It’s almost like the writing is on the wall.
It was another second-generation serial killer on Criminal Minds Season 14 Episode 10.
That’s becoming a pattern this season. Earlier was the resurrection of the former cult of Benjamin Cyrus on Criminal Minds Season 14 Episode 1. This time it was the son of serial killer Joe Smith from Criminal Minds Season 3 Episode 2.
A cynical person might consider a repetition of concepts to be a lack of new ideas.
After all, it gets later and later each spring before CBS and ABC Studios reach an agreement for another season.
Combine that with the shorter, 15-episode season and viewers bemoaning that the cast isn’t what it once was, and maybe, just maybe, the end may be near for the long-running procedural.
Then again, with only five episodes left, is there enough time left to wrap up everyone’s story? Reid is still off on his teaching sabbatical, Prentiss is just starting a new relationship and Rossi’s got a wedding to plan.
Granted, personal storylines are secondary to the gruesome case of the week, but that’s too many loose ends to tie up quickly.
I suspect Criminal Minds will get a super-short Season 15 to finish things up neatly, rather than just have it lurch to a stop this season. It’s earned a graceful end, rather than to be left in the lurch.
So instead of Criminal Minds The Next Generation, how about some fresh unsubs for the rest of this season, instead of more nods to the past? Looking ahead is a healthier perspective than wallowing in the past.
The best parts of this episode were the bookending scenes featuring Prentiss and Mendoza.
It was humorous to watch the self-assured Prentiss seem so uncertain about what she was doing, running behind, winging but butchering Rossi’s sacred recipe and having to order pizza instead. With their schedules, there would have been no shame in going out to eat.
At least she fessed up to having put off Mendoza because she wasn’t really comfortable with the idea of starting a new relationship. She had all the right excuses, but it just came down to being afraid.
Mendoza gets Prentiss and realizes that being with her isn’t going to be easy, given her job and what she deals with on a daily basis. But he’s got his baggage too. In the end, they seemed ready to attempt a relationship.
Prentiss really needs someone with whom to talk, since she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders, being herself for what goes wrong during any case.
This was especially the situation with his case, as the unsub was David Smith, now Edward Addison, the son of a serial killer whom Prentiss had befriended a decade ago. With all that has been going on in her life and her career, she eventually lost track of him.
What was intriguing was that it was JJ who made the connection to the earlier case, after it had been eating away at her.
David is the latest in a line this season of victims turned unsubs. His father used him to lure the women he killed. Thanks to first Emily, then his adoptive parents, he got past much of his trauma and was able to lead a somewhat normal life.
Unfortunately, a psychiatrist to whom David’s adoptive parents sent him was Dr. Elizabeth Rhodes, who had her own issues with which she hadn’t dealt. She blamed Dennis Kirkwood for her daughter’s death and his friends for what she saw as the resulting coverup.
So she weaponized David, making him the instrument of her vengeance. So David was again the victim, turned into a killer by first her father, then his psychiatrist.
Fortunately, Prentiss was able to fill a void in David’s life, first talking with him by phone, then convincing him in person to surrender rather than killing Rhodes. His “normal” life may have been derailed, but at least he has a chance for redemption in the future.
No, Prentiss isn’t Hotch, but she’s the right leader for the BAU in a time when the unsubs are more likely to be misunderstood than unhinged.
Now if only Mendoza can get her to relax and let her worries slip away, at least for a little while.
To review this season’s unsubs, watch Criminal Minds online.
Do you like Prentiss and Mendoza together? Who’s more to blame: Rhodes or David? How do you like JJ as team historian, at least while Reid is away?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.