Criminal Minds

Criminal Minds: Season 3

Criminal Minds season 3

Criminal Minds season 3 DVD

I finished Criminal Minds season three the other day.  For most of the season, I would watch an episode and comment: “That wasn’t a very good episode….”   Basically, by the third disc, I had decided that I would give this season merely 2 stars.  After having watched the last disc, however, I was tempted to give the season 3 stars. But no! I shall not change my mind! Even if the last disc was markedly better than the previous ones, it still took great stamina and patience to get through the previous episodes.

The season begins where the previous season left off – in terms of the BAU characters’ situations. Gideon missing, Hotch and Prentiss off of the team.  Does anyone really care? I did not. I watched anyway. Finally in episode 6 “About Face,” we get our “Gideon replacement” in the character of David Rossi.  Rossi is played by Joe Mantegna, who has been in a whole pile of movies and TV shows.  Also, he is the parent of an autistic child.  Anyway, immediately I took a dislike to the character Rossi. He is grating and has a chip on his shoulder.

Penelope is still the most interesting character. In the episodes “Lucky” and “Penelope” she is shot by a new boyfriend. (The boyfriend is also one of the stars from the TV show Saving Grace.)  Then she meets and dates another FBI analyst, Kevin Lynch.  Penelope’s character is developed further (in case you had not already noticed that she is a geek) when she recognizes comic book artists, references California alternate lifestyles, and talks jargon with Lynch.

Emily Prentiss still over-plays all her lines. Derek Morgan still exists solely to kick down doors and tackle bad guys. It has actually become really amusing to call out when Morgan is about to kick a door in.

One of the particularly poor episodes was “Birthright,” which I think was completely unbelievable and really too bizarre.  The last three episodes of the season: “The Crossing,” “Tabula Rasa,” and “Lo Fi” are actually decent episodes and worth watching. Unfortunately, you have to suffer through the previous episodes to get to these. And I cannot ignore all the bad writing that came before just because the last three episodes were up to par.

Unfortunately, the last episode leaves off on a cliffhanger – an explosion, nonetheless. So, of course, now I want to see season 4. It’s not because of any great merit of the series, in general, but rather a curiosity that I have based on a couple of episodes. Again, I am still surprised that this show has so many seasons…. this season really seemed to be downright ridiculous in certain episodes. How long can I care about this team and their weirdo cases? I guess, I wish we got to learn more about the BAU and less about the grisly and extremely wacko killings.

2 stars

Criminal Minds: Season 2

Criminal Minds 2

Criminal Minds DVD season 2

I finished watching Criminal Minds season 2.  It was about the same as season 1.  There were a few decent episodes, there were some really not good episodes.  Overall, it hasn’t gotten better, but at least it has not gotten worse.  Some of the scenarios/cases are over the top in this season. (I say as if any serial killing is not “over the top”…..)  Specifically, episodes “Sex, Birth, Death” and “The Last Word” are examples of really depraved and twisted killers.  In fact, the former is so bizarre and disturbing that I feel its a bit too much to have been aired on network television.

The writers did attempt to develop some of the characters.  We see this with the episode (“Profiler, Profiled”) that takes place in Chicago and provides us with some yucky details of Morgan’s past. This isn’t a great episode, but it does represent the entire season.  Basically, one of the overarching concepts of this season is that those in the BAU are just as much hunters as the killers in the episode “Open Season.”   The last episode drives this point home with a scene involving Agent Hotchner.

There are a variety of cases.  One involves Muslim fanatical terrorism, another bank robberies, another the Russian mob.   However, and this is one of my complaints about the show, practically all the killers/killings are traced back to some depravity involving sex.  It seems like the goal of the BAU is to connect how a killing relates to sex – in some way.  Now, surely, there are some sexually-motivated serial killers. However, watching this season, I feel like underneath all the variables and circumstances, it all starts with deviant sex.  Did Freud write this show? Are the writers channeling him?

I still like Garcia.  Elle is gone in this season.  Overall, I have trouble rating this series. I guess somewhere between 2 and 3 stars for this season.  It wasn’t very good. However, its “easy” to watch in that one episode just rolls into another and another.

2 stars

Criminal Minds: Season 1

Criminal Minds 1

Criminal Minds DVD season 1

People I know kept hounding me to watch Criminal Minds, and I had heard decent reviews of this series. So, I found season 1 “on sale” for less than a million dollars.  I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, although I knew the main premise was hunting for bad guys.

I was disappointed – overall – with season 1. And by the time I was on disc 5, I was absolutely marvelling that this show has run so many seasons. I was convinced that the other seasons must be really awesome to make up for this nonsense. I think there are 6 or 7 seasons.

Anyway, season one’s characters include Gideon (the real boss), Hotchner (the unit boss in name only), Morgan (the token black guy), Garcia (the techie), Elle (the headstrong chick), J.J. (the media relations girl), and Reid (the dorky, socially-inept kid).

Each episode does not deal with a serial killer, but it is the main thing that this FBI BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit) looks for. They are profilers and they tend to view everything first as a possible serial killing, and then next as some other killing.  We are often supposed to be in awe of their deduction skills – as they examine people and then can tell us great accurate details about the person’s personality and lifestyle.  Frankly, this doesn’t seem any more tricky than the stuff of fortune tellers at carnivals.

Also, for any of this to work at all, there is a heavy-handed overarching determinist principle at work here. I suppose that’s SOME of the point of the show – to get us to consider nature/nurture and so forth. I have to say, though, that all of this comes out flat and ineffectively. After disc two I was asking myself: “gee, how much more odd and convoluted can they make serial killers.”  Because after you do the cannibalism, the rapes, and the patterns, what’s left? And, also, every (and I mean EVERY) crime is somehow because of the sex. So, watching this show is like watching a determinist Freud show.

The characters…. ahhh…. for 5 discs, they have ZERO personality. They are flatline, boring people. For example, Morgan does absolutely nothing on any of their cases. Really. Its amusing how little he does. He’s just there to be “the black guy” and say a few lines. The girl who plays Elle (Lola Glaudini) is the best looking of the bunch, but apparently she’s only in seasons 1 & 2. I have no idea what her role in the BAU really is.   Hotchner. Holy crap, Hotchner. I almost quit watching after disc 1 because I just simply couldn’t tolerate the boring monotone any further. I get that he’s supposed to be the rule-abiding suit-wearing boss. But NO ONE is that monotone. NO ONE.

Garcia is the only character that I really like. And, to be honest, I only like her because of her witty quotes. She’s a smart alec and it amuses me.

Some of the script is lame, they say obvious things or tautologies, but I assume this is for the dumb people who watch the show. It is a graphic show, its not the easiest show to eat in front of. Bodies everywhere type thing – much like Bones in that respect.

The last two episodes of the last disc are finally pretty good – and the season ends on a big cliffhanger to-be-continued sort of thing. So that means, I am really stuck watching season 2. Hopefully, though, with the last disc, the show has found its footing and things will improve. Up until that last disc I was glad to be done with this show and didn’t want to see any future seasons.

2 stars