Criminal Minds – S09.09 – Strange Fruit

This was one of our favourite episode in the Miz and TechSupport household. Why? Because showed the prowess of the BAU team’s interview techniques. This wasn’t one where they had to figure out the unsub: they had a pool of three suspects, and then it was about probing and using non-verbal clues to help determine who was lying or telling the truth.

The backbone of this case hinged on the tragedy of race relations in the 1960 and how some rebel white clan members attacked and castrated a black man who was falsely accused of rape. This backbone led Rossi to interview the dad of the family and to help along the interview and confession, Rossi confessed that he used to be bullied, and in turn his bullies made him bully a young black kid. This was incredibly sad and you could see the physical pain on Rossi’s face. Who knows the damage this will do to his and Morgan’s relationship.

The other thing that baffled me is why there were no records of why the dad was taking the testosterone – the answer was because he was castrated but this wasn’t revealed until the end of the show. If Garcia can hack into sealed criminal records, then why isn’t there records of this?

Obviously his resolution also meant that the son wasn’t his biological son. Though this was the least of the son’s issues:

Charles: You think slaves had prozac? No, they got out there, they worked.
Rossi: So if your son has mental issues, you think he should just push through them.
Charles: You’re damned right.

Finally, the haunting music at the end of the episode was an excellent touch. I think it was Strange Fruit by whom I presume was Billie Holiday which gives rise to the name of this episode.

Excellent episode.


Criminal Minds – S09.08 – The Return

Morgan has a gf of three months?! Sad face. BUT he seems happy so YAHOO! Her name is Savannah, and of course she is gorgeous. We love Morgan, so of course we love her as he dotes on her. YAH. She has a super cute pug dog too. Also, Garcia likes her, so we like her.

This case was quite creepy and involved reprogramming kidnapped teenagers to kill and create anarchy against the Chicago Police. When captured the children were taught to disclose their name, rank (soldier), and serial number. The first crime involved a mass shooting in a diner before the kid was killed by an off-duty cop who stopped off for a bite to eat. This was followed by a car bomb in the middle of the road, killing a police officer who was directing traffic. The motive was that a dirty cop was caught by a new cop, the new cop has now progressed through the ranks of the police department.

The episode culminated in a female suicide bomber and JJ saved the day by tackling her at the correct moment, and Morgan having an amazing shot. In other tv shows, the cops (or any shooter unless it’s a bad guy) shoot about a million rounds and don’t hit a single one.

The case was based on a 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst, the case that gave rise to the phrase “Stockholm syndrome”. Interesting case, based on a true crime.


Criminal Minds – S09.07 – Gatekeeper

Season 7 of Criminal Minds has really stepped up it’s game – glory storylines and different directions and camera angles. However, this week’s storyline was a bit flat sadly – though the final scene made up for the unsub storyline failures. The credits to the director for this episode appear to be Reid himself – Matthew Gray Gubler – and if true, he did a fantastic job with the suspense and camera directions reminiscent of horror movies. Well done Reid!

The weak criminal storyline involved an unsub male whose son died during an accident when he was supervising him. This accident unhinged him, caused his marriage to breakdown and for him to have a killing spree to prove to his ex-wife that he could look after his family by eliminating any threats to them. He did this by killing “threats” to tenants in his building and keeping a scrapbook of his victims.

Hands down best scene was the gang singing at Rossi’s karaoke bar which was closing for good. Piano Man was an excellent sing-a-long song and it was great to see the team letting loose and having fun! Team bonding 101!


Criminal Minds – S09.05 – Route 66

It was nice to revisit Hayley’s impact on Hodge’s life, both as his wife/Jack’s mum, but also her death. Which remains as one of the greatest storylines that Criminal Minds has even done. The first scene in the theatre between Hodge and Hayley made me shed tears and it was a beautiful tribute to Hodge’s character, everything that makes him him, and loyal viewers who have been with the team every step of their journey. The flashbacks/bad dreams relating to her death were well done and bought up a lot of unresolved issues and acceptance of Beth in Hodge’s life. It was a bit weird for Criminal Minds but it was a lovely, fitting tribute and hopefully that means that Beth is her to stay. Liked it.

“Happiness is a choice; so choose.” He’ll choose Beth and he can love two woman at different times. TEARS.

While Hodge was in hospital reliving his life, the BAU team were chasing a sociopathic killer who ‘kidnapped’ his daughter (she wanted to run away and he helped her, but killed a bunch of people on the way). It was nice to see the team can operate without Hodge, but they were all so worried about Hodge that it was a bittersweet suspect chase, but it ended the best it could. Garcia was once again shown to be glue for the team. The anchor so to speak. Her care for every team member is lovely. She is a sweet sweet tech genius.

Verdict: Not your typical Criminal Minds, far from it, but it was fantastic. Well done.


Criminal Minds – S09.04 – To Bear Witness

This episode was one of the most unnerving episodes Miz and TechSupport have ever watched. There’s something about eyes that freaks me out – anything to do with injuring them, makes us skirmish. This episode featured cameras INSIDE eyes and lobotomies of victims. It is super gross. Especially when the resulting video is broadcasted to the entire world via the world wide web.

So this was a particularly gruesome crime involving the torture of family members. The unnerving Unsub was played by David Anders who has also recently on Once Upon a Time and Vampire Diaries, two other programmes that we are watching at the same time so that was a tad confusing! If he turns up on Game of Thrones or Revenge, it will blow my mind. A tad.

But there were other things that underpinned this episode that opened a whole ‘nother can of worms!! JJ and the new Station Chief “Matt” have a past relationship that leans towards an affair, though Miz suspects this is a red herring because JJ is super awesome and not at all like that. Stems from work so maybe they were husband and wife in an undercover team?? :

JJ: I know why we can’t tell them. I get that, but we can’t have too many of these conversations either.
Cruz: That case could stay open for a couple of years.
JJ: It’s already been almost three

Rossi busted them (they were standing by the elevators but neither had actually pushed the button) and so he totally knows. I mean what do you expect to happen?! You’re surrounded by profilers! Matt was welcomed slash accepted by Morgan who shook his hand at the end of the episode. Nice touch.


Criminal Minds – S09.03 – Final Shot

This episode “commemorates” the anniversary of JFK’s assassination and man it’s good to see the writers of Criminal Minds being awesome again. This episode was fantastic. There was a sniper who was seemingly awful at being a sniper – 50% hit rate (6 out of 12 people died). But this was a misdirection. As was the whole other story.

Interesting fact: snipers stay awake for 72 hours. In order to do so they often create a whole ‘nother fantasy scene to stay awake. This factoid underpinned this episode. Miz guessed the twist, though not the ending. Guess Hotch has a secret power. Way to go Hotch!!!

Oh and JJ is hiding something about a potentially abusive past. JJ and Morgan’s scene with the General was fantastic – they knew what the other did in order to bait the guy and provoke a reaction. Amazing, basically the reason EVERYONE wants to be a behavioural analyst. The end.



Criminal Minds – S09.01 – Inspiration

Miz has a real live snake phobia. Legit. This was not an ideal episode for this type of phobia. Also, if you have a queasy stomach for human remains you may also have issues with this premier as you will learn about projected cannibalism and to avoid eating in public!! …

Also, MAJOR SPOILER, but crimes involving identical twins are absolutely fascinating. This was the first half of a two part episode (I think) and the cliffhanger was awesomesauce.

One of the things Miz likes slash loves about Criminal Minds is the occasional guest appearances in the show which are incredibly masterful – Dawson (James Van Der Beek), Andie (Meredith Munroe – also from the Creek!), Jane Lynch, Elle Fanning, Keith Carradine, Frankie Muniz  to name but a few off the top of my head – and this episode Fred Koehler was no exception. Creepy good acting.

So let’s recap with a major theme from the last season: With Strauss’ death last season, the job of Section Chief is up for grabs. Will Hotch or won’t Hotch? Miz’s vote is on “won’t”. The team will change way too much if Hotch moves out, not to mention he is a valued and talented criminal behavioural analyst.

Morgan: You know what they say about desk jobs.
Rossi: That’s how you get the ladies?
Morgan: No. Sitting is the new smoking.

Verdict: An excellent start for this season and will be sure to pull high ratings as long as the quality of writing and execution continues. Miz (and TechSupport) are looking forward to the forthcoming episodes. BAU 4 LIFE.