CRIMINAL MINDS “Corazon” Review

CRIMINAL MINDS "Corazon" CBS

CRIMINAL MINDS “Corazon” Season 6 Episode 12 – The BAU head down to Miami where brutal ritual murders have threatened a small community. Reid has to deal with a migraine which appears to be caused, not by physical symptoms, but by past emotional/psychological trauma. This news distresses him, as his mother was a schizophrenic.

The first leg of the sixth season of Criminal Minds has provided some truly excellent episodes (the sinister “Into the Woods” was one of the shows’ best episodes ever; sinister, scary and unforgettable. It was chilling, in no small part thanks to the child guest actors and daring writing decisions) and has provided some truly dull ones (“25 To Life”-I know I watched it, because I wrote a review on it, but if you held a gun to my head I couldn’t tell you a thing about those forty-something minutes of my life.)

So, how did the second leg start off? Not well, I’m afraid. Gore was up, intrigue down. The best crime show on television also comes from CBS-it is relatively bloodless The Good Wife. Every week the characters tackle a case. This case is engaging; within a short span of time the audience gets to know the risks involved, the players taking these risks. This week Criminal Minds gave us a university chicken decapitator. In The Good Wife the characters are morally ambiguous: indeed, it is quite shocking when people do not act out of self-interest. On Criminal Minds, despite its own insistence that nature is not separated into good and evil categories, the characters are righteously predictable; they are saved from being boring by the charisma of the well-cast actors.

The suspects are introduced with villain violins and the camera work bombards us with their shifty eyed looks to the point where you may as well throw up your hands and give up: everyone is a suspect. Could I tell you anything of interest about these suspects? Nope. Did I buy these old African tribal rituals for a second? Not for a jiffy. I laughed. I couldn’t help it: it looked so ridiculous. It was a commendable effort for something different, but unlike HBO’s Treme (set in New Orleans, the first season led up to the renowned Mardi Gras), Criminal Minds could not muster half of the authenticity of David Simon’s creation.

The subplot involved Reid’s sudden illness and as they stand, Reid’s personal problems are of absolutely no interest to me. The show has already gone over his mother’s schizophrenia. They’ve already explored his childhood trauma. I don’t want to go back over his sufferings. As for the results of his headaches: the dizziness (yawn) and hallucinations, so far all we’ve gotten out of them is an uncomfortable close up of his nostrils.

That is another problem area where Criminal Minds has floundered whilst The Good Wife has thrived: personal information is released in tidbits on The Good Wife. No one goes around sobbing hysterically about daddy the serial killer or mommy the schizophrenic. Exposition is kept to a bare minimum, whereas Criminal Minds survives on exposition, which is just dull.

One last thought on this episode:

Rachel Nichols has been given absolutely nothing to do. Her Agent Seaver had about three lines, none memorable. I want to blame the writers for giving her virtually nothing so far but a bad first episode, but then I remember the tongue-in-cheek final episode they wrote for AJ Cook’s departure and my frustration is directed at CBS. Then I remember that they are the ones who gave us The Good Wife, so now I’m just bitter about my own frustration. I’ll cross my fingers in the hopes that she gets some decent material soon. Until then: grr.

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