Wednesday, December 2, 2015

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 11 - 1109. Internal Affairs - Comments Thread

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

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

97 comments:

  1. I don't know where to begin... From the Sneak Peeks I was seriously thinking this episode was going to 'suck'... but I watched it and let me just say WOW!!!!!

    Yes, Reid wasn't in this episode...But with the amount of time each of the other team members had I'm ok with that... If as MGG said another team member is leaving I think they have their magic number of 6!

    As for this episode The 'B' Plot was rivetting. Hotch was in all his glorifying Hotchness... Loved the twists and turns... :) And Hotch figuring it all out in the end... Vunderbar!

    The case itself... Creepy Creepy good.... Sharon wrote a masterpiece...

    My final score 15 out of 10 and A++++

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  2. I was so prepared for disappointment but Sharon delivered the best episode we have seen since Mr Scratch! I swear Gibson had more screen time this episode than he has had in all the episodes this season combined and he was superb! It was thrilling and scary and I was so sure someone was going to sneak up on Garcia. The suspense was awesome. The ending was so precious. Bravo!

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  3. Oh my what a great episode this was! CM was back at being a thrill ride once again!

    First, the case of the week. Good one, with a totally creepy unsub who was a text book psycho! Those poor DEA agents. Was so shouting at my TV 'get him Morgan, get him!'. I guess Lewis will have learn a hard lesson, never shook hand with an unknown subject :D

    Loved the scene with the soccer mom turn cartel runner who so tried to play it as if she was dealing with juniors agents. Rossi and JJ did prove to her that she was really just an amateur.

    Best part of the episode was definately the one where Hotch was roped by a NSA agent, Axelrod, who we have seen in last season episode 'Mr. Scratch', to help catch the head of the cartel that Hotch's team was going after its killer who had already killed two DEA agents and had one in captivity. Loved the cat and mouse game between Hotch and the possible suspects. Favorite scene was when Hotch was about to get into his SUV, after getting a suspicious call from one of the suspect, Hotch just stayed away and started the vehicule remotely. Awesome scene where the tension was high. Thanks god Hotch was not blown up!

    Another favorite scene was the one at the end where Hotch and Garcia had having dinner, Loved it how Hotch just knwowing Penelope needd a friend stayed and enjoyed her cooking.

    Writer Sharon Lee Watson did write an excellent episode that I did enjoy from start to finish. We had perfect team balance, lots suspense, tension, mystery and creepy moments( the unsub removed his victims face to put on another victim, yuck!), we Had team members in peril moments which added to the tension. I would have given this episode a 10/10 but it gets a 9.5/10 because it was missing Doctor Reid. Not the writer's fault for Matthew Gray Gubler absence but still, missed Spencer.

    Bravo CM, you did recover well from the last episode!

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  4. Who sung the song Be By My Side at the end when Hitch and Garcia were getting the omelets ready, I want it for my girlfriend

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  5. Now this was a CRIMINAL MINDS EPISODE!!!! This is what we want... the TEAM doing what they do, and Sharon definitely made up for Reid's absence! Hotch, baby, HOTCH!!! I love his relationship with Tony Axelrod, I loved the storylines (both A and B were breathtaking!) I knew that the Sneek Peeks were just throwing us off, I knew that we (the fans) needed a lift after a KH episode, and Sharon is the woman for the job, but this was amazing completely beyond my expectation. Especially Reid-less. It would've been nice to see Matt Cruz maybe at the beginning but its all good.

    Now Sharon Lee Watson is WITHOUT A DOUBT the writer (the best writer) who gets this show the most. By far. Hotch was with a joint-task-force (the most realistic way that the BAU investigates or helps with a big case) and we saw Hotch and the others (not to mention, with Hotch in complete and total leader-mode) and JJ, Morgan, and Lewis all contributing equally! Not that there is a set hierarchy, but I like that Rossi was the first to know after Hotch! We also saw JJ noticeably dialed down (did I mention how much I love Sharon?) Let Erica run Beyond Borders which btw looks awesome and she seems comfortable with the sister-show's staff... and may Sharon Lee Watson be the showrunner of Criminal Minds! She and Jim Clemente (keep Bruce Breen and Virgil but that's it) and this show can be brought back to its original greatness, not unlike Seasons 4 and 5.

    It's nice to dream. But I'm also very much a realist. And I believe things will continue to be the way they are, in terms of leadership, but the storylines are showing serious potential! Don't write off Entropy yet either! (whoever reads this) Reid's date could be a smokescreen covering something awesome that will emerge from it. This episode was total greatness, 10/10 A+++, can't give it a good enough grade, and next week's should be awesome too. By the way, loved that Tony Axelrod reached out to Hotch. He was great in Mr. Scratch and as MGG said on the DVD commentary, they seemed to have a short-hand with each other as actors, projecting a sense of familiarity with each other. This episode had so many awesome shout-outs to Mr. Scratch, and I'll take those any day cause that was a great episode too.
    Anyway, 10/10, awesomeness, amazing directing by Diana C. Valentine.
    LONG LIVE CM!!!!!!

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  6. It was a good episode. A vast improvement of the last one. It was interesting and it kept my attention throughout. It didn't wow me since I haven't been wowed by any tv show episode in years. Personally I didn't think they needed the B story line about the mole. It didn't add anything to the case. The case itself was strong enough to stand on it own legs for the hour. Hopefully next weeks episode will continue the uphill climb and that we're not at the top of the lift hill waiting to do down.

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    1. The B storyline wasn't just about the 'mole' for this case.. It is also about the whole ongoing arc about the Dark Net and the Dirty Dozen... So yes it was necessary... :)

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    2. Oh, yeah. It was mentioned. Maybe I didn't pick it up because I have no interest the Dark Net and the Dirty Dozen story arc. I don't care about it since they said it will be wrapped up somewhere mid season so why care until that episode. There is no surprise to it because the producers and writers talk about it in advance. It was the same way with the Replicator arc.

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  7. This was another one of those episodes where I liked the B subplot (with Hotch) to be much more interesting than the A story. I was utterly bored through most of the A story, as the story reminded me too much of Angels and Demons, and I had to watch smart law enforcement agents make stupid choices, like they were in a horror movie, all to create cheap suspense drama.

    Hotch was more interesting to watch, as he basically played a cat and mouse game to figure out what was really going on. It was interesting (though generally spot on) to see him compared to Eliot Ness and his scene at the end with Penelope (one of the few times this episode I liked her). We saw all sides of Hotch this episode, and that was good to see.

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  8. How hard to please is someone who would vote this as a fail?

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    1. That's a damn good point! LOL Perhaps they were expecting to see CSI: Cyber and CM was too entertaining for them... ?

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    2. Different people have different tastes. It's not so much about being hard to please as it is about just preferring different aspects of the show.

      I didn't think it was a total fail, but there were some parts of the episode that hit the fail-o-meter for me. In particular, Morgan leaving Tara to go interview neighbors while he drove away. They should know by now that splitting up is a bad idea.

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  9. Can we get Sharon Watson to write all the episodes??? This episode was suspense filled and kept me on the edge of my seat for a good part of the episode. I'm not a big fan of Shemar Moore/Derek Morgan, but he was good in his role tonight, as was JJ, another character I'm not fond of. It seemed that most everyone had the proper amount of time onscreen.

    I didn't mind that Hotch stayed back and had another investigation he was involved in; in fact, that was more interesting than the one the remaining team was working on. The team's story was interesting, it just wasn't as intriguing as the one involving Hotch. And the one scene that had me on the edge of my seat was Hotch becoming cautious when he went to his SUV and decided to check it out before rushing to get in it. First, I expected it to explode when he clicked his keys, then I wasn't too sure it wasn't going to explode up until he got in it and drove away. A very good "edge of the seat scene", and one we havent had in a long time.

    I liked that Morgan stopped Garcia's inappropriate comment and asked her for whatever information she had for them...I hate her inappropriate comments. And Hotch's ending scene with her, where she was living in her "lair" in some kind of witness protection situation (not a true safe house) was cute. It's nice seeing him smile occasionally, and he has a lovely smile...lol.

    And this is kind of tacky to say, but I kept waiting for Lewis to shoot the unsub, that would make it 3 for 3.

    I'd have to give this episode a 10/10 and say it's the best one this season, in my opinion.

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  10. My favorite TV show re-appeared! Where have you been? Because this episode was the Criminal Minds I know and love.

    Sharon Lee Watson was at her finest again. Both the A and B storylines were great. And Ooooo how I loved the Hotch and Rossi scene at the beginning. Be still my fangirl heart. And I nearly pee'd my pants with laughter as Garcia was spouting fashion tips to the two of them. Really Garcia? LOL But that girl was in serious denial.

    The A plot line was it usual ick, ick and icky. Just my style. And I loved the teamwork figuring out it was just a plain wackadoodle (Sharon still gets props from me for that term from "A Thousand Suns") unsub, rather than someone connected to the online drug cartel. And the soccer mom? Seriously? You think you can bluff your bad poker hand with Rossi? hehehehehehe And I loved Rossi's look (JM playing his character to the hilt); he looked bored with it. Perfection! And there was great team balance. I do have one minor complaint though; Morgan did you never watch Top Gun? You NEVER leave your wingman. NEVER! But as some pointed out, you've got to set up some drama and it is a TV show.

    The B storyline with Hotch was fantastic. Great to see Axelrod again. I remembered him from before, but I couldn't place the episode. A Twitter friend clued me in. It was a great plot twist with Hotch being extra on guard approaching his SUV and then BLAM! The NSA guy gets killed. That was an amazing twist. And Hotch's subtle smackdown of the NSA director at the end was typical Hotch; controlled and methodical. I know this is not the end of the plot twists with Dirty Dozen. But it sure set up a great follow-up. And the scene with Hotch and Garcia (who was well balanced in this one) was just amazing. I love them two together. And we got another scene of Hotch laughing! Brownie points there for Sharon!

    I think you all know Rockie's grade for this one. And you're right. A+

    Welcome back BAU team and Criminal Minds.

    Let's just keep this rolling OK?

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    1. I agree with every single word you've said, my friend! You are a smart man Rockie! My Hotch fangirl heart skipped a beat last night as well LOL. I'm curious; since you and I seem to have a bit of an eye for cinema, what did you make of Diana C. Valentine's directing? Personally, I thought it was fantastic. Any thoughts?

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  11. Wow. So no one here miss Reid. What a family! That's why you keep losing ratings.

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    1. What this means is that 'we' fans are able to watch the episode objectively. We rated the episode based on it's own merits not just on which character's were in it or did what. From start to finish this was a superior episode and the CM fandom is happy.

      If you are looking to come to CMRT and insult people, or badmouth cast/crew I will warn you now, your posts will be automatically deleted. IF you want to come and discuss the episode honestly and politely then you're welcome here.

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    2. THIS fan, who is equally a part of 'the fandom' with any other individual fan, DID miss Reid, and found the episode lacking thereby. THIS fan is NOT happy.

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    3. Sharon Lee Watson is undoubtedly the best of the bunch of current writers. Sadly for me, and many, many, many others, CM just isn't right without Reid and although next to Reid I like Hotch it's not enough to entice me to watch. While I respect MGG's wish for time out, this fan, along with literally millions of others, is NOT happy and just counting down till episode 11.11 airs.

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    4. reid is cute, but i didn't miss him. Some people didn't miss when JJ was she was off. and etc . I like Reid but like the other characters, he is not the same Reid of previous seasons.

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    5. Oh, I definitely missed him. It's not CM without him. I watched simply because I wanted to give my opinion on the episode, and one can't without having watched it. I'll likely watch next week for the same reason, and i hold out hope that 11.11 will be good, but it won't make up for what TPTB are doing to the show.

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  12. Reid is my number 2 favorite and is my husband's number 1 favorite and I have to say that the episode was so on the edge and so well done that I really only thought of Reid because the male victim being give salt water had "Reid hair". I do understand the disappointment but apparently MGG needed time off and we can either be miserable or happily anticipate his return.

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  13. JustMyOpinion I understand where you are coming from and respect that. I missed Reid too. But as CMRT has had this poster coming onto the Blog and badmouthing posters, cast and crew a warning is being put out to hopefully prevent that.

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    1. Understood, and I do appreciate when the vitriol is policed.

      I just don't think any one of us should speak for 'the CM fandom', because said fandom is made up entirely of individuals, each with a unique personal assortment of opinions, likes, dislikes, favorites, reasons for watching or not.

      It sounds like we might be able to agree, then, that each opinion---as long as it is respectfully delivered----is as valid, and worthy of respect, as any other opinion.

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    2. Absolutely...This fandom and all it's individuality is what makes it coming here and to other sites worth it. When 'one' poster is nasty and abusive it upsets the wonderful conversations that often transpire. And I for one will always act as swiftly as possible to limit that type of vitriol so that we 'all' can enjoy talking and discussing the episodes.

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    3. I'm with JMO in requesting that CMRT not try to speak for "the CM fandom," as i totally disagree with what you opined, respectfully, of course. We fans differ, and we're not being "hard to please" when we think an episode is a fail.

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    4. Well Sue, I respectfully disagree. If anyone found this episode to be lacking I would be at a loss to understand what would please them. If this is all about Reid being MIA I can understand but to give an excellent episode a fail because of his absence is just way off the mark to me.

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    5. Sue,

      We at CMRT are fans too and when we say 'the fandom' the comment is meant at large and like with the Nielsen ratings system, what we see online, and we cannot see it all like Nielsen cannot measure up all the audience, we base our comment/opinion on what we see and not on the whole of the fandom. What we see here and on other sites/social media plateform/polls, people seems to be happy with this episode simply because it WAS a good episode. For many people this is all that matter.

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    6. Zayrina, you make the point so well. We are all so different that you can't understand rating this episode as a 'fail', while I share Suegypt's assessment of it.

      And here's why: For me, CM has become a generic procedural, most episodes ranking 'at par', and some (especially this season), 'sub-par' for the genre. So I watch purely to see my favorite character (the unparalleled Spencer Reid). If that character is missing, there's really not enough in the way of writing/plot/intrigue to keep me interested and connected. I realize MGG probably requested the time away, but CBS/ABC or whomever had to agree. And, once agreed, there was plenty of room to do something besides banish the character to Bennington.

      If MGG were to leave altogether, I wouldn't give a second thought to deleting CM from my DVR. As it is, I'm 'perusing' the three Reid-less episodes in case there is anything I might want to know about when he comes back.

      Having said that, Hotch is my second favorite character, and I'm glad he got some screen time last night. But I enjoy his interactions with the team directly, or jointly with a team member and an unsub or LEO, to seeing him on his own. He's great, but it's just not as interesting, and there is so much lost potential.

      So, for me, the episode rated a zero on the Reid-meter, and a 50% on the Hotch-meter. At a generous best, using CMRT's poll rankings, it would get a 'could have been better'. But I can very easily see it as a 'fail'.

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    7. Just to play Devil's Advocate, I do wonder what the comments and reviews here would have been like if the episode had still been an excellent episode but Hotch wasn't featured - as seemed possible when the sneak peeks came out. Because I saw many indignant comments saying people wouldn't bother to watch because it looked like Hotch was going to be left behind and not be a feature of the episode. Just saying.
      I would expect SLW to write a good episode but me, I only watch now for Reid after years of vain hope of a return to the glory days.

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    8. Well I am a Hotch fan but I really liked 25 to Life, the Hotchless episode. I will rewatch it each time it is on- so for someone to fail grade an excellent episode simply for the lack of one's favorite at all.... I completely understand being disappointed that Reid is absent though. It still was, to me, a top tier episode.

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    9. Gosh! Hotch or no Hotch, you are the first person I have ever seen who actually likes 25 to Life! I thought it was just plain bad through and through! Sorry if this is heading off topic mods.

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    10. Zayrina, the absence of Reid is not the only reason I give this episode a fail, which you might be able to discern if you read my opinion below. Just because you can't understand why, it doesn't make my opinion any less valid.

      CMRT, making a sweeping generalization about what "we" fans think is not respecting those who disagree with you. Giving your individual opinion, as I did, and owning it as just that, my opinion - with which some agree and others do not in the "fandom" - is about all the consensus any of us can draw on this kind of forum.

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    11. Sue,

      We are making a general observation, we simply cannot make a disclaimer for ALL possible opinions. I fail to see why it is not respecting those who disagree.

      and basically you are saying exactly what I was saying with my comparaison to the Nielsen system.

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    12. Mary,

      I'm a Hotch fan, I did not watch '25 to life' and will not watch episodes without him so I get what you and some Reid fans are saying but since Hotch was in the episode and it was a good episode it was reflected in my review. No one can fault the Hotch fans because they are happy this episode was a good one and he had a great part in it.

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    13. As I've said before the most important thing for me that stood out was that all the character's were written 'in character'.. There was no one over the top.... Yes, I was pleased to all get out about the B plot line with Hotch.. I won't lie... but if I'm honest I would have to say that even if that part was miniscule at best the episode would have been good because of the wonderful writing of the characters...

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    14. Yes Mary, I did like it. makes me out to be quite the freak now doesn't it.

      Sue I read it all...and concluded that we watched 2 different shows from 2 different planets.

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    15. Congratulations, Zayrina, you just proved my major point.

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  14. I will be the first to admit that when I saw the 'sneak peeks' I was upset.. Heck I was pissed off...from those it appeared that Hotch was going to be left behind. And Man that irked me... HOWEVER, I stepped back and decided to 'not' jump to conclusions and watch the episode. Heck there's always the 'up channel' button if it turned out I was right. Boy am I glad I pushed down my thoughts and watched because from start to finish this episode was on the edge. It had the creepy, it had the team interactions, it had a great 'sappy' ending that just 'fit'... So I judged this episode 'not' by what I saw previously but from what I watched at airing... I was wrong in my previous assessment of the episode from those sneak peeks and will happily admit it, MORE THAN happily admit it... Sharon Lee Watson did a great job writing. Diana Valentine is a great job directing and the cast... well all I can say is that when given a good script you can see it in their performances just how good they all are...

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  15. In my opinion, just as when Hotch fans felt if TG wasn't going to be at the helm, they weren't going to watch, if Reid is not going to be there, i won't watch. TPTB, having felt the backlash last week, and trying desperately to placate Reid fans with the tease of an "all-Reid episode," should be on notice that the lack of Reid will mean the loss of a big part of the fanbase. It makes no difference to me if MGG was out living his best life and is ecstatic about the time off (I'm happy for him, if that's the case), but the big guns should know the show isn't Criminal Minds with out Reid.

    This was partly an interesting episode, the Hotch part, but it was a different show, a Spy vs. Spy, government intrigue show. The team, doing their thing with a really lame case, was disjointed, not working together, and they didn't even mention Reid. I know they didn't always mention JJ when she was off on maternity leave, but Reid's absence for 3 episodes is an anomaly. I'm glad that Aaron had a big part, I know they wouldn't be so stupid as to have Reid and Hotch totally absent. Sharon usually writes good team interaction, but I don't think it was possible with this mish-mash of plotlines. If this was the first time I saw this show, I would like Hotch, think the "team" was pretty clueless, and wonder why an infantile bad dresser had such a high profile FBI job.

    I'm losing hope, even when Reid comes back.

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  16. I want to give Sharon Lee Watson a hug and a high five! WOW, what an episode!!!!!

    I have to say that after seeing the sneak peeks and seeing that Hotch was going to be left behind, my expectations weren’t very high. I am so glad that I tuned in for the wild ride that was this episode. It grabbed me from the beginning, dialed up the suspense with just enough creepiness and basically kept me on the edge of my seat with eyes glued to the screen.

    I’ve been disappointed this season with the Hotch here one minute and then going MIA the next minute during an episode. Tonight, he was all over this episode. Of course, he was looking very dapper in his suit. If they every did a men of the FBI calendar…I’d vote for Hotch to be on the cover.
    Kudos to whoever is doing his makeup this season….he’s looking younger…less stressed…less lines and no longer has the pink lip thing going on. Hotch did what he does best in this episode….he directed, lead, observed, intimidated and comforted wherever necessary. The scene with Hotch and the SUV had me screaming at the screen, “No you can’t blow Hotch up!!!!”

    I did love the balance with the rest of the team. Nobody was over the top and all were completely in their character and element. Thank You again, Sharon for writing these characters as we know and love them. At the end, the whole scene with Morgan & Lewis had me feeling like I was watching one of those horror movies. And, when they split up, I was yelling at the TV “Don’t split up…bad things are going to happen” (Who knew CM was a participatory show?) LOL

    While this episode reminded me of the earlier episodes “Secrets & Lies” and “Angels & Demons”, it kicked it up to another level for me. Kudos to the writer, director and actors. Great script + Great actors + Great direction = AWESOME EPISODE! This is one that I will definitely be watching again and again.

    PS I loved the ending with Hotch and Garcia. A Hotch smile is a sight to behold. Any man that can chop jalapeño’s in an expensive suit is a keeper for sure.


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  17. Mary,

    As someone who saw th sneak peeks and posted about hating the idea of leaving Hotch behind... And yes saying I wasn't going to watch too, there is one big difference.... I harnessed my anger and decided to let the episode speak for itself.. .So I watched.. and After viewing the episode I find that it was completely superior to anything so far this season... Hotch or No Hotch.... The characters were in my mind written IN CHARACTER! which has been such a rarity these days.... And as someone who has also watched 25 to life... While the premise was good... Shemar Moore's performance was so abysmal that I can not watch that episode again. I accepted at the time the lead in about Hotch being their for Jack and not making it into work... Because honestly stuff like that happens to parents and I would expect nothing less from a dedicated parent... But while I felt for the wrongly accused unsub the acting was 'bad' in that episode. And the Senator came off more like his character in North and South rather then a modern day devious Senator.... I was just waiting for Patrick Swayze to ride in and defeat the big bad evil Confederate General...

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    1. Barbara,

      I too saw the preview and was very dissapointed that it looked like once again Hotch would be left out, as it is the default for him this season ( being left out at the police station or worse MIA most of the episode. Decided to watch anyway and was happy that he had lots of screentime but I did enjoy the whole episode. JJ is back at being the character I liked in S1-5. Was afraid something bad would happen to Morgan and Lewis at that farm and while Morgan was chasing the crazy unsub all I could think was 'shoot him!'!

      Have not had a great time like this while watching CM since Mr Sratch!

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    2. I hear you on that CMRT.... This was one of the rare episodes that I put up there with Nelson's Sparrow and Mr. Scratch.... For me the biggest plus was that THE TEAM WAS THE TEAM.... and the unsub didn't tell the whole story..

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    3. I have to agree with you CMRT, just the right dose of JJ and Morgan and I was convinced someone was going to get hurt but really thought it was going to be Garcia, in her place where she should be safe.

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    4. Despite the fact that I generally dislike Erica Messer's writing and the fact that "25 to Life" was ultimately a fail-- I thought there actually were some good parts to it. I thought that Shemar actually did well in some of his scenes-- when he was interviewing the wrongly imprisoned man, he had the right level of sympathy and intelligence. Unfortunately, I couldn't get behind the premise from the beginning because not only would they not have sent Morgan for that job, there is absolutely no way in hell that guy would have gotten parole unless he admitted to the crime and showed remorse. Then the episode just got worse, culminating with Morgan defying a direct order from Strauss, trespassing on private property, assault and battery of the suspect, and a BS arrest for which he had no grounds. The "slow clap" bit was one of the worst scenes in the show's history.

      The lack of Hotch in that one was just the turd for a cherry on top of the crap that made up the episode.

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  18. I'm with Just My Opinion, Suegypt and Mary with this. For me, this episode was a fail. Perhaps, not as big of a fail as the last one, but still a fail. Yes, I'm a Reid fan, but that, as others have said, isn't why it failed in my opinion. The cases were farfetched, at times predictable ( I foresaw the guy being murdered in the car and for Hotch to be blamed a mile away, etc). Several of the lines were bordering or full-on idiotic ( the " it might have been suicide" line is mind blowing, the window was CLEARLY shot from the outside -what, did they they think he shot from outside his car, and rushed into in the nano second it took to pierce the window and his head?!?!?!)

    The episode was good for a sarcastic laugh though!And that. Is my humble opinion. :)

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  19. Well 33 votes for awesome so I guess Sharon did something right.

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  20. I probably shouldn't even engage, but everyone has the right to their own opinion, no one is more "right" than another person. This is an overwhelming Hotch favorite site, so to speak, so of course, there will be votes that this episode is AWESOME, it doesn't mean the ones who vote "fail" are wrong either. Have a great day nonetheless.

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  21. I don't think I used the word wrong at any point. To say that I do not understand and see it completely differently is not to say that the other pov is wrong. But it certainly seems to offend some to have that other pov. C'est la vie.

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    1. None of us who said the episode left anything to be desired has said it was wrong to like it.

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    2. Yet so defensive about it. Even with nothing offensive intended.

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    3. Saying we don't like an episode is not offensive. I gave concise reasons ( as others did as well), that isn't being defensive, I attacked no one.

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  22. Spoiler TV's poll is running about what CMRT's poll is running...

    http://www.spoilertv.com/2015/12/poll-what-did-you-think-of-criminal.html

    With 60% of viewers or 31 votes thinking the episode was awesome and only 2 viewers finding the episode a 'fail'

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  23. Considering how hard (at least on a mobile site) it was to find the poll, I'm not surprised. But thanks! I went and voted. It's been a hectic day with work and this is the first moment I had to be able to.so anyways, thanks, I appreciate the reminder to vote, I always try to vote on polls. :)

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    1. Yeah, autumn, but when there's just less than 80 votes (and some are duplicate votes as admins, etc) your vote doesn't really tell the PTB anything they will hear. Vote away, as I sometimes do, but CM won't hear you from here.

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    2. To bad on Spoiler TV you can't vote more then once... they lock it out unless of course you want to change your vote... but then where you've voted previously is reversed and the new vote placed....

      Now the voting is up to 66% or 37 votes as the episode being awesome and 7% or 4 votes the episode being a fail.... and additional 4 votes or 7% thought it was poor while an additional 11% or 6 votes thinking the episode was great...

      Also I would like to point out that Episodes 2-7 which included Reid in the storyline had ratings the same or 'worse' then last nights episode... Those numbers are verifiable on any ratings website....
      http://www.seriesmonitor.com/criminalminds/season11.html These are the ratings from Series Moniter... They do not include last nights ratings but those can be found at

      http://www.spoilertv.com/2015/12/ratings-news-3rd-december-2015_3.html

      I get it I do. You are Reid fans period. But I am a Criminal Minds fan. And while I enjoy Hotch the most, and personally can't see the show continuing without Hotch at the helm and leading the team, I actually require ALL the members to be written, acted, and presented to viewers as they were when I fell in love with the show.




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    3. Barbara, actually, I am a criminal minds fan. I voted "fail" due to the reasons I posted above, not just Reid. It failed on many reasons for me again as I've stated.

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    4. Well Autumn... I"m confused as to what you saw.. Hotch wasn't 'blamed' for the murder of that agent in the car. On the contrary it was Axelrod who Hotch went to to discuss his observations. It was Hotch who cleared that murdered DEA agent from being considered the mole. And it was Hotch along who figured out that the female agent was left the flash drive with all the information. Maybe one of the reasons why you considered the episode a 'fail' is because you didn't understand what was happening in the episode. If you listen to the dialog the comment "It might have been a suicide is clearly stated sarcastically'' I've watched the episode 3 times now and I haven't seen any instance that might have been misconstrued if attention was paid. I'm sure there are some who didn't pay attention simply because they were pissed off that Reid wasn't in the episode. Just like I am sure in other episodes where there was too much JJ, or too much Tara or caricature Garcia aren't paid close attention too either because people get angry about those scenarios. And that's a pity because after the last huge flop and several mediocre episodes this was by far a very well written, very well directed and very well acted episode.

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    5. For the briefest of moments he was blamed. It was quickly solved on that front. Watch the scene with Hotch in the room. That's what I was talking about. Once I call up the episode on my Kindle, I'll quote it. Simply because Reid wasn't in it, does not mean in any way that I didn't really watch it. And, nope, that suicide line wasn't done sarcastically. I get it, you liked the episode, I didn't. it doesn't make me less of a fan of the show ( and yes, I know you didn't use those exact words)I'm not changing my mind and I know I won't change yours, that's fine.

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    6. ^it won't be until tomorrow evening that I'll quote the scene- WiFi is slow here

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    7. This is going to be long... simply because I don't do things 1/2 way... So post 1 of ?

      Autumn... Right from the beginning Axelrod tells Hotch that he believes it was Assist DEA Director Bernard Graff who gave up the agents to the Libertard Cartel. And he wants Hotch to get the proof that it is. When Hotch questions why Axelrod doesn't go to IA, Axelrod says to Hotch "You're already looking into the Dark Net because of Giusepe Montolo so you have the perfect cover". Hotch then questions Axelrod as to why he feels it could be Graft, and Axelrod explains that Graff knows things that are 'Beyond the scope of his job." and he also explains to Hotch that Graff has a flash drive that never leaves his wrist that Axelrod believe has the codes to the Libertard Servers.

      So.... Hotch is being sent in to investigate yes. But Axelrod called him in. One can notice Director Cochran giving Hotch a 'look' when he walks into the club area to meet with Axelrod.
      Also, the two cases are indeed linked as the BAU wouldn't be investigating this at all if it hadn't been for Axelrod asking Hotch to do this favor for him. Hotch even tells Rossi that "I owe him a favor" to which Rossi guesses correctly that "I suspect that you don't want the other's to know." So as of this time only Axelrod, Hotch and now Rossi know what Hotch is really fishing for in this case. Hotch presents the case to the ‘Team’ and they all go from there… Derek even realizes that if Libertard ‘knew they were undercover then there must be a mole’.

      All this takes place even before the credits roll.

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    8. Post 2 of ?

      Move forward to when Hotch walks into DEA Cyber Headquarters and meets Graff and his Assist. Xavier Mitchell. After briefing Hotch on what’s going on and explaining to Hotch about Kahn being an informant Graff turns to Mitchell once Hotch is out of hearing range and says “We have to find out why he’s really here.” So at this point Graff is suspicious of Hotch.

      One thing I noticed on my re-watches is that there are a great deal of subtle facial expressions going back and forth between the players in this story to indicate that they’re suspicious of each other and the possible motives behind the entire case.

      Now while the happenings in DC are going on the Team begins their investigation and Rossi with Morgan at the ME’s office realize that this ‘unsub’ is operating out of the confines of just being a cartel member. There is something strange going on indeed.

      Back to Hotch and Graff in Graff’s office. Hotch is quietly profiling Graff, noticing his father’s picture getting him to talk about that. Hearing Graff’s pride in the fact that his Father was DEA and his grandfather was “A G-man”. Graff then squares to Hotch over his desk and after a bit of back and forth where Hotch asks Graff directly “Does it want to make you want to give it up for a different life”, Graff tells Hotch ‘I know why you’re here’ and then explains to Hotch about the Tor Networks and how many of them are jumping networks, and also says “You think we have assests to warn about it” and Hotch asks him “do you?” Graff denies knowing anything and says to Hotch “So your presence here is a bit premature.” Hotch receive call from Dave and then informs Graff that his ‘team has uncovered evidence of a serial killer working in the El Paso area using the drug violence as a cover’.

      We are now 20 minutes into the episode. Both cases are set up nicely. Links between each unfolding. No we don’t actually see the ‘team’ do much profiling to come up with their theories but we are getting scenes which show that the team is keeping Hotch well in the loop regarding their investigation. Now during the scene where the team does give the locals the full profile we come to find out that from Dave that ‘someone on the inside could know about the killers predilections and has been funneling victims to him.’

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    9. Post 3 of now 4

      Hotch’s next meeting with Graff raises even more suspicions when Graff asks Hotch ‘instead of looking for Montolo’s hitmen shouldn’t you be looking for the Dirty Dozen?” and Hotch’s eyebrows raise to where he asks Graff ‘How do you know that? Did Axelrod tell you?” and Graff questions back “aren’t we all sharing information here?” Agent Mitchell then comes out to tell them both that her confidential Informant has been killed, blown up in his own car.

      Graff then calls Hotch saying that “We need to talk its urgent, meet me at the Raleigh hotel Bar, I’m heading there now.” Hotch of course is suspicious and we then have the ensuing scene where Hotch plays it safe with his own vehicle while superimposed we see Graff getting in his car. Then BOOM, Graff is killed.

      As for the “Looks like suicide” comment made by Axelrod that is in relationship to how Graff’s murder was staged. You can tell Hotch doesn’t believe it for a minute and goes around Graff’s vehicle looking at the evidence. Hotch questions Axelrod suspiciously regarding Graff and Axelrod’s apparent conviction that Graff was/is the mole. Hotch also admits to Axelrod that he didn’t have anything to prove that Graff was the mole. Hotch is never suspected as having killed Graff. But one can tell by the close up shots and the look on Hotch’s face that he doesn’t quite believe the down pat conclusions Axelrod is handing up. We then cut to Mitchell packing her things at DEA headquarters.

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    10. Final analysis post

      Hotch comes in and tells her “We need to talk”. She adamantly states that “Graff didn’t kill himself” and Hotch replies “I know.” Mitchel then informs Hotch that she knows of the mole, and that Graff himself told her that he alerted the NSA about someone from the inside running Libertard” Hotch confirms that she and Graff might have thought it was Hotch as the mole when he showed up investigating. Mitchell informs him “Yes at first but then Graff quickly realized it wasn’t you because you were genuinely surprised that Libertard might leave the Tor network.” We also find out that Graff gave Mitchell the flash drive for safe keeping and that he’s been gathering information on the mole. Together Mitchell and Hotch look over the information and realize that someone from NSA has been requesting files.
      Hotch confronts Axelrod and lays out why Graff didn’t kill himself. Hotch noticed that the gloves Graff had on were too big for his hands. Together with some interesting back and forth Axelrod and Hotch figure out that it was actually Axelrod’s boss (Cochran) who tipped Axelrod off about Graff and requested the file from El Taso regarding the earlier serial killings. Hotch next confronts Cochran laying out all the evidence against him and ultimately having Cochran arrested.

      I hope that these quotes and the outlining I’ve done on the case Hotch worked on helps to clarify that the two cases were indeed linked. They ultimately had two unsubs, one a deranged serial killer who was he himself being used by Cochran to ‘clean up’. Cases solved… Hotch updates Rossi and we get to the final scene between Hotch and Garcia. And I must say the music “I’ll be by your side” at the end was perfect.

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  24. I think Reid fans can appreciate this episode, in parts, as good television even while voting it a "fail" as far as an episode of CM goes. Reid hadn't been absent from a case in the entirety of the series until last week. According to Gideon, he was supposed to be the profiler who kept UnSubs awake at night. Since S5, he has been marginalized, ridiculed and rendered largely irrelevant. If you doubt that, let me know, and I will cite example upon example. So long-time fans of the series and fans of Reid can and do acknowledge that his absence from the episode = a failure. If it were another TV show, I might find the episode reasonable enough, but not worthy of my attention for 42 minutes. But for a Criminal Minds fan who became hooked because of Spencer Reid, and continues to watch only because of Spencer Reid, well then, the episode is a resounding failure, no matter how good the rest of the characters are.

    That is ultimately the crux of the matter. If Reid is ultimately Criminal Minds to me, then an episode without him is not Criminal Minds, regardless of how "good" it might be in terms of other characters. I'm perfectly happy if most of you thought it rated better than "Fail," but without Reid, CM is just another procedural that I don't watch.

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  25. I'm one of the minority who liked 25 to Life, even though Hotch wasn't really in it, and I'm a TG/Hotch fan...period!

    And, I also believe that a person has the right to express their own opinion without recrimination from anyone, but I've never understood why someone would get upset and threaten to not watch if their favorite character, i.e., Reid or Hotch, wasn't in an episode, especially if he was the one who decided he wanted the time off and was not being treated as AJ Cook and Paget Brewster were. I guess I watch the show because it's a good show, and I know that Reid will be back soon. I’ve read everyone’s reasons, and I still don’t understand why the extreme “I’m not going to watch if Reid’s not in the episode”, or to be upset because “they” didn’t even mention him during the episode. That doesn't mean that they've forgotten him, in my opinion, it just means they know he's with his mother and didn't mention him. Maybe some kind soul will explain it to me where I can understand it.

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    1. I believe a threat implies that there will be acquiescence if conditions are met. No one cares whether I watch an episode of CM. I threaten no one. But if I grew fond of a show a decade ago, mostly because of one certain character who figured heavily in that show, and now that character is rendered largely irrelevant, then it is only logical that I won't watch the show without that character and that I will be vociferous in making my opinions known to the powers that be.

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  26. Considering I read more than one angry comment from Hotch fans who stated they weren't going to watch this episode initially (even if they changed their mind), just based on the sneak peeks (even though they knew Hotch was going to be in the episode), it really shouldn't be THAT surprising that hardcore Reid fans would not want to watch an episode they KNEW he would be completely absent.

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  27. I'm a Hotch fan, and I loved his portion of the episode. It wasn't just the amount of screen time that he got, but it was also that he was written intelligently and was strong, unlike most of this season so far and a good deal of last season. I did not find the case to be awful, as I have many of the previous episodes. I also loved that it felt much lighter on JJ, Tara and Morgan, who sometimes dominate leaving one with the impression that "wheels up in 30" is all that Hotch is allowed some weeks. On the other hand, I also love Reid. If it were not for the sub-plot with Hotch this week, I'm not sure how highly I would have rated Internal Affairs, but it definitely wasn't a fail in my book. My only fault is that I have grown to loathe Garcia, so, even though they tried to do a sweet moment at the end with her and Hotch, it still grated on me because it was her, and I'm so tired of her whining and super-sensitivity. And before anyone jumps down my throat, I understand that she is under a kind of protective custody right now. I just hate the character she has become. While I liked her and sympathized with her in season 3's Penelope, I have grown to dislike her so much now that I wouldn't care if someone bumped her off. But I did enjoy seeing Hotch understand what she was going through, spend some time with her, chop jalapeños and SMILE.

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  28. You know what bothered me most about Garcia in that scene was she wiped at her face then didn't wash her hands before starting the food. For that matter Hotch didn't either. Purell for everyone.

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  29. Part 1
    I found this episode to have some good parts but some other bad parts.

    I think one of my biggest problems with the episode is that I'm not a fan of having two stories crammed in to one when it turns out they have to rush one or both to meet the time constraints. I think that both stories could have been separate episodes and would have been interesting, although I prefer to see the whole team together because I like to see them interact with one another.

    This episode had several things that bothered me:
    1. Too much focus on the unsub(s)
    2. Multiple unsubs (I miss when we just had one unsub)
    3. The whole cartel thing didn't ring true to me-- the pyramid scheme doesn't make sense for a cartel.
    4. Despite facetime (no pun intended) for some of the unsubs, we actually got very little insight into why they were doing things. It felt like any reveal about their motives was just too rushed.
    5. Unnecessary gore (we didn't need to see the unsub wearing the face and dropping it on the ground)
    6. Bad southern accents (the soccer Mom wasn't so bad, but the unsub's accent was cringeworthy)
    7. I'm not a fan of the evil corrupt government/law enforcement official story. This was already done in season one's "Secrets and Lies" episode. That was one of my least favorites of that season-- although I find it to be far better than almost every episode post-season 4.
    8. While I'm not a fan of the whole "Dirty Dozen" arc-- I just can't bring myself to be interested in it-- I didn't feel like this story advanced that plot much at all. I think the only thing I gathered from it was that the bad guys moved to another server or something.
    9. Morgan leaving Tara to go interview people all by herself while he drove away to get better signal. That was just idiotic and was right out of the horror film list of things to never do. They know people are getting kidnapped at that place, they should stick together.
    10. Not even one single mention of Reid. Just mentioning his name once would have been nice.
    11. The male victims all died, but the lone female victim survived. Yet another example of the show's growing misandry. I can't blame Sharon too much for that, since its my understanding that Erica Messer didn't want as many female victims.
    12. The soccer mom suddenly caving because they said they would call her husband didn't make sense to me.
    13. There was no explanation of why the unsub forced the victim to drink brine.
    14. Garcia's comment about Morgan's eyes was cringeworthy.
    15. We didn't get to see interviews with the victim's families to get to know any of them better so they mostly came off as fodder (except for the one female victim who we were told had children and was a "wonderful person").

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  30. Part 2
    Now, on to what I did like:
    1. The idea of the unsub taking skins off and wearing them actually made sense since there have been serial killers who did that in the past (although it would have been nice if they'd mentioned that and sighted case history). It seemed like a bit of an homage to "Silence of the Lambs".
    2. I thought the dialog and interactions were done well and I liked the contributions of the team members.
    3. Hotch worrying about a bomb in his SUV was actually suspenseful.
    4. We didn't know who the bad guy was in the Hotch subplot until the end.
    5. Both cases were actually linked to one another so it wasn't two completely separate stories (although, they would have worked better as separate stories).
    6. Despite the bad accent, the unsub was actually suitably creepy. It actually made sense in a weird way that he was trying to feel what the victims felt by wearing their skins.
    7. The scene with Hotch and Garcia at the end was nice. It was like the Hotch of the old days-- being supportive of his team members. It was a lighter version of Hotch washing the blood off of Elle's walls.
    8. Hotch took a more active role in presenting the case at the beginning-- that is a trend I like because lately he has been getting shoved aside in favor of #girlpower BS.
    9. The way the unsub got Tara (even though I didn't agree with her being there alone) actually made sense. It seemed like a realistic interaction- poor Tara being friendly because the guy was being friendly and he pulls out the taser. Ouch.


    I think that if they had cut way back on the unsub scenes and had more insight into the unsubs and why they did that they did, it would have been nice. I do realize they gave some brief explanations, but more exploration of what motivated them would have been nice. I missed having the whole team together and interacting with one another.

    I give this episode a B because I still enjoyed it and it got my attention at some key points even though I was still groggy from a nap and was tucked in with my kitties all purring soothingly around me.

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  31. Replies
    1. Tomato, tomahto -- it's a difference of opinion.

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    2. Zayrina, just because we don't like an episode, doesn't mean we are "sour grapes" "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."

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    3. Autumn, quoting our own warnings won't help your case, mostly because Zayrina isn't saying you are "sour grapes".

      She talking about perceptions, exactly the same thing used in those comments that point this blog as a Hotch site; while the most active Admins and the Owner are Hotch fans, many of the habitual commenters are die-hard Reid fans, and not only they are more than us, we happen to like [well written] Reid too. So, should I delete all those comments too?

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    4. Sincerely, of 9 episodes aired, I liked 3. The latter is one of them. They are fan of Reid, but do not consider that their absence is reason to disqualify an episode. This season has had many ups and downs, more downs than ups, but has been through scripts. There have definitely been some garbage (sorry for my raw sincerity), but I felt that Wednesday I saw my favorite program again. Sharon, you're the best!

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    5. Sir Elyan, well, I guess it is also fair to say that it can be perceived that Zayrina is intentionally being rude and disrespectful to people who disagree with her opinion of the episode. Her comments were not about the episode, but about the opinions of the people.

      It served no constructive purpose other than to bait and insult people. Since I am assuming the comment was directed at me (since it was after my posts and she did not mention anyone else) it is rudely dismissive of any points I made and is rather hostile. She doesn't agree with me, that is fine. She could argue counterpoints or just state that she disagrees instead of using dismissive and rude verbiage. Had that comment been directed at one of the admins, it would not have been tolerated.

      Sharon is generally my favorite writer that is currently on the show, yet I still tend to see things in her work that I don't like. Reid's presence or lack thereof in this episode was a non-issue for me because I know that it wasn't the writer's choice. I expressed my opinion in a constructive manner and that "sour grapes" response was neither justified nor acceptable.

      If people enjoyed the episode, then good for them. But I should not have to be insulted for expressing a contrary opinion when the rule here is that people should be respectful. I have never been disrespectful to Zayrina, so I would appreciate it if she would extend me the same courtesy. I will not digress further on this topic, but I would welcome logical counterpoints/comments and respectful discussion of the episode and what worked or did not work for people.

      Reposting because of a stupid typo that was bugging me.

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    6. Gah I should not try and type on my phone. Encore une fois:

      Actually my initial comment was directed at no particular person since I had no knowledge as to who voted a fail. At that time there was only one fail comment. Other comments that followed, no doubt to silence dissent all but left spittle on the back side of my computer screen. There are folks here taking this way too seriously. Si non potes capre non inferes illud my mom always said. This certainly won't change my opinion that this has been one of the most interesting displays of what I perceive, if I am allowed to perceive it as such if I wish, as sour grapes. If this is disrespect, well don't lay out in the sun because it just makes it more of a problem. I will let you work out what I mean there. .

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    7. If your comment was directed at whoever voted "fail" then it *was* directed at a particular person.

      You are engaging in ad hominem arguments by maligning the people who are expressing the opinions rather than attempting to counter their arguments in a respectful and logical manner. It's the equivalent of saying "Your opinion doesn't matter because you are a poopyhead." It's fine if you say "I disagree with your opinion." You are welcome to think whatever you please, but on a site that is supposed to be encouraging thoughtful and constructive commentary, it is counterproductive for you to discredit the people behind the thoughts rather than address their arguments.

      I realize that I am taking the bait, but I wanted to express my thoughts on this matter, because I do not find this behavior appropriate.

      Back to the episode, did anyone else wonder how the tacks that held the face on to the victim were secured to the corpse? I know the tacks were used to hold the transplanted face on, but what held the tacks on to the original face?

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    8. You want to express your opinion-see we aren't that different after all. That is what I have done repeatedly and each time it seems unacceptable to others because I disagree. What an interesting concept.

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    9. I wonder how this was done, could it have something to do with the water and salt(?) that was mixed together and given to victim?

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    10. Zayrina, the difference is that while I expressed my opinion of the episode, you were expressing your opinion of the people who expressed their opinions, and did so in a manner that was neither constructive nor productive. It was not "constructive disagreement". You can "perceive" all you like about me. I don't care if you feel respect for me or my opinion, but given the rules here, it is not appropriate for you to make disparaging remarks about your perception of my mental state (nor the mental states of other posters). You can think I'm a raging idiot for all I care, but that doesn't mean it's appropriate for you to state on this forum that you perceive that to be so.

      CMRT, I think the brine served to dehydrate the victims, but they never explained the purpose of that. You would think that would make the skin dry out-- which might actually make it harder to deal with the skin once it is removed. IIRC, in Silence of the Lambs, the serial killer was making his victims use moisturizer on their skin and made sure they were hydrated.

      I wonder if the unsub used superglue or something. The tack-face reminded me slightly of Pinhead from the horror movies.

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  32. People,

    Anyone can vote on the poll for whatever reason. Some voted fail because no Reid in that episode and some may have voted awesome just because Hotch smiled. Whatever is your reason, go for it!

    Will remind people, once again, respect all opinions while posting your opinions. Argumentation is made on the arguments NOT on who posted.

    This comment is made in a general sense, as a reminder. Remember this thread is about the episode, nothing else.

    CMRT admin

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  33. I have clearly struck a chord. I do not apologize for that. It was and will remain for me a top tier episode and was well written, very well directed and all the fail votes in the world will not alter that for me.
    I can't wait to see if next week will live up to this.

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    1. agreed with you it was an excellent episode. Sharon Lee Watson did deliver. Hopefully Bruce Zimmerman will have an episode as good or better than this one next week.

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  34. I note that the TV.Com poll is currently rating this episode as 6.1 with 127 votes - which supports the view that not everyone was happy with it. That's their second lowest rated episode this season with only "Awake" scoring lower.

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  35. Mary,

    and those who voted on spoiler tv on 63 votes :
    awesome 62%
    great 11%
    good 5%
    ok 6%
    poor 5%
    awfull 11%

    On tv fanatic out of 41 vote they had a 4.9/5.0

    and the poll here is positive too for this episode.

    but the 'poll' that really matter is the ratings: Live+same day viewing CM had had a 1.6 demo and 8.75m viewers compared to last week 1.5 demo and 8.14m.

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    Replies
    1. should have added that in viewers 'Internal Affair' was the third episode with the highest numbers of viewers in Live + same day viewing for this season. Will be interesting to see the Live + 7 days viewing numbers.

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  36. That is good to hear. I think fans have become very savy with respect to which writers have the right stuff and they have a following much like the actors do.

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  37. Wow. You step away for a day and the whole place blows up. I have just read through the (apparently unmoderated) discussion from yesterday. I’ve been visiting this site for more than a year now, and I’d had the impression that it was the kind of site where individuals were invited to express their own personal opinions, without trying to dissuade others, or denigrate the opinions of those who disagreed. But that is, most definitely, what happened on this site yesterday. It’s not pretty to look at.

    I’d also thought it was the kind of site that wisely avoided having people compete to speak for ‘the fandom’, ranking the loyalty of fans by their opinions on an episode. But that happened, too.

    Please fix all of this. It has been a nice place to interact up until now.

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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.