Thursday, September 19, 2013

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 9 - 903. Final Shot - Press Release


Eva LaRue Guest Stars as FBI Agent Tanya Mays, Who Assists the BAU with the Investigation

Final Shot” – When a sniper strikes Dallas, the BAU investigates whether the upcoming anniversary of the Kennedy assassination is a motivating factor or if something else is driving the UnSub, on CRIMINAL MINDS, Wednesday, Oct. 9 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Eva LaRue guest stars as FBI Agent Tanya Mays, who assists the BAU with the investigation.

CHEAT TWEET: The BAU gets help from @evalaruecappoo 2 snare a sniper in Dallas on #CriminalMinds 10/9, 9pm

Joe Mantegna (David Rossi)
Thomas Gibson (Aaron Hotchner)
Shemar Moore (Derek Morgan)
Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Spencer Reid)
A.J. Cook (Jennifer “JJ” Jareau)
Kirsten Vangsness (Penelope Garcia)
Jeanne Tripplehorn (Alex Blake)

Mike Colter (Colin Bramwell)
Yetide Badaki (Maya Carcani)
Suanne Spoke (Nancy Summers)
Blake Gibbons (Adam Dawson)
John M. Jackson (Agent Malcolm Hollins)
Eva LaRue (Agent Tanya Mays)
Aly Sykes (Brooke)
Kate Comer (Casey)
Graham Skipper (Danny Sterling)
Medalion Rahimi (Secretary)

WRITTEN BY: Sharon Lee Watson
DIRECTED BY: Bethany Rooney

Criminal Minds: Review of Episode 8.24 'The Replicator'

As a season finale, "The Replicator" had a lot going for it: a villain that the writers took time throughout the season to build, Strauss being the main victim, the team being targeted in a twisted need for revenge over her and newest team member Alex Blake...

What it really needed, to be an awesome episode, was two hours. As an hour episode it felt a bit too packed, too much was going on for just one hour of television. What was well done was how they did tie all the little pieces they had scattered along previous episodes; nothing was left out, and all made sense.

There were many great scenes: Rossi losing it after he was drugged and was convinced Morgan was 'The Replicator', stood out. The tension in that scene was palpable, and Joe, Shemar and Thomas were very good in it.

Best moment was, without a doubt, Strauss dying in Hotch's arms. Totally sad, but such a powerful moment, especially when she told Hotch she did love all her children, and he told her he had been wrong (see the episode 'In Name and Blood' from season 3). Excellent work by Jayne Atkinson and Thomas Gibson; those two always played well against each other's. Will miss Erin Strauss.

The most uncomfortable scene was when we saw Strauss at the M.E. office, death, having lost her usual formidable presence.

Criminal Minds has had lots of very good stunt scenes in its run; my all time favorite was the flipping car on the highway in 'Normal', but loved the helicopter crashing. And on a purely aesthetic level, lovely shots of those helicopters on flight!

The ending was left open ended: is 'The Replicator' really dead? Could he have escaped his own trap?

As much as I wish the final had been a two hours event, what I really wish was that Mark Hamill had played Curtis without the 'mad, doctor' flavor. Unlike Frank Breitkopf (played by David Carradine), who was creepy and scary, or George Foyet (played by C. Thomas Howell), who was dangerous and crazy, Curtis just seemed... tame? I never felt he was scary; yes he could hit the team, but Hamill's performance needed a bit more for his character to be as good as Frank, Foyet, or even Hankel.

The ending was OK; loved that Rossi used Strauss one-year medallion to jam the door. Zugzwang indeed!

The family theme was even more present at the end with the team toasting Erin Strauss's life. Loved that they did the toast and the remembrance of things that happened with Strauss, this is what a family does when one of them is lost.

As a season finale, "The Replicator" delivered; may not have been as good as my all-time favorite "Lo-FI", but it was well written and entertaining. It ended a good season for Criminal Minds. Let's hope season 9, which starts in less than one week, will be even better!


NOTE: All the images can be seen full size clicking over them.

CRIMINAL MINDS SEASON 9 - Countdown: 6...!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Criminal Minds: Review of Episode 8.23 'Brothers Hotchner'

For a Hotch fan, perhaps the most anticipated and long-awaited episode of the season. Built up with spoilers that we would get to see Jack, Beth and “estranged” brother Sean all in one episode, it was sure to please. But did it?

Hotch and Jack are in New York to visit Beth and to see the City's sites when Hotch gets a phone call from his brother, Sean, who also lives in NY. Sean is now a bartender at a trendy club and has just had a female patron die in his arms, bleeding out of her eyes. The local police think that she overdosed on ecstasy; Sean tells his brother that another girl (who happened to be Sean's girlfriend) died the same way the previous week—and asks for help. The NY Medical Examiner identifies three more victims who have died the same way: by boiling from the inside out (which is unlike a 'normal' overdose) and the rest of the BAU team head to NY.

Meanwhile, there is another incident amongst some drug takers, but this time there is a survivor. Reid, Morgan and JJ are able to learn that the survivor lived because he took less of the drug than his friends. The profilers also learn that the higher the dose, the higher the heat created in the body and faster the death. Garcia is then able to identify that a more lethal version of ecstasy is being used: “PMMA” and more disturbingly, that this is the first time it has been identified on U.S. soil. The hunt widens and tension mounts.

At the local station, Hotch has Rossi interview Sean while he watches from behind one-way glass. During the interview, we find out that Sean had been a drug addict, but been clean for 2 months. Hotch is livid and storms into the interview, asking where his brother got his drugs and what else his brother has been hiding. Sean admits that his current boss, a man named Thane, got him the job and the drugs.

While all of this is going on, Blake interviews the sister of one of the victims. She is insistent that her brother was not a drug taker. On the night her brother died, they had been drinking wine; he had had white, she had red.

Next, we see a family about to eat dinner. The parents both sip their (white) wine and their poor daughter witnesses their deaths, blood streaming out of their eyes. At the crime scene, Rossi and Reid discover that the victims are seemingly random and that they ingest the drug through tainted wine. Unfortunately,the motive is still unclear.

From another profiling and investigating session, JJ, Blake and Garcia find that wine has been shipped to the 'Edinburgh Club', the Club where Sean works.
Eager to prove himself to his brother and to help the investigation, the younger Hotchner volunteers to go under cover at the Edinburgh and see what information he can get from his boss, Thane. Sean meets Thane in the Club's store room, where Thane asks for his help in dumping some wine; when they discover a missing case of wine Thane panics. Eventually, he admits to spiking wine with drugs but is adamant that he had no idea it was PMMA. But Sean is thinking of his dead girlfriend and loses his temper. He fights with Thane, exposing his wire but Hotch and Morgan come to his rescue and arrest Thane and a young woman who is also an employee of the Club. During the arrest, Sean disappears, much to Hotch's frustration. This frustration only grows when Thane's boss, Club owner Jim Peters, is found dead after his car is rammed by another vehicle, leaving Sean as an obvious suspect. The death is enough to scare Thane into divulging the drug/wine distribution chain to the BAU team.

Rossi tries to sympathize with Hotch, knowing that the brothers' relationship deteriorated following Sean being a no-show at Haley's funeral. Hotch doesn't know why Sean didn't show up, but felt he couldn't make Sean a priority after that, wondering when his brother would stop making self-destructive choices.

Further examination of the distribution chain brings the profilers to identify an airport baggage handler who had a strong, drug-related motive against Jim Peters. Morgan and Reid head to the airport, where after a quick chase, are able to bring down and arrest the unsub.  At the station, the remaining team members begin to pack up. Strauss announces that she is heading back to the hotel (with a sly look at Rossi) but before he can open his mouth, Blake has offered to give her a ride, which she accepts. The two women leave and JJ takes the opportunity to tease Rossi about his supposed 'secret' relationship with Strauss.

Finally, we are taken to Beth's apartment, where Sean is introduced to Beth, reintroduced to Jack and the brothers vow to do better. But it isn't quite a happy ending. Although Sean has been exonerated from murder, he still must face up to his involvement with the Club's activities and so the episode ends with Hotch accompanying him downstairs to an awaiting police car, where he gets in and is driven away.

Except that this wasn't quite the end! As Hotch watches the car pull away, he is captured in a black and white photo so we know he is being photographed. The scene then changes to Garcia's lair, where her computer screens are suddenly overrun with “ZUGZWANG”. And lastly, we are taken to Strauss' hotel room. The Section Chief is sleeping but is not alone,... The Replicator has arrived!

What I was disappointed with:
  • Lack of any kind of explanation for Sean's lack of contact with Jack (hadn't seen him in 4 years) or for his missing Haley's funeral.
  • Lack of any kind of emotion from Jack when he hears from his dad that their original plans have changed.
  • Sean's phone call to Hotch after disappearing. What was the point? Sure, we learn that Hotch believes his brother's innocence but why did phone in the first place?
  • Hotch's background as a “screw up”... I don't see this in his character at all. The opposite, if anything.
  • Hotch not going with his brother to the station at the end of the episode. Sure, he made a few phone calls but you would think that if he wanted to “do better”, he would have gone along.

What I liked:
  • Thomas/HotchThomas gave an outstanding performance; it was nice to see him finally get a chance to shine. It was also great to see him smile and relax a little!
  • Overall story — interesting case; great job, Rick!
  • Strauss (yep, surprised me too!) — I enjoyed her somewhat surprising support of the team, especially her line “this team tends to go rogue when loved ones are involved.” I am going to miss her.
  • Rossi/Sean/Hotch interview — I really loved Rossi’s calm and seeming indifference contrasted with Hotch's intensity and the underlying tension between the Hotchner brothers.
  • Garcia — I thought she had some great lines throughout the episode and gave me a giggle when I needed it. :)
  • Hotch/Rossi moment when Rossi shows concern for his friend and Hotch opens up a little about his past — A nice scene, even if I don't buy the actual storyline of Hotch's past.
  • Reid's use of 'force' in bringing down the unsub!
  • Short but funny Rossi/JJ scene regarding Rossi's relationship with Erin Strauss.


I'd give Episode 8.23 a solid 8/10. Good story, lots of Hotch (essential for this Knight), some Jack and plenty of great, subtle team interactions. Hope we don't have to wait so long for the next brothers Hotchner reunion.


NOTE: All the images can be seen full size clicking over them.

CRIMINAL MINDS SEASON 9 - Countdown: 8...!!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 9 - BTS: 907. Gatekeeper

This post may contain spoilers, probably small, but they may be big too; proceed with caution!
This post will be updated when more images of our dear gang are shared from the set.

Tech scout today on 907. Guess who is directing? - Photo by Larry Bring
@rickdunkle Scout his episode 907. - Photo by Larry Bring
Prepping 907 w/ @LLPOS #criminalminds - Photo by Rick Dunkle
Day 1 of 8. #CriminalMinds #Gatekeeper w/ @gublernation - Photo by Rick Dunkle
Key Grip @johnhatchitt waiting to buy stock the moment @twitter goes public.
- Photo by John Hatchitt
Boom, baby! @ShemarMoore on the set of #CriminalMinds 9x07 "Gatekeeper",
directed by @gublernation - Photo by CM_SetReport
Day 2 of 8. #CriminalMinds #Gatekeeper w/ @ajcookofficial - Photo by Rick Dunkle
About to pop: guest actress @iamtarabuck on the set of #CriminalMinds
9x07 "Gatekeeper", directed by @gublernation - Photo by CM_SetReport
actual fake eyeballs for CM scene where they aren't supposed to be real eyeballs
& are just supposed to be fake - Photo by Kirsten Vangsness
One week until the premiere of the 9th season of Criminal Minds!! - Photo by AJ Cook
MGG directing hard tonight in downtown L.A. Ep 907 "gate keeper"
- Photo by John Hatchitt
Day 3 of 8. #CriminalMinds #Gatekeeper w/ @gublernation & @juliannaguill - Photo by Rick Dunkle
Guest actor @RayStoney on the set of #CriminalMinds 9x07 "Gatekeeper",
directed by @gublernation - Photo by CM_SetReport
There's a whole lot of bunny going on! #CriminalMinds #Gatekeeper - Photo by Rick Dunkle
Hyped about Premiere ep. of season 9 #criminalminds @Jsbarrois is the writer and I am a Guest Star!!! @Twinkie_Byrd - Photo by JoNell Kennedy
Another beautiful sunset shared with my buddy @rickdunkle taking his own beautiful photo. The fun we have :)
- Photo by John Hatchitt
Make-Up Head @Dayne9165 works on guest actor @BrentMBailey behind the scenes of #CriminalMinds 9x07 "Gatekeeper". - Photo by CM_SetReport
Day 4 of 8. #CriminalMinds #Gatekeeper w/ @juliannaguill - Photo by Rick Dunkle
This was to be my Day 4 of 8 pic, but... FOCUS FAIL! w/ @gublernation @NoshirDalal @ajcookofficial #CriminalMinds - Photo by Rick Dunkle
Shortest hyphenate in Hollywood! #CriminalMinds 9x07 "Gatekeeper" w/ @TroyDoherty @gublernation & @JoeyLuthman - Photo by CM_SetReport
Day 5 of 8. #CriminalMinds #Gatekeeper w/ @gublernation & @brentmbailey - Photo by Rick Dunkle
Stunt rehearsal on the set of #CriminalMinds 9x07 "Gatekeeper" w/ guest star @JackPlotnick
- Photo by CM_SetReport
Line Learning/Massage-ing. @rickdunkle chose unicorn. - Photo by Kirsten Vangsness
Day 6 of 8. #CriminalMinds #Gatekeeper w/ @vangsness - Photo by Rick Dunkle
The boys @JoeMantegna & @rickdunkle trying to figure out who will be leading
the next dance. - Photo by John Hatchitt
#batcat getting bigger everyday! #getthatmouse - Erica Meredith
At work with a sleeping kitten on my shoulder. Today is a good day! #nbd #todayisagoodday #catsofinstagram #eygptianmau #snuggle - Photo by Dania Bennett
Ta-da! @Vangsness & @GUBLERNATION on the set of #CriminalMinds 9x07 "Gatekeeper".
- Photo by CM_SetReport
Day 7 of 8. #CriminalMinds #Gatekeeper w/ @JackPlotnick & @juliannaguill
- Photo by Rick Dunkle
Look@at this lil 5-week old I found walking down the hall. - Photo by John Hatchitt
Day 8 of 8. #CriminalMinds #Gatekeeper w/ @ajcookofficial - Photo by Rick Dunkle
Director @gublernation & scene stealing guest talent @franklinfung on the set of
#CriminalMinds 9x07 "Gatekeeper". - Photo by CM_SetReport
Photo by Shemar Moore
Photo by AJ Cook
Rap trio: Clooney, @gublernation and Cairo livin' large #criminalminds #season9tonight #tunein
- Photo by CM_SetReport
Finishing up my scenes at #criminalminds before I tweet my butt off tonight with the fans. Watch us tonight!
- Photo by Shemar Moore
Rehearsing my last scene before I leave the #criminalminds set for my tweet
marathon in a couple hours. lol - Photo by Shemar Moore
This guy has to go down as the hardest worker on this crew. Non stop all day
@SpiresDarcy and a hell of a nice guy. - Photo by John Hatchitt
On set #criminalminds ep. 7 directed by smile from Hotch but he got some goof ball in him
- Photo by Shemar Moore