Context: Last night's special-time post-Superbowl Criminal Minds episode was the first half of a two-parter (which is supposed to re-air before the second half in America on Wednesday; I suspect they'll run it again before the second half in Canada on Tuesday, because the Canadians are better than us.)
Part of the schtick this time is that the unsubs are digitally recording their murders and releasing them onto the internet, as viral .avi files.
I give you... a preview for the second half of the ep. (spoilers for the first half, and oh look, Reid is having a Bad Day again. Really, subtitle for this season should be Spencer Reid And The Terrible Horrible No Good Really Bad Day. He's the best Young Man In Peril since Robin. [oh, just a little peril.] )
Okay. So because I am a goofball, what I notice is that Reid's mismatched socks finally got the air time they deserve.
(Apparently MGG-as-Reid has been wearing funky/mismatched sox all along, but for continuity reasons, we haven't seen them.)
What do you think the odds are that Reid is getting out of this one without a scar on his forehead?
At least it won't be a FREAKING OPEN HEART SURGERY scar the size of your hand, like Elle's.
Also, because I think too much, I wonder if the seizure he appears to be having at the end is Reid faking it, or caused by waterboarding (Well, the functional equivalent, anyway--forced baptism while tied to a chair.)
This upcoming ep is the most total fan service since Picard was interrogated by Cardassians. JUST SAYING.)
Spencer Reid, BOY HOSTAGE.
JJ, those heeled boots? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?
JJ is awesome. I love her. I love her with all the love that is in me. And I love Hotch. The whole helpless-female "my boss doesn't appreciate me, please let me help with your scutwork, you big man" thing on the condescending cop, and then the turn around and the self-satisfied little heh to Hotch, and Hotch's nod. Because Hotch is a feminist.
And knows that JJ could kick that cop's ass, in any unfair fight.
Oh, femmy girls who hang out and talk with other girls, and act like real girls, not TV girls.
(The executive producer of this show is the guy who created Third Watch. Remember the dead smart, dead butch blonde cop on that one? The women on this show are just as cool.)
I also love this show because of followthrough. Okay, hostage taken by serial killers. Beautiful blonde in chains, kneeling on a mattress, about to be savaged by vicious dogs. Cue mad dash for Our Heroes to save her, which they do in--
--well, no. Actually, she dies horribly. Sorry, guys. Better luck next week.
It's amazing how on the edge of my seat that keeps me. Because I know they can die. And I know perfectly well that they would not hesitate to kill a main character if they thought they had a reason.
And they do worse things to them than kill them. They break them. And don't put them back together again.
The general trend of a character arc on this show is not always upwards. (Nor is it always downwards.)
I love the Gideon-and-Reid relationship. And I love the way this show handles characterization.
Which is to say, there's always been something just a bit... opportunistic about Gideon's mentoring of Reid; Reid steps into his role as student eagerly, in general, hungry to learn just about anything. And Gideon obviously treasures Reid both as a person and (here's the creepy part) as a weapon. Because some of what Gideon is doing is hammering Reid into shape, and it's not a process that is carried on without leaving scars.
Reid is, in a lot of ways, Gideon's legacy. He's a weapon that Gideon is constructing, because Gideon is possessed. He has no driving passions beyond his job. And when he's on the job, nothing else exists. [There's a bit in the first season, at Reid's impromptu office birthday party, that I love, where Hotch and Gideon are talking in the corner and Hotch says that it's amazing Reid knows what he knows at his age, and Gideon replies, "I wonder what he will know when he's fifty." And they just look at each other, because they ain't, as Mildmay would say, talking about no good kind of knowing.]
And with this production team, I can trust that that bit of byplay means something, and it'll be echoing back. The plot arcs mostly do not follow tightly one episode to the next, but the character arcs do, and that's lovely. It's like being allowed glimpses of these people's lives over a series of months, like vignettes, and then being shown how the work changes them. Very pictures at an exposition.
One of those echoes was last night, when Reid asks Gideon if Gideon is okay. Reid isn't actually asking if Gideon is okay; Reid is saying, "Hey, Gideon, I'm not okay. Could use a comforting word here."
And he doesn't get it, because Gideon is on Planet Gideon, looking at the evidence, off in the tunnel-vision land that it's Hotch and JJ's job to follow him around and apologize for. And so Reid does not get his reassurance from the mentor-figure, because he's not the tool in Gideon's hand right now.
That'll be back. They're breaking Reid this year, and maybe Garcia. Hotch and Morgan next year, if they get a third season?
(Also nice to watch Reid picking up on Gideon's incredibly vicious manipulation techniques. He's got his own, gentler style of making people give him what he wants--but he's fully capable of dipping down into that savage button-pushing that Gideon excels at when he needs to. Re, his interrogation of one particular suspect suspect in The Fox. Identify the weakness, lean on it until it snaps. I love a show in which the formula is all about manipulating the bad guys into a position of weakness.)
(Yes, this is a kink of mine. How did you know?)
7:30. Time to go to work.
ETAsome good, very spoilery discussion of the ep here.
BONUS APOD GORGEOUS OMG how much is that flight?
BONUS WRTING CONTENT LINK black_holly on "The myth of getting your foot in the door."
Confucius Says: to finish a story, you must know how to stop writing.
*also, I suspect, writ ironical, as one of the things they mentioned in passing on the show was the creepiness of violent videos spread on the Internets.