Criminal Minds season 13 episode 20 review: Garcia’s guilt over her parents death haunts her

Criminal Minds - GarciaOn the last episode of Criminal Minds we all learned a lot more about Matt Simmons and one of the things we learned was never to mess with his wife, because he will hunt you down like a dog in the street. The Matt character has been with us for a while now and we haven’t really had much of a look into his personal life and while this isn’t that kind of show, we actually thought that we would’ve had a feature episode like this long before we were rounding the end of the season.

Tonight, we are switching gears as we dive into some of Garcia’s past that is currently creeping up into her present. The death of her mother and stepfather when she was just 18 years old was a life changing moment for her (as it would be for pretty much anyone), especially since they were killed by a drunk driver (Jesse). The driver was sentenced to 25 years for vehicular homicide and has been behind bars for the past twenty. Even though there have been past hearings over this case, Garcia has never attended any of them, but this time she is headed to San Francisco (San Quentin) to be there while her step brother (Carlos) gives an impact statement. He doesn’t want the person who killed his parents to not serve every single moment of their time – he was 13 when they died.

Garcia has been harboring a lot of guilt over the death of her parents since the night that they died she was at an age where she was staying out late and giving her parents grief. When she came home late, there was a note from her parents telling her that they were out looking for her and needed to talk, but they never made it home, because they were killed by Jesse.

When she gets to Carlos’ house he’s so happy to see her and thanks her for sending tulips to their parents grave every year on the eve of their death, but they aren’t from her. Very weird! She receives a call from Collette (Jesse’s sister) and decides to meet with her even though it’s clearly difficult. Garcia learns that Jesse is the one that has been sending the flowers every year because he has felt horrible guilt about what he did and all he wants to do is make things better. She asks Garcia to just meet with Jesse and give him a chance at a second life, but Garcia is having a hard time with that since her parents will never have a second chance at life themselves.

Carlos asks Garcia to be the one to give an impact statement since her job will make that statement have even more impact and she agrees, but not before going to see Jesse. At first, she tells him that there’s nothing he can say to stop her from making sure he stays in jail to complete his full sentence, but some of what he says sticks with her. When she gets to the impact hearing, she says that she forgives Jesse for what he’s done and is ready to move forward saying that he should be granted parole – breaking Carlos’ heart into a million pieces. Will he ever forgive her? Right now it’s not looking good, but hopefully he will come around and understand why she made this choice.

Related – Check out what’s coming up on the Criminal Minds finale!

CarterMatt Verdict

We really liked tonight’s episode (even though Reid was missing as part of his “mandatory leave”), but our favorite part had to be seeing Garcia looking through her phone and there being a picture of her a Luke together and smiling. We are still fully aboard the Garvez ship and while we may be the only ones, we don’t even care.

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