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.
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.