On this week’s episode of Criminal Minds, the latest case takes our team to the Angeles National Forest in California, and Rossi (Joe Mantegna) has to make a decision regarding his ex-wife’s request.

Did ‘Jaws’ teach us nothing?

The UnSub in this episode drowns, resuscitates, and then kills his victims. Even after several bodies have been discovered, people continue to flock to the area for some water-sporting fun.

I would think multiple deaths might scare people away from an area, but apparently not. The water is still a dangerous place, with or without that creepy mechanical shark.

Profiling the Profiler

The rest of the team notices how distracted Rossi seems throughout the case. At first he brushes them off but when Emily (Paget Brewster) confronts him one-on-one, Rossi tells her about his ex-wife’s illness and how she has asked him to help her die.

It is nice to see Rossi confide in Emily and I would like to see more scenes with these two in future episodes.

Near-Death Experiences

The UnSub, who is dying of cancer, is killing and resuscitating his victims so he can question them about what they saw when they died, in order to compare it to the vision he had during his own near-death experience as a kid.

As the team is figuring this out, Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Emily talk about their own near-death experiences and how very different they were. I wonder if either of them heard the same David Bowie song Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) claimed to hear after her shooting in season 3.

An Answer

Rossi goes to his ex-wife after the case is wrapped up and tells her that he cannot help her die. She says she knew that would be his answer but she wanted him with her that night.

Off-screen, she took something to end her life and planned for Rossi to show up the same night so she would not have to die alone. Rossi starts to call for help but she talks him out of it and he sits with her as she dies.

One Final Revelation

Moments before she dies, Carolyn asks Rossi if “he” will be there and Rossi says he is sure of it. The final scene in the episode shows Rossi at Carolyn’s grave and the camera pans over to reveal another grave beside hers — a child’s grave.

After all the many episodes of this show that have dealt with the deaths of children, we learn that one of the team members lost a child of their own. One has to wonder if their son’s death, and not Rossi’s career, is what caused the end of Rossi and Carolyn’s marriage.

Did you ever think Rossi would agree to help Carolyn die? Do you think she was wrong to ask him not to call for help and let her die on her own terms? And were you shocked to learn that Rossi once had a son? Do you think anyone else on the team is aware of that, or is it something he has kept secret from everyone?

On the next episode of Criminal Minds, the team is called in when bodies are found in the aftermath of some severe storms, and JJ (A.J. Cook) deals with turmoil in her home life.

Megan Cole
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV