Criminal Minds 04x16, "Pleasure is my Business," written by Breen Frazier, directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton.
Niiiice. I'm putting this in my top three for the season so far, with "Normal" and "Memoriam." Ahh, mid-season. When the network isn't paying attention, and the show gets to snuff people any old which way.
The cold open is totally dedicated to deconstructing the male gaze. We start off with a scene that should be shot to titillate, and really isn't. Rather than being objectified, the lingerie-clad blonde becomes our point of view.
DNA and fingerprints on the wine glass!
Breen Frazier. I should have known. He seems to be the show's resident feminist, and he does a good job of it. Nice, man.
Hotch, watching Jack learn to ride a bike. Poor Hotch. :-( And he, being Hotch, tries to send the guy going straight to the top through channels, but the caller wants the old boy's network, not some jumped-up secretary. (Not that Hotch would ever think of JJ that way.)
"The politics of this are your problem."
The businesswoman getup falls apart around the hooker heels.
"These Tokyo markets are killing me."
UNSUB is trying to flirt with the nice FBI agent and getting nowhere. Awww. She's sharp, and I like that.
Nice Camille Paglia quote, guys. Gee, I'm pretty sure that was meant ironically.
"So basically, women are more efficient at killing."
"Historically, they've had body counts in the hundreds."
"Every silver lining has a dark cloud." JJ win!
No, Reid, the rest of us don't have an eidetic memory.
Oooo, Hotch has a stalker.
Not only did they totally fucking deconstruct the Male Gaze in the cold open, but they just personalized and valorized a trophy wife as a human being. I think I love Mrs. Anders.
Oh, CM. Just say no to fake Texas accents.
"You're a problem solver."
"And we have a mutual one."
I also love Ellen Daniels.
"Actually, there's a lot of overlap between real estate and sex work."
Apparently, Reid has been hanging out at Prentiss's place. Wasn't she in a high rise, last time we looked? Must have bought a place.
"I teach a class." Oh, honey. You rock.
"Now. Who wants a scone?"
I also love that this episode has gone out of its way to give us a wonderful assortment of really rocking female secondary characters.
Speaking of rocking, how about Prentiss and those burgundy highlights? Nice.
Hookers hit on Reid. It's the law.
"It's not for sex."
Hee. Hotch and his boys: still running better game than you.
"And here's a picture of him as fetish Batman. That is... wrong."
Prentiss asks about the kids.
I love this scene.
Reid, were you up late? Itchy eyes? Oh honey, that plaid sweater. You may be dressing less like Gideon, these days, but you have not stopped dressing like yourself.
And JJ knows *just* how to sell it to them. And Ms. Barnes steps up. Oh, Mr. Frazier, you clever boy. I love what he's doing with gender roles here. And all in a episode that centers on a male character and his failings as a father and husband. Makes him the object of her gaze.
Awww. Poor Trent. He's hapless and adorable and looks rather a lot like my friend colomon's older brother.
"The FBI knows how to play ball." Oh, sweetie, your privilege and your assumptions are showing.
"Hey Prentiss. Got a whip?" Nice way to objectify your partner, Morgan. *g* I love Prentiss's eyeroll.
Also, I love this scene.
Garcia saves the day.
"Prentiss, get ready to vamp."
"But I've disappointed you, haven't I?" Oh, look at Hotch setting himself up as the target.
"In hotels, you take the side elevator."
And Hotch is doing to her exactly what she does to her clients. He's understanding her, reflecting her, giving her an ear.
Garcia has the best superpowers!
We crack the case!
Hotchalanche! Oh, I love him when he uncorks that on a deserving target.
More smart, capable businesswomen. You know, this show is better at sex workers than anything else I have ever seen on TV.
Oh, daddy. "That's what they told me you liked."
The lawyer's already got Andrew dead. She's talking about him in the past tense. *g*
"You're my little girl." Yeah, and if I get you out of the country, I can conceal what you were trying to reveal.
Oh, she is so playing him.
Paglia is just wrong (Oh, please, honey) and Hammett is wrong is a different and more subtle kind of way.
I'm not thrilled with the last scene, because I can't imagine that Hotch wouldn't have tried some sort of first aid, but then again, it's not like induced vomiting or CPR would help with a fast-acting neurotoxin.
Lose. And another big lose. They didn't save the UNSUB. They didn't save the sympathetic victim.
All they got was cold scraps of victory in dismantling a tiny little corner of a vast edifice of hypocrisy.
"You're the first man I ever met who didn't let me down."
"The attorney general denied that he was responsible for the leak of the client's names." No, really. I suspect somebody took care of that for him.