Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior Review: "Lonely Hearts"

by at . Comments

The second offering of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, "Lonely Hearts," took a very big step towards its name sake and reminded us why we wanted a spin off.

Honestly, after last week’s pilot, I was not sure if Suspect Behavior would be able to find its way on the path of being a decent show. I had my fingers crossed and threw down the gauntlet and challenged CBS to make it right.

I am happy to say that this week the show made great strides in finding the path and rhythm that could make it as strong as Criminal Minds

Running Out of Time

While the overall flow of the show felt smoother this week, here are the parts of the show that stood out to me as having improved the most over last week’s pilot:

  • They actually used the behavior of the suspect. From the first conversation about the “UnSub” they began formulating the behavior that would create and motivate the person they were hunting. Thank you for remembering what the show is about.
  • The whole team participated. Each member of the team actually had a key moment of dialogue. It drove home how much this didn’t happen last week when I realized Matt Ryan is using his English accent.
  • Janeane Garofalo wasn’t so angry. There were a lot of comment last week here (and other places) that felt Garofalo was mixing her personal views into her character. I am thrilled that it doesn’t appear to be the case as this week she fit right in. I loved her performance with Marcus.

However, that is not to say the show doesn’t still have a ways to go. If CBS can iron out even a couple of these points, it could rank up there with other great shows:

  • Introduce us to the team. The episode of Criminal Minds that featured the team aired in April of 2010, more than 10 months ago. Please take a moment and work in telling us more about the strengths and weaknesses of the team, something more than the “red cell” text intro we are getting.
  • Use team members names. While I know Whitaker character is Cooper, I only heard names mentioned once when he was giving assignments and that was done so fast I didn’t catch them. I know it is a bit cliché, but how many times does Catherine call Hodges by name in CSI? How about Castle’s name (I think there is a drinking game for this one)? We need to hear their names more often so we can learn them if you want us to be attached to them as a character.
  • Get an appropriate office location. I am not saying it can’t be unconventional, but the current choice is too unconventional. They made a point of showing the neighborhood the office is in when Whitaker drove up. There is no way the FBI would have a team where 4 of the 5 members do not look like the locals and stand out horribly setup in that location. 
  • Tone down Whitaker’s brooding. Why does Whitaker feel the need to be on the verge of an emo attack and be so brooding? I get the strong, troubled, history type, but he needs to bring it back in about 50 percent. Doing the job he does, if he doesn’t find a little more internal happiness he is not long for this job.

Lastly, I am curious if Cooper is supposed to be highly religious? He said last rites over one of the corpses and had a cross on a silver chain hanging from his hip (not to mention hanging out in the church at the end). Don’t get me wrong, I think it is adding some depth to the character and I am happy to ride along to see where we go, it just seemed out of the blue.

What did you think of the second installment? Am I being too hard on it? Am I being too forgiving? We had a lot of really good comments from TV Fanatic readers last week and I look forward to reading your thoughts on this episode. 

Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
  • 3.7 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 3.1 / 5.0 (32 Votes)

Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

Tags: ,
Like Us On Facebook

Want more Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior?

Sign up for our daily newsletter and receive the latest tv news delivered to your inbox for free!

More From TV Fanatic

A-crippling-blow

Murder in the First Review: Shouldn't've

On Murder in the First, Cindy's husband ends up dead and that forces the police into overdrive. Will his confession hold up?
Melanies-past

Under the Dome Review: Four Hands Revisited

On tonight's Under the Dome, Rebecca wants to release a deadly virus into the population. Will she do it? And how many would die?
Major-crimes-teams-up

Major Crimes Review: Deputy Chief SOB

Fritz is offered a new job with the LAPD on this episode of Major Crimes. Read on for more.
We-love-harry

Mistresses Review: Trouble With Goodbyes

OnMistresses, Joss tries to stop Harry from going back to Australia, Karen faces a dilemma involving her lover and a patient, April has a crisis of conscience - and Savi says goodbye to her home.

Avatar

I agree wholeheartedly with the points above im a UK fan so will watch tonight but the original criminal minds worries me for the same reasons we want this series to be great, watching series 1&2 again the team spirit and personal touches are so much more evident than the last 2series where the focus is almost entirely on the case, even Reids headaches only lasted 1episide! I hope Suspect Behaviour gives us these touches and stays true to them

Avatar

I agree that this episode has definitely improved upon the premiere. It was more clear, more consistent, and more into the rhyme of what this spin-off should be and is about. The case is also well-written and give some pretty good twists. I've been a big supporter of this spin-off from the very beginning and I intend to keep on supporting it, but that doesn't mean I don't see that there is room for plenty of improvement. There needs to be more focus on the characters not just as competent agents but also as people. The show needs to give out more character moments and interactions rather than just the team spitting out behavior analysis and FBI jargon. They need to allow the cast to interact and built rapports between the characters. We got a glimpse of that at the end of the first episode during the premiere when Prophet made full agent and everyone had a little hug-fest complete with Mick jumping on Prophet's back and everyone goofing around. The cast chemistry really shined in that moment and I believe the writers should allow for more moments like that, more focus onto the characters and their lives and their bond with each other. It's moments like that which makes the original Criminal Minds great, it's what makes a crime-procedural drama unique and more than just another cop show. They need to let the characters be real, be human, rather than being cardboard cut-outs. And if the writers can figure that out and let these characters grow and interact, I think the show will be just fine.