We have had a lot of great personal stories on this season of Criminal Minds with the last one being all about JJ with one of the best performances we have seen from AJ Cook. It was such a personal story for her that brought her back to her home town to face a lot of pain from her past – including the death of her sister. We know that this is a shorter episode count this season, but it hasn’t stopped them from delivering some of their best episodes. They promised that this season was going to have a lot more focus on some of the personal stories of the team and they haven’t let us down. As much as we love the creepy UnSubs (and there have been some really great ones this season including last week’s “Tall Man”), we like this show best when they are putting the spotlight on our team.
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Tonight though is an episode that is not only all about Luke, but it’s also entitled “Luke” and if you are a long time viewer of this show you know what that means: Horrible, horrible things are going to happen to him in this episode. Every episode that we have seen named after a character on the show has been a rough time for them, but that being said we have had Luke on the show for a while now and we don’t know nearly enough about him outside of the fact that we wouldn’t mind seeing him together with Garcia at some point (the nerdy girl lands hunky guy is a win in our book).
Speaking of romantic relationships things with Luke and Garcia are not moving anywhere romantically because Lisa has moved in with Luke and things are going really well! However, Luke’s friend Phil has shown some interest in Garcia asking if she’s seeing anyone or if she’s even looking and Luke says no… however that may not be the case because when Luke gets to work and Garcia hears that he was hanging out with Phil she asks if he asked about her. Luke lies and says no and we don’t really know why – could these two not be a match or is there something else? Phil is kinda charming and we’ve been long wanting to see a Garcia romance.
With this being an episode called Luke, the case this week is tied into a case from Luke’s past while he was working with Phil in Mexico as they tried to arrest an important cartel member named Ramos. Luke caught him and he went to jail, but after 3 years he broke out. Now people who are connected to his arrest are dying, but this time in the United States. Their lead suspect is a sniper named Jeremy Grant that worked with them on the original mission – his entire family was killed by Ramos and now Jeremy is taking out everyone that had anything to do with it…. and this includes Luke and Phil.
We were so excited about the idea of Garcia maybe having a bit of a romance of her own with Phil, but he didn’t make it out of this episode alive and now Luke is worried about Lisa. He’s been taken off the case by Prentiss (for obvious reasons) and is sending Lisa to a safe house. No matter how much she asks him to come with her, he’s not having it because this whole thing is so deeply personal to him now that Jeremy has killed Phil that he’s taking matters into his own hands. Luke is capable of tracking Jeremy down and taking him out, but he’s working for the BAU now, so is he going to be able to cool his head down and make the arrest when he finds Jeremy or is he going to make a decision he will regret for the rest of his life? The BAU gets there in time to help Luke remember that he is an agent, but there are consequences to his actions. He has serious field restrictions on his job now meaning he’s not allowed to travel with the team for the foreseeable future, and he’s getting a demotion for defying Prentiss’ order. Not only that but after all of this Lisa is already thinking of leaving Luke and can anyone blame her for thinking this way? After he opens up to her and they talk through some of what happened and Luke is completely vulnerable to her in a way that we have never seen before, bonding them.
Let’s take a moment here to talk about the performance tonight from Adam Rodriguez, because he was amazing. We haven’t had many opportunities to pull back the curtain and see much of the man behind the agent and tonight we saw many different sides to him.We saw the loving side fun side, but we also saw a darkly passionate side that truly scared us to watch. Luke can be absolutely terrifying as we saw tonight, but there’s something still so endearing about him that Rodriguez really brings out of this character.
Also we don’t want to end this review without talking about Joe Mantegna and the exceptional job he did tonight directing this episode. He has such a talent with this, so it’s no wonder he’s behind the camera so much.
What did you think of tonight’s episode of Criminal Minds and do you like the season so far? Leave us a comment in the box below and share your thoughts with us. (Photo: CBS)