Criminal Minds Season 8 Review “Nanny Dearest”

Criminal Minds returned tonight with “Nanny Dearest”, a sufficiently creepy installment that . Our team makes their way to Los Angeles, and later Seattle, in order to catch an Unsub that has been kidnapping nannies with their babies and then killing the nannies.

The actual case in Los Angeles was pretty boilerplate Criminal Minds fare. An Unsub kidnaps some victims, you think he’s going to kill them during the whole episode, and then the BAU barges in to save the day at the last second. Not only that, but I pretty much figured out the guy’s motives in the first ten minutes. He has something against nannies, and he wants to avenge his baby sister. Got it. The really interesting stuff came a few minutes in when JJ and Morgan head off to Seattle to talk to a victim from a previous investigation.

The old victim Tara Rios was played wonderfully by Yara Martinez, and she did an incredible job. The scenes with the EMDR machine, as she relives her horrible experiences as a tear rolls down her cheek, was great stuff. Then finding out that she left that Alison girl to fend for herself was a heartbreaking twist, as you realize that she is probably more messed up because of that decision than about anything else.

I was really excited when Hotchner tried to relate to Phoebe’s mom, as he told her he actually does know what it’s like to have a child abducted by a serial killer. I was bummed that we didn’t actually get to see him tell her about this, as it was hinted to us that he was about to reveal that to her. We so rarely get to see Hotch do any kind of empathy or emoting in this show, and he’s barely ever mentioned the death of his wife since it happened. I guess that would have brought down the episode quite a bit, but I still would have enjoyed it.

With only three episodes left in this season, I’m excited to see more of a ramp up to the series finale pretty soon. The Replicator is going to be back for sure in the season finale, but I could do with a few more teases to let us know what to expect.

Random Thoughts:

– Did anybody else think the Unsub sounded like Rossi when he abducted Gina Mendez? His growly voice sounded just like Joe Mantegna’s regular voice.

– It always amuses me that whenever a Criminal Minds episode takes place in Los Angeles, it seems like they make a point to show LA landmarks to prove they were actually there. The show films full-time in LA, so usually they can’t show landmarks when the episode is supposed to take place elsewhere, but they definitely made a point to show off the Griffith Observatory in tonight’s installment.

– I hope that nobody is this hyper-sensitive, but I wonder if CBS will get any criticism for mentioning Alison Astor qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Obviously this episode was filmed before the horrifying incident that happened there, but I’m surprised they didn’t just change the name of the marathon just to be safe.