Tonight's episode takes a look at families, as the agents investigate two seemingly unrelated cases of missing families and one team member faces a big change in their personal life.A Childhood Fantasy
After three members of a family are found dead and the youngest son is reported missing, the team takes a closer look at the case. They do not believe it is the work of the deceased father, especially when another family also disappears. The agents realize the Unsub is staging the murders to make it look like the father is the perpetrator.
When the body of the missing boy is found, the agents focus all of their attention on finding the second family. It turns out the Unsub is abducting these families and attempting to fix what is wrong with them in order to create the perfect family he never had. In the end, the agents arrest the Unsub and rescue the second family.
Relationship Troubles for Hotch?
Before taking on the team's latest case, Hotch (Thomas Gibson) gets a visit from girlfriend, Beth. Beth has something she needs to tell him but neither of them have time to talk just then. Hotch asks for a hint and Beth tells him she got a job offer in New York. The two agree to meet up once Hotch gets back from the case.
And meet up they do, at the end of tonight's episode. Apparently Beth's new job offer is a fantastic opportunity and Hotch wants her to do what is best for her. Beth thinks that means a break-up is on the horizon but Hotch surprises her by suggesting they give the long-distance thing a shot. The love-birds head back to Beth's place to 'look at train schedules'.
For those confused about Beth's up-coming departure, Beth's portrayer Bellamy Young is now a regular on ABC's Scandal
so it is unclear whether she will be able to continue on Criminal Minds
in the long-run. However, the powers-that-be did not want to break the couple up so the decision was made to have Beth and Hotch try a long-distance romance and bring Young in if/when her schedule permits. Last week, we learned that new agent Alex Blake (Jeanne Tripplehorn) is also in a long-distance relationship so maybe she can give Hotch some tips on how to make it work.Team Drinking Games
All this talk of family gets to Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) and she decides to show her team just how much she appreciates each and every one of them. Garcia welcomes the team home with fancy drinks and says this could become a regular thing, but only if they give her lots of thank-you hugs. Garcia also makes a point to include Blake in the love-fest, despite the fact that she is still new to the BAU family.
Last season, there were several episodes that ended with these types of team-bonding scenes (cooking lessons with Rossi, Reid's birthday, cheering Hotch on during his triathlon, etc.) Personally, I'm a big fan of these light-heated group scenes -- especially when they reflect our team's familial dynamic -- so I hope the writers continue to bring us moments like these.
Do you have any thoughts on the Hotch-Beth relationship, Garcia's new welcome-home ritual or tonight's case? If so, let us know in the comments section.(Image courtesy of CBS)