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March 2017

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criminal minds hotch somewhat incongruou

same dances in the same old shoes

Criminal Minds 3x01 3x02 "In Name and Blood" "In Birth and Death"

Man, I am glad I am not the poor schmuck in charge of keeping continuity on this thing. The continuity goblins have it in for Eddie Bernero.



Dude, creepiest cold open since "Ashes and Dust." Complete with the hideously ironic music. And the absolute acknowledgement of the misdierect. "Why yes. We here at Criminal Minds are fucking with you!"

Blurry Reid POV shot, first of several shout-backs to "Revelations" in this ep. Complete with almost exactly the same camera angle as in the first reveal of Raphael in that episode.

And Spencer with the unfinished sentence again. Aww, JJ fretting over her ducklings. Is the love.

Nice tie, Reid.

Reason one why I am not happy with the Haley-affair hypothesis. She's way too happy to have Hotch home.

Kids eating cereal, creepily thematic throughout this ep.

Reid picking on Morgan for being late cracks me up. Yeah, and you neither, Reid. (Okay, I'm trying to read the message about mandatory volunteering on the white board behind Morgan. Hey, slash_girl, did you catch what that said?)

JJ takes charge! Go, Jaje.

Also, the CM trick again. They actually do not show the gore. Just the reaction shots. Aieee!

Morgan and Hotch, and another shout back to "Revelations." "Are you a pain in my ass? Yes sir."

Emily may not *like* politics, but she knows how to play them. "If [Garcia] can't talk someone out of doing something, no one can." Ahem. Yes.

"My job is to protect the Bureau."

And Reid's the one asking after Emily. Interesting, that.

"Correct me if I'm wrong." Ooo. Can we?

Hee. Could Reid scootch over farther? Don't TOUCH me, evile woman with your evile woman cooties.

Ahh, Garcia. "I'm just following orders." Oh honey, you LIE LIKE A RUG.

YAY! Snappy scene changes are back. Oh, I missed them so. Where is my green screen?

CotW is white middle-aged and male, drink.

"He remembers everything. It's what he does."
What is it with Reid and Dahmer references?
Look, Spencer in short sleeves again. Drink.

It is amazing how the white space where the missing team members should be is apparent in the silences.

And Erin is making a fool of herself and antagonizing the CotW. "Don't question me again." Heh. Run her over with a steamroller, why don't you.

Mysterious phone call and Haley temper tantrum. I think she's preggers, and deciding if she's going to keep it. Or sick, and hiding it from him.

Pregnant lady shopping... this can only end in tears.
Interesting that she acts to protect the child, not herself.

"JJ, take Strauss with you." Heh. Morgan setting Strauss up for maximum damage is a thing of beauty. Psychological warfare. And Big Bro is the man of the house now that mom and dad are gone. And Hotch--and Morgan--crack the case! Woo!

Look, geographic profiling! Oh, what a lovely description of borderlines I have known. The yay.

Body part in a box! Drink!

That's not a ver' effective gag, unsub boy. I suspect they go out of their way not to show effective methods of restraining someone on this TV show.

"It's a done deal."
"No, it isn't."

Oh, the parallels. Same game as always. Hotch = unsub; Reid = unsub's son; and another reason to think Haley's preggers is of course that the victim we get to know the most in this ep is pregnant. Of course, if you spin it the other way, Haley's the unsub, and Hotch is the woman who left--

The son is "The boy," of course. Depersonalize.

Oh, lady, don't panic.

"Don't make me the monster here."

And symbolically we move from Haley and Hotch fighting in the bedroom, to Hotch and Prentiss in the kitchen. Gareth Beaumains is in the kitchen when he's called to serve, and finally accepted.

PSA: Check the peephole, like Em does!

"Technically, we're in dereliction of duty by not being there."

Heh. I expected Prentiss had a place with a doorman. I wonder if Hotch flashed his badge to get inside.

Hotch knows more than he tells, because Hotch is the man. And Emily still can't lie.

"I think Strauss came to you and asked for dirt on me."
"Why would she do that?"
"I think if you have your eyes on top leadership at the FBI, you want to know who might stand in your way."
"And what could I have told her?"
"That one of my agents might have murdered a suspect in cold blood, or another one might have a serious drug problem which I didn't report, and if Strauss had any evidence my career would be over. I think she put you on our team and expected something in return. And to your credit, you quit rather than whisper in her ear."
"I told you. I hate politics."

When Hotch starts stringing together "I thinks," run for your life. Because he's got you figured to the core.

Never fear, Mom is here.

I knew my faith in Emily would be rewarded.

"One more case." God, I love that they are totally undermining the romance movie/buddy flic trope. "One last caper."

Oh, my show. *g*

"I already turned in my badge and my gun."
"That's just hardware."

Hardware you will want in a few days.

And another critique of violence as entertainment. Dear America--
"I was in that apartment."
"There are things that attach to you that you can never wash off."

Hee. Poor Penelope.
And Garcia rides to the rescue.

Footwork! Woo!

Creepy dad. "How was school?"
Aieeee.

"Sometimes things happen. Grown up things."
Yeah, they do sometimes.
"They leave. They leave."
You know, Spencer has that experience too. Just saying.

"That gives us a little over twelve hours to make something happen."

It's Emily who puts it in Strauss's court. Oh, she is love.

Heh. And the team is on to Garcia.
"Bits and Pieces" aiieeeee!
Creepy kids eating cereal...

"He's gonna kill you, you know."

Oh, the team loses another one. That's hard. And Hotch will even mother wicked bureaucrats. Because Hotch is the single most decent human being on the planet. Drink!

"I stepped on her hair." Oh, man, nice delivery there. The actress has range!

"This is what it is. Just don't let the public see you break down."

And Morgan goes to save the day. I would have liked the scene in which the victim's husband gets the news--one of the most effective things that CM does is show the impact of violence.

Ehe. "That's where he goes when he... needs to get away. he's... suffering a mental breakdown."
"Reid, I need your head in this."
He's trying, man. The kid has abandonment issues, you know?

All those little girls in pink shirts, running, and Prentiss in pink.

"What if he's not a problem kid?"
"You'll do anything to be the perfect child." Textbook use of second-person for distancing. Oh, Reid. I could not overidentify with you more.

"And Garcia? Thank you."

Spencer describing himself, and how a smart kid can hide a terrible homelife, is more than a little awful to watch. Also, could his body language be more defensive there?

Reid is turning into the guy who gets sent out with Jaje to talk to people who need comforting. Woooooo for a show with CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

Mighty Mouse! Oh, no, this show has no meta. "Here I come to save the day!"

We've seen this scene in Season 1, "What Fresh Hell."

"I go in alone."

Emily has enormous brass-plated gonads. And we get her blurry concussed POV.

Aiiee, Hotch with a kid with a gun. Oh gawd. You know, I honestly was not certain Hotch was not going to have to shoot him. "You're dying, and this is what you want to leave your son?"

Team member sitting in ambulance! Drink!

"I dunno. I gotta talk to Haley."

And everybody shuffling home, the walking wounded. Emily Prentiss, not entirely at peace with her choice, but Gareth's a knight of the round table now. And the Washington Monument under her reflection. How does it feel, Emily? 

And Hotch comes home to the empty house, and Strauss is blooded and maybe gets it a little better. Nobody is ever the stereotype they seem on this show.

And she looks at the photo of her favorite son and looks away.

Reid's ancient Volvo is love. (Reid driving a car! Finish your drink!) Bet he got THAT from Goodwill, too....

And another image taking us back to Revelations; Reid in a cabin in the dark.... He is totally expecting to find a body.

Yep, Reid's abandonment issues needed reinforcing. Uh huh.

My fandom has daddy issues.

And Gideon in a diner, with the thematic resonance back to "No Way Out." Heh. Is that Tobias Henkel's pickup he's parked next to?

I wanted an ending that was a little sharper, but you know, all in all? That wasn't bad. And this is a pretty good ep that stands up on the rewatch.

OTOH, coffeeem pointed out it was a total play fair ending. I mean, *I* was pretty convinced suicide was off the menu once they pointed the misdirect that way so very strongly? But she was the one who pointed out that all of Gideon's personal stuff is packed into boxes at the end of the last ep.

Comments

*G* Do you sometimes wish you'd never started these? Cos you know it's expected now . . .

Reid going to the cabin got my heart thumping. Poor guy - how scary was that drive in the dark for him and then . . . gets abandoned again.

At first the lack of suicide annoyed me - but actually, Gideon leaving like that makes him much less sympathetic. He made sure Reid would miss him enough to come looking by standing him up and he played, maybe not intentionally but still, on Reid's concern for him.

And Emily made me grin my face off in this. I didn't like her to start with but she has turned into someone you care about and root for. Well done writers.
*G* Do you sometimes wish you'd never started these? Cos you know it's expected now . . .

i was worried she was too under the rock/gun to even do this one! so, with the much rejoicing. it's almost as much fun to read these as it is to watch the show.
lots of good stuff in this one. i found "the boy" particularly disturbing. though reid has the insight to find him (perfect child), (and though that lines up with this, too, pleasing his dad), i was horrified when we discovered that he brought the nurse home on his own. he's another loose end that you can't help but wonder -- how will he turn out...what will happen with him?

it goes back to how you talk about impact. the best thing about this show is that everything takes its toll, and we get glimpses of that even when we don't see the final results in the lives of the victims. because, surely, as much as any of the women, the boy was a victim.
Yeah.

That's totally why I can't stop watching it. Because stuff has *repercussions* on this show.

I really would have liked to see the second vic's husband react to her death. I hope that scene makes it onto the DVDs.

Some of my favorite scenes have been the survivor reactions. Because by god, they get it right.
They always leave had me thinking not only about Reid's being abandoned, but Patinkin abandoning the show itself. More meta, drink!

And man that scene where Reid describes his childhood in 2nd person damn near broke my heart.

MKK
*chills* of recognition.

I wonder if the M.R. James resonances in this ep are intentional or just splashes out of the Big Cultural Stewpot.
I would guess they're intentional, given the indelible literacy of this bunch of writers.

I don't know enough about James to spot them, though. Elucidate?
You know, I'm really fascinated by the fact that everyone seems to be comparing this unsub to Hotch, given that I never saw him as a parallel to anyone but Gideon -- the "borderline personality" description, and him telling his son he wasn't going to be around forever... And Reid takes after Gideon quite a bit more than he does Hotch.

So that was interesting.

Also, um. Hi?
See, I'd say Gideon is the wife/haley, etc.

heck, there's an earlier ep where Haley calls Gideon "your wife" to Hotch. *g*
"And Gideon in a diner, with the thematic resonance back to "No Way Out." Heh. Is that Tobias Henkel's pickup he's parked next to?"

Ahh, I'm glad I wasn't completely imagining this then! :D

Yeah, I loved this episode, saw it just yesterday on YouTube...

And I had to track down your post about it, because I'm addicted to reading your analyses (plural form?) on CM episodes! :D
*g* I live to serve!
*sigh* I'm commenting on these so long after they were written. It's probably because it took me this long to find good CM recaps. Stupid unhelpful internet. *laughs*

"I knew my faith in Emily would be rewarded."

I was shocked when I watched this episode, because I started watching CM after Elle was gone. I was so un-used to characters that I actually really care about and trust. I have to say that while I'm glad you were right I actually doubted her for a split second. She's my favorite character, too. How sad.

I agree that Gideon's departure seemed to mimic Mandy's departure. Fast, random, and pretty unexplained.
You know, that's one thing I *do* love about this show. The characters are the good guys. And when they stop being the good guys, no excuses are made.
Bit old, actually. Reid was born in the 80s, I think...

Costuming and actor choices

On rewatching four years later, and having been through the E. Bear course of Noticing Things, the following occurred to me:

When Hotch and Prentiss head off to help, seeing Hotch's dark suit and Emily's red top caused me to have a Batman and Robin flashback. Hotch's "dual-identy" and his total identification with his crime-fighting persona (It's who I am.") didn't hurt either. To the batplane!

And the cuts between the (tall, dark-haired) UNSUB with his (blonde) son and (blonde, pregnant) victim, and Hotch's visually similar family gave me the impression I was seeing the Bizarro world Hotchners. Is Hotch's decision tearing Haley's heart out? I think maybe so.

Either I spent too much time reading comic books as a kid, or the writers did.