Criminal Minds “Beyond Borders” Review (Season 10 Episode 19)

Criminal Minds Beyond Borders Season 10 Episode 19 01

It’s backdoor pilot time again, baby! Criminal Minds already had a backdoor pilot a few years ago for the Forest Whitaker led Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. I had to review all three episodes of that stinker, so I’m definitely hoping that the Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders will do better. The biggest issue (out of many) for Suspect Behavior was that it was so similar to the main show that it spun off from. They were just a team tracking down Unsubs in the USA. The hook of this new team tackling foreign cases sounds like it’s already a lot more interesting, and the cast is pretty darn good too!

Of course fans of CBS procedurals will be familiar with Gary Sinise who most recently worked on CSI: NY, so he feels right at home on a show like this. Of course I’m also excited to see Anna Gunn back on my TV, considering Breaking Bad is my favorite show of all time and I missed Gracepoint,and she did a pretty solid job also. It was also nice to see Tyler James Williams back on my TV, considering the last time I saw him on The Walking Dead wasn’t in the happiest context. Matt Simmons is the obligatory strong athletic guy played by Big Hero 6‘s Daniel Henney, who probably had the least to do tonight. I’m sure if the show is picked up to series he’ll be the guy doing all the footraces and kicking down the doors.

They were really pulling out all the stops behind the camera, too. The episode was directed by prolific Criminal Minds director Glenn Kershaw who’s helmed a whopping 24 installments, and it was also written by showrunner Erica Messer. They clearly wanted to put their best and brightest behind the episode, and they wanted people to get excited about a possible spin-off.

Unfortunately, the episode itself was nothing special. A crazy guy abducted a family, and he was reliving some childhood abuse and putting this poor family through hell to do it. It was on their vacation, dude! That’s just a jerk move! There really was never any real risk of the family dying, because you know after watching ten seasons of this show that they aren’t going to introduce a happy family unit like that and then kill any of them off. However, the big budget showdown with all of the boats and helicopters was pretty cool.

As far as a spin-off goes, I see no reason why CBS shouldn’t go ahead and greenlight the show as soon as they can. They have a rock solid cast already in place, so now they just need better stories to tell. We also might need a few more cast members to round out the crew, with only three people in the field feeling a little light. I’m sure that will all come if/when the show gets picked up, and I’m interested to see how it turns out.

What do you think? Do you want Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders to get greenlit? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– Do they really call people who kill families “family annihilators?” That’s gnarly stuff!

– Why didn’t the kidnapped family try to help out the dad when he was fighting the Unsub? Pitch in, kids! It’d be a fun family activity on your vacation!

– The actress who played the mom of the kidnapped family is Bonnie Somerville. This just so happens to be my grandma’s name, exactly. Fun fact.