On tonight's episode of Criminal Minds
, the BAU heads to California to stop an UnSub who is murdering emotionally distraught victims. And it is time for Hotch (Thomas Gibson) and Beth to take the next step in their budding romance.
'Training' -- Is That What They're Calling It Nowadays?
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Hotch and Beth have now become training partners and they both seem very happy with that change. After what might be their final training session, Hotch awkwardly asks Beth out for an actual date and they make plans for Friday.
When Hotch arrives at work, Rossi (Joe Mantegna) can tell Hotch has come from one of his "training sessions" with Beth. Rossi teases his friend about needing a new excuse to see Beth and Hotch tells Rossi about his upcoming date. Rossi then vows to get Hotch back from the case in time for his date with Beth. Better solve the case fast, Rossi.
Broken Heart? Kill or Be Killed
In this case, the victims have been killed by a GSW to the head and all of them had their genitals removed, yet there is no sign of sexual assault. The team realizes that the only thing the victims have in common is that they all suffered some kind of a loss prior to their murders.
The team also discovers that the UnSub is connecting to his victims over shared broken hearts and that he finds his victims thanks to his job as a bartender. The UnSub is about to take a new victim when he finds a female target, a woman who cheated on her ex.
The UnSub forgets his potential male victim and turns his attention onto this woman as a substitute for the wife who broke his heart. The team figures out it is only a matter of time before the UnSub goes after the people who betrayed him.
The UnSub decides to channel his rage against one of the people who hurt him so he murders his former friend, the man who broke up the UnSub's marriage. The UnSub's ex tells the team that the UnSub recently learned he was not her son's father, but his now-deceased friend was.
After killing his one-time buddy, the UnSub kidnaps his son and plans to flee but when his son learns about his biological father's death, he lashes out against the UnSub.
JJ the Secret Badass
The team tracks down the UnSub, but they need to split up at the location and JJ (A.J. Cook) is the first one who finds the UnSub. The man is moments away from killing his son, but JJ manages to talk him down. Unfortunately, she gets into a physical altercation with the UnSub, but JJ proves to be quite the fighter and she gets the upper hand.
The UnSub is arrested and JJ walks away from the fight with some minor injuries, thanks to her own training sessions with Morgan (Shemar Moore). I say we sign the whole team up for fight lessons with Morgan, as he is clearly an excellent teacher.
Morgan stops by Hotch's office on his way out and reminds Hotch that it is Valentine's Day. Morgan invites Hotch to come out with "the single people," but Hotch has somewhere to be. Hotch surprises Beth several days before their first official date and says that with his work responsibilities, it is better if they take advantage of any opportunity they get. Beth one-ups Hotch in the surprise department by kissing him prior to their date.
It is nice to see Hotch step out of his comfort zone and take some chances in his new relationship. I also like that the writers have not rushed his relationship with Beth and are allowing it to develop gradually as the season continues.