'Criminal Minds' Recap: The Unsubs Take a Lesson from Sally Field
'Criminal Minds' Recap: The Unsubs Take a Lesson from Sally Field
Megan Cole
Megan Cole
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
In the season 8 premiere, we were introduced to new agent, Alex Blake (Jeanne Tripplehorn). This week, we learn a bit more about the BAU's newest member as the team tackles two seemingly unrelated murders committed in two different cities.

Alex and her husband

During the investigation, Alex and Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) talk about Alex's husband. We learn that he is overseas -- he works for Doctors without Borders -- and has a lot of stuff in a storage unit. Alex and her husband communicate via Skype and though it is difficult, they make the best of it. Alex says that whenever they do spend time together, it feels like they are dating and when they don't, Alex uses her alone-time to get things done. That sounds like a pretty healthy approach to a long-distance marriage and it makes me want to see one of those Skype sessions later on this season.

Alex seems to be adjusting to life in the BAU rather well, at least thus far. Though it still feels odd to see a new face at the table, I like that the agents treat Alex as if she is already one of them and there is no residual awkwardness from her introduction in the premiere.

Rossi's Vacation Woes

Our non-case related subplot this week involves Rossi (Joe Mantegna). Thanks to Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), the team learns that Rossi has a lot of vacation days saved up, 31 to be exact. The team members all make suggestions as to where Rossi should go on said vacation but he has no interest in using those days. Instead, thanks to a suggestion from Alex, Rossi gives away 25 of his vacation days to colleagues with spouses serving in the military overseas.

That leaves him with 6 days remaining, so where does Rossi go? He heads to Mexico to track down the Unsubs, thanks to a lead he found in one of their homes. One of the Unsubs is arrested but the other manages to get away, at least for the moment. (I guess we know how Rossi will be spending his remaining vacation time.)

Eye for an Eye

The Unsubs in tonight's episode, Darlene and Ellen, make for an intriguing case. Ellen is clearly killing because she enjoys it, but Darlene is coming from a place of extreme grief and depression. Even though she eventually gets justice for her daughter's murder, she is disgusted by the act of killing and it is doubtful she would ever do so again, as her daughter has already been avenged.

I share Rossi's confusion over how to feel about Darlene's potential capture. I think the writers do a good job of making the audience sympathize with Darlene's situation, especially since one of the men who murdered her daughter is a serial killer whose death means he cannot target other little girls.

Then again, Darlene is a murderer and if her crimes can be excused, where do we draw the line? Is it acceptable to kill men who murder little girls? Isn't that just continuing the cycle of violence? And what if the revenge killings lead to more murders, as they did with Ellen?

Do you have any thoughts on Alex, the Unsubs or Rossi's vacation plans? If so, let us know in the comments section.

(Image courtesy of CBS)

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