Criminal Minds – Recap & Review – With Friends Like These…

photo: cbs

Criminal Minds
With Friends Like These…

Original Air Date: Mar 30, 2011

JD – Sr. Staff Writer

After that big build up with Prentiss’ story arc, and the emotional toll it took on a lot of fans, it’s probably a good thing that we got a week free of the show before coming back this week, just to process. I really thought it was going to be hard to watch, but thankfully they came back with a solid episode. The reminders that Prentiss was gone didn’t overshadow the case, and for that I’m thankful.

While I don’t like the major changes the show is pushing through, I have to admit that the writing has been good this season. Or maybe the major changes they’ve pushed thorough have caused me to lower my standards in keeping with CBS’s decisions. But I digress…

Let me introduce you to Crazy Guy. He’s walking around a supermarket with his friends, and they’re talking about cereal and guacamole (not together–eurgh), and seem to pick on Crazy Guy (let’s just call him CG) a lot. They encounter a woman, CG asks her about how long she lets her cereal sit before she eats it (because that’s a totally normal random question to ask a stranger), and she dismisses him. Bad idea. The Bullies talk CG into following her home, and things do not end well.

Back at the BAU, Garcia is sulking over losing Prentiss, even though she tells Morgan she’s not. She’s surrounded by testosterone now, she says.

Me: Aww, so true.
Morgan: Um, remember Seaver?
Me: …oh yeah.

I am by no means a Seaver-hater, but she’s not part of the BAU family in my head yet. Also, I find it annoyingly coincidental that she’s graduating from the academy the very episode after Prentiss is gone. “Here, this one has no Y chromosome; put her in the empty spot.”

Okay, so I’m still a little bitter, and the beginning of this episode at the BAU made me irritated that all the main agents on the show now are men. Grr.

Moving on…

The lady who doesn’t eat cereal is dead, and so is another man before her. They were both struck with blunt objects and stabbed. A lot. Random Guy was stabbed 31 times, and Anti-cereal Woman was stabbed 40 times, along with being bludgeoned by multiple blunt objects. The team determines it must be multiple people involved, and head to Portland.

The team discusses the case on the plane, and Reid has a geological profile already. Meanwhile, the Bullies are pushing CG to go out again.

On the ground, Rossi and Hotch go to the last crime scene, while Reid and Seaver check out the alley where the previous victim was killed. They determine the unsubs must be in their twenties… and Hotch realizes there aren’t multiple unsubs at all. There’s only one shoe print in the blood at the last crime scene, and the killers were too disorganized to have gone to the trouble of matching shoes. The team suspects the unsub must be on drugs, which explains his erratic behavior… annnnnnnnd CG is already out killing again.

The team is a step behind, and find the next victim at his apartment the next day. He’s been stabbed 40 times. Morgan and Seaver talk to the neighbor, who is pretty much useless. In fact, she heard the unsub screaming the night before about not wanting to kill anymore, and didn’t call the cops. Brilliant.

Morgan and Seaver do, however, come to the conclusion that if the unsub was having drug hallucinations, he would be too afraid to talk to them, so he must be a paranoid schizophrenic, and the Bullies are in his head. They go to give the profile, and Reid is acting weird. Oh, so we’re going back to the headaches now that Prentiss is gone.

CG is in a meltdown, and calls his oh-so-loving mother… who tells him she’s sick of his problems, and he should find a church to help him. Niiiiice. He finds a priest, and it all comes out. CG thinks the Bullies blame him for some fire that must have happened a while ago, and he wants the priest to perform an exorcism on him, like he had done when he was a child.

Back at the police station, Morgan corners Reid in the bathroom, and gets him to confess. Reid tells him about the headaches and more. But he also has a feeling they’re missing something. This unsub’s hallucinations are more vivid than they should be. And they have to figure out why.

Okay, look. I take issue here. First of all, wwhhhhyyyy would the show want to go the Crazy Reid route? Secondly, Morgan says this is a scary age for Reid, when most schizophrenic breaks happen? What? Surely Morgan realizes that Reid is past the age that most schizophrenics start showing signs. In season four’s Memoriam, I’m pretty sure I remember that Morgan guesses Reid was 4 in 1984, which would make him 30 or 31 now, depending on his birthday. Sure, Reid could still have it, but the prime age to start showing symptoms is about 18-25! So yeah, I’m not gonna be happy about it if the show makes him crazy.

That said, I really liked the episode, and I was happy that they team figured out the unsub was hallucinating pretty fast. It was pretty obvious to me from the first scene, when Anti-cereal Woman didn’t respond to one of the bullies insulting her. The show has already done people hallucinating their “special friends” very well, my favorite being season one’s Derailed, and it would have just been bad if they’d tried to do it again as a “surprise twist” at the end.

The end when Reid is talking to CG, and CG is imagining he’s hearing Reid say something else, did remind me of Derailed again, when Reid is talking about string theory. This was really well done in this episode.

I also loved the scene with CG attacking his hallucinations. Did anyone else think that he was attacking himself? When he stabbed the first Bully, I was sure he would come out of the hallucination to find he’s stabbed himself.

So what did you guys think? If I ignore the issue with Morgan’s assessment of Reid’s schizophrenia concerns, and the fact that Prentiss is gone, I give it a thumbs up. What about you? Give me your Two Cents!

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6 Responses to Criminal Minds – Recap & Review – With Friends Like These…

  1. Heather says:

    Liked the episode. Actually seeing the voices in his head was cool. Especially liked the very end where he saw the people in his head as a little boy. Very interesting twist.

    That being said, yet again, Seaver was her ineffectual self. Without Prentiss, this REALLY shows through. They need to get that “experienced profiler” Hotch and Rossi were talking about– STAT! (And that person better not have testicles- Just saying…) I’m glad they didn’t belabor that Prentiss was gone, although I am glad that they didn’t ignore it completely either. I thought they handled it well, with just a brief mention.

    And I completely agree that they can’t make Reid crazy. It’s not fair. They need to leave him alone. We cannot lose him too. It would be like murdering our favorite person…Not fair and completely WRONG!!!

    Next week looks cool…soccer mom that snaps. Love the women psychopaths!!

  2. Aile says:

    I really enjoyed the episode, and I don’t think they are going to make Reid schizophrenic.
    Like you said, why would they do that ? They know Reid wouldn’t be able to work at the FBI if he developed schizophrenia.
    Logically there is no good reason for the writers and producers to do that, unless MGG wanted out of the show (and I don’t think it’s the case at all).
    They’re just trying to play on Reid’s fears of developing schizophrenia, but I cannot see them wanting Reid to develop the disease.

    IMO, Reid’s conversation with Morgan managed to ease his fears over schizophrenia (and he managed to sleep peacefully at the end). That might have been the whole point of the scene.

    About Reid’s age, he’s 29 this season (he turned 27 during ‘Masterpiece’ in the fourth season, he said it himself when he talked to the students – which is consistent with him turning 24 in ‘Plain Sight’ during the first season).
    He’ll be 29 until some point in the seventh season.

    I just hope they will give us a straight answer about Reid’s health issues at some point. I want to know what is really going on here.

    The unsub hallucinations were very well done.
    It reminded me of ‘Derailed’ too.

    I really miss Prentiss and JJ, it’s not the same without them. At least one of them needs to come back, badly. This show needs at least one strong experienced woman working in the field, and Seaver doesn’t fit the bill.
    I don’t hate her, but her character is not representative in any way of the strong women we had on this show.
    And if they try to build that character up as a profiler and kick ass woman too quickly (and out of nowhere) it’ll bug the hell out of me. I don’t want to see that.

    All in all, great episode. I loved it and thought the plot was intriguing and suspenseful.

  3. Angela says:

    I thought it was decent. Neither good or bad. But since the person who wrote this wrote The Thirteenth Step, which I feel is in the running for worst Criminal Minds episode ever, I was very worried. Especially being the first episode after losing Prentiss. So, I’m very relieved that it wasn’t awful.

    So glad that they didn’t have any long “maybe he’s possessed thing” happening. Just have it right off the bat that he was having hallucinations and that it was a medical issue.

    I have the same problem with Morgan saying Reid’s the right age for to become schizophrenic. I don’t want him to, but I’m more annoyed by the age thing. Have they decided to rewrite canon and make Reid younger than he should be? I’d hate that. I would have just assumed someone didn’t do the research for when schizophrenic breaks happen if they hadn’t mentioned it in the very same episode. A better way to handle it, if they wanted to still have it be something to worry him would have been for Morgan to say he’s past the age and then have Reid say that it’s not impossible for the breaks to occur later in life. (I don’t know if that’s true, but at least it would acknowledge that Reid becoming schizophrenic now wouldn’t be following the typical pattern)

    And, I’ve come to the conclusion that I like Seaver. And I don’t necessarily take Hotch’s comment that they need another experienced profiler as indication that they’ll hire a new cast member. Maybe the team won’t find anyone suitable, or maybe Strauss won’t allow it. But, while I still don’t know why Seaver had to be a cadet, I’m glad they acknowledge it’s not an ideal situation.

    As far as Prentiss, considering most of them think she’s dead, I think her being gone should factor strongly for awhile. But, when I read the press release for this episode there was no mention of her being gone. So, I thought all they’d do is maybe show a shot of her empty desk and then it would be “Prentiss, Who?” So I like that there was more than that in the episode.

    • Aile says:

      I understand what you mean about Morgan saying it was a scary age for Reid.
      Reid turned 29 in the course of the sixth season, so he should be past the age of onset.
      But it wouldn’t be the first time the writers made mistakes with the age and previous canon concerning characters.
      Morgan’s age didn’t match with his birth date given in the article in ‘Profiler Profiled’.
      Rossi’s age (he was supposed to be 52 in the third season) is not consistent with him and Emma being “both 12 years old”. Given her birth date he should have been older than her.
      Prentiss was supposed to have worked 10 years for the FBI when she first appeared, but they changed that with the Ian Doyle arc, it was stated she had only been with the FBI for 7 years.
      So, Reid is supposed to be 29 until some point in the seventh season, but the writers rarely stick to canon for a long time.
      They might change that.
      That said, I don’t think it’ll have a real impact since I don’t think Reid will develop schizophrenia at all.

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