Thursday, 2 October 2014

Criminal Minds Season 10 premiere 'X' - recap and review

Criminal Minds is back for a 10th season, with a brand new cast member. Now, I'll admit I was a tad sceptical when I heard that Jennifer Love Hewitt had been cast as SSA Kate Callaghan, but she actually seems pretty good so far. No cliffhanger ending last season, bizarrely, so no real catch up needed....

The premiere opens with a boy wandering through abandoned shacks, generally being a little delinquent and poking around. After his latest excursion, however, he may be scared straight, seeing as he stumbled over a woman's torso. 

Next, we meet JLH's new character, Kate. She's undercover, she's been working to take down a paedophile for 3 months. She says the trigger phrase and brings the other agents of her unit down on him, commenting that she's amazed men like him always fall for it. Good job really or nobody would ever get caught!

She meets Reid in the lift on her way to interview for a job in the BAU. He remembers her from karaoke at the Benjamin on the night it closed. She makes a joke about the new place but Reid doesn't quite grasp it! Turns out she's the 10th agent to try out and that Prentiss turned down an offer to return. Hotch snaps her up after just 2 mins, to her surprise. She seems to be a joker, which I quite like so far! 

The team are being briefed about the torso discovery in Bakersfield, turns out it's the 3rd victim and they've been consulting with local law enforcement from Quantico. A new victim, however, means a trip out to the scene, so off they fly, along with the new girl.

A kid is being sent off to school by his dad, played by Kerr Smith. It gets infinitely creepier when the dad trots off to his garage/shed/'workroom thingy' (direct quote from Ian!) and gets out a severed leg which he proceeds to stroke! Um, ew. 

On the plane the team are looking a crime scene photos of the previous victims, while discussing why bits were chopped off! One victim was male, and had no DNA traces found on him, so he was killed for a sexual motive. The ME says that the Unsub has some knowledge of anatomy, as the disarticulation shows some skill. He removed the breast implants of one victim to stop identification by the serial number. He's smarter than they thought.

Rossi and Kate go to the latest scene, discussing her past cases. They discover that he's revisiting the torsos, as he didn't bother to bury them. They need to set up surveillance of other sites. Problem is, he's watching Rossi and Kate.....

Reid manages to work out how to ID the latest victim, from body type, weight and surgical history of missing persons. He knocks them out, he isn't charming enough to get them any other way. Garcia traces the preservatives they suspect the Unsub uses on the limbs to 2 men in the area with the isolation and facilities needed, both are married with children. Again, ew. One of which is Kerr's character, Frank.

Back to Frank in his garage/shed/workroom thingy. Just as he's about to whip out his leg for a little one on one time (yup, I feel a little queasy typing that!) his son comes in looking for a screwdriver so he can change the batteries in the remote (geez Americans like to have secure remotes if they screw on the battery covers!). Dad gets pissy at the kid for interrupting him, but manages not to, you know, scar his kid for life by letting him see his little buddy (thankfully I don't mean that as a euphemism for penis). As he shoos his kid out the doorbell rings. Turns out that Rossi and Kate have turned up to ask to see his preservatives (ok everything I say sounds sexual to me now!).....they've caught their Unsub quickly, or have they? Dad is nervous and doesn't hide it well, refusing them entry without a warrant, and basically holding up a flashing sign that says 'I'm a big weirdo who like whacking off using severed limbs'. He also pisses Kate off with a crack about how she must have worked extra hard to get her badge. Shockingly enough, Rossi and Kate clock that he's dodgy! Dodgy Dad sets off with his box o'limbs and stops in a fields, which just so happens to be private property so the team can search the car. Guess what they find? 2 severed legs in the boot and one on the front seat (thanks to Ian's OCD, the main issue he had with the leg issue is that he didn't have 2 full sets! I married a nutjob!). 

In the interview room, Kate and Rossi try to bug him into a confession. Rossi asks why he hates women. His wife is somewhat perturbed, but turns out she'd caught him rubbing himself against a disabled mannequin before they were married! Lost some empathy for her there seeing as she still married the freak! Dodgy Dad is refusing to talk, so Kate and Rossi talk about him while he's sitting in front of them. Eventually they learn that he didn't kill the women, he 'just' bought their limbs! Ah the joys of the internet! You can literally buy anything online! Turns out he just gets his rocks off to severed limbs, not murder, which is SO much better....

The team deliver the profile to the cops, nothing I couldn't have told em myself! The Unsub has another woman, knocked out and tied up....poor lass!

Garcia does more bonds with Kate over cute internet animals! Reid looks at the geographical profile, and it seems to imply he is more confident than they thought. Their research leads them to an anatomy professor, on sabbatical, who doesn't match their profile AT ALL, which bothered me big time. Evidence at the scene seems to implicate him though. The Unsub is busy gagging his hostage, and tying off her arm before taking a bloody great knife and chopping it off!

The team are still searching the prof's home, and they find evidence which contradicts their profile (the fact that the prof was obviously more confident, intelligent and qualified, with an intellectual job, apparently didn't clue them in beforehand!), such as family photos which show him to be an extrovert with a loving family. They then find a photo of the prof without his top on, and notice he has a tattoo on his chest in the area that the Unsub disfigured, and they finally catch onto the fact that he's the victim rather than the killer. Apparently, I'm a better profiler than them! 

Reid tells Morgan that the ME found chunks of leather and some horsehair in the stomach of the victims, indicating either another aspect of the fantasy, or that a bridle was close to hand....a horse ranch, of which there are just a few in the area! The new hostage tries to connect to the Unsub, by asking his name and introducing herself as Angie. This angers him at first, and he starts to gag her again, but stops. She tells him she's cold, so he covers her with a blanket, and asks it it's better. She reaches out to touch his face, which he seems to enjoy greatly! 

The team (finally) work out that the prof was standing between the Unsub and his target. They discover that he used to call a woman, who is now listed as missing. Garcia sends them a photo of the woman, who they state 'looks like the second victim'....if they only had a torso and no ID, how would they know she looked like the second victim?! Garcia finds out that she had a restraining order out on a man who was harassing her....which turns out to be our Unsub Steven. He was raised and still lives on a cattle farm/slaughterhouse....

Angie asks Steven if they could go for a walk. He helps her up, but she goes for the knife. He tries to stop her but she headbutts him! Yay for her! She then runs for her life! Luckily for her, the team are just arriving at the farm and she flags them down. They go in search of Steven, finding Angie's severed arm in the house. They split up and new girl Kate almost gets sliced and diced, but Hotch shoots Steven and saves her....go Hotch!

On the plane home JJ and Kate are comparing scars, when Morgan joins in....he wins hands down! She's one of the team now!

Kate pops in to see Hotch, something isn't quite sitting right for her. Angie was abducted from San Diego, not Bakersfield which doesn't line up with the profile. She shakes it off and heads home, where there's a teenage girl dosing on her couch having fallen asleep doing her homework. Kate tells her that she loves her, and the girl reciprocates, calling her who is she?

At the end of the episode a woman is jogging when she is flagged down by a couple in a van asking directions. She's snatched from the street into the back of the van. Then, various men are shown browsing through lists of people (mostly women) online, all looking terrified and drugged, all sold....until the newly abducted woman is added to the listing.....

It was a good, solid episode. Not as flashy as some opening eps, but with no cliffhanger to deal with there wasn't as much drama as usual. I quite like the character of Kate, she seems to fit in well with the team and is already quite fleshed out and multifaceted, not all sweetness and light (like JLH usually is!) nor all doom and gloom and angsty like other characters is dramas! Looking forward to more!

What did you think of the ep? Did you like JLH's portrayal of Kate? Leave me a comment!

Thanks for popping by!



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