Tag Archives: Criminal Minds

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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Criminal Minds – “Carbon Copy” Recap

Tonight’s episode of Criminal Minds found the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) in Philadelphia investigating a series of murdered nurses who died of exsanguination. Of course, the team recognizes this MO from their previous case in San Francisco, where it turned out that the UnSub was a hemophiliac who was draining the victims’ blood to use the platelets. The UnSub also removed the victims’ eyelids to make them “see,” because he wasn’t successful in selling his art. It appears that the BAU’s stalker has made a comeback.

In the beginning of the episode, JJ receives a bouquet of white Lilies. JJ is married, so Reid and Garcia assumed that the flowers had been sent from her husband Will. Upon opening the card, however, it’s discovered that that is not the case. Just one word is printed on the card: Zugzwang. This is the infamous word that Reid heard over the phone in episode where his girlfriend, Maeve, is kidnapped. Zugzwang is a chess term that describes the situation when a player realizes he is in Checkmate and cannot make a move that does not worsen his situation.

Garcia uses her quick computer search skills to figure out that the bouquet was bought with a stolen credit card from a florist in Philadelphia, which is how the team discovers the recent murders that are a “carbon copy” of the ones they investigated in San Francisco.

The BAU end up identifying a man who was previously involved with a series of murders of nurses in Pittsburgh, Pa., a case that a previous BAU team worked on. The man was wrongly accused and held by police for weeks before another suspect was eventually arrested and charged. He was innocent, but the media attention from when he was held ended up ruining his relationship with his wife and daughters. He was unable to find stable work, and his health took a toll when he was beat up after being recognized. The attack left him with epileptic-like symptoms.

After the man finally admits to the recent murders in Philadelphia, JJ brings up the other copy-cat murders that they’ve been dealing with throughout this season so far. Hotchner and Reid, who were investigating the man’s home, found evidence that pointed to this man being “The Replicator,” the team’s stalker: photographs of Hotchner and eyelids from past victims.

An unfortunate turn of events sees this suspect purposely overdose on his seizure medication after making a phone call to an unknown number. Garcia works her magic again and traces the call to a cell phone in Pittsburgh. The team hops on the jet to hunt try to catch their stalker. As the team realizes that the cell phone is still in the same location, they begin to suspect a trap. They are headed right where the Replicator wants them to go.

After arriving in Pittsburgh, the agents–along with a SWAT team from the Pittsburgh police–discover what the Replicator has waiting for them. Inside an abandoned building sits a stereo playing “Just in Time” by Dean Martin, the cell phone that lead them there, and boards filled with pictures of the various BAU agents with the word zugzwang written around them. The Replicator has also left them with another body and a bloodied hammer. As the agents take in the scene, the episode ends and leaves viewers wondering what is going to happen next.

CRM2320-promos_thumb_640x360Screencap – Credit CBS

Unfortunately, there is no new episode of Criminal Minds next week. The show returns on March 20th with the episode “The Gathering.”

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Criminal Minds – Thomas Gibson’s Directorial Debut “Magnus Opum”

Thomas Gibson, the actor who plays “Criminal Minds” BAU team leader SSA Aaron Hotchner, will be making his directorial debut this week in the episode “All That Remains.” The official press release statement gives us a hint of what to expect: “After a man’s daughters vanish on the anniversary of his wife’s disappearance, the BAU is called in to investigate him as a potential suspect.”

When the show left off two weeks ago, the BAU was still dealing with the aftermath of Reid’s girlfriend Maeve’s death. While the team was investigating a series of murders where the victim’s bodies had been nearly completely drained of their blood, Reid had yet to leave his apartment. The opening scene saw Garcia and JJ checking up on him, Garcia having left several ‘Get Well’ gift baskets that were still outside the apartment door. As the episode continues, Garcia and Morgan use the case to get Reid to open up. It starts with Morgan leaving a question about the case on Reid’s answering machine, which ends up working. By the end of the episode Reid had flown out to California to work the case with the team, figuring out that the UnSub was a hemophiliac and had been using the blood plasma to clot his own blood. The UnSub had also been using the blood in his artwork, trying to give meaning to his work so that he would be noticed.

Criminal Minds topped it’s time slot with 11.84 million viewers for the episode “Magnum Opus” two weeks ago, but fans were slightly disappointed with Reid’s storyline. Erica Messer, the show’s producer, promised that Maeve’s death would “be the emotional anchor of episode 813 and it’s the arc for Reid’s character for the rest of the season.” Given from what we saw at the end of “Magnum Opus” it seems that Reid had mourned and is ready to move on. One episode is a far cry from “the rest of the season.” Given Reid’s tragic past — his mother’s schizophrenia, his being held hostage in season two by Tobias Hankel and subsequent addiction to Dilaudid, the Anthrax scare, his eidetic memory — fans expected Maeve’s death to affect him more than it appeared to have.

Hopefully the writers haven’t completely wrapped up Reid’s character development for this season now that his main storyline has aired. And don’t forget that there is another stalker still after the team, seen at the end of the first episode of this season, “The Silencer,” and the end of the sixth episode, “The Apprenticeship.” There are still 11 episodes left until the end of the season, so it will be interesting to see how these storylines wrap up.

The promo for “All That Remains” only gives us a peek at what and who the team will be investigating this week, so we will have to wait until Wednesday night to see if there is any main character development this week. Thomas Gibson is the second actor of the show to take a hand at directing; Matthew Gray Gubler, who plays Spencer Reid, has directed four episodes so far: “Mosley Lane,” “Lauren,” “Heathridge Manor” and “The Lesson.” Thomas Gibson will also be directing another episode later this season, titled “Over Kill.”

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Little-known TV Spin-offs

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Popular shows often spark spin-offs – just look at shows like CSI or Law & Order. However, not all of these spin-offs are so well known. Click through the slideshow to see some popular shows (in the U.S. and U.K.) that produced spin-offs you may not have known about.

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