Criminal Minds -- Heathridge Manor

This was one very disturbing episode, especially the way it ended. Leave it to Criminal Minds to do an episode like this a few days before Easter mixing The Merry Wives of Windsor with the devil.

The episode starts out simple enough with a mother reading a fairy tale about a knight to her son. Then two men in white coats come to interrupt and she attacks them, is pinned to the ground and dragged away. She's Katherine Heathridge; a very rich woman and an actress. She's also as crazy as a bed bug. She killed one of the actresses in the play she's working on, "The Merry Wives Of Windsor". She also cut off her baby daughter's arm to make her lesscomely to the devil. She's dragged away from Heathridge Manor and placed in St. Baldwin's Psychiatric Hospital. Two years later she would set the place on fire and put it out of business for good.

In the present day some children are breaking into the abandoned St. Baldwin's and find the body of a woman. She's dressed in a Renaissance outfit and posed on a bed in the middle of the room. The garment she was sewn into is soaked with nicotine. And the person behind the killing is Katherine's son, James, with the help of his sister, Laura. Seems James is just as batty as his mother was and just as obsessed with the devil.

While James goes into a trance-like state where he talks to his dead mother in his head about the devil's wives, he begins painting a picture on a blank canvas of one of the devil's wives. He seems to come out of the trance when the painting is finished. Then he goes looking for a woman that resembles the painting he painted. He finds, stalks and captures her. Then he puts her into this empty well looking thing on the grounds of Heathridge Manor and slowly fills the well with water until the woman is in danger of drowning. If when he pulls her out of the well, she's still alive, that means she's one of the devil's wives; however, if she dies it means, "Oops, my bad."

James is killing these women to coincide with dates on the satanic calendar. I didn't know Satan had a calendar. He's trying to show the devil what's what by laying them out as he does. Anyway, when one of the devil's brides doesn't survived her drowning treatment, he goes to consult mommy in his head, once more, and while he's out to lunch he paints a picture of his sister, Laura, indicating she's the last devil's bride.

James is keeping Laura a virtual prisoner in Heathridge Manor. He's taken from school and tells her whatever friends she had only pitied her because she has to wear a prosthetic arm from where Mommy cut her arm off as a baby. When she mentions wanting to go to her prom, James arranges a creepy prom where he's her date, in the living room of Heathridge Manor. At one point he even kisses her on the mouth.

Anyway, he spares Laura the drowning in the well treatment and just sews him up in one of his poisonous Renaissance dresses and has her displayed in the window. He says once he catches the devil, she'll be fine.

I literally wanted to smack Prentiss into next week in this episode. They see this young girl up in the window and she's stuck in this poisonous gown and there's Prentiss slowly making her way up the stairs as she flashes her flashlight all over the place. And then when she finds the girl on the floor gasping for breath, she slowly puts on her blue latex gloves so she doesn't get any nicotine on her fingers and then finally gets the gown off the her.

I did have one moment where I laughed. No, I'm not sick. When I saw the team arriving, I joked that James would see Hotch and think he was the devil coming for his bride, and that's exactly what happened. Hotch and James got into a battle with James falling down the empty well and presumably breaking his neck and dying.

Anyway, this episode ended on a really creepy note. Laura is now rich and she's living back at Heathridge Manor when she hears someone at the door. It's a man with a very creepy voice and he's got some kind of devil-looking thing stuck in the breast pocket of his jacket. He tells her he's been waiting for her and she takes his hand. When the camera pans away there's no one there.

Okay, I'm superstitious and I wonder if maybe James wasn't that crazy after all and those women really were the devil's brides. If you believe there's a God without seeing him, shouldn't the same token be for the devil? Of course, the more rational explanation is Laura is as batty as her brother and mother. In which case, she may be the next unsub the team is going to need to find and catch.

I really have to ask if anyone did a psychological examination on this girl. I mean, she was helping her brother kill these women. If not, then why not? She obviously believes it's true that she's the devil's bride and just who knows what the devil is going to tell her to do next.

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miakouna 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing. I love criminal minds! This episode was very creepy. Well written hub.


Amanda 4 years ago

THANK YOU. I saw this episode two nights ago, and thanks to your help, I can now find out what the song playing at her "prom" was :) You did a lovely job!


steffi 4 years ago

LOVED this episode. Probably my most favorite. Btw, the song is by The Platters and is called, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"


James 4 years ago

What's the real name of LAURA HEATHRIDGE.


Jess 4 years ago

Worth pointing out, I think, is that Lara reached out with her left hand - the one that was cut off by her mother. When she reaches out with it, however, it's just a normal hand - not the prosthetic limb she's had since a child. That's far weirder than the creepy guy at the door, methinks.

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