Criminal Minds Season 8 Review “The Fallen”

Criminal Minds Season 8 Episode 7 The Fallen

Criminal Minds returns this week and the team is coming to my hometown! Yes, “The Fallen” sees the BAU taking a trip to sunny Los Angeles, and more specifically the beautiful oceanside city of Santa Monica. The episode had one of the cooler opening scenes that we’ve seen on the show in a while. I loved the juxtaposition of Lindsay’s rendition of Avril Lavigne’s “Keep Holding On” and seeing the killer lace up his boots and pick out his knives. You obviously know what’s going to happen here, but it doesn’t make it any less chilling when you know that this happy and talented girl is about to meet her demise.

The actual unsub wasn’t all that interesting, unfortunately, but we did have a very interesting series of flashbacks for Rossi. Flashbacks are very rare on this show, especially for members of our team, so it was really interesting to see a little of Rossi’s background. When Rossi runs into his old sergeant that he served with in Vietnam, we got a few scenes of a young David Rossi fighting in the Vietnamese jungle. It was definitely a huge shift in tone for this show, and it’s always refreshing to get a change of pace. It was equally as satisfying for Rossi to get a heartbreaking revelation about the reason he was sent home, and I really enjoyed seeing them at Hernandez’s grandson’s medal ceremony.

I wasn’t a huge fan of his old army buddy Scott so much, though. His raspy voice got a little tiring after a while, and the lecture about how drinking destroyed his life was just way too cliche and came out of nowhere. I’d like to visit more characters from our team’s past, and I was very interested in Reid’s mystery woman from a couple weeks ago, but this guy was just not very interesting.

I’m not sure why they made the choice to obscure the unsub’s face during the whole episode. The only reason for doing this that makes any sense is that you don’t want the audience to know what the unsub looks like, but the only reason you’d to do that is because you don’t want us to guess who the killer is. But we would have had no way of guessing who it was before they told us, so all that it did was distance the unsub from the audience. I would have rather been able to see him from the beginning so we could learn more about what made him so crazy.

Even though I didn’t much enjoy this week’s unsub, this was still a very effective and timely tribute to our nation’s veterans, and just a few days late for Veteran’s Day! Semper Fi! Hoo-rah!

Random Thoughts:

– I’ve heard a lot of street performers in Santa Monica, and they are never as good as this girl was. I guess that’s TV for ya…

– I thought it was kind of funny how they kept shooting the Santa Monica Pier or The Boardwalk to prove that they were actually shooting in Santa Monica. This show shoots primarily in Southern California, so even when they say they’re going to other US cities they can never actually show any landmarks to prove that they’re there.

– Reid was there with a half-gallon of milk in like 5 seconds. Do they have milk bottles in the FBI van or something?