Criminal Minds -- Morgan's Past Comes Back To Haunt Him

Original Airing: April 3, 2013

This week Morgan got a blast from his past he would rather have avoided as someone was beating men to death in his old stomping ground of Chicago and leaving behind the message, “Look To The Sky.” It was the same thing the man who sexually abused him used to say to him.

It was an interesting episode in that it displayed a lot of contrasts between people. The two different roads two abuse victims had taken. The contrast between the person you thought would help with the investigation to save more people from being killed and the one who you’d expect to not help. And the portrait of a truly evil man who felt no guilt or remorse over the victims he abused.

The Replicator was still underground. I’m still torn between suspecting Blake or Garcia’s new boyfriend. I was kind of put off by Garcia referring to her boyfriend’s mother as her future mother-in-law. If she wouldn’t marry Kevin who she truly loved, that she’s actually thinking that way about her new boyfriend is very off-putting. It may just be for dramatic purposes, however, for when he’s finally outted as The Replicator.

I did a post recently about the billing actors insist on and I caught a look at Criminal Mind’s credits and saw the actress that plays Blake has got a with as her name is displayed with an and Thomas Gibson ending it. The with really throws off the credits. For that reason alone I kind of hope she’s The Replicator. Besides, with her past with the FBI I think she’s got the perfect motive for doing this. It’s not like she’s gotten past what happened and she’s still a Bitter Betty about it.

In Chicago, several men have been attacked from behind then they’ve been beaten to death with the Unsub’s fists. He also pulled down their pants and underpants and left them exposed. Because of the way he left them exposed, the team rightly suspected it had something to do with sexual abuse.

I had to kind of laugh when the written message was found and Blake started blathering on about her theories of what it meant. Morgan tried to tell her nicely that that wasn’t what this was about, but she kept blathering on. So Morgan had to basically tell her to shut it because she didn’t have a clue what was going on here.

Morgan tells Hotch that phrase is what Carl Buford used to say to him when he abused him. When Morgan mentioned how Buford gave him Jesus Juice, I couldn’t help thinking of Michael Jackson. I don’t know what Jackson did or didn’t do with those kids, but the fact he was giving them Jesus Juice was always very troubling. Since Buford was still locked up in prison, it was suspected that another past victim was behind the crimes.

This was the first contrast. Morgan became an FBI agent to put criminals like Buford away as a result of what happened to him. While the Unsub was going around killing men he believed were doing the same thing that Buford did. It’s a portrait of the two different roads abuse victims take. Some manage to pull their lives together, while others just sink deeper into the abyss.

Another contrast came in who would ultimately help Morgan with the investigation: the all American football player or the drug addict. If you judged by outward appearances you’d say the football player was the better person, but if you judge by actions than the drug addict was really the better person despite all outward appearances.

Yes, James Barfield had gotten his life together and put what happened to him behind him, but somewhere along the line he lost his humanity in the process. He only cared about himself and his life. He didn’t care if by keeping quiet other people would be killed [and these were people that were innocent of what the Unsub suspected them of]. He just didn’t care. He may have a big football career ahead of him, but that’s all he’ll have. He’ll never have a family and friends, because to have them you have to care for more than just yourself.

Keron Bender, on the other hand, has let what Buford did to him ruin his life. He can’t get past it. He’s become a drug addict living in a rundown apartment. However, when Morgan told him what was going on and asked him to do the same thing he asked Barfield to do, he gave Morgan the name he needed to figure out who the Unsub was. Even though Bender is living in the gutter, he hasn’t lost his humanity. There’s actually more hope for him than there is for Barfield. Derek telling the press at the end of the episode was Buford did to him might be just what Bender needs to give him the motivation to start trying to put his life back together.

Before Morgan talked with Bender, he made himself go up to prison to visit Buford. As I said there are truly evil people in this world and Carl Buford was one of them. He didn’t regret a thing he did as he kept referring to Morgan as his special boy. He was acting like he found religion but he was still the same piece of human filth he’d always been. Morgan had to threaten to reveal to the inmates what he really was [they only thought he was a killer, they had no idea about him victimizing children.] That goes against the code in prison and the person who does that gets treated to swift prison justice. The punishment is death.

He finally cooperated. If he had truly found religion or felt any kind of remorse for what he did he wouldn’t have had to be coerced into doing it. It was a sickeningly long list of all the boys he victimized. Even then he left some names off it. Before he would hand over the list to Morgan he made him shake hands with him, basically forcing Morgan to let him touch him just like he did when Morgan was a boy. Afterwards, Morgan threw up in the bathroom.

The Unsub was a man named Rodney Harris. What set him off was his son swim coach, Michael Crowley, doing to his son what Buford did to him. Crowley was the first victim Rodney killed, and after that he snapped. He started watching his son from afar and any man that came in contact with him he was convinced was molesting him, and he killed them. Unfortunately, they were all innocent.

Morgan got Rodney to give himself up. What happened next is a very gray area. Morgan spoke to the press revealing how Buford abused him and saying not all abuse victims become killers. Did he do it to finally put his past to rest? As long as he kept Buford’s secret it was like Buford still had some hold over him. Did he do it because Buford didn’t give him the full list of his victims and since Buford double-crossed him he was carrying out his threat to reveal to the world what Buford was? Did Rodney have something to do with his decision to go public? Rodney wasn’t impressed that Buford was in prison; he would only feel better if he was dead. Odds were that Rodney would have been sent to the same prison Buford was in. Did sparing Rodney from having to come face-to-face with his abuser have anything to do with Morgan going public?

Whatever the case, the prison inmates were watching. Buford tried to BS his way out of it, but they weren’t buying it. They cornered him in a room to deliver him some long-awaited prison justice. One has to wonder if they didn’t give Buford a little taste of his own medicine before they executed him for his crimes against children.

When Morgan found out Buford was dead he seemed shocked. He also seemed upset. Maybe that’s proof he didn’t really think about the consequences Buford would face by going public with what happened to him. In short, what he did was for himself to finally free himself from his past and finally put it behind him.

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