Criminal Minds season 12 episode 19 review: Did Mr. Scratch frame Reid?

Criminal Minds season 12 episode 19 reviewDid Spencer Reid kill a bunch of prisoners on the last episode of Criminal Minds? That’s what it looks like. He realized that Calvin, the man that was helping him, was actually running a game on him and setting him up to move drugs through out the prison for him. As a way to fight back, Spencer did something to the drugs that made everyone sick (or possibly dead) including Calvin! Has prison turned Spencer into a killer?

As it turned out, things were a little more complicated than that. While there were some recoveries behind bars, Reid was still not okay. His mind was continuing to swirl, and he was struggling to remember events as they were. Reid was starting to believe that he actually did commit murder, which led to Tara pushing him and questioning how his mind worked. She realized that in order to get Mr. Scratch on the terror watch list, she needed him to testify that he saw him in the hotel room. She has to figure out a way in order to convince him that more happened in that hotel room than he was willing to admit to himself.

When she did finally get Spencer to focus, what he realized was that things weren’t quite as they seemed — it wasn’t Mr. Scratch who he saw! Instead, it was a woman. He doesn’t remember who just yet, but that’s a start and definitely a game-changer to the case.

As for the case itself…

Everything started in this episode after we saw three bodies were tied to stakes in the desert. This was certainly one of the stronger ones that we’ve seen over the course of the season, but also one of the stranger ones given that so much of the series of murders seemed to trace back to a science fair. Once the BAU was able to get to the origin of these killings, they were able to go and track the killer down.

Ultimately, the UnSub was stopped and the case was over … but it’s hard to get attached to these cases these days. One of the biggest problems with the structure of the show is that in spending a big chunk of the episode away from the UnSub of the week, you don’t get as invested in the story. This is not a show that can do have serial / half procedural that easily.

In the end, “True North” was an episode that pushed Spencer’s story forward, but it also had its weaknesses. For one, we think they brushed off the Spencer cliffhanger rather quickly so that he’s not a killer. Also, the UnSub case left a little something to be desired. Episode grade: B-.

What do you think of this Spencer/prison storyline? Leave us a comment below and share your thoughts. If you want more scoop on what’s coming up next time on Criminal Minds then head on over to the link here where you can catch a preview. (Photo: CBS)

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