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Wilowy

S10.E02: Burn

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*sighs* This just looks like the most ridiculous crap I have ever seen, particularly on this show. Penelope is indulging in a new nadir for navel gazing narcissism here. Why the hell does SHE feel responsible for this guy being on death row? What he did to her and Reid wasn't even a death penalty offense. He is not on death row for that, but apparently for all the OTHER murders that he so conveniently confessed to (and WHY would a hardened criminal plead guilty to so many murders if not to get something out of it for themselves?) Why is she trying so hard to save this guy's life if HE plead guilty to multiple murders? It certainly doesn't sound like he wants her help, and certainly isn't inviting her to Texas. She is making this all about HER, and I can't figure out why, because based on what we have seen, this guy's actions isn't about her. And so far, I have seen no concern for Reid at all, frankly on anyone's part.

 

To me, this seems to be a wrongheaded approach and a missed opportunity to enrich the main characters. I have said it time and again, but this would have been a perfect setup for a Penelope/Reid heart to heart, and based on all we have seen so far, I don't think that will be happening. Her actions and her emotions don't seem to be grounded in any sort of reality. I can see Penelope legitimately feeling ambivalent about shooting a guy, but this seems to be taking her sensitive, special snowflakeness to ridiculous extremes.

 

That being said, it is still completely unrealistic the way it is written. In what world does a hardened criminal plead guilty to GET the death penalty, and then waive all appeals? Is he supposed to have some sort of death wish? And even if that was the case, there is no way he would be about to be executed so shortly after he plead guilty (it's probably been a couple months since he attacked Reid). Death penalty cases take YEARS, not a mere couple of months, even in execution-happy Texas.

Just what sort of story/point is Janine trying to make with this storyline? Morgan is completely on point with what he said to Penelope. 

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Oh, it isn't that implausible. So they speed the timeline up a little, big deal. Penelope is against the death penalty for this guy and feels guilty that she helped exacerbate it. It isn't all that hard to understand. What mystifies me is that folks think that a tv show has to adhere to the letter of the law. And not just partially, but exactly!

 

Seriously. My take on it is that this is our show's way of moving forward, quickly, while still acknowledging what took place. They caught shit last year because they didn't show JJ having enough emotion about what happened. Now they show a character having emotion about what happened, and they get shit for that. Oh wait, it isn't the right character. Oh, okay. 

 

How easy it is to judge when it isn't our job to actually, you know... make the show. Which none of us could actually ever do.

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My point is that the only reason this guy got the death penalty is because he apparently committed multiple murders, confessed to them all, waived his right to trial and waived all appeals. The fact that this guy is about to die is because he brought it on himself and has NOTHING to do with Penelope, particularly since attempted murder is not even what would have gotten him the death penalty. She never even testified against him at trial, because there wasn't any trial. He could just as easily have ridden the system out, dragged out the trial and all his possible appeals for 10+ years. But strangely (and I hope the show really goes into WHY), this hardened criminal ups and confesses to murder, many murders, all without the seeming desire to get anything for himself, like avoidance of the death penalty. Confessing to GET the death penalty? Yeah right.

Why I can understand Penelope having ambivalence about shooting someone, her actions here don't ring true. She didn't show this amount of guilt when her own attacker was shot in the head, and if you want to draw the same conclusion, that guy died essentially because of her, like she seems to act like in this case.

 

Like I said before, I wonder just what Janine is trying to get at with this story. There are ways to tackle Penelope's feelings about shooting a guy, but this seems like an odd way to do it. It's not so much that she has any sort of emotion about this, but what little we have seen so far seems to indicate that Penelope is making this all about her, like she is solely, or even the main reason this guy is about to be executed. That seems like a wasted opportunity on what could have been very rich character development for the main characters. But I will see if there is any more from the rest of the episode that can shine a light on that particular aspect. 

Edited by ForeverAlone
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I totally agree with all you said, FA. Even if we could excuse the implausibility of the excelerrated timeline, and the not-gonna-happen-ever twist of him pleading guilty to murders he wasn't even charged with, it's the idea that Garcia would think that she could manipulate her karma to be what she wants it to be. Does she even understand what karma is? Maybe Janine is the one who has no clue...

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Well here's a thought. What if it's one of these agenda type episode. Is Janine herself against the death penalty and is she using this episode to express her views, in hopes that she may be able to persuade some people to her point of view.Of course this is all just speculation on my part.

Edited by missmycat
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Well here's a thought. What if it's one of these agenda type episode. Is Janine herself against the death penalty and is she using this episode to express her views, in hopes that she may be able to persuade some people to her point of view.Of course this is all just speculation on my part.

 

Two points -- one, if that were/is the case the viewers might hope the showrunners/writers could fit it in more naturally without contorting the narrative so egregiously to suit their agenda.

 

Second, although I haven't actually counted, I would place good money on the fact that the majority of unsubs are executed by the BAU without the benefit of any due process (just last week they killed someone on the scene).  So for any writer on this show to take umbrage to the actual legal process of the death penalty is kind of absurd.

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Take umbrage to? I think you mean take 'liberties with'? I don't see any of the writers getting offended by the legal process. And they do attempt to explain the rapidity of the guy's situation.

 

What I do take umbrage to is your analogy of the BAU as executioners. They kill UnSubs regularly yes, when they themselves or someone else is being attacked, or such attack is imminent. The use of deadly force is standard and expected in their line of work when warranted, especially when other lives are at stake. The only person who actually executed someone was Elle. 

 

ETA* Oh, I see what you mean - Janine taking umbrage with the actual death penalty itself, not the due process. I see...

Edited by Willowy
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I really hope we get an actual case and not a lot of time focusing on Garcia and this guy in Texas. Somehow I think the case is going to be the B subplot and it will get glossed over. I'm also expecting very unrealistic behavior from people.

 

I'll take a wait-and-see approach, but I'm cringing over what we did see so far.

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Well here's a thought. What if it's one of these agenda type episode. Is Janine herself against the death penalty and is she using this episode to express her views, in hopes that she may be able to persuade some people to her point of view.Of course this is all just speculation on my part.

Politics sneaks into this show not infrequently so I wouldn't be surprised.

I agree with those who would much rather see Penelope dealing with having shot someone instead of focusing on the death penalty which she has nothing to do with because as pointed out you can't get it for attempted murder. I would love to hear what all the families of the people who were actually murdered think of this nonsense.

Also I'm not sure you can even wave a trial in a death penalty capital murder case so this whole think makes no sense. It seems like they would have a trial regardless.

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Actually, I believe the law is such that, not only must a death penalty case go to trial (because a death penalty can only be imposed by a jury), but a death-penalty case defendant who is found guilty must accept an appeal process.  Both the trial process, and the appeal process are extremely lengthy, so it is, literally, years before the sentence can be imposed.

 

If you think about it, it makes sense.  Otherwise, someone could essentially commit suicide at the hands of the state by 'confessing' to a capital crime. 

 

So, unless the whole thing about the death penalty is a dream, how about this:  He committed the crimes a decade ago, went to trial, lost his appeal and then escaped from death row to hook up with the crooked sheriff and try to kill Reid with an antibiotic and then a gun.  Penelope winged him, so he's recaptured and now can go hurriedly to the chamber.  "Makes perfect sense to me," she said, with a wink and a nod. 

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Sweet! I like your scenario, but what about everything Morgan says to Garcia? I don't think he's lying to her... and ugh - I might officially be tired of talking about this. ;)

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Janine is my least favorite of the CM writers, and I'm being kind here. She gets an idea and rather than researching it to see if it's plausible, she just forces it on everyone trying to make it fit CM. She doesn't understand the characters, and my take is that she just doesn't care. She is in love with her own ideas and writing and just expects the viewers to feel the same. I'm not keen on this story, either. And to the person who said Garcia is making this guy's death sentence about her, that's pretty much the way she has been written for several seasons now. Everything is about her. She was once my favorite of the CM female characters. Now I find her annoying.

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http://www.jaapl.org/content/27/3/471.full.pdf

 

^ According to this, a death penalty inmate can waive their rights to appeals. It is simply subject to a psychiactric review and while that process takes time, I'm perfectly okay with the show glossing over the process- they've done it before ("The Edge of Winter", "25 To Life", "Damaged")- and, as Willowy said, the constraints of a TV show necessitate that things get sped up. We don't want to wait years for the resolution, and, in some cases, the only reason why the storyline is being used now is logistics- considering all the things a show plans to do with its writing, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the only episode where they could "fit" the storyline in was in this one. I don't personally see anything wrong with the sped up process here.

 

Furthermore, how many UnSubs have wished for death and set things up so the team would kill them? I don't see this scenario as anything different, except that the felon wants the state to kill him and not the BAU.

 

As far as Garcia's feelings over what happened- yeah, she's making it "all about herself", but consider this: she's actually being called out for it (based on that little snippet with Morgan). Garcia- rightly- is in shock that she actually had to shoot someone, and seems to have no motivation about going on the trip except to be "the white knight" and save the guy from death, and Morgan (also rightly) believes she's got no reason to step in for a man who killed other people and kept on doing it in trying to kill her and Reid, thus having no remorse over his actions. I'm also assuming the "washing his feet" line implies that Morgan believes the felon is "playing" Garcia, and since Garcia is easily manipulated ("The Black Queen"), I can understand that Morgan is skittosh about Garcia going on the trip, since there's nothing she can realistically gain from the ordeal.

 

The only eye-rolling part I have about this is the politics, because the show doesn't seem to handle it well ("Broken" being a prime example of that). I'm personally with Garcia that there's never a justification for the death penalty, but I believe there are better cases to handle an argument like that than the case they have here. Since I doubt they're going to make the felon at all sympathetic (he very nearly killed two people on the team), the only angle I can see is that Janine Sherman Barrois is using this to tell us, "see guys, sometimes people just can't be saved and that's why we need to kill them!" and I think that's a very dangerous message. It's couching a very sensitive matter in purely emotional terms when the debate needs to be logical. It does a disservice to those who have a much better case for not being on death row (such as someone who's showing remorse or was wrongly concluded to have acted in a premeditated fashion) if their fights are trivialized, since (it appears) Barrois is saying a victim's right to closure trumps the accused's rights to a fair trial. I might agree there are quite a few people who are irredeemable (Karla Homolka, Dennis Rader, Charles Manson, etc.), but given that cases are so rarely cut and dry, that's hardly a reason for keeping the death penalty.

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I really hope we get an actual case and not a lot of time focusing on Garcia and this guy in Texas. Somehow I think the case is going to be the B subplot and it will get glossed over. I'm also expecting very unrealistic behavior from people.

 

I'll take a wait-and-see approach, but I'm cringing over what we did see so far.

More than cringe, I wanted to bitch-slap Garcia for sounding so stupid (not that she's against the death penalty, but her whole crappy dialogue). I agree with Morgan....go write him a letter (she did) The end. Can we move along to the unsub now? kthanxbai!

Edited by diorella78
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Janine is really hard to peg for me. Sometimes I can't believe the shit she cranks out, like oh my god that ridiculous The Inspiration or the torture-porny Proof... and then she'll bust her ass to do an excellent offering like The Edge of Winter (where she did double scripts!) or a solid one with a sympathetic UnSub and a great Reid scene like With Friends Like These , or one that fares better on rewatch like The Pact. 

 

She's just all over the place and I'm hoping tonight's episode caught her on a good week.

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Minor point: I wonder if the line about “washing his feet” is a reference to Jesus, as if Morgan is implying that Garcia is trying to be the felon's Saviour. One of Jesus' many acts in the Gospels was to wash the feet of His Disciples (contrary to practice at the time), so I wonder if Morgan was referencing that.

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Daniel, Preacher's kid here. The washing of the feet is a symbol of humility. Jesus washed his disciples' feet to show he was not going to be some overlord, he was like they were. The transliteration into Janine's script? I have no idea what she is intending, but it doesn't sound convincing. I love the way Morgan says the line, but i think he means that Garcia is deifying the guy, or forgiving him, I don't know. 

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Hmm, so James Colby Baylor was the UnSub in "Penelope", and Greg Baylor is the guy who tried to kill her and Spencer?

 

...

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Wow, so I did really like this one, and I was completely caught up in the story... I love how everyone was all mixed up with each other at different times, I loved that Morgan and Reid got their moments, I loved the LDSK mention, and the insight into what Spencer did after shooting him. And I really liked that Morgan showed up for her, despite his reservations, in the end.  

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Everything about Penelope's story was dumb except the murderer telling her she was there for herself.

This show likes to try to make you feel sorry for the killers but his motivation made no sense and we didn't spend enough time on him to know why he would wave his rights to a trial (which is not a thing that can happen with the death penalty so whatever) and then be all sad that nobody came to see him.

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The actual team angle was interesting, though a bit sloppily written. Now granted I personally love the idea of Dante’s Inferno as the basis for a serial killer, but I would want something a bit grander than what we saw. You know, someone as fancy and complicated as The Fisher King. If you are going to bring in the one of the most florid and evocative pieces of literature to inspire your killer, I wish that the story and killer was an equal match for Inferno, and he wasn’t worthy in my crime thriller watching eyes. You would think the unsub would target individuals who actually committed the crime that matched the circles of hell, but instead is attacking surrogates for his father would made him recite and remember.  Does this unsub just follow people around looking for mean fathers, or does he just stumble upon them and decides to kill? He was a strange blend of organization and delusion.

 

Now on to Penelope’s story. I have already written at length about my feelings for this storyline based on what little we saw in advance, and nothing about this episode changed my opinion in the slightest. Her guilt wasn't even really explored, or WHY she felt guilty. And why is Penelope feeling guilty in the first place? I mean, she didn't kill anyone, and she isn't the reason he is on death row. He apparently plead guilty to many OTHER murders (that had nothing to do with the BAU or Penelope in the slightest) and forfeited all appeals. So how the hell is Penelope feeling in any way responsible? I honestly don’t get it. He is not on death row for his attack on Reid. He is on death row for the myriad of other killings. And how exactly was he tied to all these other murders? Did he just confess out of the blue, or were the cops able to tie him to other murders and he just confessed? But again, WHY confess, and for the death penalty no less when he was obviously a very skilled criminal?

 

At least Greg accurately deduced what Penelope was all about, that she was there for herself. And again, I call so much BS on him being executed so quickly.  That is completely and utterly unrealistic for how death penalty cases work, even if a prisoner waives all appeals. It takes years to be executed, and not just mere months. But seriously, Greg now is scared to die and he wants Penelope to be there with him? This is just ridiculous. There was no explanation why this guy just basically threw away 10 years of his life if he is scared to die. He didn't have to plead guilty and waive his appeals. He could have rode that system out until the bitter end. No real explanation for why a hardened criminal would up and confess to multiple murders?  How did the cops get from arresting him for attempted murder on a federal agent to locking him for all these other murders? Again, none of which has anything to do with Penelope.

 

This storyline just feels more like emotional manipulation (particularly because of the unrealistic compressed execution timeline) and trying to force some sort of (unearned) sympathy from the audience, and really just highlights Penelope’s narcissism. She just kept saying “I” over again, even though she wasn’t the reason Greg Baylor was being executed. But she wanted to nail herself to the cross like it is within her power to stop this or it was her fault that he was there, even though he did this to himself, and apparently wanted this for some weird reason. She shot this guy to protect Reid, and nobody seems to be concerned for him. Hell, she doesn't even seem to be concerned for him, because she is so wrapped up in her own self-involved, manufactured guilt.  I personally felt the writers went with the cheap and easy route of having Greg be executed rather than having her truly deal with her feelings with her friends, particularly with Reid. Is the audience supposed to feel sympathy for Greg, because his execution seemed to be more of a focus?  Hopefully though this ends this chapter, because it just felt too much and over the top.

 

Some other notes:

 

Even though it was just a short sequence, it showed how weird it is for the technical analyst to be presenting the case, and why this team really needs a media liaison who is an actual law enforcement agency. Granted I like Kevin, and thought he was very effective in this episode, and it was refreshing to see a technical analyst do their job without cheesy, cringe inducing jokes. It’s just more of a structural issue with how this team is comprised for the show now. But again, I want to emphasize that I actually preferred Kevin as the technical analyst compared to what the writers have done to Penelope these days. And that is a concern on the creative choices the writers are making.

 

Ew...that joke of Rossi about Morgan and Penelope was just tasteless in any sort of professional workplace, and seemed like a blatant fan service to Morgan/Penelope shippers who will squeal with joy at the prospect of a beautiful mocha baby.

 

Again with an early showing of the unsub. But this is a Janine episode, so that usually means early unsub and often unsub. Oh and gross violence, bordering on torture porn. Yuck. That just seems beyond the pale what she wrote, and frankly unnecessary. But most violence in Janine’s episodes is over the top .

 

You know you might want to rethink your wardrobe choices (at least in certain situations)  if strangers think you are some criminal’s lover.

 

Interesting. Reid called Penelope by her first name. Granted, I think their continued use of last names when they are supposed to friends is decidedly odd, but I don't think we have heard Reid call her Penelope before. Maybe they have grown closer since surviving their mutual attack? But if that was the case, why wouldn't Penelope be confiding in Reid, since he is obviously concerned for her emotional state? Nice callback to Reid killing Phillip Dowd though. It was that similarity with Penelope that I noted when I first heard about the whole PTSD angle for Penelope. I was hoping it would set up a nice moment between the two of them, where Penelope opens up to Reid and he could have talked her through how he dealt with shooting someone. But again, Reid actually killed Dowd, and Penelope just wounded Greg Baylor. However, I personally think Reid’s characterization that she is incapable of doing her job unless she watches kitten (or was it panda) videos to be somewhat infantilizing and insulting, but I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised because the writers have been infantilizing Reid and Penelope for years, whereas before they were both professional, if a bit quirky.  She has been at this job for 10 years, so the idea that she hasn't developed any mental toughness from looking at crime scene photos for 10 years is a bit unrealistic. I just have a problem with the show treating Penelope like a super fragile special snowflake. She apparently wants to work in the BAU, and working in the BAU means encountering evidence of some of humanity’s depravity. I’m sure she could work in some sort of safer area of the FBI, like cybercrime or financial crime if this job is too much for her.

 

Very convenient for the team that only one person fits their profile (Nathan, who wasn't even the actual killer or connected in any way). I would love to see what the team would do if the unsub wasn't the type who shared his plans online. But then that would break the formula for the show.

 

Damn, Nathan is rather delusional.  Why do they assume that Nathan has some sort of connection to the killer? Just because he’s into Dante and has dreams of killing people? That was a bit of stretch from Nathan to the actual unsub. I mean, Nathan didn't do any of the actual killings, nor does he seem to know about the killings. So it was a bit of a stretch to assume the English teacher was the actual killer. These delusions are a bit over the top, but hey, it is a Janine episode.

 

Finally! The team arrests an unsub and doesn't kill him on the spot.

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Three positive things - Reid was in the episode for more than five minutes, Truth Telling!Morgan was awesome, and Kate's hair was less raggedy-ass.

 

In other news, is this Janine's usual offering as a writer? I don't usually pay attention to who writes what, so is she always this all over the place? Because the case seemed to not make much sense, and the less said about Garcia going to Texas the better. Well, okay, maybe one thing. I don't think the death penalty is effective as a large-scale deterrent, but if it deters one guy permanently then it isn't entirely useless. So if this was an attempt to get me to sympathize with Baylor, it failed, if only because he was fully intending to kill both Spencer and probably Penelope, so to see her beating herself up over this was not entertaining to me. You know when Derek cuts out the "baby girl" and tells her she's out of her mind, it might be time for her to re-think what she's doing.

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Yes, this is a good example of Janine's writing. Her psychological reasoning for the crimes always seems a bit lacking. Plus she puts WAY too much obvious violence in her stories. Some of it borders on torture porn and is just over the top and unnecessary in my opinion. I like a few of Janine's episodes, but yeah, I consider her one of the weaker writers currently on staff (though not the weakest). 

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I can't stand Janine's writing. The only good things in this episode for me were:

1. Reid got some decent screen time

2. Callahan wasn't shoved down our throats this week (sick of the constant hype of her on FB, even though I did like her last week)

3. Kevin

 

There was very little Hotch or Rossi. Maybe TG was prepping for the episode he directed, but what about JM? I think that Janine thinks she's brilliant, but often her episodes are very far-fetched as far as I'm concerned. I just didn't buy it. I did like that the death row guy called Garcia on being there for herself and not for him, but the whole execution thing was just over the top schmaltz and manipulation. I'm just glad that we got the JSB ep out of the way for now. Does anybody know how many episodes she is writing this season?

 

I also call BS on Garcia being this delicate flower that can't look at crime scene photos. She looked at much worse without over reacting in season one, including the torture tapes in Natural Born Killer. What the writers have done to these characters is a travesty.

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Three positive things - Reid was in the episode for more than five minutes, Truth Telling!Morgan was awesome, and Kate's hair was less raggedy-ass.

 

In other news, is this Janine's usual offering as a writer? I don't usually pay attention to who writes what, so is she always this all over the place? Because the case seemed to not make much sense, and the less said about Garcia going to Texas the better. Well, okay, maybe one thing. I don't think the death penalty is effective as a large-scale deterrent, but if it deters one guy permanently then it isn't entirely useless. So if this was an attempt to get me to sympathize with Baylor, it failed, if only because he was fully intending to kill both Spencer and probably Penelope, so to see her beating herself up over this was not entertaining to me. You know when Derek cuts out the "baby girl" and tells her she's out of her mind, it might be time for her to re-think what she's doing.

 

Yes but then the REID and the Morgan and the talking and the LDSK that absolutely cannot just fall away... we need to encourage this with the writers so they KEEP DOING IT! Honoring the previous years educates them into what we keyed into, and what we loved about Pre-6! 

 

I think Janine gave us an engaging, interesting episode. I fucking LOVED that Morgan was there at the end, are you kidding me? That was gorgeous! And I don't care that Pen may have been making that trip for selfish reasons. We all do things selfishly sometimes, they don't always have to be perfect.

 

Loved Aaron being the 'glue' in this ep... he just was, he helped keep everything cohesive and on-point (and omg he kicked in a door!), and he was gorgeous. Kate fit right in, and I really like her with Rossi. I happened to like his remark about their 'love child', and Derek's calm "I heard that" as he came in, hand on Rossi's shoulder. Actual co-workers make remarks like this all the time to one another, and please, they've all been through the fire together. It was okay, and it was meant as nothing more than a warm jab and an affectionate acknowledgment of their closeness. 

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So I just finished watching this after my despair at Arrow tonight.

 

Not quite sure what to make of Garcia's SL tonight, skipped through most of it but appreciated the 1v1 with the prisoner and Morgan showing up at the end. I also actually enjoyed the case tonight although they keep spoiling who the killer is way too early!

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I loved that actor though, wasn't he amazing and weird with the goggles and the black underwear? And the gasoline trail to kill the guy in the box... I know it's been done a billion times but it was really effective here.

 

Was this the first Asian UnSub they've ever had? I can't remember at the moment.

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First off, Kirsten Vangsness really killed it tonight (no pun intended). I don't care if the storyline was manipulated so that she'd have the opportunity for some real time emoting, but I have to say, this is the best I've seen Vangsness in the series. It was remarkable, and it's a pity we don't see the "human" Garcia more often. I also thought Potsch Boyd- who played the felon, Greg Baylor- was pretty good too, and I'm glad Barrois stayed away from any politicking, since it would have turned out badly. That storyline I thought was well laid out, with no one character- Garcia, Morgan or Baylor- receiving undue attention or weight. I do think it's a bit early to dismiss Garcia's PTSD, though it's TVLand so I'll let that slide.

 

I loved the callback to "LDSK"- one of my all time favourites- but I think Janine Sherman Barrois messed up on the details. Reid mentioned "all the people that (Phillip Dowd) killed", as if he killed lots of people but Dowd only killed two, and neither were intentional. I also don't seem to recall Reid going through a lot of personal trauma after the incident, aside from having nightmares in "The Popular Kids" (four episodes later), and I don't recall those nightmares being specifically about Dowd (though I don't think Reid gave a reason for the nightmares back then either, so they could be an aftereffect of shooting Dowd anyway). At least she tried, though, so I'll give her credit for that.

 

The actual case though...I thought it was pretty weak, though I don't believe it was entirely Barrois' fault. We got to see the UnSub early for no particular reason (that looked to be a directorial choice by Karen Gaviola), and when the second victim was struck by the hammer, his head snapped backward against the direction of the blow (again, that's on Gaviola). I also thought the UnSub was quite one dimensional, although I appreciated the fact that all of his victims were male (that had to have been done to counter claims CM is "misogynistic") even if I'm not entirely convinced Justin Leu could have subdued all of those victims (he did look kind of small, though he had muscles). Kind of also thought there were pacing problems, and, though I liked the final victim was saved, I did wonder why Leu didn't just shoot him and finished burying him afterward?

 

Other minor things- thought Rossi's joke about Morgan and Garcia was funny, and I also liked how Reid got to use his intellect tonight. Not much JJ or Callahan tonight, especially the latter which I found odd, but at least it's a sign that Jennifer Love Hewitt is interested in the "team" game. I also liked seeing the badass Morgan of old by tackling Leu's accomplice, even if the chase was a bit short, and I thought he was the one who kicked down his door, but I seem to have that detail wrong. No matter- for once, Morgan actually caught up to someone instead of seeing the guy run away from him, which seemed to happen too often.

 

Overall, I was actually pretty entertained...seems like Season 10 looks like it's going to be a good one. :)

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Kind of also thought there were pacing problems, and, though I liked the final victim was saved, I did wonder why Leu didn't just shoot him and finished burying him afterward?

 

 

I assume that's because he was going to kill him in the manner of some punishment based on The Inferno (level 8, ring for the flatterers, buried in excrement?), since they said he'd skipped the 7th, which I think they stated was suicide (which didn't make any sense to me-- each level has several rings, so it's not like "suicide" was the only option, besides the fact that in that ring of the 7th level, it's suicides who are being punished for their violence against themselves, not suicide as a punishment).   I might be trying too hard to understand something that's just garbled beyond understanding, since all of this seemed very confused to me, and not just because I have no idea why this English teacher would decide to kill random mean dad figures in some simplified version of The Inferno, complete with totally unexplored student with bomb equipment.  

 

I probably would have liked it a lot better if we hadn't seen the unsub so early and so much, and if it was either just killing mean dads, or just killing people based on The Inferno for some other reason.

 

The less said about Penelope dramatically swanning around Texas, the better.

Edited by iscoffy
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A little off-topic info before I talk about the episode: Last season for whatever reason, I would get interrupted while trying to watch a new episode almost every single time a new episode was on. I would get a phone call or have to rush to help a friend take his dying pet to the emergency vet or the satellite signal went out or my brother would come in and start blabbing at me refuse to STFU and leave.

During the hiatus, I pretty much had no disruptions on Wednesdays during CM time. Last week when the premiere aired, my mother called in the middle of it-- and she hasn't done that since new episodes were airing last season (she actually did that a LOT-- almost every single fucking time I was watching a new episode).

So, tonight I was trying to watch and my uncle called to talk to me. Haven't heard from him in months so that lasted about 25 minutes (he called specifically for me to wish me happy birthday bc my birthday was the day before and he'd missed calling me that day). So, I only saw the beginning and end of the episode.

 

I will say that while I'm glad that the LDSK shooter was mentioned, I would think that Reid would have referred to him by his name. Also, IIRC, didn't he only kill 2 people (and one of them accidentally)? Or am I misremembering? I highly suspect that Janine didn't actually check to find out how many victims he had and just assumed he murdered a bunch of people.

 

While it was a nice moment, I really wish that Reid had been having a similar conversation with Garcia instead. He knows somewhat how she feels and he could relate and talk to her. Plus she saved his life and he was clearly worried about her so you'd think he would want to comfort her. When he saw that Morgan was dodging her calls, I wish they'd had him call her (although they were busy with a case so maybe he felt it wasn't the right time). He could've had some downtime to call her and just let her know she had someone who cared.

 

So I saw the beginning and Morgan's conversation. I saw a guy getting burned to death. I saw the unsub being captured. And I saw Garcia's drama at the end.

 

On one hand, I felt she was being WAY too whiny and clingy with Morgan. Bombarding him with phonecalls and saying she needs him and ugh... Really? I really don't understand the whole basis of their friendship because he pretty much blew her off and said he did not have her back-- which was a slightly douchey thing to do. Yes, he didn't understand her and thought she was unreasonable, but a good friend would have said "Look, I think you're wrong on this, but I'm your friend and I'm still here for you to offer comfort" or something to indicate that he actually cared about her. And for someone who is an obsessional crimes expert, you'd think he would understand psychology and get a bit of an insight into her obsession. Reid had more of an understanding, but apparently he's not allowed to interact with her because he's the Rodney Dangerfield of CM-- he gets no respect (I totally stole that from MMC). So, on one hand I was annoyed by that, but on the other I get that she's got PTSD and isn't quite in her right mind about it. I know that Morgan is only human, but that sort of thing falls into his realm of supposed expertise. I think in some ways I was actually more annoyed by Morgan's avoidance and dismissal of her. If he'd just said "Look, I'm trying to concentrate on a case, lets talk about this later" it would have been different. But when it comes to being there for others when they are upset, Morgan does tend to blow them off and be like "its not MY problem, deal with it yourself." So it might be in character for him. He's not quite like that with Reid at least. But then Reid isn't clingy, whiney, and needy.

 

I can't comment on the stuff I missed-- like an explanation of why the guy on death row didn't appeal or whatever, but I did see the execution at the end and it felt to me like an attempt at emotional manipulation. Yes, I get that a real person about to be executed would probably be frightened and all, but they spent far too much time focusing on that and showing him all afraid and his last moments and such. I'm not exactly sure what that was supposed to accomplish. And then Garcia all crying and being upset-- I understand that, but it still dragged on too long, IMO.

 

I was really hoping that Reid was going to call her or be there at the end to talk to her, but no, as predicted, it was Morgan. *sigh* You'd think she would be angry at him for dodging her calls and such. I wanted to see her say "What the hell? Now you show up? I should beat you with my handbag!" but then have him actually say something to her and then give her the hug. I dunno. I just felt the ending was somewhat off.

 

As for the actual unsub, with his goggles he reminded me of the cover of a DC comic book, I think either a Nightwing or Robin or Batman one. I can't remember who the villain was at the moment. I really felt like Janine was trying to create a comic book villain with his look. I also felt that the actor undersold the emotions when he was captured. I just wasn't fully buying it. 

 

From what little I saw, there was too much unsub, too much torture porn, and too much non-case stuff that didn't really do anything but make me roll my eyes and check the time to see how much longer the episode would be on.

 

I'm hoping that when I get the chance to watch the full episode that I will like it. Other than a few minor nuisances at the beginning, I was actually enjoying it before the phone call interrupted.

 

Also, what did Hotch say to Garcia? When the episode first started I was trying to stop one of my cats from destroying something (little bitch broke my hanging moon and sun decoration from Indonesia).

Because we know how cats can be..

tumblr_ml8d7xlsT21qiip6uo1_400.gif

 

(I'm going to claim that relates to the episode because Garcia likes to look at cute kitty videos and stuff)

Edited by zannej
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Forever Alone, please tell me that you will put your post up where it can be seen, like on the Round Table? Everything you pointed out was spot on,in my opinion. And what you found good about this episode was spot-on, too.

 

They really shouldn't have put Kevin in Garcia's place. I don't want him to leave. Maybe Penelope is too broken to come back…. (please?)

 

I was pleased that Reid and Morgan had a moment, and Reid explained about Phillip Dowd.

 

Kate took her place on the team.

 

There. Three nice things about the episode, which coincide with SSAHotchner's likes. 

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On another shallow note, did anyone think Garcia looked a little gaunt last night? I know KV lost like thirty pounds or something, did she have the lapband operation or was it through dieting? I was actually kind of worried about her.

 

And I agree with zaneej about Morgan's 'tude, but I'm torn about it because I think she was being really unreasonable. I know she's got her thing about karma and aligning her chakras and all, so maybe he could have been a tad more supportive, but in his shoes I can't imagine holding her hand through that. They should definitely have let Reid interact with her, since he was actually there when she shot the guy and might have been a little more empathetic without coddling her.

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Yeah, the conversation between Reid and Morgan was very close to what I wish was said between Reid and Penelope. I think it was a missed opportunity for some rich character development for those two.

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This is how I watch CM:  I try desperately to stay awake until 9 (to make sure the DVR starts recording), fall asleep by the end of the opening credits, and wake up just before or after the show ends. Then I play through it to watch the Reid scenes.  If there aren't enough of them, I may not watch the full episode through for a long, long time.  So, on the 'Reid-rating-scale', there was adequate reason for me to watch this one, even though it was a Garcia-centric episode.

 

Thoughts:  Pretty much everything Forever Alone said.....and:

 

I loved that we got several interactions between Reid and Morgan. As we know, there have been far too few of them over the past couple of years.  And I liked the reference back to LDSK regarding the trauma of shooting someone (although Reid actually killed his target, and Garcia only wounded hers).

 

The whole Garcia storyline was such a mess and a missed opportunity.  I couldn't relate to the basis of it, because they pretty much got everything wrong about death penalty cases, how they work and their timelines.  It wouldn't be so off-putting if this wasn't a show that so proudly purports to be based in reality.  I agree that it highlighted Garcia's narcissism and immaturity.  There's sort of a borderline personality on display here.  I wasn't at all emotionally involved with it.  Just annoyed.  Which sort of obviated any enjoyment I would have gotten from the Morgan/Garcia embrace at the end.

 

What I WOULD have liked to see was her having some degree of PTSD over the shooting, leading to nightmares, and maybe a change in behavior or fall off in performance.  That could have led to individual conversations with each of the others about it, with their own responses relative to their own experiences.  Or even some of the others discussing it with each other.  It would have provided much needed team interaction, could have been used for exposition (maybe with something from Kate's history) and provided emotional depth to the characters, would have been much more realistic, and could have easily fit into the amount of time they gave the Garcia sub-plot. 

 

It was, of course, ridiculous to have Kevin present the case unless tech analysts are now doing it all over the FBI. It would have made much more sense for JJ to do it, and been a nice throwback to her liaison days.  On a side note----since organizing the case for presentation requires a certain amount of psych/profiling skill, it would make for an interesting plot line if Garcia totally messed it up at some point.  Do we actually know who screens cases now?  Has it become a full-team responsibility?

 

I actually laughed when Reid looked at the victim's palate and decided, from three parallel slash marks, that it must be a Roman numeral.  I could see if it was 'IV' or even 'V' (as long as it took him some time to deduce), but going from 3 parallel lines to immediately declaring it a number-----no.  Not even Reid.

 

I agree with FA that the 'Dante's Inferno' theme could have made a much grander episode, and a creepier one as well.  But I was happy to see a fairly cohesive theory about what was happening, and a decent amount of profiling, even if they did make some huge leaps with it.

 

So, overall, not an episode I will be inclined to watch again.  But I am looking forward to next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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JMO, well put, everything you said. Especially this:

 

It wouldn't be so off-putting if this wasn't a show that so proudly purports to be based in reality.  I agree that it highlighted Garcia's narcissism and immaturity.  There's sort of a borderline personality on display here.  I wasn't at all emotionally involved with it.  Just annoyed.  Which sort of obviated any enjoyment I would have gotten from the Morgan/Garcia embrace at the end.

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complete with totally unexplored student with bomb equipment.

 

Did they ever explain why the student was confessing to the crimes?  Was he just obsessed/besotted with the teacher?  At a minimum, he should have been committed for a psych evaluation.  That would have been much more interesting than Garcia's angst.

 

Her guilt was ridiculous.  It was like she was apologizing for wounding him, so he got caught, and then sentenced to death.  That without her, he'd be out there free as a bird.   No thought at all for past or future victims.   Part of me wished that the other observers would have noticed the "thank you" and started pointed at Garcia and yelling "Kill her!"  like her dream. 

Edited by backgroundnoise
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I just watched the death penalty episode in season 2 where the lady confessed and basically didn't appeal (I guess) and it still took 15 years for her execution to come up, so this was so over the top ridiculous it was hard to take seriously. Also, I know Penelope always dresses like this, but you would think she might tone it down for prison.

The main case was ok but a bit over the top. My favorite scenes were Reid and Morgan, although I also though he should have been talking to Garcia.

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I'm starting to like Kate. I find her earnestness and sort of eager attempts to fit in and crack jokes to be endearing, because she's trying so damn hard. 

 

I'm coming down with a cold so I watched the episode in a drug-induced haze and I pretty much ignored anything to do with Garcia because she was so shrill. And also, I don't care. 

 

The case itself was interesting, though you could drive a tank through the plotholes. I'm all for more Asian-American representation on TV, so I was glad to see an Asian UNSUB. That sounded weird. 

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Here's the thing about Morgan: yes, he has an attitude of “I know what's best for you”, but let's not forget that he's a profiler and knowing what's best for other people is his job. What is unique in his situation is that he applies his profiling skills on the rest of his team and his friends, and, while I wish someone would call him out on it from time to time (other than Savannah and JJ in “What Happens in Mecklinburg”) and that, maybe every now and then his predictions turn out wrong, I'm okay with the characteristic. Morgan having a bit of cockiness would be in character for him, and at least he does things with the right intentions. Plus this is a show about profilers- you gotta think someone is going to use his skills outside of work.

Furthermore, while Morgan did ignore Garcia's calls, at least he lamented that he had nothing to say. He might have wanted to tell Garcia that and at least have listened to her, but at least his intentions were in the right place.

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Agreed JMO, that it should have been JJ to present the case, it would have been a really nice moment for us fans, too. I immediately thought that when Kevin (da fuq?) showed up to do it. I can see him stepping in on Garcie's keyboards for a bit, but presenting the case? And acting like he's done it before? I didn't buy that. 

 

*edited because the case isn't the profile*

Edited by Willowy
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Here are the ratings for this episode 2.3(demo) 10.49(million viewers) That is quite a drop from last week. However it was still Wednesday night's #1 drama as well as the most watched program of the night. 

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I recognized the unsub -- Masuka from Dexter!!  Another great show that the writers ultimately killed. 

 

Penelope's story was a great big yawn and so what.

 

Liked how Kate Callahan fit in, and that they are not making her the shiny new toy that must be the center of the show.

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The whole 'it could never happen' argument reminds me of an exchange on Firefly:

 

Wash: It sounds like something out of Science Fiction!

Zoe: We live on a spaceship, dear.

 

It's like... yeah, and the BAU doesn't really exist, and they don't have a jet, and they never would've made exceptions for Reid, or let Morgan/Rossi have facial hair and wear jeans, and Garcia's keyboards are too loud and... we could go on and on. I don't understand why some are so concerned about this one thing. So what? To me, they told a really compelling story, and for folks to be insisting that it be 100% stuck to the letter of the law makes zero sense. 

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My issue with this storyline is the creative choices the writers made. There were a wide variety of ways the show could have realistically dealt with Penelope's ambivalence, ways that were both plausible and enriched the character development. However in my opinion, the writers chose a cheap, emotionally manipulative way that was not grounded in reality. They chose to force a death penalty plot when there was no need to. Are they saying that Penelope wouldn't have had any emotional issues with shooting a guy if he just wound up in prison? I personally think her issues would have been resolved in a more organic, interesting way of they had kept focus on her ambivalence about shooting a man without bringing any death penalty nonsense into this. A heart to heart with Reid could have gone a long way to help Penelope for instance.

As for reality, the BAU does exist in reality. All other choices made for this particular universe (e.g. the jet, Reid, the team always going on tactical raids), were devices specifically made to allow for more storytelling choices. But the writers didn't have to choose to frame their story this way, and in opinion, it would have been a better story if the team members were allowed to help Penelope through her issues rather than bringing up an unnecessary death penalty plot that really just made Penelope seem excessively narcissistic and never really addressed her ambivalence about shooting a guy. This subplot was more about execution than anything else in my opinion.

Edited by ForeverAlone
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I recognized the unsub -- Masuka from Dexter!! Another great show that the writers w.

I spent the whole episode trying to figure out where if seen him- wasn't he on Chuck working at the buy more?

What sold this episode to me was one thing: the guy who played Baylor. That was it. He overshadowed the crappy writing. He made me believe he was a condemned man. They've had some horrible misses on this show, casting-wise, but this guy was really good.

I thought the actor did a fantastic job, but his motivations made no sense to me. I would like to have seen more of him in a different role (I can't actually remember much from the episode before)

As for the realism, I can accept a certain amount of nonsense in shows but sometimes they take it so far I can no longer handwave it. That's how I felt about this confession/no trial/ death penalty thing. The rest of the problem with gracias storyline is that the emotional beats were basically dumb. They could easily have made it about her PTSD and trauma over shooting someone but I think they just wanted to an anti death penalty psa and made the story fit in a way that ended up making zero sense.

Edited by Shanna
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I hear what you're saying FA, but it's exactly that, a creative choice, and for us to fixate on that one element just doesn't make any sense to me. 

 

And there's actually two BAUs, one's called the BAP (deals with regular crooks, not serial killers) and they are nothing like our show's representation of them (that's what I meant about it not existing), at least according to the guy who heads it up.

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I'm all for more Asian-American representation on TV, so I was glad to see an Asian UNSUB. That sounded weird.

 

That did sound weird, but I totally agree.

 

I wasn't happy with the Garcia subplot.  I think if they wanted to make a point about the death penalty, they could have thought up a plot where Garcia went to see the execution of a person she was convinced was innocent, but couldn't prove (and couldn't get the rest of the gang to help her with).  I have no sympathy with the guy who had no family present for his execution (poor, poor me) and it made no sense for Garcia to feel so sorry for him when he was an admitted killer.

 

I usually like Garcia okay, but not in this case.  I would be fine if she would take an extended vacation and let Kevin take her place for a while.  I like him.

 

On the other hand, I would totally watch something called 'Chocolate Mousse and Baby Girl'  (maybe it could be a series on Cartoon Network or something?).

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If you base something in the world of reality and want us to believe it can happen, you need to sell it in a way that's believable. They didn't. It's not nitpicky. It's not "Oh, it's TV time, not real time." It's lazy writing. 

 

 

And for the love of all that is holy, if Garcia is STILL having to look at freaking panda bears to get over the gruesome pics, she needs to get into another line of work. 

 

The woman has been at this job a while. She's been shot at. She's shot someone. She's not a twenty-year-old intern. They need to stop infantilizing her. Make her a grownup. No more, "Oh my God. Oh my God!" No more with the falling face and the tears and the "I can't believe someone can be so sick!" ENOUGH. 

Well said, Sweet. I keep thinking about Demons, and the fact that Reid's life was directly threatened not once, but three times in a period of 5 or 6 hours. Talk about a reason for PTSD! Plus, he was afraid for Garcia with Baylor packing heat. If she can't hold it together or at least be going to a therapist and trying to get to that place, she certainly can't do her job, and is a detriment to the team. It's not that I don't sympathize with people suffering the aftereffects of violence, I do. But even in real life, we all have to try to get back on track with life, not return to kindergarten.

 

Bring Kevin on. Fulltime. And don't proceed to infantilize him.

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