Criminal Minds Episode Review: “Drive”

Criminal Minds

I’ve heard a lot of stories about how awful private driving services can be. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all ride-share services are bad or that all the drivers are serial killers. But this episode of Criminal Minds definitely didn’t help me in thinking they might be.

Taxis have always freaked me out, having someone I don’t know driving me around just isn’t something I enjoy. But sometimes it’s necessary. However, a driving service where the drivers are hired out privately? No thanks, I’m good.

And that’s exactly what the victims in “Drive” should’ve said. The unsub was a driver for one of these services who was using his position to kidnap people who got into his car. If he found them to be unmoral in some way (one of his victims cheated on his wife) then he would behead them and leave their body somewhere to be found.

Thankfully the BAU managed to stop him before he could behead his last victim. However, I won’t be getting in a taxi or ride-share car ever again. Personally, I like my head attached to my shoulders.

As I fell behind on Criminal Minds, I obviously didn’t watch this episode as an actual ‘mid-season premier’ as I just binged through the episodes a few days ago. However, it was a nice breather after that insane episode before with Reid and The Dirty Dozen issue.

Clearly I’ve been watching this show too long if an episode about beheadings is a nice breather.

I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season. Seriously, Criminal Minds is one of those shows that hasn’t reduced it’s quality as the seasons have gone on and next week’s episode looks freaky.

It’s called “The Bond” and I don’t know if it’s referring to the victims being tied up or to the creepy bond that is already apparent between the unsub and his mother.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, let me know what you thought of “Drive”! Did you enjoy it? Will you be using a taxi in the near or distant future?

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Criminal Minds Season 11 Episodes 5-11 Review/Recap

****WARNING: This post contains spoilers for episodes 5-11 of Criminal Minds season 11. If you haven’t watched those episode, STOP READING****

Criminal Minds

So, obviously I fell behind on, well, everything. I meant to get caught up on everything over Christmas so I could come back and start reviewing from the mid-season premiers again, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. So, I decided to give a brief review/recap of all the episodes I missed and then start fresh from the mid-season premier with proper reviews.

Episode 5: “The Night Watch”

This one was just… sad. At first it starts off really gruesome with people being used in graffiti art. However, as with many of the episodes this season, episode five ends on a sad note when you find out the unsub is a man who lost his son and blames his wife (an infamous street artist) for what happened.

Episode 6: “Pariahville”

Criminal Minds has always explored things and introduced things in their cases that I never in a million years could’ve thought of. A town designed especially for sex offenders is one of these things I never would’ve thought of as being real, but apparently it is. In this episode a woman is murdered in her home and the BAU must determine if it was one of the local residents or someone else who killed her.

This episode gave me a lot of weird emotions and I could definitely relate to the different team members and how each of them reacted to finding out about the town.

Episode 7: “Target Rich”

JJ returns from maternity leave just in time for Rossi’s daughter, Joy, to bring them what may or may not be a case. After a quick investigation, the team discovers they do indeed have a case and must race against the clock to find a missing girl before it’s too late.

Not going to lie, I totally forgot Rossi had a daughter. However, by the end of the episode I was tearing up a little when we learn that Joy is using her father’s name on her byline where she works.

Episode 8: “Awake”

Garcia is under lockdown after discovering a clue about “The Dirty Dozen”. Meanwhile, the team is investigating a series of murders that all involve the victims being sleep deprived.

Once again Criminal Minds came along and ripped my heart right out. It turns out the unsub is a man who lost his daughter several months prior when he pulled over at a rest stop to catch a few minutes sleep and when he woke up his daughter was gone. He searched tirelessly for her, but when they discovered her body he snapped and, instead of facing the truth, kept searching in the hopes that he might still find her.

This episode introduces us to someone who, I think it’s safe to say, will become a key unsub during the back half of the season, and that is The Man With the Skull Tattoo. The unsub in this episode was convinced a man with a skull tattoo had taken his daughter. No one believed him, but at the end of the episode we see the same man approaching a family the same way he did with this unsub.

Episode 9: “Internal Affairs”

The team must investigate after two DEA agents show up dead and it is believed that whoever assisted in targeting the agents may also know about “The Dirty Dozen”.

Indeed it does, though we don’t actually find out what they know until two episodes later.

Episode 10: “Future Perfect”

This one was creepy. A man was kidnapping two people at a time: one who was old and sick, the other was young and healthy. He was then experimenting on them to try and prove that he could make the old sick person healthy again by using the younger person.

Needless to say this didn’t work and, at the end of the episode, we see the tragic repercussions these experiments had for one couple desperate for a way to extend their time together.

Episode 11: “Entropy”

Reid is back! I’m so happy he’s returned, but that happiness didn’t last long as I realized exactly what was happening in this episode. Reid meets up with one of the hit men they’ve been looking for and over the course of a few hours we learn exactly what has been happening with their investigation into the group.

We also learn some things about Reid. Reid absence was explained as him going to visit his mother. Upon his return we find out that his mother has early onset dementia, a disease which, like schizophrenia, has genetic components. Why can’t Reid ever just be happy!?

Seriously, he missed the age trigger for inheriting schizophrenia from his mother, then he lost Maeve, and now he has another genetic disease to worry about! Are you actually kidding me right now?

It’s actually probably a good thing I didn’t review each of these episodes individually cause there would’ve been a lot of ranting going on, especially with that last one.

I had a day off from work and basically sat down and watched these episodes back to back. Needless to say, that day was basically an emotional rollercoaster. What is with Criminal Minds this season and making every episode and basically every unsub a sad mess that I just want to hug?

I’m both excited and slightly terrified to see what the rest of this season will have in store for Criminal Minds. Who is the Man With the Skull Tattoo? What’s going to happen to Reid? Is Dr. Lewis going to stay? So many questions and only a number of episodes left this season.

Do you have any predictions for what might happen? What was your favourite episode of the first half of the season?

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Criminal Minds Episode Review: “Outlaw”

Criminal Minds

Season 11 | Episode 4 | Aired: October 21, 2015

“Outlaw” was an interesting one because it actually featured the team reopening an old case (not one we had seen in a previous episode) that they hadn’t solved.

At first they wondered if perhaps the killers were just copycats, but they quickly realized that wasn’t the case and it was the same killers from before as the details were just too accurate. The two men were actually caught after their partnership started to dissolve because one of the men left a witness. Why did he leave a witness? He allowed a man and his son to live after he himself discovered he had a five year old son.

I really liked this episode. One of the things I’ve always liked about Criminal Minds is that viewers typically know who the unsub is or at least what he or she looks like before the team does. This episode was no different, but it still felt like a mystery somehow. I don’t really know how to describe it (I’m such a great writer, aren’t I?), but it really felt like we were guessing who the unsub was and what was going on even though we already had answers to both those questions.

I actually found the end of this episode to be pretty sad. While I didn’t feel bad for either unsub (they murdered a lot of people), I guess I sort of felt… pity? Once again we’re at a point where I don’t know how to describe it.

He found out he had a son, but the boy’s mother wouldn’t allow him to see the boy (can’t really blame him, he went to jail for murder and he was a drug addict for ages). He ends up taking them hostage, but the BAU finds them before they can get too far.

The unsub knows he’s going back to jail for all the people he’s killed and he knows he’ll never get to know his son so he decides to go down in a hail of bullets rather than turn himself in. I’ve seen this happen in movies and TV shows before and it gets me every time, whether the character is a protagonist or an antagonist.

I’m finding this episode really hard to describe. I don’t know why, it was a great episode! It was creepy and disturbing with just that little bit of sympathy for the unsubs. All in all a great episode.

Next week looks like it’s going to be a great one too! It looks exceptionally creepy (and kind of gross) and I’ve also read that we’ll be seeing Tara struggle to balance her work life with her personal life, something we know all the BAU members have had to deal with.

What did you think of “Outlaw”? Can you describe it better than I could? Probably! Let me know what you thought down below!

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Criminal Minds Episode Review: “‘Til Death Do Us Part”

Criminal Minds

Season 11 | Episode 3 | Aired: October 14, 2015

I have a family member getting married soon so this episode was terrifying, but it was also really sad. Normally when they catch the unsub I’m like, “Yes, good, lock them away forever!” And while I was glad they caught the unsub (obviously since she was killing people) I just felt bad for her.

In this episode brides-to-be were being murdered just before their what should’ve been the happiest day of their life. The team determined that their unsub was a female who had been rejected in some way.

Turns out, the unsub was a woman who was in love with a man she and her sister worked with. She was supposed to be on anti-depressants, but had stopped taking them which led to a psychotic break and to her seeing any woman who even just spoke to this man as a threat. Things escalated even more when the man proposed to her sister. Thankfully though, the team managed to catch her in time before she could anyone else or herself.

This episode was incredibly sad. Terrifying, of course, cause this girl was murdering people, but more than I anything I just felt so bad for her. She had been abandoned and left behind by so many people, but then there was this guy she had dated in middle school and who was still nice to her and cared about her and she truly believed they were going to be together.

It’s always a little worrying when the unsub is easier to figure out than a member of the team. Remember last week when I said no one joins the BAU without having a ton of baggage? Well last night we saw something was going on with Tara.

Turns out, Tara’s engaged! Obviously this means she isn’t going to be Reid’s new love interest, but I was a little confused as to what was going on with her and her fiancĂ©e because she hasn’t mentioned him up to this point and she ignored his phone call. She spoke briefly about it to Morgan, but I have a feeling that there’s more to discover there.

This episode was pretty straight forward. The team are still looking into who The Dirty Dozen might be and there was a funny story shared by Rossi about his third marriage (it involved an Elvis impersonator), but this episode was actually pretty tame.

Rossi

And that’s not a bad thing! The first two episodes this season were pretty insane so it was nice to kind of slow things down, still have an exciting and intriguing case, but not go all crazy with the side stories and plotlines.

Next week’s episode looks pretty terrifying and nonstop so I think last night was probably a good bit of a break before the insanity starts back up again.

Make sure you check out the preview for next week’s episode and let me know what you thought of “‘Til Death Do Us Part”!

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Criminal Minds Episode Review: “The Witness”

Criminal Minds

Season 11 | Episode 2 | Aired: October 7, 2015

As a person who frequent travels on the bus this episode was terrifying.

After Sarin Gas is released on a public bus in Los Angeles, the BAU must determine if it’s a lone attack or part of larger plan.

This was a really great (and terrifying) episode. It also really had you guessing as to who the actual unsub was. It seemed so obvious at first, but then you would question it, then you’d think you knew again, but then you weren’t quite sure…

By the end of the episode they caught two unsubs for two different crimes and you actually felt kind of bad for one of them. Well, I did, I’m assuming other people did too.

One guy killed the man who was having an affair with his wife, but when he did this he was seen by the guy’s brother who then started to blackmail him. The guys brother is actually the unsub for the other crime and was trying to frame the first guy in the Sarin Gas release.

All these episodes later and I will never stop being both impressed and slightly frightened that the creators and writers can still think of so many crimes and then on top of that, so many plot twists for each episode. Seriously, how do they do it?

Tara

Something that really stood out last night was the frowning friendship between Reid and Dr. Tara Lewis, the newest member of the BAU.

I’ve heard rumours that Reid may get a new love interest this season so if this is the case and they’re hinting that it’s Tara I guess we know she won’t be around for very long cause the writers don’t like Reid to be happy for too long.

I hope she is around for at least a while though cause it normally takes me a few episodes to determine if I like the new character or not and I’m not 100% certain how I feel about her yet. She seems like a cool character, but no joins the BAU without having some sort of sketchy past so I’m waiting for hers to come out.

I really liked this episode and next week looks even better! Let me know what you thought in the comments down below!

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Criminal Minds Season Eleven Premier: “The Job”

Criminal Minds

Season 11 | Episode 1 | Aired September 30, 2015

Run: September 22nd, 2005-Present
Created by: Jeff David
Genre: Police Procedural, Crime Drama, Action, Thriller
Starring: Joe Mantegna, Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, A.J. Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Thomas Gibson, Aisha Tyler

Woooo! Criminal Minds is back!

I missed this show. I missed the Reid-isms, the Garcia/Morgan flirting, the badassness that is JJ, and, of course, the ever present and amazing Hotch and Rossi.

Season eleven was holding nothing back and had what was quite literally an explosive start.

In this episode, the team uncovers an underground group of hit men after discovering that their unsub is a killer for hire. Only, he’s not going after targets, he’s going after former clients. Anyone and everyone who has ever paid him to kill someone is now a target themself for this hit man out for revenge.

At the same time, Hotch is busy looking for a new member to add to the team as they are a little short staffed after Kate Callaghan’s departure last season and with JJ being on maternity leave.

Before I get too into reviewing the episode and while we’re on the topic of JJ, I would like to congratulate AJ Cook and her husband on their baby boy, Phoenix Sky, who was born in July and made his first TV appearance in tonight’s episode.

Yes, JJ appears for a brief cameo – the only time we’ll see her I believe for the next five episodes – and we see her with her new baby who, according to sources on the Internet, is named Michael and is played by none other than Phoenix himself.

JJs new baby

I’m assuming we’ll probably be seeing more of this boy as AJ’s other real life son, Mekhai, also plays her onscreen son, Henry.

Alright, moving on to the episode! Criminal Minds has had a lot of terrifying criminals over it’s past ten seasons and I think this one can probably be considered one of the most terrifying. An underground ring of hit men. How scary is that?!

I think the unsubs that carry on throughout the whole season are often the scariest, though it has been eleven seasons and I don’t remember every single unsub so we’ll really just have to see how this goes.

One of biggest parts of this episode was that the BAU discovered there was a mole amongst them. This time it turned out to be a member of the local police force, but I read online that a mole in the department may actually be something they battle over the course of the season.

This is, of course, just speculation about something I saw online which means it’s probably wrong, but that would definitely add a twist to things.

Reid was quite an active member this episode and we got our first Reid rant less than ten minutes into the episode which was wonderful. He also showed off his genius super powers and helped save a guy’s life.

Reid

This is where the literal explosion comes in to the season premier as Reid, Morgan, and Rossi helped save a man who had a grenade glued to his hands.

They managed to detach it, but the grenade exploded anyway. All the team and the victim made it out thanks to Rossi’s fantastic throwing arm.

Rossi Grenade

I actually read and heard quite a bit that Reid is going to have a major storyline this season so I’m definitely looking forward to that and if the rest of the season is anything like this episode then I will be very happy.

I’m also looking forward to seeing what their plans are for Tara Lewis (Tyler) who we met in this premier and who is currently filling the space left by Kate and JJ. She is only listed as a recurring character though so I’m not sure if she’ll be leaving when JJ comes back or what’s going to happen.

So far she seems pretty badass and Garcia clearly likes her so we shall see. I’m always kind of torn when they bring someone new in to fill that space. Ever since Prentiss left it’s like a constant rotating door of new female agents, but they never last very long.

I really liked Blake and wish she had stayed, but I also really liked Kate (from what I understand that’s an unpopular opinion). I’m hoping they’ll either find someone to fill that roll for at least more than one season or just forget that space altogether and leave the team at six members.

On top of being one of the scariest unsubs I think they’ve had on this show, this episode also wins the award for one of the most disgusting scenes I’ve ever seen. And I watch The Walking Dead.

Normally I’m one of those people who isn’t really affected by the gross stuff in TV shows. It’s kind of funny because if it’s blood and gore in a film it grosses me out, but on TV? No issue. I watch zombie shows, medical shows, and crime shows without a problem.

But when that guy started ripping the stitches out of his mouth at the end of the episode… Actual shivers and cringing and I had to look away. Why was that necessary?! Come on! It was so beyond gross and it was like nails on a chalkboard. I’m cringing just thinking about it.

Now, Reid wasn’t the only major player in this episode. Of course, every character had a role in this one, but Morgan also had a significant part to play.

Garcia and Morgan flirting

He went to head to head with the unsub himself and it was Morgan who promised the unsub that they were going to find the rest of the men he worked with. It was also Morgan who the unsub told about the next victims, “The Dirty Dozen”.

At this point nobody watching has any idea who “The Dirty Dozen” are and we probably won’t find out for a while. In the meantime though, there are plenty of other unsubs causing chaos, including the one next week.

I only saw about eleven seconds of the preview for next week, but even just from that it looks amazing. I am so excited Criminal Minds is back and I am so excited to be reviewing this season!

Once I find a full preview of next week’s episode I’ll post it here!

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