Some cases are harder for members of the team than others. Some cases are just not as black and white as others. Both are true of this week’s Criminal Minds episode, “The Boys of Sudworth Place.”
When a well-liked, seemingly perfect attorney is abducted after he finds someone going to town on his car with a baseball bat, the team digs into his background and into his life until they uncover a disturbing secret, one that leads them to wonder who the real UnSub is. It’s also one that forces Morgan to talk about his own past in order to save the victim.
Criminal Minds Recap: Taking the Legend of Mirror Man Too Far>>>
His Life Seems Perfect
Jack is walking to his car, flowers in hand, when he notices a guy standing on it, smoking and smashing it up with a baseball bat. (Later at the crime scene, Rossi notes that if they were looking at a body, this would be “complete overkill,” a sign that it’s personal.) He calls 911 and chases after him when he runs, but the abductor has a partner, and they take him and throw him down into a pit. “Ready to come clean?” One of the guys holding him asks.
On the jet, the team goes over his life, which reads like a practice guide to being perfect. Four years ago, he went from prosecuting criminals to defending them, he’s worked for non-profits and taken on pro-bono cases and he and his wife are expecting their first child. Rossi comments that someone whose life is this perfect has to have skeletons (and he’s right). Reid notes that he has moved around a lot, which his wife tells JJ is because the job made him paranoid. However, after their last move, he settled down, they bought a house and they decided to start a family. He brought her flowers to celebrate whenever he won a case to thank her for dealing with his long hours.
The only problem? According to his boss, he hadn’t worked overtime in months. Jack’s been hiding something from his wife. Garcia does her magic and finds an apartment he’s been leasing, and at first glance, it looks like a man cave. It’s Jack’s escape. But that’s just before they look deeper.
Meanwhile, Jack tries to reason with his abductors, pointing out that the police know he’s missing and he promises not to say a word if they let him go. Instead, they force him to take off his clothes and film him, and the wording they use gives a pretty good indication of what’s really going on here. They ask how it feels to be on the other side and doesn’t he like the attention, and they tell him this is how Matt felt before throwing a photo of four boys down to him. “Remember us?”
The Darkest of Skeletons
While the rest of the team delivers the profile, JJ is the one to tell Linda the truth about her husband. He’s a pedophile, and his list of victims goes back years. He has photos of them in that apartment, and the people who took him are his victims. All that moving around was so he wouldn’t get caught.
Andrew and Chad bring Brian to see Jack in the pit, and Jack tries to tell them that he’s changed, that’s all in the past and he has a family. Chad argues that people like him don’t change and takes out his gun, and he and Brian get into it over what to do. Chad ends up falling into the pit and dying.
Garcia uncovers the boys’ trigger. Last week, Matt, who had been a resident at a halfway house for troubled kids that Jack donated to, killed himself. “I can’t deal with the injustice in this world,” he wrote in his last social media post. The boys had also been there, and only Andrew and Chad had posted about Matt’s death. Andrew wanted justice, but Chad wanted Jack dead.
2015 People’s Choice Awards: Grey’s, OUAT, Bones, Supernatural and TVD Lead TV Nominations>>>
While Andrew leaves to get gasoline to burn the place down if Jack doesn’t confess, Jack uses that opportunity to get inside Brian’s head. He tells him he was his favorite, reminds them of their time together and promises to go with him to explain what happened to the police. The more he says, the more I hate Jack. His manipulation works, and Brian helps him out, but once he’s out, Jack tells him to let him deal with the police while he goes home to take care of his keepsakes. He knows that they’re alike, and when Andrew returns, it’s only in time to hear the gunshot as Brian kills Jack.
When the team checks out Brian’s place, they discover that he’s one of the very few victims of molestation who became a predator too. That’s something they can use, but first, they have to find where they’ve been keeping Jack. Garcia is able to trace a construction site to Chad’s name, but by the time they get there, Andrew and Brian have pushed Jack’s body into the pit and have set the place on fire.
Morgan’s Past Saves a Life
While both Kate and Rossi notice Morgan’s change in behavior once they figure out Jack is a pedophile, all that the latter does is ask if he’s okay. Morgan doesn’t have to actually talk about his past until it comes time to talk Andrew into giving up his gun, and he promises that he’ll get him the confession he wants. When Andrew wonders why he should trust him, Morgan tells him that what happened to him happened to him too. Andrew does surrender and watches as JJ arrests Brian for the possession and distribution of child pornography. Andrew gets a confession, but it’s not the one he wants to hear.
Once on the jet and heading home, Kate tells Morgan that she knows what happened to him because she saw how he handled the case and watched his body language. Whatever happened, she’s sorry, and he can tell her whatever he wants to about it. But she does want to know how he compartmentalizes cases like this. “Believe it or not, these are the good ones,” he explains. “Knowing these guys are locked up and can’t hurt any more innocent children.”
While it’s not exactly the same, I can’t help but think back to season 1, when Hotch had told Vincent in “Natural Born Killer,” “When you grow up in an environment like that, an extremely abusive, violent household… it’s not surprising that some people grow up to become killers. …And some people grow up to catch them.” Brian became one of the few victims of molestation who became a predator, while Morgan is the one who catches them.
Don’t Trust Anyone Online. Ever.
Especially if they’re asking you for a photo. After hanging up with Kate, Meg stupidly gives into peer pressure from her friend after they receive a shirtless photo from a “BeachBod24” online with a message requesting a photo in return. (Why would you trust someone who sends a photo with that username? Why?) Meg is a bit hesitant, making me think that she’s smart, but when her friend suggests that if she’s worried about it, take the photo with her. She does, which makes me really question what exactly she’s thinking. As expected, the guy is not the guy from the photo, but is instead an online predator. But is he connected to the black market of the Internet as introduced in the premiere? Could Meg’s photo end up on there?
Criminal Minds Season 10 Burning Questions: Relationships, Reid’s Mother and a Long-Term UnSub>>>
Criminal Minds season 10 airs Wednesdays at 9pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)