Criminal Minds season 13 episode 8 review: Media turns to madness

Criminal Minds season 13 premiereCriminal Minds season 13 episode 8 started off with a throwback we didn’t see coming — a televised interview featuring David Rossi. He wrote another book, this one about Tommy Yates, and got a little bit of publicity for himself in the process.

Unfortunately in the middle of the interview it was interrupted with some breaking news out of Miami — another death in a series of what are believed to be robbery-homicides. Yet, only the first one was actually robbed. When we saw a young man in Steven freak out after what was a first date with a woman in Natalie — one with a similar profile to the other women who died. Adding a man to the mix of victims was problematic; however, the same goes for how the local news (Channel 3) was reporting facts that were supposed to be privy to law enforcement only.

The moment that the BAU (which was without Reid and Tara this week — read more about that over here) realized that they didn’t have a leg up on the media, they had to take a different approach. To be specific, they had to consider that the UnSub was actually a part of the media. This led them to a local news station and an especially suspicious reporter, someone who turned out to be actually receiving videos from the killer himself. This UnSub had a thing for feeding off of attention — he needed it, and he liked that the media was reporting his every move.

It was thanks to one of his latest kills, (one that was a recreated a story from decades before) that the BAU was able to finally pinpoint the identity of the UnSub: Jeffrey Whitfield. He was someone covered by Channel 3’s Sandra many decades before, and he was desperate to recreate that magic. When Sandra didn’t run some of his latest footage he decided that it was time to deal with it. That’s when he went into Channel 3 and started firing. He demanded to talk to her, and what he decided to do was to turn her into the story. He held her at gunpoint and started streaming it on social media.

The BAU effectively had two different challenges: Stopping Jeffrey and making sure that he didn’t have an audience in the process. They stripped him of his social media and convinced him that he needed to turn himself in. If he did that, he would be able to get his own primetime special. That was enough to get him to drop the weapon … but we don’t think that he’s actually going to get that interview anytime soon.

CarterMatt Verdict

This was a creepy episode, and maybe even an overly violent one at times. That newsroom shooting was perhaps a little too much on primetime television.

While most of this episode was by-the-book Criminal Minds what we wonder is this: Was Sandra born as an UnSub in those closing minutes? She had her life on the line but instead of being terrified, she enjoyed it and seems to be craving that feeling again. It seems like there’s a good chance that this story is not over.

When is Criminal Minds season 13 returning?

There is no new episode airing on CBS this week, but you can find out more news about when the show is coming back by checking out this story.

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