Criminal Minds Season 9 Review “Fatal”


Criminal Minds returned tonight with the antepenultimate episode of season nine, the entertaining and oddly casted “Fatal”.

I say the episode was oddly casted because of the Unsub being played by Brian Baumgartner. Yes, that’s the guy that played the lovable oaf Kevin Malone on The Office for nine years, so it was definitely odd seeing him in a much darker and more serious role, and using his regular voice no less! I get that he’s an actor and all, but from what I can tell by looking over his IMDb page this is the first dramatic role he’s had. He did a good job, but I had a hard time thinking of him as someone other than Kevin the entire time.

The actual case was your basic story of a middle-aged white dude going crazy and killing people, but with a thin motif of Greek mythology and the Sisters of Fate. The story at least started out with an interesting twist, as we see the Unsub at work with his coworkers throwing him a party! It was certainly a far cry from the usual Unsubs on this show who are mostly anti-social loners. You’d think this guy would be too happy to kill people with a big ol’ banner on the wall saying “Bon Voyage, Bill!”

The whole idea of the Unsub missing a shuttle to the airport twenty years ago thanks to his buddy, played by Terry Serpico, was really silly. So you missed one flight, and that caused you to stay away from Greece for this whole time? Couldn’t you schedule another flight? The little twist at the end of the episode about the people on the shuttle all dying was also a little ridiculous, because you’d think that either the Unsub or his buddy would have heard about that and said “Hey, we were gonna be on that shuttle!” The idea that neither of them heard about it was a little silly. Five people dying on an airport shuttle bus would be big news! You’d think that their friends or family would have at least heard about it and said “Hey, weren’t you guys going on a trip?!”

The cutesy scene at the end of the episode with Jack and his class being profiled by Hotchner was all right, but I want to see more of that teacher! Is Hotchner still with that other girl or what? Anyway, we still didn’t get any kind of buildup towards the two-part finale, so it looks like the final two episodes will be entirely self-contained. I thought it was possible that the Mountain Man would make a return for the finale, since we saw that he was still at large a few weeks ago, but the scenes don’t make it look like that’s the case. I hope this season will end in a thrilling fashion, although I highly doubt that any of the agents will bite the dust, despite what the ads for the episode say.

Random Thoughts:

– I was impressed by Reid namedropping Max Pool, the Unsub from the season three episode “About Face” that put people’s faces on wanted posters before killing them. It’s certainly impressive to fit in a callback to a random episode six years ago!

– Whenever I hear about Mesothelioma I always think about those class action lawsuit commercials.

– Are you really able to just take someone’s license plate number into the DMV and get their address? There’s got to be some privacy laws preventing that from happening.