Criminal Minds season 13 episode 1 review: Mr. Scratch still obsessed with Hotch

Criminal Minds season 13Mr Scratch is still be out there in the Criminal Minds universe and we fully expect to see him surface during season 13, but are we going to see him in the premiere? The Criminal Minds season 13 premiere is finally upon us and there are a few changes that we should note before we dive into this CarterMatt review. We have lost Damon Gupton (Stephen Walked) from the cast, but we have gained Criminal Minds Beyond Borders star Daniel Henney (who we personally think is going to fit into this team like a glove). Also, last season Criminal Minds changed it’s format a little bit from case of the week with minor background stories to a major over all arc focusing on Spencer Reid going to prison over a murder he did not commit. That format (and story arc) was pretty polarizing to fans who either hated it or loved it (personally we will take any chance we can get to see more Matthew Gray Gubler on our screens), since Criminal Minds has typically been a sort of TV comfort food over the years where a viewer can sit down and settle into any episode of the show without watching the week before. We are curious to see if Criminal Minds is going to give us another long format story with our cast or if they are going to go back to the format that many fans were missing last season. Let’s see what the premiere has in store for us.

The Car Crash

First let’s talk about that car crash cliffhanger we were left with in the season 12 finale. Our team was driving in an car when they were hit on purpose by an unknown assailant. Is this the work of Mr. Scratch? More then who hit their cars we’ve been waiting to know if everyone in the car is going to be all right? Garcia has been trying to get a hold of everyone, but no one is answering, so she and new agent Matt Simmons track down their cars. When they get to the scene of the accident, they see that everyone’s pretty banged up, but unfortunately Stephen Walker is dead (so if you were wondering how they were going to write Damon Gupton out of the show, that’s how). So what was the purpose of taking out the team? To get to Emily.

Where’s Emily?

She’s in some creepy make shift hospital room where Mr. Scratch has her not only captive, but has gassed her to make her think her legs are incapacitated and he tells her that she is unable to walk – ever again. Guess it’s Emily’s turn to be tormented by Mr. Scratch (in a way that’s very reminiscent of the movie Misery) and hopefully she will be the one to take him down, because as much as we have liked Mr. Scratch, we are ready for a new villain. So what does he want? He wants information on Hotch, because he wants to kill Hotch and spend the rest of his time tormenting Jack. After killing her and bringing her back to life, she realizes that she’s been dosed and that her legs are working just fine. She gets a chance and makes her move to escape just as the team finds her. Mr Scratch falls to his death (Luke probably could’ve saved him, but didn’t) and they finally tied up this storyline.

Spencer’s Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

We were wondering what effect being in prison was going to do have on Spencer and it’s left him with PTSS. It’s not surprising that he’s facing something this serious and we hope that as the season goes on he’s going to be able to get some help for it since it’s very difficult seeing him get violent. We have seen more and more shows recently putting a focus on PTSS and we are glad to see it being more to the forefront since this was typically something that people just swept under the rug. Matthew Gray Gubler showed us last season just how good of an actor he is and this season it looks like they are giving him some really good material once again. We were surprised to see him being reinstated with the team before he’s ready (and he was surprised too), and it’s clear that it’s way too early.

CarterMatt’s overall thoughts

We weren’t expecting to see Mr. Scratch in the premiere, but more then anything we didn’t expect to actually ever hear Hotch’s name again. It’s something that we are really thankful for since Thomas Gibson was such a huge part of this show for so many years and while we have to accept that he’s no longer part of it, the team acting like he doesn’t exist anymore would be a little too unbelievable. That being said we were wondering how they were going to keep Hotch away from his job because if Mr. Scratch is gone then there’s no reason why Hotch can’t come back to the team if he wanted.

The show tackled that situation by saying that while Hotch was happy to hear that the problems with Scratch were over, he didn’t want to come back to the job and instead wanted to be a full time dad – which is something that we could never have seen Hotch saying. We aren’t saying that Hotch doesn’t love spending his time with Jack or that he hasn’t regretted missing out on time with him, but what we are saying is that Hotch has always been a character that was the job, so this felt hard for us to buy into. Can Hotch have a change of heart after spending all this time with Jack and loving being a full time dad? Sure, but him not wanting to come back to the team is something we can’t buy into.

What did you think of Criminal Minds season 13 episode 1? Leave us a comment in the box below with your thoughts on losing Mr. Scratch. If you are looking for more scoop on Criminal Minds then head on over to the link here where you can check out a preview for the next new episode. (Photo: CBS)

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!