Karen Maser has certainly evolved in her writing. This episode had lots of investigation and profiling. We learned through the team, and I thought the actors did a great job. I was really scared for Amy Gibb, the victim at the beginning. I liked O'Niel's idea of the wall of shame, and that was a great takedown. My only nitpicks were minor + the detective's obviously fake accent, so I give it a 9.5/10 Kim Harrison is writing the next episode, and the episodes have been great this year so far...if she makes an improvement too, I'll have a lot of faith in this season.
What is the white car in the opening scene
It is a 1970 Opel... Joe Mantegna owns both the classic cars shown on tonights episode.
This was definitely a "meh" episode for me. You know it is potentially eye rolling (and in this case head rolling) when we see the unsub within the first five seconds of an episode and see a ton of unsub throughout the episode. While the profile SEEMED to match the crimes we were seeing on the screen, I don't exactly buy the unsub's trigger, MO and victimology. It just seemed like he would target men more than women, and him killing strangers didn't really seem to match his anger at his former school principal. And another thing that stood out for me during this episode. This is a question we should probably ask about more episodes, but it is standing out for me this episode. Why don't the local police do ANY sort of preliminary police work before calling in the BAU? I mean, the local LEOs haven't even checked any cell phone or credit card records or done any sort of research on the victims. All of this should have been done earlier and then the LEOs could have reported all of this to the BAU when they arrive. But it gives the impression the police were just sitting on their ass, waiting for the body count to hit the magic three. Overall, it just didn't really work for me.
Unless you have an absolutely amazing, astute script that matches Breen Frazier's work last week, showing the unsub five *&(@!&*' seconds in is not going to win over this diehard Criminal Minds fan. And sadly, this episode lived up to my initial reaction.Trying to be positive (which is hard): I loved the scenes with Rossi and Lewis. And just an FYI, both the Opal and the '47 Buick are owned by Joe Mantegna. He had them restored to their vintage condition. And the Buick is a repeat; it first showed up in Route 66 (S9). There was a BIT more Hotch than has been happening in past episodes (last week's not counting). And Hotch was out in the field in Kevlar! Praise the deities! There was some decent team profiling; I know Garcia did a lot of the "heavy lifting". But the team was providing her the parameters. Brownie points to Karen Masser for those positives.But the negatives to this one just overwhelmed the positives. By the time we got to the "Wall of Shame", it didn't take much to figured out what happened to the heads. And while I liked Hotch and Morgan on the takedown, it was very anti-climatic for me by then.Rockie's grade: D And that's being nice
I must agree with BlooKaboom completely. I didn't originally have that much to say tonight, so I'm simply riding on the coattails of their comment; Karen Maser is definitely improving in her writing - this episode is quite the improvement from "'Til Death Do Us Part, which I still liked - and this episode was unexpectedly decent, considering we saw the unsub in the first 5 seconds, probably before the 14+ logo went away; that is something we fans generally don't care to see, but it's only Karen's 2nd episode...Anyhow, Tawnia McKiernan's directing was nice and spooky (reminded me of "The Black Queen" which, say what you want about it, was well directed. "Drive" was well directed too.) I'm happy to see Reid back, and I'm happy that Hotch was in the field, large and in charge, with Reid making some brilliant deductions. Our beloved team was written well within character. The story itself may have been a tad predictable but with a complex show like Criminal Minds, even a superior writer like Karen needs some time to get her feel. This was a well executed, well done episode. When the modern day wall of shame connection was revealed I was a bit spooked! It reminded me of Bruce's "Pay It Forward" (819) but scarier.Fun fact, besides the beheading connection between "Drive" and "Pay It Forward", both of the male characters whose actions served as the unsub's stressor had the sirname of Burke! Except in 819, Burke was the first victim, whereas in 1112, Burke died and shortly after the unsub started killing. Anyhow, I give this episode a 7.75/10. Liked the character interactions between Rossi and Tara, and happy to have Reid back and to see everyone in character with a new writer! Btw Rockie, I recognized that car from "Route 66" (905) right away! Awesome homage, and I never knew Joe owned both cars. Can't say I'm surprised!Kimberly Harrison is up next week; I hope she brought her A game! Can't wait!LONG LIVE CM!
Somewhere in there was what could have been a great idea for the story but the execution just wasn't great (see what I did there!). I so dislike episodes like this where we see the unsub and what and how he is doing from the get go and the team are just playing catch up. Of course there have been episodes where we have seen the unsub from the start and the episodes have still been exciting and full of suspense - this, sadly, was not one of them. I also do not subscribe to the view that new writers must be given time to settle in - writers appointed to a top flight show should be up to speed from the start, especially where they are part of a "Writers Room" where ideas are discussed and developed.This was marginally better than Karen E Maser's last effort but a long way off being a good episode. There were some good moments - I liked the Rossi/Lewis scenes, Hotch was in at the take down and Reid looked drop dead gorgeous. But overall the ending was predictable, the suspense was in short supply and man, I am so over Garcia with her wibbling and kitten ears! It's a D from me.
My husband summed it up when he said, "Already", when we saw the unsub immediately. Sometimes that works, as it did last week-to perfection- but not generally. The episode kept me awake, it was neither the best nor the worst which is faint praise at best. So too much unsub, way too soon and a big MEH sums it up. It's not one I will re watch other than in passing some years down the road when I have forgotten what it is about.
I dozed off, so I missed what happened to the heads. The Leweis/Rossi thing was nice until my husband asked if I had mentioned some time ago if they had said in an interview somewhere about giving Rossi a love life. Now until I clear that up for myself, I may not like it so much.Last week I stayed awake and on the edge of my seat, this week I dozed halfway. But by then I mostly knew how it would play out.
Didn't work for me. It was 'acceptable' on the Reid-meter, but off the charts on the snooze-meter, the too-much-unsub meter, and the lame-reason-for-serial-killing meter. I just find it fascinating that the same group of writers can give a 'thumbs up' to an episode like 'Entropy', and then turn around and do the same for an episode like 'Drive'. Do they actually think they are of similar caliber?
I finally watched, and concur with your assessment. *sigh*
I thought this was simply a very boring episode. I thought the Lewis-Rossi opener wasn't necessary, and I didn't believe at all that Lewis can restore a car. Not because she's a woman, etc. it just seemed out of character. I loved her Pariahville and Entropy, not putting up with any BS and love her character, I just don't buy the restoration hobby, and of course we all knew she would find Rossi the part that he needed - again, seemed unnecessary and obviously predictable. I can't believe it took so long for anyone to suggest a guillotine - super clean cut, little blood, and they're still talking about swords? Also, even I knew what a Katana sword was, probably from some documentary, and I am not into that kind of thing - where was Reid suggesting or commenting on that? In Pay It Forward, he was the one telling the medical examiner that it's more difficult than it seems to remove a human head, commenting on the vertebra, etc. and doesn't know about this type of sword/weapon? The whole thing of cutting off heads vs. the reason(s) why the unsub did it just seemed too much of an over-reaction. I know it only has to make sense to the unsub, but cutting off heads for a moderate indiscretion? If you're going to decapitate someone, make it a good one - pedophile, child abuse, etc. I would think he would only go after molesters if he wanted his old "schoolmaster" to be punished. I also did not believe that he was dumping and positioning bodies unseen - no way. Heads in a row in the fridge? Again, a Pay It Forward type of flashback. I didn't believe the Hotch Morgan scene at the end; the guillotine and unsub's surroundings had been sight unseen until that moment for them, but they're able to figure it all out in mere seconds on how to stop the mechanism rig, etc. To me it seemed like the writer or someone came up with a gruesome way to kill people to get it on the books of one of the many ways that our unsubs have killed people, and wrote the episode around that to get it into the rotation and it just didn't work. I think it was decided to position this snoozer in between Entropy and the upcoming sweeps week Morgan episodes to get it out of the way. Love the characters, hated the material on this one. I won't be watching this one again until it shows up as a re-run.
after last 4 excellents episodes, i din't like this one
i din't like Tara being the star of the show
Nope. Boring. Trite. Lame. You name it. This writer is not getting better. She's very amateur and should not be given a pass because she's new. Folks watch the first 4 seasons again and then tell me that this was a good episode.
Never compare anything with episodes of first 4 seasons. You know no episode after S5 can beat any of episodes before S5. You are just wasting your time.I really hate Tara. Why is she even on the show?WE HAVE REID THANK YOU.
Absolutely right on Seasons 1-5 - no comparison.
universeeqlight,Easy to say 'I hate Tara' but why do you do? I happen to like her. Good character that does fit well with the team. Yes, she is low on field experience but so far she is competent. The actress who play the character Aisha Tyler is excellent. I do hope if CM is back for a s12 she will be too.
"Drive," also known as Boston Bore and Gore. Reid and Hotch always a joy. Kitten ears not so much.
Well the professional writer critics panel has spoken; according to ..everyone but me, I guess Karen Maser is unequipped to write for CM. I'm still giving her a break though. She could know the show inside and out. Look at Bruce's first two episodes... now he cranks out scripts like "A Place at the Table" and "The Night Watch" so.. maybe rethink writing her off?I must say, however, that it troubles me, ratings wise (I am NOT complaining... I'm so glad that CM is staying very well afloat amidst competition, as weak as the competition may be) but I just find it strange that "Drive" achieved the 4th best ratings of Season 11, whereas the masterpiece, "Mr. Scratch" got the 5th worst ratings of Season 10...what an anomaly.
I know I'm not writing her off. Like many new writers on a show, they need time to grow and get the 'hang' of the show. What is hard for the writers, and some fans, is that growing is taking place in a very public media, TV. But the good and bad reviews are all part of the job and are tools to learn and get better as writers.As for the ratings. If you want to play the comparaison game, we can compare 'Drive' to say yes 'Mr.Scratch' which did 2.0 demo like Drive but 'Drive' had 9.25 millions viewers while 'Mr.Scratch' got 10.06 millions. And you have to take into consideration the competitions, this week no Modern Family and Empire is shelved until March, and everyone who read about ratings knows that Empire does affect CM. BTW 'Mr.Scratch' ratings were done against Empire.
Also, wanted to point out, most people who watch CM, do not judge episodes baseon who have written them. Most viewers do not even know the names of the writers. They just watch episodes and judge from what they see. Very few people go online after an episode and post comments. For all we know the big, silent majority may have loved it :)
SCMA, First off the ratings are affected by what's come before too... Drive benefited from last weeks episode. And really the 3 weeks prior to that also... Whereas Mr. Scratch suffered for the same reason. Karen's written many scripts.. but this is only her second outing for CM.. and I do think that she's got a grasp on the characters.. what my issue is and has been for a long time is that CM is now the UNSUB show... The 'team' is peripheral to Unsubs.... I get that these writer's can't put their stamp on character's already established and do so through use of unsub's and guest characters. But for me and I think for many the show is supposed to be about the TEAM telling the story, not the unsub... I know many people think that because alot of us 'complain' or point out what we didn't like, what didn't work that we can't possibly like CM anylonger... BUT I posit this thought.... Maybe we complain and make these points known because we care TOO MUCH about the show... That we want to see the show we fell in love with years ago... I might be ridiculed for this. But to me, new viewers even if they binge watch CM on Netflix, have missed out on the drama, the tension, the anxiety that was built up slowly in fans in those early years. New Viewer's have missed out 6 months of anxiety wondering what happened to Hotch after to Hell and Back.... Missed out what happened to Reid in between The Big Game and Revelations... Had blood pressure issues at the end of Lofi, waiting for Mayhem to air in Sept. Remember binge watching is instant gratification..And lately TPTB are more into giving that shock, awe and instant gratification that often times feels 'rushed'... Just my 2 cents
You're right, Barbara. If I had just discovered this show in the past few seasons, I wouldn't have given it a second glance. As mad as I am about what they've done to what was once a very unique and fabulous show, I'm madder at myself for getting my hopes up time and time again that it could get back to its former glory. Sometimes I'm rewarded, like with Entropy and Mr. Scratch, but mostly I'm sad and frustrated. And while most viewers probably don't pay any attention to the writers or directors, those of us who have watched and loved the show for years do notice which episodes we can watch over and over again and which ones we never want to see again, and it's no surprise that some writers consistently write well and others consistently fail. What's most frustrating is when the show runner and writers don't recognize that the really great episodes usually don't show us the unsub early on and don't show us the actual murders in all their blood and gore. I read the recent article prior to the airing of Entropy, where Erica Messer described the episode as being like early Criminal Minds. She raved about how good it was going to be. I thought, if she knows that that is what makes a good episode why can't ALL, or at least most, of the episodes be like that? Drive may be an okay script for any old crime show, but it's not up to the standards of a good script for Criminal Minds.
(WheelsDown here) When I saw the guillotine I could have sworn this was an MGG-directed episode, even though I knew it could not be. I was distracted by the fact that the Unsub looked like Heath Ledger.I rather liked it, maybe because I like gruesome stuff. But I mostly liked Hotch running in and saving the day.I hope I'll be able to give more meaningful comments in the future; right now I'm busy enough understanding with which account to post. :)
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.