Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 8 Review: Neon Terror

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That was a great illustration of co-dependency.

A victim became a killer to get his name back in the spotlight on Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 8.

And he found the perfect partner in crime at a local TV station.

Off To Miami - Criminal Minds

It's ironic that the episode started with Rossi trying to create awareness of his latest book with a TV interview in Miami only to be superseded by another in a string of killings in that city.

He was soon joined there by the rest of the BAU (except Lewis, again. Didn't Aisha Tyler leave The Talk to have more time for her other series, including this one? But I digress.).

The unsub, Jeffrey Whitfield, had been a victim as a child, witness to the brutal killing of his babysitter. It left him mute for months.

Back then a young reporter, Sandra Madsen, brought him out of his shell by interviewing him about his experience, which brought him back to some sort of normalcy.

Maybe therapy would have been a better option. Instead, Jeffrey learned to enjoy the spotlight. It's frightening to think that he was so desperate for another taste of fame that he was willing to kill people to get it. I understand, to a degree, that he was recreating the murder that had scarred him for life, but that's still no excuse.

Media-Savvy Unsub - Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 8

After the stressor of his parents dying, he started killing people in an attempt to get another 15 minutes of fame, inadvertently aided by Sandra, the woman who first made him a public figure.

Yes, life behind the camera was boring for Sandra, and she seemed perfectly content to be an enabler for the Neon Terror, as she dubbed him. After all, her station was getting exclusive footage from Jeffrey, and that could only help their ratings.

It was chilling to watch Sandra admit she was exhilarated by being held hostage by Jeffrey. Then she marched out to her preferred role in front of the camera. That made me wonder who had the psychological problems here, the killer or the news director who provided him the infamy he craved once again.

No wonder the BAU had a difficult time getting a handle on this one.

JJ and Alves deduced it was someone who could hide in plain sight. At a crime scene, this means figures such as first responders and media members.

They hadn't really considered the possibility of a man who had just faded into the background and didn't stand out anywhere.

I had a simple question. Why did none of those women, when confronted by a strange man with a gun, throw their cars into drive and get away? At least that would make them a moving target.

Briefing Times - Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 8

But there was the weird wrinkle of a sitter getting killed and a child witnessing the crime from the back seat. When they found an identical crime from 20 years ago, Jeffrey rapidly appeared on their radar. He also had a connection to that TV station, especially Sandra.

How much is Sandra to blame for Jeffrey becoming a killer? She used a young boy's trauma to make a name for herself. Now she used footage from Jeffrey's killing for better ratings.

Yeah, she did stop showing what was, in essence, a snuff film. But that was hardly being altruistic, as that probably would have gotten the station in trouble with the FCC.

It's been interesting to watch Alvez grow as a profiler over the past year and a half. He's now holding his own with the more experienced members of the team.

Finding an In - Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 8

With all his hobbies and all the BAU's cases, how did Rossi find time to write another book? He must have great time-management skills.

While Prentiss addressed where Lewis was (basically doing more academic research, yawn!), I don't remember why Reid was absent. He must have been teaching one of those court-mandated classes that he has to do. But, unlike with Lewis, Reid's absences are never an improvement. 

Those are the times the team has to settle for Garcia looking up information since Reid isn't around to spout it.

I'm still waiting for Reid's PTSS to be addressed. I can't believe a little bit of therapy during the offseason cured him. Reid has never been totally squared away, and that time in prison certainly couldn't have helped his psyche.

SPOILER ALERT: The holiday pre-emptions begin soon, but on Dec. 6, the BAU investigates the death of two conspiracy nuts in Roswell, N.M. Could it be the aliens have gotten loose?

During the brief hiatus watch Criminal Minds online,

Who do you feel worse for, Jeffrey or Sandra? Or are they both guilty? Are you warming to any of the cast additions over the past two seasons? Comment below.

Neon Terror Review

Editor Rating: 4.25 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (11 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Criminal Minds Season 13 Episode 8 Quotes

He likes his new nickname enough to bring him own neon.

Alves

"The spectacle is capital accumulated to the point where it becomes image." -- Guy Debord

Prentiss