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Criminal Minds– Recap & Review – Surface Tension

Criminal Minds
Surface Tension

Original Air Date: Feb 1, 2017

Caitlin- Senior Staff Writer
caitlin@thetwocentscorp.com

As much as we’ve spoken about Diana Reid in the past two seasons, it’s been years since we’ve actually seen her. For one reason or another, Jane Lynch was unable to come do another guest stint on the show. Now, she returns at last- but it probably won’t be for the joyous reunion we’d like to see. As we already know, Diana has not been doing well, as Alzheimer’s seems to be creeping in along with her schizophrenia. The coming storyline will likely open the door for some powerhouse performances, but I’m not at all sure I’m ready for the emotional toll that will come with them.

Of all the things you were expecting such an episode to start with, you probably weren’t expecting ZOMBIES. Okay, that part turns out to be a prank between med students. But it does lead to the discovery of a hand-drawn tattoo on a cadaver. The tattoo matches those found on several other bodies. Meanwhile, Reid gets as far as meeting Walker before he is called out to a “plumbing emergency” that is much more than just that He brought Diana home with him because her paranoia is in full force- causing her to threaten and scare away the nurse her son hired. Now, it seems, he’s determined to care for her himself.

After these developments, he tells the team the truth and gets plugged into their meeting over video. Diana is calmer, so he can focus on things like the details of the victims’ lives. JJ talks to the husband of one, who was presumed to have committed suicide. Lewis and Rossi investigate with the professor who had been about to cut into our episode-opening cadaver, and that somehow connects to a man burning his own body with a heat lamp. We get a much more pleasant image when Reid shares an old scrapbook with his mom. And yet, soon after, we see him giving her some unknown liquid that he keeps stored deep in a drawer. What is going on?

The same question can be asked of the case- evidence of a break-in leads to the idea that our unsub is forcing his victims to commit suicide. After another victim shoots himself- and his wife is killed, too- the unsub might be getting closer to the source of his rage. The wife, unlike all the other victims, had issues in her past- and she wasn’t given a tattoo. The profile indicates both that our unsub is a burn victim, and that he’s targeting especially moral people. Alvez notes a substance found at all the crime scenes that can connect them to sinkholes. This would be more helpful if there weren’t about a million sinkholes all over Florida.

At home, Reid tries to help Diana meet a new assistant, but she’s in no mood to talk. He stays to discuss the situation instead- and soon lies about the secret medicine. Things are indeed getting alarming. And then they skyrocket. When Diana discovers the hidden vials, she pours down them down the toilet. Spencer finds out and struggles with her to stop her. He takes back one of the vials, but she runs and screams that she hates him before slapping him. Later, she walks out of her room acting as though all is well. They share some sweet moments over the scrapbook, but now that they feel inevitably temporary, they’re just heartbreaking.

Walker draws the team’s attention to a series of past cases. During one, a husband and wife- known for running creepy occult services out of their house- were sucked into a sinkhole and killed. Earlier, they’d been locked up for fraud, and during that time, Garcia tells us, their much-despised son suffered a mental breakdown. Their deaths triggered a series of murders like the ones taking place now. We can only hope this alignment of clues isn’t too late for the latest victim the unsub has taken- a woman he found handing out food at a local soup kitchen.

The next time Spencer and Diana talk, she doesn’t recognize him. It’s sudden and awful, but Reid is distracted from it by a new possibility- that the killer is trying to kill people in such a way as to send them to hell. That involves trying to force the latest victim to jump off a cliff. The team intervenes to save her- and him, when he tries to throw himself over instead. On their way home, JJ and Rossi discuss Reid and the problems he could face. Rossi tells her not to worry about the unknown just now. I don’t think we’re going to get the same luxury- but oh, do the last scenes of son and mother together hurt to watch.

Next Episode: A Good Husband

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