Criminal Minds 04x15, "Zoe's Reprise," written by Oahn Ly, directed by Charles S. Carroll
I was totally expecting to hate this episode. When I heard that CM was doing a Hollywood-style copycat serial killer (my least favorite trope evar), the words "shark jump" may have been uttered. I should have known that deceptive advertising and subversion would save the day.
Oahn Ly, I totally should have had more faith in you.
Rossi, the book flap blurb is not what people came out to hear you read.
Agent Rossi is farsighted. And apparently Superman, as he manages to whip his glasses off in the split second when the camera is on the tour assistant. (Professionally, I note that they got the crowd at the reading about right: those are realistic, respected well-known author appearance turnout numbers, without being a Gaimanesque line around the block. Usually, Hollywood treats us like rock stars when they portray us.)
I love how his fame gets in the way of doing the job. That's cheering. (Cleveland! This one's for you, beatriceeagle.)
Rossi has fangirls! And fanboys! And they're creeepy.
Dear America: Serial killers aten't sexy. Love, the BAU.
"Hi, Agent Rossi, I'm Nancy Drew." She's even Titian-haired.
I like the way Rossi deals with her--even though he's going to kick himself for it later. "I'm available for career advice."
Heh. Now I want to make a joke about Leakey's ladies.
OMG. Her car is blue. Is IS Nancy Drew. (Not a convertible, though.)
It's still Autumn in BAU-land.
"If I was going to hurt you, I wouldn't have said excuse me." Ted Bundy was a nice polite young man, too.
"I can't believe I didn't even know her name."
Rossi is being picked up by bookstore owners. *g*
Detective Dan Brady? No, really? Oh, CM, we love you too. And he's totally ready to book the FBI agent, if that's what it takes.
Zoe's mom (Bess Armstrong) is freaking brilliant. CM does this so well. The cost of violence. Oh, and Zoe's room is heartbreaking. Still so much a little girl's bedroom, with signs of incipient adulthood, and piles of books, and the Jodi Foster poster.
"It can't be a coincidence."
"See you in Cleveland, Dave."
The comparison of the team's mental construction of what happened and the reality of the UNSUB reliving his kills is really kind of nice.
"This has to be confidential."
The kids get to do the profile! They're so cute.
Rossi and the rest of the team got to the same place by different routes. This time, we didn't even have to see the process--just the results.
They also seem to have gotten away with This Time Its Personal, if only because the personal link is a professional one. And Rossi guilt is always satisfying.
"Let me take a stab at it."
JJ and Rossi team up! Two JJ-Rossi episodes in a row. Man, it's good to have her back.
"A jogger doesn't get garotted every day."
"He did what came naturally."
"He may have found himself."
Reid cracks the case!
"A young person's mind is so active." And Reid makes a teenager fish-face. <3 My show!
Zoe's mom is here to kick Rossi's ass. Oh, this is a great scene.
Nobody will thank you for arrogating their pain, Dave.
"It could be something he gained control of." Prentiss cracks the case. And JJ and Morgan get the other half.
I also like how this episode focuses so strongly on the victim, and even in death--they lose this one before they even get there, and they lose it because of what Rossi thinks he knows--she solves the case.
Reid must have gotten dumped. His hair is back to baseline unwashed and barely-combed. I have to admit, I prefer it to the blow-dried look, which doesn't suit him.
Serial killer has a great hopeful inquisitive look when he steps out from behind the tree.
"He's my boyfriend!"
"How could she not know?"
"I'll keep him talking."
Rossi's poker face is a think of beauty.
"We're not going to leave until we can give you and the families of the victims some closure." JJ is love.
"Framed photographs in his hallway." Reid cracks the case!
"Your boyfriend is a serial killer. Your relationship is no longer private."
Prentiss in her red sweater, and she's being brilliant with the UNSUB's girlfriend. Her Oh, honey look is just as much a think of beaty as Rossi's poker face.
And the UNSUB, fascinated by the profiling process. Fascinated by himself, just like the B-plot killer in "Damaged."
"That's a really interesting theory."
"In bed." And she looks aside. Not in bed, Emily.
Dom!Hotch is in da house. And mad enough to rub it in a little. He does have that sadistic side.
"The one thing you always ask is the one that I don't understand." Eric the UNSUB (LooK! Another Eric! thick on the ground as Franks, around here.) is really nicely played, too. Johnny Lewis is the actor. "To me, that's normal."
And Rossi is forced to confront some of his tightly-held beliefs, about choice and free will. Not spelled out, just all there in his face. And he sits down to do his job, in a nice echo of the fans in the first scene.
So what are the odds that JJ was lying to Rossi? Constructing a narrative to make him feel better?
"He's alive. Zoe's not." Drink. And we subvert out own refrain.
Wow. I haven't needed to break out my Rossi-drowning bucket since "Masterpiece." This could be a trend.