Joy turns to her father for help when a college student goes missing, and what they find as they dig into this case is that they have not one, not two, but three monsters on their hands in this Criminal Minds episode, “Target Rich.”
Elsewhere in the hour, Morgan searches for answers about the Dirty Dozen, but it’s Garcia who uncovers the horrifying truth. Plus, Reid reveals to JJ that his mother’s not doing so well. The doctors have had to change her medication three times to stabilize her schizophrenia, and she encourages him to go help her. He follows her advice, and when the case is over, he calls his mother and asks how she feels about him coming to visit for a bit.
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Does the BAU Have a Case?
When JJ returns to work from maternity leave, not only does the team have gifts for the family, but her desk also holds all the photos she sent them. There’s also bureau-approved bubbly for a toast. Rossi steps aside to take a call from his daughter. Joy thinks she has a case for the team. Four freshman and sophomore female students have gone missing from different campuses over the last nine years, and this morning, she got a call about a possible fifth. Bahni was supposed to meet her sister, but she went missing last night. Since it hasn’t been 24 hours, there’s nothing that campus’ police can do. So, do they have a case?
Oh, they definitely do, as the UnSub takes Bahni out of the trunk of his car and carries her upstairs in his house, sneaking past his father in the living room. Just the way his father’s sitting there watching TV, not particularly interested beyond calling out if it’s Tom has me guessing that he abused his son when he was a kid and doesn’t actually care what he’s doing. Tom puts Bahni in a trunk, threatening her with a knife and stabbing holes in the top and side before leaving her there.
Since the BAU hasn’t officially been invited in, all they can do is try to get some answers to possibly rule out foul play, and so Morgan and Reid head to her dorm. There, they find clothes laid out as if she had been trying on different outfits and two copies of the same textbook. This leads them to Paddy, her friend who convinced her to check out a house party the night before. The party was lame, so Paddy drank and got Bahni to drink as well, until the guy Paddy liked showed up. Then Bahni left.
With the address of the house party, Garcia is able to map the route from there to Bahni’s dorm and finds her on one of the security cameras on campus. She’s stumbling, looks drunk and is alone at night, making her, as JJ puts it, “a low risk vic in a high risk environment.” They see a guy in a hat notice her and follow her, but Garcia can’t pick them up another camera. Whatever happened, there’s definitely a case here.
Is the Same UnSub Responsible for Other Missing College Students?
Rossi can tell that there’s more to this than Joy has told him, and he realizes the first missing girl, Kathy, was at NYU in 2006, the same year his daughter was there. They had one class together, Joy reveals, and though they never found her body, her parents had a memorial and she went because she thought that it could’ve been her. When she asks her father the chances of finding Bahni, he assures her they’re better than they would have been if her disappearance hadn’t been reported right away. She has a shot thanks to Joy.
Meanwhile, Tom takes Bahni out of the chest, with the continued threat that he’ll kill her if she screams and removes her gag … only to then put a collar hooked to the ceiling around her neck. He pulls up the feed for the camera in the corner on his phone, tells her he’s keeping her and then leaves. Keeping her?! (You don’t keep people.) When she tries to move around, she finds that she can’t make it to the door or the window because of the collar.
Reid and JJ check out the abduction zone and find a very convenient alley where the UnSub could have grabbed her. It’s also possible that he just put his arm around her and walked off as she was too drunk to realize she was in danger. Since he took her, he has to have a long-term play, and it’s likely he has been watching her and looking for the perfect opportunity to take her. He found it.
In an attempt to make the UnSub see Bahni as a person, they hold a press conference, with JJ and Rossi focusing on Bahni and calling the guy in the hat a person of interest, strictly a witness. Her sister steps up to talk about her, and when Tom sees this on his father’s TV, he stumbles, spilling his drink, making a mess and leaving the house.
After the conference, the guy in the hat comes forward — but it’s not Tom. As the interrogation begins, Sam takes notice of JJ’s necklace (which has to mean something later on) before explaining that he moonlights as a sober cab driver and saw that she was out of it. He went to offer to help, but then a guy came up and walked off with her and it seemed like they knew each other. That may be true, but JJ wants to know why, as they saw in the security camera footage, he saw Bahni coming, stepped back, let her pass and then followed her. (He’s another UnSub, isn’t he, responsible for one or more of the other disappearances?) He has an alibi, one that checks out, but Joy isn’t happy when she hears they let him go.
When Tom returns home, he cleans up in the living room before checking the feed to the attic and seeing Bahni trying to reach for the camera. He hurries up there, tackles her and warns her never to touch that.
Rossi realizes Joy’s missing a bit too late, as Garcia pulls up Sam’s record and they realize he dropped out of NYU in 2006. He could be the guy responsible for what happened to Kathy, and it looks like Joy has gone to confront him.
Joy meets Sam by the alley where Bahni was taken and claims to be writing a story for the magazine. She has her phone recording their conversation as he reveals that he saw everything and she, for some reason I cannot begin to fathom, follows him into the alley. He pins her to the wall, telling her that he’s showing her what the guy did to Bahni, and she can tell that he likes this, that he’s excited. She brings up Kathy, and while he recognizes the name, he refuses to say more than that he remembers her. That’s when Rossi and JJ show up and arrest Sam.
Rossi calls his daughter out on her stupid move, reminding her that she’s a parent. He knows there’s more to the Kathy story. Joy admits that the week before she disappeared, she went to a frat party, got drunk, walked home alone and was dragged into the bushes by a guy in a ski mask. She knew no one was coming to rescue her, so she fought back and managed to escape, but she didn’t report it because of how drunk college girls are viewed, like it’s their fault for being attacked. Rossi assures her that it couldn’t have been the same guy who took Kathy. That guy was organized and had a place to take her. The dirtbag who attacked her was impulsive.
Meet Monster #3
Joy confronting Sam does lead them to one big clue: that the UnSub likely put Bahni in a car because of how Sam hesitated when Joy asked if he did.
When Tom brings Bahni food, she realizes that it is what she always orders … and he’s the delivery guy who brings it to her. How long has he been watching her? Long enough to know he wanted her. He cuts her hands free, telling her he’s trusting her. But he still has her collared up, so really, it’s not much better. However, Bahni is smart, and I can tell by the way she’s eyeing those red pepper flakes and the sparkling water that she’s up to something.
When Garcia looks into cars that are authorized to drive onto campus when those registered come up blank, she finds Tom’s car. Bahni orders from the restaurant where he works all the time. He may not have a criminal record, but he does have lots of misdemeanors (peeping) as a juvenile. He also showed clear signs of abuse, but his mother explained it away until she killed herself. Tom is now the primary caregiver for his father after he had a heart attack, and having to care for the father who beat him is just what he needed to snap.
When Tom sees Bahni with the pepper flakes and water on the camera, he bursts into the room and she sprays it into his eyes. She screams for help and fights him for his knife, and then his father comes in and recognizes her as the girl from the news. But rather than help her, he hits his son and tells him they have to get rid of her. The struggle that follows ends with Tom’s father dead because Tom still wants to keep Bahni and the FBI arresting him and freeing Bahni.
As for Sam, him noticing JJ’s necklace does come back. Joy’s recording gave them probable cause for a search warrant and they found Kathy’s necklace. No, he’s not getting a deal.
Having found out what his daughter went through in college, Rossi tells her that she needs to talk to someone about it, like, him. Their conversation is interrupted when her editor calls, and to his surprise, she answers her phone, “This is Joy Rossi.” She didn’t get to use the name Rossi growing up, she explains after, so she thought she’d try a new byline.
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The Right Question About the Dirty Dozen
In the beginning of the hour, Morgan visits Giuseppe Montolo in prison after his lawyer says he’s ready to talk. Any deal they make is contingent on actionable intelligence, meaning they have to make an arrest first. Yes, Giuseppe is part of an interconnected group of hitmen working together online. There are four others in the group. And who are the Dirty Dozen? According to Giuseppe, they’re not a “who” but a “what.” Before he can give him anything else, however, he begins coughing up blood. It turns out a guard poisoned him, and the guard is found shot execution style in his car.
But if the Dirty Dozen isn’t a list of targets, what is it? At the end of the episode, Morgan is surprised to find Garcia’s office empty and all her computers off. When he goes into his office, she’s waiting and tells him not to turn on the light. She’s “scared scared,” as she calls it, and that’s because she went back to the botnets of her original search on the Dirty Dozen. The best I can understand it — because I am Morgan in that scene as Garcia tries to explain and I’m just lost — she doesn’t pay attention to how many botnets she uses, like when someone Googles; they just pay attention to the search results.
When she went back to the digital breadcrumbs, she discovered that someone has been counting her. She used 12 botnets. She’s the Dirty Dozen. Her filters were good, but if the hitmen are as good as she thinks they are, then yes, they would know it’s someone at the FBI in Quantico. Morgan promises not to let anything happen to her, but she points out they killed Montolo at a super-max prison and he was right there. He can’t stop them. No one can.
Criminal Minds season 11 airs Wednesdays at 9pm on CBS.
(Image courtesy of CBS)