The time-lapse fade on that establishing shot makes me happy. So understated and pretty.
"Julie wouldn't just disappear."
So today, we are here to undermine the teen slasher flick, and its ingrained tropes problematizing female sexuality. The madonna/whore complex took a beating in this one...
"You want me drunk and naked, just say so." Woman with powerful sexuality is the target, of course... but then what happens?
And then we cut to another powerful woman, and her crushing piles of necessary work. "I'm confident that they'll feel the same way." Of course they will, Jaje, because you are the secret mastermind of the B.A.U. (Drink!)
"Decomp indicated that she had been dead just over a week." JJ is upset, little catch in her throat. People preying on young rural women gets to her; she's seeing herself in the victim's faces.
"What's he been doing for the past 27 years?"
That's one of those killer lines right there: "It's a party."
And Hotch with the Anne Sexton quote, and what a quote it is. "It doesn't matter who my father was. It matters who I remember he was." There's a fabulous bit of thematic reinforcing for the whole season, right there--the layered synchronicities just keep piling up.
Gorgeous reaction shot of JJ while Reid is flipping through files and reading aloud in the background.
The bit in the mine, where Molly goes from being the flip creature she was before the abduction to somebody being strong for another is wonderful. There's an echo through this episode of women protecting other women, and their children--for right or wrong--that's very powerful. The intense dignity of all these female characters is really telling.
CotW Jr. "This case broke him."
Reid: "How so?"
CotW Jr. "Same old. Started drinking. Marriage busted up."
Okay, fabulous supporting cast this ep. And the parallel today is JJ/victims, Rossi/derelict cop
Paget Brewster looks fabulous in burgundy, too. /shallow
"He's definitely local."
And how much do I love my show for the male character (Okay, so he's Mom, but he's still a boy) stepping up to be emotionally supportive of a female character--who isn't breaking down, who is shutting up and soldiering--and admitting his own flaws and emotional distance, while developing the ongoing theme that a culture of silence is maybe not the best culture to have?
"Most of the victims are women. And most of them are about your age. It's okay if you lose it every once in a while. It reminds people that we're human."
"You never lose it."
"Maybe I should have."
Hotch = LOOOVE
("You lead by example." "And what kind of an example is that?")
Another thing I love: this show does not valorize the protagonist's defense mechanisms. It acknowledges that they are defense mechanisms, and that they work and don't work, and there's no pretense of either the bulletproof superhero stereotype *or* the broken ineffectual cop stereotype. They're human, and they're decent, and they're all incredibly tough--but they're all broken, too, and there's no way they can do this job without feeling it.
The more they give A.J. Cook to do, the more I am impressed with her acting ability. She's understated and soft-sells it, but she gets a lot of emotion into a very professional exterior. She and Gibson play off each other really well, too--I suspect because both of their characters are so buttoned down, the echoes of tightness and self-control become unbearable.
And today, we ruin the Rolling Stones. Okay, as picking famously mysogynistic musicians go, that's a 10...
Molly's courage in trying to defend Julie is very sharp.
JJ with the tough-girl ponytail, stepping up to rescue CotW Jr., is lovely.
"I've got two sets of parents waiting for an I.D."
"I can help you with that."
Because that's what JJ does. She soaks up everybody else's damage and converts it to compassion, and sometimes salvation.
"He's basically saying I'm doing this, and there's nothing you can do to stop me."
Hotch is figuring out that if this guy is 60, he's a pretty exceptional sixty-year-old.
The fade from Molly screaming in the cave to the silence and peace of the forest--and the signature CM raptor scream. ;-)
The parallel between Rossi and CotW Sr. is maybe a little strongly drawn, but it does get a development in the Rossi backstory. And again, a second episode in a row where Rossi doesn't make me want to drown him.
"Last year, not one of them bothered to return my call."
Yeah, Dave. Because part of healing is moving on, dude, and letting go of your demons.
Those kids are getting better.
Oh, Pen. You look tired and hurt, and I miss your vivacious flirtatiousness.
But I bet, not as much as you and your team-mates do.
Garcia cracks the case!
The actress playing the surviving victim, Karen Foley, is fabulous. And the muscle jumping in Morgan's jaw is fabulous, too. Yeah, he knows why she'd lie about it. *Shemarloff*
One thing that makes me happy about this show is that so many of the actors seem to have a strong sense of narrative, and how people's trauma influences everything about how they react. You can tell that Moore has internalized Morgan's backstory and made it part of everything he does with that character, and it's magic.
"Whatever did happen, you survived it." (refrain, drink!)
"I'm not a lead." (I'm not a victim. I'm a person.)
"She couldn't open that door. Afraid she'd never come back."
"Right now, the only person she's protecting is the offender." Oh, Em, how wrong you are.
Morgan and Rossi crack the case. Just keep asking why, man.
And Rossi, Morgan, and Prentiss manipulating CotW Sr. into naming the UNSUB. "You know him, John."
"He fell into his combine harvester."
And the actress playing Mary Wilkinson is absolutely incredible, too. Her facial expressions while she's lying to Rossi and the CotW are just... stunning. (I was in chat with stillsostrange while watching this the first time, and halfway through this scene I crowed, "SHE KILLED HIM!" Nice freaking work, guys. That's the thing John Gardner talks about--describing a scene from the POV of a killer while never mentioning that he's a killer, and letting the audience know exactly what happened by implication. Beauty.)
"I've never felt sorry for myself."
"Most women who are widowed young considered themselves victims."
"I dunno. He died the day I went back." eheheheheheeee.
"She suspected him."
The fact that Morgan actually says "Madonna/whore complex," and then the entire episode is structured to undermine that idea, is just fucking beautiful.
Homicidal triad! Drink!
Garcia cracks the case!
(Hah! Stephen. Another one of those CM names...)
"Four girls are missing, and someone doesn't notice an abandoned car." JJ's tone there is the exact mirror of Reid's tone in "Sex Birth Death." "You didn't even look!" Our guys are so scandalized when people do not intervene. I love them for that.
"Is this about what he did to my mom?" Oh, he's a good kid. Tough and forgiving and protecting her as much as she protects him.
And again with the theme of people broken by horrible experiences, who somehow pick themselves up, pull their pieces together, and go on to make the world better for somebody else.
Human decency is an act of supreme courage.
"They were really great stories."
This scene is right up there with the informing-the-father scene in "Open Season" and Frank realizing he could have saved his sister's family in "The Fox" as one of those absolutely brilliant survivors-of-violence moments this show does so well.
"I don't want to doubt you."
"The cops didn't believe your story?"
Hotch and Reid turn in unison and look at the barn. Oh, dear.
(And Reid is stuffing his face at the crime scene. Chew, chew....)
I am pretty sure this is a redress of the barn they used in "No Way Out."
Spencer? Trigger. Trigger? Spencer. Oh, I see you have already met.
Flashbulb memory. Drink!
You know, along with Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler has really blossomed as an actor over the course of this show. He's got no dialogue at all in this scene, and everything you need to know is there in his body language and the way he's standing there staring at the manacles and the bottles of booze.
And an image right out of a Tom Waits song, hello. ("There's always some kind of killing to do around a farm.")
"Don't you want to know why?"
JJ cracks the case!
Reid's looking particularly disheveled this ep. Spottily shaven and uncombed.
"You survived this once and it made you stronger." Emily, speaking ex cathedra as Emily Prentiss there.
The confrontation between Mary and Karen is just fantastic.
Chrissy fiddling with her wedding ring and thinking, thinking. "Will you be here when Charlie comes home?"
Cognitive interview! Which is, more or less, inducing a flashback. Drink!
And Karen and Mary crack the case. (Should I be creeped out that my mom is Karen, and she has a sister named Mary?)
God, the women in this ep are fabulous.
The young actress here is not as strong as the two older ones... but who the hell could be? Man. The look Mary gives her at the end there is the most fabulous thing ever. Understanding and forgiveness and solidarity. Wow.
So the bad girls don't die, and they band together to protect each other. And the good girls can kill.
And we still don't know what makes two identical people break in different ways--one into a monster, and the other into a hero.
"If you stop caring you're jaded. If you care too much it'll ruin you."
"You did everything you could." (Refrain.) "Some times we get it right, with a little luck, and most of the time we don't. That's the job."
...I love my show. My show gets cops. And trauma survivors. O yes it does.
"I believe it's never perfect."
"These last killings weren't your fault."
The coda on this ep is awfully nice too.
"Who's up for a drink?"
"Who's up for five?"
And Rossi hanging out with the team.
"Ooo, I don't know."
JJ has too much work to do. It's all on her. :-(
Heh. And another nudge to the Reid-addiction plotline. Ever so subtle, and so open to interpretation.
But if he were in AA/NA, he'd say "I'm in recovery."
Okay, having Hotch served at work? Tacky as shit.
And Prentiss asks the awkward question, because it's what Prentiss does.
In the original script of this ep, there was a subplot involving Rossi's umpteenth divorce and his developing professional relationship with Prentiss, and I'm kind of sorry we didn't get to see that. So sad!
Still, it's the nature of the beast. The only thing that matters is what makes it into the final edit--book, movie, or TV.
And next week's ep is the last new one for Some Time, it looks like. I think they have one more in the can, but it looks like the networks are holding on to those for February sweeps.