Criminal Minds, 11x14, Hostage
Would it be too much to ask that this episode be a secret backdoor pilot into a totally different spin-off series featuring how
It doesn't hurt that that actress -- Amelia Rose Blaire, who has apparently been all over TV but whom I have only seen in Law & Order SVU, "Wonderland Story," where she was also awesome -- is right in that Lea Michele With Less Makeup wheelhouse of beauty I love so much, with a strong enough resemblance to Shiri Appleby that I want to know what potion ingredients I need to ensure they play mother and daughter someday.
More to the point, it really felt like there was not one wasted second in this. It moved at such a fast pace, I wish it could have been a 2-parter just to more fully explore all the components. That kind of thing deserves more name recognition. Let's see...brought to you by director Bethany Rooney, previously responsible for Cinderella story "If The Shoe Fits," and writer Virgil Williams, who came on board around the same time I did yet has previously written...mostly episodes I dislike or did not see, but also this season's "Outlaws" and last season's "Protection," where I exclaimed about Super Pretty Christina Vlahakes for similar reasons.
This is one of those episodes where everyone just came together and did what they did best to support the story being plot/victim-focused. And not in the terrible way of last week's gross 2-generation murder duo.
Hotch scowled and stood around looking imposing/threatening. Rossi and Garcia mainly took care of exposition. Morgan offered a sarcastic sound bite at the portly old white guy trying to make a run for it into the wilderness, took the time to sigh and holster his gun, and then tackled said portly guy in about five seconds flat while taking zero pains to keep his wrist unbroken. JJ, lone woman on scene in this very sensitive case, beautifully offered her best soft-voiced mother/sistering tendencies to put the victims at ease, and brought along the most non-threatening male figure she could for backup. And Tara Lewis was like, "No need for me this week? Peace out."
Let's go back to the important people. JJ was perfect; that is by far the most I've ever liked her, particularly when she was the go-to for physical comfort or doing cute things like explaining how to work the remote. Meanwhile, despite my normally hawklike focus on Reid, I liked that he was firmly a supporting player. Just enough for me to enjoy his presence,
And the plot. From the flashbacks (Arden Richardson as Young Gina, also adorable), to the explanation of how he got the house by charming a nice old lady and casually burying her body in the yard after she died without reporting it, to the tragic twist with the third woman dying, to the introduction of parents, to the reeeeeeeally horrifying implications of the bloodstained wooden X, to shifting the focus from Gina (whom I have not given enough credit; I loved her resilence and fierce resistance to captivity) to Amelia halfway through, and the lack of secondary suspects because the Big Twist was about finding the other secret house with his ill-gotten biological daughters...it was just really well done.
My heart is very full at the idea of Amelia and her daughters all going home to live with their loving parents/grandparents, while hoping very hard that caseworkers are up to the task of providing sufficient support for Gina, and maybe that the sister-friendship bonds are no less real or permanent for having been forged in hell.
Oh -- and I did not see that mother shooting her daughter's kidnapper/ultimate killer at the end. Wow. OK, now in addition to adding Gina's recovery to the spin-off series I proposed in the beginning, I would like to add a subplot about her trial. See, guys, we totally have enough to go to air with this.
What a good, good outing.
P.S. I realize that medical emergencies make for exciting TV, but I still feel like the amount Survivor's new season promos have been hyping All The Injuries and literally nothing else, no names or faces in their TV spots, is a sign the contestants themselves might be terribly boring by comparison. We'll find out in a week when the show comes back and I am released from my self-imposed chains of watching Arrow every week and having 47 new questions re: "wtf is this crazy --- and why is it on the air, what is this show even about."
This week's questions:how did Oliver hook up with Nyssa enough to get married in a ritualistic non-legally-binding way? Is she the mother of his kid? Or who is the mother of his kid? Does the show ALWAYS have flashbacks, because they are suuuuuuper boring. Does the Black Canary actually make that hideous screech on a regular basis, and is it designed to make the bad guys fall over with laughter at how melodramatic it is? Why does everyone use arrows when a gun (or actual superpowers) seem much more efficient? Are they magic arrows? Wikipedia says Oliver's arrows might be magic, but I only read the comic book entry. They really did not look very magic when The League Of Extraordinary Super Ninjas was firing them all over the place, including into random bystanders.