'Criminal Minds' Recap: How to 'Save' a Life
'Criminal Minds' Recap: How to 'Save' a Life
On this week's episode of Criminal Minds, the team investigates child abductions and Rossi (Joe Mantegna) deals with a visitor from his past.

Meet Mrs. Rossi

Rossi's first wife, Carolyn, arrives in town specifically to see him. They meet for breakfast and a bit of flirting, but Rossi is called away on a case before they can finish their conversation. They make plans to get together later and Rossi calls her to keep her updated on his whereabouts. The rest of the team teases Rossi about the lift in his mood and he does indeed seem happier after seeing his former love.

The Wrong Kind of Help

The UnSub in this episode kidnaps a young boy and asks the boy if he wants to ease his mother's pain. The boy's mother suffers from depression and the UnSub says he can help. And by help, of course he means that he will "put her out of her misery."

The UnSub brutally murders the boy's mother and quickly kidnaps another boy to start the cycle all over again. This UnSub believes that he is "saving" all of his victims by killing their mothers.

Not Such a Super Superhero

The team manages to save the second boy's mother and when the UnSub is not able to kill her, he lets the boy go. JJ (A.J. Cook) questions the boy and he tells her that the UnSub is a superhero. As it turns out, the UnSub works as a 911 operator and that is how he gets access to the kids.

While the team is still searching for him, the UnSub receives a 911 call from a girl who is being tormented by her mother's boyfriend. The UnSub kidnaps both the girl and her mother and tries to get the girl to do his dirty work for him by killing her mother. Thankfully, the team gets there in time to stop the UnSub and they save the girl, her mother and the first boy who was kidnapped. I doubt any of those people will be calling 911 for help again anytime soon.

Take the Plunge

Emily (Paget Brewster) notices Rossi's distraction during the investigation and questions him about what is going on. Rossi opens up about his breakfast with Carolyn and says he thinks she might be testing the waters on a reunion. Emily tells Rossi that very few people get a second chance and she thinks he should go for it.

Unfortunately, Carolyn did not return for a reunion, after all. Carolyn reveals that she is dying of ALS and asks Rossi if he will help her end her life when the time comes. Assisted suicide has always been an extremely controversial topic, so it will be interesting to see how the show handles it.

Final Thoughts

It is always unnerving when danger comes from an unexpected place and this episode was no exception. Most of us would trust 911 operators without hesitation, but it does leave one vulnerable to predators. I imagine that everyone who watches this episode will be hoping that the screening process for 911 operators is thorough enough to weed out the unstable.

As for the other major story in this episode, I believe ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is one of the most terrifying diseases out there and I honestly do not know how I would react if someone I loved asked of me what Rossi's ex-wife is asking him. I hope the show handles this whole storyline with care and allows us to see the full effects of Rossi's decision, no matter what choice he ultimately makes.

Regardless of the outcome, do you think the show is taking a risk in exploring this storyline? How do you think the fallout will affect Rossi's job performance?

On the next episode of Criminal Minds, the team is called to California on a new case while Rossi tries to make a decision about helping his ex-wife.

Megan Cole
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of CBS)