The Job brings our favorite team minus two members back on our screens with a case that will have all the elements of a classic Criminal Minds episode, plus an ending that may open up some new storylines that may be connected to a spoiler that was reveal by Criminal Minds star Matthew Gray Gubler in a recent interview.
We have a woman who at first we think is a victim, however, she later turns out to be the wife of the SWAT Team Captain, who hired the killer because she wanted her drug dealer dead as he was forcing himself on her as payment for the drugs. Her husband finds out at some point what's going on and strikes a deal with the hitman in lieu of payment. This deal is why he gives up the police movements, why they hide him and why she drives him to and for the crime scenes.
What I Liked
- Loved how Rossi was already at a crime scene when the episode started. Different from how usually the case is introduced.
- The meth lab was creepy, complete with crazy junkie being interviewed by local cops!
- Sassy Rossi is one of my favorite things about Criminal Minds!
- Detective "Profilers, wonderful. Look agent, you tell me this perp got mommy’s issues…"
- Rossi "Couldn't agree with more, because this guy doesn't have mommy’s issues, because if he did he would probably be killing women."
- Great editing work, as the detective asked Morgan how they (as in the cops) will catch this guy, Rossi's reply of "You don’t, he's most likely already left the state", prompts the rookie detective next' question, "Then, who will?" and we cut to Hotch coming out of the elevator, and then Penelope walks to him and they enter the BAU.
- Great shot of the round table room from above as we look down on the five remaining team members going over the case file then cut to we presume the Unsub's room, he is sitting too at a round table and we have the same shot, from above as we look down on him. Our introduction to the Unsub is perfect, we see only the top of his head!
- We never hear the Unsub talk or see much of him until the very end. All we will learn about him will be from the profilers! As a long time Criminal Minds' fan, I love to see the team work the case, find the clues through the behavior that will lead to who the Unsubs are and why they do what they do.
- Reid was being Reid, which means he was the genius he is supposed to be. He was not dumbed down to make someone else look good. Also love to see him in a suit and tie, he looked dashing!
- Another high point was that the team was written to showcase their strengths and how they complement each other. Example: Hotch calls Garcia about their latest victim, she finds out the victim had established two months ago an escrow account with $40,000 in it; in prior seasons, Garcia would have found out WHY he did it, but this time she didn't know and she asked Hotch, who guessed someone close to the victim died two months ago and the $40,000 was payment to the hitman. That is when Garcia checks the victim and finds out his dad died, and that years ago, the victim was emancipated after he complained about some sexual abuse.
- One of my favorite scene was between Morgan and Garcia as they were trying to thin down the list of possible clients to the hitman. It was funny, it showed their friendship and how well they work together without going over the top as sometimes it goes with their scenes.
- Another great scene was the one at the garage where the Unsub had glued a grenade in the hands of his intended victim.
- We got a scene with the team reacting to what the Unsub did at the garage! First, with Morgan and Reid from the Unsub's point of view, explaining why he did what he did, and then from Rossi's who explains what was the SWAT Captain and his wife involvement in this whole thing. Love when we have those scenes, as they are a good way to show us how they profile an Unsub. Wish we had more scenes like those!
What I Didn't Like
- Minor thing, when the team is giving the profile to the potential new recruits for the team, only Dr. Lewis got something to say. Would have been good to have some other recruit to say something so to at least try to keep some of us guessing about who would get the job.
- No Hotch in the action scenes.
In conclusion, as a season opener this was a solid episode with lots of profiling, and an Unsub that didn't take over the story. Breen Frazier wrote a solid, entertaining script in which all team members got to contribute without anyone being left on the side. The introduction of the new character of Dr. Tara Lewis was excellent and made me want to know more about her and I wish she will be staying. Didn't miss Kate much, Dr. Lewis made a much more interesting character. I really liked the reduced cast, it made for a much tighter writing, everyone had something interesting to do, no one had lines that could have been delivered by someone else. Aisha Tyler is a great new addition. She worked very well with Thomas Gibson and Kirsten Vangsness. The ending is, I think, the start of a story arc that may lead to a cast member (Shemar Moore? Pure speculations on my part...) leaving this season; if so, will be interesting to see how this will develop.
I will give this episode a 9/10. Excellent start of Season 11!
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