Criminal Minds -- Alchemy

Original Airing: May 1, 2013

There was finally a new episode of Criminal Minds, but there was no mention of The Replicator or sighting of him. I don’t think that’s a good way to rev up the tension. I remember reading The Replicator was just going to be a one-season felon, but if his reign of terror is about to come to an end, they really need to start having some Replicator action in each episode.

This episode Rossi was concerned because Reid wasn’t sleeping. Reid confided he keeps having this dream where Maeve wants him to dance with her and he’s afraid if he does he’ll be lost inside his dream forever and never be able to get out. So every time he has that dream he makes himself wake-up and he’s not sleeping so he won’t have the dream.

Reid’s restless hours have been taken up by him reading small town newspapers and he believes he’s come across a serial killer that the local authorities don’t realize is a serial killer. The bodies of two men have been cut-up and scattered near Rapid City, South on the reservation for the local Lakota tribe. The men were itinerants who weren’t from the area.

The unsub is a woman named Tess Mynock. She and her boyfriend, Steven, had a little boy named Adam. He drowned while Tess and Steven were arguing. But that was only the beginning of Tess’ nightmare. She married a shaman who owned the Red Creek Lodge named Raoul, who is a sociopath. He convinces her to pick up strangers and bring them back there. She drugs them and has sex with them to try and get pregnant to replace the child that she lost. Then Raoul convinces Tess the man is Steven and gets her to kill them to punish them for not saving Adam.

Chad is Tess’ latest victim. She sees him in a bar and asks him if he’ll walk her out to her car, because she’s afraid of her ex-boyfriend. To thank him she offers to let him stay in her lodge, The Red Creek in, as thanks. Shortly after his arrival, she or Raoul, begin poisoning Chad with solanine. When Chad plans to leave, she ties him to the bed and keeps him prisoner.

When Raoul kills and dismembers Amber, who works at the Red Creek Lodge, it finally gets Tess to realize the truth about her husband. He’s turned her into a killer. When he demands she finish off Chad to protect the sanctity of their marriage, she runs away. The team arrives just as Raoul is about to do his own dirty work and save Chad. Tess is later found floating dead in the lake her son Adam died in, unable to live with what Raoul turned her into.

Meanwhile, Rossi tells Reid that dreams can make reality better and he urges Reid to dance with Maeve in his dream. As he does, she tells him she just wanted to be held by Reid before she becomes nothing but a memory to him.

For some reason I didn’t think this episode has been as good as some of the others this season. I also think they should have had something about The Replicator in it, since I think the last time we heard a peep about this perp was when they thought the wrong man was him.

Tess was a pretty tragic character. It seems some people have no luck and she was one of them. First, she loses her son, then a sociopath gets his hooks into her and warps her grief and turns her into a monster. She was as much of a victim as her victims were. And when she took a step back and really saw what he’d manipulated her into doing, she couldn’t live with what she become. Deep down she was a decent person who’d been warped by a monster into becoming a monster just like him.

Raoul was another one of those slime merchants you wish Hotch would have put a bullet in his head, instead of taking him in so the tax payers wouldn’t have to pay for his room and board until he finally does the world a favor and dies. What he did to Tess was worse than what was done to the men that were murdered. He took advantage of a woman grieving the tragic death of her child to warp her into become a monster just like he was, but in the end he didn’t succeed and she saw what he was doing and killed herself because of what he did to her. Raoul was truly an evil monster that a lethal injection was made for.

On another topic, is it only me, or does Alex almost seem like a total non-entity on the team? She really doesn’t seem to fit in or add anything to the team. Maybe the season ending cliffhanger will be her being revealed as The Replicator.

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wvugirl2007 3 years ago from Virginia

I agree with a lot of this article, but I do disagree with a few things. I liked this episode very much. It had a Twin Peaks vibe that was very creepy. With this being a Matthew Gray Gubler directed episode I think this was spot on. I enjoyed the scene with Rossi and Reid. Rossi and Reid are my two favorites so I might be biased, but I thought this was such a strong moment for them both. They support Rossi gave him was perfect and Reid finally opened up some. The final scene of Reid dreaming of dancing with Maeve was beautiful. I agree that there should have been something concerning the Replicator, but I believe that starts this week. Joe Mantegna (aka Rossi) has given some hints that the season finale might be the end of a character. I have wondered if it could be Blake because it might be the one character that fans could live without and not be too mad about dying.

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