In the season’s 17th episode, “The Gathering,” female victims are targeted through their online activity and the team travels to St, Paul to investigate. The episode also touches on a few personal matters and the fallout from the still-unsolved Replicator case. Read on to find out what the minds behind Criminal Minds have in store for us this week.

Back to Work

The episode begins with the team looking through all the information they have gathered on the Replicator. They plan to work through the night and brief the FBI director in the morning but Strauss arrives and tells them the meeting has been canceled. Since they have no new leads, Strauss suggests they focus on their growing case-load and prove to the director that the Replicator case has not caused them to drop the ball on everything else. The agents are not pleased with this development, but reluctantly agree to table the Replicator case for the time being.

My Story, Your Story

The team’s new case takes them to Minnesota where several women have been murdered and had their tongues removed. The investigation leads to a Doctor Houston and his method of having his patients write down their darkest fantasies in order to confront those desires and hopefully find the root cause of their urges. Unfortunately, a serial killer adopts part of Houston’s method and forms a writing group so he can steal other people’s fantasy murder stories as inspiration for his own kills.

One of the group members – let’s call him Creepy Peter – realizes what the Unsub has done with his stories and murders the Unsub for that ‘betrayal’. After killing the first Unsub, Creepy Peter becomes the second Unsub and the agents must find him before he kills again.

Reid Takes a Risk

When the team tracks down Creepy Peter, they save his second victim and JJ tries to talk Creepy Peter down. But JJ’s tactics are not working, so Reid tries a different approach — the truth. Reid tells Creepy Peter that he does not know if there is any form of therapy that can make his urges go away but he should not stop trying to get help. Creepy Peter thanks Reid for his honesty before taking his own life.

Later, Hotch confronts Reid about his behavior with Creepy Peter. Reid explains that the last time he was in that kind of situation, he did as he was trained to do and told a perfect lie. But the lie did not work, so Reid tried telling the truth this time around, hoping a new strategy would get better results.

It is apparent to everyone that Reid’s actions were driven by what happened with Maeve but when Hotch brings this up, Reid just walks away. (Based on his reaction to Creepy Peter’s death, we know Reid adds him to the list of people he failed to save, a list that has been eating away at him since Maeve’s death.)

Three’s a Crowd

This week’s ‘B’ plot revolves around Garcia’s complicated love life. At the start of the episode, Garcia and former boyfriend Kevin Lynch are getting coffee before heading into work when Garcia runs into another former flame, Sam. Garcia tries to play it cool but her excitement over seeing Sam is evident and the two share a few flirty glances while Kevin watches from the side-lines. Kevin’s jealously over Garcia’s potential new guy gets a bit out of hand and Garcia has to remind Kevin that her love life is no longer any of his concern.

At the end of the episode, Kevin calls Garcia to apologize and the two chat about how hard it is to be friends with your ex. But Kevin and Garcia want to remain in each other’s lives so Garcia tells Kevin he needs to be okay with her dating other people, as she has had to be with the many women Kevin has dated since they broke up. After clearing the air with Kevin, Garcia and Sam spend the evening together and she puts on a very bad but very adorable ukulele performance.

I have to say, I like this new development in Garcia’s love life. On several occasions, Garcia has put on a brave face while Kevin dated other women and I enjoyed seeing their roles reversed here. And Sam seems sweet enough, so I like the idea of Garcia spending time with him.

What do you think? Do you like Sam? Should we see more of him? Will Reid’s grief over losing Maeve continue to influence his decisions on the job? And how long will it be before the Replicator strikes again? Hit the comments section and let us know your thoughts.

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(Image courtesy of CBS)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV