Criminal Minds Review: "Dorado Falls"

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The Criminal Minds writers sure do know how to make us gasp in suspense now, don't they?

When this week's especially deadly UnSub answered Rossi's question - "Where are you?" - over the phone with a chilling Right behind you, I nearly lept off my couch. Yeah! Now that's the kind of action this show is stellar at creating.

I have to say, of all of the fast-moving episodes in past seasons, this one took a little rewinding and re-watching to figure out completely. I did, however, think "Dorado Falls" was a solid episode, even if it did have me feeling a little slow on the uptake. The use of the psychological detachment disorder known as Capgras Syndrome to move us seamlessly between an office massacre, a double murder, a kidnapping and an FBI headquarters infiltration was pretty brilliant. Plus, I learned a little something, and who doesn't like getting a little education with our entertainment, right?

Close Up of Hotch

First things first: Reid with a vest on and what I can only assume to be a pocket watch chain hanging out? Adorable. Also, his haircut is starting to grow on me. Oh, and there's the whole "genius memory and deduction skills" added into the mix, and at this point I'm ready to just change Criminal Minds' name to "The Dr. Reid Show" and call it a day.

He was a total badass again this week, especially when he figured out what each victim in the office was doing at the time of the rampage and what disorder Dolan suffered from. Reid's always been a stand out at his job, but lately he just seems to be owning it a lot more. If Matthew Gray Gubler ever leaves this show, I swear I may have to stop watching.

Next there's the whole Rossi saves the day part of the plot, which I also loved. His phone negotiating skills were impressive, even if the Navy Seal UnSub did end up literally under their noses... with a gun pointed as their heads. Oops. This was the first time the BAU has had a suspect bring the action to them at their headquarters, no? (If my memory is wrong I'm sure you guys will not hesitate to correct me!). I know the agents and their families have been attacked at their homes before, but bringing the fight to their home turf to a building full of highly-trained agents is bold. Really bold. But I guess if someone's going to do it, a Seal is as good a choice as any!

Also, J.J. flexed her muscles a bit when she basically told the Defense Intelligence agent what's up (metaphorically) and scored that classified file. Owwww! Way to go, J.J. Now if only we could get around to her personal life storyline we'd be all set.

Speaking of which, aren't a few of the agents' home lives supposed to be brought to the forefront again this season? I know it's early on, but I'm eager to see what they do with some of those plots. Now that we've gotten a few season 7 episodes under our belts let's crack open the shutters, please.

There were only two very minor things that I might've improved upon, and that is that:

  1. Hotch smiling last week made me want to see more of him, smiling or not.
  2. The actor that played Dolan's father seemed really close in age to him. Like, 10 years older close, which was a somewhat odd casting choice, but whatever - we roll with it anyway.

The whole Prentiss fake death fallout was touched on briefly - and I mean briefly - again with regards to Morgan. He doesn't seem to be mad but he's obviously having some issues with worrying about keeping his teammates safe, especially Prentiss. It seems honest, if a wee bit underdeveloped. I'm not sure what her re-certification would entail, but if any part of the 10-hour training involves sparring with Morgan I'll gladly volunteer to take her place.

In the end, this week tackled some heavy topics fairly well. Psychological dysfunction? Check. Killing your own parents? Check. Pistol whipping a military general? Check - and ouch. They also managed to balance out the heavy with some lighter moments. Any time Morgan calls Garcia "Baby girl" or, in this case, she tells him to rub her...uh, genie lamp, it tends to bring some levity to the show. I just hope next week is as good as the preview makes it look.

And that Reid rocks a vest again.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (91 Votes)

The BAU base has only had the Unsbu their Twices and I hope we don't lose Emily we just got her back also again I ask WHERE ANDERSON


Kira, the technical cause was Capgras, but the plot line is the same. "Veteran lives happy life, veteran hits a stress point, veteran starts killing." Remove the "trained killing machine" aspect, put a typical person in the same situation, and let the group try to profile someone that's outside the normal pattern. Add in the friction caused by Prentiss' return and the tension caused by a difficult profile and you could easily have a two part episode. This one struck me as just another formula plot.


Max Martini made this show! Miss him and the Unit...he has shown up on Castle and was also on a 10-11 show last need to research which one! Love Reid, too!


Hopefully Prentiss will fail the re-training and will have to leave, she really ruins this series when she is in it.


@Guairdean, it wasn't a case of PTSD. Dolan got into a car accident and as a result wound up with Capgras Syndrome. They are 2 totally different things.


A typical "Veteran with PTSD goes on rampage" script. I hate to see a good show fall to the point where they reuse plot lines that were worn out in the 70's. It's not a good sign when the writers start phoning it in.


The unsub got into the BAU bullpen in "Penelope", but technically they didn't know he was the unsub at the time so it's not quite the same. I LOVED this episode. I'm not crazy about episodes where we know who the unsub is right away, but this one was done right. Max Martini has more than proven his star quality and talent to CBS over the years; now they need to give him his own show. Seeing Rossi, JJ, and Reid use their strengths to move the case forward was very rewarding too (and I loved the little reference to Reid as a Doctor Who fan!).


I agree with farsia2010 that "i would prefer if they showed the UnSub a little less and the team's thinking process a little more". This UnSub, was no longer "Un" as soon as he killed his parents, and that was only 20 minutes into the episode.
I really miss the brilliant moments when something downs on them after a lot of thinking, like "Aha! Foyet is the Reaper" For the record, there is another episode where the UnSub shows up at the BAU HQ, aside from the episode "Penelope". That was in the episode "Reckoner", (season 5 ep. 3), where a judge hires a hitman to do "justice" the way he sees it, and he shows up at the BAU saying "I believe you're looking for me", though he was surrendering and not carrying a gun.


Great review, first time here. I do have to ask, what was up with the cinematography last night? Did anyone notice that it was not up to par for Criminal Minds? I felt like they were playing to the 3D a little too much and it seemed forced. All in all a great story, but almost unwatchable due to the "tricks" (short focus, sweeping pans and quick wide to narrow shots.) I may be over analyzing of course, but still.


These felt like it should of been on NCIS not Criminal minds next week looks better and where the heck is Anderons

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Criminal Minds Season 7 Episode 3 Quotes

Agent Prentiss: Definite overkill. Somebody was angry at the boss.
Agent Morgan: Somebody with hunting skills.
Prentiss: Or a law enforcement background.

Garcia: Eight victims in total. All employees, including the CEO. Five were shot and three were stabbed to death.
Dr. Reid: A gun and a knife? That's highly unusual.
JJ: Could be two killers.
Agent Rossi: That would be the first time for an office killing.