Criminal Minds -- Piano Man
This episode kept you guessing until the very last moment. It was perhaps the best episode of the season, so far. But first...
Apparently, there are Hotch and Prentiss shippers. This came as a total shock since there's been nothing ever between them. Hotch and JJ, yes; Hotch and Prentiss, no. But, anyway, these shippers get a little shiptease when Hotch and Emily suddenly share scenes together. I'm sorry, but the moment when Hotch looked over his shoulder at JJ had more there then the long one-on-one Hotch/Prentiss scenes. As always, that is only my opinion.
Anyway, the team head to Houston, Texas where past sexual assault victims are being sexually assaulted again. This attacker is an uber sickie. Leaves permanent scars with piano wire, hence the media moniker, The Piano Man. Finds a way to drug their ciggies with something so they can't remember anything and plays a romantic piano ballad as he forces himself on them sexually again.
The team questions the past victims who can't remember anything. When they notice that all the victims are smokers they figure out that's how the Piano Man is drugging these women. They also figure out that the unsub has a different piano ballad love song for each victim. The only way this could have gotten more creepy is if instead of picking different songs, if he's used Captain and Tenille's "Do That To Me One More Time." The lyrics would have taken on a totally different and flesh-crawling meaning if they had.
Do that to me one more time
Once is never enough with a man like you
One of the previous victims, Vanessa Campbell, is found dead. Because of a piece of surgical glove lodged in her throat, they believe The Piano Man is a hospital orderlie named Scobee.
Meanwhile another former victim, Regina Lambert is in the bar where the man playing the piano is playing the same song she remembers being sexually assaulted by. She goes over to the piano player and tells him to stop playing, but he keeps doing it, so she slams the lid of the piano on his hands. Later, she's pretty plastered when the same piano man escorts her to her car. She asks if he has a cigarette and when he gives her one, she uses a stun gun on him. She's not drunk in the least, she's sober as the judge and she plans to play judge, jury and executioner to the man she believes is her attacker.
When the piano man wakes up, he finds himself tied to the piano with piano wire. Regina comes out dressed in the dressed she got attacked in. Hamilton Bartholomew proclaims his innocence, while she said he was playing Total Eclipse of the Heart to taunt her. He tries to make her think she confused songs; she isn't buying it. She gets him to sing the song and tells him she remembers him singing and it was his voice. She shoots him in the hand.
One of the previous victims, this one didn't get a romantic piano ballad song played for her, recognizes the voice of Scobee and the team is convinced they've got their man. Reid, however, believes Scobee is too young, since most of the songs used for the assaults were old songs.
It turns out Scobee was going through medical files of the victims of the Piano Man and attacking them. The Piano Man figured that out and murdered Vanessa Campbell to frame Scobee for the crimes.
When Regina hears they've arrested the Piano Man she's shaken that she might have been wrong. Hamilton gets himself free and calls the police for help. The teams arrives and Prentiss tells Regina she's got the wrong man, and I still want Regina to shoot him. A couple of times there was something that seemed a bit off about him.
As it turns out, Regina didn't get the wrong man, they just told that to her so she wouldn't kill him and good old Hamilton is arrested for his crimes. In a one-on-one with Prentiss, Regina wants to know why she stopped her from killing him. Then she realizes Prentiss had her own monster, but he's dead. The only statement Regina makes is that she has to go through life knowing her monster is alive, which leaves Prentiss shaken and stirred.
Years ago, I saw a movie with Pamela Franklin where she got sexually assaulted and she killed the man that did it. But after she killed him, she saw another man, and thought he was the man who attacked her. I started wondering if that was the case for Regina and I wanted her to be right. I wanted her to have been able to turn the tables on the scumbag that ruined her life.
It was a great episode that kept you wondering.