On a scale of 1-10, the creep factor of this tale pinged at about 12.
Criminal Minds Season 10 Episode 10 oozed out a story about a psychopath who, after doing 12 years of prison time for raping and murdering his sister when he was a teenager, came back to re-enact the scene, this time with his niece.
Along the way, he murdered a few people, mostly because they got in the way. If only the security guard had handed over his gun, or if only the couple into whose home he broke in hadn't surprised him. Or if only the Good Samaritan lady hadn't seen him when she stopped to see if he needed help, no one would have had to die.
Well, except his father. He obviously had to go, just because of his bad attitude. I mean, the man was just so cold:
Benton: I would kill myself right now if it would bring Miriam back.
Oren: Maybe it will. You should give it a try.
This unsub was an unrepentant, self-involved piece of human flotsam whose end was not only expected but welcome. His death was also ironic: he brought it on himself, both figuratively and literally.
The episode reminded me a lot about the serial murder case of Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo, a real life couple who raped and murdered Karla's sister in 1990. Only in that case, both partners were equally vile, as they went on to murder a number of other teenage girls.
While watching the BAU stay on top of Benton's flight, the thought occurred that they nailed each piece of his plan accurately, to a fault. How great would it be if in one of these episodes, they missed an important piece of the puzzle and went on a wild goose chase, at least for a while?
The team accurately identified the two previous owners of the home in which the couple was killed, and then identified that owner as a partner in a killing twelve years ago. From there they worked out that the killer had been recently released from prison, and that he had made off with his niece and nephew. They then realized the car they were in had crashed, and that the car they subsequently escaped in was burnt, and that they were now on foot.
It was all perfect, and completely divorced from the real life kinds of police work in which cases can get solved sometimes years later.
I'm not saying the cases on this show needs to be like that, but it would be nice to see them at least give a glancing nod to the realities of police work once in a while. Even the Homolka/Bernardo case took a lot of time to figure out.
Which brings us to the lighter side of the show.
It's been a while since we've seen Beth, and now we know why: she's out of Hotch's life. Hotch has even been on a vacation with his son, so as to distract him from the amicable split-up.
And now it looks as though a new woman might be on the horizon for Hotch. Or maybe they'll just have a fling – who knows?
I know we've only met Audrey Hansen, but already I like her. It's great that she's so perceptive, too – having just nailed Hotch and Rossi as belonging to the FBI. It makes me wonder: is she really a marketing rep from San Diego, or is there more to her than that?
We can't forget Rossi either – who seems to have a new romance just starting up with Celine Destin – a gorgeous jazz singer.
I don't recall ever seeing these two guys acting as wingmen for each other before, but it's great to see, too.
- The song at the opening scene is Lord Remember Me, by Ruthie Foster and the Blind Boys of Alabama. It's on the album Let It Burn.
- This was the last Criminal Minds episode for 2014.
What did you think of this episode? Was the creep factor too much? Were you surprised by Hotch's news? If you're not sure, be sure to watch Criminal Minds online and then let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.