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criminal minds elle reid gideon daddy is

"I really wish people would stop asking me that."


So if last week's episode was about mothers and sons, this week we segue smoothly to fathers and sons.

Criminal Minds 4x07, "Memoriam," written by Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie, directed by Guy Norman Bee



Hung over Emily is hung over. Awww. Poor Emily. :-( And no sympathy at all from the team.

Nobody believes you, Spencer.

"I always figured it was somebody outside the home."

Las Vegas Police Department? There's no such agency. *g* Las Vegas Metro Police Police Department, which is also the Clark County Sheriff's Office.

Young and the Restless! Bwah! And Reid is a lousy liar.

"Truth is, I don't know anything about him." Reid is becoming more forthcoming about his past, however. You have to work through the trauma before you can share it with other people, and that's something I'm glad this show understands.

"Some rocks don't need looking under." Yeah, Morgan.

And they set up the simple explanation--you're blaming your father for killing your childhood--and take it apart. I love my show. My show flips the bird at Freud.

Hah, Hotch interrupts the girl talk. 1: Girltalkloff!! 2: Hotchloff!!

"Lack of recall just reinforces how little I know about him."

And here's Rossi, laying the cards on the table. I love the very understated way that Reid looks at Morgan for strength and understanding before he makes his decision to go forward with the investigation. Because Morgan's been there, man.

Diana is a little too invested in mytholizing reid's genius. He may have been exceptional, but he was also a four year old kid, Diana.

And Wow. Diana thought Riley was a shared delusion. Yeah, Spencer's not the only one who is afraid of his own mind.

JJ and Todd: "Choose who lives." Drink!

And JJ *would* work through labor.

Rossi trying to be there for Reid, in his Rossilike way, is kind of perfect. He's a patriarchal egomaniacal old bat, but he's becoming my patriarchal egomananiacal old bat. Even more perfect is Reid running off to puke and then coming right back, ready for the fight.

Tough little bastard. Never looks down.

"They say some people look like their dogs, also." Ooo. Snap.

Heh. Reid really has inherited Gideon's ethics along with Hotch's. Rules are for people who need rules: we have ethics. Go ahead and hack his files.

Also, Garcia FTW. Thank god she's getting more face time in this episode. I've been missing her.
"Reid, we been all up in your father's business."

Anybody else notice that this is, I think, the first episode to use the chess-playing and card-playing metaphors since Gideon left? I think the last time we saw any games in the show was, indeed, 3x02, Reid waking up in front of the chess board. My show is sometimes subtle in its subtleties.

(I am really amused by the newspaper articles. Which, by the way, quote Jason Gideon. Reid's other absentee father figure, the ghost presence in this episode. And obliquely mention Elle. (For those of you playing the Spencer Reid home game, the first degree was in mathematics. And apparently one of the others is in engineering, given the dissertation title, which makes psychology and psycholinguistics yet another hobby--like English Lit. Polymaths. Can't stop 'em from learning.)

"yeah, he googled me. That makes up for everything."

No, Penelope, it does not make it better to know that your parent, who abandoned you, was ten minutes away, keeping track of you, and never bothered to send a fucking Christmas card.

And Reid and hookers, again. We're gonna have to add that to the drinking game. Especially the fact that he's totally unphased by them, and just goes about treating them like the people they are. He may not have any idea what to do with amateur come-ons, but as long as he can maintain professional detachment, nothing about human sexuality shocks or upsets him, or makes him the least bit uncomfortable. It's just the way people are.

I love Rossi's outrage over him giving the money away, and Reid's utter unconcern for it. Rossi cares about money; Reid could not care less. This is a guy who shops at goodwill and drives a '67 Volvo: money is something he uses to buy DVDs and books and make sure his mother has the nicest life possible under the circumstances.

I mean, the hooker probably needs the money more than Reid does. And yes, I am gloating over having my fanwank (admittedly, heavily canon-supported fanwank) confirmed.

Purple shirt! Reid, do you have a boy/girlfriend? Because it sure looks like somebody other than you is buying your clothes.

It is also interesting that in the context of this episode, they manage to critique the whole recovered memories thing without ever stating outright what they're doing. And the hypnosis scene is actually pretty accurate, complete with its imperfections. I also love the way they work the scene with tiny!Reid and his dad--what he can't listen to, in hindsight, is his dad saying he loves him. But they reverse the usual CM trick, and take a perfectly innocent scene and make it seem creepy as hell.

Also, Rossi defending him is nice.

"You had a dream."
"This is not about me."
"It was always about you."
"Riley was real."

Oh, Spencer. Ow. Wow, this scene is amazing.

Hah! "North Las Vegas Police Department." North Las Vegas is a separate city. With a separate PD. *g* I should know: I lived there for seven years.

Reid, still really bad with people when he's upset. And boy does he have a temper.

"Every ten minutes."
"Newsflash!"

"I'll get the car." Hah. Hotch has totally done this before.

"I'm not mad. I'm confused. I never told him we were staying at the Fountain View."
Heh. Do not assume you understand the kid's motives, Derek.

"I'm not stupid either." Heh.

"I didn't kill that boy. But I know who did."

The scene where Rossi and Morgan are urging Reid to let it go, the general cop attitude that this was a public service murder, and Reid's emphatic demand to see justice done, even if it's on behalf of a killer--that's all so in character. Guys, it's not that he's driven to nail his dad. It's that the UNSUB deserved a fair trail, Riley's father killed him on circumstantial evidence--He talked to a kid in a park, for crying out loud!--and Morgan and Rossi as the Devil's Advocates aside, our ethos here is we save every life we can, and we don't play jury and executioner.

"What I need is the truth."

Hotch would have run those fingerprints. Gideon would have tried to stop Jenkins from committing the murder. Reid is learning from his *real* father figures/models of benign authority, not the absent one.

This is the Spencer Reid who said to a bystander, in very personal disgust, "You didn't even look!" Because everybody's life is important to him.

Also, as coffeeem says, Spencer Reid is a fierce small creature. I would not *fuck* with that man.

[21:46] matociquala: Reid gets his guts from his mom. "I want to remember."
[21:47] beatriceeagle: Well, we knew he didn't get them from his dad.
[21:47] matociquala: heh

"Did you even look?" Yeah. 

Riley's dad got his information from the COTW, of course.

I do think they (meaning Spencer) let William Reid off way too easy. Okay, yeah, so he's not a murderer and he's not a child molestor. He's still an accessory after the fact and he still abandoned you to, oh, conservatively speaking, fifteen years of Hell, Reid. It's *okay* to be pissed off about that.

I sort of wonder if in an early draft of the script, Diana was the killer, because that makes William's actions--and Reid forgiving him for them, and for the eventual failure of the marriage--make more sense.

On the other hand, Reid did tell him that he could make it up to him by telling him the truth, and Spencer sticks to his bargains. And William Reid's life is certainly ascetic enough to serve as a sort of penance. It's not like he's out running around with floozies.

Funny thing: Reid gets his science fiction jones from his dad. Isaac Asimov, indeed. (Audiobooks of the Foundation series, anyone?)

Aww, JJ called him Spence again. It's been a while.

Hey, two father Williams in one episode. How's that for a happy thematic accident? And of course Reid is the godfather: it's the thematic closure to the whole episode. Fathers and sons.

He's much improved around babies since Jack.

Also, accent sucking, FTW. And I was wrong about Reid's alma mater. But Caltech was my second guess: it's Feynman's school.



For anybody who wants them, I capped the articles and Reid's dis title at the CM community:

http://community.livejournal.com/criminalxminds/508815.html

Comments

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Yes. I really wanted to slap him every single time he got paternal. You haven't earned that, sir.
Yes.

These are Her People, and they will take care of her.

And Todd cowboys up and goes back to take care of the rest of the family, which earned her Points with me.
This episode was made of awesome. I was watching the hooker scene and the phone was ringing and i kept thinking "Why doesn't Reid pick up?". Then i realized it was my phone. Very stupid.

MGG is a great actor. He managed to be vulnerable and angry and Reid's usual weird self without overacting. I loved the last few scenes with his mom and dad. It felt like a broken family portrait. I also love the confidence and the strength he has now. He's grown the most (or most obviously) since season 1. This show's greatness lies in its characters.

This whole season could be titled family. Because that's what it's been about since 401. And this one was very directly about the BAU family. The girl talk scene, Garcia and Emily and Hotch rushing JJ to the hospital. Morgan and Rossi sticking behind to help out Reid in his silent call for help. It also showed how it's hard to be apart of this family. You could see Todd didn't understand "This case is different". She got left behind. You also need to add all the phones suddenly ringing at the BAU to the drinking game.

So Reid has a degree in Math, one in Enginering (can't really tell if he's studied statistics with this dissertation or topography). The other should be psychology?

Now can we get to Emily's history and growth, please?

Now can we get to Emily's history and growth, please?

They keep doling out those little breadcrumbs though. During the girltalk, Emily's statement, “JJ snagged the last good donor,” says a lot about how she views the whole process.

Also, in that first scene when Emily shows up hung over, I got the impression (and I'll have to rewatch) that she managed that on her own, likely after the team dinner. She didn't go out with the rest of the team? Why?

BTW, I meandered over here from bau_inbox and was promptly hooked by the commentary. Always nice to have another source from which to feed my CM addiction!

This was a hard ep. for me, since I grew up with a loving father (Daddy's Little Girl, the whole nine yards) who began to distance himself from the family when I was about 16, and eventually left entirely. I ended up sympathizing with Reid's father because all I wanted (and perhaps still want) is for my dad to reach out and ask for forgiveness and a chance at rebuilding our relationship, and the fact that he won't is what hurts so much.

They got the anger right, they sure did. All that stuff bubbling away underneath, and given the right trigger it all goes boom.

Diana as the killer didn't occur to me, but it's an interesting thing to ponder. And it would have made the distancing a lot more believable. She was unable to stop a murder, but I don't know if I can see her as a participant - or see why her husband would be unable to get past that incident. But I can't remember - was her mental illness evident then, or did it manifest later?
She said she went off her meds for her pregnancy. But I suspect it got much worse later on--and that the trauma of faceplanting in a pool of blood may have had something to do with it. Because the Diana Reid of when Spencer is 4 is a heck of a lot more together than the Diana Reid of when he's 10.
Yale -- that was my "safety school" LOL!

I wonder if it was deliberate that his hypnotist bore a vague resemblance to his mother.
Was it the Las Vegas PD in early scenes and North Las Vegas in later scenes? I thought it was always North Las Vegas - I remember thinking "gee, is that correct?"

It seems that my wondering how Reid would deal with the hooker coming on to him is a sign of my CM-noobishness.

I was surprised about the stock shot of the Gulfstream towards the end; I'd thought that Hotch, JJ, et al had already flown back East thereon.

(I appear to be hooked on this show. Obviously it's all Bear's fault.)
They obviously sent the Gulfstream back for the remaining team members. *g*

Also, Emma's noticed that they have several.....

(oh, yeah, and Spencer and hookers is an ongoing theme. I suspect, like everyone else (including Russian mobsters and serial killers) they want to buy him a sandwich.))

Edited at 2008-11-13 07:29 pm (UTC)
I sort of wonder if in an early draft of the script, Diana was the killer,

I was thinking that exact same thing. I really expected that to be the Reveal, and was shocked when it wasn't.
It was a real nice misdirect, wasn't it?
...also, there is a pun. It's a bit of a stretch, but..William is the father.

And so, you have Henry, William's son.

Or, Hank Williams.

I wasn't so keen on the ending scene but it tickled me that in the episode all about Diana, Spencer and William, they called the baby Henry.

I really love angry and emotional Reid. I agree that William got off lightly and I suspect Reid will be pretty mad at him all over again once he processes and comes to terms with all that has happened. To not have any idea where he was assumes complete financial abandonment as well.

I thought we knew that.

No, wait, that's me conflating Reid and Chaz again. My bad.
Hey, two father Williams in one episode. How's that for a happy thematic accident?

Or, you know, foreshadowing.

...I worry for JJ.
Seriously, where did the "Henry" come from for the baby's name? Just curious.

My absolute favorite scene was where the men went into William's office, and Reid stands by the door...I watched his face, and his lips were crunched together, they twitched a little (I was thinking, oh please don't cry, not now) but then they tightened up again, and the anger took over. Very understated, and effective. To me this whole episode was underplayed - yeah, we saw Angryspencer (I love that man) but he doesn't punch out a wall a la Morgan or scream at William. And I almost cried at Diana's meltdown - how guilty must Reid feel for causing that? ("Moments of clarity"...poor Diana, she's intelligent and aware enough to know exactly what's happening to her. Foreshadowing?)

Best episode of the season - maybe of the series - for me.
Seriously, where did the "Henry" come from for the baby's name? Just curious.

Maybe they just liked the name?

I hate the TV show convention that all babies are named after someone, so I'm really hoping it was that.
So, huh. In retrospect...the last scene actually made me sad. Now there's a reaction to examine.

I'm thinking it's the contrast of Reid with Henry to William with Reid.
Am I the only one to have found it significant that little Spencer's *very first* UNSUB encounter (at least, that we know about) is with a gangly redheaded nerd?
I thought he looked like Bill Gates. Who are you thinking about?
When I first reunited with my dad a few years ago, after not having seen him since I was about 6 or so, I remember the hardest thing that hit me during our first real meeting was seeing how freakishly normal he was in comparison to my remaining anxiety-ridden, abusive, emotionally flaky freakshow of a family. Suddenly, I found myself in the middle of a burst of deep-welled anger over how farking *normal* I could have been, as opposed to the angry, runaway, people-hating, socially autistic, too-smart-to-not-be-prey, lanky-haired friendless loner I grew up as.

It was like a lifetime's worth of fury at always having to climb up the hill on the steep, rocky side of the mountain while everyone else seemed to take the happy-family cable car to the top just sucker punched me in the gut. I'm still dealing with that emotional flash going on 4 years now.

It could just be projection, but I definitely saw some of that in Reid's reaction to discovering that his father had lived in the same town the whole time he was growing up - how much easier it would have been to have had that supportive father figure when he was dealing with growing up with a supercomputer brain and a psycho mom.

(Gee...sounds familiar...except I'm more of a desktop pc than a supercomputer, but still.) Damn, Reid. Way to bring that shit home over here.
Oh, I think that's totally in there.

And more, I think Reid is right.

(Criminal Minds: the only TV show around full of people both so broken and so hypercompetent they'd fit right into my peer group.)
I sort of wonder if in an early draft of the script, Diana was the killer, because that makes William's actions--and Reid forgiving him for them, and for the eventual failure of the marriage--make more sense.

I wondered the same thing.

It seemed like there was more there than just your usual red herring.

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