At least the baby survived. So that's something, right?
It's hard to remember the last time the BAU didn't arrive in time to save an unsub's targeted victim (though it has happened on occasion). This one was a surprise.
Criminal Minds Season 11 Episode 5 featured a story about a street artist, her estranged husband and the accidental drowning death of their child years ago. The husband never got over that death and so he decided his negligent wife was going to pay for it.
But first, he needed to smear the good name of "Morpheus" – the moniker his wife adopted when she began to create artistic graffiti exhibits everywhere. The best way to do that was (naturally, since this is Criminal Minds) to kill people and display them artistically. And then sign the art with her Morpheus signature.
As if that wasn't enough, he decided he needed to replace his dead son with someone else's baby. And when he finally captured his ex-wife and Hotch caught up to them, he elected to throw them both off the roof of his building.
This was a well-written episode, as keenly evidenced by the many drops of jeweled dialogue. Like this one:
Lewis: Morning, guys. How do I look?
Rossi: You look great?
Lewis: Went on a diet last night, lost 185 pounds.
Good on her for just blurting it out like that. Lewis probably knows by now there's no sense in trying to keep secrets from the gang; they'll suss it out eventually anyway.
As for hubby, the thought here is that she was probably better off without him anyway. That mewling bit of self-pitying nonsense about how she cared more for someone who killed a bunch of kids than him was just grating to hear. Goodbye and good riddance.
Other than the murder-suicide surprise ending, the other surprise was to find that Morpheus was a woman. It makes you think: maybe the famous Banksy is too. No one gender has a monopoly on creativity or social justice.
It was a little surprising to find the BAU discovering her identity in such a short time. Banksy has been out there for years; one of the major draws to his exhibits involves the fact that he is never identified.
There's an unwritten rule to which most writers cling: you can kill anyone in your story, except for pets and children. There are exceptions, obviously, but these are carefully thought out and plotted. The famous Red Wedding scene in Game of Thrones comes to mind.
When the unsub kidnapped that baby the tension went up dramatically (as it usually does whenever kids are involved with unsubs on this show). The hope was high that the unsub wouldn't harm her. So it was a relief at the end when the BAU showed up.
Wasn't that baby amazing? Who knew you could calm a screaming toddler like that just by giving her a toy to hold onto? Most parents will tell you that it's often a guessing game as to what a child needs at any one time. Sometimes they want to be picked up, or fed, or changed. And sometimes they just cry for the hell of it, or because they have colic.
This was a magic baby. Just find something colorful and give it to her.
This was one of the more entertaining episodes of the season so far. It'll be interesting to get more glimpses into Tara Lewis' research into serial killers.
- The episode was directed by Thomas Gibson.
- The piece at the beginning of the story was an aria in The Marriage of Figaro. It was by Sumi Jo and can be found on the album Philharmonie Berlin: Gala Opera Concert.
- David L.M. McIntyre played the delightfully evil Leonard Ennis, the con who was interviewed by Tara Lewis in prison. He did such a great job with that part. Truly believable and creepy.
- As always, you can see this episode again when you watch Criminal Minds online
- Be sure to come back next week to read the review on Criminal Minds Season 11 Episode 6, entitled "Pariahville"
Now, it's your turn. What did you think of tonight's episode? Were you worried about the baby too? 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.