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Criminal Minds - Miasma - Review: "Contamination"

Another month’s break has passed, and now we’re about ready to head into the final stretch of the season. Hard to believe, huh?

Before the season resumes, however, let’s take a moment and catch up on where we last left off with the show, and more specifically, the BAU. In “Cure”, we were left with the surprising news that Emily had been put on administrative leave pending an investigation by Assistant Director Barnes, and that JJ would be acting unit chief while Emily was sidelined. A shaky way to leave the team, but sure thing would eventually look up for Emily at some point. Right?

If you honestly think that, you don’t know this show very well. Take a minute to note of the title for this episode. It’s an odd word, isn’t it? For those of you who are curious about just what the word “miasma” means, it’s defined as follows:

1) A deeply unpleasant or unhealthy smell
2) A general oppressive or unpleasant atmosphere.

Yeah. That doesn’t sound foreboding at all, does it? This episode lived up to the very definition of that word, too, as the fallout of the investigation against Emily continued, and sad to say, it...did not end well at all for her, or the team as a whole. Further complicating matters was a creepy case that also featured a whole lotta miasma, with an unsub whose idea of healing people was...unorthodox, to say the very least. Rather interesting that this episode came right after one entitled “Cure”, huh?

So as always, let’s settle in and discuss just what went down here, and maybe try and figure out just how the team will get out of this latest mess.

The Case:

We go straight into the team learning of the case this go-round, which, as we’ve learned over the years, is generally a pretty good indication the episode as a whole won’t be a typical one. Seems a mass grave set in a New Orleans cemetery has recently been disturbed. The tomb was off limits due to maintenance, but somebody’s managed to poke around in there and left ten bodies that weren’t originally part of the mass grave over the past few weeks. Many of the victims are still being identified, but what they do know thus far is that all of them were drained of their blood, and they were burned and buried among the other bodies. As if that weren’t creepy enough, this cemetery also happens to be home to a famous voodoo queen, Marie Leveau. Sounds almost Halloween-ish, this case. Voodoo-inspired murders are a thing, though, so the team agrees to look into that as one of the many possibilities for what’s going on here.

As they prepare to head out, Emily informs them that she’s staying behind to meet with Barnes, and lets them know JJ will be in charge this case. JJ’s nervousness is written all over her face, and the team’s clearly confused by this turn of events, but JJ can at least take comfort in knowing these guys will respect and follow her lead. We then cut to a scene of somebody in what looks to be some sort of weird bird-style mask sticking a knife in a man’s throat and draining his blood into a pail, so yeah, this episode’s going to be wild.

At the police station, the team read up a little more on the five victims that have been identified so far. Three of them – Jason, Gary, and Lindsey – were homeless, and last seen at a homeless shelter. The other two, Cindy and Daniel, were working professionals, and were reported missing when they didn’t return to their homes a week and a half ago. The killings are very elaborate, so clearly this unsub feels they can take their time with their crimes. The local officer then tells the team of another burned body that was discovered. The victim was killed the same way as the others, but they were dumped in a separate tomb this time.

The recent victim is identified as Jeremy, and JJ, Luke, and Matt have the joyful task of examining his crime scene. According to Jeremy’s wife, he’d gone out earlier, apparently to a basketball court, as that’s where his car, and a water bottle, were later found. There’s no voodoo markings at this crypt, which seems to rule out any sort of sacrifices to voodoo queens, but he was indeed killed in a manner similar to the other victims. This isn’t a ritual setup, so what’s the unsub’s real motive?

Rossi, meanwhile, heads out to the morgue, and listens to the coroner share the icky details of how the victims died. Seems the unsub used rubbing alcohol to help make it easier to burn the bodies. They were then left out in the southern heat, causing the body tissue to shrink, which added to the difficulty in properly identifying some of the people. Ultimately, though, it seems the official cause of death was the use of ketamine, which is an anesthetic. If there’s any sort of saving grace in this grotesque explanation, the victims were dead before their bodies were mutilated and burned, so...yay?

Soon after, two more victims are soon identified – Tyler, a dentist, and Heather, a teen runaway. Since all the victims were put to sleep, the team’s thinking their unsub, odd as this may sound, is actually showing some twisted form of compassion to the victims. It’s quite likely the unsub lost somebody in their own life, and believes they’re sparing other people whatever similar pain their own loved one went through. And if the unsub is using anesthetic to kill people, they’re likely breaking into medical or vet offices to obtain the necessary items.

The team’s analysis seems pretty spot on, too, as we see what looks to be our unsub observing a man sitting on a bench. The man’s coughing up quite a storm, claiming allergies. A short time later, a van pulls up right where the guy’s sitting, and the driver calls him over. The guy obliges, and take a wild guess what happens next? If we’ve learned one thing in thirteen years of this show it’s that nothing good ever happens when somebody’s driving around in a van.

Later, the unsub is prepping this man for what will be his certain death. But to his surprise (and mine) the guy ain’t having that. He finds the right moment and instantly starts fighting back. And he’s a big guy, too, so he gets an upper hand on the unsub fairly quickly, which is pretty impressive considering he’s been drugged. The man then manages to escape outside, finds the van, and drives off. It’s such a badass move and I’m sitting here actually going, “Go! Go! GO!” at the TV. Unfortunately, the man doesn’t get too far, as his wild driving leads him to crash into another car.

Fortunately, aside from a few minor injuries, he’s ultimately okay. His name is Carl, and while his memories are vague, he does manage to tell JJ about the unsub pulling up in a van, and describes him as wearing a mask and black gloves. Reid, Tara, and Matt, meanwhile, examine the crash site and the van itself. They get a call from Garcia informing them that the van was stolen from Texas, and years ago at that. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much in the van itself to help identify their unsub.

After a brief check-in with Garcia in which they ask how Emily’s doing (Garcia’s answer: she’s in the office with the lights on, and they’re not sure what to make of that), Reid and Matt then head out to the building where Carl was held captive. They expand further on the initial “compassionate unsub” theory – they believe this unsub is taking care of sick people not to spare them the pain of dying, but rather, to protect the rest of the population from being contaminated.

One other aspect of the unsub’s crimes was the use of chickens, and this leads Reid to launch into an explanation about their use in the history of medicine. Apparently, people in medieval times believed rubbing chickens on people would absorb a person’s illness. As for the bird masks? They were once a protective measure against various plagues. The fact that the bodies were burned, and the second crypt was initially designed to house people who died from other illnesses further proves Reid’s theory. Basically, this unsub is a modern day plague doctor, on a mission to stop sick people from spreading disease. Their focus is on the four humors – blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile – that doctors once believed were miasma (aha), aka part of how people got sick, and which helped them figure out what areas of the human body to treat. The more you know!

And the reason this unsub fancies themselves a doctor is likely due to the fact they have a strong mistrust of modern medicine. Perhaps the loved one they likely lost wasn’t saved by modern medicine, and the unsub resented that. Sure enough, soon after, we get a glimpse of our unsub recalling a sad memory from his childhood. He was at the hospital with his mom, and she’d just been told she’s very sick. “It was their fault! They didn’t help her!” the unsub rants. Yeah, this won’t end well.

“All doctors do is make people suffer, make them live with false hope.”

Since the unsub’s van was destroyed thanks to Carl crashing it, and the place where he killed his victims has been disrupted, the unsub will have to start over with his methods. Sure enough, soon after, he sees a woman and a baby leaving a doctor’s office nearby. The woman’s sick, and this triggers the unsub something fierce, to the point where he proceeds to break into the office and call for the doctor. He then rants at the doctor for letting the woman leave while still ill, and starts ranting about his mom as well. He then attacks the doctor, killing her.

Rossi and Tara head back out to the morgue, and learn that the doctor was burned, but unlike the other victims, the unsub stabbed in the back. Clearly any compassionate side this unsub’s shown does not extend to doctors, and his mission now may be trying to track down whoever failed to save his mom. JJ and Matt decide to go back and re-examine all the evidence to try and figure out the exact situation that led the unsub to start killing. The team had believed Hunter was the unsub’s first victim...but maybe it was his mom? Did he try and put her out of his misery? Are his killings partly to assuage his own guilt in not being able to save her? The discovery of some items that his mom owned is further proof that she’s the main motive for all of this.

JJ later accompanies Rossi on a tour of the general area to talk to some of the neighbors, and that’s when they start getting the proper backstory. They tell them about a woman named Taneesa who once lived in the area, post-Katrina. She’d lived in a building with other tenants for a time ten years prior, back when she had a little bit of financial stability. Unfortunately, the building the tenants lived in had eventually been condemned, and Taneesa fell on hard times financially as a result. Her son Kevon came down to help her out, but tragedy struck when Taneesa “died in her sleep”, according to the neighbor.

Garcia tells JJ and Rossi the detailed story, however. Before her death, she and the other tenants of the building filed a lawsuit, claiming the building hadn’t been properly taken care of post-Katrina, and posed a safety hazard to the tenants. Soon after, Taneesa got very sick from black mold in the building. Despite their efforts, the insurance companies and the landlord refused to do anything. In fact, the landlord even managed to escape any responsibility for the situation, as he got a nice little settlement out of the deal. How’s that for a slap in the face?

So Kevon had to watch the landlord walk away scot-free and financially stable, and was left with a deathly ill mother who couldn’t afford to go to the doctor. Yeah, I can’t exactly say I blame the guy for being a little bitter and resentful. The black mold wasn’t what ultimately killed his mom, though. No, instead, her son was responsible, putting her to sleep the way he later did with his other victims. And from there, he decided he needed to put the sick out of their misery, keep the rest of the population safe, and target those who failed to do anything to help people like his mom.

It doesn’t take a profiler to figure out Kevon’s former landlord is likely on his list of targets, so JJ and Rossi go to warn him of the potential threat coming his way. While there, they hear a commotion downstairs, and see that Kevon’s stormed into the building...and he’s got somebody hostage, and is threatening to burn the place down. The two order the landlord to stay in his office and lock the door, and then they decide to split up and try and corner Kevon from opposite ends. Seriously, how many times do these people have to keep splitting up before somebody tells them that never works out well?

Anywho, JJ makes her way down the stairs, trying to calm Kevon down. She tells him about Will’s father, who died in Katrina, in an attempt to try and empathize with his struggle. But Kevon doesn’t seem all that interested in a story about a man he doesn’t know, especially since it wasn’t the storm that killed his mom, and proceeds to rant at everyone who couldn’t save his mom. The landlord arrives at this point, because “Stay in this office so the unsub doesn’t kill you” is totally the sort of advice one should ignore, and tries to apologize to Kevon for how things played out with the lawsuit and the building all those years ago. He seems sincere, and it’s an admirable gesture, but it’s too little, too late. The landlord’s presence does allow Kevon to get distracted, however, and the hostage manages to escape.

Rossi then enters, and reminds Kevon that he’s the one who’s ultimately responsible for his mom’s death. Seems he’s gotten so lost in his blind rage, or was so desperate to block out putting his mom out of her misery, that he blocked that memory out. This further agitates Kevon, and he starts waving the gun around, but this gives JJ an opportunity to wrestle the weapon away, and Rossi arrests him.

On the plane ride home, Rossi takes a minute to compliment JJ on her leadership skills throughout, which is a nice gesture. JJ mentions she texted Emily to see how she’s doing. “I’ll be glad when this is all over,” Rossi says. Ahahaha. Yeah. Um. About that...well, we’ll get to that soon.

First though, in regards to the case, when the team started discussing all the voodoo stuff, I initially wondered if we were going to be in for “Corazon, Pt. 2” this episode. I’m rather glad that turned out not to be the case, though. I did like that all the antiquated and mysterious killing methods were actually a means of rebelling against modern medicine. That made the case a little more interesting as a result.

And I felt for Kevon and his tragic past with his mom. Anyone who’s had to watch a loved one suffer, and felt like the people who were supposed to be there to help, could likely relate to his pain and anger on some level. I liked the mix of desperation and anger within him, and the fact he saw himself as both a savior and an avenger made for an interesting contrast, even if it did leave his motivations feeling a little bit all over the place as a result.

I do think it might’ve helped to show a little more of his anger towards the landlord, though – that was a part of the story we didn’t learn until late in the episode, and I feel like the confrontation between the landlord and Kevon didn’t quite have the bitter sting and tension to it that it should have. When Reid and Matt discovered all the stuff he used on his victims in that building, maybe there could’ve been other things in there that hinted towards the people he really blamed for his mom’s death (this could’ve been a good case for that Staff of Asclephius from “Cure”!). Or he could’ve left something at the mass grave, some threat of how the people who let these people die shall pay, or whatever. Or maybe a couple of the victims, who were professionals, could’ve been murdered in another fashion and dumped elsewhere. Just something to help build up the threat and danger a little more.

The whole final takedown was weird in general, though, really. I get why JJ tried to bring up Will’s father’s death in Katrina, but as Kevon so rightly pointed out, that’s not what killed her, so it was ineffective. And I’ll say it again: these people really need to quit splitting up. JJ and Rossi knew there was a chance Kevon would come to that building to confront the landlord to the point where they had to actually go out to said building and warn him in person. So before they went out there, they should’ve asked backup to show up as well, just in case. Maybe a little extra help could’ve allowed somebody to nab Kevon before he even entered the building, or took another hostage.

Overall, though, I didn’t mind the case. It continued the show’s trend of really weird, out there cases, yes, but the motivations and Kevon’s history with his mom helped ground it a bit, and the mass grave was appropriately creepy. I wish they’d spent a little more time examining that cemetery, or we got to see Kevon make creative use of that cemetery, along the way, actually. That could’ve been rather interesting.

On the plus side, at least this case ended on a good note, with Kevon being caught. As noted earlier, the same cannot be said for Emily’s showdown with Barnes. Let’s see how that part of things went.

Meanwhile, back at Quantico:

This portion of the episode picks up right where “Cure” left off. JJ’s in Barnes’ office now, and the two women are discussing JJ’s sudden promotion to unit chief. We get an immediate sense that there’s something suspicious about this whole setup when Barnes admits that the e-mail she’d sent JJ in “Cure” was nothing more than a ruse to get JJ to meet with her. She then proceeds to compliment JJ on her work, and that’s when the second curious aspect of this little conversation comes into play.

Barnes asks JJ why she wasn’t offered the unit chief position once Hotch left the BAU. JJ gives the obvious answer – Emily had seniority, and therefore it made sense for her to take over. There’s no hint of jealousy or resentment in JJ’s face or voice as she explains this, either – it’s clear she understands how the chain of command works, and has no issue with Emily running the team.

“We work by the book. Always.”

Barnes accepts that answer, too, and decides to take a different route. She notes that it’s coming up on a year since Reid’s arrest in Mexico and his subsequent prison stint, and that was ultimately the catalyst for this whole investigation. Barnes is simply going back through the team’s actions under Emily’s leadership, and wants to hear Emily’s reasoning for the team’s behavior. She then tells JJ that she’ll talk to Emily about all of this the following day, but until then, JJ is to keep this little meeting to herself.

Easier said than done, though. Shortly after the meeting ends, Emily calls JJ to notify her of the latest case, and naturally asks how the meeting went. JJ is smooth as can be in her answer – while she doesn’t outright explain what happened, she also makes it clear to Emily that something’s going on. And these two have known each other long enough to where Emily understands JJ’s underlying message: she’d better prepare herself, ‘cause things are about to get messy.

“Clearly she’s good at her job.”
“We’re better.”

Naturally, once the team learns that Emily will be staying behind to meet with Barnes instead of joining the team on the case, they’re immediately concerned and discussing everything on the plane. Matt tells the team what he told JJ in “Cure” - this is what Barnes does, and this is how the IRT fell apart. Reid’s no fool, either, knowing his whole Mexico/prison stint has to be part of this somehow, too. But if Barnes thinks she can easily split these people up, she clearly doesn’t know them very well. They all vow to fight whatever scheme Barnes has up her sleeve, and that’s that.

Barnes also evidently doesn’t know Emily very well, either, because this is far from her first rodeo when it comes to being interrogated and investigated by higher ups. Strauss, the committee in “It Takes a Village”, even her initial scrutiny by Hotch when she first joined the team...she’s been through it all. So she goes into her meeting with Barnes, ready to fight.

Of course, Barnes is going to record this interview, and things don’t start off on a good foot. She suspects that JJ must’ve called Emily and told her what this meeting was about. Emily instantly shoots that down, making it clear she’s the one who called JJ, and the call was simply to tell her about the case. To nobody’s surprise, Barnes doesn’t believe her.

Barnes then brings up the recent events with Reid, and announces that she’s spent some time digging into the team’s history as a whole. As a result, she’s come to the conclusion that under Emily’s leadership, the team’s loyalty to each other has impacted Bureau policy, the cases they take, and notes they’ve made many, many mistakes over the years. She then unexpectedly brings up the recent case in Roswell, New Mexico, using it as an example of how the team has a tendency to go rogue. She’s particularly concerned about the fact that a man was shot to death while in custody, and Emily corrects her on the facts of that case. It was a suicide, and he wasn’t in custody at the time.

Barnes points out that having all the suspects, the suicidal man included, be formally interrogated at a police station, as is the norm, would’ve been safer for all involved, but Emily reminds her that the group was full of conspiracy theorists who wouldn’t have dared set foot inside a police station due to their mistrust of law enforcement. So they had no choice but to work with them as is. Even then, though, they still managed to solve their case. Despite Emily’s attempts to set the record straight, however, Barnes is convinced this is further proof that the issues start with the leadership within this team.

She continues to hit further, bringing up Stephen’s death and the fact it happened on the job, noting it was the first death in the BAU’s “storied history”. “You’re lucky she’s not suing the Bureau for negligence,” she says after telling Emily she spoke with Monica, and I’m sitting here going, “Oh, don’t EVEN go there.” You will remember that Monica told Emily to her face at the funeral that she doesn’t blame the BAU one bit for Stephen’s death. I’m wondering if Barnes really did speak to Monica, ‘cause if she had, she would’ve known that.

“Don’t let her push you around. You’ve earned that seat.”

If Emily’s rattled by the mention of Stephen, however, she doesn’t show it. Instead, she explains how instrumental he was in helping them find Scratch, and tells Barnes his death was a tragic accident. But Barnes just will not let up. She then goes on to mention that she spoke with one of the lead officers investigating Reid’s activities in Mexico, and claims he told her that Emily had deleted the recording of her interview with Reid during his time down in Mexico, which is not only tampering with evidence, but also an obstruction of justice. Now things are starting to get a bit heady for Emily, and she requests a break to collect herself. She takes her break time to call Rossi and fill him in on her interrogation, and he rallies and encourages her to keep going.

“Everything about your demeanor says, ‘I want to be in charge’.”

His words of support clearly work, too. Once the interview resumes, Emily calls Barnes out on the BS nature of this investigation. After all, she notes, if she really were guilty of obstruction or any other suspicious behavior, Barnes wouldn’t have even bothered with this interrogation at all. She would’ve simply arrested her right then and there. She then profiles the crap out of Barnes, telling her in no uncertain terms that she’s just on a power trip, trying to remake units in her image and make a name for herself.

Naturally, Barnes doesn’t respond well to this, noting Emily’s issues with authority, but Emily throws it right back at her and points out the very thing I mentioned earlier: people have threatened to split the team up before, and it hasn’t worked. Apparently Barnes doesn’t have a valid response to that argument, because she’s the one who suggests a break this time. Later, she resumes the conversation, and this is where it starts getting really weird.

Barnes mentions Rossi and Reid’s recent time off – Rossi recently publishing a new book, Reid doing his teaching – and seems to believe these activities are an indication that they aren’t so dedicated to this job anymore. Never mind the fact that, y’know, Rossi’s doing book tours and hates taking vacations unless he’s forced to, and Reid’s time off was mandated by the higher ups. If it were up to him, he wouldn’t take those thirty days off at all, he’d just keep on working. But okay, sure, they don’t care about the job anymore. Sound reasoning there, lady.

Emily’s just as confused by this argument, and accuses Barnes of trying to use Rossi and Reid as the fall guys to help her investigation somehow. Barnes refers to the two men as “loose cannons”, which really amuses me for some reason, and essentially admits that yes, she does want them sacrificed for the sake of the team. Emily ain’t budging, though. Seriously, I don’t even know why Barnes is bothering anymore at this point.

“I can’t protect you. I’m sorry.”

So basically, it’s been one hell of a day for Emily. And yet, despite her valiant efforts to defend herself and the team, it’s only going to get worse for all involved. Emily sees the team returning to the office after the case wraps up, and from the look on her face, it’s clear this won’t be a happy reunion. She calls everyone together, and informs them that her administrative leave is now an official, indefinite suspension, and she has officially turned in her badge and gun. What’s more, the entire team is under official investigation now, and Barnes will be overseeing everything.

Well, crap.

As interesting as the case was this episode, this was the aspect I was most intrigued by. I liked watching Emily and Barnes spar with each other – it’s always fun to see Emily stand up to people who want to manipulate her or mess with her friends. Her loyalty comes out in full force in those moments, and reminds me of one of the many reasons why she’s so awesome.

And Barnes, as aggravating as she is, is kind of a curious character as well. There’s been a lot of comparisons between her and Strauss, which I can totally see, but I hesitate to write her off as Strauss 2.0. There’s a particular hardness about her that wasn’t quite there with Strauss that intrigues me, and makes me want to learn a little bit more about her as well. Even in Strauss’ toughest moments, it was clear that she was following orders from above as well. I think it’s clear that Barnes doesn’t care if anyone else wants to investigate this team or not, she’ll go full steam ahead alone if she has to.

I was also interested in how the team reacted to this latest threat. The newer ones seemed to have that sense of, “Uh, should we start looking at other job offers?” and the older ones are immediately just, “Nah, you’re good, we’ll deal with her.” about it all. JJ’s probably the most worried of the longer-running team members, but to be fair, given her history of losing her spot on the team combined with the pressure of running it, she’s got good reason to be concerned.

There were a few things about this part of the episode that didn’t quite make sense, though. First off, and I somehow forgot about this fact until somebody pointed this out in a discussion online, Barnes' comment about Stephen Walker being the first member of the BAU to die on the job. Uh, how about that bombing in Boston that killed six agents, anyone? You know, the one that sent Gideon into a nervous breakdown and six months of medical leave, and which left people worried how he’d be in the field upon his return to work way back in the first season? Yeah. Granted, maybe Barnes wasn’t working in the FBI then, but even still, she would’ve learned about that incident at some point, right? It'd be in past files somewhere.

Even if it was true that Walker was the first death in the field, however, honestly, given how dangerous this job can be and has been for these guys over the years, that would be a pretty remarkably low death count. Still tragic, obviously, and certainly a unit chief should do everything possible to keep their agents safe in the field. It’s completely fair and expected to question them on the details when an agent does die in the line of duty. But in numbers terms, that incredibly low death toll is something to potentially consider in the unit’s favor all the same.

Second, Barnes mentioned that the officer down in Mexico told her about Emily deleting her cognitive interview with Reid. Thing is, though, he doesn’t know about that. All Emily told him was that she hadn’t recorded one at all, she never said anything about deleting the interview. And he never looked through her phone at any point, or had any tech person find the deleted file, or anything like that. So how could he know that she deleted it?

In fact, Barnes’ harping on about everything related to Reid’s time in Mexico is weird in general anyway, because that was all his fault. It was a purely personal trip that went horribly wrong. I could perhaps understand Barnes wanting to question his judgment if he lets his personal life get that risky, but if that’s her angle, then that would be an issue she’d need to bring up with Reid himself. The stuff that happened to him in Mexico has nothing to do with Emily, so I don’t know why she’s getting attacked for it.

And then of course, as noted, there’s her erroneous understanding of the Roswell case, and getting mad about Reid taking time off work when it’s something that he was ordered to do. Which has me thinking one thing. The only way all of this strangely placed blame and misinformation would make sense is if this whole investigation is nothing more than a ruse. I know some people are wary about yet another higher up investigating this team, because this is a storyline we’ve seen in some form or another many times before. And that’s a fair criticism.

But if this investigation is merely a smokescreen for whatever Barnes really has up her sleeve, that could put an interesting twist on the idea. Maybe a mole is trying to use all this information about the team against them. Maybe Barnes has some other yet to be revealed agenda that has nothing to do with tearing the team apart, but which could still put them in some kind of danger. Or maybe she ultimately will prove helpful, and simply needs to put on this BS interrogation ruse to get close enough to them to where she can do whatever she needs to do to help. Perhaps she’s a puppet for somebody else.

There’s all sorts of possible ways this storyline could go, and I really hope there does wind up being more to this than a simple, “Higher up threatens to tear the team apart” storyline. Especially considering that a potential season fourteen will kick off with the 300th episode. What better way to build up to that milestone than with a crazy “things aren’t what they seem” storyline that leaves the team, and us viewers, wondering just what on earth will be next.

And of course, it’ll be interesting to see how the team handles whatever happens going forward, too. Will their vow to stick together be tested? Will there be tension? If the team is ultimately split up, how will they handle it? It’d be neat to see a little of what they would do if they weren’t working for the BAU anymore. And how would they ultimately reform? There’s some real potential for something a little different and exciting here, and I hope the show takes that road.

What did you think of this episode? Were you sympathetic to Kevon’s plight? Thoughts on the overall case itself? Too weird or creepy, or just weird and creepy enough? What do you think Barnes’ ultimate goal will be going forward? Do yo think she really will split the team up? Does this investigation seem pretty business as usual to you, or do you think there’s more to it, too? Share your thoughts in the comments!


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