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Criminal Minds– Recap & Review – To a Better Place

Criminal Minds
To A Better Place

Original Air Date: Oct 4, 2017

Caitlin- Senior Staff Writer

When we last left our team, they were in rough shape, to say the least. Now, six weeks later, Reid takes a gun retraining and…well, those old jokes about his weapon skills probably no longer apply. Later, he speaks to a head agent who tells him he’s been fully reinstated- or at least almost fully. More on that later. Still, the team celebrates his accomplishments and Matt Simmons’s addition to the team. None of this, though, is going to stop new cases from coming in.

A body is found in fly-ridden suitcase by a couple cyclists. This victim is only part of a string of dead women in luggage, and another shows up before the team even arrives on the scene. While JJ and Rossi look at victims in the morgue, Reid reveals just what that catch from before is- he’ll be taking time off every so often to avoid too much stress. Emily has him teaching seminars- and is standing by him 100%. I’m not sure she remembers how his last encounters in classrooms went, but it is still sweet.

Our unsub, market by a cut on his hand, flirts with a fellow barista at the coffee shop where he works. The team continues to piece together clues about the motives for his behavior. Billy may be using women’s sympathies, but not purely out of malice. He lives in an old house with his grandmother, and tells the woman about this new girl he seems to really like. But she lashes out, saying the girl will leave him just like his mother did. He strikes her in response, and we realize she was never there at all. By this point, I basically expected that.

A while later, grandma is back; a silent, imposing figure. In drawer, there’s a handful of magazine photos of girls with red drawn over their mouths. Billy has “come around” and now wants only to attack his one-time crush. He follows her home from work, threats ringing in his mind. Strangely, though, he later becomes distracted by a different woman altogether, and attacks her in her home. Later, he breaks down next to the body whose face is painted in bright lipstick. At the same time, the team identifies a previous Jane Doe, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of clues.

The new victim stands out from others in several ways- she was older, married, and may have been sexually assaulted. Billy again resorts to resisting his delusion, telling her he’s going to ask Helen out. Later, he does so and she’s happy, what with now knowing about his secret life and all. Billy actually cares for her, hence why he’s attacking other women instead of her. Still, you’d think him wanting to take her to meet his “very protective” (and imaginary) relative when they’re just going for a beer would be a bad sign. Sure enough, when she changes her mind about the whole thing, Billy approaches her with a box cutter.

Reid realizes that Billy’s mother, the one who supposedly left when he was a child, probably did no such thing. Yet her son can only remember her packing a suitcase and walking away. When the team doesn’t find Billy at a coffee shop, they realize where he must be. Reid arrives at the grandmother’s house first, and tells Billy that his grandmother killed his mother- and her own daughter. Confronted with the truth, he breaks down. Thankfully, a still shaky Spencer doesn’t have to fire a shot. He has certainly changed, as we see on the plane ride home- but there’s still a lot that will always stay the same.

Next Episode: Killer App

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