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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"This is the job. Unless you have other plans."

Criminal Minds 05x05, "Cradle to Grave," written by Breen Frazier, directed by Rob Spera

That would be the first unqualified win of the season, I think. Tangled up in a whole bunch of mess on the home team's side.

Based on my own limited experience of delivery rooms, that's not a bad presentation of childbirth, at least within the limits of network television.

JJ: Still not a profiler, but still perfectly capable of doing the job. And it's nice to see Hotch caretaking his team, and especially the other parent on it. This episode is all about the parent-child trauma, text and subtext, to the point that I'm surprised Morgan's (and Prentiss's) didn't come up. But it's not like there was a lot of room.

Oh noes! It's Erin Strauss! Nice to know she's still down there lurking like a particularly toothy barracuda.

Bite her, JJ.

Reid is looking particularly stylin' today, in the purple shirt and plaid tie. He does indeed have a fashion sense. It's just not like our Earth fashion sense. (I note that Morgan's in the stripy black shirt, which appears to be his favorite. If he were Reid, we could number its lifespan in minutes.)

Morgan and Reid with the case histories. And those are hardly unique.... while Hotch wants to know about blondes.

"Now he has a body, and a baby to get rid of." Rossi explain--no, too complicated, Rossi sum up. *g*

And Emily says the thing nobody wants to say.

"And the last two help with lactation." You know, right there, there's a clue that our villains don't actually know what they're doing. If only the team were aware of the details.

Prentiss, totally rocking the white shirt. [/shallow]
Minute ten, and Reid is already on the trail of the kids.
Public service announcement! Child trafficking. Drink!
I kind of love the adoption facilitator finding them ways around the law. And, in true CM style, the supporting characters are some of the best thing about the episode. Conrad and Jane in particular. And they're an interesting counterpoint to the UNSUB couple--Jane is so definitely in charge, and so definitely a benevolent dictator.

JJ rocks the family interview, as usual.
Public service announcement! Racism in adoptions. Drink!
(I love Garcia. So. Much. "Genetically perfect offspring of Penelope Garcia and Derek Morgan wouldn't fetch top dollar.")

Mom sends the kids to bed. And starts training Big Bro to pick up the slack, while still sheilding him from the knowledge of why he will need to know those things. I love the little revelations through this of just how much Hotch does, and under what circumstances, and how and why.
And of course he's not going to give Rossi the reins. Dave's just not suited for it, seniority or not.

"He's probably doing the same thing to the children. His own children." Ouch, Yeah, Hotch. That stings, sweetie.

There's a structural thing in this episode I really like. Specifically, iterative patterns--Hotch tells Morgan that he needs to present a number of options in the profile, and throughout the episode, there are various demonstrations of that, as the team presents a series of possibilities and then analyzes and discards each one on the way to the truth. The children could be being exploited, to borrow Emily's delicate euphemism; or they could be being sold; or perhaps he's keeping some for himself--

My show passes the Bechdel Test, and JJ and Penelope discussing their ethical concerns and comforting each other is one of the finest quiet character moments in CM history. I also love how it parallels the UNSUB's captives being strong for each other, and Jane looking out for her grand-daughter's adoptive parents and her grand-daughter. TV is bad at women in solidarity with women, but CM generally rocks it.

Character continuity! Orphan Garcia! Whatever did happen to her five brothers, anyway? They haven't been heard from since S1. Probably in the same limbo Hotch's brother is in.

And Garcia and JJ crack the case. (Lots of Jaje this episode, and decent amounts of Reid for the first time since he got himself shot.) Meanwhile, JJ, Reid, Prentiss, and Morgan figure out it's a team--and Morgan rolls his eyes at his team-mates when Mom grounds him.

I adore Carol. There's something about her uncompromising quiet toughness that pleases me a lot.

(I miss my greenscreens, though. And my flashy scene changes.)

Ahem, Reid, I know biology is about the only thing you don't have a doctorate in, but you need to check your genetics. It'd be awfully rare for two blond parents to have a brunette child.

Ooo, Jane rules that family with an iron hand.

"This is where the guesswork begins." Reid is being impressively Reid. And Rossi still looks like it maybe intimidates him a little. However, his case-cracking builds nicely on Reid's case-cracking. "Real world stuff? Well, no. I was all up in my head again."

Judy, given something to fight for, becomes impressive. And impressively grossed out by the whole baby process.

"I'm sick. I'm not well." Hmm. I think we've heard that turn of phrase with regard to drug addiction around here before...

All through this episode, everybody asking everybody if they are okay. Hotch to JJ, JJ to Hotch, Rossi to Hotch, JJ to Morgan--

We can't say "cervix" on TV?

I love Hotch telling Morgan that he's been doing his homework for him. And Morgan yells because he cares. (Does Morgan's ongoing problem with authority count as continuity, or just consistent characterization? And unlike most characters with an authority problem, he's got a reason for it.)

"There has to be a name on the death certificate." Of course JJ volunteers. Because she and Pen aren't saving the world enough during office hours.

I think the timeline is a bit confused. If the stressor happened five years ago, and Lisa is four, then.. how is there room for a five year old son?

And Hotch sends the girls in. For some great gunslinging women, except Prentiss, you really need to do a better job covering Jaje's back. Still, I do like seeing the girls kicking ass.

Morgan running the tactical incursion. And ordering Rossi around. Foreshadowing much? (Also, Morgan talking the female UNSUB down is wonderful.)

"My husband hates me."

I also think it's interesting that the older boy doesn't actually exist to her. "I would have been a wonderful mother." She's so stuck she can only experience those kids as infants. And look! Prentiss and kids! It's an ongoing thematic thing. Really, there should be an entry in the drinking game for that.

You know, I was pretty sure all damned episode that Big Bro takes charge was where it was going. Hee. And Morgan doesn't want to be in charge--he just wants to be a thorn in the side of the guy who is.

"I haven't been pushing you that hard." Well, no, by Hotch's standards. ("You're kind of a drill sergeant sometimes," quoth Derek.)

Oh, Mom. You raised these kids right.
Tags: geeks with guns

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