it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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you were right about everything.

Criminal Minds 4x08, "Masterpiece," written by Edward Allen Bernero, directed by Paul Michael Glaser

Interesting, but flawed. I did appreciate the gratuitous Numb3rs parody in this ep. *g*

Another idyllic day shattered by the visit of a white serial killer van. The scene change to underground is cute; I like the symbolic termites. And the gratuitous Mona Lisa. beatriceeagle
 pointed out that what we have here is a failure to communicate Da Vinci Code joke....

Oh look! It's socially!awkward!Spencer. Also, he's wearing one of his bad cardigans. I feel so at home.

Well, there's Reid's collection of degrees (Ph.D. Chemistry, Mathmatics, Engineering; additional BAs in Psych and Sociology,and working on one in Philosophy.) I guess he spends his spare time taking classes. (and I love his reasons for studying Philosophy. Thematic statement, drink!)

"Did you ever shoot anybody?" Ouch. And doubly ouch, for the look they give each other.

(I would have laughed at Reid's joke. I know. I know.)

Aww. Poor Todd.

Starsky's put on a little weight....

"Chicago PD. Believe me, I get it."
Ooo, and Derek gets dissed. No handshake for you.
Todd, breathe.

"Young...or Jung?" See? he's funny! And the blonde was totally cruising him. Earth to Doctor Reid: look at the pretty girl.

Now we've moved onto sitcom stars as the killers....

Emily's saunter is hot. /shallow.
(Hotch doesn't sleep.)

"Do not forget a word he says."

Sorry, Kevin, you're hot, but Garcia's right. Tank Girl is cooler than Superman.

"And she has a tank. Her very own tank."
That daffodil-colored jacket is totally gorgeous on Garcia. OMG.

"If she's not busy you can visit."
"She's busy now."

Prentiss, still a lousy liar. But the soul od compassion. And Todd is prickly.
I like that Emily is still in her mind the new girl, despite Rossi's long hiatus.
And I have to say, Emily and Jordan flirting is almost enough to turn me into a slasher. They're adorable.

"Are those the five more?"
"Are you pissed off yet, David?"

"It's not education. It's genetics." The old nature vs. nurture argument arrives again, and Dave is still firmly on the side of free will and personal choice.

"I never have any normal fans." (Whatever happened to Nathan, I wonder?)

One thing I really like about this episode is the team conversations--the four men standing around here deciding to run a reverse profile is really nice. As is the scene with the team running that profile. (Todd is fetching Prentiss coffee. And skirting Morgan.)  

"I can't imagine the government just handing out money and not check-- I'll check anyway."

Heh. Hotch forces Morgan and Todd together. Hotch, you sneaky bastard.

And Reid looks devastated at being benched.

Oh, the webcam trick. We haven't seen that in a long time.

And Prentiss as Agent Provocateur--they're using the scene they had to cut from "Doubt."

Eddie also likes Rules.

Hmm. Rossi tries a Gideon trick, and it works about as well as it usually did for Gideon.

Chess game. Drink. Wow, so many elements that dropped out in S3--SpencerCam! Awkward Reid!

It's interesting. This episode is set up to look as if the character development is going to be Rossi getting his ego squashed. And yet, what winds up actually happening is that it's reinforced. I can't decide if this is setup for later--the UNSUB is very interested in both establishing dominance over Rossi and proving to him that he's no better than the UNSUB. There's an ongoing thing with Rossi's celebrity being a problem--this and "Limelight."

"You have to know the rules to play the game."

"Only that I'm rooting for you."

But then Rossi's very defensiveness seems to reinforce that reading, that he's threatened. And then the outcome seems to reinforce his ego. I think it gets tangled up somehow thematically.


"It's not a matter of me believing it. It isn't true." Which I compare to Reid's conversation with the killer who threatens him and Hotch in S3--"Is it true? I never had a chance?" "I don't know. Maybe."

It's really interesting that Rossi is so certain of what he knows--he's Catholic, and it shows in his philosophy of criminal justice--and Reid, who comes across as pretty much agnostic, is capable of much more clinical detachment. I love the fact that Reid deals with human behavior almost entirely as a set of manifestations, normal or pathological--this is what people are like, it's what they do, we don't pass judgment. Where he does pass judgment is on people who do not do whatever they can to protect other people. (See: "Sex, Birth, Death" and "Elephant's Memory.") But he's capable of looking at just about anything as a case study.

This crops up in "Memoriam" as well, the scene with the prostitute. Rossi's shocked that Reid gives her money; Reid, meanwhile, has been having a perfectly pleasant conversation with her. Rossi sees her as a whore. Reid sees her as a person.

Ahem. Sorry. Morgan is photographing toys.

Prentiss and Reid and Hotch and Garcia and Morgan crack the case!

SpencerCam! Drink!

And Reid, in the grip of his genius, is a force of nature. Fierce and so totally pwned by his brain. "I know where to find them." (Reidalanche!) ("I was right," remember? His entire existence is focused on solving the problem. Another brilliant bit of characterization.)

"It's called the golden ratio." Reid TMI, drink. (I also like Reid explaining his train of thought, and nobody cares.)

This is all clever as hell, and I don't really buy it on a fantasy/reality level. I can buy Dave's stalker. But the mystery plotline is a little too... pat to work well for me.

This is reminiscent of "Lessons Learned," isn't it? Except I don't feel like the script really plays fair with the magic trick this time. ("Magic time!" Drink.)

"Because they're human."
"Hypothetically speaking."

"Man, wise wise. Hubris. Arrogance."

"Just like me." Drink.
"You lose." Drink.

Too much exposition. I think this is really where the episode breaks down for me.  I think the thematic signals get a little mixed. "Where is the pity?" On a narrative level, everything is setting up Rossi to continue questioning his assumptions--but it doesn't quite work out this way.  Rather, we get Rossi gloating over the presumed eventual death of the UNSUB, entirely unenlightened by the psychodrama we've just staged on his behalf. We get an UNSUB who is committed to this idea of nature as the root of evil, in contravention of Rossi's beliefs....

It's the end there that throws me, Rossi's ugly delight in his victory. Are we supposed to be looking at the setup for the next act in The Redemption of David Rossi, or did my show get crosswired with CSI: Miami there for a second? "You were right. You were right about everything."

The incredibly ironic use of the Martin Luther King Jr. quote makes me suspect this may be going somewhere eventually, but right now it feels like it's gotten itself tangled.


On the other hand, a flawed ep of Criminal Minds still has a lot to offer. And if this is setup for some eventual enlightenment on Rossi's part....

Todd apologizes.
Derek apologizes.

Again, we get the "They don't always end this well, do they?" Which makes me wonder if we are being set up for a fall again. Things Have Been Going Awfully Well lately.

Todd begins running Morgan's life, and Reid looks on and smirks. This is the most fun he's had in months. Meanwhile, Prentiss looks dubiously after Todd and Morgan as they retreat.


Tags: geeks with guns

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