CRIMINAL MINDS “Hope” Review November 17, 2011 Criminal Minds, Reviews CRIMINAL MINDS “Hope” Season 7 Episode 8 – In Garcia’s support group a woman mourns her daughter who was kidnapped over a year ago. When she leaves, a man approaches her about a flyer advertising the girl’s disappearance stuck on his car, and, it turns out, her car too. The man reveals himself to be the kidnapper and kidnaps the mother of the girl he kidnapped. It’s all a bit convoluted, isn’t it? He’s a sexual deviant and after knocking up the girl, who committed suicide, he tries to get it on with the mother, but when she refuses his advances the show cuts to JJ and Prentiss interviewing the daughter’s old friend. Garcia-centric episodes of Criminal Minds tend to have a bit more angst and emotion than the usual proceedings, and this episode was no different. Garcia has not been weathered down by the horror humanity is capable of and so it’s always a breath of fresh air to see her react in a way which no one else on the team would. Sure, it’s ridiculous that she went in solo to talk the kidnapper down from killing her friend. Especially when only JJ was there to back her up. But I’m the first person to say sacrifice the authenticity for the sake of the drama. Overall this episode was pretty decent. I think maybe my problem (well, a big part of my problem) with other Criminal Minds episodes has been the gratuity of the violence and suffering, and the rather facile attempt to balance that out by showing that the perpetrator had a tough upbringing and therefore that’s what led him to a place where he sticks hands in acid. This episode did not try to do that. Instead if focussed largely on both the suffering of the victim and the pain her loss caused Garcia. What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below. Anonymous I’m sure it was just a mis-type, but the girl was kidnapped seven years ago, which although technically is “over a year ago” is sort of important to the plot line. Hope was only 8 when she was kidnapped and the kidnapper kept her alive until she reached puberty and the reason she killed herself was because she was pregnant. I did enjoy this episode and, like you, do enjoy the Garcia ‘centric episodes. Not sure if we have been told about Penelope’s parents being killed before, if so I don’t remember it so it was nice to have some more background on her. Thanks for reviewing. Wheatlandy She did mention her parents being killed by a drunk driver talking to Morgan in the ep Penelope, and losing them when she was 18; also in the ep when she interviews the young goth guy above his computer strategies.(His Mom has died, and Garcia talks to him about her loss telling him that it gets better with time). I too really liked this ep, perhaps because she is my favorite, a breath of fresh air in a often horrific environment, and I always like the interactions between Garcia and Morgan- always on the edge, never quite letting us into their complete story – even Kevin said “I don’t understand you two.” Frankly if there is a Keven Garcia wedding I’ll be in mourning – should be Morgan/Garcia.