It’s been one heck of a long hiatus waiting for the next new episode of Criminal Minds and it certainly didn’t help that we had a crazy cliffhanger nagging at us this whole time. Is Emily Prentiss gone from the BAU forever? When we last saw her she had informed the team that JJ was now in charge and Linda Barnes was over seeing everything, now that she’s been suspended indefinitely handing over her badge.
For those of you who were very worried about Paget Brewster’s immediate future with the BAU, you had to be pleased with what we thought was the best story of the season — and also the best performance by Brewster and Matthew Gray Gubler in a while. Reid, rather than going out into the field to take on the UnSub, decided to stay back and try to convince Prentiss to keep fighting. While there, Emily admitted that she had done things that made it understandable as to why she would lose her post — namely, how she skirted the rules in order to help Reid last season.
Yet, as Reid pointed out, it’s not exactly like the BAU is known for following all of the rules … and with his coaxing, she decided that it really was best to stick around and fight.
As for the case itself, it was mostly notable for three different reasons: How it began (with a massacre in St. Louis), Linda Barnes deciding to accompany the team out to investigate, and then also how it ended — with Barnes going rogue and not following JJ’s instructions when it came to dealing with the UnSub Justin. She argued that it was best not to bring anyone out to run the risk of Justin hurting them — Barnes ignored her, and as a direct result of that we ended up almost seeing an innocent person die because of Barnes’ own mistake. Meanwhile, the UnSub was killed in the midst of the chaos.
Even after what happened, though, Barnes still did her best to deflect any possible guilt proclaiming that what she did was (somehow) right and she was going to pawn what happened off on the BAU.
The closing minutes
Emily did return to the BAU, but she had to do so as a visitor. Unfortunately, shortly after that Barnes arrived and basically pulled what was the Criminal Minds version of the Red Wedding. Pretty much everyone from Rossi to Prentiss to Reid were handed out different assignments within the unit and it’s not entirely clear just what is going to be coming up next. JJ is still in charge, but she has to run every single decision now by Barnes.
The case of the week storyline became interesting at the end thanks largely to the controversy surrounding Linda — really, though, this episode is memorable to us because of the decision made by Prentiss to fight back and not accept her current circumstances.
Yet, that cliffhanger reminds us of one thing. LINDA BARNES IS THE WORST.
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