At the end of Criminal Minds last season, the BAU was searching for a serial killer called “The Reaper.” “The Reaper” forced the team from Detroit to Canada in an attempt to apprehend him, but he continued to elude all attempts from the BAU and ultimately attacks Morgan (Shemar Moore), stealing his credentials. As the season finale concluded, we were left with Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) standing face to face with “The Reaper” and as the episode faded to black, we were left with a singular sound; a gunshot.
Join us as I recap the season 5 premiere for criminal minds…
As the episode “Faceless, Nameless” opens, we’re met with sirens as the BAU arrives on the scene of a crime. While we, the audience, are led to believe they’re at the location of Hotchner’s altercation with “The Reaper,” we soon find out that it’s the residence of a murder victim and a new case for this episode. Hotchner is still MIA at this moment, but it’s the BAU’s day off so no one was too worried. The new case involves a local doctor who received a threatening letter from someone stating that he is going to kill his son. As the episode goes on, we learn that the threat wasn’t towards the son, but the doctor, and that it was from an angry parent who blames the doctor for his child dying. In a confrontation between the doctor and the unsub, Reid gets shot in the leg and the unsub receives a bullet in stomach. This case is wrapped a little over half-way through the episode which leaves time to tackle the Hotchner story.
While working on the doctor case, Prentiss (Paget Brewster) feels they need Hotchner’s help and drives to his apartment in an attempt to find him. As she arrives there is no response. She attempts to call his cell phone and it rings inside. Knowing something is up, she kicks in the door and finds broken glass, blood and a gunshot hole in the wall. After calling Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) and Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) for help, Prentiss vows them not to inform the rest of the team as they need to stay focused. Garcia ends up calling local hospitals and finds that a “Derek Morgan” had dropped off someone last night. As Prentiss arrives at the hospital, she finds Hotchner in stable condition after being stabbed nine times and they “The Reaper” had dropped Hotchner off using the credentials he stole from Morgan.
After finishing the previous case, the team arrives at the hospital where Hotchner realizes that “The Reaper” took his ex-wife’s address and is going after his son. As the BAU arrive at her house, they find his ex-wife safe and that his son is staying at a friend’s house. Morgan quickly retrieves him, but with a threat on his family, they’re put in protective custody where Hotchner can have no contact with them.
“The Reaper’s” plan was not the kill Hotchner, but to cause him continuous pain by not allowing him to see his son. With a confident comment from Rossi (Joe Mantegna) that “we’ll catch him,” the episode comes to an end.
While I wasn’t too happy at first about them starting a new case instead of jumping right into the more important Hotchner storyline, I ultimately came around. I enjoyed the fact that the new case was abbreviated, but still felt complete. I also liked how they connected Hotchner to the other case and that ultimately finding him gave them information to solve the previous case.
The whole angle about Hotcher never being able to see his son again was pretty intense. I can’t believe they went in that direction with it. It’s something I wasn’t expecting it at all. I hope that “The Reaper” storyline will continue and conclude this season (not drawn out) and not just something they used as a way to write his ex-wife and son off the show. While I don’t really enjoy the actor who plays “The Reaper,” I enjoy what they have written around the character and since we don’t see “The Reaper” character enough, it doesn’t make a difference.
I still miss Mandy Patikin on this show and wasn’t too happy that this was a very Garcia-light episode. Still, it was enjoyable and has me interested on what’s to come next.
Now that you’ve read my ramblings, how do you feel? Do you like where they took “The Reaper” storyline? What do you think is going to happen?