CRIMINAL MINDS “Hanley Waters” Review


CRIMINAL MINDS “Hanley Waters” Season 6 Episode 20 – Last week I was perplexed because of the lack of trauma displayed within the unit regarding Prentiss’ death. This week we got plenty of exposition in the form of a weird therapy session conducted by Hotchner, but it was completely ineffective.

The quasi spiritual/intellectual quote given at the start of the episode, about how a man who does not grieve is nothing (I’m totally paraphrasing here) was clearly not fully understood by the writers of this episode. A therapy session is not sufficient to convey the loss of a dear friend, or, as Rossi put it, a sort of surrogate sister/wife. It’s not enough to say “I’m sad” and then get on with life. The team should have been affected by Prentiss’ death. Their grief, their sense of loss, should have impacted the way in which they investigated cases. They were not affected by Emily’s death.

The case of the episode was pretty awful as far as cases for Criminal Minds go. It involved a mother who went on a murder spree on the anniversary of her son’s death and birthday. She blamed her husband, who seemed like quite a douche, ordering a restraining order on his wife less than a year after their son died. The climax ended up at a burger joint with the woman traumatising a kid as the kid’s parents whimpered at her. You really wish the sniper team would just take her out and end our misery.

Alas, that did not happen. Hotchner worked his magic and got all emotional for whatever reason. I think they tried to draw parallels between this woman’s grief and the team’s grief at losing Prentiss, but those therapy scenes were too bland and this case too generic.

If you want to see a show about loss and grief, skip Criminal Minds and watch The Killing on AMC.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.

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