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S10.E05: Boxed In

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When a young boy who went missing in San Diego on Halloween suddenly reappears one year later, the BAU must work fast when another trick-or-treater disappears under similar circumstances

 

 

Director: Thomas Gibson

Writer: Virgil Williams

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From the previews it looked like children were being put in a box. And I had the really odd thought about Jack being kidnapped and put in a box.. Because, then, you know... Jack in a box....

 

I know that is incredibly cheesy.

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From the previews it looked like children were being put in a box. And I had the really odd thought about Jack being kidnapped and put in a box.. Because, then, you know... Jack in a box....

 

I know that is incredibly cheesy.

I laughed. I thought it's pretty clever.

Now, if the writers put that in an UnSub's mouth they better make that UnSub campy...or this guy:

jack_portrait_web.jpg

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Yeah, what is it with all these promos being awful puns? Inside the box, sheesh.

 

 

It's another example of lazy writing, so at least they are consistent on that front.

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Is it wrong that I now somehow want them to have a really funny unsub? Not in a way that would make the show seem less serious-- but maybe have an unsub who has some snark and makes some comments that are good for a laugh.

I still remember in Cold Comfort (I think that was the one) where the necrophiliac made a comment about "cracking in to a cold one" or something like that. The team members were disgusted, but I admit that I laughed. 

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Okay Reid was barely there. Although he was looking mighty fine. Not much Morgan either. Kate irritated me tonight for some reason.

We got plenty of good Hotch and Rossi. And once again I felt like the Mary Sue was being shoved down my throat.

For crying out loud it's like season 9 all over again.

Edited by missmycat
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Yawn. Could this...episode...go...a...n...y...s....s...l...o...w...w...e...r...r...r? It was only an hour but it felt like 12. Oh, and what was with Morgan and Reid appearing in the first half of the episode and then taking the rest of the night off at about 9:25PM? Did they retire early to set the terms of Prank War II? Kate was also strangely absent for most of the show too, and she's got a kid...why does Super Mom get the screentime?

 

Actually, this felt like a vanity project for Thomas Gibson, because we were hit over the head again and again about how just great a father Hotch is. Mind you, getting an authetic Darth Vader costume is pretty cool, but I think I could fill a jelly doughnut with the amount of syrup they put in the Hotchner family scenes.

 

I'll give the show this much credit though- at least the UnSub's motives made sense. It was pretty straightforward, didn't require too much thinking. Of course, it required making a leap larger than the Mariana Trench for the BAU to get there, but I'm pretty sure the show's forgotten that it was once a show that actually profiled, not played psychic.

 

(How odd a psychic appeared...I guess the writers do realize they've basically assembled a team of psychics...Patrick Jane would be so proud...)

 

(Did appreciate that, this time, the UnSub had a reason for not killing the kid, sparing us the fake drama of the team having to 'rescue the kid before it's too late though it's never too late')

 

I did think the actors who played the UnSub's parents did a marvellous job. The writing was absolutely horrendous and rote, but they elevated it to make their scenes extremely compelling. I actually felt just how scary the father was and just how helpless the mother was, and just how much she had to struggle to summon the courage to face the man. If you wanted to talk about rotten childhoods, you got it perfectly in that scene. It's probably the best scene CM has delivered all season...pity it didn't feature a regular, although, in fairness, Hotch acting like the UnSub's father was pretty fun to watch, because Gibson nailed it.

 

(I also admit the UnSub's childhood scene kind of reminded me of my own childhood...minus the whole being locked in a trunk part...but I won't blame the show for that, since I believe in freedom of expression and I refuse to let the past dictate my present)

 

The last thing I want to say is that I'm getting tired of the show deciding to use, essentially, for four of five weeks to victimize primarily males. I know the only reason why the show is doing it is political correctness, and it's getting ridiculous. Although I do think next week might have the potential to be interesting, but...who knows what you'll get with CM these days.

 

(Speaking of political correctness...didn't we have a human trafficking ring operating this season? What happened to that?)

 

Overall...poor episode. Dull. Easily Season 10's worst. Hope next week will be better.

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I enjoyed the first half of the show.  Then about the halfway point I got bored.  I think it started to go downhill for me the minute the sister showed up to talk about her brother.

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Maybe it was just my TV, but the lighting in this episode was so bad that I couldn't see most of it. I ended up just listening to most scenes. I know there are ways to light scenes so they are dark and spooky but viewers can see the key parts of the actors and sets and follow the action. Perhaps TG's inexperience as a director caught up with him.

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why does Super Mom get the screentime?

 

But Daniel don't you understand that because of how good JJ was in this episode we are suppose to forget or at least overlook the fact that once again she was being shoved down our throats. And you want to lay odds that she will be shoved down our throats in next week's episode as well. Which is why I plan to skip it.

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I'm a huge Hotch fan, so I liked the episode. I loved the scene with Hotch and Madame Bouvier. It was fun and gave us a different side of Hotch. I also loved how excited he was to show the costume to Jack, the way he brought out each piece of the costume and his Darth Vader imitation. I think poor Cade Owens did a better job in this episode than he's done in any since season 5. I love Jack because he is Hotch's son, but sometimes the "actor" is painful to watch. I thought he was believable tonight, and I enjoyed seeing Jessica again. I'm okay with them showing Hotch as a good father, not just because I love him, but because there have been so many times when he's hasn't been able to be there for Jack and there are often so many comments about how could he possibly take care of Jack and do the job, etc. It was nice to see him really go out of his way to do something special for his son, and I don't believe it took too much away from the episode. I liked that, even though Thomas was directing, Hotch was included in several scenes and he was strong, team leader Hotch and not some bystander, unlike most of last season.

 

The story line was okay. I hate seeing kids tortured or hurt, but at least there wasn't anything gory or gross. It was obvious that the mother had killed the father long before the team realized it. I don't think Virgil is a very good writer. He has some good ideas, but he never knows how to cleverly execute them or wrap them up.

 

 I enjoyed seeing Pamela Reed. Haven't seen her in anything for years. But why, oh why, is JJ always everywhere? I know they can't give every team member an equal number of lines, but you'd think that they would try to balance the scenes so that one character isn't in practically every scene while others have barely anything to do. On the other hand, I was glad there was limited Morgan and Garcia tonight. I enjoyed Rossi's quick comeback to the guy whose house was egged. That's the Rossi I love. Reid had once good scene but then disappeared again. Who knows why? But really, I liked the episode much better than the last 3. It wasn't a silly, unbelievable plot. We weren't subjected to lots of blood or insects, and while child abuse is horrible, we didn't see the dad hit the kid, only put him in a box. Even when the mom hit the dad with the poker, you didn't see any blood at all so this wasn't a particularly violent episode. Of course it's nowhere near the episodes of the early seasons in terms of profiling or content, but I still think it was better than the previous 3 episodes this season and pretty much all of season 8. Yeah, it was a lame way to drag Halloween into another episode, but I didn't mind it too much. After all, kids running around unsupervised or chaperoned after dark on a night when everyone's wearing a mask would be a good opportunity for someone to kidnap a child.

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Well, I thought it started out promising. Hotch was actually present in the episode! And Rossi! There was minimal Garcia, for which I am profoundly grateful, and for once her magical computer didn't solve the case. But dear god. It was JJ, JJ, and even more JJ. I was drifting off during the dull second half, but every time I glanced up, there she was again. 

 

This time, when Reid vanished at the midway point, they didn't even bother telling us where he went. Checking out drugstores the kids might have wandered through, perhaps? I'm starting to wonder if he has a second job. Really, why not? This one is so easy and boring, he might as well pick up some moonlighting hours as a fill-in chemist or something.

 

Okay, so, Joshua. The ten-year-old box occupant. In THIS world, having "chronic discipline problems" would most certainly not preclude him being classified as an abduction when he went missing. I can't even believe the actors can recite these lines with a straight face. The child was TEN. They expect us to believe that because he has some behavior problems and ran away a few times that the cops would just shrug their shoulders and never look for him? God, this stuff drives me out of my mind. Even though I assume CM is set in an alternative universe, their universe is so much worse than ours that I would expect an all-out search to begin if a child was missing for more than ten minutes. Because of the 100,000 or so serial killers crawling all over the place.

 

Also, no pedophile would be willing to go to prison "just for attention." I can't even begin to get into how stupid that idea is without my head exploding.

 

Loved JJ calling little boys doing things like egging houses "bad boys all around." Not naughty, not mischievous, not just having fun on Halloween.... but bad kids. All around. 

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I can fully see why the TG fans are swooning over this one and it wasn't that bad I guess except for losing half the cast at the half way point! This is getting to be a regular feature - losing people with no good reason. At least last week we knew Reid was sent to the drug store - this week we had no clue what happened to Reid, Morgan and Kate. And what kind of deal did AJ strike that she has more screen time than everyone else??? At least this time she had a professional looking hairdo and none of the sculpted, immaculate red carpet waves! I am so sick of JJ and we have yet more of her next time. This was a "nice" Halloween episode but it was hardly the awesome genius affair the TG fans are painting it.

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Failed the 'Reid-meter', which means that I will probably get around to watching it all the way through someday, but am in no hurry.  But before it failed the 'Reid-meter', I did get to enjoy seeing the smiling, happy Hotch that used to appear on the show from time to time. I've long missed him. 

 

My fast-forwarding told me that there was a pretty big imbalance in the use of characters in this episode (Reid wasn't the only one MIA, he's just the one I always miss the most). As I've said before, I still like JJ, and I don't begrudge any of the characters their screen time.  I just know that it's possible to include the other characters into the same scenes, and I don't quite understand why it doesn't happen.  Can't tell if it's the writing or the editing, or some choice made by someone up the line, but it leaves me feeling underwhelmed.

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 I enjoyed seeing Pamela Reed. Haven't seen her in anything for years.

 

Is that who that was? Holy hell, I knew she looked familiar, but I didn't recognize her because she looked a lot older than she did when I saw her last. Also, Bidwell? Really?

 

I was mostly satisfied with this one because there was lots of Hotch, but again, too much JJ. At this point, I'm waiting for them to just be honest and put AJ Cook's name at the beginning of the credits since it's become the exception and not the rule when it isn't The JJ Show. She must have the same agent James Marsters had. That is not a compliment.

 

And FWIW, I think Hotch is a pretty good father. I was glad to see him making such a special effort on Jack's behalf, and it was nice to see him interacting with someone outside of the office for a change.

 

Knittzu, there are actually quite a lot of runaways (actual runaways, not kidnapped children) who fall through the cracks. It isn't that the cops don't look for them or that they shrug their shoulders, but in the bigger cities kids do end up on the streets. Maybe not as young as ten, but still.

 

And at least the case wasn't totally off the wall, and the UnSub had what passed for reasons for what he was doing. They really need to do something about half the cast (*cough*Reid!*cough*) disappearing without explanation, though.

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Haven't watched yet, reading the comments to prepare myself.

About kids running away: yes, lots of kids fall through the cracks, especially minorities. But the inconsistency of the writing is appalling. So, a ten year-old runs away a few times and then he is deemed a chronic runaway so the police just doesn't care? How about all the episodes where the BAU stated that every child who disappears we are immediately informed? 

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The last thing I want to say is that I'm getting tired of the show deciding to use, essentially, for four of five weeks to victimize primarily males. I know the only reason why the show is doing it is political correctness, and it's getting ridiculous. Although I do think next week might have the potential to be interesting, but...who knows what you'll get with CM these days.

Well, next week, they are apparently having a female unsub, whom we've already seen, thank you, and that is the other AU politically correct ridiculousness that CM has started doing against all reality.

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Knittzu, there are actually quite a lot of runaways (actual runaways, not kidnapped children) who fall through the cracks. It isn't that the cops don't look for them or that they shrug their shoulders, but in the bigger cities kids do end up on the streets. Maybe not as young as ten, but still.

 

 

Not ten-year-olds. No way. Maybe if they'e made him a very young teen I could have bought it. Or a minority... sadly, cops in this country just don't care as much about missing minority kids. But no one in their right mind would assume that a ten-year-old just "ran away" for more than a few hours. He's a child! When children that young go missing, it's because something very bad has happened. We actually had this happen in my community a few years ago (he was nine) and just about everyone around here was looking for him, putting up posters, volunteering weekends to search the woods, etc. It was the top story in the news for months. Etc.

 

We're seen the same thing in this universe in other episodes. A young child goes missing, everyone drops everything and springs into action. The first 24 hours are critical, etc etc.

 

Kate irritated me tonight for some reason.

 

 

I still haven't gotten over her bullshit harassment of the mentally ill woman last week and feel like the character needs to be rehabilitated. Instead she vanishes. It's just so obvious that this show has too many characters! When half of them regularly go missing without a word of explanation, that's a clear sign that your cast is bloated.

 

I have an idea for them -- why not move JJ into her own show? Super JJ, Ninja Crime-Fighting Woman. She can be a one-woman crime elimination force... and reduce the cast by one. If Morgan is really out at the end of the season (please please please please let that be true) then season eleven would have a cast the writers could manage without randomly disappearing characters.

Edited by Knittzu
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Maybe it was just my TV, but the lighting in this episode was so bad that I couldn't see most of it.

 

It wasn't just your TV. I could barely see what was going on. Unfortunately, what I COULD see mostly consisted of JLH's terrible hair. 

 

 

I think poor Cade Owens did a better job in this episode than he's done in any since season 5.

 

Maybe he got acting lessons over the summer? I thought he did a fairly decent job. It makes me feel old to hear his voice getting so deep. 

 

 

Okay, so, Joshua. The ten-year-old box occupant. In THIS world, having "chronic discipline problems" would most certainly not preclude him being classified as an abduction when he went missing. I can't even believe the actors can recite these lines with a straight face. The child was TEN. They expect us to believe that because he has some behavior problems and ran away a few times that the cops would just shrug their shoulders and never look for him? God, this stuff drives me out of my mind. Even though I assume CM is set in an alternative universe, their universe is so much worse than ours that I would expect an all-out search to begin if a child was missing for more than ten minutes. Because of the 100,000 or so serial killers crawling all over the place.

 

OMG THIS. THIS. 10-year-old white kid who looks like a red-headed version of Harry Potter. The AMBER ALERT would be out in 15 minutes and the media would be all over it. 

 

Things I liked: Madame Bouvier, Rossi's Spongebob comment, the correct use of the subjunctive "If I were" instead of "If I was." I think it was JJ who said that. 

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This episode was mostly entertaining, but there were a few spots where I kept waiting for scenes to end because they were dragging. The mother looking for her missing son at the Hallowee thing at the beginning started out good but could have been shorter.

 

I did love the bits with Hotch and Madam Bouvier. We got to see an awkward side of Hotch that we rarely get to see. I also liked the exchange between Hotch and JJ about their sons and how they should totally use web throwers (or whatever they were) to catch the criminals. It was great to see Hotch making a joke about something-- but I have to call BS on him and the never missing Halloween. I'm pretty sure in the past few seasons he has missed at least one. Didn't he miss the one in "Devil's Night"?

 

Also, Halloween is supposed to be Reid's thing, but instead we got almost nothing from him. There was sort of a detachment. Now, I don't know if this is because the writers don't care and maybe MGG is already heading out the door in his mind, or if its something subtle on MGG's part to show that something is not quite right with Reid. I didn't like that it had to be JJ who called out to Reid to ask what he was thinking when he was staring at the egg. And, as much as I know Reid already gets hardly any lines, I didn't like them having him recite out the transcript. All he had to do was say "Guys, I read the transcript and the other kid's mother (they could say the name, but I don't remember the name) said she bought toilet paper but it was missing." 

 

I'm trying to figure out if the angry guy who's house got egged knew that a child was missing or not. I mean, I can fully understand his anger. Damn kids were vandalizing his house and wasting perfectly good eggs. Man, when the kid took two whole cartons out of the fridge, I wanted to slap him. But Rossi giving the guy attitude about it was totally in character for him. I did like how the guy suddenly calmed down when things were in perspective.

 

I actually didn't feel that JJ was too much while I was watching-- but maybe that is because Thomas managed to get a more sympathetic performance out of AJ. She seemed more like the old JJ who did seem to care and I wasn't getting the cold icy I'm-too-good-for-everyone vibe from her that I've been getting in the past couple of seasons.

 

I didn't mind JLH, although I do wonder if they are setting things up for some problems later on with how she wishes violence on some of the criminals. I know that its common for a lot of people to think/feel that, but I'm hoping they don't ever have her roughing up a suspect in custody. Let them have their day in court first.

 

Some things I liked: Garcia didn't magically solve everything. The media was used. The unsub's sister came forward with info-- something that has not happened in a looong time. The team then did legwork and talked to the mother. I did wonder about the line where the mother tried to dismiss what her daughter said at first. Like maybe there was going to be more about it. I was confused about when the bad behavior started from the unsub. I also felt that we were possibly getting some glimpses of Hotch's childhood in a subtle way-- not from the writing but more from the performance. I liked that the unsub wore a mask so we didn't see his face until later. I liked that we didn't actually see the kid being beaten.

 

At first I thought the sister was there to hit on Hotch bc she saw a good-looking guy on tv, but I'm glad it turned out to be an actual lead. I did wonder where the hell Reid went when he disappeared. Honestly, I didn't miss Morgan when he didn't get as much screentime.

 

As for the pedophile claiming credit for killing the boy he apparently didn't really kill, there have been cases on the show and in real life where psychos claimed credit for things they didn't really do. Its an ego thing and they for some reason think that it will give them a more vicious reputation or something. And some are just pathological liars. So, I was ok with the guy lying about that, even if it did seem like a bit of a stretch.

 

The boy going missing and the cops thinking he was just a runaway was a mixed bag for me. I know years ago, if a kid ran off or disappeared the cops couldn't give a crap and would just dismiss it. Even if they were well-behaved children. There was a notable case of a boy who was kidnapped while on his paper delivery route and the cops refused to look for him and the parents never found him-- but they did hear from him once briefly about 10 years later on the phone when he made a call (at least he claimed to be their son-- said he'd been kidnapped by a pedophile who abused him). But in this day and age, even if the police don't investigate right away when a kid goes missing, they eventually have to file a missing person report. Around where I live, children disappearing is not taken seriously. There's this one 8-year-old who's parents keep reporting him missing. Cops did actually go out and pretend to look, but they drove right by him and didn't notice. The kid just hangs out in the neighborhood and the mother keeps freaking out and calls the cops. One time his older brother took him out of town for a week or two without telling the parents. So, the bad thing is, if anything happens to this kid legitimately, the cops are probably not going to really do anything because of the parents constantly calling about him. Sort of a twist on The Boy Who Cried Wolf. So I can see how in this case, the police didn't think it was a big deal; however, if the kid was missing for more than a few days or weeks, then the police should absolutely have filed a report.

 

I've noticed a theme with Virgil's writing where he doesn't seem up-to-date on a lot of stuff and still expresses attitudes that were the norm 20 or 30 years ago. (One example being Garcia thinking that Morgan slept with her when she was drunk-- nowadays that sort of thing would have been considered rape if Garcia had been incapacitated and Morgan had been sober-- hell, even if Morgan had been drunk in some circles it would be considered rape. Virgil did not even consider that angle when he wrote that stupid drama fest between Garcia and Morgan).

 

I thought they spent too much time showing the unsub sitting in his car drinking and listening to music while the kid was underneath screaming to get out. After a few moments I was like "Ok, I get it, now move on." I did actually think it was pretty clever to hide the kid that way. I also liked that they had the unsub's mother come in to convince him to let the kid go. It was a nice change from having Morgan twist the guy's arm or the guy getting shot.

 

I think Cade Owens didn't do such a bad job, but damn, that kid is ugly. I know that is completely shallow of me, but the poor kid just has an ugly face and is not even remotely cute. I know its not his fault though, poor kid. I hope he's one of those ugly ducklings who grows up to be better looking.

 

The little Darth Vader costume was pretty awesome. And I sort of hope we see Madam Bouvier again. While I know that she insisted that Hotch was getting the costume because he was a friend of Penelope's, I did think about the no gifts policy feds have. Basically feds can't accept any gifts or free services without filing some sort of paperwork and in general they have to either turn the gifts over to the government or refuse/return them. Now, since the costume was just on loan to Hotch it might not be considered a gift though. And generally, if someone buys pizza for a large group of agents or a diner has a policy that people with badges or in uniform get free coffee or something, that is ok because its not a single agent being singled out. Although for awhile INS said that their agents were not allowed to accept that because it might be considered a bribe. Not sure about the FBI though.

 

In retrospect, I do see that JJ was in a lot more scenes than other characters. I'm glad it didn't actually bug me this time. But I do wonder if Messer has some sort of JJ quota that all of the writers have to meet or if its in AJ's contract that she has to dominate over all the others in screentime.

 

I think I give this episode a B-. It had some nice elements that have been missing, but its still not as good as the first four seasons.

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Well, the episode was not good, but not horrible, either. My expectations are incredibly low and I wonder why I keep watching, but I do. Every week.

 

But I feel kind of guilty ... in those lengthy scenes of the unsub drinking in his car, the kid's screaming and banging on that door got so freaking annoying for me... I was kinda pleased when the unsub finally shut him up.

I was going "Shut the f*ck up!" along with the unsub.

 

Somehow that kid was so annoying and he's not the first annoying one on CM. What a difference to that kid from way back when in "The Big Wheel", one of the few child actors on the show who was not annyoing and/or a horrible actor.

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Roll, it is difficult to get good child actors.The one that sticks out in my mind is the boy who played the son of the suicidal mother who is kidnapped (the kid). The unsub was someone who had a weak depressed mother, and he told the kid he would "help" her (he killed her).  Anyway, that kid was a good little actor with some complex stuff to do.

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This episode was mostly entertaining, but there were a few spots where I kept waiting for scenes to end because they were dragging. The mother looking for her missing son at the Hallowee thing at the beginning started out good but could have been shorter.

 

I did love the bits with Hotch and Madam Bouvier. We got to see an awkward side of Hotch that we rarely get to see. 

 

Also, Halloween is supposed to be Reid's thing, but instead we got almost nothing from him. There was sort of a detachment. Now, I don't know if this is because the writers don't care and maybe MGG is already heading out the door in his mind, or if its something subtle on MGG's part to show that something is not quite right with Reid. I didn't like that it had to be JJ who called out to Reid to ask what he was thinking when he was staring at the egg. And, as much as I know Reid already gets hardly any lines, I didn't like them having him recite out the transcript. All he had to do was say "Guys, I read the transcript and the other kid's mother (they could say the name, but I don't remember the name) said she bought toilet paper but it was missing." 

 

I actually didn't feel that JJ was too much while I was watching-- but maybe that is because Thomas managed to get a more sympathetic performance out of AJ. She seemed more like the old JJ who did seem to care and I wasn't getting the cold icy I'm-too-good-for-everyone vibe from her that I've been getting in the past couple of seasons.

 

I didn't mind JLH, although I do wonder if they are setting things up for some problems later on with how she wishes violence on some of the criminals. I know that its common for a lot of people to think/feel that, but I'm hoping they don't ever have her roughing up a suspect in custody. Let them have their day in court first.

 

Some things I liked: Garcia didn't magically solve everything. The media was used. The unsub's sister came forward with info-- something that has not happened in a looong time. The team then did legwork and talked to the mother.

 

At first I thought the sister was there to hit on Hotch bc she saw a good-looking guy on tv, but I'm glad it turned out to be an actual lead. I did wonder where the hell Reid went when he disappeared. Honestly, I didn't miss Morgan when he didn't get as much screentime.

 

The little Darth Vader costume was pretty awesome. And I sort of hope we see Madam Bouvier again. 

 

In retrospect, I do see that JJ was in a lot more scenes than other characters. I'm glad it didn't actually bug me this time. But I do wonder if Messer has some sort of JJ quota that all of the writers have to meet or if its in AJ's contract that she has to dominate over all the others in screentime.

 

I think I give this episode a B-. It had some nice elements that have been missing, but its still not as good as the first four seasons.

Good post as usual, zannej.

One of the things that bugged me, and someone was going on and on on another forum about how it had to be JJ and Hotch interviewing the parents and all because parenthood, why does EM think that only parents can be empathetic with parents? Or that only parents care about children? Totally bogus. One of the best Morgan/Hotch bonding moments came when Hotch retook command of the unit and told Morgan he didn't have to do the late-night stuff anymore. Morgan told him, hey I know what it's like to be raised by a single parent, so, I'll help out when i can.

 

By the same token, Reid totally understands what it's like to miss a dad, what parental absence  does to a child.

 

To imply that only parents can sympathize and empathize with parents, and only parents care about children is ridiculous and insulting. I'm beginning to think the only way Reid will get a big part in this show is to magically become a parent. Then maybe EM will fawn all over him.

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I initially had issues with Thomas directing this particular episode, just because Halloween is more up Matthew’s sleeve. When I first heard the title of this episode, but hadn’t seen the synopsis, my first thought was that it was going to be more inspired by the moving “Boxing Helena.” Once I saw the synopsis, I kept thinking this would be a takeoff on the movie “The Vanishing.” Now that I have seen the episode, I can see why Matthew didn’t direct it. It’s not really creepy or spooky enough (in my opinion anyway) to warrant Matthew’s twisted creative vision.

 

I guess I would overall give this a rating of 7/10, maybe a 6 if I am stingy. The biggest issue I have with this episode (unfortunately it is the central plot point) is the unsub's motivation. He was rejected by his fiancee, so he turned his rage on little boys that reminded him of himself? Yeah, sorry Virgil, I'm not buying it. I would buy it more if he was targeting women, particularly surrogates for Sharlene, since her rejection seemed to be the trigger for his devolution. That seems to be a more straightforward connection, not this regression gobbledygook. I could even buy him targeting surrogates for his mother who killed his dad, or even surrogates for his dad if I was being super generous. But surrogates for himself? I'm sorry, but that just doesn't track at all in my mind, unless I am missing something huge. It’s like Virgil had some idea of what he wanted the unsub to do, but he couldn’t come up with a realistic trigger or reason for doing it. It couldn’t be because his dad died three years ago, because his dad was murdered 12 years ago.

 

Let’s start with the good points of this episode:

 

1. This was probably the best Hotch we have seen in years. For way too long, all we have had is dour Hotch, but now we got to see the lightness, humor and love that was season one Hotch. We got to see him being the good dad we know he is, joking around with Madame Bouvier and he was even light enough with Penelope when he was leaving work. I hope they keep this up, but I won’t hold my breath.

 

2. I was glad to see that Virgil held off on showing us the unsub as long as possible.

 

3. Thomas’s direction was good, though there weren’t any visual choices that stood out for me, unlike his previous two episodes, when I very much liked his creative choices for images and shots.

 

Now my other quibbles:

 

1. As most people noticed, it’s like half of the team disappeared halfway through the episode. It was rather jarring, particularly since there was no reason given. Reid, Morgan and to a lesser extent, Kate, just up and disappeared. If this season hadn’t already been light on Reid and heavy on JJ, I might just brush over it, but this is part of a disturbing pattern that I hope rectifies soon. However, I wouldn’t bet any money on that happening.

 

2. The first phone call scene from Penelope highlighted one of my ongoing problems with the structure of the team since JJ first left. I mean, Penelope very obviously picked this case, or at a bare minimum was contacted by a local law enforcement officer. Hotch didn't give the go ahead. But here is the thing. PENELOPE.IS.NOT.A.FEDERAL.AGENT. Yeah, yeah she works with the FBI and has a badge and all that, but she is not a law enforcement officer. She has never been through the academy. She is a freaking technical analyst, and no way in hell should someone who is not a law enforcement agent be picking cases and interfacing with local law enforcement. This is one of the biggest screwups show wise since AJ was fired. I absolutely believed JJ when she picked cases, because that is what she is trained to do. But Penelope is not. The show went to such great lengths to show how vital JJ's job was in season four and how important she was in it. But when they forced AJ to leave, they somehow thought it was plausible enough for Penelope to do the job. They basically just kicked dirt unintentionally on JJ's prior vital role and they kept that problem ever since JJ returned to the team. In reality, JJ's position would have been filled a long time ago by an actual FBI officer and Penelope would not be allowed to do what she does. And if Penelope is now the one picking cases and talking to law enforcement officers, that means she has stacks of files miles high like JJ did. And yet, this super special snowflake still wigs out looking at crime scene photos? Not plausible. /rant over :) :) :)

 

3. How did the unsub target his latest victim? I mean, was he stalking him or did he just happen upon him while he was trolling for victims and grabbed the first kid he saw who was misbehaving? That was one hell of a coincidence, and if he was just trolling, why that neighborhood?

 

4. Why didn’t the cops bring in sniffer dogs to find the latest victim rather than pinning their hopes on cracking the unsub in a short amount of time?

 

5. The unsub’s mom wasn’t a very big woman, and yet her husband was a beefy burly man, so I have a hard time buying that a small woman and a young boy would be able to drag 200+ pounds of dead weight to bury him. And it’s not like they even buried him in the backyard, but had to bury him somewhere else. Which means they had to get him into and out of a vehicle. This isn’t the first time this has happened (What Happened in  Mecklinburg…I’m looking at you), but it seems this show seems to forget basic physics laws when it comes to its female unsubs.

 

6. Uh...no. Halloween traditions really aren't rooted in Christianity. What aspect of the Bible covered Halloween or anything approaching it? I don't think Jesus dressed up and asked for candy. :) I mean, most fundamentalist Christians denounce Halloween as some sort of devil activity. Halloween is more closely aligned with pagan traditions, though as Reid noted in season six, it’s current practice is very much rooted in modern American tradition.

 

7. The whole red herring with the guy originally convicted of abducting and killing the previous victim just highlight the reason law enforcement should never base a conviction SOLELY on a confession. There needs to be actual evidence supporting such a confession. I assume there were details about the case the cops withheld, so wouldn’t they have checked this guy’s confession against the known facts of the case?

 

For me, this episode wasn’t the worst of the season so far, but it’s far from the best. And it’s far from Virgil’s best as well (just like “The Itch” was far from Breen’s best). Most of my quibbles are fairly minor (though disappearing half of the team was sort of bizarre), but I do take issue with the basic motivation and psychology behind this crime. I felt it was completely lacking and didn’t add up. Unfortunately on a show about criminal profiling, that is one unforgiveable error.

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One of the things that bugged me, and someone was going on and on on another forum about how it had to be JJ and Hotch interviewing the parents and all because parenthood, why does EM think that only parents can be empathetic with parents? Or that only parents care about children? Totally bogus.

 

 

Co-signed 100x. 

 

It really annoys me when they do the now-standard scene of a missing child's parents demanding, "DO YOU  EVEN HAVE CHILDRUUUN?" How many times has CM used that line now? Too many for my liking. If, god forbid, one of my daughters were kidnapped I wouldn't care one iota if the people looking for her were parents or not. I would want the best detectives on the case. Their parental status is completely irrelevant. 

 

If anything, this episode displayed just how unempathetic other parents can be. Neither Hotch nor JJ even batted an eye at the news that no one bothered looking for poor Joshua. And I just can't get over JJ declaring the abducted kids "bad all around" because of typical kid mischief like TPing houses on Halloween. 

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Hotches visit to Madam Bouvier(sp?) was funny and disturbing, lol "Mmmmm G Man!" lol. But being Garcia's friend you half expect it. But Hotch got for Jack the Darth Vader outfit he wanted. We also see who Jack stays with when Dad is out of town on a case. Aunt Jessica Brooks watches him. Beth must be gone all together? Or will she be back? I know she moved for work. Jessica seems real nice. Like that JJ and Hotch talked about Halloween costumes for their kids. Her Henry is Spider-man every day. The FBI needs webslingers. Hotch was nice to see contemplating things in the jet on way home and then finds "Lord Vader" Jack on couch asleep waiting. Nice ending.

Well I think they had a good profile, and we got a good back story on why UnSub, John David Bidwell, was doing this. He would kidnap a bad kid and punish him for a year. His sister Sandra telling about how she figured it was John, and how dad, Sam, would punish them , especially John in the trunk for being bad. I figured when Sam was"off the Grid" that he was dead. Mom, Mary told about how she beat Sam with the poker for locking up John. Then John helped her bury him on the grandparents land. So Sandra brings John to the teams attention meant we didn't have to use Garcia's magic fingers to find his name in some unknown database. But all seemed to go by a 3 year time line. Same time his girl friend Charlotte Taylor married another. His mom could not believe at first he would do that. But with Rossi's help to remember, she came through with his possible location.

Finding out that incarcerated Rodney Tanner is questionable in the case of kidnapping Tommy Wilcox, the first victim. He later passed away from his mistreatment. But Morgan and Callahan figured that out quite quick. I was surprised that Reid didn't go analyze the suspected kidnapper. I wouldn't think prison would be good for Tanner. Morgan eluded to that also. I wonder why he would claim to have done it? Not my idea of a good time being in prison. Rossi does seem to have a more direct commentary with suspects then he used to have.

All 3 kids were grabbed because on Halloween they were doing mischief. I was never a egg or tomato thrower, I would have been punished , but I know in the 70's in my neighborhood they did it a lot. Glad our area does not do it anymore. Eggs mess up car paint.

I do like that the last few episodes there is more of a team dynamic. It isn't all Morgan and JJ getting the bust. It actually had been Hotchner in on most. JJ gets to do her liaison thing for the most part and the team divides the chores up better then it had. Also the teams are mixed up. Not always Hotch/Rossi, JJ/Morgan, Reid/Kate(or Alex), like it seemed much of last year. I believe Hotch should be in on the major arrests.

Well I was going to say that the 1972 Ford Gran Torino Squire Wagon would stand out going around the busy neighborhood. Even with all the families and cars out on Halloween. It is not like a late model Toyota or Dodge. But they showed another car, and I thought that Hunter was let out of a trunk of a car. So I guess the wagon was maybe a family car or something and it just blocked the hatch. He had a car cover over it. At least it wasn't shot up or wrecked. Hotch pulling the injured Hunter out of the box made me smile. Then Hunter got the big hugs from Phil, Ann and Lyla Olson on the gurney. Also 2nd kidnap victim, Joshua Parker seems to have recovered and his parents are there, and happy.

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Well seeing him duct taped there when Hotch jumped in was better then being beat senseless. I thought he was either passed out or so weak he won't know if help was near.

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Virgil is a weak writer. I went back and reviewed which episodes he has written and found that I barely liked any of them. I know I'm just beating my head against a wall here, but why don't they have someone read the scripts for continuity errors, plausibility errors, etc.? If I were the writer, I would check these things out myself. I'd check with someone with law enforcement experience what the proper procedures were. I'd check to make sure my facts were right. I'd have others read the script to see if anything didn't make sense or seem possible. But, hey, that's just me. I'm not the one getting paid the big bucks.

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I'd say, to be fair to Virgil, he likely doesn't have much time to check, double-check and triple-check that he's got his details right, since writers have a lot of demands placed upon them. The showrunner, though, should be doing those things...and it's clear she doesn't.

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I can sort of understand why the parents sometimes ask if the profilers have children. They want to know that the people helping them understand how they feel. They want to know that the people doing the job actually care. Apathetic law enforcement agents can be infuriating. That said, obviously not all parents freak out like that. Some trust the police. Others are just too panicked to think logically. I mean, because we watch the show we, as viewers know that the team are supposedly the best, but these fictional parents don't know that. 

 

That said, I do agree that one doesn't have to be a parent to sympathize and care.

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I agree with all that has been said about the bullshit of not following up on a WHITE 10 year-od missing kid because he had run away before. Maybe the people who made the decision graduated from the same "school of logic" JJ did - kids being brats on Halloween are "bad all around". Yes, Ms. Ninja Profiler. Sociopaths, on their way to serial killing fame. Gosh!

 

I thought TG was much better in this episode, but I have a feeling that it was a bit of an ego trip for him. Hotch centered, the tacky image of his face on the plane going back home. I don't really care but it seemed to me that TG has been a little unmotivated lately, the acting had been lacking. This episode showed helped him a little. Good for him if that means he can still act. I used to like him as an actor.

 

I don't think his direction was able to get a better act from AJ Cook though. When they were talking about their kids I felt like one of those moments (everyone had one of those, I believe) when you just met someone, or barely know someone, and is trying to make small talk but if feels fake, even to ourselves) and then the conversation dies. Then again, I don't think the actress has any chemistry with anyone, so.

 

Loved Rossi with the neighbor. Wished there was more of that Rossi. Not much Garcia is aways a YAY! and not a lot of Morgan is good, although his disappearance from the episode was strange, maybe it was editing and his scened got cut? Same for Reid, only that I wish we could have seen some of his Halloween facts. 

 

I don't know the history of Halloween but it does not strike me as a Christian thing. It is possible that it has been "christianized" because the church wanted to take control of the festivities, like it happened to Carnival (or Mardi Gras). 

 

And the kid who plays Jack did a better job. Maybe because he soon ran off to do his homework or whatever. He is still a very bad actor.

 

Edited because the auto correct does changed Gras to Grass. 

Edited by alexvillage
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Well, Halloween was created from numerous traditions in an attempt to keep kids busy on that day so they would not be destructive. In the US it was getting very bad. Kids were vandalizing places (smashing windows with rocks) and even setting buildings on fire. The trick-or-treating part came from a tradition in Europe where children would travel door to door and offer to pray for the souls of the resident's departed loved ones in exchange for sweet breads. I believe they used turnips for jack-o-lanterns (probably carved out to hold candles to light their way). In the modern tradition, kids were given something specific to do and parties and such were set up to keep them busy and entertained. It ended up being the start of the candy market. For awhile, candy used to only be sold around Halloween, but then some companies started selling it year round. (this is pretty much what I remember from watching a special on tv that talked about the history of Halloween).

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I got curious so I looked it up. I know wikipedia is not the yes source, but it is easy to find. It seems halloween has its roots in pagan festivals and harvesting, and in something that is not quite christian, even though it carries the name of Celtic Christianity. 

 

 

Today's Halloween customs are thought to have been influenced by folk customs and beliefs from the Celtic-speaking countries, some of which have pagan roots, and others which may be rooted in Celtic Christianity.[35][36] Indeed, Jack Santino, a folklorist, writes that "the sacred and the religious are a fundamental context for understanding Halloween in Northern Ireland, but there was throughout Ireland an uneasy truce existing between customs and beliefs associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived".[37] Historian Nicholas Rogers, exploring the origins of Halloween, notes that while "some folklorists have detected its origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain", which comes from the Old Irish for "summer's end"

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Ok guys I have been reading a lot of things on various message boards saying we are overstating the amount of time JJ was involved in Boxed In - so I just did a few timings. By my reckoning she was in 14 scenes and a total of just under 17 minutes screen time. Only Hotch had longer. Morgan and Reid vanished around the 23 minute mark in a 43 minute episode,  and Kate a couple minutes later and they only reappeared on the plane at the end. I don't say my timings are accurate to the absolute split second but they do back up my feelings that she was again all over the show.

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I can sort of understand why the parents sometimes ask if the profilers have children. They want to know that the people helping them understand how they feel. They want to know that the people doing the job actually care. Apathetic law enforcement agents can be infuriating.

 

 

But... there's absolutely no guarantee that other parents will understand how they feel, or even care. See: JJ and Hotch, neither of whom had any problem with the fact that no one bothered to look for Joshua. Because he was a "bad kid" -- unlike THEIR perfect angels, presumably. And people who don't have children can absolutely care intensely about finding other people's children. While I agree that law enforcement can sometimes be apathetic, that's really not the case when it comes to missing children. Especially (sadly) WHITE missing children.

 

Ok guys I have been reading a lot of things on various message boards saying we are overstating the amount of time JJ was involved in Boxed In - so I just did a few timings.

 

 

There's a woman on another board who swears she "timed" each characters scenes and that JJ's scene-time was equal to the rest. What can you do but laugh? Kate, Reid, Morgan and Garcia vanished at the half-way point so there is no way in hell they had anything close to the amount of time Mary Sue did. I swear I'm watching a completely different show than some of these people. Where can I sign up to watch the version of CM where the other characters get equal screen time to Mary Sue?

 

I'm already dreading next week. I am so not ready for more JJ-centric episodes when it already feels like every episode is JJ-centric.

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Guest Accused Dingo

i had a post on my opinion on JJ's appearance and lack of Reid but i read it over and i decided not to post it. I like JJ and still don't understand why people don't and find Reid highly overrated so i'll leave it at that.

 

There's a woman on another board who swears she "timed" each characters scenes and that JJ's scene-time was equal to the rest.

 

 

If we are playing that game then you have to put an asterisk to the moment with Hotch where they discuss their kids Halloween costumes.  That's a real world moment that parents have with each other.   I found that scene cute and something that would feel out of place between anyone else...

As for the episode itself, i found it boring and i am thinking the show are straining for unsubs.

Edited by Accused Dingo
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Accused Dingo, you have every right to post about liking JJ and thinking Reid is "meh." I'll listen to you. I am getting to the point where, if someone else has said it well here (what I'm feeling about stuff, I mean), I'll just "like" it and don't belabor the point. 

 

Thanks for not calling those who say "too much JJ!!" haters, because 99-100% of us aren't. We just feel the lack of balance in a once well-balanced show, and most of us that feel that way think the balance is off in favor of the weakest character/actress. 

 

I take your point about the moment between Hotch and JJ; I liked when she said they should have the web-slinger capability. It was a perfect scene for the two of them.

Edited by normasm
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@old Dog, I thought that for the most part this season the amount of time was closer together for the team. As I stated earlier it had seemed last year that JJ and Morgan were in the major take down scenes and alot did complain about it. Also they had pairs, as in JJ/Morgan, Reid/Alex and Hotch/Rossi. Granted I believe depending on UnSub and the case, if it is a group, or some one that is extra dangerous that there should be Hotch and Morgan on the arrest. Maybe showing our force(big strong men) will help. I do like that Hotch has been in on most take downs this season. I did notice this episode that the 4 disappeared before the take down. Would have been nice to say they were looking somewhere else, or see the 3 Agents looking or talking in the back ground as they found the boy under the Torino.

I know it was dark, but wouldn't the covered car with the recently moved tire tracks attreact attention as you looked for Hunter?

 

 I don't mind certain episodes be, fill in the blank centric, but make it even out over the course of the season. We also need as others have harped on,  a more profile-esque return, and have it more Reid knowledge driven and evidence driven. Maybe even have the UnSub actually be found in interogation. Instead of evidence drives the Team to their lair to find the UnSub doing his diabolical best? I even liked the episode where Morgan interviewed the woman in jail to get information. He did discover more information.

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To be fair, they have done a lot better this season by toning down JJ, mixing up the pairings and doing some different stories like the plane crash. I think I am overly sensitive to JJ after last season and Knowing she has at least 2 centric episodes coming up including another biggie in the anniversary episode just makes me very hyper about her as I still shudder over how the 200th episode was completely ruined.. This Halloween episode annoyed me because she was in it such a lot and half the cast disappeared half way through. I try to be objective - I liked the scene with Hotch talking about Jack and Henry. I thought that was well done and perfect for Hotch and JJ. However, I just feel that Erica Messer is still pushing Supermom to the fore and although the team balance IS better so far, JJ does still seem to get more focus than the others with even more to come.

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Guest Accused Dingo

@normasm I have always felt about Reid the way a lot of people feel about JJ.  Way too much on screen time for no particular reason.   When the writers need something solved they go to Reid's big brain and his magic IQ to solve it and poof he figures something out.  I'd rather have JJ...but that is just me and my affinity for a strong female.  I like strong females on my television and think TV has far too little so I was disappointed when Emily left even with her unfortunate SuperEmily turn.  Honestly procedurals have never been good with character arcs anways so I focus on arc types and I happen to like JJ for the most part.   Reid is ok when the show isn't focusing on how great he is...I want to say special snowflake but I hate HATE that term, so i will just say that he pulls answers out of thin air far to often for my taste.   Honestly the only person whose storyline has never annoyed me is Hotch....and yes I do think he is a good father considering what he does for a living.  

Edited by Accused Dingo
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I think when it comes to JJ, it may be worth asking how many “important” scenes she gets. Sure, someone could time each character and assert everyone's got equal time, but if one character has two scenes where they just talk with a witness and presents a point at a team pow-wow while another winds up finding the vital clue that breaks the case and interrogates the UnSub, then the other character will “feel” like they have more time than the other character just on the basis that their scenes were more vital to the episode and thus more memorable.

Now, I'm of the opinion that JJ isn't as dominant as some like to believe (I don't think she's in *every* vital scene), but she does seem to get more favourable on-screen treatment than what the other characters get (she's in almost every single arrest, and Morgan has only been in one this year), and “Boxed In” was pretty egregious case of overdominance.

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I like strong females on my television and think TV has far too little so I was disappointed when Emily left even with her unfortunate SuperEmily turn.

 

Here we agree! I hated what they did to the Emily character in order to kick her out the door, and I realize they've retconned the JJ character for the same reason. If they had left JJ the media liaison who was very necessary and very focused on her job (which was one of the tougher jobs in the TV BAU, imo), I would be happy to have her still there. I liked Blake as well, cerebral and calm, but tough. I'm having a tough time, though, with Kate, and part of it was in this episode, when she said it was too bad they couldn't do violence to a suspect. I don't like that kind of trash talk, and no, it doesn't remind me of Elle's tough talk, which she usually did when directly confronting a suspect. (I miss Elle, too).

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Now, I'm of the opinion that JJ isn't as dominant as some like to believe (I don't think she's in *every* vital scene), but she does seem to get more favourable on-screen treatment than what the other characters get (she's in almost every single arrest, and Morgan has only been in one this year), and “Boxed In” was pretty egregious case of overdominance.

Maybe the show runners owe her something, or she has dirt on them :)

 

I have already stated that I think the actress is one of the worst I have seen on a main cast. I want to add that the decision of changing the character in an almost mutant way (X-ninja JJ?) and all the airtime she is getting is not helping her. Of course, that's my opinion. It doesn't take long for the weakness to show because she cannot lead on the acting only. Since I am not attracted by her looks either, the cringing comes pretty soon into the episodes.

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Guest Accused Dingo

I am going to make one more short point because this is mildly off topic and probably belongs more in Reid;s topic board; but since we are discussing it here:  What Reid needs for him to not annoy me is an actual story.  Hotch and JJ having a scene discussing their kids costumes fit in with the Halloween topic and it was cute.  Hotch going out of his way to get what his son wanted to be for Halloween was also cute and it continues with the Hotchner family moving on after Haley's death that we are bound to see from time to time.  This show isn't really known for its backstories and for good reason but Reid needs one.  Hell meeting a new girl who doesn't get murdered before they go out on an actual date would work,   Plus it would give the gang all reason to have that happy/worried scene before the date or something.  You know cute.  

Edited by Accused Dingo
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