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Wilowy

Spencer Reid: Gorgeous Gray Matter

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Here's a thread for everyone's favorite young genius, and the man who plays him. Come discuss messenger bags, Fibonacci sequences, and coffee-flavored sugar.

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Nice to see familiar faces! 

I was thinking about this in light of events on other shows recently, and realized that Reid is probably the only character on TV at the moment where, if he was killed off, I would genuinely mourn his 'passing' almost like he was a flesh and blood aquaintance. Not because the actor is pretty (he is pretty, but that's often  the default for actors) but because I feel like Reid is incredibly emotionally vulnerable and a genuinely sweet character, which is quite rare.

The idea of him not having the chance to go on and learn many more wonderful things and experience the richness of a full life in his completely fictional reality would be rather heart breaking! I am aware that this is crazy, but there we go. I hope they never go there, even if the actor eventually decides to quit the show.

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You're not crazy at all, Lebanna. Reid is a very unique character, and over the years we've seen him go through significant life trials. I too hope that this sweet man gets to have a full life. The good thing is, he's in no danger of being killed off, unless Matthew were to walk away. Considering his work ethic? That's highly doubtful. :)

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You know, on a show that (IMO, of course!) so often struggles to adequately define and develop their characters, it's a lovely miracle for me that they've somehow given us Reid who, while certainly not perfect (and thank heaven for that!), is so vividly defined, memorable and, as Willowy pointed out, unique. He's actually among my very favorite TV characters, and I watch an *obscene* amount of TV. I'm always  curious about how much of what we see of Reid is as much about MGG's personality as what the writers put on the page. Is MGG's personality very similar to his character's? 

Some of my favorite Reid episodes include LDSK, Derailed, Fisher King II (I'm endlessly fascinated by his relationship with Diana!), Sex, Birth and Death, Elephant's Memory, Instincts/Memoriam and...well, so many others, but I'd love to hear others' favorite Reid episodes as well! 

Edited by mstaken
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Oooh *rubs hands together* My favorite subject! 

Nope, Matthew isn't like Reid at all, really. The only similarity being that they are both odd. Matthew isn't a genius, but he's managed to infuse many of his own mannerisms into Reid, which I ADORE! Both of them are incredible humans, and I agree with you in that CM has really cultivated that and managed to have him stand out from the crowd. 

Fave Reid eps? Whee! Amplification, The Uncanny Valley, ELEPHANT'S MEMORY, which if any eps deserve all caps, it's that one!

Magnum Opus (because of the love from the team, the actual UnSub was lame), Masterpiece (aka 'Kentucky Fried UnSub) just for the amazing amount of Reid brainage... Instincts/Memoriam, and of course, Fisher King. I also love God Complex and The Apprenticeship - two excellent Reidisodes - and I love Faceless, Nameless because our boy is so brave and gets shot in the DAMN LEG... and Gatekeeper, when he delivers that baby and has the Jencer moment. I can never get enough Jencer moments.

Rabid, and Persuasion are newer faves, and I love True Genius just because. Sex, Birth, Death! I can't forget that one! and Empty Planet! And Damaged, with Hardwick! Awesome.

And I will NEVER claim Revelations as a favorite. I can't even watch it. FUCK REVELATIONS! Hate you! You suck! *ahem*... I'm fine.

Edited by Willowy
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And I will NEVER claim Revelations as a favorite. I can't even watch it. FUCK REVELATIONS! Hate you! You suck! *ahem*... I'm fine.

Oh, wow, a fellow Revelations hater! I haven't rewatched it since its original broadcast and doubt I ever will. And I kind of hate that they gave Reid a 'been there, done that' drug addiction storyline (because every crime drama seems, like, contractually obligated to have them!) instead of taking the opportunity to explore other PTSD symptoms in a way we haven't seen too often elsewhere. 

 

 

The Uncanny Valley

How could I have forgotten to mention Uncanny Valley?! In my lame defense, I'm about a zillion times more familiar with s1-S4 than any of the seasons that follow it but, still, that's no excuse for forgetting what is probably one of my top 3-4 Reid episodes of the entire series! 

 

 

Masterpiece (aka 'Kentucky Fried UnSub) just for the amazing amount of Reid brainage

And who DOESN'T like a good existentialist lightbulb joke?! I love both Reid and Rossi in this one to a ridiculous degree, which reminds me that I really enjoy the Reid/Rossi combination in general. I also love Reid/Hotch, though I really miss the greater depth and frequency of their interactions from earlier seasons. 

Edited by mstaken
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Me too, but you're right about Reid/Rossi. Love them lots! Rossi is good with everybody (except Morgan) - Hotch, Garcia, Strauss, Reid, Blake... he da man.

Edited by Willowy

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Best character on the show!  It's really too bad MGG has been shunted aside for the last three years in favor of far less-capable people.   He can actually act, and he's going to waste in the background. 

Once CM has run its course, Matthew isn't going to have any trouble finding future jobs.  I'd love to see him get a chance to direct a movie.  He's got talent above and beyond the rest of the supporting cast.   

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Ah, speaking about fave Reid episodes! I agree with all the ones you listed, except I love Revelations. I also can't not watch Zugzwang, just because he's so gorgeous, I love Beth Reisgraf, and because he's so gorgeous. And nice to look at. And his hair was perfect.

As far as Reid/Rossi, I didn't hear a mention of Alchemy, which is probably my fave of season 8. I do have a bit of trouble sometimes with episodes that are Reid-alicious, but I can't stand the unsub story. Alchemy was OK, but i'm glad I have DVR every time I see Slave of Duty or Proof (gag).

I'm glad y'all mentioned Damaged, I really love that one! The relationship between Reid and Hotch used to be so precious, so this was a great example. As is LDSK, Revelations, Tabula RasaElephant's Memory, etc. I was so disappointed when there was no Reid reaction to Hotch having complications in Route 66. And in season 8, when it seemed Hotch was the one who could help Reid the most in the aftermath of Maeve, they dropped the opportunity 2 or 3 times.

Edited by normasm
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Agreed on Proof, SO much! I can't stand that episode, or that freaking actor who played the UnSub. He's always made my skin crawl, and now he plays the dad on Austin and Alli, a kid's show my daughter watches. I watch for the Pissy!Reid, and one of the most memorable scenes between him and JJ in the entire series run. Both of them really brought the emotion in that scene, and I love how elegantly he fought (except for the cheap jab about the Dilaudid), keeping his voice low, not resorting to insults, just laying it out there. He was fucking pissed off, and when she asked for it, he let her have it. The only time they've ever fought, and it brought JJ to tears.

And Slave of Duty? I watch it because I must, whenever 100 precedes it because I'm a masochist, but I also must FAST FORWARD through anything not team. Rena Sofer is someone I really love to watch, but that UnSub story sucks balls. 

Also agree with you re: 'because gorgeous'. Because yep. ;)

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I personally thought JJ deserved that jab Reid threw at her about the Dilaudid after that crack she made about his profiling abilities. I will say the conflict between the 2 of them was the highlight for me in this otherwise crappy episode.

I am in complete agreement with those who absolutely hated that stupid pasta party plus many people felt that it seemed like Matthew himself had shown up instead of Reid. I sort of got that feeling myself. Now I absolutely adore Matthew, but when I'm watching Criminal Minds it's Reid I want to see not him.

I also hated that entire guilt trip Prentiss laid on him and I thought it was vastly unfair of her because Reid was perfectly entitled to feel the way he did.He would of eventually came around to realizing that JJ didn't purposely set out to hurt him.But it did bother me that there seemed to be more concern over the fact that JJ was upset at Reid's treatment of her than there was over the fact that he was really hurting. 

Edited by missmycat
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missmycat, I agree completely, JJ was being pissy because she knew she was in the wrong and had hurt him deeply. When she said that about his not being able to read their microexpressions, you can see Reid slam on the breaks and get out of the damn car! He was totally trying to sting her back with the dilaudid comment, and she deserved it! And the fact they wrote Prentiss guilt-tripping him gravely disappointed me! She was always the one who understood him (besides Elle), who treated him as an adult, and the Prentiss they brought back didn't seem to have much time for him.

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I think, what they were going for with Prentiss, was trying to bring US around, along with Reid.

I by no means think that he was unjustified in feeling what he did, he was fucked over for 2.5 months while crying in JJ's arms every night, the man is gonna be PISSED. Still, I do think the drug problem was a cheap shot (JJ would never wish him harm, and deep down he knows that) - which just emphasized his state of mind at the time - VERY upset. 

Prentiss' analogy was uneven, and unfair. She was trying to liken her loss of job to his loss of a friend, and it didn't wash. She was in comfort, living in any country of her choice high on the hog during her convalescence, knowing all her friends were okay, and playing online scrabble with Cheeto-Breath. He, on the other hand, was on JJ's couch. :(

But she really wanted him to forgive JJ, and herself. She knew her blonde friend was put in an untenable position, unable to say a word. Hotch tried to take some of the blame, but I think he should've done more. He should have had a conference with Reid, telling him exactly what went down and why, and why he himself was just as culpable as JJ, and that they both were under strict orders. 

In their line of work, they really have to develop the skill to let things go. I think Prentiss was just trying to get Spencer on the fast-track to do that, lessening his misery and anger, and helping him to move forward. It was rushed, and forced I think, due to the very real time constraints of the brutally fast tv schedule... but I think the get-together at Rossi's was a 'knitting' of sorts. As clumsy as some fans think it was... they had to do something.

It didn't close all the holes, but it was a start. A moving forward, and a reaffirming of all of the very real affection for one another that lies within that team.

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But for the production it DID close the holes which is what made it so stupid. It was like patting children on the head and saying "All better now"! If they had let this rumble through subsequent episodes it would have been better. Hurt and upset of that magnitude just doesn't go away over a plate of pasta. The spat between JJ and Reid was so well done that I found it ludicrous that they should just settle it like that. And I agree, Matthew was the one who showed up at Rossi's instead of Reid. It would have made it more dramatic and credible for it to reverberate through the season. But they are pretty rubbish at any kind of continuity and of course Erica Messer likes a Disney ending.

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I know that she does. You're right. 

But Spencer and JJ did NOT get back to their solid connection until Magnum Opus. I know I keep harping on that ep but THAT is when they all came together again. A whole season later.

There were feelers, tendrils and snippets of them being back throughout, like God Complex with Alex, and especially The Apprenticeship, with Morgan - that damned softball game melted me into mercury - Zugzwang, with the whole team. But it was when they helped him put his house back together after Maeve, that solidified their real connections again. /cry

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I liked Magnum Opus very much despite the naff unsub as for once they addressed something in a subsequent episode. But I found it very telling that it was Morgan who knew what to say to pull Reid out of his introspection and it was Morgan who offered to help him at the end. I don;t see that as a return to the JJ/Reid connection. The interactions between them these days really seem more Matthew and AJ than JJ/Reid and as such I don't find them believable. I am not a Morgan fan but I liked that Morgan knew him so well he knew the best thing to do. However I was also disappointed that Hotch didn't do more to help Reid with his grief. In the early days, Hotch and Reid had such a great relationship which is another thing that has really suffered since EM.

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Did you see her face when he showed up at the precinct? And who was the first to run and hold him?

At his apartment she was the last to hug him, she held him the longest as he buried his face in her shoulder and rubbed her back, and she held his face in her hands before sliding them down his arms. 

Just didn't seem like she was hating any of that, and I know that he wasn't.

And hell yes to the Morgan love. He cares about his 'kid' brother so much. I do love their relationship.

Pretty sure I just love it anytime anyone loves on Reid. That man needs all of that.

Edited by Willowy
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I feel Reid has forgiven JJ, but this whole thing recently with him intuiting her secretiveness (which he didn't see connected to Cruz like others did, he was just focusing on JJ holding back and not being honest with him. Yet again.) was to show that he does still have a connection to her. It's just a grownup one now.

I feel like Reid has grown up a lot, and he just doesn't invest his emotions in her as much any more. The one bit of interaction between them after her rescue in 200 was him embracing her, pulling back, looking her straight in the eye and pursing his lips in that look of his, then immediately she looks away from him toward Cruz and that's it for the Reid/JJ love. I'm glad that she will no longer have that post-adolescent hold on his heart. He's released from his old crush.

Speaking again of that scene, look at how much acting that man can do with a medium shot where he is turned 3/4 away from the camera! 

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I recall the hug he gave her in "200" was pretty perfunctory but I cannot watch that episode again - once was one time too many!

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Yeah, Old Dog, i think that's my point, in the aftermath of all the crap she participated in, I think his affection is pulled back to perfunctory mode. He still loves her, but it's at arm's length now, and with eyes fully open. He can be relaxed and joking with her, as in Persuasion. Everything is forgiven and Reid has moved on, or to paraphrase Willowy, he has let it go. I'm all for that.

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In which seasons do you guys like Reid's hair most and least?! 

 

Yeah, I know...I can always be counted on to pose the most deep and meaningful questions :)

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I liked it least when he had that "Boys Own Regular" cut at the start of Season 2.

Most I like Season 5 when it was long and he looked breathtaking in The Slave of Duty and this current season now it's starting to grow out. He gets more and more gorgeous! But really he can rock any haircut!

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Oh, god. It's five. I can't with the long, soft, tangled curls. So much love for the five-hair. 

Hated the beginning of this season. Looked too "Flock of Seagulls" for me.

And with that I'm off for MGG's live chat!

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For me Reid's best hair is season six and the start of season seven. Without a doubt, no competition, I consider his worst hair to be the atrocious mess that was season five, pre boyband hair. I didn't start watching the show until halfway through season five, and didn't find Reid/Matthew physically attractive until he cut it.

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For me the worst hair was probably season 1 and 2 as it just looked like greasy teen hair.

I remember that I managed to like both season 5 and 6 Reid-hair (Rair?). But I think it seemed to be getting a bit ridiculously long in late season 5 and with the whole revolver/vest/watch chain thing that was going on he kind of looked like he'd stepped out of a Western. Don't get me wrong, it was cute as all get out, but not very federal or agenty and it took me out of the story a bit. So the boy band hair was a relief.

I think I preferred his hair last year but it's getting more mad scientist-esque again as it grows out. The guy must be running out of new styles by now. I wonder if next year he'll have to shave it all off to keep it different. 

Edited by Lebanna
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Hated? Season One, before they let him loosen it a bit, Season 7, with the shaved area and the pouf, and Season 9, when I swear they had MGG cut his hair identically to season 7 in case they were going to do flashbacks for "200" (no way a wig would work for that awful haircut).

Loved? Season 5, followed closely by season 8, because *long* and because *unshaved facial hair*

Honorable mention is season 4, when the man was perfectly gorgeous in every way, I think TPTB saw it, and decided to pull his awesome back a bit. And then he messed up his knee...

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Hated? Season One, before they let him loosen it a bit, Season 7, with the shaved area and the pouf, and Season 9, when I swear they had MGG cut his hair identically to season 7 in case they were going to do flashbacks for "200" (no way a wig would work for that awful haircut).

Loved? Season 5, followed closely by season 8, because *long* and because *unshaved facial hair*

Honorable mention is season 4, when the man was perfectly gorgeous in every way, I think TPTB saw it, and decided to pull his awesome back a bit. And then he messed up his knee...

I like everything about this post. :)

Although Harry said that he cut his hair on the hiatus before 9 due to an 'indie picture' he did. From the pics I've seen I'd say it was for Suburban Gothic.

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I love the picture, though I've got an admittedly weird preference for short hair over long hair as a general rule, even on men as gorgeous as MGG. And somehow it just fits better with Reid's character for me---and maybe with the fact that he's an FBI agent in general---to have shorter hair. Fortunately, since MGG is forever changing the length and style, fans of all different types of Reid hair will eventually be satisfied :) 

I know it's hard to talk about favorite Reid scenes since for many of us there are too many to narrow down, but Willowy posting a picture of Hotch from Figher King Pt II in another thread (and thank you for that!) reminded me of just how much I adore that final scene between Spencer and Diana. It still touches and affects me even after seeing it a million times by now. 

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I have never loved you more! 

I'm endlessly fascinated by the Reid/Diana dynamic, as you know. It's amazing how Diana has made so few appearances, yet made far more of an impression on me than some other CM characters who we've hung out with for almost nine seasons now! Does any non-me person hope to see her again? What kind of Reid/Diana scenes or storylines would you want to see? 

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Since this IS a fictional world, I would love Reid to get his MD and cure schizophrenia. That was a personal goal of his and I would love to see him achieve it, winning the Nobel Prize, to boot. 

Can you imagine him curing Diana, and the scene between the two of them when she realizes what he has done??

I would literally melt. I would have no bones left. Skinbag Willowy, they'd call me.

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I love that idea beyond the telling of it, Willowy. You know you have to write that fanfic, right?! 

 

What were people's favorite Diana/Reid scenes of the ones we've gotten so far? (I say 'so far' because I refuse to accept that she's unlikely to reappear!) 

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With regards to Reid and curing schizophrenia, to me while that line was cute and heartfelt, it highlighted a potential problem in Reid's background. So far, what little we know about him doesn't overly contradict each other too much, particularly since Breen openly admitted his MIT mention was a stupid mistake. But if we want to legitimately believe Reid dreamed of curing schizophrenia by the age of 25, I have to wonder about his previous life choices. I mean, the man has three doctorates in mathematics, engineering and chemistry. While there could be some overlap in those degrees and curing schizophrenia, you would think he would have chosen to go into the medical field, or study something like neurobiology instead. Why major in those three areas instead? And why, if he was so hellbent on curing schizophrenia, did he divert into the FBI? Like I said, it sounds adorable when Reid said it (particularly his tone of voice when he said it), but it was one of those throwaway lines that don't really match up with Reid's life choices up to this point. If he really does want to cure schizophrenia, why is he doing a job anybody else could do (as Emily aptly pointed out?) How did he manage to get diverted into a law enforcement career field? There is a mile wide gap between pursuing a career of science in the hopes of curing schizophrenia one day, and pursuing a law enforcement career. 

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You're right, although maybe he was just speaking about it as a wistful, boyish pipe dream without knowing what it would actually take to embark on that field of study. Maybe he thought he could read books about the subject and automatically know what to do?

He does have a super power, I think he was just confessing what maybe his earliest hopes were, without really considering the paths he'd have to go down. Does that make sense?

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True, I will buy that it was Reid's boyhood dream. But then I want to know what made him give it up. It is an admirable goal, and he certainly has the intelligence and drive to positively contribute to the study of schizophrenia. So why give it up to go fight crime? It's a subject that would fit well into examining why Reid elected to join the FBI in the first place. He really could have done anything with his life, so why choose this career path? 

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Maybe it was the whole Riley Jenkins experience that planted it in his head. A crime, a murder, and a puzzle - all things that Spencer finds irresistible to this day. He was very small when all that went down. 

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Going back to the hair, or the looks, in general.  While looking for Reid's hair by season (oh the things I google after reading these forums), I came across these pictures.  I would love to see some of these looks on the show.  ETA: or in my house... sitting next to me.

Edited by aquarian1
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They are wonderful, aren't they? Coupled with his confident look, staring right into the camera? 

*thud*

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Argh, never mind---I can't seem to link pictures. It was of glasses-wearing Reid, though, in case you guys want to do your own research! 


matthew_gray_gubler_01.jpg

Edited by mstaken
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I do miss his glasses. And Matthew wears them between takes, he really has horrible eyesight, poor boo. 

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Willowy, look just above you. I think I figured out how to post pictures! This could be a dangerous new skill...

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Also back to the hair, when he did Suburban gothic, they did cut his hair close and left it long on top in a doowip, but it was not shaven. Repeat - NOT SHAVEN. I hate that haircut!!!!!!

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And, since we're back on hair, more love for the FIVE! I think this may be my favorite photo of Reid.

gj8S0p7.jpg

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Willowy, yes, as far as sheer sex goes, Slave of Duty produces the most saliva, by far. Plus, only Reid would wear brown oxfords with a black suit and overcoat!

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