I've posted a while back how Criminal Minds is a new antidrug of mine, so I ought to be true to that claim. Spoilers may be abound for any of this season's episode, so you're fairly warned.
I just finished watching the latest episode of the season, Reflections of Desire. ... I dunno. There was something distracting about it. First of all, it had a movie-like feel to it. It's not just this episode. Even the preceding one felt as if done on a larger scale--not just literally. And then there's the brighter scenes? I've been playing catch-up of the past seasons, so image quality has been a bit of an issue.
It's hard to tell if these are good or bad. I've always been used to the show's dark vibe, just like how I liked the bluish hue of the first season of CSI:NY. I could kind of understand why they'd consider a bit of a change. CM has been around for five seasons going well into their sixth. I'm sure a lot of folks are looking forward to something new.
Okay, to the episode. It's a different take of how the show has presented itself over the years. Like I said, a bit glitzier and less on the sombre side. As one fan from the Criminal Minds Fanatics blog pointed out, it had a Hitchcockian feel to it. Since I read that post, and have at least watched The Birds, I fairly can relate and understand the reference.
Maybe I should break it down to what I liked and didn't like to make my life a bit easier...
What I liked
- Garcia's little secret was out. I was going to say that Hotch didn't deliberately betray her trust. It's hard to say. But the way it was revealed, the timing was just so right, it's as if he set the stage so that he would have the rest of the team inadvertently helping him to bend Garcia to his wishes. Yes, the man can be that devious if it gets the job done.
- Hotch on the road! We don't get that a lot lately. And I think he's forced to stay behind to do part of the job JJ left behind.
- The denouement of the case. Even with the bright and glammy feel (well, it would considering what the unsub was doing), the ending just brought back the ol' Criminal Minds kind of creepiness. Although I do remember this kind of premise had been done before, a bit of a throwback of an early Season 3 episode.
- The actual ending, when the team threw in their support for Garcia. It just struck me how her staunchest supporters were sitting at the front, while backed up by the rest of the team from the rear. It's really sweet.
- Little team interactions. Reid eating at the briefing and casually commenting on what the unsub might have done to the victim, and Garcia reacting to that.
Didn't like so much:
- Too much Garcia? She might not have been the central character in most of the previous eps this season. But for some reason, she "stands out"--she's more exposed, but not in the full capacity of technical analyst. With the team a man down, looks like Garcia would have to share several hats with the others, most especially with Hotch, to cover JJ's liaison duties. A consequence of her departure, and since the show was very vocal about not replacing her, doing so would really change the team dynamic and how everyone functions. And I fear our Goddess of Wisdom and her Boss Man are at the brunt of it.
- Not a lot of Rossi. I don't think he had more than five lines! I wasn't counting. Still, I miss his input in the team. At least, the two senior profilers of the team were in the SUV together. I miss the Hotch/Rossi dynamic. When will we get more of that?
- Garcia's little secret, for some strange reason. No strong dislike, just doesn't sit well with me. A hacker with acting chops. You don't see that everyday. But then, you don't see a Garcia a lot, either.
- The re-enactment at the train station with Prentiss, Reid & Hotch. Prentiss' dig at Reid felt forced, and it reminded me of how she tried to overcompensate when she was a newcomer. Reid fans at that blog valiantly denied Reid's gawking at passing women, but I think what gave him away to his teammates was a quirk of the eyebrow. No offense meant to Reid fans. I just call it as I saw it.
- The case? Not so compelling as I had hoped. I shuddered at what the unsub did to his latest victim, and when he came out of hiding at the end.
- Lack of profiling at the table. But, come to think of it, if the team wanted to get several tasks going, they'd have had to divide them amongst themselves, then converge when only needed. I got a running theory about that...
Conclusion? I'm all for the team dynamics, so I liked this episode for that. The case wasn't as gripping, though.
Does getting older have something to do with being unable to keep up with internet life? =P
I think I'm getting over the grieving stage for Park Yong Ha, I think. Though I feel a mixed sense of confusion and guilt if it's about time to move on or not, or if I am entitled to prolong the sorrow, as I've mentioned a lot of times, the guy didn't even know I existed. Hence the conflicting emotions of what I should feel.
Now, I want to talk about Criminal Minds. How it didn't become a favorite earlier on, I have no idea! I did catch a snatch of an episode while in the break room at the office, but I found it darker and more violent compared to the usual fare of the CSI franchises. The scene I'm talking about is a crime scene, with no bodies, but enough blood spatter around the room to give you an idea of the kind of violence inflicted there. And that's what's more disturbing than the actual scene, the sequences of thoughts that trigger in your mind when you see the place they were investigating. I don't know, the CSI shows never had that effect on me when I watch it. I must have scene enough violence on TV to be kind of jaded.
Buuuut, to make the long story short, I did make up for lost time and got caught up with the episodes by doing marathons of the show whenever I can. And the more I watched, the more fascinated I became. It's an entirely refreshing, albeit really dark, procedural drama. I'm not even sure if it can be called a "drama", depending on your take of the word. Because this show has always kept its focus on the case, or the criminals they profile. There's a bit of personal drama here and there, even focused a couple of episodes on some of the main characters, actually. But the show hardly broke its stride and kept turning in one good show after the next. And that's why I kept coming back episode after episode, until I'm finally up-to-date with the episodes. I'm now down to a few episodes of the fifth season, and I'm thrilled to check out the Season 6 premiere ep!