Longest previously on Criminal Minds in history.
This is the best opening sequence since "Mayhem," which is like the best seven minutes of network television ever filmed. I love that we're getting Anderson's point of view, and don't realize it until we see him talking to Morgan. Oh, Anderson. You have no luck at all.
JJ has learned that you give Anderson VERY SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS.
I kind of love Strauss feeding the team their lines. She knows they hate her, and she's giving them everything they need to build Hotch's case for him. My show, you are tricky.
JJ cracks the case! And is still not wearing a wedding ring. And I kind of love Will taking care of her. Sexist cop becomes stay-at-home dad, because this is my show.
"I'm not just a pretty face."
Garcia + Kevin = <3
"Kevin, you need to leave right now."
No he doesn't Hotch. He's Garcia's boy.
"This is not okay."
Garcia orders Kevin around.
"Not that you're"
"It's all right."
Hah. Yeah, Hotch and Strauss had a plan. And Morgan is a little startled by that. I think he really wasn't sure that Hotch had a plan.
"I know the DEA has a problem with it."
His body would have permanent internal damage. Like Hotch.
Yeah, the bond/identification between Hotch and Foyet is creepy and well done.
I wish the team would stop calling him The Reaper. Don't mythologize.
Yeah, I know you have to mythologize.
...I totally expected Foyet to be using Derek's name.
Reid and Hotch crack the case!
And Foyet was working as a geek hired gun.
Rossi, your coded messages are wasted on Strauss. Just answer the question.
I love how we're getting the Erin Strauss Patented Interview Structure, and it works totally different this time.
I also love Derek Morgan, large and in charge.
"You make the best call you can, kid." Thank you, Uncle Dave. (And Morgan, of course, calls Reid "Kid." Turnabout is fair play.)
"Is that a laptop on the table?"
"It's his mail."
This is a really nice scene. Suddenly, everybody on the street has a gun. And Prentiss asks the question.
"He'll make a mistake."
"When Foyet is cornered, he starts killing."
"We're not going to let that happen."
Nobody does WTF Voice like Paget.
Foyet uses a GUN SAFE? 0.o
Oh, Reid and his can o'whupass are love. I really love him when he's dissecting ugly human motivations with the dispassionate edge of somebody who has been on the receiving end of them all too often. (I am reminded of the scene where he takes on Tony Todd in "The Fox." Except this time with added trauma hair and cardigan. (Drink!)
"The problem is I have an eidetic memory." Yeah. That is the problem, isn't it?
Only trumped by Reid talking coldly and clinically about enduring torture. Nice. That's so good, and all in the backstory and subtext.
Aww, poor Sam. And Foyet gets smart bastard points all over the place.
Poor Haley. Jesus. They can still read each other in a tone of voice, too. Hotch is losing his high school sweetheart, and a significant portion of his tangled chronology....
Emily hates Strauss. The only person who makes "ma'am" sound more like an insult than Reid is Prentiss.
"That isn't true."
I. Love. Emily. Fucking. Prentiss.
Another thing that shouts back to S1--the team is finishing each other's sentences again.
"He scared her."
"No. He paralyzed her."
And there's Garcia, the ghost of the intertubes, eavesdropping on her team.
"Be gentle. Like I was with you?"
Eeek. That's text, isn't it?
The Hotch and Foyet conversation is very well done. "Hold please."
Strauss gets a tie out of Morgan.
And Morgan defends his Hotch.
Apparently, Reid's memory does work on recent audio input if he's focused enough. Nice robotic delivery there.
Haley is smart. Alas. Not smart enough.
I'm provisionally forgiving them the fridging on the grounds that they've taken the predictable TV trope and, in true CM fashion, shown it as something with real repercussions and consequences. I still have a little crabby in me over it, because it *is* predictable, and because Haley is kind of awesome throughout this. And you know, crabby.
She's still Mrs. Hotchner, and JJ is Miss Jareau.
And neither Haley nor Hotch have ever cleaned out that house. Of course not.
Aww. family shorthand.
Hotch lies, and Prentiss doesn't.
"And I don't know what happened after that."
Captain America ("The Tribe") gets thrilling music charging up to the house, and then--just his own breath, hyperventilating. And this is his turf and he knows it.
Scary Hotch is not playing this time. So, are you a monster yet, Aaron? And how did you get that potential inside you?
This is a very scary parallel to the ambiguous ending of "A Real Rain." Hotch is Ethical Man because he knows he has that potential for the other action. So we get the man in extremis (flashback/PTSD, drink--and the similarities to Distress--it's sort of every episode in here, the way Bohemian Rhapsody is every muppet) acting on instinct, and Hotch's instinct is to keep hitting it until it stops moving. And really, I don't think I would blame him either.
Hotch picking up Jack with Foyet's blood on his hands is kind of an incredible image. As is Morgan sneaking up like a worried cat to check Haley's pulse.
Strauss losing it kind of hurts.
And she feeds Hotch the line she needs him to say, just as she fed lines to the rest of the team.
And Reid looks at Hotch and Jack and swallows hard, and JJ is right behind him. Because yeah, if anybody on the team understands what's going on in Hotch's head right now, it's those two.
And so we come full circle, to Extreme Aggressor and Natural Born Killer.
Monsters, monsters, monsters.
Happy Thanksgiving, America.
Love, the BAU.