Criminal Minds Review: One Twisted Momma

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As ghoulish as this week's Criminal Minds episode may have been, it managed to capitalize on its procedural element, feeding the audience with clues and guesses all the way through.

"The Good Earth" featured the lovely Anne Dudek as the hypochondriac UnSub Emma Kerrigan. You may remember her as Annie's sister on Covert Affairs or a certain cutthroat bitch on House.

Here, she abducted four men, and it took the team a while to figure out what she was doing with them and why. Eventually we learned she was providing them with sustenance - through their noses - in order to make them ready as human fertilizer for her garden.

Searching For the Link

I keep wondering each week if the show's writers have a contest to see how much they can get their viewers to squirm.  First, it was the food through the nose thing. Then we got to watch as Emma kidnapped a pregnant woman and began doing a wide-awake Caesarian section on her:

Pregnant victim: What are you doing?
UnSub [exasperated sigh]: Hold still. | permalink

Then we find out that she didn't want the woman's baby (thankfully both mother and baby were fine) but that she wanted the placenta.  And then we find out she wanted it so that she could feed it to her daughter. Along the way, we see her washing the blood off of a wood chipper and axe, and our suspicions are aroused. That can't be good.

What a relief when Alex Blake found a way to slip inside her psychosis and talk her down from killing the last man. Blake earned some cool points with Morgan on that one.

With such intense drama, it's a relief to see some of the team interactions. There was another example of the Derek Morgan-Penelope Garcia flirty talk (toned down this time):

Morgan: You're talking to the room, PG.
Garcia: If by "PG" you mean parental guidance strongly advised, I say PA. Prudent advice. | permalink

And we had a funny exchange between J.J. and Reid:

Reid: I don't like the beach.
JJ: Why's that?
Reid: Sandy food, pink skin, limited and unengaging topography. But mostly the drug resistant bacteria spread by seagull feces.
JJ: Sorry I asked. | permalink

And I laughed out loud when Rossi caught Reid mumbling to himself:

Rossi [to Reid]: I can hear the high pitch from your IQ all the way over here. | permalink

(There are more quotes on our Criminal Minds quote page)

The best part was seeing Henry come around and finally land on a Halloween costume he liked when he decided to go out as his favorite profiler: Reid.

What did you think of the episode? Would you like to see more of J.J.'s home life? Has Alex Blake grown on you?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (80 Votes)

Douglas Wolfe is a staff writer for TV Fanatic Follow him on Twitter



nice episode. loved the change of tone of the characters Penelope Garcia and Agent JJ. Those two characters reminded me of and has the feel/touches of this current season of Law & Order SVU's (Mariska Hargitay) Olivia Benson.


Have no thoughts for Jeanne Triplehorn either way. She has no personality to speak of. She's just there. Miss Paget !


You will love it they got that season 1 and 2 feel back to them


Since Jean Tripplehorn came into the series, I have lost total interest in the show. It seems as if the show has lost its Mojoe. I will try once again to watch it.


I wish NCIS could have episode as perfect as this one was there was not one thing wrong about episode just like the last 3 Criminal Minds is having a perfect season so far.


One of the weakest plot lines I can rememember for this series. The BAU team used the weakest of clues to jump to outrageous conclusions to get to the unsub in the time alloted per episode. Very poor episode.

Sue ann

Humans eating placentas is not all that unusual. My best friend kept the placenta from the (home) birth of her second child, and ate it later. They are chock full of excellent nutrients, which is one reason why female animals often eat them after giving birth. She was trying to heal her daughter. It is an unusual use, but not unheard of. There is actually a market for placentas.


@Guest Are you stuipd? or just plain clueless they said why the kidnap the woman watch the dam show and maybe you would see why Oh and I pretty sure you have no idea what the law officers do


Another adorable/hilarious Reid episode. I absolutely loved Henry dressing up as him. My favorite moment so far this season! Would have loved to see more of the mysterious 'phone girl' but I guess we'll see that later on in the season. Probably one of my favorite episodes ever apart from the whole placenta eating thing they had going on.. that was kind of creepy. Great for the halloween episode though!


I struggle with some of these bizarre episodes too - hence the squirm factor that I mentioned. Some cop friends have told me that the biggest downside of their work involves the way they see "normal" people. Having to deal with some of the folk they deal with (and we're not talking about crazy mothers feeding human placentas to their daughters here; we're talking about run of the mill bad guys such as burglars and drug dealers) has a negative effect on them. Juxtapose an episode like this against the great interactions we see with the BAU with each other, and with their families, and it leaves some room for thought. Highly unusual to have the UnSub suddenly change course like this one did too. Four men - and then she goes for a pregnant woman? Maybe at the end of the day it's all about the meat. Clearly she has ceased seeing any of them as human beings.

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Criminal Minds Season 8 Episode 5 Quotes

Reid: I don't like the beach.
JJ: Why's that?
Reid: Sandy food, pink skin, limited and unengaging topography. But mostly the drug resistant bacteria spread by seagull feces.
JJ: Sorry I asked.

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity - Edgar Allan Poe