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.
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.
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.
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.
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!