CRIMINAL MINDS “Into The Woods” Review


CRIMINAL MINDS “Into The Woods” Season 6 Episode 9 – There is a child murderer loose on the Appalachian Trail and it is up to the BAU to find the man before he kills his next victims. A killer kidnaps the children and keeps them in some ratty cell for several months before killing them, wrapping them in a plastic bag, and leaving them to rot in the woods. As creepy as the story was, it lead to some rare, stellar acting from child actors playing brother and sister Robert and Anna.

With the exception of Mad Men‘s Kiernan Shipka and the young cast of Modern Family, most storylines centered around children are more useful for sedation rather than entertainment, and that is mainly due to the acting. It’s excusable, of course, because they are children, but it’s such a rare treat to watch not one, but two natural young actors who make characters out of their lines, instead of just watching two cute children reciting learnt off dialogue with the feeling that the director is waving off-camera “Scared! Wide eyes! Yes! That’s the shot! Cut!”

I have to say, I literally jumped when Robert ran over to Anna. “He said he’ll kill mom and dad.” She whispers. “Who?” The killer appears behind her: “Me.”

When the paedophile/killer returns Robert after sexually abusing him, he makes Anna promise to run the next time the paedophile/killer comes for him. It was a harrowing scene: tears streaming down his cheeks, he sat, curled up and shivering. A scene without violence, where the writers and director left it to the imagination of the audience to fill in the horrors Robert had endured. For that reason, it was an effectively dark scene, probably among of the darkest in Criminal Minds history.

With Garcia’s help, they track down Robert and soon bring about the end of a strong and heavy episode. The conclusion was, to my twisted tastes, unsatisfactory: I would have preferred if they’d taken the step and killed the kid. As it is, I’m not sure what to make of the paedophile/killer still at large. My favorite television serial killer ever was George Marks from Cold Case, who was a perfect blend of creepy and personal (and, incidentally, one of his key episodes was called ‘The Woods’). This weirdo gave no hint of his personality. If he appears five, six episodes from now, I probably won’t even remember what he looks like.

Still, it’s a boost from the previous few episodes. What did you think of this installment? Sound off in the comments below!

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