On tonight’s landmark 150th episode of Criminal Minds, aptly titled “Unknown Subject,” the BAU tackles the case of a serial rapist who reemerges to assault his prior victims a second time, while Prentiss (Paget Brewster) finally deals with her return from the dead.
All About the Fear
The team is called in on a case where an UnSub is attacking his former victims. The team realizes that he is going after these women because he thrives on their fear and he wants them to know that he can get to them, no matter what precautions they take.
Part of that fear comes from songs the UnSub plays during the attacks that serve as triggers for his victims. The songs, which may have been romantic at one time, are now incredibly disturbing. (Luckily, I am not a fan of ’80s ballads.)
Prentiss has her last session with her therapist and she says she is feeling good and has been sleeping better. The therapist is concerned that Emily never mourned her own death and asks her to think about that.
Prior to leaving for the case, Hotch (Thomas Gibson) confronts Emily about her therapist’s report and the lies she told. Hotch does not care that Prentiss lied to her therapist, only that her behavior is affecting her job. Hotch says she has been overcompensating since her return to the team, but Emily does not see the problem with working harder to regain her friends’ trust.
Hotch tells Emily that she is going to have a bad day at some point and asks her to tell him when she does. This is a nice moment between the two friends and allows the audience to get a better idea of Emily’s emotional state after her “death” and resurrection.
At one point, the team believes they have their man, but he turns out to be a copycat and the real Piano Man is trying to set him up. This UnSub did rape some of the Piano Man’s victims, but he is not the original rapist. (Though he is certainly a creep, all the same.)
Total Eclipse of the Heart
One of the Piano Man’s victims, Regina (guest star Dina Meyer), believes she has found her attacker when she hears him play a certain song. That same night, she kidnaps the man (guest star Jay Karnes) and begins to torture him in an attempt to get him to admit what he did to her.
However, the man denies that he is her rapist and claims she is just confusing him with someone else. At one point, he seems to have her convinced, but it turns out that he really is the Piano Man and Regina has been right all along.
The Piano Man, Hamilton Bartholomew, gets the drop on Regina but she pulls a gun just as the team arrives. Emily convinces Regina to drop the gun and they arrest Bartholomew for the Piano Man attacks.
After the Piano Man is arrested, Regina says she will only give her statement to Emily and she tells Emily that no one can understand what has been done to her. From Emily’s reaction, Regina realizes that she has also suffered through some kind of trauma and she asks Prentiss what happened to her “monster.”
Emily admits that her tormentor is dead but she did not pull the trigger and Regina points out that either way, Emily’s monster is gone while Regina still has to live with hers.
After her conversation with Regina, Emily makes good on her deal with Hotch by confiding in him that she is indeed having a bad day.
I really enjoyed this episode and thought the storyline of a victim taking revenge against her attacker was incredibly fascinating, especially when we could not be sure if she had the right man. But the standout moments for me came with the Prentiss storyline. I loved the glimpse we got into Emily’s state of mind after everything that Doyle did to her and I hope we get more follow-through on her healing process in upcoming episodes.
Best Tweets About the Episode
(Image courtesy of CBS)