Criminal Minds – Recap & Review – Valhalla

photo: cbs

Criminal Minds
Valhalla

Original Air Date: Mar 2, 2011

JD – Sr. Staff Writer
jd@thetwocentscorp.com

Okay, folks, let’s start this off with a quick warning: I think there is more cold medicine circulating in my body than blood, currently. So I’m going to cross my fingers and hope this is coherent. If it’s not, blame the plague that has now attacked me three times in as many months. Did I offend someone out there who has biological weapons? Jeeze.

But enough about me (for now). There’s been build up for weeks on the whole Prentiss Drama front, and last night we finally get an episode with more than five minutes devoted to it. I’m pleased to say that I think it was pretty well written. That doesn’t mean that I’m suddenly into the idea of plot lines that target our main cast, or that I’m excited that Prentiss might not come back next season. In fact, I am struggling with watching the show lately. But… yeah, after a rewatch of last night’s episode, it was well done. So let’s get on with it!

So Ian Doyle, Prentiss’ tormentor, is in town. This is the bad news Prentiss gives her old Interpol buddies at the beginning of the episode. He’s threatened her team, and she’s not going to tell them (even if we all know she should–have faith in your friends, woman!). She wants to end things here, without anyone getting hurt. Unfortunately, people always get hurt on this show, and two families just miles apart from each other are getting attacked on this night.

Both families homes where torched, and the news is only talking about the weather, weirdly. Both families also have connections to Europe. Problem is, one family looks like murder-suicide, and the other seems to have died in a gas leak. They are just too close together in location and timing of the fires for the BAU to ignore them, though.

Rossi and Prentiss head to the “murder-suicide” family’s home, where they find that Daddy apparently had something to hide. He had excessive security in the room the family was found dead in, in spite of Garcia not being able to find anything out of the ordinary on the family. Even weirder is that while Daddy supposedly shot his family, set the room on fire, then shot himself, he had no smoke in his lungs. That hardly adds up. Neither does the fact that neither family’s normal daily patterns would have had them where they were when they died.

Oh and Prentiss is acting weird and everyone knows it:

Garcia: Omg, there’s a guy in your life! Spill!
Prentiss: If I have anything to spill, it’s blood. Back off.

Rossi: You need a vacation.
Prentiss: Calgon, take me away.

Reid: My head hurts.
Prentiss: …um… what?

Reid is a little jumpy for a moment, and Prentiss gives him the third degree about it, which I think is funny because she’s been biting people’s heads off for doing the same thing. But what follows is one of the better scenes in the episode, in which Reid confesses to her that he’s been having headaches. Then he turns it around on her and points out that she’s been biting her nails. The whole scene just made me warm and fuzzy, they way he points out that she’s been acting strange without pushing like Morgan has been doing, and shares his own secret in return. Very sweet.

Anyway, Garcia has done some digging and found out that the reason the media isn’t all over the story is because the one person who reported it, pulled the story later in the day. She’s gonna track the reporter down and figure it out. Reid, on the other hand, has found a common phone number on both family’s phone records, and Garcia pulls it up to find out the owner of that number is British…

Hey, guess who the next victim is!

Morgan and Prentiss head to the guy’s house. They’re too late to save him, but in time for the people killing him to get a good look out the window at Prentiss. Who they recognize. Of course. Cue a good, old fashioned shoot-out as the bad guys try to escape. Prentiss shoots one of them, and he collapses, but not before the other bad guys shoot him in the wrist, taking out a tattoo that matches Ian Doyle’s.

Okay, I have to admit, for a second I thought Ian Doyle was dead. That would have been a cool twist, huh? If Doyle had been a patsy for the real bad guy. No such luck, though. And so the case went…

There was a lot about this episode to like. I liked that we finally started seeing the other team members react to how Prentiss has been behaving instead of just Morgan. I wish we had seen a little of that from Hotch, though, but I guess if everyone would have reacted, it would have been overkill. And given the scale of the case, he probably had a lot on his table.

Am I contradicting myself? He should have noticed! He couldn’t have noticed! He should be able to do both at the same time!!!

So the plot thickens with Lauren Reynolds, too. Was that a Claddagh ring Prentiss flushed down the toilet at the end of the episode? There was no heart or crown on it, but it looked like one. Does this mean “Lauren” and Ian Doyle were romantically linked? Ian did say last week that Prentiss took the only thing that mattered to him…

His heart? Oh, poor baby. Or maybe she did something to the person he was in love with? But why would she keep the ring if that were the case?

These are the things my plague-impaired brain is coming up with. What does everyone else think? Give me your two cents!

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18 Responses to Criminal Minds – Recap & Review – Valhalla

  1. Heather says:

    Never in my life have I yelled at the TV more than this episode. I am SO frustrated with Emily!!! I was sitting there like, “really? REALLY? They all know something is wrong!!! JUST TELL THEM!!!!!” BUT at least JJ is coming back.

    I am happy they finally devoted an episode to this. It seems like a fitting part. I just wish they had left this storyline for a season finale, not a midseason one..and JJ is coming back.

    Anywho…Thought the Morgan-Prentiss talk was pretty cool. Especially when she was like If you profile me again, I’ll smack you. (Or something like that) Apparently the team has totally shelved that whole not profiling each other thing that has been mentioned before. (and JJ is coming back.)

    So in closing… why do we need to wait 2 weeks? What could possibly be more important? Probably yet another boring Presidential Address that won’t mean anything anyway. And by the way, if I didn’t mention– JJ’s coming back!!!! (Only for 1 episode though…:( )

    • jd says:

      So what you’re saying is… you’re feeling kinda “blah” about JJ coming back, right? 😉

      Yeah, they finally give us a full episode, then make us wait two weeks! What the heck?!

      • Julian says:

        Yeah I don’t get why we have to wait two weeks either. Nothing is taking up the time slot for this week. CBS is just airing an old episode of Criminal Minds. And there’s a new episode of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. I hate when shows go two or three weeks at a time without a new episode. They need to follow the method that 24 had, which was airing shows straight through with no repeats.

  2. Kuria says:

    I have to admit how disappointed I was that Prentiss didn’t have more faith in the Team. I get the whole ‘trying to protect’ them aspect, but…I don’t know.

    I’m glad that they showed that Garcia, Rossi and Reid all bring up that they notice something’s off. They all offer themselves in their own way. Her taking Garcia’s head off in the ladies’ room was painful to watch but very realistic.

    Her scene with Reid was touching and just so very *Reid*. It was perfectly done.

    But. I guess I need to rewatch this again, because I wasn’t all that engaged with it. The Claddagh ring was a nice touch but then felt just a bit too…I don’t want to say ‘cliched’ but Doyle goes through all this because she betrayed him?

    I’m not on cold medicine but painkillers, so that probably explains why I may not necessarily get or like this episode.

    And CBS totally spoiled the conclusion by saying, “Prentiss’s last episode” in the promos for the next ep.

    Then again, it could be the painkillers talking.

    Thanks for providing a review of the episode!

    • jd says:

      Yeah, my TV cut out during the ladies room scene, actually, and I meant to ask what happened. Something about a dream and a little girl… and then my TV went to random commercial. Ugh.

      I liked it better on the second watch, definitely. But I still haven’t watched sans medicine! I was lucky enough to get strep this time! Double ugh.

  3. Stacie says:

    I’ve heard that they’re merely cutting the amount of episodes Prentiss will be in rather than completely getting rid of her?

    • Kuria says:

      Here’s what I understand. The originally cut Paget back to 16 of the 22 shows. Then, they offered her the rest of the season with a “pilot out” option, which means if she is cast in another show and a network picks up the show for a season, she can leave. (From IMDB, it looks like Paget did shoot a pilot but I don’t think it’s been picked up). Paget turned down the offer to stay the rest of the season and appear in all 22 episodes.

      Now, I’m not sure if they offered her season 7 or not. I know that Gibson and Moore are in early negotiations for it.

      So, her fate in “Lauren” may be murky, because I think originally she was being killed off, then they decided not to…but the CBS promo from last week said, “Prentiss’s last episode…”

      Sigh. Like almost every other fan out there, I wish they hadn’t messed with the cast and taken a pass on the so far boring Suspect Minds completely.

      • jd says:

        Well, the original shortened contract had the pilot out, and I think taking the offer to go back to her full season contract would have taken that off the table, which is why she chose not to stay all season. I think we (us and CBS) are all just waiting now on Paget to make a decision, so yeah, I don’t think she’s gonna get seriously hurt next week.

        But yeah, Shemar and Thomas’ contracts are up for negotiations again. I don’t know about you, but if Hotch goes, I go. That would be the last straw for me.

  4. Kuria says:

    If Gibson leaves, than I’ll probably bail as well. When the show lost Lola Glaudini, there was some impact but Paget was able to fill in. When Patinkin left, sure, there was a gulf but Montenga did a fantastic job at stepping in and stepping up. However, this was done in the early seasons so the impact wasn’t as great.

    Hotch as been such a central character since then that him leaving will deal a hard blow that I don’t think the show can recover from.

    Sure, people will site how the original “Law & Order” rotated characters all the time and the show was able to go on. But L&O is designed different from CM. The CM storytelling doesn’t really allow all that leeway to support that much change.

    With the Charlie Sheen mess and TV pundits saying that “Two and Half Men” can go on without Sheen just fine…I don’t watch the show so I don’t know. But I do know that CSI isn’t the same without Grissom and my desire to watch the show, which began diminishing with the Grissom/Sidle romance, took a hard turn south when Warrick was killed of, and really ended with Grissom left.

    So Gibson leaving? No offense to Shemar Moore or Montenga, but that would kill the show.

    • jd says:

      Well Hotch is the team’s backbone! I mean, I guess Rossi might step in, but I don’t think he’s as adept at the politics of the job (and he probably doesn’t care to be), so it probably wouldn’t go well.

      Rossi is easily my favorite character on the show, to the point that even though I love a lot of the episodes in seasons 1-3, I don’t really even watch them anymore because I just never liked Gideon much. Even still, I think I could go on if they wrote Rossi off. I love him, and it would hurt to watch, but he’s not as “important” as Hotch. If that even makes sense! lol

      Morgan, though, could get written off next week and I’d be fine with that. I do like him, but I could enjoy the show just fine without him.

      As far as Charlie Sheen goes, it still irks me that they threw all that money at him, knowing how he was, and took huge cuts out of our show instead. I’m kind of pleased that it wound up biting CBS in the ass. lol

      • Sophie says:

        Two and a Half Men can’t go on without Charlie Sheen. He’s on of the title ‘men’. They should have just ended the whole show and called it a day… or decade. It was dying anyway.

    • Heather says:

      I gotta be honest. I get Paget was part of this first and horrible strike this summer. BUT, I will not watch anymore if they cut ANYONE else on the cast. I think they have already weakened the show to it’s breaking point with AJ and Paget. Anyone else and the show will collapse. Period. Hotch has to be the leader, Reid is the genius, Rossi has the experience, Morgan is the brawn (and I admit, the beauty!) and Garcia is now the heart and humor. Without any of them, the show is gone, and so am I.

      • jd says:

        Oh, I understand. I was talking about how I could deal without Rossi in a generic way. Like, if it wasn’t right after losing AJ and possibly Paget, and having lost good writers last season, yeah. I think it would be a huge mistake for then to hack the cast up again next season so soon after all of this seasons drama! It would be too much.

  5. Sophie says:

    Wait, WHAT?! Hotch leave!!! Neither Hotch nor Reid can leave. They’re like, trademarks. They cab’t leave. Unless it’s the last ever episode. Which it probably will be, anyway, if they get rid of either of them, because everyone will be furious and boycott Criminal Minds and they’ll lose all their money and it will serve the producers right for messing with the cast in the first place!

    (deep breath)

    Sorry. The thought of any more of the ‘family’ leaving makes me want to smash my tv.

  6. Silver says:

    I was extremely intrigued by the ring, and knew it was significant, so I did some digging.
    It’s actually a Fede ring, which (from what I’ve read) is the predecessor of the heart and crown design of the Claddagh.
    More importantly, the symbolism IS the same; trust, faith, pledged love.

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