Criminal Minds -- The Black Queen

Blast from the past

The spotlight is turned on Garcia this episode as the show begins with a flashback of Garcia [who was known as The Black Queen in hacking circle] being brought into the BAU and Hotch wanting to recruit her for the team.

I guess I was a bit shocked that it was Hotch that recruited Garcia. He always seemed to be slightly irritated by her and her less than professional behavior. I always figured she'd been there before he came to the BAU. So it was interesting finding out how wrong my assumptions were. It was also interesting to know Morgan was there before Garcia, as well. I never got the impression Hotch and Morgan went back so far. It interesting figuring out whose been there the longest. I figure JJ and Reid came after Garcia.

Having no real choice, since the other choice was jail, Garcia decided to become a member of the BAU. I guess you could say Garcia is the only member of the team that's a criminal.

Sam Russell was the first case Garcia worked on at the BAU and in the present she's going to get a blast from the past in more ways than one. Russell is scheduled to be executed and a computer hacking group called The Star Chamber is claiming he's innocent. And one of the big hackers working at the Star Chamber is Garcia's ex-lover, Shane Wyatt.

Shane wants to take this opportunity to engage with Garcia and challenge her to beat him at their old games. Meanwhile the team takes a second look at the case to see if they put in prison the wrong person, while copycat killings begin to happen.

It turns out that Russell's hacking partner is doing the killings and he's behind the Star Chamber's attempts to drum up propaganda that Russell is innocent. The plan is to frame Shane Wyatt for being the killer.

Russell's big mistake is that he kept strands of his victim's hair as a souvenir and would them into his rosary beads. The team gets a hold of it and proves his guilt. Meanwhile, they arrest Russell's old hacking buddy just as he gives Shane a lethal injection, but the team manages to save Shane's life.

The upshot is having to face her past frees Garcia and seems to give her a sense of peace. She admits to Morgan that when she was a hacker she didn't like what Shane was turning her into, but likes who she is now.

On another matter, some self-righteous prissy woman was giving everyone a sermon on sexual harassment and aiming it at Garcia and Morgan and the way they speak to each other. Apparently, someone complained about the way they talk to each other and said it made them uncomfortable. I'm sorry, but that's not sexual harassment. Neither Garcia or Morgan feel sexually harassed by the other with all their flirtmance verbage. It's not even sexual, it's just the way they talk to each other. It makes me uncomfortable having to sit there while a woman talks baby talk to her baby. Is that sexual harassment? Of course not. Now if Morgan or Garcia were to talk to other people the way they do each other you might construe that as sexual harassment.

I'll tell you what sexual harassment is, as I was unfortunately sexually harassed. This volunteered where I worked started touching me and it made my skin crawl. I told my boss about it, but she apparently didn't do anything about it. So I eventually had to tell the woman to not touch me because I didn't like to be touched. Yeah, it was a woman. See, a sexual harasser doesn't necessarily have to be the opposite sex. It's just someone invading your personal space and touching you when you don't want to be touched.

My case was mild in comparison to a lot of others. Some sexual harassers don't stop when you tell them to. If they happen to be your boss they can try to pressure you to have sex with them or you'll lose your job.

I'm actually ashamed of the show for that scene where Morgan and Garcia are basically lectured on sexual harassment. There's not even anything really sexual in the the way they talk to each other. It's just the way they talk to each other. They're really just joking with each other. The one time Garcia thought she might have gotten drunk and had sex with Morgan she was horrified by it. I'm surprised the woman moralist didn't also go after Garcia for the way she dresses as it's not typical office attire. Maybe that was next, so I'm glad she missed that.

Sexual harassment is one of the most misunderstood crimes around. Scenes like Criminal Minds did are why some people break out in hives afraid they'll be accused of sexual harassment just for telling someone they look nice, today. I know they needed some kind of scene to be the opening scene but that scene just wasn't it. It wasn't the least bit funny if that's what they were trying to go for.

While it was interesting seeing how Garcia became a member of the team and the kind of life she lead before that, I didn't really find the episode itself very interesting. But I would love for them to maybe show how Reid or Hotch joined the team. We've seen Hotch's life when he was married to Hayley, but what was his life like before he joined the BAU. What made him decide to have this for a career? Same for Reid. After he had his mother committed, what lead him to decide for a career in the BAU.


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