Criminal Minds “The Silencer” Review

Criminal Minds Season 8 Premiere 2012

Well, here we are folks! Season eight of Criminal Minds got off to an interesting start with tonight’s premiere episode “The Silencer”. After a summer away from our team, and the news that a new actress has been named as a series regular, I was interested to see how our eighth season would begin. Did tonight’s premiere deliver on a summer of anticipation and hype? Well…yes and no, but read on to find out more!

After we see this week’s unsub sprung from captivity through a daring rescue attempt by a deer, we catch right back up with our team! Since we last saw them, Morgan and Garcia have been in London with Emily enjoying the Olympics, and a new team member has been added to the squad! Jeanne Tripplehorn (Big Love, Waterworld) joins the cast as Alex Blake, and is pushed onto the screen with little to no fanfare. I’m interested to hear a little more of her backstory on top of the quick history that Garcia gave us from her research on the plane. She has a little bit of a history with Strauss that causes her to be at odds with her, but nobody on the team particularly likes Strauss so this is nothing new.

It’s honestly a bit odd how quickly she was thrown onto the team, and it’s strange that CBS chose Tripplehorn in the first place. No offense to Jeanne, but I’m surprised they didn’t go for more eye candy. For the most part they’ve had at least two attractive women on the show, and when Prentiss “died” two seasons ago they added Rachel Nichols’ Seaver to the cast to bridge the hotness gap. I’m not saying the show needs a second young and attractive female, but this is showbiz and these types of moves are usually very deliberate.

As far as the case goes, the team was sent to find The Silencer, an unsub who sews his victims’ mouths shut when he kills them. While the opening scene in the ambulance was sufficiently creepy, and the first time you see somebody with their mouths sewn shut is pretty freaky, but the more you see it the less and less interesting it gets. This case never really panned out into a satisfying conclusion, and I think the unsub not being able to talk really hurt the episode overall. I bet the writers thought that a silent antagonist would be more menacing, but this show excels at crafting really well formed and developed villains, and when they aren’t able to talk it’s very difficult for the audience to connect with the unsub.

Well, believe it or not the team was able to stop the unsub by the end of the episode, and they all returned to DC. After Garcia’s cute little reconciliation with Blake, we get to what was possibly the most interesting scene of the whole episode. The very last scene of the episode shows that somebody is developing pictures of all seven members of the team and hanging them all up in a line. Who’s doing this, and why? Since it’s only week one on season eight, I’m gonna make a prediction: Hotch’s girlfriend. That cute girl that he’s gone running with for a few episodes. She’s the one! Write it down!

Random Thoughts:

– That would have been really shocking if the unsub killed that baby. You probably can’t do that on CBS anyway, but that would have been nuts.

– I’m not very familiar with Tripplehorn’s acting, as I think the only thing I’ve seen that she’s done was Waterworld and that was 17 years ago, but did she seem bored to anybody else? I don’t know if it’s supposed to be part of her character, but she honestly just seemed like she was reading through her lines as lifeless and detached as possible.

– Maybe I’m just finding more things to nitpick about Tripplehorn now, but she even holds her gun weird! Get it together, Jeanne!