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Wilowy

David Rossi: He KNOWS Things

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Rossi is another CM character who I feel isn't as defined as he could be, but I love the actor so much that I end up liking Rossi far more than I probably would otherwise. Rossi's always struck me as fairly similar to Morgan, actually: both are pleasure seeking life lovers (and they both like the ladies!), both are extroverted, somewhat smooth and more classically 'macho' than Hotch or Reid, both are prone to losing their tempers a bit and acting based on emotion and impulse, both have been taunted by Unsubs as being the least cerebral, brainy members of the team, both  are more likely than Hotch and Reid to break the rules. The primary difference for me is that Morgan has trust issues while Rossi seems a bit more wise and (mostly) at peace with himself...and that I happen to adore Joe Mantegna's acting. 

And maybe the awesomeness of the actor explains this mysterious phenomenon I've noticed: Even though Rossi himself is kind of underdeveloped and underutilized more often than not, somehow he automatically makes nearly every other character better! The only time I really enjoy Morgan is around Rossi, a surprising number of my favorite Hotch, Reid and even Emily interactions happened to have included Rossi, etc.  

And Rossi's infamous "say hello to your SCUMBAG BROTHER!" remains one of my favorite scenes of the series.  

Edited by mstaken
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I think Rossi is a great counterweight to Gideon, since he replaced him. I mean Gideon was probably the best natural profiler on the team. He was intuitive and was able to get inside the heads of both victims and unsubs. However, that intuitiveness did not come with any sort of emotional shield. He felt EVERYTHING, and in the end, couldn't contain it anymore.

Now Rossi is also a BAU veteran and helped form the team with Gideon. But he has a constitution that is better suited for doing this job over the long haul. He can compartamentalize like nobody else. I can only think of once or twice when he left emotion affect his work. Otherwise he knows it is just a job and he can do it without getting emotionally involved. And he can help others the same. His scene with Hotch in "Omnivore" when Hotch showed one of his few emotional scenes was masterful. He got Hotch back on track by reminding him what their job was. Rossi is interesting, because he can completely focused on work while he's on the job, but he leaves it behind once the job is done. It's a skill that is critically important in a job like this.

I haven't liked some of the Rossi B stories in recent years. His arc with Caroline was cruel and pointless, only there to give Joe some scenery to chew. And the stories with veterans make me a bit uncomfortable in how they are presented, just because it almost feels like emotional manipulation, plus the fact that they have nearly dominated the two episodes they were featured. I liked Rossi a bit more when he first came on the show, because he wasn't afraid to mix it up with the team members, even when he was slowly warming up to them.  

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Rossi's also become a bit too 'quippy' lately... like they are trying to make him the 'Munch' of the team. I appreciate Rossi's bon mots as much as the next person, but he's always had this cool slyness about him too, and a ton of compassion. I don't want to see that slide in favor of making him the jokester. 

And I like what the both of you had to say about him, though I do like him more now, than at first. He was a little too smug at first. 

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What type of scenes, storylines and just general role within the team would you guys like to see for Rossi? As noted above, he still seems a little underutilized and underdeveloped somehow. They quickly dropped the flaws they introduced with him in S3, at which point he became just yet another more tamely, somewhat blandly awesome member of the team. I'm glad they're still not clinging to the 'lone wolf' arrogance, because lord knows that would have gotten beyond old by now, but I do wish he had a few more edges and layers. I'll say this about Rossi, though---of all the team members, he seems to have found a way to still derive the most unfettered enjoyment from life despite the stress and grimness of their jobs. 

Edited by mstaken

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There hasn't been much love for Rossi lately. I do wonder what they are going to do for his personal stories now that his army buddy won't be in the picture. That really was sad news. Cancer sucks ass.

 

I'm hoping they give him something aside from some old case. I want to see something new. Maybe something related to his family or dealing with his view on things. I know that in the past he sort of butted heads with JJ because he disagreed with her about the alleged psychic in one of the episodes. Since then they rarely have him disagree with the others and I actually liked that his age and experiences gave him a unique perspective. There is a tendency in modern TV to make the characters politically correct because they are vilified if they hold unpopular opinions, but I do know that a lot of older LEOs like Rossi tend to hold on to some of the attitudes and feelings from when they were younger. Or he could comment on what sorts of experiences made him change his mind about things once he was older. Like saying he grew up being told one thing but now things are different and it was an eye-opener for him.

 

On a side note, does anyone remember the brief tumblr thing called cockblockingrossi? I think it was started by Reid/Prentiss shippers and they pointed out that anytime it looked like Reid and Prentiss were going to have a moment or were together in a shot, Rossi would step in to the scene. They had various pictures to show it happening and then extended it to have a cutout of Rossi that could be pasted in to photos of couples to say he was cockblocking them.

I just remembered it bc I was searching my archives and found this:

tumblr_lg66ya4ECn1qgd9peo1_500.jpg

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That's hilarious, zaneej. I don't remember seeing that when it came around on tumblr but I do remember this bizarre period of time where they kept photoshopping Rossi's face on owls. 

 

I want to meet ex-wives no. 2 and 3. We don't know anything about Ex No.3, do we? Ex No.2 is African-American and ... was crafty. 

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Let's keep it on Rossi in here, please, folks. Also, if you can't be considerate and respectful of your fellow posters, you will be warned. Thank you.

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Ok, I must have missed something. Stacey, was that directed at me? To clarify, is it NOT ok to talk about blogs about Rossi and stuff fans did out of humor involving Rossi?

 

Speaking of humor: Anyone have any favorite funny lines from Rossi?

Edited by zannej
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Ok. Thanks, Dougal. I was a bit confused.

 

I wonder if Rossi still has his hunting dog or if he would be a cat person. I know that Joe has cats. He has a very pretty Siamese cat. I think he said he has three or four cats. I'll have to go look again to see what his answer was.

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Mudgie! I kind of hope Rossi gave the dog to another owner who's actually at home enough to take care of it. Between the BAU cases and his book tours, I don't know who's looking after the poor dog. 

 

I wonder if Rossi ever wanted to have kids again after his son died. He said to Hotch once that he might've tried harder to make his marriages work if there had been kids involved. I wonder if it was his decision not to have any kids, or if was his ex-wives, or if his fabulous millionaire author/profiler lifestyle didn't allow it. He's great with children - coaching Jack's soccer team, and bonding with the kid whose older brother was the school shooter in Painless. I dislike the episodes with Seaver in general, but I love how fatherly Rossi is towards her and their scenes are the only ones with Seaver that I actually enjoy.

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What would you all says are some of your very favorite Rossi moments of the series? I've been thinking about this lately :) 

 

-Niko Belic. :) Hands down.

-His interrogation scene with Austin Chapman (the "where is the freezer" scene in "The Internet is Forever")

-Going toe to toe with Henry Grace

-The goofy smile and wave in the wedding scene in "Zugzwang"

-When he confronted Hotch in "Omnivore" after the bus killings ("no, you said it- you killed them yourself")

-The final scene he had with the kids in "Damaged"

-When he told Morgan that "we need to take breaks" in "Cradle to the Grave" and then giving him a knowing nod when he told the team to take a break in "The Slave of Duty"

-"Zugzwang Curtis. Zugzwang."

-His interrogation of Boyd Schuller in "The Reckoning"

-His interrogation of the UnSub in "Strange Fruit"

-When he caught Morgan, Reid and Prentiss profiling him in "Identity"

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Amazing list, Danielg! I love it and agree with every moment you listed. A few more of my favorites: 

 

-His impatient sarcasm with Strauss in About Face

-Tricking the Kentucky Fried Unsub and telling him to say hello to his "scumbag brother"

-Getting into the elevator to help Emily in Demonology 

-Watching soaps with Morgan in Reid's hotel room while they wait for Reid to show up and offer him support  in Memoriam

-His interrogation with Morgan of the smug Unsub in Soul Mates 

-His guilt over Zoe's death in Zoe's Reprise

-Learning how he really spends his birthdays in Profiling 101

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Speaking of humor: Anyone have any favorite funny lines from Rossi?

 

He's got a lot of zingers, so it'll be hard to narrow it down. Here goes:

 

-"What's up with you? Do you need a hug or something?" ("Carbon Copy")

-"I'm not going in there...(my shoes) are Italian leather." ("Solitary Man")

-"What? I know things." ("Safe Haven")

-"My wife always said I had a flair for the dramatic." (Hotch: "which one?") "All of them." ("Omnivore")

-(Det. Linden (referring to Reid): "Where'd you find this kid?") "He was left in a basket at the footsteps of the FBI." ("Soul Mates")

-"Now before (Reid) gets to his quantum physics knock-knock joke." ("Masterpiece")

-"Reid, we want people to join the FBI..." ("Masterpiece")

-"Gold is going up. The trick is knowing when to get out." ("100")

-(Prentiss: "Well Roadside motels definately go on my list.") [When Reid gives her a funny look... ] (Prentiss: "Of things to never do again.") (Reid: "You have a *list?*") [to Reid] "You *don't?*" ("Paradise")

-"The only people I made happy were my divorce attorneys." ("The Crossing")

-(to JJ after she catches him admiring Strauss) "I think I liked you better before you were a profiler." ("Brothers Hotchner")

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Rossi's first episode is airing on ION right now, and I realized that he actually didn't have the facial hair at first. Two other things:

 

"I missed you too,  Erin." Heh.

 

"They didn't have that ten years ago." *watching JJ's retreating back* Hotch: "Have what?" Rossi, after a pause: "A communications liaison." Really, Dave? :-P

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I have to admit that I have a real fondness for S3's more cocky, abrasive, lone wolf Rossi. I totally get that it would have been unrealistic and even frustrating to have kept up the 'doesn't want to play well with others!' stuff much longer than a season or two, but I wish they had found a way to show him more gradually assimilating into the team while still retaining the sharpness and edges that made him a more interesting (and amusing!) character for me. It just feels like he so very quickly became yet another generic, 'yay team!' agent. Softening him might have made him more likable or a guy I'd rather meet for a drink, but for me it made him a somewhat less compelling and entertaining character. 

Edited by amensisterfriend
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I have to admit that I have a real fondness for S3's more cocky, abrasive, lone wolf Rossi. I totally get that it would have been unrealistic and even frustrating to have kept up the 'doesn't want to play well with others!' stuff much longer than a season or two, but I wish they had found a way to show him more gradually assimilating into the team while still retaining the sharpness and edges that made him a more interesting (and amusing!) character for me. It just feels like he so very quickly became yet another generic, 'yay team!' agent. Softening him might have made him more likable or a guy I'd rather meet for a drink, but for me it made him a somewhat less compelling and entertaining character.

I strongly agree with you.

Once Messer decided to turn Rossi and Strauss the grandpa and grandma of the year, I just plain disliked the characters, since they both became sugarly, boring, 'too nice to be true'.

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I disagree that Rossi changed quickly. He did change, but fairly slowly over (most of) season 3. I think that he hit his stride as team member in late season 4. He was coming to Spencer's aid, supporting Morgan's struggle with leadership, aiding Emily when she faltered badly, prompting Aaron's rebuilding of his position as Unit Chief (and encouraging his recovery from PTSD), sparring against the super villain Strauss, being a champion for Seaver. It wasn't until the dreadful season 7 that he was linked with Strauss and became Grandpa. This was a mistake primarily because it ruined a great "love-to-hate" character in Strauss. But Rossi didn't start to become boring to me until he started his episodes about the Viet Nam War, the appearance of his ex-wife, his martyrdom in Profiling 101, and his surprise!! fatherhood. Ergh

Edited by normasm
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and his surprise!! fatherhood

 

Argh---I was finally just starting to repress that, so thanks for reminding me ;) 

 

I do agree that there were still encouraging signs of Original Recipe Rossi in S4.  Don't even ask me how often I've watched the scene between him and Kentucky Fried Unsub!  "I'm going to lean in real close and tell you to say hello to your scumbag brother" remains one of my all-time favorite moments of the series. Going rogue to help out Emily in Demonology was another awesome glimpse at that Renegade Rossi who I adored. It just seems like every character on this show gets so bland-ified (I'm pretending that's a verb here!) within a few seasons of joining the show, if not even sooner. The writers seem fearful of letting the characters have real edges and flaws. 

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Blandified is a perfectly proper adjective, IMO. I loved the first 4 or 5 Rossi episodes, just for his interaction with Reid, how mismatched they were, and yet, you could see how he began to regard Reid as a person. Well written, back then.

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For anyone who sees this, About Face comes on at ten a.m. Eastern time on A & E. For fans of Early!Rossi, tune in and check it out. :-)

Edited by Cobalt Stargazer
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Question for the regulars:  Has Rossi's age ever come up as an issue, regarding retirement?

 

The CM Wikia entry for Rossi lists his birthday as 1956, which would make him turn 60 this year.  Though, Mantegna is actually several years older, being born in 1947.

 

The default FBI maximum retirement age is 57 (which is based on being 20 years after the maximum entry age of 37), but there is authority for that to be extended to 60, and even beyond.  (See this DOJ web page for a summary.)  So, exceptions can be made, which makes this a relatively minor plot issue.

 

(The reason why I'm asking is that Gary Sinise, who is the lead of the potential spinoff, just turned 60, and depending how they set his character's age, the retirement issue could be an exploitable plot point.)

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Yeah, we have discussed it here, Just here, and I agree, they ought to find a way to make him a consultant and not an active field agent. Mostly because he just looks old out there. And i really like Mantegna, but it does stretch credulity for him to be there, running around with a gun.

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Yeah, we have discussed it here, Just here, and I agree, they ought to find a way to make him a consultant and not an active field agent. Mostly because he just looks old out there. And i really like Mantegna, but it does stretch credulity for him to be there, running around with a gun.

And if Rossi was born in 1956 how likely would he have been in Vietnam? More likely Rossi would have been in Vietnam if he had been born in 1947 like Mantegna.

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He could have been in Viet Nam if he had been born as late as '57, I believe, because he would have been about 18 when the end came in 1975, so '56 isn't out of the realm of possibility. In fact, that war, like most, had a lot of "babies" going over there at 18, 19, 20. If Rossi had been born in '47, he would have been about 27 in 1974, so lots older than what they portray.

Edited by normasm
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Yeah, but I believe the show had Rossi in Vietnam in the late 60s. In either case, Rossi was 19 in the Vietnam flashbacks (per interviews from Joe). The military had pretty much pulled out of Vietnam by 1973.

Edited by ForeverAlone
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Yeah, we have discussed it here, Just here, and I agree, they ought to find a way to make him a consultant and not an active field agent. Mostly because he just looks old out there. And i really like Mantegna, but it does stretch credulity for him to be there, running around with a gun.

 

Thanks.  On the consultant angle, they could could let Rossi retire from the FBI and then have the Director of the U.S. Marshals Service designate him a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal (under 28 USC 566(d)) which would give him a badge and much more legal authority than just a civilian consultant.

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Question for the regulars:  Has Rossi's age ever come up as an issue, regarding retirement?

 

He said that he is 52 in Identity when Prentiss, Morgan and Reid are profiling him by going through his stuff and he walks in on them. 

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I admit that i didn't really like Rossi at first, but I started to like him because I learned more about Joe. He seemed so warm and sweet that I started to warm to him, and now I really like Rossi.

I have this thing where I don't like it when the protagonists are unprofessional and cause all sorts of drama/conflict. I do like it when Rossi is sassy. Loved it when he said "you need a hug or something?"

 

On a side note, I was google image searching for stuff and an unrelated picture came up and led me to a site full of Italian suits. It was interesting to see the Italian men's fashion (not sure if that is normal fashion for men in Italy) and I immediately thought of Rossi and his fancy suits-- although his are not as fancy as the ones I was seeing on the site.

Edited by zannej

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This is a show that can't even get ages right for some of his characters (I mean, they certainly can't agree on Hotch's). But if Rossi was 52 in 2007 when he joined the show, he would be turning 60 this year, so he would have been born in 1955. But since the show said he was 19 in Vietnam, that would put it at 1974, and weren't conducting combat operations in Vietnam then. So he would have to be older, into his mid 60s at least.

Edited by ForeverAlone
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but the vietnam plot was after the showrunners changed right? And assuming that this whole story was on JM to bring focus on one of his pet projects, it was really ... well, his fault :/

 

(or the showrunners for not stopping this)

Edited by whitespace
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It really was the showrunner's fault for going along with it and not saying "No, the timeline doesn't work for this".

Edited by zannej
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I agree. Maybe they could have had a storyline where Rossi's older brother went to Viet Nam and never came back, or just not have done the storyline...

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Maybe it's just me, but I would prefer not to get into real life political or religious discussions here. I know we talk about real life things like rape culture or political correctness occasionally on this board, but such conversations can escalate when passions rise. As soon as someone disagrees with what you are upset about, we have an argument. I respect your opinion, but maybe this board is just about a TV show. Or am I crazy?

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Maybe it's just me, but I would prefer not to get into real life political or religious discussions here. I know we talk about real life things like rape culture or political correctness occasionally on this board, but such conversations can escalate when passions rise. As soon as someone disagrees with what you are upset about, we have an argument. I respect your opinion, but maybe this board is just about a TV show. Or am I crazy?

Sorry. I guess I let my anger get the best of me. It happens sometimes. Nope, you're not crazy. Well, you are but in a charming way.

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No, I totally understand getting upset about these things. And, boy, i wish Rossi could come to life and solve some problems I have! Or Spencer would be even better...

 

Thanks for calling me a charming crazy person!!!! =)

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No, I totally understand getting upset about these things. And, boy, i wish Rossi could come to life and solve some problems I have! Or Spencer would be even better...

 

Thanks for calling me a charming crazy person!!!! =)

Hey, I'd like Rossi to cook a meal for me.

 

And I want to make my delicious sugar mint cookies for Spencer.

 

But my sugar mint cookies aren't for everyone, just the charming crazy people.

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He did it with Esai instead. Nice of them to do that. Joe said Matthew is the son he never had. That's fabulous!

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