Sunday, March 15, 2015

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 10 - 1017. Breath Play - Review

The one thing that crime shows tend to is take the pulse of what's currently a hop topic for its viewers. Popularized by Law & Order with their ripped from the headlines kind of storytelling, Criminal Minds took a page from their book this week with a story that used the recent 50 Shades of Gray phenomenon to create a truly nasty unsub for the episode titled "Breath Play".

The basic story was that the BAU was called to Wisconsin to figure out why the bodies of young women with signs of strangulation - in this case, auto-erotic asphyxiation - were showing up. The unsub was a handsome guy with a great smile - and a family. He had a hassled wife and children. And a seriously creepy obsession with a 50 Shades-like book and role-playing that out. Which ended up with a lot of dead bodies.

WHAT WORKED:
  • The Unsub was truly creepy. Perhaps it was the whole "I thought he was such a nice guy who always smiled at me" kind of vibe. Maybe it was the utter adoration from his daughter, but whatever it was, it worked. The scene where he attacked the nanny was horrific and chilling and I may have muttered a few thoughts about what I thought the Unsub deserves to have happen to him.
  • Rossi's nudge to his High School years. It caught me off-guard and I admit I laughed.
  • Callahan's pregnancy and the story with her niece. It was an emotionally grounded story that worked. I admit that considering AJ's recently announced pregnancy, I assumed that it would be JJ's second pregnancy that would be written in (especially with the prior miscarriage trauma) so I was surprised that they wrote this one in, but this B plot worked for me.
WHAT DIDN'T WORK:
  • The wife. I never got a full grasp on what her issue was. She was hassled, but there was just this un-relatable disconnect going on. Also, the daughter. For as much as the whole situation with the father provided the story with its emotional trauma and heartbreak, she was something of a brat and you kind of wanted her to see that the world doesn't revolve around this guy who is never around. It was hard for me to care a lot about her.
  • The long longing shot from the Unsub at the end towards his daughter - the dude destroyed his daughters life and made her see something she will likely never get over; his love for her becomes irrelevant at that point.
  • Anything related to 50 Shades. I understood why they did it and the episode glancingly reflected the issues with people jumping into worlds they are mentally and physically ill-suited for, but I think there's a much bigger conversation that has to happen on something like that and I'm not sure that this episode did that the kind of justice it needs. Then again, that's somewhat of my negative feelings towards the book coming out.
All in all, probably not my favorite episode but much of that likely has to do with the topic as opposed to the overall execution which was, for the most part, standard Criminal Minds.


~~~~Sir Gareth

1 comment:

  1. Sir Gareth, I totally agree. It was more about the topic than it was the actual episode. And I'm willing to bet that if 50 Shades wasn't in movie theaters right now, this topic might have worked more well. But honestly, it came across as "let's jump on that bandwagon".

    Great review Sir Gareth!

    ReplyDelete

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.