Criminal Minds Season 8 Review “Through the Looking Glass”

Criminal Minds Season 8 Episode 3

Criminal Minds returned tonight with another strong episode in “Through the Looking Glass”, an incredibly disturbing and effective installment. We also see the return of Beth, Hotch’s girlfriend. Remember everybody, I’m calling her as the one from the premiere who we saw developing pictures of the team! The fact that we’re randomly seeing her again makes me feel like it’s a good guess. They say she’s moving to New York, but that doesn’t mean anything!

Anyway, the team is called out to Kansas City to save the Acklin family, a seemingly perfect family who has been abducted by the unsub and kept in a basement. The idea of locking a family in a room and airing all of their dirty laundry is scary in and of itself, but adding the threat of death makes it even worse!

The team quickly finds out that the same thing happened to a Japanese family recently, and when their bodies start turning up, the team knows they don’t have much time.

So the killer starts to force the Acklins to unearth secrets about themselves. Ross slept with his son’s tutor, Mackenzie is stealing her mom’s drugs, and Debra withdrew a loan for $5k. But here’s where the episode gets a little squirrelly: When the killer shows Debra the $5k she’s looking for, and says that she could pick the money over the life of her daughter’s boyfriend, she picks the money without hesitation! What?! This lady’s a psychopath! She then is the first one to choose to kill herself, her husband, and her daughter in exchange for her son’s life. Because that makes sense and everything…

The unsub’s reasoning was a bit off, as well. Well…even more off than a serial killer’s reasoning would be. His whole “If you loved each other you would die for each other” didn’t make a lot of sense. If I love somebody, that doesn’t mean I’m going to kill myself and two of my family members just to save one.

Despite some goofy moments in the main story, I liked Alex Blake a little more in this episode than I have in the first two installments. Her little tiff with Reid was a little weird, where she joked about him having Aspberger’s, but at least she’s exhibiting some kind of personality. Even if she’s going to be the team member who’s always butting heads with the other members, at least she’ll have some kind of hook!

Overall this was a solid episode and I’m excited to see more! See you all next week!

Random Thoughts:

– The Kansas City police captain was played by Gary Grubbs, who’s a great character actor that’s been in everything from Angel to The O.C. I’ve been going through The X-Files recently, and I realized he plays one character on the season 3 episode “Our Town”, and an entirely different character in the X-Files movie. It took me 11 years, but I figured you out, X-Files!

– How do all of these unsubs afford these hi-tech kill rooms? You see this all the time on shows like these.

– I loved the flashback of the unsub looking at the “perfect family” across the street, and the two kids’ slow-motion high five. I love that they chose that visual to encapsulate the perfect family.