Criminal Minds Season 9 Review “The Inspiration”

Woo-hoo! Season freakin’ nine, everybody! I never thought Criminal Minds would make it this far, but if tonight’s episode “The Inspiration” is any indication, they aren’t slowing down anytime soon!

We start out the episode in quite a different manner when compared to most Criminal Minds episodes. Most of the time we start out by seeing the Unsub make their first kill, or see another creepy scene of some kind, but this time we hit the ground running! The choice to start out with a car chase seemed like a good one, but it really didn’t pay off. I mean, you knew that JJ and Morgan weren’t going to get run over and killed in the first episode or anything, but you’d think there might have been some kind of consequences after that opening scene. Nope. They just back up and the truck rolls on by. Talk about anti-climactic.

We’ve seen some pretty gnarly and disturbing Unsubs on this show, but forcing your victims to eat the decaying body parts of an ex-girlfriend is a new low. It was hard not to be reminded of the great NBC series Hannibal when you watched this, but at least that show actually makes the cannibalism look appetizing (as gross as that sounds). This just looked nasty. I don’t know if I’ll ever order bacon on my salad at a restaurant again.

The cast of the episode was great, as character actor Fred Koehler (Death Race) played the unsub Wallace Hines, and Emmy winner Camryn Manheim (Ghost Whisperer) played his mom. It looks like they’ll both be back for the second part of this two-part premiere, and I do hope that Manheim gets more to do then just being a worried mom.

At least Wallace’s mom did get to do the awesomely disturbing scene where she spits up a bloody tooth into her hand. With most people knowing Manheim from The Practice of Ghost Whisperer, it was definitely a shock seeing her in a much more violent program. I did really love the scene where Heather walked up the wall while taunting Wallace, and I also really appreciated that the blond studying girl from the opening scene ended up coming back to Wallace’s room to bother him again.

The “twins twist” really did come out of nowhere, and it did come off a bit goofy. There’s no possible way that we could have seen that coming, so it’s a bit of a deus ex machina. I’m hoping that next week’s episode can justify this twist a little better, because it just made me chuckle.

Back at the BAU, it looks like Hotch has been offered Strauss’ job after she died in last season’s finale. It would be interesting to see Hotch be in charge of the group from back in the office, and it would definitely ensure that they wouldn’t have any interference. Although it would definitely be sad to see him relegated to a desk. I don’t know why he can’t just take Strauss’ job and order himself to be out in the field. Hire someone else to do the paperwork!

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

Random Thoughts:

– Did anybody else see Shemar Moore as the Emmys backstage host on Sunday? That dude might have a future in TV hosting once Criminal Minds comes to an end!

– The scene where the Unsub talks to the girl at the coffee cart was shot at the mall that I grew up going to in Northridge, California. My wife’s first job was at a burger place that was visible right over the Unsub’s shoulder. That coffee cart isn’t usually there, by the way. The snake scene was at the same mall, too.

– I loved JJ’s line tonight when she exasperatedly told Rossi “We see evil all the time!” Also, the face she made when Reid talked about a praying mantis’ mating habit was hilarious.