Criminal Minds Season 8 Review “The Wheels on the Bus…”

Criminal Minds Season 8 Episode 8 The Wheels On The Bus....
Nicholas Brendon is back, everybody! Xander is back! Woo hoo!!!

Sorry, but I watched all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since Nicholas Brendon last appeared on Criminal Minds, so I was more than a little excited to see him return tonight in “The Wheels on the Bus…”

We find out that Nicholas Brendon’s Kevin has actually started seeing Garcia again, but he’s brought in tonight to help work a mass abduction when a bunch of kids are taken hostage from their school bus. 10 kids are brought to a secluded area, and the unsubs use them to attempt to emulate a video game.

I love that Rossi always makes the video game connections on this show, by the way. Back in the season six episode “Safe Haven”, Rossi was the one to realize that the unsub Jeremy Sayer’s alias “Niko Bellic” was from Grand Theft Auto IV. Well, when the team realizes that the game was the inspiration for the crime, they were able to search the records of the game to zero in on the culprits.

The unsubs themselves were not very satisfying, though. We find out that their names are Joshua and Matthew Moore, AKA “Hardy Boy” and “Hambone”, and that they’re a couple young nerds who just wanted to live out their favorite game. It was fun seeing a much older David Gallagher of 7th Heaven fame playing one of them, but I was disappointed in the decision to cast two hipster douchebags as criminal masterminds in the first place. Their performances were pretty terrible as well. There’s only so many times that you can jut out your lower jaw and grunt in a feeble attempt to look tough.

So in the end Hardy Boy takes a bullet to the chest and the day is saved. What started out as a cool idea for a diabolical plot kind of crumbled under the poor performances of the Moore brothers and the silliness of the whole premise. There was a nice ending scene between Garcia and Rossi, but I was sad to find out that Kevin is still dating another woman! I’m hoping that he and Garcia can get back together soon, because I love me some Nicholas Brendon!

See you all next week, and have a great Thanksgiving!

Random Thoughts:

– I know it’s a minor detail, but Criminal Minds is consistently the best show on TV at displaying iPhone screens. Every other show makes the screens look fake or just…off somehow.

– Did anybody else see the Power Rangers T-shirt that kid Sean was wearing? Wouldn’t they be from way before his time? Geez, are the Power Rangers considered retro now? I feel old.

– Was it ever explained how these two kids could afford all of this stuff? Their parents had to work constantly just to make ends meet, so how did they get together the scratch to build and develop such an elaborate game?