Going into Wednesday night’s Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders episode, we were excited from the jump because of the fact that you were getting a big story for Matt Simmons. He started things off in South Korea, trying to find his grandmother in a sea of people. It was one of his mother’s wishes, and he was intent on finding her … or was he?
One of the interesting questions that came out over the episode was whether or not he was really invested in finding her, or if he was simply going through the motions and failing out of fear. The more that he thought about it, the more it started to become clear that this was precisely what was going on. He ended up staying in the country after the case, and when meeting his grandmother, he made it clear that her daughter had passed away but lived a good life before that happen. He allowed her some element of closure, and he got a chance to explore a different part of his own past at the same time. This was a great performance from Daniel Henney, especially when Matt started to finally uncover the truth and saw his grandmother and embraced her.
As for the remainder of the episode tonight, the primary case revolved around the murder of an American teacher in South Korea. Over the course of the episode, it became more and more clear that there were multiple victims, and a case that was far more intricate than anyone first thought. In the end, what the International Response Team uncovered was that it was the former fiancee of a powerful businessman (and criminal in his own right) who was forcing his exes to undergo dramatic plastic surgery in order to meet his ideals. She saw the new American woman he was with, and that plus what happened at the end of his relationship caused her to go over the edge. She underwent more plastic surgery, and then proceeded to kill woman with a similar appearance to his new fiancee.
What made this case effective from a storytelling standpoint was that it was not a case with a predictable end. Not only that, but it made good use of the country and the culture — the more that we can get a sense of geography and personality on this show, the better. You have to find the little things to help to make you stand out in the procedural format.
The best episode of the season, and maybe one of our favorites of the season. There were emotional moments, but also a case that was well-constructed and surprising from start to finish. Grade: A-.
Next time on Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders…
The team will be heading off to Bangladesh! If you head over here right now, you can get some further details all about it.
What did you think about tonight’s episode of Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders? Be sure to share some of your thoughts with a comment! (Photo: CBS.)