Criminal Minds – Hashtag

Image is copyright of Entertainment Weekly. Click through to see original article.
Image is copyright of Entertainment Weekly. Click through to see original article.

This is the seventh conversation between my friend Alasdair Stuart and myself about Criminal Minds. Here we are talking about the seventh episode of Season Ten – Hashtag . We’re cross-posting so you can find these ramblings here or at Al’s blog. There will be spoilers for everything up to and including Season 10, Episode 7. I’m talking in italics, Alasdair’s regular font. As this week’s episode was all about social media you can find Alasdair on Twitter as   and as ever I am 

Hashtag – 10.7

It’s not the first time that Criminal Minds has approached the role of the internet in crime and at the beginning of the episode I was skeptical that they could pull it off. Do you think this approach worked, addressing a subject that isn’t going to go away anytime soon?

…Some of the time? It’s a thankless task doing something like this because you have to simultaneously explain to the audience that don’t already know what you’re talking about and keep the audience who do follow you interested. There were chunks of this episode that managed it. The ‘Tell me, Garcia, what is selfie?’ conversation absolutely did not for me. Now, looked at one way that’s really bad. Looked at the other, it’s maybe indicative that i wasn’t the intended audience for this episode and that’s fair enough.

One of the problems is that it’s happening a lot. Castle has already done a similar episode for example. That shows that’s something that people are plugged into but also it gets very boring and you see the same things over and over. The one thing that made this work really well was the way that they showed new and old media. The harm that both did throughout the episode.

Yeah I could have done with some more of that as it worked really well. The contrast between the language the kids spoke and the fluid, clinical language the porofilers used was really nicely handled and I think just one more scene with a news crew would have really helped their arrival at the end. That being said, it did a really good job of showing three channels of communication; the FBI, the kids and the media.

And this was the first episode this season where I didn’t see the un-sub coming. Maybe because to me he is still baby-Derek from Teen Wolf but still, I really enjoyed the last scene in the hospital. Daniel was still trying to validate his actions through social media, while Connor even though he was close to him looked on without knowing what to do and Morgan was nicely a step removed by being beyond the glass.

Yeah whilst the journey there was a little clunky, that payoff scene was the most chilling moment we’ve had this season. And I didn’t spot the very specific locations of the three characters involved. Excellent eyes, SSA Linde:)

The thing this episode did really well was the ambiguity. Like you I didn’t see the unsub coming but my favorite aspect of that was Connor. I loved the complete gear change Morgan has the second time they talk and the way Connor adapts, like they do, to them being on the same side. Also as someone for whom horror fiction is basically a day job, I loved Connor’s reasoning. And a show as consistently viewed as mainstream as this using meme generation as a plot point has got to be a first.

While Garcia’s explanations were a little tough to swallow at first I loved her starting to talk to the team about creepypasta and then realising that none of them had a clue about it – and also that they wouldn’t understand why anyone would read it when it is the reality that they live.

I think that partly because we were near to the BAU headquarters and partly because of the nature we got to see a lot more of Garcia which was great. It’s always good to see how integral she is to the team. I want to believe that she takes it in turns working in the offices of all of the team members when they are in town.

I think that’s entirely plausible:) Also their interaction was beautiful. I especially loved her utterly sincere ‘I always forget how good you are at this.’. Also the story about the Dalek impersonation was completely wonderful. Garcia remains one of the absolute best things about the show, and, frankly, any TV season she’s on screen in and it’s always a pleasure to see her get some screen time.

 

Now, let’s talk about Derek Morgan, and the domestic life of the average BAU profiler. How did you find that plot this week? Did it work for you?

Finding Morgan in a stable and safe relationship is lovely after all we know that he’s suffered through. But…It was a little odd. There is a fantastic completeness to seeing him move into one of the many homes that he has restored, so that it becomes a place of safety as well as something to take his mind off all the horror he sees. He didn’t really listen to Garcia though, did he? Not such a small gesture. It feels like he missed the point (and it was a really excellent point that she made.)

That’s absolutely it. I actually cheered a bit at the restored house payoff. SEASON *1* CONTINUITY! THAT’s a writer’s room paying attention! But the scene itself, in fact, the entire plot felt a little like it had missed a step. I liked the fact the A plot tied back to it but it seemed a little rushed and, as an aside, I’d really like some consequences from that. Morgan isn’t just ‘Handsome FBI Agent Getting Out Of SUV’ this time, he’s an agent who, by his own admission, shot a teenager on national TV. Given that he tends to be one of the people-facing members of the team I’d love that to have an effect.

Anyway, regarding the B plot, yeah he listened…not at all. I was expecting pizza and beer in the house but the house being…theirs? It’s a huge grand gesture absolutely loaded with overcompensation. I can see it working, but it’s also difficult not to think we just got introduced to a future crime scene.

You too? I saw the house and thought of Hotch coming home to Haley.

If he had asked her to HELP with the house remodelling and then eventually tell her that he wanted her involved so that it was *theirs*, yes. Just giving her a key? No. Also it undercut her independence a lot. I love Savannah but in an episode where we saw her as a professional her strength was lessened by being handed a house rather than helping create it alongside Morgan.

EXACTLY. And yeah that’s a Death House. That is a straight up and down Season Finale, Main Character Cradling Lifeless Form Of Significant Other Sad Music Montage House, right there. You’re absolutely right too, it completely takes her legs out from under her. She’s on his ground, in his building that he’s telling her he chooses to share with her. He’s not asking, there’s no dialog and the whole thing reeks of ending very, very badly.

Plus hasn’t it been a couple of years since we had a Morgan-centric season finale?

Oh dear…

Big-glass-window-front-door-to-see-the-body-through type of house. It has been a while, and Morgan tends to be mid-season tension. It would be a good thing to have someone besides JJ with a real home life though. Hotch’s girlfriend vanished, we never see Garcia’s boyfriend, Kate’s life is clearly Meg but they’re not overplaying it, Reid is still grieving and Rossi’s been single for a while. This was a great play at a balance between showing more of our characters and introducing a modern take on an old fear. They missed the mark a little by not making us feel that the Mirror Man was a threat that could come into our homes. However there were some great moments, JJ and Morgan in the hospital, Garcia moving through the offices and getting to see each step from the first crime to the last victim.

#CriminalMinds #SeasonTen #Thanks #UntilNextWeek…

 

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