Criminal Minds season 13 episode 17 review: Matthew Gray Gubler strikes fear with clowns

Criminal Minds season 13 episode 17Now that Barnes is finally out of the picture and the team is back together on Criminal Minds, we can get back to watching our group do what they do best: Catch bad guys! This week’s episode is extra special because it has Matthew Gray Gubler in the director’s chair and he will be bringing us an especially creepy story involving a killer clown.

Now, you have probably seen over the years a spike in people claiming that they have¬†coulrophobia (a fear of clowns) and we’ve definitely seen that depicted on television (Carrie on Sex in the City had this fear), but where has this spike really stemmed from? For us, the first time we had a clown scare the pants off us was with Pennywise from the Stephen King novel It, which is likely where this all started (at least that’s where it started with us). Years later, killer clowns are everywhere on television (we still have nightmares about Twisty the Clown from American Horror Story) and the story that Gubler is going to be telling us tonight will involve his own take on a killer clown. With this being Criminal Minds, we expect this to be fairly gruesome.

Tonight we have a killer clown who is murdering fathers and his signature seems to be cutting their mouths into smiles, but only after they are dead – so this isn’t torture, it’s something else. We later learn that he has these same scars on his own mouth given by his father when he was protecting his younger brother. What he’s also doing is leaving the children alive, making them orphans, so we have to wonder if this is really about the killing or about making children orphans? It’s actually a little of both.

Turns out there are two brothers involved – one was killing people dressed as a clown, while the other thought they were just robbing homes so he could get enough money together to get his wife and child into a better living situation. When one brother figures out that the other is murdering people, he wants out, but after losing all the money they earned from the robberies he convinces him to rob just one more place – otherwise there won’t be enough money for him to move his wife a child down to Florida like he’s been promising to do. Of course eventually the BAU manages to apprehend the two brothers.

Related – Check out a preview for Criminal Minds episode 18.

CarterMatt Verdict

We can’t say that we are one of the people out there that have a fear of clowns, but Criminal Minds did a great job of giving us some seriously clown heavy nightmares tonight. Gubler did a great job directing and we had a really great case of the week. After having a few episodes in a row that focused heavily on our team being put through the gears by Linda Barnes it was nice to just have a case of the week to dive into that didn’t involve any personal stories with our team.

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