Earlier this year, Criminal Minds proper made a bold attempt to do something that they have not quite done before — give you an entire story arc that is told over the course of several episodes. Sure, they’ve done two-parters before, but the Reid prison arc is something different. It was a risk, and we applaud such an idea.
Has this risk really worked? Well, not entirely. We applaud the ambition, given that does the same thing for thirteen years may become a little tiring over time. The issue that the Reid arc mostly has is that it separates one character from the remainder of the team, and it isn’t really changing what is going on elsewhere. You’re still getting UnSubs and case-of-the-week stories, with the only real difference being that you’re now spending a little less time on them because of the fact that you’ve got this other story with Reid that you need to take care of in some shape or form.
We do think that the idea of a longer story could work, so could it for a show like Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders? With the show in need of something to drive some more buzz its way beyond just being a spin-off, we’d argue that it could work. However, much of it would depend on the way in which it’s actually implemented.
Here’s our idea for a great arc for this show to last three or four episodes — have the International Response Team chase a potentially serial killer across several countries, trying to pick up clues along the way. The case forces some characters to go undercover, some to work directly with local law enforcement, and others to constantly be on the move. Have it take place somewhere like Eastern Europe, where it is fairly easy to travel from country to country and there are so many different languages and cultures. If you cast the right villain and make the mystery compelling enough (i.e. create multiple interesting suspects), this could be a really interesting way to tell a longer arc.
Ultimately, we do think that Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders could benefit from a larger villain, and some storytelling devices that allow it to stand out more and be different from the flagship show. It may be a little late to venture into this direction completely now, but maybe this is something that the show could look at more for a season 3, provided it gets renewed.
What do you think: Would it benefit Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders to operate in a way in which you get to see a more serialized story? Be sure to share in the comments!
Meanwhile, head over here to secure some further insight ahead of the next new episode of the series. (Photo: CBS.)