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March 2017

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Since I know there are a bunch of fellow Criminal Minds freaks reading this blog who aren't on the criminalxminds community, and because I really want to know what people think, I just put a discussion post up over there regarding the Arthurian connections in the show. If you know, you wanted to join the community and come chat about it.

It's a good bunch, with a fair number of incisive commenters, and we have a lot of fun picking apart character motivation and so on. (How much do you love a show where the characterization of the protagonists is consistent enough that you can armchair diagnose them, and not just by patching up holes? Whoever it was who suggested that Reid was LLI (in addition to his visual gifts) is a supergenius. That makes *much* more sense than the high-functioning/Asperger's thing, which never quite worked: he's too attuned to other people and way too good at understanding what makes them tick. But low latent inhibition brings both his labile emotionality and his perceptiveness into sharp relief.)

Comments

Huh. I know French Arthuriana much better than English, so take this with a grain of salt; furthermore I am only an egg in CM fandom.

Anyway, in the French version, Gawain's schtick is Not Being Married. So I don't know if I like Hotch for the Gawain role--if Morgan's got the babes, that'd be him. Gawain tends to be heedlessly brave, too--does that fit? Oh, and he has oodles of brothers. Four or five, and all their names begin with G.

And Kay's schtick was la mesdisance starting at least with Chrétien, if not sooner. Whether Hotch = Kay would depend on which version of Arthur the writers favor, I think, since they seem to value consistency.

OTOH, I do like Gideon as Lancelot. Or possibly the Fisher King. Horribly wounded, but still the noblest guy around. Or, hell, why not Arthur himself? Depending on what happened to his wife, of course.
*g* Well, Hotch is the *only* one with a brother. Except JJ... wait, maybe Garcia. Morgan has two sisters.

And hey, what about Agravaine? His name doesn't start with a G.

I also like Hotch for Gawain because of his leadership role, and stiff neck.

It's the pre-french versions of Kay (Or Cei) that have him in the Lancelot role. because, well, no Lancelot.

Nobody likes him anyway. *g*

Diagnosing characters (counterpoint)

As an intelligent, informed parent of two Aspies, all too familiar with psychiatric evaluations, I often find myself diagnosing my favorite characters. (The hack writer/voracious reader in me loves the connections to legends or other stories.)

Having only watched CI once, I'm not that familiar with the characters, but I'd agree LLI seems more likely for Reid. (Yup, noticed him right away because of mild autistic tendencies ...)

However: Aspies (rarely) might make it their 'special interest' to understand other people and social interactions. They approach the social world in a very different way than your run-of-the-mill Aspie (who perhaps sees others mainly as a means to their own needs gratification). Someone like this builds a complex, detailed hierarchy of rules about how people interact. They can even verbalize these rules, at least my son can, at a rudimentary level. I've also seen it manifest as a desire to break those rules, just to see what happens, or to get attention.

So of course, at some point or another, they will get "it" wrong, and blunder, sometimes stunningly. More often, you'd see their social interactions as a little 'slow' or 'jerky', like the slight lag on an overseas phone call. And the 'typical' person in this 'category' is quite shy. (Reid seemed pretty outgoing.)

Trivia: John Ratey (Shadow Syndromes: The Mild Forms of Major Mental Disorders That Sabotage Us) called this high-functioning, highly intelligent (160+ IQ) autistic a "shy gorilla".

Re: Diagnosing characters (counterpoint)

*g* This is very informative, and neat! Thank you!

I think Reid's *social* problem is that he's almost entire peer-group-unsocialized, having been raised by (or having done the caretaking for, more precisely) a schizophrenic single parent since age 10 or so; coupled with being a freaky unstoppable genius with mad visual & eidetic gifts.

He's hesitant sometimes, but he's not introverted.

And yeah, I totally diagnose fictional characters.

often, my own...
*g* See, I go for a walk, and pron....
Entirely irrelevant to this, have you caught the Taco Bell commercials with the lions checking out the tourists with the carne asada tacos--and if so, is that in fact Ricardo Montalban doing the voice-over at the end?
Nope, so I have no idea!
They have talking lions. In fact, one has talking lions with one trying to teach the other how to roll the r's in carne asada so it sounds sexy.

It's so stupid it's funny.
Hotch only really works as a Gawain type character if you're speaking of the older, Gwalchmei version of Gawain, or the Gawain who's not based in any way on Vulgate Cycle. Chrétien de Troyes' Gawain would (mostly) work as a model for Hotch, though personally I think the Gawain of The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle would work even better. Any later in Arthuriana, though, or based off the VC, and he's flawed in the wrong way to work as a model for Hotch and in fact better fits Morgan's profile (lady's man, somewhat vain, usually has the best of intentions but can't quite let go of the material enough to follow through on them). I'm tempted to pitch Gawain over, though, in favor of Bedivere or Cei, since Hotch often is in a position where he has to sort of take care of the others and generally seems to be in charge of seeing to the details of the work though isn't always portrayed as the leader of the group (Gideon often taking this role).

Speaking of Gideon . . . I believe I remember reading that he'd been referred to as the Lancelot character, but personally, as an older, more experienced profiler who teaches the others and can be seen to be molding people like Reid, I'm tempted to place him in a Merlin role, rather than Lancelot. Though I think he'd also work as Leodegrance (keeper of the round table) or even better as Pellinore (given his relationship with the other "knights" of the show), especially since the show itself seems to be leaning more in the direction of a specific branch of Arthurian tradition.

If Reid is Peredur/Parsifal/Percival, then by all rights JJ should be either Chrétien de Troyes' Blanchefleur or else Dindrane, the Grail heroine.

I like Elle for Morgan le Fay. She seems to embody part of both aspects of Morgan's character, oddly enough.

I can't decide if Garcia works better as the Lady of Shallot (Elaine) or a Lady of the Lake type figure (Nimue/Niniane/Vivienne).

If Morgan's not based on a later Gawain or an earlier version of Agravain (before he gets covered in ignomy because of his part in exposing Guinevere's affair with Lancelot), I'd be tempted to say he's modeled at least somewhat on either Lamorak or else on Lucan or Griflet.
Reid actually kind of works better, in the context of the show, as a conflation of several Grail knights and Arthurian characters, starting with Perceval and including Bors (the Younger), Galahad, and Gingalain. Though if he's going to keep his status as a Percival, he'll have to resist the temptation of the drugs, or else he'll go by well of Elle and perhaps become the true Medraut (Mordred) of the show . . .

Mmm. Forgot. Morgan might work as Palamedes, too.
I'd rather you posted your comments over at the community, on the actual discussion post, if you don't mind!
Sorry - brain's a wee-bit foggy. (Blasted sinus infection!) I'll go do that, then.
Thank you.
Welcome. Should I erase, here?
nah. *g*
Okay. I'll try to remember to always follow links and reply there from now on. Promise!