Criminal Minds 2×10: ‘Lessons Learned’

Quick thoughts about episode 10 of season 2 of Criminal Minds, because it was just so good:

1. Chess! Of course, chess is a thing on Criminal Minds, but I like how it was brought back here and how it permeated the whole episode. Obviously, how the interviews/interrogations were, in the end, basically a chess game between Gideon and Jind Allah, how the winner was to be the one that would be able to see further ahead in the opponent’s strategy and anticipate his moves, and how in hindsight, this was all established when Reid complained about the plane’s lurching ending the game because he was winning only to have Prentiss say that Gideon would have won in three moves.

2. Speaking of Emily Prentiss. She starts the episode with no certainty that she’ll really have a place on the unit, and it’s obvious from Gideon’s demeanor that she’ll have to learn that place, along with his respect. Asking her if she plays, at the end, shows that she’s earned both. And she knows it.

3. “You won’t get rid of me that easy”. What I really love about this show is how rich the characters are, how much is revealed in subtle little details… which is appropriate considering the show’s whole premise. JJ and Garcia are both worried after seeing the explosion on tv, but Garcia’s clearly more affected, it cuts deeper, she’s the one that just has to call immediately, and JJ’s demeanor seems to acknowledge it.

Not only is Garcia  the one to make the call, of course it’s Morgan she calls. There’s something so natural about the fact, it doesn’t have to explained, really. And it’s not that she’s not worried about Hodge or the rest the rest of the agents with them, it’s that there’s something more between the two of them, something Morgan acknowledges in the way he reassures her: she won’t get rid of him. It’s such a great, intimate little moment.

4. Duty versus heart. Speaking of character moments, I love how when the straight-laced Hotch is agonizing over calling his wife because it would be a breach of security, Morgan just says “You’ll lose Hailey and Jack, screw this job” and that does. Just says so much about who both of these guys are.

Criminal Minds, season 1

Apparently after years of following mostly heavily serialized dramas and tokusatsu, I’m now all about crime procedural dramas… and House sort of counts, since House is Sherlock Holmes and all that. Anyway. I had not really watched Criminal Minds, started to, in part because a friend loves it, in part because it’s after Survivor, now that Survivor is back on Wednesdays. And as I tend to do when I like a show that’s already been running several seasons, I’ve gone back to watch older episodes, and I just finished season 1.

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