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bear by san

March 2017

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criminal minds hotch save your life

come inside the house.

Because I am lame (and the days are just packed currently) there's no in-depth analysis of last night's Criminal Minds. (5x17, "Solitary Man", written by  Kimberly  Ann Harrison & Ryan Gibson, directed by Rob Hardy.)

I do however offer an open thread to discuss it in, because let's face it--you guys don't need me.

I did mostly like it, as sort of a solid monster-of-the-week ep, especially the lingering shot on Hotch's face while they were waiting for the UNSUB to come home, but it didn't work for me on all levels.

Comments

I liked the story idea - especially with the little girl, and the drawings Emily & JJ got to see. But as a show, I wasn't that impressed. So little Garcia, and then Rossi not wanting to get his shoes dirty.
It was certainly as close as the show comes to a generic CM episode.
This is a little thing, but I liked Prentiss's (sp) line, "Don't look." near the end of the episode.
Yeah, me too. Prentiss taking care of the kid was very nice.
Our team didn't really seem to be there. They felt like pod people to me, for the most part.
Yes to all of this.
Oh, good, it wasn't just me. I worked on a jigsaw puzzle while it was on. It felt "phoned in." The scene between Rossi and Reid at the ditch was just plane lame. Only the last five minutes worked at all for me, especially Prentiss with the little girl.
There was a lot that left me meh. The thing that left me annoyed was the very very ending: they've just spent the whole episode with their generic "Hitchhiking = danger danger!" message, then Prentiss swings at it again with her statistics, and then we get the final shot of "Ooh, creepy, is he just being nice or is he kidnapping her, I guess we'll never know!!!11ty-one" which was about as creepy as being hit over the head by an anvil. What I'd have actually liked would have been if it was a trucker stopping and letting a woman out and she waves and thanks him for the ride as she carries on.

Because -- maybe my worldview's as skewed to optimism as theirs is towards all the bad stuff they encounter, but I do think that if the good didn't outweigh the bad for most of us then we wouldn't bother. And at the very least it would have been way less of a cliche.

--Hmm, the end of the Reid-in-a-ditch scene felt too cliche (and cheap-laughs) to me too and I just realised what would have improved it for me. Either:

a) Rossi does come down to help Reid out of the ditch, thereby getting his shoes dirty after all, after which Reid straightens up and has nary a problem with his knee; or

b) Instead of walking away when Reid says he needs help, Rossi gives him a look: "Yeah, no you don't" and Reid concedes that his revenge has been thwarted.

Or if they really wanted Reid's knee to be sore and his heart to be pure then, I dunno, any other dialogue that couldn't have its serial numbers filed off and be resold on the cheap to, say, Fraser and Vecchio in Due South. (I like Due South. I don't like character interchangeability.)
...and then we get the final shot of "Ooh, creepy, is he just being nice or is he kidnapping her, I guess we'll never know!!!11ty-one"

I like your suggested subversion of the cliche--although another possibility that crossed my mind is that she might be the serial killer.
It did feel a bit bland and meh. Suggestion over at one of the comms seems to be that it could be because all energy is being focussed on the spinoff at present and a typical mid-season slump.

I did like Reid snarking at Rossi over his footwear though *g*
I loved Prentiss and her interaction with both girls, but the rest of the episode was sort of generic crime show. Not bad generic crime show, but usually Criminal Minds is better.

Liveblogging, as I watch it

  • I totally called the "DADDY!" Because this is Our Show, not That Other Show. :-> They love pointing at the obvious and outlining it in neon, then wandering off down an alleyway beside it.
  • OMG, fairytale voiceover is creeping me out. Again, because this is *OUR SHOW*. The creepy-seeming is often safe; the comforting-seeming is usually really, really, really MESSED UP. Interesting implied story, there, between the daughter living with someone she calls "Mrs. ___" and the dad having to sneak in the window in the dead of night. Foster care?
  • Men in ponchos are almost universally ominous-seeming, aren't they? Hence 'Unbreakable' subverting it.

  • Silver finger polish on the girl, hee.

  • Ahhh, trucker, yes.
  • Uncle Dave has no chinfuzz in the credits, but does in the ep? huh.

  • It's like Dexter's murder-room, only with shiny paint! Man, I liked hitchhiker-girl. I hope she's plucky and strong ... Insulated shipping container? refrig truck?

  • Interesting -- still thinking, not broken; I really like her. Which is dangerous, on this show. And, man, is Daddy creepy. And broken. And mad (like a mad dog).

  • WTG, Our Show: turning a completely innocuous mom/teen snitconvo into OH SO CREEPY AND FOREBODING. My head started going, "Which one which one, oh, eew eew eew which one?"

  • I wonder, do guys watching this show get how utterly squicky being trapped in a bathroom stall with your pants down is? (Eeeeh eeeeh eeeeh eeeeh) Like that one where the woman being held hostage by the killer fought back in the bathroom.

  • I love Garcia's necklace. --shallow--

  • And Morgan identifies with the unsub. Drink.

  • How much is it going to mess up his daughter, later, when she finds out all her dad's stories were kill tales?

  • And as he enters the container/room/whatever to taunt/interrogate the texter's mom, I predict: he's going to get his ass handed to him somehow, because he's only used to dealing with naive teens and twenty-somethings, and this is a battle-hardened survivor he's fucked with. Let's see.

  • Emily's being momly (or 'the cool babysitter') again.

  • Nice cinematography in the reflections. Poor Morgan goes for the tackle, but fails.

  • That's Our Show: even wins feel like losses.
I loved the beginning, because my brain went "oh, damn, another kid killer?" and then was happy about the swap.

My heart also broke a little when the little girl asked her dad if he was going to the "better place" now and then Reed's reaction. Ouch.

Poor Morgan indeed. Can't use a gun to stop a suicide... at least the guy had the guts to not suicide by cop. That's sort of a win, right? Right?
*Can't use a gun to stop a suicide... *

This. I was wondering wtf sorta threat Morgan thought his gun was to someone who's already lodged his own gun under his own chin. I chalked it up to the LEO need to keep a gun barrel between yourself and an armed suspect, but still. It was a little giggle-worthy in a dark way.
And maybe it was just me, but that an aunt appears out of nowhere to take care of The Girl did not mean everything was going to be okay: we've seen too many stories where the Relative makes the Child feel guilty about having a murderer for a father and the kid ends up in just as bad (if different) a situation. I can't believe Emily assumed that it now would be All Right. She's smarter and more experienced than that.

This is very true. However, I must admit that I was bothered by the sudden appearance of the aunt for a similar, if slightly different reason: it wasn't that a character could make that assumption, but that I could make the assumption myself. CM doesn't usually hand the audience such a neatly packaged and conveniently tied up ending - not without then deconstructing the idea of that ending, at least.

The miraculous and sudden existence of a closely-related family member - who is ready and willing to step up and take on every necessary responsibility...? It just seems too tidy and shortsighted - particularly for a series that does so well with refusing the ignore real-world consequences of our actions and reactions.

And the fact is that it would have been so easy to set up that cliched ending for immediate deconstruction. If there had been any mention of the fact that the appearance of this selfless, caring and responsible long-lost family member a few months earlier would have probably saved the life of every single person this unsub killed (along with the unsub himself), the ending might've worked for me - or at least resonated emotionally in some way (since his trigger was the fact that he couldn't care for his daughter on his own and had no family that could share the responsibilities after his wife died).

It could've become something a little reminiscent of last week's ep, with Steven's parents, when they realize that he had been alive only a day before. I doubt it would've packed the same sort of intense sucker-punch as that episode, but it could've been something like that.

Are these new writers? Because while it wasn't a very bad episode, it didn't really feel like CM...

And I do have to agree about the Rossi & Reid moment. I would've been okay with Rossi's attitude if he hadn't actually made Reid climb out on his own. If he hadn't walked away, I would've just been disgruntled by his attitude, but since he left Reid to fend for himself - after making him do what Reid's doctor had said not to do - I find I was actually disgusted. This is possibily a personal bias, having had my own knee injury (followed by an incredibly long recovery), but I can't resolve that moment with the character of Rossi as I know him - even with his many other faults.