Criminal Minds Premiere: Review & Discussion

Published 6 years ago by

criminal minds logo Criminal Minds Premiere: Review & Discussion

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.

criminal minds premiere Criminal Minds Premiere: Review & Discussion

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.

criminal minds premiere2 Criminal Minds Premiere: Review & Discussion


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?


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  1. I like the heavier focus on Hotch and I think he has really proven why he is the leader of the BAU team. But, I felt bad for the guy since he has ended/begun the last two seasons nearly getting killed and ending up in the hospital. I like that The Reaper is recurring, it really shows the gravity of what happens when the team fails to apprehend the bad guy (or one who escapes). The relationship reminds me of the dynamic between Gideon and the serial killer Frank.

    Also still missing Gideon. And Elle. :)

  2. This story line was great as most CM episodes are. C. Thomas Howell as the “Reaper” and your not crazy about him? Not sure what Rock you live under but he’s great.

    You and everyone else who still rambles on about it need to get over Mandy Patinkin not being on the show. I like it better without him. He was not the make it or break it star of CM like many of the origional OLD fans make him out to be. As we all know ratings for CM improved AFTEER he left,. Get Over it already.

  3. Hummmmm… no mention in your review or the following comments about Hotch’s ex and son going into “protective custody” being led off by a marshall who IS THE REAPER!!! That was the best part folks.

  4. something is going to happen D.B. Sweeney is guarding Hotches wife something is going to happen dang I love this show

  5. Annie,
    DB Sweeneys character isnt The Reaper.
    Very suspensful opening episode .
    The ninth episode is the 100th episode of the series.
    I suspect thats when we will close The Reaper Saga.
    Well Done.
    Good Start.

  6. by the way,
    CM CLOBBERED SVU in the ratings!

  7. Hey Gary, Ok. I just thought the voice sounded like The Reaper. No conspiracy theory, ugh? Ok ok. LOL

  8. Another one of my favorate shows, I can’t wait for season 5 to start airing here in the UK.

  9. Gary I know D.B. is not the reaper there is something very weird about him taking a bit part in a tv show I feel you will see him again and in a bad guy way LOL

  10. D.B. Sweeney turns up for a number of episodes to cover for the fact two cast members have broken bits. MGG took out his knee on a dancefloor (he must busta move) and SM broke a leg in a cycling accident. SOMEONE has to be able to move about the set without limping.

  11. This review is mainly about the encounter between Hotch and The Reaper;

    this episode was deeply disturbing when you really think about how The Reaper used his talent on Hotch. I’ve read once that humans really enjoys intercourse because it allows their egos to be reflected right back at them. Now take this and paste it on the situation going on between Hotch and The Reaper.

    When The Reaper was cutting Hotch, it felt as if he was actually cutting himself, obviously aroused, from his own memories, from his own need for power and control, in other words, he was aroused by none other than himself. The prideness he felt when showing his scars, the tremours in his voice, the omnipresence of domination over his pray. Everything was all about him, his goal and his greatness. Of course, the ultime win was to destroy Hotch’s intelligence and efficiency, just by the act of, what apparently seemed, stealing his virility while using this as a way to spit on the work of his Profilers, his team.

    The only thing that actually worries me is to see how the show will deal with such delicate issues.

    In the first episode Hotch really appears destroyed, ashamed, sad and the most important of all, impotent. However, the following episodes aren’t mentionning much about his newly condition. Sure they do hint here and there that he seems to have nothing to lose or, on the contrary, he possesses the strengh caused by the desire of finding The Reaper, but how will they bring up all the “after effects” to the team, to us the watchers? Facts are there, biologically, it should have a tremendous impact on his life, unless they “fixed” him at the hospital.

    As for the rest of the show, I too disapprouve the “side” story. This was build up as a quick and ridiculous crime solving case, where most of the actions by the team, the “son and dad” and the unsub were way far fetched and uninteresting except for the small link that was exposed by the end when Hotch and Dave. And talking about that, even Dave’s script highlights my “far fetched” statement like so : “No other group in the world could have pulled off what your team did in a matter of hours…” I mean, obviously, this script was NOT meant to be sarcastic, but it does appear so, to me at least.

    As for the moment with Hotch and his family, I have to say, it was quite powerful, although it comes back to the basic where a cute sad little boy often brings great emotions, for those who can feel them. I won’t even talk about his ex-wife and her highly frustrating lack of acting skills.

    I am done and looking forward to see the whole “Reaper” story unfold during this season.

  12. Outfoxed

    I could not believe how this criminal minds episode destroyed my views about criminal minds in general! I was shocked to see that you have chosen a woman from “Srebrenica” to be a serial killer. And the mispronunciation of the language was catastrophic! I’m so extremely disappointed, that Criminal Minds didn’t take the time to research what they were throwing, just for the public to know, Srebrenica, does not have a “ch” sound at the end.

    I’m honestly appalled at the lack of creativity. Ex-Yugoslavia has been a target for far too long, I did not imagine that you would not let it rest! Especially a place like “Srebrenica” And, do not believe everything you hear on CNN!!!

    Although the episode itself was good, it brought tears to my eyes when I realized that you were now calling the people of “Srebrenica” or any part of Ex-Yugoslavia, serial killers! Before you put something like this on film again, I beg you to do your research more thoroughly, as the words that the woman spoke, were incorrect, and very poor accent!

  13. “it brought tears to my eyes when I realized that you were now calling the people of “Srebrenica” or any part of Ex-Yugoslavia, serial killers!”
    this episode did absolutely nothing to make me prejudiced or to really believe that the people (the entire population, really?) of ex-yugoslavia are all serial killers. i mean seriously. every unsub is different because of their background. background includes culture, life events, and biological make-up among others. it isn’t specifically and only about where a person came from. in my opinion, i wouldn’t take it so personally but if we’re going to look at it this way i’d say there are lots of different people, say farm-loving individuals for instance, that could be upset as well. we can’t take these kinds of things so personally all the time, especially when they’re clearly not done out of malice or hatred.

  14. Maya, I don’t think this episode was an attack on the people of Ex-Yugoslavia at all. Rather I think it was an attempt to draw attention to the lasting horrors of that conflict. Most people outside Europe would have little idea there was a war at all, let alone such a brutal one! Criminal Minds showed this woman as a serial killer because that’s the style of show it is. It’s like being upset that there’s a rape victim on Special Victims Unit. She was not damned for being an evil person, rather a damaged one from the psychological stress of seeing loved ones massacred. I think the show did a good job – the first thing I did after watching it was look up the history of the conflict.

  15. Stupid to show such an episode before thanksgiving. Better ending would have been saving her life and reviving their marriage.

  16. guess maybe they’re trying to show us what we have to be thankful for . . . unfortunately real life isn’t so great either; i have plenty of friends i know who spent this thanksgiving grieving the loss of a loved one.

  17. I just want to place a comment on what Queen Bee said. This is not the same as having a rape victim, as a rape victim is not from a specific country, they are just what they are, a rape victim, I love this show, I have watched all the episodes a number of times, it has a certain excitement to it, and it has never included nationalities in it before, as far as I can remember, (except for the English Cop lady that dies) All the serial killers were from America, which is where the show is made, and has never included another country in this. This war was hard, all I was, is very disappointed that Criminal Minds too had to have a go at it! Wars are made to make money! There were many people that were disturbed after the war, but this just puts again a negative light on the whole situation, that some of us are trying to forget and move on, and like I said, the pronunciation was terrible! They should have researched it more!

    I still watch Criminal Minds, I think it’s a great show, but if you have lived though a tragedy like that, believe me, you would not want to see it again on your favorite show! It’s not only about grieving over a loved one, it’s grieving over a country that never will be again!

  18. I was just curious to know if anyone knows why the show doesn't follow the characters personal life storeylines anymore. I am really wondering what is going on in all of their lives. I like the show still and the crimes that they follow, but now that they are not showing them…I miss their personal storylines now.

  19. I was just curious to know if anyone knows why the show doesn't follow the characters personal life storeylines anymore. I am really wondering what is going on in all of their lives. I like the show still and the crimes that they follow, but now that they are not showing them…I miss their personal storylines now.

  20. i agree with that kristy! i want to know when we will see reid's mum again or find out how his drug addiction is going. or what about garcia a kevin? whats up there. and i miss seeing harry, jj's baby. also what about morgan? is there a lady out there for him? will he ever settle down and have a family? so many unanswered questions……

    • JJ’s kid is Henry… but I think most people miss the personal stuff…