Criminal Minds Season 9 Review “Gabby”

Editor’s Note: I had to review the two hour premiere of Survivor last night, so I didn’t have time to review this show. Sorry it’s late, but better late than never!

With no more big competition coming from the Olympics, Criminal Minds returned last night with “Gabby”, which was a very different take on your typical abduction case. Directed by Agent Hotchner himself, Thomas Gibson came back to direct his second episode with this installment. With his only other directing of this series being last year’s “All That Remains”, which I was not really a fan of, I was hoping this one would be a little bit better.

The opening was very different by Criminal Minds standards, especially for episodes like this. We’ve seen plenty of cases like this in the past, with abductions and kidnappings happening multiple times every season, but it felt like we were spending a lot of time with Gabby and her family before all hell broke loose. While I did find it a bit odd that we were building up the character of a little girl and her aunt such an inordinate amount, it really did have a much bigger impact when Gabby was inevitably taken. It was like they wanted us to have as much screen time with the adorable little girl so that we could fall in love with her, just so they could take her away from us! Criminal Minds, you devils!

It was pretty clear to see from the very first scene, though, that there was something off with Gabby’s aunt Sue Walsh. She was acting erratic and weird the entire time in the convenience store, so you just knew she was up to something devious. Sue was played very well, though, by Sianoa Smit-McPhee, from Hung and Australian soap opera Neighbors. Her sister was also played well by fellow soap opera actress Ashley Jones, from Bold and the Beautiful.

The only part of these characters that started to bother me were their southern accents. You could tell that Sue wasn’t very comfortable with her accent, being Australian and all, but both of their accents just distracted me. Also, it was a little disappointing that the people that kidnapped Gabby were the most stereotypical rednecks possible. It’s like the Criminal Minds writers were just trying to remind us that we were in Mississippi, as if the over-the-top accents weren’t enough.

We didn’t get much tonight as far as any big character moments, but you could definitely tell that Hotchner was the one who directed it. He gave himself a lot of powerful scenes, getting to do all of the fun interrogation stuff, but it makes you wonder why his character isn’t always like that. It was also surprising how incredibly affected Garcia was by this case. I mean, she’s always really bummed out by the cases that the BAU takes on, but she rarely cries like that. I don’t know what it was about Gabby that really got to her, but it was very sad to see her reacting so strongly.

While I enjoyed “Gabby” for what it was, there was nothing special about it. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– Did anybody else have their TV knocked out last night due to the weather? This episode didn’t even record on my DVR, I had to watch it online!

– Sianoa Smit-McPhee is the older sister of actor Kodi-Smit-McPhee, who you might recognize as Boy from The Road, and he supplied the voice of the title character of ParaNorman. If you haven’t seen ParaNorman yet, do yourself a favor and check it out.

– Do you think we really have that kind of facial recognition technology in the FBI? Or is that stuff just for TV? I was just complaining about overly powerful facial recognition technology on my review for Almost Human, and now here it is again!