Criminal Minds season 12 episode 20 review: Who is Carol Atkinson?

Criminal Minds season 12 episode 20 reviewWe start this Criminal Minds season 12 episode 20 review by pointing out a welcome surprise: A chance for a Stephen Walker story! We’ve enjoyed Damon Gupton on the series, and this was one of the first opportunities that we had to see more about his character in terms of his family, his goals, and also some of his friends.

Unfortunately, it also turned out that one of them was involved in what seemed to be a deliberate attack on federal government employees. This was something that of course Walker took personally, and he did his part to figure out more of what happened here. The further that the BAU got in trying to decipher this case, the more and more complicated it became. We specifically mean that in terms of what the team tried to do in order to figure out what the UnSub’s endgame was. Specifically, it seemed like she was going after multiple people just for the sake of going after one.

It was ultimately the rest of the BAU who was able to track down the UnSub and take them down. It’s always a little visceral and violent to see the show have to kill someone in order to stop them, but that’s reality. That’s why it takes a very special person to be able to take on some of these missions. The moment with Walker and one of the victims was all sorts of emotional, and it gave us a better sense of who Walker is as a person and the relationships he’s forged. That’s in part why he is so good at his job.

What we also want to touch on in here were the little jazz breaks of Walker playing the trombone. It was almost reminiscent of Rossi and the carbonara earlier this season; it was a relaxing mechanism in some way, whether it was in the moment or simply in his mind.

Spencer Reid heartbreak

If we want to talk about the most gut-wrenching moment of the season, we’ve got a contender — the conversation where Reid had to tell his mother why he was in prison. She was able to remember in that moment that Spencer was in Mexico, and the end result of this was enough to spend a few tears rolling down your cheek. Diana wrestled with her guilt, and it was difficult knowing that Spencer remained in jail.

The one bit of good news here is that Spencer has faith now in the BAU in order to clear his name. The bad news is that he realizes that his mother may not have all that much time in order to remember who he is. It was one thing when he was always around. JJ will keep looking after her.

Now, the shocker

Carol Atkinson was the nurse who picked up Diana. However, this turned out to be the woman (Lindsey) who Reid saw in Mexico. This may be the person who framed him! Now, solving it is a different story.

Our overall take

“Unforgettable” was a really strong episode. The Stephen story was great on its own, but then you add to that all of the Reid / Diana stuff and great performances from Matthew Grey Gubler and Jane Lynch. We know that there are people out there who haven’t loved the Reid arc, and we get that. However, we do think that this episode validated its existence and it lasting this long. Grade: A-.

Interested in previewing Criminal Minds season 12 episode 21?

We’ve got an article all about that over at the link here! We’ll be of course talking about this episode more as we get closer to it airing. (Photo: CBS.)

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