Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Criminal Minds 05x01 "Nameless, Faceless" or "This isn't a happy ending, Rossi."

In hopes of sharpening my already rapier wit and getting down with the blog-business, I've decided to blog Criminal Minds, Season Five for you all. I realize that about 4% of you probably give two hoots about this show, but keep in mind, I'm not here to recap the episodes for you or even give you any remotely interesting information about television as an artistic or entertainment medium. This is just here for my own giggles, and oh, the giggles, they will be aplenty.

I also have two watching buddies who help me get the maximum amount of laughs and HELL YES moments out of each episode, one of whom will be referred to as The Apprentice, just so you all aren't totally confused.

Season Four ends like this: Ponyboy from The Outsiders is this BAMF serial killer described by our rag tag team of FBI profilers as an Omnivore. Omnivores are pretty much the OH SHIT of serial killers, seeing as they don't have any victimology. These dudes will just stab, shoot, strangle, maim, murder, kidnap ANYBODY. Any damn body. Most serial killers, as I've learned from absorbing five freaking seasons of this show in under six months and watching way too much Dateline and true crime stuff, have a specific victimology, meaning they kill people for a certain reason. Brunettes that remind them of an ex-lover who jilted them, for example. But C. Thomas Howell's character, Foyet, is basically indiscriminate in who he offs and so catching him is pretty much impossible. Which SUCKS. So Foyet shows up at the end of season four and fires a shot at Our Fearless Leader, Hotch.

Season Five opens with a murder and our team is pissed because they just got back from some serious shit in Canada involving a pig farm and a paralyzed unsub and his Lenny-like dumb brother who has the mental capacity of a five year old but can still slaughter the shit out of 90-something people. The team shows up at this apartment and everyone is like, dude where the hell is Hotch and then JJ in her infinite wisdom is like, oh you know, he's probably still asleep and has his phone on vibrate, he'll meet up with us when he wakes up.


The unsub has threatened this dude's son to get back at this dude for some reason. I think this guy looks like C. Thomas Howell in some sort of weird parallel that the casting people might not have picked up on, but I sure did.

And then the dude is like, hey, if he's mad at me why doesn't he just kill me. Have you not been paying attention to seasons one through four? That is NEVER HOW IT WORKS.

This is where the credits come in and let me just say that Criminal Minds has one of the most streamlined and slick looking opening sequences in television. The Apprentice says that the only thing that ruins it is the freaking Law & Order group shot at the end. That shot doesn't even work on Law & Order.

I mean what is that. Photoshop of Horrors. I've seen fanvids with better blending.

Let me just say this, Shemar Moore is hot. This dude kicks down doors every episode and macks with tons of fly ladies and Derek Morgan had some of the best character development on the show a couple seasons back in "Profiler, Profiled" where you realize that this show really does give a crap about depicting the victims of sexual abuse and violence in a healthy and positive light, as if to say out of all this darkness and bullshit in the world, good things come sometimes. Like smokin' hot FBI agents who will not hesitate to put you in a chokehold in the name of justice.

But what is with his eyebrows:

They are sculpted to look like the tilde over an N in some of my favorite Spanish words. I mean it. I will show you in future episodes. He always looks totally quizzical and contemplative. Also, his voice makes The Apprentice want to take a nap because it is so smooth.

Smash cut to Dr. Spencer Reid because this guy is my favorite part of the show. He's also my mom's favorite part of the show, which is funny because my mom always hates the Boy Wonders With Tragic Pasts which is basically my favorite character trope EVER IN THE HISTORY OF FANDOM.

Reid is also the victim of the writers' total lack of plot continuity. They're always like, he's got Aspergers NO WAIT he doesn't have Aspergers, he's totally way more well-adjusted than you'd imagine a child prodigy with a schizophrenic mother and three Ph.D's to be! He hates the sensation of a watch on his wrist so he wears it OVER HIS CUFF, HOW QUIRKY. And then one season later, he's rocking is Rolex on his bare wrist with his sleeves cuffed and WHAT IS THIS BLACK BRACELET THING, SERIOUSLY?

Reid is seated for this entire episode because the actor broke his knee off over summer hiatus and therefore leads to a hilarious series of episodes with Reid on crutches, or limping, or with a cane, or never moving from the same spot ALL EPISODE.

Here's Joe Mantegna as David Rossi, original Behavioral Analysis Unit member.

I don't give a crap about David Rossi. Moving on.

This lady's role all episode is to look scared and concerned for her students. Also, sometimes I think Criminal Minds should be retitled PARADE OF CHARACTER ACTORS because I know I've seen her at least a dozen places before. Maybe on Mad About You? As one of the lesbians? Or am I confusing her with someone else?

SEE. EYEBROWS. Also, this kid's hairdo cracks me up all episode.

When watching television, I usually don't ever expect a lot of striking cinematography or artistry in the shots, lighting or whatever. Sometimes on shows like House I am pleasantly surprised. Criminal Minds also has moments of semi-brilliance that I love. For example, this shot of Prentiss (as played by my boo, Paget Brewster), Reid and the father dude reading over some of the dad's past medical cases.

My name is Madison and I love framing in film and television.

There are a lot of things about this show that I can get pissed about but there are also many many things that I feel Criminal Minds attempts to remedy. For example, the dad asks how cases like this one usually end, when unsubs target a specific person and send letters detailing when and how they'll be killed. Reid explains that suicide by cop is a common factor in cases like this. The BAU always struggles with suicide by cop. They KNOW when an unsub is going to force the local police to kill them and 98% of the time, the BAU wants nothing to do with it. This really evens out the shoot-to-kill ratio, as The Apprentice mentioned.

FRAMIIIIING. Emily's going to Hotch's apartment to find him because she finally realized that this dude doesn't blink never mind sleep in until noon on a work day.

And then she gets there and there's blood but no body, so she's like CRAP and calls Reid who has to tell the dad that Prentiss had to step away from the case and the dad is pissed because hello, my son's life is at stake here, and then Reid does what Reid does best which is talk people off of ledges.

I appreciate any episode where they show that Reid isn't a total wuss. He gets painted as the damsel in distress too much. He was the last to get his gun qualification, he got kidnapped, he's always the one with a gun to his head, he's the youngest, the skinniest, the weirdest, the one with the least dates. And yet someone in the writer's room likes this guy because he's given moments of sheer bravery and assertiveness. Like here, he's like, I ASSURE YOU, I AM CAPABLE OF DOING THIS WITHOUT AGENT PRENTISS and later, when he gets shot in the leg:

He's the only person to aim a gun at a dude with another gun who has already shot him in the leg while yelling DO NOT MAKE ME SHOOT YOU, YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS, I DON'T WANT TO HURT YOU. Oh, have I mentioned that Reid has had the most shots/kills on the show? He offed a sniper in season one and Dawson, from Dawson's Creek in season three. Reid is like Dana Scully. He doesn't like to take his gun out but when he does, he is not fucking around and he will ice you faster than you can say hey-is-that-haircut-FBI-regulation? And when the paramedics get there, Reid is like I'M FINE EVEN THOUGH I AM BLEEDING ALL OVER YOUR LAWN, GO HELP THE DUDE I JUST SHOT.

By the way, could this guy look any more disgruntled?

So then they're like REID GOT SHOT and Emily shows up and is all like oh yeah, well, HOTCH GOT JACKED UP BY THE REAPER AND IS COMING TO IN THE HOSPITAL. And Hotch, via some kick ass flashbacks, recounts what happened when Foyet showed up with plans to off him. Basically, Hotch was like "Are you here to kill me or are you here to play games?" LIKE HE IS FUCKING CHE GUEVARA. SHOOT ME. YOU ARE ONLY KILLING A MAN.

Okay, that is kind of scary to see in your house.

Hotch doesn't give one good goddamn.

So they deduce that Hayley, Hotch's ex-wife is in danger and they send a swat team to her house. Please look at the car that is in the driveway.

This woman is an idiot. You are the ex-wife of a really intense FBI team leader who is being hunted by the most nefarious serial killer that the BAU has ever seen and you drive A YELLOW CAR. REALLY.

More reasons why Hayley is an idiot, via The Apprentice:

The Apprentice: Hotch's wife? Your fucking husband works for the FBI. WHY ARE YOU ANYWHERE ALONE WITH YOUR EARBUDS ON.
The Apprentice: YOU IN DANGER, GIRL.

My sentiments EXACTLY.

Cut back to Hotch's flashback and The Reaper is all DO YOU WANNA SEE MY SCARS because he stabbed himself 67 times or some shit to make it look like he was a victim instead of a killer. And then this is the knife that he's stabbing Hotch with:


Back at the ranch, Hotch is telling his ex-wife and son that they have to go into witness protection. Jack Hotchner is crazy cute and he has an adorable speech impediment that I can't place. It's almost like a flat R, but more adorable.

Also, Hotch's Real Talking My Son face is eerily similar to his Staring Down The Gun of an Unsub face.


Yep, still quirked.

Then at the end, David Rossi stands there and is like, hey Hotch your team is pretty awesome, we solved this crazy case in a couple of hours and everything has a happy ending ONLY THIS IS POSSIBLY THE WORST ENDING EVER, ROSSI. YOUR TEAM LEADER IS LAID UP IN THE HOSPITAL AND YOUR BOY WONDER GOT SHOT IN THE LEG.

Ugh. Rossi, you're an idiot.


  1. Hiya. I followed a link from a criminal minds comm over on LJ and DUDE. I'm so glad I did. This recap seriously cracks me up. I'm going to be all about reading your take on the rest of the season.

    Thank you for commenting on Shemar's eyebrows. I'm so very glad that someone else noticed their tilde-like characteristics.

  2. Thanks! Come back for more! I'm going to be recapping episode two soon!

  3. I enjoy the fact that The Apprentice speaks with the same inflection as Owen Meany.


  5. Love:
    1)This post
    2)Owen Meany mentions

  6. I really was not too fond of seeing my oh-so-favorite Reid hobbling around(or sitting around) for most of the past year, plus it seems as if Reid/MGG was not around much....darn it. I missed him,because he is so freaking awesome.

    but I love it when our handsome genius gets all junior G man and takes charge like that. He totally rocks. I hate that they have had so many things happen to Reid the past five years. I mean lay off with him, already CBS, enough is enough.

    And IS that haircut(which is now gone of course) up to FBI standards?LOL

    Love your summary!