In a particularly creepy episode, with a dash of gore, “Criminal Minds” borrowed a little from the movie “Psycho”. The writing and acting is so well done we forgive them, in fact we thank the producers for another fine week of fright.
After a couple of less than stellar episodes, this one brought the scare back to prime time. There were more plot twists in this episode, and the ending seemed to even surprise the BAU team (or at least the city cops standing around with mouths gaping). It’s good to see the team back to working on profiles more. This episode took them to Washington, DC.
The episode started with the un-sub (Robert Knepper) alone with his first victim. Acting out a film, or rather trying to get a bound kidnapped woman who he’d made up to look like an actress in the 40’s, he was oddly calm and directorial. When she can’t get it right he shows her how, using his mother as his acting partner. The horror and pleas from the victim told us there was more going on here. She was later found, suffocated… with her lips cut off.
The press named the un-sub “The Hill Reaper”, and gave him all the press he craved. Until he needed more, which he was goaded into by his overbearing mother.
By the time he hunted down his next victim, Penny, the BAU team had a profile ready. They had figured out he was creating a three act play with the victim. Garcia had found the records of his mother’s acting career; one starring role when she was four months pregnant with him. The team knew that his mother had done quite a number on him mentally.
Penny, victim number two, nearly escaped on her own by luring the un-sub in close then hitting him in the nose breaking it. She tried to run, but there was nowhere to go. He caught her, drugged her with chloroform, then cut off her toes to make her feet fit into the shoes he’s prepared for the part. “The Hill Ripper” was enjoying his moments of fame.
The BAU called a major press conference and dressed Garcia up to entice the un-sub into watching. They tried to make the focus only on Penny, to make her the important famous one in the story. It was working until Penny’s father got involved. A new plan was put into action.
The team lured him out by saying they had his address, knowing he killed his last victim in his car before dumping the body. They had narrowed down his location and found him as he attempted to suffocate Penny. She was saved, the un-sub was on foot. I feared another cliff hanger with him getting away until next season.
All that worry for nothing. “The Hill Ripper” turned out to be a true psychopath living in a world in his own mind. He had ran home to get his mother and face what he saw as their adoring fans that awaited them (every cop in DC was outside). He picked his mother up and carried her outside to the waiting red carpet walk, in his eyes. The camera turns for us to see him holding a mummified mum. She’d been gone many, many years. There he sat, all smiles, holding her for the photographers he saw.
“Criminal Minds” opening quote: “Fame will go by and, so long, I’ve had you, fame. If it goes by, I’ve always known it was fickle. So at least it’s something I experience, but that’s not where I live.” ~ Marilyn Monroe
CBS.com – Criminal Minds