Original Air Date: Oct 27, 2010
JD – Staff Writer
I HATE fire episodes. Hate them. That has got to be the worst way to die and it’s one of my biggest fears, just a notch above suffocation. I got to be honest, I had my hands up, ready to cover my eyes, all during the opening sequence. And really, half the time we have fire episodes, I have a hard time focusing on them because of that fear. Each week I usually rewatch the episodes again before I do my review, but I really didn’t want to this time. But truthfully, it was as much because the episode was lacking as it was from fear, though.
In spite of it freaking me out, the case wasn’t all that solid. It didn’t scare me in the “wow, that was a creepy episode/unsub” way, just in an “it would suck to be burned alive” way, which isn’t how it’s supposed to work. There were a lot of holes in the plot too, and a pretty hokey ending. But let’s get to the recap and review.
So in Detroit, there’s a serial killer with an unusual weapon. For the last three years in a row, he’s been using “Devil’s Night” (a rowdy celebration/crime spike around Halloween) as an excuse to kill people. Or not really an excuse. A cover? I don’t know. As we got further into this case, I just didn’t buy that this guy could remain dormant for the whole year in wait of Halloween, considering the level of rage he has. Anyway, he’s burning people alive, and has killed seven people in the last three years. The BAU has to catch him before the Devil’s Night craze ends and the unsub stops killing again for another year.
Back in Virginia, the gang is getting ready for Halloween. Hotch is preparing for it with Jack, making cookies and trying to decide on costumes. Any time we get to see Hotch at home, in casual clothes, being a daddy, it makes me gooey.
At the BAU, Reid is excitedly rattling on facts about Halloween (and mispronouncing Samhain, as I’ve heard), seeming not to notice that no one is all that interested. Nice to see Reid being geeky Reid again.
The excitement dies fast, though, when Hotch and Garcia (whose hair was ridiculously orange last night) present the case, and the gang heads off to catch a killer. Hotchy (that was a typo, but I kinda liked it) and Rossi (and it rhymes!) go to the morgue to check out the latest victim. There is fabric burned to his face, which means the unsub has been covering their faces when he burns them, but why? Meanwhile, Prentiss and Morgan are at the scene. There’s noting exciting or earth-shattering found here. Seemed like a scene to fill time.
Back at headquarters, Hotchy, Rossi, and Reid go over the victims. They decide that the first victim must have been someone the unsub knew, based on how the unsub attempted to hide the body. It’s possible the unsub knew them all, so they decide to talk to the latest victim’s wife. What follows is pretty silly. Rossi asks her to close her eyes and visualize the night. She and her husband were at a Devil’s Night celebration, they separated when they each wanted a different thing to eat. Mrs. Victim says she doesn’t remember anything after that because she was looking at the menu, but Rossi tells her there’s an instinctual tendency for people to look up and make sure their loved ones are okay.
And what do you know! She did look up. And she did remember seeing someone sitting behind her husband! And she remembers that he was burned on one side of his face and was missing an ear… even though he was wearing a hoody, and quite a way away… and she saw him through the crowd and smoke and celebration. Ummmm, what? She’s got crazy good vision? Nope, not buying it. I know that sort of recall can be brought up with visualization, but I just don’t buy that she could have seen that much that well. Not to mention, he was just sitting there. How did she know it was that guy who took her husband? Magical intuition!
Anyway, they have their first real piece of the puzzle. His burns explain why he chooses fire as a weapon, and Devil’s Night means he doesn’t have to hide his scars. In spite of me not buying it, the team does, and they are off to find more pieces of the puzzle.
If you watch this episode without picking it apart, you may have liked it. I can get that. I might not have picked it apart if it wasn’t for the eyeroll-worthy grand denouement of the case. He did this all for a girl? Who left him after he was burned? Yet for some reason, he’s waiting for Halloween every year to get back at her? Huh?
And let’s not forget OH MY GOD she had his baby! Aww, what a sweet way to end it! Except it’s not. If it had been me, I would have been even angrier that after she left me, she also didn’t tell me I had a kid, and he grew up not knowing who I was. But this unsub just goes all gooey about it, and the kid reaches out and touches his gross face, after watching him nearly burn his family alive. Um, even if he didn’t understand what exactly was happening, he should have been scared because of how freaked out everyone else was, and the fact that there was an FBI guy with a gun there.
The more I pick it apart, the less I like it. The only parts I really loved were the team moments outside of the case, Reid The Halloween Geek and Hotchy The Dad. What did you guys think? Give me your two cents!