On this week’s episode of Criminal Minds, survivors of a high school massacre gather for a memorial, only for some of them to wind up dead.
Top 5 Moments
10 Years Later: A decade after the massacre, the survivors reunite to commemorate the event and honor the dearly departed. Unfortunately, the UnSub (unknown subject) wants to relive the tragedy and begins to target some of the survivors starting with the school’s principal. As a tribute, the UnSub uses the same type of bomb that was used in the original attack.
Brings back memories: All of the talk about high school inspires a conversation between JJ (A.J. Cook) and Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) about their own high school experiences. Reid is convinced JJ was one of those “mean girls” (though she denies it, of course) and discloses that he wound up being the coach of his high school basketball team because he could strategize the plays. However, Reid did not grow out of his high school childishness, as he and Morgan spend the episode pulling pranks on one another. As they say, boys will be boys.
A Top 10 Thing: The team realizes that the only tie between the new victims is something called the “Top 10.” The “Top 10” is the group of survivors who were hand-picked by their former principal to appear on the media circuit to talk about the massacre. The UnSub is angry that he was excluded from this Top 10 because he was the only person to stand up to the original UnSub; another survivor stole that claim from him. The UnSub wants the glory he was denied after the original massacre.
Painless: As the episode title suggests, the UnSub turns out to suffer from a condition that makes it impossible for him to feel physical pain. The team figures out that this lack of pain caused the UnSub to be incapable of empathy. During the take-down, Hotch (Thomas Gibson) tries to leave the UnSub wounded but since the man cannot feel anything, the UnSub charges him and Hotch is forced to shoot to kill.
The cycle never ends: Meanwhile, Hotch is dealing with school troubles of his own when he learns that his son, Jack, is being bullied by a classmate. After a conversation with Emily (Paget Brewster), Hotch decides to talk to Jack about his deceased mother in an attempt to get Jack to open up about the bullying. It does not seem to work this first time but Hotch makes it clear that he will always be there for his son and Jack will always have his mother to watch over him. (And yet again, I am reminded of how much I miss Hayley.)
Bullying remains a hot-button issue in today’s schools. How do you think this episode handled it? Which team member do you think would have fit into your “clique” in high school? And who pulled the better prank, Reid or Morgan? Leave your comments below!
On the next episode of Criminal Minds, an UnSub is taking children away from people he thinks are bad parents.
(Image courtesy of CBS)