In tonight’s episode, “The Fallen”, the team investigates the murders of several homeless people in California while Rossi (Joe Mantegna) reconnects with someone from his past. Read on to find out what the Criminal Minds writers have in-store for us this week.
Setting a bad example
The team heads to California after the bodies of two men and one woman are found on the Santa Monica pier. After they learn that all of the victims were transient, the team realizes that the Unsub is trying to eradicate the homeless population in his city. It turns out that the Unsub is a former firefighter who contracted tuberculosis after saving the lives of several homeless people in a warehouse fire. The agents track him down, but the Unsub sets himself on fire because he can be arrested.
Rossi and Scott
Joe Mantegna gets plenty of screen-time in tonight’s episode, as Rossi runs into someone from his past during the case. Rossi’s former marine sergeant, Harrison Scott, is one member of Santa Monica’s homeless population and Rossi sees him at an outreach center. Rossi and Scott have not seen one another since their days in Vietnam, of which we get several flashbacks to throughout the episode.
At one point, Rossi credits Scott as his reason for joining the FBI, as Scott was the first man to make him honest. But Scott confesses that he has been lying about something for years. Back during the war, Rossi got caught in a field of land mines and Scott refused to leave him behind. The two managed to escape the blast and Scott even got a medal for it, but it turns out that another soldier took the brunt of the explosion in order to save Scott and Rossi.
Scott was forced to lie about this man’s sacrifice because the government needed a living hero to solicit support for the war. In the end, Rossi and Scott find a way to honor the marine who saved them with a medal ceremony. Rossi then gets Scott some help by making arrangements for him at an outreach center for veterans.
The Vietnam flashbacks in tonight’s episode are excellent and the actors picked to play Scott and Rossi in their youth really nailed those scenes. The flashbacks not only flesh out the relationship between Scott and Rossi but also help viewers understand Rossi’s motivations for doing the work he does.
At the start of tonight’s episode, Rossi gets a call from his publisher saying that his new book is excellent but he failed to include a dedication. She agrees to give Rossi a week to get that together. In the episode’s final scene, Rossi dedicates his book to Scott and Hernandez, ‘two men who saved me so I could save others’. I have to say, it is the perfect way to end this episode.
Do you have any thoughts on tonight’s case, Sergeant Scott or Rossi’s back-story? If so, let us know in the comments section.
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(Image courtesy of CBS)