Criminal Minds “Protection” Review (Season 10 Episode 22)

Criminal Minds Protection Season 10 Episode 22 6

After having one of their creepiest episodes in years last week, Criminal Minds returned tonight with the decidedly less spooky episode “Protection.” After a strange mid-jog debriefing scene, the team makes their way back to Los Angeles to investigate some spree killings in Tinseltown.

The Unsub tonight was played by The Maze Runner‘s Joe Adler, and we got quite a lot of time with him tonight. I don’t know if it just felt like it or what, but it felt like an inordinate amount of time spent with the bad guy. More than usual, for sure. He was OK in the role, but he came off a little too manic and crazed for me. A little more restraint would have gone a long way, but I guess there’s only so much you can do when you’re given that much screen time to fill.

The condition he had was a little confusing as well. After we saw the difference in what he was doing and the story that girl told when he killed her boyfriend, I started to question everything the guy was doing. It started to become unclear if anything we’d seen him do had actually happened like that. It was kind of strange that he started off being pretty on point, only killing hookers and their johns at first, but then he somehow snapped and started seeing things differently. I was a little shocked that there was really no happy ending here, though. I thought there was a tiny possibility that the mother and daughter were OK, like they were just tied up or stashed somewhere alive. However, they were just dead along. The mailman died, that girl’s boyfriend died, everybody died. Usually an episode of Criminal Minds ends and the team manages to rescue a hostage just in the nick of time. There really was no suspense here because you knew that mom and daughter weren’t even in the room with him.

I liked the twist that the pretty young girl with the crutches was the one that was driving the Unsub to continue a vigilante killer. Obviously she ended up being a figment of his imagination, but they could have made her just a regular teenage girl without any crutches. We’ve been conditioned on television and movies that if somebody has a disability or an illness that they can’t possibly be bad people. It’s the “Tiny Tim Effect”, I guess.

So next week is the season finale of this tenth season, and we already know what it’s about since the premise has been up on IMDb for weeks. However, this episode actually led into it a bit with a final scene showing Meg and her ridiculously confident friend Markayla climbing into a stranger’s van. Oddly enough this stranger is a woman, and you would have expected this pedophile to be a man. Maybe they’re working as a team or something, but I guess we’ll find out.

I’m very interested to see how the season finale is handled next week, what with the increasingly pregnant Jennifer Love Hewitt usually being held back from work in the field. Are they going to be able to keep her back from hunting down her daughter? I guess we’ll find out next week!

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

Random Thoughts:

– I’ve lived in the Los Angeles area my whole life, and I’ve been to some pretty rough areas, but I’ve never been able to just walk around and find a crime being committed like that. It was like this guy just searched for a couple minutes and found something happening every time!

– If you guys enjoyed Joe Adler’s performance tonight, you’ll be happy to know that he was recently cast as an intern on Grey’s Anatomy season 12! My wife is pretty excited!

– My wife is currently 11 weeks pregnant, so she was pretty interested in that girl’s tip to trying a seasickness bracelet. This morning sickness is no joke…