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