Criminal Minds -- Camp Willing

Original Airing: February 21, 2013

In this episode the crimes the unsub committed was almost incidental to a bigger issue that was addressed: the conversion camps that some parents send their children to in an attempt to make them straight.

Paul Westin is the unsub. As a teen he told his father he liked boys not girls and his father’s response was to send him to a conversion camp called Camp Willing. Amongst the therapies there were being shot up with drugs as porno films were played and having your parent in the room as a hooker forced them into having sex with her to make them straight.

Because of Camp Willing, Paul is one very messed up man. When he gives into his true feelings and has sex with a man, he kills them. Then he goes to try to have sex with a woman to prove he’s normal and he also kills the woman, afterwards. On all the victims wrists he leaves the same type of wristwatch he was given to wear at Camp Willing. He leaves the men fully clothed, but strips the women bare, and then sets the watch to 6:22. The time is supposed to represent the military time of 18:22 which points to a verse in the bible.

When Paul’s friend, Mitch, who was also sent to Camp Willing, realizes Paul killed a friend of theirs, he tries to get him to seek professional help. He says that after getting professional help, himself, he’s accepted who he is and has been in a healthy relationship with his same-sex partner for six months.

Instead, Paul has a better idea. He wants revenge on his father for sending him to Camp Willing. He forces Mitch to go with him to his father’s place. After throwing his father down the stairs he makes him strip off his clothes and wants Mitch to have sex with his father so he’ll know what it was like for him when his father watched as a hooker forced him to have sex with her.

A scuffle for Paul’s gun ensues and Mitch gets shot and killed. That’s the final straw for Paul, as he puts his gun to his head ready to kill himself. Morgan, however, convinces Paul to not do it. Instead he urges Paul to testify to what was done to him at Camp Willing so other kids like him will be saved from what happened to him.

It was a real gruesome sight watching the team storm Camp Willing and leading out all these teens who were drugged up and half-brainwashed into believing they were straight. It was really shocking to think that places like these still exist. What with society being more accepting of someone’s sexual orientation, I didn’t there were parents out there who would try to have their teens brainwashed into believing they were straight.

We also got to see a bit of the copycat unsub at the end of the episode. He was watching a video he shot of a class Alex was teaching, so it seems obvious he/she was a student in her class. You know, I can’t help but think she’s the catalyst for this unsub. The team wasn’t targeted until she joined. So it seems logical she’s the one this unsub is really after.

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