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bear by san

December 2021



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fight back the tears, and the audience will cry for you.

Being a review of Criminal Minds 06x08, "Reflection of Desire," written by Simon Mirren (yay!), directed by Anna Foerster.

Thematic statement, drink:
Pathetic fallacy!

I really like the juxtaposition of Garcia onstage with the UNSUBs. That's really nice. I also love the victim-POV: that is the kind of thing that makes this my show. And Garcia-as-killer.

Also, the acting intructions. Oh, metacommentary.

Meanwhile, Emily and Morgan arrive at the scene. And we get the dead woman's point of view on her would-be avengers.

Emily bracing herself, compartmentalizing before the tarp goes back, and Morgan making himself look.

"Look at her face, Prentiss."

"That's a luxury we can't afford."

Garcia hides the evidence of her extracurricular activities.

Melodramatic Rossi is melodramatic; phlegmatic Reid is phlegmatic.

"Maybe he ate them." (chew, chew)
"I'm going to have that memory burned into my mind for the rest of my life."
"You asked."

Really, really working the noir thing, with the rain and the dark.
And the Marilyn Monroe. (She's a theme of my life this week.)

"Emotions that are in direct conflict with one another."

Prentiss points out the salient fact.

"Post." And a world of small mercies in that one word. (For the record, the M.E. would have had to dissect her throat to look at the larynx and hyoid bones, so if there was something in there, it would have been noticed then. However, this is made up for by the magic of MGG's Jodi Foster impersonation. And the fact that they handwave it helps.)

Prentiss and Morgan buddy show!

Courier FTW!

"Who uses chloroform nowadays?"

"We would be awesome together."
"Aren't we already?"
She means on stage, sweetie.

Morgan gets it. Prentiss gets it.

Oh man, she named her kid Rhett? No wonder he's a serial killer.
Psycho much? Oh show.

"You're so much like your father was."
"What? Tell me!"
"You're weak." Okay, her Katharine Hepburn is kind of awesome.

Of course Garcia is a cosmetics geek.
And Hotch is still a theatre nerd.

"They've already named him the Hill ripper."

"We all wanna be famous."

"Just like that. IQ of 187 is slashed to 60." Prentiss, I love you.
And Prentiss gets her Gideon on and takes the victim's place.

"A guy like this can't hold down a job."
Cinderella has agency. Nice. Of course, given the fairy tale, there's only one way this can end.

And a nice headbutt. Nice fakeout as she covers her mouth.

"I am not the one you want in front of that camera."
"Oh yes you are."
This whole scene is fabulous. It reminds us of what we're missing in JJ, and it shows us the team.

Oh, and Penny getting up and walking on her mutilated feet. Ow. Brave brave girl. See, last week's episode? This is how you make a victim heroic.
Garcia movie star, handed out of the car.

"It's a small repertory theatre--"
"I know that."

"He likes blonds and I'm red now."

Morgan is a real man. He can hold a woman's purse.

It's a noir film. Even Garcia is in black.
I also love that there's a learning curve on the team working around JJ's absence, so we can see the hole. That's good writing. And there they are, manipulating the press and the UNSUB like mad.

Yep. Psycho. This episode is all about the narrative inevitability.
"We all have things for ourselves."

"How does it end?"
"If I told you that, it wouldn't be a surprise, would it?"



This whole episode was like they crossed Psycho and Sunset Boulevard and decided to go all "True Night" with it. I loved it so much. Definitely one of the best of the season so far.

"Cinderella has agency." Heh. I thought of you when she started manipulating him and fighting back. She reminded me of Maggie from "Legacy" in a weird way--I think just because she didn't sit down and give up.

I loved the opening as well. It had me wondering for a bit if there really was something more in Garcia's past than we already knew. I'm glad it wasn't that simple though.

The only question I have is when the hell does Garcia have time to do theatre??
Same way I have time to rock climb? ;-)

When he was tweezing her eyebrows, I wondered why she didn't head-but him. And then, once her hands were free, she did. And I loved her.

You go, girl.
"Just like that. IQ of 187 is slashed to 60."

I missed what he was looking at.
The woman walking in the other direction. *g*
I ♥ Simon Mirren. He's one of the best writers on this show, and this episode was absolutely fantastic. The director did really good job with it too. They really did go all film noir and it really works. And solid case + team moments + awesome victim and bonus gorgeous visuals = My Show.

When Garcia was shooting the serial killer i had a moment of "Am i watching the right show?". But nope, Garcia still doesn't kill people. I expected Hotch to be the one offering his hand to let her out of the car though. He is the leading man.

Also, creepy unsub is creepy. He just killed the cute girl yesterday on SGU, too. Except she was a redhead.

This season needs more Prentiss, though. I loved how she was the one who couldn't keep looking at the dead mother at the end. She's the one who usually compartmentalizes.
I really hope we find out more about her this year. If she has to leave, I want her to go out with a bang.
Truth - I did not enjoy this episode. Yes, it was excellent but for some reason is seriously squicked me. I mean I've watched every episode of every season without this happening until now. I think it may have been the extreme blurring of the reality/fantasy line. I have serious problems with that.

It was excellently done and some nice Reid moments, but did not enjoy.


"Legacy" is the only time they've squicked me, and "Revelations" was a triggerfest.
Garcia in black, all laser focus and deadly calm- oh girl, you rock SO hard.

Dear America,

While you are on the phone in public places crazed killers are chatting up your kiddies. Just sayin'.



I want the Prentiss/Morgan buddy movie! I want Paget and Shemar 15 feet tall and in surround sound. While I'm at it, I'd like a plastic spaceship and a pony.

Dear CotW- we don't like to let the person reporting the dead body to just wander away. It's untidy and it makes you department look dim.

You asked. Oh Reid, never change.

I kind of love how much Hotch believes in Garcia even when Garcia thinks he's crazy to do so. Also that he can direct his team and reassure a victim all at the same time.

Cinderella does indeed have agency- I always love that.

At the end there I was all 'why doesn't he kill mom to make her shut up?' and then I made this face o_0. Oh that would be why, yeah.
You can get an AY-men.

Also a Hell Yeah.
Of course, given the fairy tale, there's only one way this can end.

Pruning women to somebody's arbitrary standard of ideal beauty is, of course, Hollywood business as usual; the difference here is that the UNSUB had neither medical qualifications nor the subject's consent.
And the narrative is not behind him.
Garcia hides the evidence of her extracurricular activities.

Not very well, she doesn't.

The whole Garcia-as-secret-thespian thing actually really detracted from the episode for me personally, because

a) my facial recognition is iffy, so I was thinking "Hmm, looks like Garcia but isn't acting like Garcia. Okay, facial recognition on the blink again. So... the clips with the blondes are flashbacks and I guess we're going to get an episode of the BAU trying to prove that this guy was the serial killer as she claims so she doesn't get done for murder...???"

b) Where does she have time?

c) I've read way too many bad fanfics about "[character] is secretly awesomesauce at [stage talent]; the team discovers this talent and goes to watch." Seeing this plot play out on screen struck a bullseye to my embarrassment squick.

d) Hotch had no need to break that promise; he could have taken her aside, or shooed everyone else away, or said something neutral that she'd have understood and the others wouldn't; and granted he gets tunnel-vision about solving the cases at times, but even aside from being jerkish it's just poor planning to break the trust of someone who you need to trust you.
That's what you get for reading fanfic. *g*
How much did I love the Hitchcock pan & zoom? How much? And yet I still didn't catch that they were doing Psycho (with a dash of Sunset Boulevard for season). Brilliant.

The roommate was more distressed by the banging on the fourth wall, which I have to say, was pretty creepy.
I'd bang on the goddamned fourth wall, too!
The cinematography and the script were a perfect match. The camera angels were brilliant, creepy, and awesome. The costuming was superb, as a professional costumer myself, I was so pleased that the makeup, the clothes, the props, everything was spot on. The writing was this glorious framework that gave the entire crew something strong to hang their work on and I was just awed by the whole thing. I did independent film for years and I know what its like to put something together like this and I just sat there wanting to applaud by the end.

The ACTING! Oh, wow. The unsub was so subtle, his face was both mirror and mask, the mother was "mommy dearest" meets "Baby Jane" and she was stunning in the role. Garcia had just the right tremble under the strength to make her vulnerable but not pathetic. Prentiss was the most three dimensional I have seen her in a while. After the bar shooting, this was the most humanity we've seen in her. I was so happy with my show. :) (Stops gushing goes back to regularly scheduled snark)
Agreed, agreed, on all points agreed.
Wonderful episode. One of the smaller highlights for me was Rossi calling Garcia "Red." This ranks alongside him calling Garcia "kitten" last season as one of my favorite Rossi moments.
Rossi's drowning bucket is seriously starting to collect some dust.
Evidently I am the only person who watched the lead-in to this - Garcia all in black and shooting the guy - and went "OMG, it's Hafidha and I'm watching the wrong show" for a long moment before reality reasserted itself!

I <3 CM and SU.

I do this with Chaz and Reid every time Reid eats during a briefing. :)
Her family came to see her show. <3

Late Late Comment

Holy Shit!

For the first time in I can't remember when, this episode left me drained. Full-blown roller coaster ride that never let up... I'm probably going to watch it again right now.

Garcia is always gorgeous, but fixed up for the press conference she was a serious knockout.

I don't think it was, but her description of the play made me think of Extremities.

Hotch is perhaps the best manipulator in the universe. But then Mom gets all the shitty jobs.

I have to admit the reveal at the end caught me totally by surprise. Whew.

I was shocked when Hotch fired three shots at the fleeing unsub and he kept running. I was thinking, "Hotch missed him? HOTCH? At least he got him with one, looks like. The unsub must have been on some serious drugs or majorly-delusion powered (which he was, of course) to act like nothing was wrong when he had a bullet in his back.

Re: Late Late Comment

Oh, and let me say right now - Simon Mirren needs to be on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame!