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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"She's arguing with the doctors." "That's good."

Criminal Minds 5x11, "Retaliation," written by Erica Messer, directed by Felix Enrique-Alcata

Why are they transporting this guy in an open car? That's what the chickenwire is there for, you know.

"How long can you keep us safe?" Thematic statement, drink!

The bit about Emily not keeping track of her bullets is real-life rather than television: generally speaking, once you start shooting in a combat situation you don't recall how many times you pull the trigger. Also, your point of aim and breath control go to shit. Adrenaline is designed to turn off your rational brain.

Good on her for remembering the plate.

I think Emily is working on collecting the Illya Kuryakin Memorial Head Injury Award. Also, she would be a combative patient, especially if a little addled.

"I like pushing you around." Morgan, no longer the bossman, is back being sexual harrassment central. And he's also still caretaking--and caretaking Emily, when she's usually the one who steps into that role. Really nice reversal there. The Morgan-Prentiss interactions throughout this episode are really satisfying.

I found it a bit weird we didn't get more Hotch, given the focus of the case, and I would have liked to get a little more light shone in Prentiss' murky past and complicated character. That seems like a missed opportunity to me.

"Your resident glamourpuss smartypants." Well, yes, Garcia, you are. She's awesome. Right there with the smile and the moral support.

Waiting for the shift to start. Interesting. And a nice clue as to how the plot will play out.

48 Laws of Power.  Oh, joy. We get some extra epigraphs this week, delivered by the UNSUB. Just what we need for prison reading. I think we're intended to come to the understanding that Schrader used his time in prison to improve himself by reading all those books on how to become a millionaire sociopath that so infest our society, and that is what gave him the impetus to become the murderous son of a bitch he is today.

Of course, Muller says it--there is no way this ends with him alive. The whole point of this little revenge tragedy is to get Muller to destroy himself. And I wanted an acknowledgment of that in the ending--either that he beat Schrader or he didn't--but it never quite materialized.

Lee Tergesen is doing his best Tom Waits. The guy playing Muller is very good; and his floppy hair makes me like him.

Morgan figures out the undercover thing. A little character continuity there, and of course Prentiss doesn't know that bit of his backstory. That was Before Her Time.

I think the team should have been faster on the uptake with regard to the hostage situation, frankly--it's so freaking common a situation--but I guess we need to fill the hour somehow.

Proof of life. Aw man, Hotch. (And why are you Sir Not Appearing in this episode?)

I rather suspect Reid's just as happy to be benched when the team is picking around in crack houses. Or he's seething with frustration. And it's interesting to see the guns-drawn resolution be so warm and fuzzy. (Who the heck gave Muller a gun? And who's been changing the toddler's diapers?)

"Tonight, he's gonna think I wasn't there at bedtime."

Aww, Morgan. Stepping up. Because family take care of each other. And he gets to keep his big papa office. Bet those last two desks in the bullpen feel peculiarly isolated now....

Overall, not a bad episode--I found it more satisfying than I usually do Messer's scripts, which always seem to lack a little something intangible for me. But I did feel like the ending of the A plot was an anticlimax, and it didn't draw everything together with a really good click. There was no real payoff, and so it felt flat.

ETA: I figured it out: Nothing *changed*. There was no transformation to bring the narrative together.

The emotional arc of the recurring characters, though--that worked for me. Emily's quick on the draw and edgy; Hotch is awkward, Morgan is stepping up to an adult role.

Aaron Hotchner, badass, tied for the lead with 4.25 (The Tribe, A Real Rain, Legacy (split with Morgan, Prentiss, and the CotW), and Catching Out--and then he beat George Foyet to death with his bare hands in 100.). (I just realized I've been listing Psychodrama, and that UNSUB survived.)

Derek Morgan tied for first at 4.25. (Charm & Harm (split with Elle), Lessons Learned, Open Season (split with Prentiss), Legacy (split with Hotch, Prentiss, and the CotW), and Minimal Loss (three in the center of mass. Now, "Outfoxed," more or less in extremis. Do not mess with that man. Is that the first time they have snuffed a female UNSUB?).

Emily Prentiss, moving into third place with either 2.75 or 2.25, depending on whether one of those offscreen gunshots in Open Season was actually hers, or if all three were Morgan's. I award her the kill because of her reaction on the plane afterward. The .25 is the other quarter of Charles Holcomb in Legacy, who went down like Frankie. The first 1 is the suicide-by-cop in "Lo-Fi." The second one is Dale Schrader in "Retaliation."

Future vigilante killer Elle Greenaway: slips to fourth with 2.5 (Extreme Aggressor, Charm & Harm (split with Morgan), Aftermath)

The mild-mannered but deadly Dr. Spencer Reid, falling to fifth place with at 2 (LDSK; Revelations)

JJ: 1, in Penelope. And RIGHT THROUGH THE FBI SEAL. Hello Symbolism Much? Also, three dogs and my eternal respect. She is 1:1 bullets:kills, at this juncture.

Rossi: in second-to-last place with 1, in his very first episode (About Face). Having established that he is a badass, he has never badassed since. ("Welcome to the Enterprise. Would you like to beat up my Klingon?")

Garcia still doesn't kill people.

Gideon has never discharged his weapon. However, he has beaten somebody all to hell with a clubbed shotgun.

And of course, various shootings perpetrated by unsubs, victims, the families of unsubs, the families of victims, cops of the week, snipers, random bystanders, cultists, lovelorn teenagers, and Frank Miller's ego....

Tags: geeks with guns

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