All in all, this was a decent Criminal Minds episode, due in small part to the story continuing from where we left off last Wednesday.
Like many, I watched the recap at the beginning and hoped that maybe the bullet had merely grazed Maeve's head and that she would be okay. Reid's two-week funk put that hope to rest. You don't give a guy seven gift baskets if his girlfriend is merely recuperating.
"Magnum Opus" refers to the greatest achievement of a writer, artist, composer or craftsman. This gave us our clue into this week's Unsub, who decided he needed to create a great work of art by draining victims of their blood, which he then used to paint their picture. His method evolved to the point where he removed his victims' eyelids so that they could witness him creating his art. He left the drained bodies next to abandoned works of art, too... so that the BAU could eventually realize his motive. Which, when you think of it, was quite decent and helpful of him.
I'm grateful to the writers for once more leaving the gruesome acts to our imagination, rather than displaying it in gory detail. The dance sequence from "The Lesson" still resonates, and not in a good way.
After a two-week silence, interrupted only by his response to Garcia (Knock twice if you're conscious), we now know what motivates Reid enough to drive him out of his stark grief: puzzles. His work as a behavioral analyst actually defines him, in a way. Despite his pain, he quickly returned Morgan's phone call query about the case and eventually flew down to be with the team during the end stages of their work.
His grief is not yet done, though, and it remains to be seen whether he'll fully recover or perhaps revert back to his old addiction. Maybe that's what Hotch and Morgan were thinking about when they both encouraged him to stay home until he's ready to come back.
I really only had one problem with the episode: when the Unsub's friend was up on the table, all sedated and ready to have his eyelids removed, he realized what was going on and was able to push through the drugged haze enough to thrash about, pretty much making it impossible for the Unsub to get to him. And when the Unsub got his hand too close, Paul bit down on it. This all makes perfect sense.
What about the other victims? I don't understand how they didn't also make it impossible for the Unsub to do his thing. In one instance, the girl was awake and when she started protesting, the Unsub shushed her. Did she really just shrug and say "okay" and let him cut off her eyelid? One could argue that because they were female and likely smaller, the sedation had a greater effect. However, they weren't all female. One was a fairly large guy.
No matter. The story worked anyway and I suppose we can ignore little details like that. And maybe such problems are mitigated by the sight of Rossi and Blake having to walk into a sex dungeon and have a conversation like this:
Creepy dude: Like I said, I buy a lot of paintings. I don't remember them all.
Rossi: Oh really? Because last I checked, withholding evidence would make you an accomplice.
Blake: We just want to see the painting. Just want to see if it's from the guy we're looking for.
Rossi: Remembering now?
Creepy dude: Possibly. For that piece you'll have to follow me to the spanking room. | permalink
Were you at all surprised when the museum director (played by Jamie Luner) rejected his work, and the Unsub came back for her?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments! And don't forget to check out our Criminal Minds quotes.
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.