Criminal Minds Season 8 Review “The Pact”

Criminal Minds Season 8 Episode 2 The Pact (6)

Criminal Minds returned tonight after being kiboshed last week by the presidential debate. I get that determining the leader of our country is important and all, but come on you guys! I need my Criminal Minds! You can argue in Denver any time you want, but Wednesday night is Criminal Minds night!

Anyway, “The Pact” began in a typically disturbing opening scene, as we see what appears to be a cheating woman get dragged behind a car to her death. This brings our team to sunny San Diego, California, along with Jeanne Tripplehorn’s character Alex Blake. If the comments on my last review are any indication, Blake is not a very popular addition to the team. This seems to be the general sentiment among most CM fans, so I’m hoping the writers spend some time fleshing out her character a little better. I was a big fan of Garcia’s line, though. “Ten points to Blakeindor!”

All episodes of Criminal Minds break down into two categories: “Mystery” episodes and “unsub” episodes. “Mystery” episodes show us the crime, introduce a bunch of suspects, and then we find out that one of the people we’ve been introduced to are the unsub. Then there are the “unsub” episodes, where we know from the very beginning who the unsub is, and we get to see them commit their heinous crimes and wait for the team to catch up to them. I’ve always been a fan of the “unsub” episodes, as I’m much more interested in seeing the character development and motivations for our killers, and thankfully this episode was one of those.

Vigilante killers are also usually fun to watch, as it’s sometimes easy to understand why they do what they do. That’s why millions of people tune in to Dexter every week, right? Well, it turns out our two vigilante soccer moms weren’t actually the real unsubs, as we were quickly introduced to Jason Nelson. This guy was one of the most despicable people we’ve seen on this show, and that’s saying something! It was a little jarring how quickly he went from a whimpering loser to a prolific serial murderer, but when he went evil he went full evil! Doing that to little girls has to be one of the worst things a human being can do, so hearing him talk about those acts with a smile on his face really makes your skin crawl. I’m surprised that he stayed alive as long as he did!

In a strange change of pace for Criminal Minds, only one of our unsubs was brought to justice. Helen was caught down in Mexico, while Darlene is still at large. It makes sense they would make this decision considering what Darlene went through, and even though she killed people you’ve still got to root for her a little bit. I hope she’s finding peace, wherever she ends up!

Random Thoughts:

– This had to be the most realistic usage of iPhones that I’ve ever seen on a television show. Usually when people use iPhones on TV, they use the wrong sound effects and the animations on the screen are all wrong. However in the opening scene of this episode the girl had the right sound effects, typing noises, and it even auto corrected “spon” to “soon”! Good job, Criminal Minds!

– I’m still not a big fan of the Blake character, and one of the things that irks me about her is that she never seems very interested or excited about whatever is happening. She’ll be discussing rape and murder victims all while sipping her coffee.

– “Let’s Do Healthy Relationships” has got to be the worst name for a self-help book that I’ve ever heard.

  • Trostagan

    I am still out on Blake too.  There was something missing from last night’s show. It did not have the same feeling as all the other shows.  I am giving some thoughts to maybe stop looking at it.  Now, that is bad for me, because I have been addicted to the show.  I have seen every show, inluding reruns!!

  • Santa Claus.

    I actually quite like Blake, they just need to develop her character a bit more, then she’ll be cool. She is my 3rd favorite character, after Reid (1st) and Hotch.
    The episode was cool, but I actually thought that Jason would survive so when *PLOT SPOILER* happened, I was surprised. I’m glad they let Darlene go, as she was the most innocent, and I think Elen, the boy’s AUNT not mother, forced her to do it, so she’ll probably an accessory to murder. 
    So looking forward to the rest of the season, but I think a member of the BAU will probably die, coz noone on the team has died on Criminal Minds and that BAU stalker looks pretty serious- If they all survive- I’ll be surprised.  

  • Guest

    I’m really happy about how Darlene escaped in the end. The other vigilante I was kinda uneasy on, especially considering the fact that she was a psychopath too and killed that random driver, but she got caught in the end, which is a good thing. 

    Really loved the ending, it impacted me so much and practically moved me to tears. Probably one of the best Criminal Minds episodes ever.