Criminal Minds Season 8 Review “The Good Earth”

Criminal Minds Season 8 Episode 5 The Good Earth

Tonight’s episode of Criminal Minds, “The Good Earth”, started with an opening scene of a classic Criminal Minds misdirect. We see an attractive girl running through a forest, only for her to be surprised by a shady looking guy in a sweater. The intense music and frenetic camera work was supposed to make us think she was being chased, but surprise! She was just a personal trainer on a jog with her client! However, her client suddenly gets all woozy and crashes his car, and then he’s abducted by a mysterious shadowy figure!

After the team makes their way to Oregon, they look into the suspicious disappearance of Terry Rodgers. I was a little surprised that they never thought to accuse the personal trainer for the disappearance, even after finding out that the Unsub was a woman, as she was athletic and the last person to see Rodgers.

Well, we quickly find out that the Unsub was Emma Kerrigan, played by perennial TV actress Anne Dudek. Dudek is a great actress who is probably best known for her characters on House and Mad Men, where she played a character who comes off a bit more aggressive and unlikable, but had a soft spot on the inside. Now she’s playing a loving mom who is polite enough to her daughter and doctor, but is actually a neurotic serial killer. It was great to see her playing such a different type of character for once.

Not only does she attack a pregnant lady, but the way she treated those men in the barn was terrifying! Feeding them soil additives and animal feed through their nose, forcing them to eat placenta (Yuck!), and then grinding them up into human fertilizer to grow her tomatoes! Yummy!

Well the team ends up finding Emma in her family garden, and Hotch, Derek and Alex all have their guns drawn on her. I thought it was a bit interesting that Alex completely lied and manipulated Emma into dropping the knife, and that neither Derek nor Hotch called her out on it. Derek congratulated her on defusing the situation, but didn’t seem to happy about it. Hotch didn’t say a word. I’m wondering if this is going to be a consistent character trait for her, and I guess it’s a good thing that she has some kind of defining characteristics. Even if they aren’t very good ones.

This episode was good, but it was pretty standard Criminal Minds fare. Nothing we haven’t seen before. After last week’s episode gave us some great character development for Reid, and introduced a mystery woman that’s been helping him with his headaches, I was really hoping we would get more on that story line. I understand that we have the rest of the season to flesh this out, and we’re only in episode seven, but even having somebody acknowledge that story would have been nice. Oh well, hopefully we’ll get more on that in the rest of the season. At least Henry as Mini-Reid was super cute!

Random Thoughts:

– I can handle a lot of depraved and violent stuff on TV, but doing a C-section in a dark barn is pretty messed up. Pregnant ladies are off limits for me.

– Does Joe Mantegna wear a hearing aide?

– And that’s why I’m never gonna go to a farmer’s market! Who knows what those people put in their plants?