Criminal Minds Review: When the Student is Ready...

at . Comments

This week's Criminal Minds featured few more misdirections than what we're used to seeing.  

In the opening scene of "The Apprenticeship," I fully expected to see the teenager (Toby) become victim number-one, as he got off of the bus in a bad section of town. Then, when he revealed himself to the hooker as a virgin, and we see that someone's watching them, I thought for sure that was it for them both. Never thought for a moment he would prove to be the first UnSub.

Taped Victim

It always seems weird how the team is able to pull all of the pieces together so quickly. Here, they quickly determined that it was a two-person UnSub unit, that one was teaching the other and they even got their relative ages down correctly. 

Still, there's only an hour to get the story told - plus get a baseball game in - so I guess we just have to, as Morgan would say in a different context entirely, "don't think. Just feel it".

Which, by the way, is exactly how he coached Reid when they practiced hitting baseballs in the following exchange, which was one of top Criminal Minds quotes of the evening:

Morgan [after Reid takes a wild swing at the ball]: okay okay. First try. Keep your eye on the ball.
Reid: Gravity plus drag co-efficient plus...I see what you're saying ..if I can adjust the velocity of my swing...
Morgan: No. What I'm saying is get out of your head. Just feel it.
Reid: Feel it. Feel it.
Morgan: Yeah. Don't think. Just feel it.
Reid: just feel. Don't think. Just feel.
Morgan: here it comes! [Reid swings and misses] Reid. That's not feeling it.
Reid: I'm feeling like an idiot. | permalin

Each week we watch as the BAU encounters yet another grisly series of murders, while managing to keep the disgust from their faces. Of the bunch, Garcia is obviously the most sensitive - and tonight we learned there's a limit to what she can stand. And that limit is puppies:

Garcia: In the last month six puppies have been suffocated and beaten and thank God there are no photos because I draw the line at dead dogs. | permalink

Her reference to the older UnSub's laptop made me stop and think for a bit:

Morgan: Hey momma. Tell me something good.
Garcia: Well, I cleaned out this nutbag's laptop. The guy was a torture porn connoisseur. The dude makes Rick James seem Amish. | permalink

Seeing the team come in like the last minute cavalry to save the pet shop manager was thrilling, especially when the UnSub said that he'd already been to jail - thereby indicating his preference for suicide by cop.

I think every child who has failed at sports once in his life could identify with Reid's fear, especially when the baseball game came down to the last inning and he was at bat. Who couldn't feel the visceral joy when, after two strikes he finally barked the ball out far enough for a sliding home run? Amazing.

And then right away, in the midst of the team's celebration, we discover that The Photographer from the first episode was there, too, lurking with a loaded camera.

Final thoughts:

  • it seems a copycat killer is back, and he's mimicking The Silencer from the Criminal Minds Season 8 premiere: a guy who sewed his victims' mouths shut.
  • It was great to see Matthew Lillard playing the older UnSub this week. He's one of those actors you're used to watching, despite not always recalling his name. Probably most famous for his portrayal as Shaggy in the Scooby Do live action movie. 

What did you think of tonight's episode? Drop us a line in the comments!


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
  • 4.7 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (71 Votes)

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



CM is still one of my favorite shows but I also felt let down this episode. The mother was too weird. Moreover the idea that kid becomes a serial killer after watching his sister being abused seems unrealistic. The etiology of this disorder is primarily (but not always)rooted in childhood experiences. MY big problem with this episode is Morgan's taunting and demeaning behavior toward Reid. I wish he would stop calling him kid because he isn't one. I find Morgan increasingly strange. His "thing" with Garcia is annoying but not as unsettling as his "thing" with Reid who never tells him to stop.


Another great ep i must say...loved seeing the little surprise appearance from lil Henry/Mekhai at the end. Thank god this weeks ep wasnt as creepy as last weeks cus i think im still recovering from it haha


There is absolutely no comparison between Walking Dead and Criminal Minds.......two completely different shows........two completely different kinds of creepy......Walking Dead is blood, guts, and gore, whereas, Criminal Minds is the psychological aspect of crimes.......there's been a couple of Criminal Mind episodes that have been gory, but nowhere near as gory as Walking Dead.....especially this last week's episode........


I really liked this episode despite seeing the unsub early maybe because the story was so packed. Great shot from a determined Morgan when Turner decided to committ suicide by FBI. Loved Morgan and Reid and the baseball ending. Creepy (real) unsub at the end taking pictures was an exciting touch. Someone mentioned not being able to watch Minds but has no problem watching the Walking Dead. I'm the exact opposite. Love but a handful of Minds' over 150 episodes but for the life of me I can't watch Walking Dead and I have tried several times already. Oh well.


I am one of CM's biggest fans, but since the start of season 8, the writers seem to be off their game. As soon as I saw that kid get off the bus, I knew he was the unsub. And when he went for a hooker, I thought, "Damn, this is another one of those really predictable ones." When he got the text, though, I thought, "Wow, an unsub who's being blackmiled, what a cool twist." But that turned out not to be the case. It was as predictable as I initially expected. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the photographer and Reid's secret geneticist turn out to be good storylines, or that the writers can get it together.


as soon as that guy stepped off the bus i had him pegged as the unsub. he wouldn't have gone to see a hooker without a car for sex. on a unrelated review topic,can anyone remember back when reid was having those migraines last seasons, was anything determid at the time what was causing them? i know they've been brought back up again this season, but im sure they just left it hanging after the light/dreams things he was experienced came true?


@ginger, I know what you're saying about the mother not doing anything to help her child but I think that happens more than we want to admit. There is a significant percentage of serial killers where no evidence that they were mistreated by their family exists, so they're probably from loving homes where parents just buried their heads in the sand when they did things like kill pets or act out violently.I mean, look at what happens with bullies on a lesser level, often decent parents deny that their kid is misbehaving until the police get called in and even then they minimize it instead of getting their kid some help.


i have tried over the yrs to watch this series. i find the stories tedious,but mostly i leave feeling offended and assualted by the stories. one episode yrs ago"the big wheel" about an obsessive compulsive "alex o'laughlan" (sp)was exceptionally good and i have a copy of it on disc i was so impressed with it. the others always leave me feeling sick,never entertained..and i am a huge walking dead and american horror go figure...of course amer horror and walking dead are fantasy a psychiatric soc wkr i am offended by these stories. i always hoped they would be redeeming in some way. how do these entertain??? as i read the posts here and elsewhere it is easy to see it does for a good many? i'll keep taking a peek...


The thing that bothered me most about this episode was the obvious denial of the teenager's mother. She knew that he had a psychotic reaction to his sister's torture and murder and she doesn't get him any help? Pretending everything is fine seems like reckless endangerment. If she had alerted someone to his problems or been slightly suspicious when the dogs started vanishing, maybe he could have been saved.


I was wondering could the photographer be Le Greenway.

Tags: ,

Criminal Minds Season 8 Episode 6 Quotes

Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher - Japanese proverb


In the last month six puppies have been suffocated and beaten and thank God there are no photos because I draw the line at dead dogs.