Criminal Minds Season 9 Review “Mr. and Mrs. Anderson”

CRIMINAL MINDS (CBS) JJ

Two weeks after airing the big 200th episode, Criminal Minds returned tonight with the Valentine’s Day themed episode “Mr. and Mrs. Anderson”.

I only say that there was a Valentine’s Day theme to the episode due to the few lines at the beginning between Garcia and Morgan and their cute scene at the end, and the creepy romantic relationship between the titular Mr. and Mrs. Anderson. This series has done several holiday themed episodes in the past, so I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t stick a little closer to a Valentine’s theme for this episode. It would have added a whole other layer to have that creepy theme hanging over it.

The hour opened on a husband and wife luring a young woman back to their motel room and strangling her, and they continued to kill young men and women over the course of the episode. The concept of a “Natural Born Killers” style killer duo has been done to death on film and television, and it’s even been done on this show before, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen it done with an older couple. We usually see young, attractive people getting together and going on killing sprees, so I liked having that little twist to the formula. The Unsubs having problems with their marriage added another interesting layer to it, and made for a suspenseful final scene when Mr. Anderson inevitably attacks his therapist.

I also really enjoyed the casting tonight. The guy who played Mr. Anderson was character actor Ned Bellamy, who’s been seen most recently on another CBS drama Under the Dome as Reverend Lester Coggins. He’s been playing the creepy guy for over 20 years, and he certainly does a good job of it! Mrs. Anderson was played by Mary Mara, who also did a great job with her part, although I was a little confused with her reaction concerning her husband’s extra curricular exploits. She was apparently fine with her husband killing a bunch of young men and women, since they were doing that all episode. She was also apparently fine with the fact that he’s been unfaithful, as she’s also been unfaithful. So…what was she so upset about at the end? Was it the rape that she didn’t approve of? Or the number of people that he’s attacked? I know it’s obviously bad for him to rape people, but she’s apparently OK with adultery and homicide. Despite the slightly confusing motivations, I loved how she played this turn on her husband.

Despite the interesting concept and the solid performances, it was a little hard to not feel let down by this episode, considering we’re coming off of the big events in the 200th episode. JJ came right back to work and didn’t seem any worse for wear. I would have appreciated some more continuity from the last installment, especially considering that it had to do with women being abducted and assaulted against their will. You’d think that would really resonate with her.

Even though there was little continuity from last week, the episode was still an interesting one. Excited for next week, after the Survivor premiere!

Random Thoughts:

– It’s very rare that TV shows will air episodes after the holiday that is being referenced on the show. Usually Christmas or Thanksgiving episodes will happen weeks in advance, so it was a little weird for this episode to be timed like this.

– The wife wearing her husband’s victims jewelry reminded me strongly of the episode from Luther. If you guys haven’t watched that show, you would love it if you’re a fan of Criminal Minds. It’s on Netflix. Go watch it right now!

– It was interesting that the therapist said that Mr. Anderson had to “take charge”, considering those were the exact words that Garcia used when talking about what Sam needs to do.