Criminal Minds Season 8 Review “Broken”

Criminal Minds Season 8 Episode 15 Broken

After being preempted last week by the premiere for Survivor: Caramoan, Criminal Minds returned tonight with “Broken”. Directed by Larry Teng, the same guy that gave us the really creepy episode “God Complex” earlier this season, tonight’s episode was equally disturbing and well done.

Jeanne Tripplehorn’s character has been woefully underdeveloped this season, but this episode did give us a little bit of a peek into her day job. Not unlike the original Criminal Minds lead Jason Gideon (Played by the great Mandy Patinkin), Blake appears to be a teacher at a university in her spare time. However she’s quickly called away from her class to assist on the case! This is just like the very first episode of Criminal Minds!

The team makes their way to Austin, Texas to check out an Unsub who’s been killing young men and women after social gatherings. It was really cool how they figured out the code with the watches, and I loved all of the creepy flashbacks to the Unsubs father and Isabella Grant, but then that’s where the episode got a bit too preachy and heavy handed for me.

At first I was impressed how well they were handling this hot-button issue. The conflict that the Unsub was facing was an interesting one to discuss and explore, and his relationship with Mitch was also very effective, but I really thought that the whole “Reorientation Camp” was a bit too far. Yes, I realize that these things exist. And yes, I realize that they’re very controversial and that some people are offended by their very existence, but they were definitely a little too opinionated about them in this episode. Rossi and Morgan were being pretty fair and even-handed about homosexuality and the religious ramifications of it, but then they go and show this freaky camp. They didn’t need to make it look like a concentration camp, and cast the creepiest counsellor ever to play their leader. I also have a hard time buying that such a nice looking and well funded reorientation camp would have such a prevalent brainwashing section.

Well the team ends up catching the Unsub in the end, but we get another glimpse of the stalker in the final scene! This definitely seems to be where this season is heading, and with only a half dozen episodes left I definitely hope we find out who this shadowy figure is very soon!

What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– I obviously don’t think that murder or rape is ever acceptable in any situation, but does anybody have any less sympathy for somebody like the girl in the opening scene? You walk right up to a shady looking dude in the parking lot an immediately start making out with him in the dark? Good call…

– Wasn’t this case supposed to be based in Texas? Why didn’t anybody have an accent? Not even the gay dude from Boston had a Boston accent!

– In case anybody was wondering what the song was that was playing over the final scene, it was “Madness” by Muse. Really great song choice for the creepy stuff going on here.