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Criminal Minds -- Season Of The Witch
And Garcia throws a Day Of The Dead party
Hotch was back at work as if nothing happened and he got the team assigned to the case of a woman who was crushed to death. Her head and body was covered with heavy boulders. He managed to get them assigned to the case because he believed there would be more murders to follow and he was right.
The woman crushed to death was actually suspected of being a witch by the unsub and that's the matter in which he decided to execute her. There are other victims and other ways he kills them. Another woman is thrown from a cliff.
The unsub is seen beating themselves with a lash. And when a very weird looking guy starts to follow Yvonne Carpenter around, it seems like the unsub has been revealed. That is until the man shows up as the next victim. In a case of don't judge a book by its cover the real unsub is actually a librarian named Leland Duncan.
The seedy looking guy was trying to help Yvonne check out the book she wanted to check out at the library when Leland told her it was reference and couldn't be checked out. It was a book on witchcraft. Because of that Leland judged him a witch, branded him and dispatched him in the matter he seemed fit.
When Yvonne returns another day and another librarian lets her check out the witchcraft book, Leland kills the woman, judging her as a witch, too. Then he begins stalking Yvonne and her daughter. In his sick and twisted mind he sees them both as demonic witches.
All Yvonne wanted the book for was to create an authentic looking costume for her daughter. She explains this to Leland when he kidnaps her and her daughter. She quickly sees Leland isn't playing with a full deck. So she decides to play into his sick fantasy to try and get him to let her daughter go.
She confesses to witchcraft, but claims her daughter is a witch hunter and bears the mark of an angel behind her ear. Leland looks and says he agrees and will release her daughter. Unfortunately, Leland is lying. Yvonne finds this out when he takes her out to burn her at the stake.
He proclaims that since Yvonne is her mother that makes her a witch, too, and he intends to burn them both at the stake. Fortunately he doesn't succeed as the team arrives in the nick of time to put him away.
I don't know what the heck Leland did to the little girl, but she was passed out for the whole ordeal and never had to endure his craziness. After everything was over, Yvonne woke her daughter up.
At the start of the show Garcia was preparing to host a Day Of The Dead Party. When the team gathered they did something nice. Garcia had this tree like thing to put pictures and articles on to remember the dead.
Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but why exactly was Leland so obsessed with witchcraft. Was it living in Mormon Country? At one point Reid labelled him a Moral Vigilante. But I never really heard any back story to explain this guy's behavior.
I have to admit this wasn't one of my favorite episodes. Maybe it's just me but it seemed to be poorly written and made me feel it was just slapped together in a haphazard way. Generally, they have the unsub have some kind of flashback in a situation like this to explain why he's doing what he's doing. Maybe his adoptive parents were obsessed with witchcraft and bred that into him. Again, maybe they did and I just wasn't paying close enough attention to notice. I was warming my supper up in the oven and I thought I'd successfully gotten it out and gotten back in front of the TV while the show was on commercial break. But maybe I missed some essential scenes.
I also don't recall them saying what triggered him suddenly killing these people he believed were witches. Was it Halloween coming up? Usually they explain what triggered the unsub to suddenly go on a killing spree. While there were other victims, there was no indication that this had been an ongoing killing spree going back for years. The guy wasn't that young.
I have to admit if I don't find an episode particularly riveting my mind can wander and I miss major things. So maybe all the points I brought up were covered. I actually found Garcia's party at the end more interesting than the unsub's story.
I was over on the Criminal Mind's message board over at IMDB and someone mentioned Rossi not putting up Strauss' picture on the Tree of Remembrance, and I'm actually glad he didn't. I have to admit when Strauss died I didn't really feel much. Strauss had been a total pig to the team at times and did her level best to break them up. She forced JJ to leave the team and take another job. Didn't she even had Prentiss spying on the team to try and find some dirt so she could break them up? And she tried to use Hayley's death as reason to get rid of Hotch. She only seemed to stop trying to destroy the team once she got outted for being an alcoholic. She was not a friend to the team, so not mentioning her was appropriate.
However, it would have been nice if Rossi had given a shout-out to his deceased wife, Caroline, like Hotch did with Hayley and Reid did with Maeve. Still, it was a nice way to celebrate Halloween. Much better than imagining you see witches everywhere you look and trying to kill them because of it.