Criminal Minds “Closing Time” Review

In this week’s episode of Criminal Minds, a killer is brutally (is there any other way?) murdering people who cheat on their spouses. From genital mutilation to crushing with a car, the unsub comes up with dozens of rather interesting killing techniques to rid the earth of adulterers.

A lot of my issues with the show can be summed up in the final five minutes or so of the episode. Morgan, Reid and JJ go into the shop where they know the unsub is holding the kid he raised at gunpoint. Morgan even holds open the door as JJ goes into the basement to confront the unsub. Okay so far? Everything making pretty good sense? Okay. So why doesn’t Morgan and Reid follow JJ, a relative rookie, into the basement where the extremely violent (gun toting, car crushing, genital mutilator) is holding a kid hostage? Why is she down there for a good two minutes solo, trying to talk the unsub out of killing the kid (and her, if he doesn’t mind) while Morgan and Reid…what? What are they doing that’s so important they can’t back up their comrade?

You know what they’re doing? Nothing. This is the part where the writers think it would be cool to have JJ fight someone, which is all fine and good – who doesn’t love a good fight scene? But the contrived, stupid way they get JJ into a room with the killer shows that this show is clearly just running on auto, where the creators and the writers and directors are just picking up their pay checks, putting any dumb thing on the screen to fill out the time block allotted to them. The lack of pride put into this show is startling. Look, the fight scene itself was lame thanks to some wonky Paul Greengrass-styled editing (which is a problem for anyone who is not Paul Greengrass, as the recent run of action flicks have shown), but that wouldn’t matter. The car crushing scene was lamely directed but it worked really well.

The stuff the episode did with Hotchner and his new girlfriend. That stuff works really well because it’s building on a huge character arc which Hotchner has undergone with his wife and her death. It’s also nice to see him getting some encouragement from Rossi.

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