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Criminal Minds: You Are Not Tired of Serial Killers, Are You?


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#37111

zanneej

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 10:29 PM

I only had some very minor nitpicks with the story itself-- which is refreshing for a change.

I did have some more substantial issues with the filming/directing/acting. Maybe its just me, but I felt that the line delivery from the students was very bad most of the time. Some of the questions they asked also just seemed like plot devices rather than something that would naturally be spoken. I can try to ignore some of it because I can assume that perhaps the students had some questions they planned to ask ahead of time and that is why some of the delivery sounded so rehearsed and "put on". I found it funny that I think the writer was poking fun at Bruce Zimmerman by having one of the students share a surname.

One minor nitpick was that the first sign I recall of disgust/horror was when Reid mentioned the serial killer that ate a victim's uterus. I get that cannibalism is gross and all, but how is that so much more horrifying than the details about the women's reproductive organs being ripped out and then showing pictures of the victims? (plus the girl's line delivery was bad so it was distracting-- Reid's facial expression in reaction was funny though). Its only a minor thing though so it didn't ruin the episode for me or anything.

I will say that I really enjoyed the story in this one and I am not looking for excuses to gripe, but the camera technique at some points in the episode seriously aggravated me. I swear it almost ruined the episode for me because the camera movement and filming just drove me absolutely bonkers. I don't mind a moving camera from time to time and this one was moving slowly, but I remember suddenly seeing a bright red splotch in the lower corner that looked almost as if there was some sort of sunspot and it was obscuring the view of Rossi talking and was very distracting. Then the camera kept moving and another dark splotch got in the way and I realized the red was someone's hair and the obstructions were the tops of people's heads. I know they really wanted to go for the "in the audience" feel but it was completely distracting and every time it messed up the focus of the shot and made me want to clobber whoever was doing it. Seriously, what the fuck was with that technique? Did they not have any shots where there weren't obstructions or something? I also question the angle they chose from which to film Rossi when he was first introducing the team members. They could have centered the camera and panned to give equal distance to each character, but they didn't and it just struck me as odd. Garcia was just way far away (maybe to better hide her clown makeup?) I also didn't like how they panned the camera away as Morgan was introduced-- it seemed too quick to me for some reason, then we see Rossi blocking the shot and blurry Reid, camera keeps panning, and then Garcia and a brief pause.

Also, was it just my TV or were a lot of the flashback sequences really grainy and somewhat splotchy? The background seemed especially strange and I couldn't figure out if my TV wasn't getting the HD stuff properly or if it was intentional to show that it was a flashback.

I need to watch this again to see the hair on all of the characters at different times. I was surprised they didn't try to do anything to Hotch's hair when he was introduced in a flashback. He used to have longer hair and IIRC, they didn't even attempt to give him any extensions or try to make his hair resemble the younger days. Either they didn't have time or they couldn't pull it off properly to look right under the scrutiny of the RED camera or they just didn't bother. I noticed that in some scenes the wig/hairpiece on Prentiss was obviously fake. The color was just a bit off.

Other than those things (most of which are minor-- except the major grievance with the sunspot like blockage from someone's hair that made me feel like there was something wrong with my eyes), I really did enjoy this. The story was compelling. I loved that it focused on the importance of victimology. I love that we got some minor backstory that Hotch was just an agent and in Seattle in '97 and that he already showed good profiling skills. I really liked that we got some good insight into what the unsub must have gone through as a child and that they mentioned how not all abused children become killers, not all killers were abused, and not all psychopaths become killers, etc. I also loved that we didn't even know whether or not they caught the killer until close to the end. I did figure out it was Rossi's birthday at the end. Did they give any sort of date reference for this episode to indicate at least what month it was?

Also, did anyone else see a Ford commercial during this? I was trying to keep track of who the sponsors were during commercial breaks. Sadly I know I forgot a lot of them. There was T-Mobile, Ford, Frontline flea meds, KFC, UPS, and Subway that I can remember.

Edit bc I typed this before Jessie's comment appeared: I was wondering about the one name a year thing too. I can't figure out if he said there were 101 total and that there were already 40 names given and he was just giving the others. That still left about 61 names. I don't think Rossi or the unsub will last that long. Rossi should have negotiated for 2 names per year.

Edited by zanneej, May 9, 2012 @ 10:34 PM.

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#37112

racbec

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Posted May 9, 2012 @ 11:16 PM

Not a bad episode, just really, really boring. My attention may have drifted a few times, so can someone tell me what all the phone calls during the presentation were about?

One other thing--Reid is still an FBI agent, right? I know they made a point in the early seasons of introducing him as Dr. Reid to LEOs to help them overlook his age. He's not a kid anymore, and why would these college students even care?
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#37113

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 12:40 AM

Yes, I also was confused about the phone calls.

I was glad they did not show Yates' face until the end. I don't need to see their faces.
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#37114

zanneej

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 4:08 AM

What I gathered about the phone calls was that Yates was in a maximum security prison on lockdown of some sort and they weren't letting him have visitors and there were problems with Rossi being allowed in to see him. I think initially they were telling him he was not allowed to go see the guy which meant Rossi wouldn't get a name so Rossi was asking Hotch to pull strings and get someone who had the power to arrange things so Rossi could go in and meet with Yates.

It is sad that this is Rossi's birthday ritual.
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#37115

FrogsRule

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 4:42 AM

I wish that the writers were forced to keep this episode's script taped to the wall in their office, so they would have a visual reminder of what profiling is all about.

In this presentation to a class of interested students, they correctly identified the various stages of profiling, *and* (most importantly) at one point, someone on the team noted for the class THAT IT IS ABOUT THE VICTIMS, NOT ABOUT THE UNSUBS. Yes!

If they would simply follow their own direction in future episodes, we'd be making significant progress.

Also, the way they emphasized the media liaison's role in successful profiling (failure due to lack of media liaison early on, contrasted with how JJ had handled the media and how that had contributed to their investigation) - that highlighted how the team has suffered with that role empty. Made me wonder if they were setting things up for next season and hiring someone in at that position?

Since the team clearly knew where Rossi was going (and I took it from the dates they gave us that this was his second year to make that trip), he should have let them ride along and do the dinner thing afterwards. You'd think that the Rossi character would have learned by now that their work will destroy them if it's internalized.
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#37116

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 7:26 AM

I agree, Frogsrule. I actually think that many of the episodes this season have actually contradicted what they said in this episode. I was pleasantly surprised to see how good this one was. It really did show the different aspects of the profiling. I wonder if Virgil spent a lot of time talking to Jim Clemente about it.

I did feel that maybe there was a little bit too much brooding from Rossi to the point of almost being melodramatic, but that it wasn't over the top like Morgan's sulk in "The Company". It also wasn't nearly as self-involved seeming as Gideon's sulks. (I'm not saying Rossi was sulking-- he had good reason to be upset).

I do worry that the other writers won't follow through with this and that they will forget about the media liaison thing being important.

I know I asked this before, but thus far nobody has answered: Was there a strange pixelated or distorted quality in the flashback scenes or was it just my TV? it mostly seemed to be with the background but there was just something strange. I couldn't tell if it was a special effect or the broadcast quality sucking. I didn't notice it in the present day shots.
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#37117

Hazy Hazel

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 7:44 AM

It was different. I liked it. I wouldn't want them to make a habit of it, but it was a nice change of pace. I agree that the situation with Rossi was bordering on the melodramatic, but other than that it was a nice solid episode. In a show that completely lacks in the continuity department it was nice to see that they actually remembered that Hotch used to work in the Seattle office and when Rossi retired because earlier this season they had Rossi supposedly working a case with Hotch that would've happened during the time that Rossi was retired. Ah...if only all of the writers took the time to do the homework that this writer did.
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#37118

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 7:59 AM

I really disliked this episode. The structure of the lecture didn't work for me. Hated the fake hair in flashbacks, it was especially bad on Prentiss and on 92 Rossi. Also hated the way the audience started laughing as soon as Garcia started speaking when she hadn't even said anything funny. So fake.
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#37119

zanneej

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 9:00 AM

Hazy_Hazel, I agree with you on this. I really wish the other writers seemed to take as much care in getting things right. In which episode did they say Hotch worked on a case with Rossi when Rossi was retired? Or did I read that incorrectly. My eyes are not cooperating today and they keep going blurry on me.

rory, I think that if they had left the students out it might have worked a little better (or at least just had the students remain silent). I do agree on the wigs and the audience laughter. I felt like it was trying just a little too hard to show how Rossi and Garcia are crowd pleasers but that Reid always grosses people out or something. Rossi's joke about not being "old" was worthy of a little smile but not funny enough for laughter. Of course, I actually found Reid's existential light bulb joke funny...
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#37120

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 9:00 AM

zanneej, I noticed the grainy look too. I'm guessing that it was done to emphasize that this was a flashback and not present day (even though they put the month/year a few seconds after each flashback began). I've seen this done on other shows. They do the grainy look, or make the colors a little 'off', or use wonky camera angles. This is totally my guess, though.
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#37121

Hazy Hazel

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 9:26 AM

zanneej - It was episode 7.04 "Painless". It was the 10th anniversary of the school bombing and it was supposedly a BAU case that Hotch and Rossi had worked together. In 2001, Rossi was retired.
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#37122

Brina24

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 11:00 AM

Am I the only one who thought 92' Rossi looked like Jules Winnfield?!
Not a criticism because I actually love it!
Reids hair piece was weird though, I'm sure they could have mad an effort with that and Prentiss' looked like it was a growing mass getting bigger and bigger in every scene. I was pretty sure that she'd end up looking like cousin It.
I liked it though, it was a good episode and I really liked Rossi in it.

Edited by Brina24, May 10, 2012 @ 11:02 AM.

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#37123

zanneej

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 11:05 AM

I wonder if the grainy "off" look in the flashbacks was also a measure to hide the makeup on some of the actors and make them look younger. I still wish Hotch's hair had been a bit longer in the bangs in the 1997 flashback to look more like his season 1 haircut. When I saw a still screenshot of Rossi in a flashback it was so clear that he was wearing a wig. At least it wasn't as bad as Ellie's wig.

Hazy_Hazel, thank you.

Did I mention that I liked how they showed Hotch as already having very good profiling skills even when he was just an agent in Seattle?

I wish I could remember the seasons clearly enough to figure out if they got the hairstyles right for each time period for all of the characters.

Since I'm out of the loop-- what is the significance of the reference to "honey badger" that Garcia mentioned. I don't think I'm familiar with it. I mean, I know that honey badgers will withstand an onslaught from bees to get the honey and such, but is there a specific cultural reference?
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#37124

dusang

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 12:05 PM

The honey badger doesn't give a shit.
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#37125

teacherspet

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 12:40 PM

New to the forum, but definitely not new to the show. I actually caught the new episode last night (versus the countless number of awesome re-runs I usually see) and wanted to post some thoughts.
When I read the description of the episode, I rolled my eyes thinking about all of the college students/kids entering college who will write in their personal statements "I want to be a criminal profiler," when the realities are that most students will not go on to do this as a career and that profiling looks different in real life. Anyways, I ended up enjoying the episode because I liked the breakdown of the case and each person's (except Garcia's) involvement in it. I agree about the annoying students and their commentary. I also find it hard to believe they would find Garcia so "hilarious."

In thinking about Yates having Rossi visit him on his birthday, although it is a sad fate for Rossi's birthday, in some ways, I was thinking it is perfect. Rossi, like most on the team, is pretty much married to his work, so this birthday visit/tradition actually allows him to validate that his job is his life as well as lets him be helpful to another family in a case that had already "become" him on an agreed upon time every year. So, regardless of whatever else happens that year, at least Rossi knows he will bring closure to some family with some regularity (although it required making a deal with the devil to do so).
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#37126

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 12:54 PM

One other thing--Reid is still an FBI agent, right? I know they made a point in the early seasons of introducing him as Dr. Reid to LEOs to help them overlook his age. He's not a kid anymore, and why would these college students even care?


This X a million. There is no way Reid looks any younger than JJ at this point so to think he needs a PHD title to be respected is just ridiculous. In fact, if I were meeting the team I would assume he wasn't an FBI agent since they don't introduce him as such, just like in The Mentalist when they introduce themselves as CBI ....and Patrick Jane. In that case, at least Jane really isn't Law Enforcement.

I liked the idea of this episode much more than the execution. I agree with those who thought the students questions seemed forced and the giggling at Garcia's every statement was ridiculous. Maybe it's because I loathe Garcia as a character though. I found it interesting that there are so many prolific serial killers that most of us have never even heard of (or maybe scary is a better word).
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#37127

RollTheHardSix

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 1:30 PM

I'm not sure how I feel about this episode.

I liked the serial killer story in itself. Classic serial killer case, that's why I watch the show, that's what I want to see and got to see for once!

But I have a problem with these oh-so-important cases which are still on their mind and have made such an impression.... too bad they've never been mentioned before and we've never heard of them (on the show)!

To me that's the inherent flaw of these episodes.

I get it, they just made it up so it couldn't have been a factor in earlier episodes. But it just bugs me.

On this one they even all worked at some point (just so they could all be shown during the episode of course)... but no one ever mentioned it before.

And, conveniently, it was all on the day that Rossi was supposed to visit him - simply an unnecessary and forced addition to the plot to make it even more meaningful.

Edited by RollTheHardSix, May 10, 2012 @ 1:32 PM.

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#37128

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 1:34 PM

I still don't understand the telephone calls. This agreement to release a name a year is only two years old (they made the agreement in 2010), and Yates got the goodies he wanted in exchange for giving a name a year. Why on earth would the prison try to keep Rossi out, only one or two names into the process?

Edited by jjj, May 10, 2012 @ 1:35 PM.

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#37129

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 1:44 PM

I don't think there's a judge or court in this country that would sign off on a "deal" like that with an admitted serial killer after the trial and sentencing. An appeals process is one thing, but he's not appealing. He's acknowledged his guilt in 101 murders. Closure or no closure for the remaining families, no judge is going to reverse a death sentence and allow a psychopath to torture a federal agent every year on the agent's birthday. Really, show?
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#37130

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 1:55 PM

I actually agree about that! No way in real life would a deal like that be struck, and at any rate *Rossi* had *no* authority to agree to any deal. But is we buy into the myth that it was made, my point was that it would be ludicrous for the feds not to hold Yates to his part of the agreement.
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#37131

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 2:26 PM

I don't think it was that Yates didn't want to hold up his end of the bargain or that the prison necessarily "wanted" to keep Rossi out. It was that on that particular day for whatever reason the entire prison was on lockdown, which meant no one comes in and no one goes out. They were going to keep Rossi out because of the lockdown and the rules that apply to "everyone" during a lock down so Rossi needed Hotch to pull some strings to get them to make an exception so he wouldn't be forced to miss his one and only chance (this year) to get his name.
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#37132

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 2:47 PM

But I have a problem with these oh-so-important cases which are still on their mind and have made such an impression.... too bad they've never been mentioned before and we've never heard of them (on the show)!


Thank you for mentioning this. This is the other thing that bugged me about this episode. This killer is supposedly so important to Rossi and the FBI yet he never mentioned him before, much less mentioned him when he came back. Also didn't really think the tv footage of Rossi would show his actual specific title "FBI SSA David Rossi". I think it would leave out the SSA cause nobody watching would really care or know what that is. I also don't think Prentiss ever remotely had hair anything like the flashbacks.
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#37133

Mattybangbang

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 4:18 PM

Didn't Emily have bouncy hair when she was Lauren Reynolds? Was that the only time?

I LIKED the kids laughing at Garcia. She was being relatable and it was true to her character. She's a savvy technogeek, of course she'd talk like that. In intense (gory!) lectures like that, a little levity is welcome.

Loved seeing precious darling season 1 Reid!! Matthew even remembered the mannerisms - to a tee! The mullet? Notsomuch. Reid had GREAT hair in season 4-5.

Sucks for Rossi's bday, indeed. And I also didn't get the "one a year" thing. Unless they weren't going for full disclosure and just wanted to get as many as they could. I think Rossi could've talked him into as many as 5 a year. What difference would it make to the killer? He was gonna be there anyway.

I liked the UnSub, poor dude, but the 'visions' really worked my last nerve. I thought them being on the ceiling and all their blood soaking back into them was a cool effect, though. The profiling was beautifully done.

Anyone going to the chat with Virgil tonight?
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#37134

QASteph

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 5:43 PM

I liked the episode a moderate amount. I enjoyed the actual profiling, focus on victims, etc. I also liked that it allowed us to see the changes in how the BAU worked over time. The format didn't grab me all that much though. It led to a lack of urgency.

Of course I have some nitpicks because, well, that is why we're here, no?
* I'm pretty sure they referred to this unsub as "the most prolific" instead of "one of the most prolific." I'd have to go back to check again just to be sure. It's sort of annoying that TPTB seem to think bigger, badder, more deadly unsubs are somehow more interesting or necessary in any way. But beyond that, with 101 victims he is not the most prolific serial killer even among just the ones that *this* team has caught much less any other team in the BAU. Frank had over 150 victims over the years and Perotta had "hundreds."
* It annoyed me that Rossi called out the one student for interrupting when they all seemed to be calling out questions willy-nilly.
* If Hotch called Rossi in on this case while he was retired and writing books, why was the whole team so over-awed to meet him when he un-retired?
* I cannot express in words how awful the wig they used for Reid was. I liked his hair in the supposed time period they were displaying and it was *not* a mullet back then. Ugh.
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#37135

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 6:19 PM

Maybe its just me, but I felt that the line delivery from the students was very bad most of the time. Some of the questions they asked also just seemed like plot devices rather than something that would naturally be spoken. I can try to ignore some of it because I can assume that perhaps the students had some questions they planned to ask ahead of time and that is why some of the delivery sounded so rehearsed and "put on"


This was the only part I didn't like. They were so bad, like reading off cue cards or something.

Aside from that, I thought the rest was solid. I liked the break from what we've been getting lately, it was a little different but not too much so. More like this please.
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#37136

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 8:02 PM

I don't think there's a judge or court in this country that would sign off on a "deal" like that with an admitted serial killer after the trial and sentencing. An appeals process is one thing, but he's not appealing. He's acknowledged his guilt in 101 murders. Closure or no closure for the remaining families, no judge is going to reverse a death sentence and allow a psychopath to torture a federal agent every year on the agent's birthday. Really, show?


I'll have to go back and rewatch but I thought the deal was offered before the sentencing.

I know in the case of Gary Ridgeway-AKA The Green River Killer-the prosecution offered a deal of life without parole if he would plead guilty and give up the details of where he buried the bodies of his (at the time confessed) 48 victims. This was done in an effort to help bring closure to the families of the victims. In February of this year, the remains of a 49th victim were found near where the remains of one of his victims had previously been uncovered and he confessed to killing her and was promptly sentenced to a 49th consecutive life term. Which at this point is rather moot but had to be done. It is still unknown the final total of his victims.

The thing that is unrealistic about this case is the killer was a multi-state killer and the jurisdictional issue would have to be a nightmare. I don't know if you could get the prosecuting attorneys from each state to agree to that kind of deal. And unless he took a victim from one state and killed her in another, the Feds would have no prosecutorial jurisdiction.

tl;dr-deals like this have been offered but the writer played very fast and loose just for the angsty story line.
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#37137

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Posted May 10, 2012 @ 10:50 PM

I was pretty sure Rossi said Yates was sent away (sentenced) a few years before he got the call in 2010.
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#37138

zanneej

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Posted May 11, 2012 @ 2:40 AM

Thanks for the info on the honey badger!

I'm glad I'm not the only one who had a problem with the line delivery of the students.

Did anyone go to the chat with Virgil? I missed it.

The one name a year thing with such special stipulations is not something that any prosecutor would realistically agree to. They would probably only agree to abort death penalty and give life in prison if the guy gave up all of the names up front-- or more names per year (but I doubt they would agree to let him give them over time). Either the other victims would go un-named and the guy would be executed, or they would have negotiated to get more names because there is no way Rossi will live long enough to get all of the names.

I think they said he was one of the most prolific, but I could be wrong. I don't remember the url right now but there was a wikipedia article about some of the most prolific serial killers. The most prolific one was from like Columbia or Brazil or something and had killed an estimated 400 people or something.

I do think that Garcia was given a bit too much to say in the lecture given that she is not a profiler.

As for Reid being called Dr. Reid, I think they are trying to establish that he actually prefers to be called "doctor" rather than agent. I don't know why that is important to him. Maybe he feels the title sounds like it deserves more respect or maybe he's so proud of his PhDs.. I don't know. I do think that Rossi shouldn't have said "and Morgan" and then started out saying Dr. Spencer Reid as if he were not an SSA. He should have just moved on and added the Dr title in front of Reid anyway without excluding him from the SSAs because he is an SSA. He could have said AND Dr. Spencer Reid and then said something about Garcia. I do think it is telling that the writers seem to think of Reid as so separate that they don't treat him like a full agent.

I know its a minor nitpick and if it were just a single occurrence it wouldn't bother me, but it seems to be a trend.

Did I mention the hair on Prentiss in the flashback? She had the curly hair like that in season 3 IIRC. Was Rossi's first episode "About Face"? It was the one with Rossi's first episode and the "have you seen me" posters and the masks on the victims. But the hair dept. got the sheen/color a bit off. I know the hair dresser said she didn't have time to give Reid a weave and just slapped on a hairpiece, but I felt that it really was bad. I wonder if it would have looked better with the older cameras that don't get as much detail.
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#37139

FrogsRule

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Posted May 11, 2012 @ 3:58 AM

I liked the episode a moderate amount. I enjoyed the actual profiling, focus on victims, etc. I also liked that it allowed us to see the changes in how the BAU worked over time. The format didn't grab me all that much though. It led to a lack of urgency.


QASteph, that reminded of one of my other perennial gripes about Criminal Minds. While forensics and profiling have progressed over the years that CM has been on, the show itself has remained fairly static. In this episode, they acknowledge that it has changed, but they seem to feel no obligation to stay current with changes that are taking place NOW. Oh sigh.
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#37140

diorella78

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Posted May 11, 2012 @ 11:57 AM

* If Hotch called Rossi in on this case while he was retired and writing books, why was the whole team so over-awed to meet him when he un-retired?


Wasn't that when Hotch was simply a field agent in Seattle? He wasn't in VA yet and the team wasn't established.
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