Wednesday, January 28, 2015

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 10 - 1013. Nelson's Sparrow - Comments Thread

This thread is open for you all to post comments and talk about tonight's new CRIMINAL MINDS episode, titled 'Nelson's Sparrow', written by Kirsten Vangsness and Erica Messer.

Hope you've enjoyed today's episode, and remember that next week we'll have a new brand one!


  1. All I got right now is ........................ WOW!!!!!

    10 out of 10.........A++...........

    I'll write more after rewatch and processing!

    1. Here I am, amazed at this episode because I thought it was going to be a real bummer, and now there is egg on my face. I agree with a couple of other posters that this one is right up there with A Thousand Suns. The ony thing I expected to watch was a story about Gideon and Rossi's old unsolved cases, instead I almost got to see Gideon's cold, lifeless body and I didn't jump up and

      The casting of Gideon and Rossi was spot on, especially Gideon...that was superb casting. The actor even had Gideon's personality so ingrained that it was creepy, but so good.

      The ending twist between Rossi and the unsub was so unexpected, you don't realize it's happened for a couple of seconds, but then you realize it was such a fitting ending to the unsub.

      The best scene (JMPO) was seeing Hotch laugh; the worst scene was watching the unsub trying to feed his victim least I think that's what they were since I only got a half second glance at them as I closed my

      All in all, I have to give this an A+++. Now, someone tell me why they can't continue to write episodes such as this.

  2. Very. Very. Weird. Episode. To me at least. I'll be back later with my thoughts.
    I will say 2 things: I really appreciate Kate (JLH), & next weeks preview looked interesting.

    1. i would say this is an amazing awesome episode. Great job, and the worst part for me: too much Kate callahan,

    2. I'm ambivalent towards Kate. right now, she's not been much of an impact one way or the other. I didn't think she was in the episode too much. And I thought her deferring to the other's who were so much closer to Gideon was spot on. Also, the little nod to when Gideon was doing lectures after the Bale fiasco was perfect. She could empathize with what the other's were going through.

  3. I have no words.... R.I.P. Jason Gideon; the profiling was unreal, the flashbacks were amazing... Kirsten and Erica FTW!

  4. I am speechless, this episode was so amazing! not one false note from start to finish! It was CM at its VERY best!

    Kirsten and Erica did write such a awesome episode! Everything about it was great, story, casting ( great casting for Gideon and Rossi from years ago) to how the team worked, to Hotch, Reid and Rossi being really the central point. The case was interesting and weird and the ENDING with Rossi and the unsub!

    LOVED the scenes with hotch and rossi remembering a story about Gideon, that scene showed also Hotch and Rossi's friendship.

    Reid was great, he was hit so hard by Gideon's murder. MGG was very good tonight.

    Kudos to TG and JM who were great too.

    Last, have to mention the music at the end, was so fitting.

    I never thought this season an episode would beat 'A thousand Suns ' as the best episode of the season but this one did!

    I give 'Nelson's Sparow' a 10/10! Bravo CM writers, cast and crew!

    1. CMRT, I agree entirely! Very good point; I thought that "A Thousand Suns" would be the season's unbeatable episode. Sharon is amazing for sure, but it looks like when Erica puts her mind to it, she can bring it home! Also, whatever contributions Kirsten Vangsness made must've been amazing.

    2. totally agree, the script, the actors the flasback, i enjoy Rossi and Hotch, Morgan and Reid and Garcia and JJ , young Rossi and Gideon... the team the original one, even looks like a family not just cowokers

  5. Favorite episode of season 10 it had the perfect amount of the team. Erica and Kirsten wrote Reid well and how he reacted because they were close I give this an A ++++++++++ or 100 out of 10. Was I the only one who cried though because like one minute and I was sobbing . And it was cute how Gideon's sun is named after Rossi that's adorable so farewell Gideon . 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

  6. As sad as it is to say goodbye to character we loved (I cried through most of the episode) it had to be one of my favorite episodes. It was perfect for so many reasons

    1. Speaking for myself, Gideon wasn't a character I was sad to say goodbye to, in fact, I was elated to see him portrayed as dead. I haven't liked him from the first day I started watching CM, and I was glad to see him go and Rossi to take his place.

    2. I guess I've formed a different opinion about Gideon. First, his leaving the BAU the way he did, IMO, was like the Changing of The Guard. We've seen this before with Max Ryan. (Sorry, the episode name and number escape me.) Gideon eluded to it in "Extreme Aggressor" with the line about "old profilers". He knew his time in the BAU was winding down to a point where he was going to need to retire. But, being the person he was, just couldn't let it go. All of us, I don't care what occupation you have, in truly loving what you do, can't make a clean break from the one thing you've done virtually all your working life. There are going to be aftereffects of your action.
      I to, am deeply heartened by KV's and EM's script. It appears KV has more than one story to tell. If so, I welcome it. As in other writers on this blog, I was expecting another dud out of EM. This wasn't the case. I hope this can continue forward. It would be great to see. I think maybe, I've fallen victim to writing the obituary on this show too soon. I hope that's the case, as I've stated a couple of weeks ago, I think this show still has stories to tell.

  7. Hmmm....I'm still processing my reaction to this episode. There was definitely some stuff to like about this episode, but there were also story choices that left me scratching my head.

    I will say, that I called Gideon being dead, and THAT was what was driving Reid's "big, emotional" arc. Of course I expected Gideon's death to be a sideshow and not the centerpiece of the episode, and a murder at that. I know how this episode was billed as a "love letter to the fans", but I give a bit of side eye to the idea of murdering Gideon as being a love letter to the fans, even with the glimpses back into the early days of the BAU.

    For the stuff I liked.

    There was a LOT of team profiling in this episode. It was nice to see the team profiling a wide variety of scenes, and some team members that have been underused this season, get more to do. There were some nice conversations between Hotch and Rossi, talking about Gideon and discussing the case. It sort of harkened back to the conversations they had in "Omnivore." It was nice to see Kate getting more to do, as she hasn't been really integrated as well after the first couple of episodes.

    Sweet Reid was on point emotionally for this episode. I don't think any of the other cast members (and most male actors in general) are as good of criers as Reid/Matthew. It was nice to see Rossi and Morgan supporting Reid in this episode and encouraging him.

    I was delighted to see JJ basically side lined this episode, though the scenes she did have with Penelope were nice. It was great to see JJ NOT being there for the takedown, and I personally was glad to see JJ NOT with Reid during these scenes.

    While Ben Savage doesn't have the natural gravitas or intensity that Mandy does, I felt he did a good job with what he had. The flashback scenes were interesting to build the case (though me personally didn't really like the schmaltzy father angle).

    This episode was a good PSA of why you should NEVER approach any strange man's van. Vans are evil and only serial killers drive them. Avoid them at all costs. And strange dogs in vans as well. They are only bait to get you abducted. Oh, and just avoid all strange men to be on the safe side. /sarcasm.

    While I find some of the story choices about Gideon's death to be questionable story choices (see below), good profiling on Rossi's part, making the connection for why Gideon seemingly made an errant shot into a bird picture, and deducing it was connected to the unsolved case.

  8. For the stuff I found a bit questionable.

    I was trying to follow Gideon's final timeline in my head, and to me anyway, there seemed to be some holes. First off, I do question if a dead woman (who wasn't murdered) found in some woods would have made the news down in Florida for Gideon to see it. But since this was the trigger for the entire episode, I should just suspend my disbelief. I CAN buy (barely) that if he had seen a news report like that, it would have triggered something in his brain. I always thought Gideon was the most natural, intuitive profiler that we have seen from the BAU. So if anyone would have made the connection, it would have been Gideon. But I really do question some of Gideon's actions once he got back to Virginia. Okay, so he figured that the unsub was a local, so he frequented local establishments to scope out someone who could be the unsub. Was he deliberately baiting the unsub, letting him know he was back in town, because he suspected the dead woman was his? It didn't sound like Gideon knew who the unsub actually was, just that he had a hunch he was a local man, in his 50s now. So was he trying to get the unsub to track him back to his cabin, or did the unsub manage to just surprise him? But Gideon had security cameras on the approach to his cabin. If he honestly suspected he was being followed, why would he have gone back to his cabin? And if he was being followed, how did he miss it? And if he suspected that the unsub was on to him, why not call Hotch, Reid or Rossi and let them know? Was he so surprised the unsub showed up at his cabin, all he was able to do was shoot the bird picture and hope that Rossi made the connection? I have to question the idea that Gideon would deliberately bait the unsub. It's not like Gideon wanted to die or anything. He wanted to catch the unsub. Of course, all of these contortions are a direct result of the fact that Mandy would NEVER come back to the show, so they couldn't have any scenes with present day Gideon, which sort of hamstrung the episode.

    Even though there was plenty of good team, there was still a ton of unsub, and the level of violence was a bit disturbing to watch (just compare it with earlier seasons when we barely saw any actual violence). It felt sort of gratuitous and unnecessary to me. The episode could have eliminated those scenes and had more team profiling scenes, and then just showed the unsub at the end during the takedown.

    I don't really buy that Rossi and Gideon were that close, but hey, it's probably just one of those things we have to accept for this episode to work.

    I am not a particular fan of Rossi deliberately baiting the unsub into trying to shoot him, so he could justifiably kill the unsub.

    Poor Reid is 33 and still referred to as "the kid." Do they not see him as a mature man, or will he forever keep that nickname as long as he is the youngest person on the team? If not, it certainly explains some of the Reid characterization the last few years.

    Did Penelope REALLY pull up a list of people who worked at the local store back in the 70s, or did she find some other way of getting that info? Because no way would that be on the Internet.

    This isn't really questionable, but rather an interesting observation. This week, Reid was sad and dealing with all sorts of emotions over Gideon. He made contributions, but for the most part, he was rather quiet and introspective. Which is not surprising. What is interesting is to contrast his reaction with JJ from two weeks ago. I mean, she was in the grips of a borderline psychotic, PTSD meltdown and yet she basically single handedly solved the case. It's just interesting story choices the writers make with regards to character actions.

    Overall, this was definitely one of the better episodes this season, though I wish they hadn't MURDERED Gideon. But hey. In any case, it would be interesting to see what more stories Kirsten has within her. I'd watch more of her episodes if she wrote more.

    1. The reason they still refer to Reid as kid is because yes he may be 33 but he is the youngest member of the team and is still really naive sometimes compared to the others reid is a kid

  9. Loved it from start to finish. No only was this one of the best epsisodes of the season, but of the series as well. Kudos to Kirsten and to Erica, well done, the writing was superb, the directing was spot on and the actors were really well featured, not too much of any one person and I even liked JJ in this, it was the old JJ people appreciated,

    Well done CM!

  10. Oh and has Hotch ever laughed in the series? TG's laugh is so hilarious.

    1. Whenever TG smiles or laughs, it literally takes years off his appearance. He does a remarkable job of making Hotch look older than his years, given how the character internalizes everything he's been through. This was a wonderful, special episode. Although Mandy Patinkin left under less than ideal circumstances (to put it mildly), Jason Gideon's character was central to the original BAU team, and he was respected and loved by them. It was so realistic to see all of them grieving his death. If this is what results from Kirsten and Erica collaborating, they need to do it more often!

  11. Well this begs the question why they cannot do episodes like this more often? This was like the Criminal Minds of old with a good spread of team, characters actually acting in character, nice continuity, lots of profiling and a good dose of suspense. Erica Messer obviously ought to write in collaboration all the time as Kirsten seems to have brought in the team as family in a much more believable way. The flashbacks were well done and tied the episode together so well. And thank goodness JJ was more like her old self and we had that nod to her PTSD.
    MGG was great - when that first tear rolled down his cheek when he was in the morgue with Morgan I was undone. Well done CM. Well done Kirsten. Now can we have some more like this.

  12. Like the first reviewer, I needed time to re-watch this episode again and process what happened before I could even begin to intelligently put words together. Because I was beyond words after my live watch.

    I'll start by saying I too was never a fan of Gideon. He is the main reason why when the first two seasons of CM aired, I rarely watched. And that's not a knock on MP. I just didn't like the way the writers wrote the Gideon character.

    There's so much I could say right now; so many things and nuances I noticed. I'll leave that to the episode reviewer. Just let me say this: it should have been a big tip off to me that this episode was going to be huge if Glenn Kershaw was directing it. And damn, Glenn did not disappoint me. From the shot of Hotch standing at the head of Gideon's lifeless body in the cabin, to the brilliant shot of Rossi turning the page back on the old file to introduce the first flashback scene, Glenn just simply nailed this episode.

    And the tie in of the opening shot to "In Name and Blood" with Reid's junker old car pulling up a road and his look. I totally missed the significance of that. So Gideon's murder was a shock to me. Guess it's time for me to go back to profiling school.

    There was so much goodness in this episode I could spend half the night listing them all. Here's my highlights:

    * The excellent Hotch/Rossi scenes. And if anyone doubts that Hotch doesn't know what Dave did to the unsub: guess again.
    * Hotch to JJ: "You know you have to stay here with Garcia." JJ: "I know." Hotch knowing about JJ's PTSD addressed.
    * Ben Savage and Robert Dunne giving me two wonderful portrayals of the younger versions of Gideon and Rossi. It was spot on from the get go. I loved the scene with Dave admitting that Caroline was pregnant. And the later one with Rossi getting Gideon to do the same, with Gideon asking Rossi's middle name. Which brings me to the great scenes involving Stephen with Hotch, Reid and Rossi.
    * Team, team, team and team. Did I mention team?
    * The flashback scenes showing the start of the terminology all of us fans now understand. Serial Crime. Unknown Subject. Signature. Profiler. Which for me, the final scene of Hotch and Rossi riding together with the flashback of Rossi and Gideon tied it all together. Two partners that know each other so well. "We need an army," young Gideon lamented. "So lets go build an army." Who influenced Hotch, now the BAU chief,more than Rossi and Gideo? The start of the army.
    * Hearing Aaron Hotchner laugh and seeing him broadly smile. I will watch that porch scene over and over again.

    If anyone had their doubts about Kirsten Vangsness' abilities to write a CM script (me included), that got blown out of the water. She and Erica put an amazing script on the table. The cast and crew brought their "A" game. And Glenn Kershaw directed the hell out of it.

    Screw my usual Rockie grade and let me say this. As of right now as I write this review, "Nelson's Sparrow" is in my top 5 of the best of CM episodes.

    A couple more watches (or ten) I have no doubt that this episode will move up to #2 on my list, solely behind "100".

  13. When the teaser was finished I said "WOW."

    Good solid episode, lots of profiling, teamwork and emotional touchstones. OTOH, too much unsub/torture porn. He made me absolutely squirm, and that's truly not what I watch this show for, I watch it to find out why these guys do what they do. They didn't explain that part too well, but what they did right was Reid. And the team.

    On another board someone was having trouble with Gideon not being an expert on birds, etc. I said "I think they were implying that this is where Gideon became obsessed with birds, that this particular unsub was The One who set this all in motion, the profiling, the definition of the signature, the caring so deeply for the victims and their families. This is what began it all, 27 years before we see him in Extreme Aggressor, and Gideon evolved into the person he was when Reid knew him." So, 37 years ago, Gideon was much more of an Everyman. This case gave birth to the BAU and the Gideon we knew, who cared so much he broke down twice.

    The last Reid moment, with him deciding not to make the checkmate move on the board, him lovingly memorizing the checkmate, was a really nice touch. Kudos.

  14. I want to say I read every comment here... and really other than another WOW I have very little to add. One thing I will add is this... Some mentioned the unsub and the 'ick' factor. I agree to the extent that some of the unsub scenes probably were a bit too much for my normal liking.. BUT then I thought about this... All those creepy ick factor scenes with the unsub I think set up his ending... Set up allowing us viewers and fans to accept and even go "YES" when Rossi stared him down in old west gunslinger style, and then the 'shot' heard round the BAU... Did I care that David Rossi shot this man seemingly in cold blood? Hell no! I cheered... "GO ROSSI"... We had seen how sadistic this guy was to his victims. We had seen how this case virtually launched the BAU. And more importantly we saw what this unsub did to our team, to one of our own, the pain he created because of his sadistic mind.
    So, three cheers for the 'ick'.... it all in the end allowed me to cheer at that end. Like Erin Strauss said in "Brothers Hotchner".... "When it's family involved this team tends to go roque." And they sure do!

    Now, going off to watch AGAIN! :)

    1. Barb I agree with what your saying. If I may, I'd like to add to your comment. I hope you don't mind.

      I too immediately thought of that scene as the OK Corral shoot out as well. However, and by what I perceive are FBI standards, it was a good shoot. Kershaw's shot of Mallick dead on the ground specifically narrowed to his gun that had fell from his right hand.

      Here's the beauty of the whole scene for me. Rossi stops Mallick as he's running away. Mallick puts his weapon down on the metal box and THEN turns to face Rossi. Rossi put his weapon down on the oil drum to his right while still facing Mallick. Did Rossi goad Mallick into the shoot out? Darn right. Rossi knew he had the upper hand. Rossi simply had to reach for his weapon on his "gun hand" side. Mallick would have to reach across his body to get his weapon in his "gun hand".

      Because Mallick was holding his gun when he was shot, and Dave hadn't moved from his shooting position when Hotch arrived, Rossi is cleared. But was it really a "fair" fight? Hell no. Like his friend Gideon, Rossi profiled the pants off Mallick.

      And like you Barb, I loved it!

  15. Getting the negative out of the way, because it was minimal:
    Too much unsub, with too much graphic gruesomeness. All I needed to know was that he'd held and tortured the same woman for over three decades, and let her suffer through cancer. Didn't need to see the torture of the second victim, nor what happened to the poor bird. Gratuitous----and it displaced the other characters (Reid) from my screen.
    All the rest---classic CM, welcomed back with open arms. Some specific observations:
    Loved the glimpse into the origins of Gideon's interest in birds, as well as the origins of some of the terms we've all learned over the years.
    Loved the characterizations by the 'young Rossi and Gideon' actors, and the interactions between them. Loved the idea that they were both about to become fathers at the same time. The only thing that detracted, for me, was that the actors looked way too young (and the timeline would indicate they were) to have gained enough experience to have been given free rein to start a whole new section within the FBI. It made me wonder if they were being marginalized ( a la X-files) and then ended up proving all the others wrong.
    I wondered why they let Reid make what they all knew would be an emotional drive, in the dark, all alone, especially since Morgan and Garcia obviously traveled together. Not safe, guys. But then we wouldn't have had that great throwback scene of Reid's car arriving to the clearing, nor the closeup look of devastation. Just that, and you had to know that Gideon was dead.
    Loved that the Reid interactions were with Morgan and Rossi. Would have loved it with Hotch as well. As much as I like the idea of the Reid/JJ friendship, it wasn't really what I wanted to see here.
    Loved the exchanges between Hotch and Rossi, and that Hotch actually laughed!
    Loved the nod to JJ's PTSD. Obviously she didn't 'just say no' after reading that file. I will admit to a momentary fear that the unsub would somehow come back to the cabin occupied only by JJ and Garcia, and that all the action would take place there. So glad that didn't happen.
    Loved the ice cream scene, and the return of the JJ and Garcia we used to know. Liked Kate's observations and what seemed to be her respect that the others were, to one degree or another, grieving.
    I don't always notice the music, apart from an occasional song overlying a montage (which I usually don't recognize at all!). But I noticed the music last night, because I thought it was inserted so expertly, and did such a great job of enhancing each scene where it was used.
    I even liked the editing.
    And, finally---Reid. I loved pretty much everything about how the show, and MGG, treated his character last night. He was written and portrayed with emotion, but restraint. The director ( I liked the quality of the directing last night as well) kept Reid visually in scenes where he wasn't part of the conversation, keeping his anguish present. (That's what would have worked for JJ last week.) His scene with Stephen made me wonder if the two had ever met. The hesitation over the chess set brought back a whole stream of memories of him with Gideon. His 'reading' of Gideon's letter from memory was just perfectly delivered--- so quiet, and so pain-filled.
    And here's the most amazing thing. Apart from the reading of that letter, nearly all of the emotional response MGG elicited from us (from me, anyway--just assuming!), he did in virtual silence. His arrival at the cabin, the scene in the morgue, his embrace of Stephen, the scene with the chess set---all without him speaking a word. That's a gift. One that I want to see on my screen again next week, and the week after, and the week after that......
    CM gave itself a challenge last night. It demonstrated that it does remember what good storytelling looks, and sounds and feels like. Now it just has to do it again.

    1. Just YES to everything you said, especially about Reid, and too much unsub.

  16. Just MyOpinion, I so agree with all you said, bad and (mostly) good.

  17. I loved this episode, i loved it and i loved it and i loved it. It felt as though we were watching an episode from the earlier seasons. THIS is criminal minds, this is how great it used to be and I am so glad that they have proven that they can write just as good as they used to if they just put their hearts in it.

    I was afraid that they were going to disturb Gideons memory, because i sort of liked the way it ended for him in season 3, that he was gone, but somewhere out there he still existed and Reid knew that, and we knew that, and therefore it wasn't so hard to see him leave, but the way they killed him off in this episode was well done!

    I really felt for Reid when he cried at the morgue, it was so vivid, he acted so well just then, but i was glad that they made it so his sorrow didn't affect his work.
    I totally understand Reid. Gideon was a father figure, he hero worshiped him a bit even, and it hurts when you lose someone like that. I liked what he said about it in the car with Rossi, it was well written.

    When Hotch laughed, i cried. The scene between Hotch and Rossi at the end was brilliant, i smiled and i cried and i laughed. God, I miss Gideon.
    and just YESSSSSSS, Rossi killed the unsub!

    It's a lot more I want to say about this episode, like how sad and beautiful it was when Reid decided that he wasn't going to make the checkmate move, how i laughed when Hotch and Rossi talked, how much i liked it when Garcia and JJ ate his icecream, how the acting was amazing and so on, but i'm going to stop talking now, and let me ask you this instead: Does anyone know the name of the song that played in the end?

  18. I'll ask this here, as I have elsewhere, because I want to know: why did they use a picture of Erica Messer (and show it twice) and saying it was Gideon's Sarah? Didn't we see Sarah several times? I thought that smacked a little.

  19. That picture was used in the episode "The Evilution of Frank", it was in Gideon's book. We saw Sarah twice, once at Gideon's cabin in The Fisher King, and later when Frank murdered her in S2.

    As to why they used Erica's picture, your guess are as good as ours :)

    1. Maybe it had something to do with paying royalties of some sort. Not they never showed a picture of Mandy Patinkin, only the actor playing his younger version. (At least I didn't see them use one?)

    2. No, not buying it. They could have gotten the photo of a model who resembled the actress who played Sarah. Heck, they probably could have paid the actress a one-time fee for a shot. The use of the very recognizable Ms. Messer, not once but twice, so we really get distracted from the important scene, screams of ego.

    3. At the time they used Erica's photo for the first time, very few fans, if any, knew how she looked.

      My take on they using her photo way back in Season 2 is a two part:

      1. she does resemble the actress they hired to play Sarah
      2. let's not forget Ed Bernero's - director of "No Way Out II: The Evilution of Frank" - penchant for adding little "cookies" for the fans to find (many episodes has them, some more obvious than others; in fact in many episodes even now you can find photos of crew/writers/producers used as props).

      Once that photo had been used, - obviously they kept Gideon's little black book in the props dept., - wouldn't make any sense to change it and use any other.

    4. Sir Elyan, that makes no sense to me that they would use a photo of anyone other than the actress who was in those two episodes and in "Doubt". Granted, i haven't seen The Evilution in a while, but the last time i did I knew what Erica looked like, and I don't remember that face in a photograph when Gideon pasted her in his book.

    5. Suegypt, The character Sarah was only in two episode's Fisher King Pt. 1 - and No Way Out Pt2 - the Evilution of Frank where she was murdered. Two different actresses played in those episodes. She didn't appear in Doubt per say rather her image was a hallucination Gideon was having.

    6. Barb, did an actress not play that hallucination? And wouldn't they have used the actress who played her in No Way Out as the person in the photo at the end of that episode? That's all I'm saying. Simply, I do not believe they used a photo of Erica Messer as if she were Sarah at the end of No Way Out. If they did, i'll have to see it.

    7. No.. the shots were taken from No Way Out 2... the actress was not on set... I'll get a screen cap of that.. They would have as everytime her image would have been shown they'd have to pay the actress thousands. And seeing at the time of No way out 2 they didn't know MP was leaving, Ed stuck one of his infamous cookies in the episode.

    8. here is the picture from the episode 2.23 'No way out'

    9. I stand corrected and thank you for finding that.

      I still say an Easter Egg from 7 years ago is an ego trip when used (twice) in 2015.

    10. You are welcomed :) and I prefer to call this continuty in this case, it tied well the the episode.

  20. So I found this episode interesting, yet weird. I just don't think it was necessary to kill a character who is no longer on the show. I wasn't the hugest Gideon fan, but I didn't want him to be murdered. Especially by this specific unsub. I mean Gideon faced multiple unsubs that seemed more likely to come after him compared to this unsub.
    What I did like was JJ being sidelined this episode and NOT solving the case singlehandedly, Thankyouverymuch! As always Garcia was great, and I really liked Kate in this episode--I think she is great, too! Reid (my love), was written well, BUT are they trying to make this character be THE MOST MISERABLE person ever!?? Can we EVER see a happy Reid??
    All in all, the episode was shocking, for me it was good, I guess 7.5 out of 10.

  21. I absolutely loved this episode. I'm so glad I stayed up (despite taping it and having a TV pass from Amazon) to watch it even if it meant getting four hours of sleep, as I had to get up for work at 2AMish.

    There are so many things I loved:

    REID. man, MGG, certainly has awesome acting chops. I about lost it at the quiver of his lips and DID loss it when that lone tear fell down his cheek at the ME.

    I thought it was fitting that the episode started out with Reid driving up in his old car, same type of expression as In Name and Blood. You INSTINTLY knew something was terribly wrong.MGG nailed it with his broken expression and his weighted walk up to the cabin. His body language SCREAMED he was absolutely dreading what he knew he'd find out was true.

    I loved that scene with Morgan telling Reid that "sometimes you put up these walls and you block us out and you can't do that not right now. " Sometimes, I can barely stand Morgan, this episode though brought back the Morgan of earlier seasons. Yes, he ( and Rossi) still call Reid, "Kid," but I can understand that. I'm only a few years younger than he is (I'm 30) and I still get called that, carded for PG13!!! Movies and was asked by airport employees at three different airports recently when I was traveling alone Cross-country. But I disgress. Back to CM....

    The whole scene with Rossi taking Reid to the bunker was awesome. I love Reid and Rossi moments.

    Brilliant casting for young Rossi and Gideon. Robert did a great job, as he did earlier and Ben (dang, wrote "Corey" at first) was the perfect choice for Gideon. It makes me wonder if Ben sought CM out, having learned of the role or CM sought Ben out, seeing the resemblance.

    Also, the Editting was fantastic. I loved the fades from present to past, the case file opening to the same room in 1978, when current Rossi opened the file, the SUV cutting to the car that young Rossi and Gideon used, etc.

    I enjoyed seeing Stephan and learning he was named after Rossi (well...his middle name, but that still counts). The hug between Stephan and Spencer was great too. Two sons (though one not related, there's no doubt Reid saw Gideon as a father figure) grieving together.

    I also caught the chess game at the beginning And then at the end with Reid deciding not to complete the checkmate. A simple thing that showed a lot.

    I liked the case as I found it interesting.

    If this is the kind of work Kirsten puts into her scripts, they ought to make it a mandate that EM has to work with her when EM is slated to write a script. I was scared to see how this episode would be, knowing that I don't typically like EM's work, but this collaboration with Kirsten was wonderful.


  22. I've got a question. Mallick taped two rings into his scrapbook. One gold and a silver one. Reid gave them back to Stephen in the end. I'm assuming the gold one was Gideon's that he wore. Who does the silver one belong to?

    1. Gideon wore the two bands.... one silver one gold.. I think they represented his marriage.... it was never really explained 'what' happened between he and his wife.. But in some episodes he's in you can clearly see the two rings.

  23. When Reid was looking at Gideon's book, he said that maybe he stopped in Roanoke because he finally found someone else to make him happy. The small picture of Sarah reminded me of the small picture of Maeve that Reid put on Garcia's Day of the Dead altar. It also reminded me of when Reid was speaking to Blake in the car, telling her that for a few months he had only a taste of what she had with her husband, and what's rare is finding someone that makes us happy (S8 ep22 I think). I also liked the overhead perspective shots (chessboard, the end, etc.) which almost seemed as if Gideon was looking down on them, or a bird's eye view.

  24. Maybe someone can answer this for me. The Ben Savage performance on "Nelson's Sparrow" was spot on. How many of the episodes did Ben need to watch before he perfected the mannerisms?

    1. Apparently nobody knows, outside of Ben himself of course, but if you've read the interview TV Guide published on Thursday, (after the episode aired, last post in this blog), looks like the best guess they've come up with is that he binge-watched the whole 2 seasons Gideon was on Criminal Minds.

    2. Thank You Sir Elyan for the prompt response.

      I need to finish my thoughts before I hit the publish key. Lol


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