Criminal Minds – Recap & Review – Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

photo: cbs

Criminal Minds
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Original Air Date: Dec 7, 2011

Angelique – Associate Staff Writer

Somerville Military Academy – the Director’s alma mater – is shocked to its core by a mass suicide amongst their students. Two weeks before this incident a boy named Bailey killed himself by hanging himself with his sheets. Now five of the six boys who were sent into the woods for a week-long survival trip have hung themselves as well. The sixth boy, Josh is missing.

The fact that all of the boys hung themselves with their bed linen’s, screams suicide-pact. One of the problems that the BAU has to face is the fact that their crime scene has been tampered with, because the person who found the boys claimed that he thought that they might still be alive which is why he cut them down from the trees.

The other problem is that Strauss – who’s being pressured by the Director – decided that she’s going with the team to Somerville. Something which the team always looks forward to …

The fact that the Military Academy is trying to get a large sum of money from a grant. And that the Director of the FBI has been helping the academy to receive the grant doesn’t help either. The kids at the Academy are all between the ages of twelve and eighteen and they are kept under a strict regime.

Colonel Massey is a strict man who sees the world and life in general as a battlefield and survival is key. He’s the one who send the six boys into the woods. Josh Redding – the missing boy – was send to the Academy because he was getting in trouble at home, he didn’t want to go but he was forced by his parents. Even though Massey tried to break Josh it didn’t work, nevertheless three years at the Academy taught him well, despite the search efforts they are unable to track him down. Besides that he has been surviving in the woods for a week before anyone even knew about the murders. It doesn’t take long before everyone thinks that Josh is the one who killed the others.

The team figures out that Massey works with a point system, the more points the better the ‘student’ is. Something one of the first year boys told them about. Josh only had sixteen points, for the survival training you needed to have twenty points. So he shouldn’t have been out there, nevertheless he was. Massey claimed that Josh needed the challenge.

Bailey – the boy who killed himself two weeks prior – was a first year who was getting bullied by the older kids. Massey knew about this but didn’t do anything. Tucker, one of the bullies, forced Bailey into an industrial dryer. Josh Redding is the one who saved Bailey from Tucker, but he couldn’t save him from himself.

It’s easy to assume that Josh is the one who killed the other boys, because as it turns out each and every one of them were bullies. But Tucker he had been the final straw in Bailey’s case. That is until they find Bailey’s dad in a shallow hole filled with spikes in the ground. A trap which Josh made because Bailey’s dad was determined to kill him as well. Massey had made sure that Bailey’s dad was convinced that all of these boys bullied his son, which led to his death. Massey was afraid of Josh because he knew that Josh was the one that could expose his tactics in breaking these kids.

Luckily the team finds Josh just in time, one of Massey’s man had finally been able to catch up with him and the Colonel gave the order to take care of it. I am so glad that the team has such good timing, imagine what could have happened if they didn’t. Massey is picked up at the Academy and arrested along with his accomplish who went after Josh in the woods.

Every time Strauss appears you just know that something is going to spin out of control. And this time it’s her and there is no one else to blame. When Strauss gets annoyed with Massey she flips out at him, Morgan calms the situation and tells Strauss that he can smell the alcohol on her breath and if he can so can other. Her behavior and her drinking can compromise the case. When he confronts Hotch about it he tells him that they should do something about it. When the team arrives back Hotch along with Morgan confront Strauss with her problem and Morgan offers to bring her to a rehab facility, were she can sign in privately.

This woman had tried to bring this team down so many times and now that she needs help instead of ruining her by telling someone higher up in the chain of command they give her a chance to deal with her problem privately. That is very admirable, this could have been their chance to get back at her.

Ever had that moment were a song just keeps playing in your head? Well I had that today, throughout this whole episode I had a Maria Mena song stuck in my head because it’s called ‘Self-Fulfilling Prophecy’ – which by the way is a beautifully tragic song – but it made it all a little bit hard to concentrate on the episode.

Nevertheless it was a good episode, except for the Strauss thing there were no more revelations on a personal level and hardly any interaction between the team members on a social level. But I liked it, it was a good story line.

If kids want to go to a school like that they should have the choice to do so, but I really don’t think that kids should be forced to go to a Military school like that. Josh was forced to go there but he decided that he would not let anyone break him down.

What did you think, did you miss the interaction between the team members? And what about Strauss?

Next Week: The Bittersweet Science

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3 Responses to Criminal Minds – Recap & Review – Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

  1. Heather says:

    I thought this episode was great. I especially loved when Morgan yelled at Hotch for not trusting him. I actually agreed with him… Hotch should have given him the heads up, or at least warned him that things with Strauss were not as they seemed. For a team that has had some serious trust issues this season because of the whole Emily-faked-death thing, now is NOT the time to be hiding things from them again. The team can’t function without trust. However, he did begin to redeem himself with the end of the episode where they confronted Strauss together.

    The storyline itself I thought was incredibly well done. Again, it was a storyline we hadn’t seen before. I just wish we could have fleshed out a bit of the father’s part. It seemed a bit easy, when we didn’t see the conversation blaming Josh for Bailey’s suicide. They also never really answered why Josh didn’t hear Bailey commit suicide in his room.

    Nevertheless, good episode, though I would have liked a bit more Garcia, JJ and Emily. This episode was estrogen light to say the least! The only female we really saw was Strauss, and well, I’m not a fan. 🙂

  2. Jordan says:

    This article is riddled with grammatical errors. These things wouldn’t normally bother me so much, but the fact that the author is indicated as a “staff writer” means that they do this for a living. Clearly, the author and/or editor need some work. First and foremost, a person cannot be “hung.” They are “hanged.” Second of all, the word “send” is used at least twice when “sent” should have been used. Third, commas are missing, and run-on sentences are rife. Fourth, even this website has terrible word search features, indicating that words are misspelled when they are not. It makes everything written harder to discern and fairly useless.

  3. Toya says:

    I started watching this episode and was interrupted by a phone call. Your recap filled in all the gaps for me.

    Thank you!

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