After a local community activist was brutally murdered in Detroit, a prolific street artist known only as Morpheus became the prime suspect on Criminal Minds season 11’s “The Night Watch”. After Morpheus was also implicated in the disappearance of a baby girl, the team struggled to piece together clues to reveal Morpheus’ real identity. Unconvinced the artist was responsible for these crimes, they infiltrated the cutthroat world of street art and determined there could be another UnSub whose motivation for his crimes was to exact revenge against Morpheus. An unexpected revelation was the break the team needed to piece together Morpheus’ tragic past and determine the artist was not a murderer but an intended victim. For more on what happened in episode 6, read the recap.
#10 Reid Notices a Pattern
As part of their efforts to reveal Morpheus’ true identity, Reid tracked the artist’s movements since he made his first appearance in 2007. In addition to New York and Los Angeles, Reid noticed a higher concentration of activity along the Gulf Coast of Florida, leading Hotchner to believe the area may have served as some sort of home base for the artist.
#9 A Small Clue Leads to a Big Revelation
After the UnSub murdered a Detroit artist, Markus Ivey, he staged another elaborate art installation using the corpse as a focal point, but Reid compared signatures from Morpheus’ early work to those found at the crime scenes and noticed subtle differences. Reid deduced it was a forgery since Morpheus’ signature was always extremely precise with no variations. The team knew the UnSub was trying to set up Morpheus for murder and kidnapping.
#8 Two Halves of a Whole
While looking over pictures of the Ivey crime scene, Reid noticed a small blue blanket he had seen before. A similar blanket was used in Morpheus’ first Detroit piece, a tribute to a homeless mother and son who had suffocated while sleeping in a car. Reid retrieved both blankets and Hotchner noted they were actually two halves of the same blanket. This proved the UnSub had a relationship with Morpheus and may have had access to the artist’s materials.
#7 Morpheus Makes Contact
Morpheus instructed Hotchner and Lewis to meet him at an abandoned warehouse. Once there, they found a computer and were able to converse with Morpheus whose voice and face remained disguised. Morpheus denied having anything to do with the crimes being perpetuated in his name. After being questioned about the significance of the blue blanket, Morpheus became upset and cut off communication, but not before Lewis and Hotchner figured out from her voice that Morpheus was a woman.
#6 The Search for an Accomplice Ends
As they tried to figure out who would have a reason to frame Morpheus, Garcia began a search for a possible associate of the artist, someone who had helped Morpheus live underground and remain undetected. The team learned an ex-con named Corey Marlin fit the bill. Marlin’s body was soon found at a local hotel. He had been bound, tortured and shot. Reid pointed out this could have been an attempt by the UnSub to locate Morpheus, since Marlin was the only one who knew her whereabouts.
#5 The Portrait of the Artist Comes Together
After discovering one half of the baby blanket was more worn than the other, Reid determined whoever cut it in half had done so years earlier. At the same time, Hotchner wondered what triggered Morpheus to come to Detroit in the first place. He figured out it was the death of the homeless woman and her son. Hotchner had Garcia run a search of women who had gone missing and lost a child around the same time Morpheus first emerged. Garcia came up with the name Ellen Clark.
#4 The Search for Ellen Clark Leads to Another Suspect
The father of Ellen Clark’s child was a former art teacher, William Cochran, who was fired from his position after an altercation with another faculty member. The man had a history of mental instability and alcoholism. Garcia announced that Cochran had recently cleared out his bank account and booked a one-way ticket to Detroit.
#3 Morgan Unearths the UnSub’s Motive
Morgan hypothesized that the death of Clark and Cochran’s son drove the couple apart. They each took half of the boy’s blanket as a memento. When Clark’s half showed up as part of her artwork, Cochran flipped out and headed for Detroit. But before killing his ex, Cochran wanted to destroy Morpheus’ legacy by tainting it with murder.
#2 Hunting Down a Killer
Rossi and Hotchner decided Cochran had most likely taken up residence in an abandoned space, somewhere he would have the room to work on the elaborate art pieces so integral to his plan. Cochran would have also required supplies for the baby he had kidnapped, meaning he would have had to set up shop in a neighborhood with a grocery store. Out of the two artsy districts that stood out as possibilities, one would have met Cochran’s very singular needs.
#1 The Team Catches Their Biggest Break
A store owner recognized Cochran’s photo. He had been in to buy baby food on two occasions, and the owner remembered seeing Cochran go into a building across the street. The team arrived and rescued the baby, who Cochran had taken as leverage to use against Morpheus. They were unable to prevent Cochran from killing himself and Clark, thus successfully completing his elaborate revenge scheme.