In the season’s 20th episode, “Alchemy,” the team heads to South Dakota to investigate a case involving dismembered bodies and we learn that Reid is still processing Maeve’s death. Tonight’s episode is directed by Matthew Gray Gubler so fans should prepare for another creepy yet creatively shot episode. Read on to find out what the minds behind Criminal Minds have in-store for us this week.
Parts and Poison
Reid brings a case to the team’s attention that he believes is serial and after looking into the murders, the other agents agree. Reid is the first person to make the connection between the victims because one of the bodies was dumped near an Indian reservation and the local FBI agents had a hard time getting any information from the community. The case involves two men who were tortured and killed, their bodies dismembered.
When it is revealed that the victims were drugged with solanine poison, the agents conclude that the Unsub is a woman who drugged these men in order to keep them under her control. Marks on the bodies are connected to a fertility ritual and the team realizes that the Unsub is using the men as breeding partners to try and replace a child she recently lost.
Her victims also serve as surrogates for the child’s father, who she blames for their son’s death and the torture is her way of punishing him. But as the investigation unfolds, the agents discover that the Unsub is not working alone.
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The agents realize that the only connection to the reservation comes from an outsider who spent some time there while he was studying with a shaman. This man — Roger Whitcomb — was kicked off the reservation for trying to harm someone with solanine poison and he disposed of the first victim on the reservation as payback. Once the agents connect Roger to a grieving mother named Tess, they have their Unsubs.
It turns out that Roger took advantage of Tess’ grief and manipulated her into killing these men in order to play out his own homicidal tendencies. When the agents discover the Unsubs’ location, they arrest Roger and save the couple’s latest victim. But Tess escapes. The agents find her shortly thereafter at the lake where her son drowned, but they are too late and Tess has already killed herself.
A Ghost of a Memory
Tess is not the only one dealing with grief in tonight’s episode, as Reid is still losing sleep over Maeve’s death. Rossi gets Reid to open up about his grief and Reid reveals that he is afraid to sleep because he keeps dreaming of Maeve. In his dreams, Maeve asks him to dance and since he never got to touch her when she was alive, Reid worries about giving into that fantasy and losing himself forever.
Rossi tells Reid that if he wants to move on, he has to give up trying to control the grieving process and reminds him that dreams are merely a way to take something awful and make it better. At the end of the episode, Reid dreams of Maeve again and finally lets the dream play out.
I imagine Maeve’s return appearance is meant to give Reid — and viewers — a certain amount of closure with that storyline but it only serves to remind me of what could have been if the writers had let Maeve live. Reid deserves a chance at happiness and I think that seeing him in a long-term relationship would have been more memorable than watching him grieve for the woman he loves. That being said, the scenes between Rossi and Reid are great and Reid’s dream fits in well with the atmosphere of the episode.
What do you think? Were you pleased to see Maeve again, even in a dream sequence? Are you still upset about her death? Do you wish Matthew Gray Gubler would step behind the camera more often? Hit the comments section and let us know your thoughts.
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(Image courtesy of CBS)