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March 2017

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criminal minds prentiss jj girls with gu

"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.

Comments

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Substitute "some other horrible virus" for "flu," and this is what I would have written if I could have stayed awake that long.

HEAD EXPLODY.

Hee. When I was explaining to the Maternal Unit what happened while she was on the phone, I was pretty sure that this was a densely packed episode. This is simply verification. And I reject any fandom-JJ reality and substitute my own, because she was altogether herself/awesome during this episode. Being both the 6th profiler, and performing tasks that she herself is only suited for. (GO GRAMMA WINMAR. She reminded me of the best bits of my own Grammas.)

I wasn't entirely sure what I thought about the increase in Morgan's storyline in situ. But sitting back and reflecting, I am cautiously optimistic. Because a) Hotch ain't going anywhere (and that in itself causes conflict), b) there's still Tamara/Garcia ("genetically perfect offspring"), thus c) mulitiple balls in the air requiring Vetenari-esque precision to draw them down intact.

Best ep of the season so far. Yay for utilization of strong female characters! there was one shot of JJ and Prentiss coming into the house, where they were in parallel postures...so gorgeous. Love it.

Yay for the decent amount of Reidage and for him being back doing his normal job, although he continues the trend of disappearing at minute 30. I look forward to a return to the Reid who wears a flak jacket sometimes, for I am a total sucker for Super Badass FBI Agent Reid.

I twigged that Hotch was giving Morgan the business to test whether he could take over the team, but didn't guess that it'd actually happen in this episode. Wondering how Morgan will handle being in charge...he's used to being friends with the team, esp Prentiss and Reid, and not to barking orders. Not that Hotch barks orders.

Tiny detail, but my lonesome Reid/Prentiss shipper heart had a happy when she held out his crutches for him when they were all getting up to turn in for the night.
I dunno about best ep--this has been the strongest the show has been this early-season, though, definitely. And a good, consistently strong run. Go it, production team. Go it, actors.

(Eta: By which I mean, I'm pretty sure I can't pick between the last four, and the good bits of the first one were excellent. And really, the first ep struggles with a really challenging technical problem, and does it without sucking or even being particularly weak.)

I also was very fond of the crutches handoff, but not being very shippy, I was more like "Squee! Emily caretakes! <3"

Re: Morgan: Remember back in the day, when he was kind of a pushy bully and helped like cats? (Before "Profiler Profiled" when he started trusting them to have his back?)

That Morgan never could have run this operation. This Morgan just might pull it off.

Especially since I am relatively certain that Reid and Emily will be right there pulling with him.

Edited at 2009-10-22 12:23 pm (UTC)
JJ: Still not a profiler, but still perfectly capable of doing the job.

I kind of wonder what else Hotch knows but isn't telling about the pressure from above. He's been grooming JJ, just more subtly than with Morgan. This seems like three consecutive episodes where one could be forgiven for thinking that JJ was sliding into full-on behavioral analyst mode. Maybe JJ was/is Hotch's backup plan if he has to plug a vacant profiler's slot on the team thanks to Strauss.

Oh, and JJ and Garcia FTW, this ep. My show is all about the quiet character moments.

Well, I am concerned by his conviction that the team would be split up by anyone new. When last Strauss spoke, it seemed like her conceit/concern was getting rid of Hotch for the good of the team. Now, not so much anymore?

Even when she's had their effectiveness demonstrated to her personally?

Also possible--and it would be very like My Show--that she has stuck by her change of heart, and is protecting them as best she can, and her visit to Hotch was friendly... which means the pressure is coming from higher up, and they're capitalizing on our dislike for Strauss to hide that for now.

In any case, it will be interesting to watch Morgan play politics.
It's pathetic, but I've been refreshing my flist waiting for the episode recap.

I have to start off with a slight peeve, though. If you have been imprisoned for three years and pregnant for nine months, how is it possible for you to have perfectly shaven legs? *matters darkly about the idiotic beauty standards of the patriarchy*

JJ showing off that some of Reid's psycholinguistics has rubbed off on her was nice. As was Hotch's insistence she go home. I think he's had the value of family hammered home a little hard. And when was the last time he slept? I've seen basset hounds with less bags under their eyes.

I totally called the "Hotch training a replacement" thing from the moment he made Morgan second reader on his decisions. Though why Hotch is getting flack for his "hold my gun and watch this" moment is beyond me; half the team has pulled that stunt at least once, including Morgan.

I liked the fake with Reid and the geo-profiling they pulled. It starts out looking like Reid will be Sir NAITE, and then boom! there he is with the map and the push-pins.

It's going to be an interesting dynamic with Morgan in charge, especially with Hotch under him. It might be good for Hotch, though, since it reduces the stress on him, even though it does take him a little further away from finding Foyet. Hopefully Morgan will not give into his worst instincts and turn into the prick we all know he can be.

Also, I am finding a surprising amount of the TV I watch these days passes the Bechdel test. Of course, the network TV I watch consists of CM, The Good Wife, Mercy, and Eastwick, all of which are either ensembles or have female leads, which makes it much easier for them to pass.

EDIT: I C WHUT U DID THAR with the spiffy new icon. Damn, you work fast.

Edited at 2009-10-22 06:49 am (UTC)
I think Hotch is finally, finally integrating some of that stuff he started realizing wayyy back in Revelations--about how part of being a good team leader--or parent--is being available to the people who are dependent on you.

And sometimes asking for help, and letting them see you ask for help.

"What kind of an example is that?"

Nevermind the shaven legs, where was the elephantine water retention? Sometimes, you just have to go with fantasy reality.
I don't often comment, but I do enjoy your recaps!
Thank you!
Bear, I <3 your icon. Just to mention.

I find it interesting that last week we were pointing out that the people filling the parental replacement rolls team-wise were Reid and Emily, yet Morgan's the next in line. I find it amusing because they'll stay in that role no matter who's in charge, so it's not like we're really throwing all responsibility on Morgan.

One other thing I found interesting. Dave isn't exactly the best choice for leader, but I've noticed that the last few times Hotch has been missing, he's been in charge. I really hope they don't try to go to a jealousy thing there, because it would drive me crazy.
I hope Rossi is figuring out that he has a team for a reason. He seems to be, anyway, and he certainly did what Morgan told him quickly and efficiently and without arguing.

(Also, show, thank you for putting the black guy in charge. Good show.)

(And thank you. This ep needed iconing. There was also Dubious Reid In Purple....)
So the elder Michael suffers from Jack Syndrome. In BAU-land, one-year-old boys look three.
Lisa is four, Michael is a year older. He's a perfectly acceptable five year old. But he obviously spent some time in a tesseract.
LOVE me some re-cappiness!
Love me a show which doesn't ignore stupidity, i.e. mixed-race babies are not as 'adoptable'.
Love me a show which has women that are REAL friends with one another (as opposed to 'generic friend types') and don't have a huge streak of cattiness.
Love me a show w/ geographical profiling - Reid/pushpins OTP!

Only complaint? Reid's an amazing magician; can he please reappear after he disappears?

*Favourite weirdness - Kirsten's breast cancer awareness plug in the break - and then the murderer is...? I found the juxtaposition hysterical.
Reid + pushpins = OTP indeed.

I suspect Reid will get his plotlines. Possibly when he can walk again.
Popping in briefly to give a visceral shudder at this ep's theme of Breeder-Slavery. I don't think there's been a single other UnSub that's hit so many of my triggers all at once.

I will admit though, I wanted to see NewGirl actually USE those scissors she palmed there at the end. I do realize that there wasn't a lot of time to shoehorn in a confrontation like that, but with all those births happening with neither 'parent' in the room, and all those girls trapped and desperate for all those years, SOMEONE must have at least tried it...

*Sigh* That said, I really loved the characterization of the OldGirl (whose name I don't have in mind at present.) Her kind of knuckle-down competence in the face of ongoing terror was pitch perfect in my mind -- despite her unrealistic grooming ability. I also really liked that budding streak of stress-grey hair she had on the crown of her head. That was a really nice touch.
Indeed. I think the act of scissors-palming itself counts for something, though.
I think you're right. He's also showing Morgan that he trusts him.

And frankly, Morgan needs the responsibility. It'll settle him down some.

Breeding blond(e)s

I always enjoy your recaps, it's like watching the show for a second time and seeing more echoes and foreshadowings.
The girls were pretty tough about giving birth, though. I can buy that for second-time/third-time mothers, when things would go easier and quicker. But still. Being induced makes a birth go extremely hard and fast, and you pretty much lose any ability to communicate.
And you'd probably tear at your first birth, if there was no one around to do an episiotomy and if that wasn't sewn up neatly...I better not go on, huh?
Those be quibbles, and it was a great show!

Re: Breeding blond(e)s

You can't say "fistula" on TV, either.
Hee. I think Hotch and Strauss are colluding, frankly, and the pressure comes from higher up.

And I wonder if she's the one who whispered to Rossi to watch Hotch's back.
On reflection, I am surprised at how little this episode squicked me out, since when I read the press release I actually recoiled in horror. I think it was just too fast-paced for me to dwell, because ew.

I love my show even more after following it up with Eastwick. You see, in Eastwick, you have your traditional three witches (Maiden, Mother, and Other One), and while the Mother has lots of kids and professes to like them very much, you'd never know it if she wasn't saying it all the time. Whereas in CM, it's not even just "crimes with kids squick Hotch out" anymore; every one of the team members has an identifiable relationship with and reaction to children in general, and that informs their characterization in eps like this. It's one of those things you don't notice is missing until it's there all the sudden, and you're impressed.
Somewhere, I have an icon (not currently loaded) of Gideon kissing a toddler in a highchair on the forehead while pointing his gun in the opposite direction. (It's from "Somebody's Watching.")

Thematic Statement. *g*
Oh, that icon is great. That's the moment when I said, out loud, 'My show is pretty AND good.'

I liked that they framed Derek getting told he will be leading the team in an episode chocked full of strong women. Mothers, sisters, partners, team mates- I want to make especial note here of Carol and Judy (one veteran, one rookie).

The labor was more realistic than most on tv outside of medical shows. Which is to say it did not make me want to throw things. They gave it weight and space in the story while keeping it from taking center stage away from everything else the episode needed to do.

Garcia and JJ! Reid playing with maps! Genetically perfect offspring!Enigmatic Strauss!

Dear America,

Think about the not-white/ not-blond/not-newborn not-boys in the system.

Love,
The BAU

PS Breast exams are good.
There was a certain amount of blood and screaming and the total focus with which Carol said "That means it's time to push." hit me as spot on.

And yeah, the women in this ep were fabulous.
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