Criminal Minds Season 9 Review “What Happens in Mecklinburg…”

Criminal Minds Season 8 Episode 18 Restoration

After Criminal Minds ended in somewhat of a cliffhanger last week, I was expecting tonight’s installment “What Happens in Mecklinburg…” to pick up where the last one left off. Instead we had a completely separate case in a totally different state. I suppose they could be saving “The Mountain Man” for the season, but you’d think that the team would at least address the fact that those two people got attacked at the end of last week’s installment.

Either way, after the opening scene of the creepy pig dude attacking those girls, we see that Morgan is having problems with his lady friend Savannah. We’ve seen Savannah in a few episodes now, but we haven’t seen enough of her to really care about the status of her relationship with Morgan. Even though I don’t care for her too much, I was surprised how much of a jerk Morgan was being here. First he guilt trips her by giving her the whole “I don’t have control of when the bad guys strike” speech, but then he tries to Jedi Mind Trick her into breaking up with him. Thankfully she calls him out on it, but I was definitely surprised to see him being such a crappy boyfriend. Look, I get that he has a very demanding job with crazy hours, and that Savannah should know what she’s getting into, but that’s no reason for him to act like such a martyr. I’m glad JJ called him out on it as well, but I still didn’t really buy Morgan coming back at the end of the episode to confess his love. Really, that’s all you needed? You just needed JJ to give you some jive-talkin’ sage advice and you immediately know what you want out of life? Boo.

Anyway, the actual case itself was entertaining enough, as we follow an angry sister who’s seeking revenge on everybody who wronged her daughter at a frat party in Memphis, Tennessee. This is the first episode ever written by Ticona S. Joy, and it’s actually the very first writing credit for Joy on any show. Her only other credits on IMDb come from being on the production staff of Criminal Minds for five episodes, but that’s it. It’s very unlike Criminal Minds to get newbies to write or direct their episodes. Usually when you look up the writer or director of every episode of this show, you’ll see that they’ve written or directed multiple episodes before. It’s good to see them trying to get new blood to write for this show, since we are in our ninth season and all. Maybe some new perspective and young talent will help keep the show fresh going into its tenth season.

The acting and direction was pretty solid tonight as well, but there was nothing really special. Anne Leighton was great as the Unsub Sheila Harrison, but everything else was pretty boilerplate. Overall it was just another standard episode of Criminal Minds, but it’s a little disappointing that we didn’t have any forward momentum towards the season finale. We only have three episodes left in this season, and there’s a three week break until the next installment, so it would have been fun to have a nice cliffhanger that gets us excited for the show to come back and air it’s final three episodes.

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

Random Thoughts:

– It’s not very common that we have episode titles on Criminal Minds that are trying to be jokey or humorous, so “What Happens in Mecklinburg…” was definitely a much lighter tone as compared to the incredibly dark episode.

– Whenever I see anybody in a pig mask I always think of the video game Hotline Miami. If you haven’t played it yet, and don’t mind a healthy amount of violence, I recommend checking it out.

– It was interesting to hear Reid namedrop Christopher Dorner’s crime spree, which was a pretty big event that happened barely over a year ago. Maybe it wasn’t such a big deal to people watching from around the country, but I’m in Southern California where the majority of his crimes took place. It’s still a pretty fresh wound for us here.