Please bear with us.
being a review of sorts of Criminal Minds 07x01, "It Takes a Village," written by (new showrunner) Erica Messer, directed by Glenn Kershaw
Ahh, JJ is back and in the limelight--and in Kevlar--and all is as it should be.
Morgan gets tackled!
Oh credits. Oh, tremendous sense of shit being back as it should be. Oh, Garcia's turquoise dress.
Ooo, the team is hiding things from each other.
...nevermind the turquoise dress. That black femme fatale dress and the platform heels? Oh, and the shot of her stomping down the hallway.
Scruffy Hotch is scruffy. And Thomas Gibson is looking good. Skinny, though.
"Get to the house."
"We're already here."
Reid splits up from his partner. That never ends well. The scene with Rossi and Reid in the empty house is wonderfully directed.
Senator Cramer is such a George W. Bushalike. That has to be intentional.
I'm enjoying the Strauss-JJ dynamic. Distrust and partnership all rolled into one. Actually, there's all the old CM-I-Missed-You-Let's-Get-Back-Together-A
And the fracture lines in the team are evident and interesting. Reid and Rossi are still working well together, and Garcia and Morgan... but there are so many fracture lines.
Heh. Strauss shocks Rossi, and makes him reassess her. He knows something is up with her. And Hotch walks in with the save.
"She won't help. Because I killed her."
Oh, Morgan and Reid and their abandonment issues. And the things Paget Brewster and Shemar Moore are doing with their eyebrows in this scene.
Strauss trying to caretake Reid is sad and wonderful.
"It is... really good to see you." The little personal touches are wonderful, and it's nice to see that the relationships are being re-established. And yeah, the characters speak for the fans yet again.
Reid is a ruthless bastard.
"You can't just change the rules, sir."
"You can't just break them."
Oh, yes he can. He's Spencer Reid, and he learned everything Jason Gideon had to teach him--and does it without the compulsive gambling aspect that got Gideon in trouble time and time again.
Wow, that is indeed a hail of bullets. And Mr. McDermott, that's why we double-tap. "Three in the head and you know that they're dead."
Oh, the classic CM boom shot.
Oh, Reid's little self-satisfied swagger at the end there. Nice.
Emily reciting the oath at the end is gorgeous.
This feels like My Show again--and moreover, they're doing wonderful things with the family dynamic. Having the women back really does make everything better.
I'm struck in particular by the character development from "Extreme Agressor," all those years ago. Reid is powerful--even arrogant--in his competence, and willing to stand up for himself as he never would have before....but his ruthlessness, his insane courage, is still perfectly present. Just tempered. Hotch is willing to give an ambiguous command, "Take the shot," "No one leaves here," knowing perfectly well that Morgan will recognize it as permission to kill, if necessary, and also assuming that his team will still try to find a way to bring everybody in alive.
Morgan's authority issues get a new life, but he also trusts Hotch enough to remain professional... which was something he had a hard time with with Gideon, early on. Of course, Gideon deserves more trust. [That was sarcasm.]
I think the poetic justice of having Doyle killed by another woman he ruined (well, can you ruin somebody as evil as Chloe? He sure tried--and I like that the script doesn't let him off the hook for his evil just because she was evil, too) works. Having him die at the team's hands would have smacked of vendetta, no matter what.
I wonder how Flashpoint would have handled it? ;-)
ETA: And let's talk a little about the delicious irony of Doyle justifying torturing a woman because she tried to abort a fetus to a woman who has had an abortion. No, my show's not going to make any simplistic moralizations about keepin' your baby. Not without undermining the hell out of them. Or putting them in the mouth of a monster.
Another thing that I notice is that the team's seamless communication and anticipation--and game-running--has been ruptured. Prentiss confronts Reid *in front of Doyle.* They're making this up as they go along--improvising--and while it works it's not their metier. The fact that Morgan has to ask Hotch, "Are we doing this?" is a hint of how broken they really are.
And yet there's Garcia and JJ, already plotting how they're going to get the band back together, and forge it into a unit.
And hints of trouble at home with Will for JJ. Oops.
My show. It's back.
Aaron Hotchner, tied for first with 6.5 (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. And now the knife-wielding UNSUB in "What Happens at Home..." in like the single most blase shooting in the history of Criminal Minds. Also partial credit for "The Thirteenth Step." And underwater slaughter in "Out of the Light.").</p>
Derek Morgan tied for first in the roll of the damned at 6.5. (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). Also, "Outfoxed," more or less in extremis. A full audience participation suicide by cop in "Our Longest Night". And partial credit for "The Thirteenth Step." And now, "Supply & Demand")
Emily Prentiss, third place with either 4 or 3.5, 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 1 is Dale Schrader in "Retaliation." Which could have been Morgan's kill, but I'm giving it to Emily because the hostage seems madder at her later. Death-by-pissed-off-girlnerd of James Thomas in "Compromising Positions." And now, the hail of gunfire in "The Thirteenth Step.")
The mild-mannered but deadly Dr. Spencer Reid, jumps two places to 4th at 3 kills (LDSK; Revelations; It Takes a Village)
Future vigilante killer Elle Greenaway: dropping to fifth with 2.5 (Extreme Aggressor, Charm & Harm (split with Morgan), Aftermath) despite not having been with the show for 5 and a half seasons now.
Rossi: back in 6th with 2.25, the first in his very first episode (About Face). Having established that he is a badass, did not then badass until "The Thirteenth Step." That's over three seasons. ("Welcome to the Enterprise. Would you like to beat up my Klingon?") Then takes out the bad guy with surgical precision in "The Stranger." Hotch should probably get partial credit for risking his neck playing distraction.
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.
Seaver: No bodies yet
Garcia still doesn't kill people.