and fast, but even if the story isn't revisited in the way I'd like to see, I, too, hope it is at least revisited. Although Criminal Minds is without argument the most realistic Crime Drama on television, it is, after all, a drama, and can't be as real as a documentary all of the time. Last point, I for one, think there was plenty of Dr. Reid goodness, and not just with regards to JJ. He showed off his knowledge throughout and, thanks to him, the team was able to fully understand the killer's MO. Not the Season's best, but a solid, amazing episode. To CMRT, thank you for letting someone review the episode who doesn't detest JJ's character and can objectively point out the nuances. And to Sir Gareth, once again, great review!
    Long live CM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quote:
      "To CMRT, thank you for letting someone review the episode who doesn't detest JJ's character and can objectively point out the nuances. And to Sir Gareth, once again, great review!"

      Sir Garret just stated in this review that "She's my favorite character so I'm always going to perk up and take extra notice of her scenes and her complications." How come you perceive that as even remotely 'objective'?

      Delete
  8. But seriously, where did you get that picture of Joe? LOLOLOL! It is the worst, He may come hunting you for posting that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WARNING Will Robinson!!!!!

      Do not read Zayrina's post with coffee in ones mouth!!!!

      *this has been your regularly schedule public service announcement. Now to clean my keyboard*

      Delete
    2. Screencaps hunter here!

      That ones falls squarely in the "images you find when stopping the video and advancing it frame by frame", and was irresistible, just too funny ;-)

      Sir Elyan

      Delete
  9. Great review! I too wish that Hotch - among others - had been able to talk with JJ, but it's a 42 minute episode, so I think what we got was great. I do think that everyone noticed something was off with her, but they gave her her space to figure things out - not because they didn't notice something was wrong or because they didn't care, but because you can only do so much in 42 minutes. Because JJ is shown with Garcia in the promo pics for Nelson's Sparrow, I think maybe she's been sidelined for a bit. But that's just a guess. I don't think we're done with JJ's PTSD (or whatever the word for it might be), but I do think she's made a huge step. I personally loved this episode. AJ's acting was phenomenal. I have no words to describe her, she is so wonderful. CM has done it again, and I hope it will continue to.

    Sidenote: In regards to the takedown scene, JJ did not miraculously become a genius and know that at that temperature the gas would not ignite. Askari makes it clear at the end that she was simply taking a gamble out of her desperation to unite the father and son. No, the shot probably was not a legal one, but that was the whole point. It was a completely reckless and risky takedown, which was written that way purposefully to show how JJ is being affected by her inner turmoil and is being driven to act instinctively and without loads of thought. I've seen a lot of complaints about this scene, and I can understand them because you probably wouldn't truly get it unless you paid attention in the final scene, and if you didn't like that scene, it's something you probably wouldn't catch. I do hope that there are consequences for this - and maybe that's why JJ is shown with Garcia and not in the field for Nelson's Sparrow. They made it clear that if JJ doesn't change something, she may hurt herself or others, so I hope they deal with that in some way.

    Overall, great episode. Can't wait for next week.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great review Sir Gareth!

    I have to agree that Hotch should have been more involved in JJ's problems. Here's hoping that will get addressed with the next episode.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will I am hoping that Madison J is right. And the reason JJ is being shown with Garcia in the promos for the next episode is because she has been pulled from the field. It will be an unforgivable oversight on the part of this show if she does not have to answer to Hotch for her reckless behavior.Until she gets the help she needs JJ is basically a ticking time box.Again I absolutely hate that this burden was put on Reid. I really wish he'd tell Hotch what was going on even if it meant breaking JJ's confidence.

      Delete
  11. All I have to say is that I am extremely happy choosing not to watch this episode! I cannot deal with another JJ-fest, and as much as I LOVE Reid, Hotch, Rossi, Kate and Garcia, I might stop watching the show altogether. I no longer enjoy watching and the writers are no longer producing anything half decent for me to watch, which is sad, because I loved Amelia Porter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here Tammy, I just watched the promo for next week's episode and she seemed fine.
      Of course I know you really can't tell from that promo alone.But it wouldn't surprise me one bit if not only was she okay but that she was her same know it all self,including coming up with the answer that ultimately cracks the case.

      I don't enjoy watching the show anymore either. In fact I've missed several episodes this season. And once upon a time this show was the only one on television I'd considered must TV,but despite the fact I endure the season of JJ,only because of Reid,I've now pretty much reached the end of my rope. I just can't bring myself to endure another season of JJ not even for Reid, despite the fact I adore him as much as ever.

      Delete
    2. @Debra, Yes, lately even my MAJOR love for Reid (MGG) is not enough to make me watch--I used to say, that as long as he, and Thomas Gibson are still on the show I will continue to watch. But I don't think so anymore. Especially with JJ being the one woman BAU and everyone else doing nothing. I would actually be happy to see an excess of Kate over JJ even though she is the newbie. I'm sorry, but JJ always makes me reach for the remote.

      Delete
  12. I just have to say great review. JJ is also my favorite character, and I've been a fan of AJ Cook's for several years. I loved this episode. To be honest, I really don't understand all the hate toward JJ. She is an amazing character who has grown so much. I absolutely love that she has been given better storylines than when she was just a media liason. I don't see why everyone is saying that the show revolves around her. Every character has had an episode dedicated to them. As for Reid and JJ not being as close as they once were, I don't see it that way. Sure Reid was angry with her for not telling him about Emily actually still being alive when he would come to her house, but he eventually forgave her and I think they are even better friends now. If you remember, Reid had been the last one to have gone through something very tramatic, so he was the right one to help JJ. Only time will tell if or when Hotch finds out what's going on with her, and I'm sure when he does, he'll address it with her. However, it could be something they do offscreen so they can use more time to solve the case of the week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't say I hate JJ or AJ. I hate what they have done to a character I once liked but that discussion has been had on this board many times. I feel a big part of it is that she hasn't been getting better storylines, just more and more bad ones. After 200, where the storyline was so inane and implausible it took one's breath away, I've certainly never been able to view the character without the taint of that ridiculous backstory. So this latest episode harking back to 200, which I still feel was an insult to CM fans, feels like another lurch downward in the believability of new JJ. If they had led up to it, at all, and if they had used Hotch as he should have been used I might have been able to like this episode a little more. As it is, I struggled to watch till the end. As for the Reid/JJ friendship being restored - don't even get me started on that ridiculous pasta party!

      Delete

Respectful opinions, and constructive disagreement is welcomed, but insulting/foul-mouthed, malicious, or just plain disrespectful comments towards anyone are not, and will be removed.