Are all “Criminal Minds” episodes really worthwhile to watch live? We don’t personally think so, since so many of them follow the same sort of mold: You have a beginning, middle, and an end to a case that you have seen on the show countless times already, and there is hardly enough deviation in the form of a “landmark case” that makes you want to check it out and avoid spoilers.
However, what we did see during this episode was a much-hyped story all about Hotch forced to travel into his dreams and deal with the harsh reality of his past … even if it was in a bizarre sort of virtual reality. This was painful to watch mostly, as it was the sort of story all about letting go that Hotch really needed to have. It was also one of the more powerful performances from Thomas Gibson that we have seen over the course of the past few seasons.
The only part of Hotch’s story that was difficult was that it really had no bearing on the actual story, which involved a father / daughter pair who ran off and tried to start to create a “new life” for each other after hating their present circumstances. The problem was that he was a violent killer, and she didn’t know that part before starting up on this crazy road trip in an effort to create one actual good moment in his life with a person that he cared about.
Maybe it was the performance or the writing, but for whatever reason this was one of the few episodes of “Criminal Minds” that actually got to us. There were some cheesy moments in here, but it wasn’t the standard case of an UnSub or a serial killer. There was a human, emotional element to the story, and both this and what was happening with Hotch seemed to carry the same message: Don’t take life for granted. While we’d stop short of calling this a landmark episode in the series, it is one of the best that they have presented in quite a long time. Grade: B+.
Overall, did this “Criminal Minds” episode work for you? Click here if you want to read some more news related to the show, including a preview for next week’s episode.