Wednesday, October 7, 2015

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 11 - 1102. The Witness - Comments Thread

This thread is open for you all to post comments and talk about tonight's new CRIMINAL MINDS episode, titled 'THE WITNESS', written by SHARON LEE WATSON.

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

31 comments:

  1. I don't know what to say about this one. On the one hand I loved that we did learn who the unsub was, near the end of the episode. We had lots of profiling. Almost everyone had lots to do. Alas, this one didn't grab me. It was a bit slow and there was too much Charlie, although the actor playing him, Tim Kang from The Mentalist fame, was good. The ending with Reid and Dr. Lewis was awesome, so was the shot of Hotch arresting the unsub. Still, this episode didn't have me on the edge of my seat but rather well ensconce in my seat. It missed the thrill that writer Sharon Lee Watson season 9 episode 'A Thousand suns' had. Like I said this one was a bit slow, it did pick up speed by the end. I don't know if the slowness was due to the writing or directing but I definately wish this one had more thrill to it.

    I'll give this episode a 7/10

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    1. i think the story was well done, the caracters worked very well, i was not the the edge of my seat, but good enought. More of a psicologychal drama than a triller.

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    2. my favorite episodes from Sharon are: rock C Park, Magnificent light, Dorado falls, Alchemy, she is a great writer for psychological drama

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  2. I was ready to write this episode off until the last few minutes of the Final Act. Especially with in the station Hotch FINALLY becoming in the field Hotch. It's about time!

    I always rail about too much unsub. This didn't have that; it was a great reveal and wonderful team work to figure out who the real unsub was. That said, it was too much Charlie. I get why Sharon used him (much like the unsub) to set up the story. But I'll say it again: I watch this show to see a team of elite FBI agents doing their job of profiling. On that account, this episode failed mostly.

    Which is a huge disappointment to me. I've come to expect so much from Sharon Lee Watson. And she did write the scene with Reid "inserted" into the six weeks of passengers getting on the bus, which was a nice touch. But the directing was choppy at best.

    I did love to here the practical joke war between Morgan and Reid is still going on. Yet, there was just enough to save this episode from a failing grade.

    Rockie's grade: C-

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  3. IMHO, this episode had plenty of thrill. I went into the episode knowing there would be a red-herring type of distraction. The co-pilot and others were the distraction in "A Thousand Suns" which was a Season 10 Episode, 1003 to be precise. Although there was more of Charlie, I was on the edge of my seat for this one wondering what was going to happen next. Lots of profiling, lots of team and plenty of Reid's genius and Hotch action.

    This was a pretty off-beat episode, however, even for Sharon. Seeing as this was Tara Lewis's first episode as a team member, Sharon was tasked with making her interestingly interact with the rest of the team while still telling a thrilling Criminal Minds story, and keeping up the awesomeness of the only-5-team-members suspense. With all that in mind, she knocked it out of the park. The second watch is even more thrilling. I can understand why others may not have enjoyed this one as much as I did, but again, I went into it knowing that there would be a red-herring type distraction. Tim Kang was incredible, even though his presence was a smokescreen of sorts. So was Reid, especially in the green-screen scene. Three years in a row, Sharon's first episode of the season has Reid telling us how the crime happened in the green screen.

    All of that said, It began well, ended well, and plenty of action and genuine profiling and science in between with good team action. Classic Sharon. Considering that with which she was tasked, she rose to the challenge. Also, John Terlesky always surprises me. The Hotch shot was phenominal. Not her best like A Thousand Suns, but oooooodles better than "Amelia Porter." And better than many episodes I've seen in the past few years. I'd give it a solid 8/10.
    Can't wait to see what Karen Maser will bring to CM with Joe behind the cameras. Bring it on!
    LONG LIVE CM!

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    1. This was a bit of a hiccup considering Sharon's history of astounding writing, however. I think this episode had huge potential - 10/10 potential - but we saw a 7 or 8/10 tonight. I'm not disappointed; i'll watch it again; every writer has their moments of weakness. This would be one; but the episode was still amazing in my book. That's how good Sharon is.

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  4. I fell asleep after the third commercial, for the first time in 11 seasons, I have no more to say. My Grade: C-

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  5. I've been sitting here trying to figure out what to say about this episode... And in all honest I can't really say a whole lot more then other's have other then I was disappointed....

    There were a few 'good' aspects to this episode... Reid's fishie thing was cute... Who knew Spencer Reid would have a pet.... :)

    The end with Hotch was excellent.. And no not just because it was Hotch.... mostly because throughout the entire episode the directing felt choppy and disjointed... At times it jumped too much leaving me confused and trying to catch up with what was happening. That ending scene of the take down was smooth... Of course you knew it was coming but the way it did just felt right...

    I also liked the conversations between Tara Lewis and Spencer. And the little bit hearkening back to the Prank Wars with Morgan at the end.

    Over all I won't be watching this episode again.. even though it might help in understanding the whole thing.

    Final Grade for this Episode... C (6/10)

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  6. I love me some Sharon Lee Watson but this was not up to snuff. Too much unsub, even if it was a red herring unsub. Not enough Hotch. Why pay TG big bucks and then fail to use him adequately? Tis the question of the ages I guess.

    I have seen it posted elsewhere that it looks like TG got botox or a facelift. I don't think it does but he and JM do look different, as if there were filming them using old style silk screen. I don't know what, maybe I am getting another cataract. At least Thomas' lips are no longer bright pink and Joe doesn't look all oompa-loompa as in bygone seasons.

    Not feeling the CM love of previous seasons.

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  7. P.....o.......n......d.......e......r......o.......u.......s. Were they really expecting to draw viewers from 'Empire' with this? Or have they already conceded?

    CM staff, you can do so much better. Get to it!

    The specifics:
    When I read the preview summary about the sarin attack in LA, I got excited, because I thought it would offer so many opportunities for good storytelling. But I don't think that's what we got.

    What I would have liked to have seen:
    Hotch caught in the dilemma of how much information to release---does telling the truth to the media risk a mass panic, or does it save lives from more potential planned attacks on mass transit? It was touched on in 'Amplification', and it should have been a factor here. This wasn't some people mysteriously dying in a few hospitals. That could be kept quiet. This was a bus accident, with many witnesses. The press would have been all over it.

    A focus on how home-grown terrorists become so. The whole idea of a pair of brothers who'd been part of a cult, and then aspired to terrorism, was thrown out there in, seemingly, thirty seconds of verbal exposition. To me, that's lazy storytelling. This could have been great material for Rossi, with his several past experiences dealing with cults, for Reid with his extensive knowledge of various cults (because you know he went there after Minimal Loss), and even for Tara, with her knowledge of forensic psychology. Instead, we got 45 minutes of a hapless red herring. The BAU's immediate focus on him was a terrible case of premature closure. They didn't do the very thing they were brought in to do.

    Real tension in the final part of the episode. We could have had real danger to the agents in the building, searching for the source of their attack, trying to use a profile to predict where the sarin might have been placed. Instead, we had a car driven into an uninhabited garage, and a bunch of FBI agents staring into a box of fish feeders. I appreciated Hotch's desire to have the garage evacuated and sealed, but since the entrance and sides were open, I wondered how they would accomplish it, even if they'd had more than five minutes. In the end, for a program to be believable, it is necessary to make some sense, however rudimentary. This one didn't.

    I did enjoy Hotch coming up behind the unsub, but would have found it more exciting and tense if we'd seen a little more of the search.

    So much missed opportunity, and I suspect there is plenty of blame to go around---writing, directing, editing.

    The only positives for me were the bookended scenes of Reid with Tara, and even those were tainted. I did like that he was on my screen quite a bit in this episode, so technically it passed the Reid-meter----but the rest of the story was so bad that I probably won't watch it again anyway. And I'm with the rest of you who don't want to see the prank war return. But I did like the homage to the friendship between Reid and Morgan, and it did feel like a more adult one than in the past.

    As to the bookends being tainted-----I am about to be very shallow here, but it's something that I find so off-putting that I can't ignore it. I don't like Tara---and part of the reason is that I find her appearance so very odd. I wasn't familiar with the actress, so I watched that episode of The Talk that Shemar was on. She's actually very attractive. But, on CM, the hair and makeup, the lack of facial expression, really the nearly total lack of facial movement at all-----they combine to make her feel synthetic. I can't relate to her at all. And, even if I could, I would have appreciated her having more of a learning curve before assimilating so fully into the team.

    And now, for the really unpopular opinion: I miss JJ. I miss a feminine touch to the team, and Tara doesn't bring it. I don't know that it's necessary to the function of the team, except, perhaps, with certain witnesses----but I miss it.

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    1. Thanks, that was an awesome review. I can sign what you wrote, I feel the same way. But on top of all I felt there was too much lack of Hotch.

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  8. sorry to say but i like Tara, she is doing a great job, and facial expresion?? I don't see any facial expression in JJ's face. I don't miss her at all.

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  9. Tara is great, JJ is kind of boring, flat, tooo perfect...

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  10. It's amazing how perception can be so different, isn't it? My guess is that the ratings will reflect where the majority of viewers' perceptions lie.

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    1. when it comes to ratings, let's wait and see for the Live+7 days viewing before we judge how popular an episode is or not :)

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    2. I agree. And if I may, let me add this. There was a baseball playoff game airing against CM that had the Chicago Cubs playing. Chicago is the third largest TV market in the US. And there are many Cubs fans across the country.

      The overnight numbers neither surprised or makes me worry given what CM was up against.

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    3. I was worried about the numbers but less so once I heard about the baseball game. I can't lose my favorite show!

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  11. I think it is pretty well established that the ratings went up when AJ left the first time. Her presence in this meh episode would not have had an impact, in my opinion.

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    1. I agree that JJ couldn't have saved this episode. I also know that one character, in one episode, won't make or break a full season's ratings. I have no idea if you are correct in your statement about the ratings having fallen for the season where JJ left. If so, it will be interesting to see what happens this season, when she returns. Perhaps none of us should focus on the downturn in the ratings for last night's episode. I'm pretty sure the showrunners would prefer that.

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    2. Yes, when AJC left and Rachel Nichols came on the ratings went up
      ratings for the season 6 average 3.46 demo and 13.61m viewers
      with AJC and PB back in season 7 demo 3.39 and viewers 12.63m viewers again in the Live+same day viewing ( source: http://www.seriesmonitor.com/criminalminds/index.html)

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    3. Should add that yes I think not having AJC at the moment is hurting the rating a bit but we will know if that is really the case when she comes back full time.

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    4. Although JJ is my second fav, I think this episode was ruined by the writing and the focus on Charly instead of the team. If JJ would have been present, I don't think there would have been much difference.

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    5. This episode was a disappointment because two thirds of it focused on Charlie and JJ's presence would not have changed that. In point of fact I am really enjoying this break from the omnipresent JJ and am not missing her in the slightest. It is nice that the others get more time and especially nice how this season so far Reid is shown as a competent experienced agent. I expect this week's ratings were damaged by the sport.

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  12. I rarely comment on the episodes, but today I'm making an exception for 2 reasons: I too have high expectations for a Sharon Lee Watson's script that weren't met in this one, and I think I've seen crystal clear where this episode went wrong.

    To me where the episode went wrong, from a viewer point of view, is easy, is just a matter of taking out 3 details from the script, or later in the editing room.

    - We should never have known Charly had killed his wife's lover until the team guesses what's happened and later the body is discovered ---> the first scene kills the "is he innocent or not" mystery.
    - Don't let Michael call him a murderer while messaging him at the start ---> why should we know why Charly surrenders to his demands/blackmail, another mystery killer.
    - He should never have seen the body when he goes to fetch that computer ---> instead of adding to the mystery, it confuses the plot.

    Take that out, and you've everybody playing the guessing game about what's going on; nobody would have been bored for 2/3 of the episode... and would have had the benefit of cutting Charly's screentime by the necessary amount to give us more team's police work and profiling!

    Would have had another benefit, with more to discover and profile, Hotch would have had something of importance (quality!) to contribute.

    Piece of advice to all the writers:

    Is just as bad to have too much Unsub at work, as to have too much red-herring-played-by-guest-actor at work.

    Is just as bad to learn too much about the Unsub from the Unsub, as is to learn too much about the red-herring side of the plot from the character carrying said red-herring part.

    Is just as bad to have one of the main characters doing all the work and profiling everything that there's to profile (see JJ in previous seasons), as to have just one left out of the quality part of the work, more so if it's the Team Leader. Both scenarios are jarring and bound to anger the fans.

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    1. well said! I too usually love Sharon's scripts but didn't like this one much except for the end with Reid and Tara and the one where Hotch arrested the unsub. Otherwise too much about Charly.

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    2. I didn't see any member of the BAU dominating to the exclusion of others, a la JJ in previous seasons. The only egregious omission I noted was the absence of Hotch -- but they did give him that most excellent takedown,

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    3. thank you for pointing out the bad move on having Hotch totally out of the loop, like "left out of the quality part of the work" . Even the 10 second long takedown didn't make that up for me.

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    4. Excellent observations, Sir Elyan. And WHY can't they see these things? Why don't they grasp how important the writing is ?

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  13. I'm just going to toss out some things that come to mind.

    Best thing: HOTCH in the takedown and by himself no less!!! We see that so rarely, almost like a comet sighting. LOL For me, there is just something so sexy about Hotch going on "FBI guy" on an unsub and being all stealthy while doing it.

    I do kind of like the interaction between Reid & Lewis. They both have PhD's, so I can see them relating as doctors on a level different from other team members.

    As for the rest of the episode, way too much Charlie. And, I took a strong dislike to the wife. By the end of the episode, I was wondering if Charlie could plead insanity or diminished capacity just because he had her as a wife. She would have driven me to murder something or someone. I didn't understand why the unsub didn't just kill the wife when he had the chance, why did he have to use this elaborate plan with Charlie.. Obviously he was following his brother, so saw him meeting up with the wife. It wouldn't have been hard to kill her after any rendezvous. Which leads me to the question, did he really need his brother after all? He did all of this by himself anyway, didn't he?

    Maybe there was too much other going on, like the Cubs playing...but this episode didn't hold my interest and my thoughts about it the day after are just blah. I can't really point to anything compelling about it for me. Not good...not bad...just a whatever episode.

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  14. This episode was ok. Last week's was better, but I really miss JJ alot....I can't wait for her to come back.

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  15. Glad to know I wasn't the only one who got bored with this episode. After 10 seasons they doesn't seem to learn! The fans don't want to watch unsub or possible sudes on the second 1 !!!
    We want to see more action from our guys. Yes, sudes' plot is important but I prefier to watch our guys on screen.

    With the season premiere was excited and thought, 'this season will be different, it won't be bored'. And in the 2nd episode has done! A record!!

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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.