Criminal Minds Recap – “The Gathering”

After a two week hiatus, Criminal Minds returned with a new episode this week. The team was still set on investigating their own stalker, who made his return appearance last episode. However, Behavioral Analysis Unit Section Chief Erin Strauss set the team straight, suggesting that they give their investigation a break and focus on other cases. So their attention was diverted to St. Paul, Minnesota, where the bodies of two women were discovered with their tongues ripped out.

At first, it seemed that there was no connecting link between the victims. Usually the victims will have something in common: physical features, workplace or some other link. Eventually, though, it was discovered that each of the victims had a big online presence, from blogging to social media to online dating. The Unsub was able to keep track of their every action simply from their online lives, which probably hit home to many viewers as most people today constantly update Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and numerous other social media sites.

Just when you thought the Unsub couldn’t get any more creepy, the BAU team discovers that he has been using the information from the victims’ online lives to write psychotic fantasies. Ultimately, it turned out that it wasn’t the author of the psychotic fantasies that was committing the murders, but instead the instructor from his writing group.

Character development this episode focused on Penelope Garcia and her ex-boyfriend Kevin Lynch. In season seven, Kevin asked Penelope to marry him, but she declined his offer. While there was speculation that the two would end up getting back together, this episode proved that that isn’t the case. The two have remained separated and have even been dating other people, though they are trying to remain friends. Kevin has been a recurring character on the show since season three, but it will be interesting to see what the show’s writers will do with his character now that he is no longer romantically linked to Garcia.

Criminal Minds will be taking another short hiatus, retuning April 3 with the episode “Restoration,” which it seems will be a Morgan-centric episode. The CBS press release for the episode gives this description, “The BAU goes to Morgan’s old neighborhood in urban Chicago in search of an UnSub targeting middle-aged men, and a clue leads Morgan to believe that they are after someone connected to the man who molested him as a child.”

Also, keep an eye out for the second Matthew Gray Gubler-directed episode this season on May 1, titled “Alchemy.” You can find some set photos here, courtesy of matthewgraygublerfans.org.

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