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Criminal Minds -- The Copy Cat

Updated on May 3, 2012

A diving rod for the evil in man

It was another of those Criminal Mind episodes that didn't end in a neat package with one of the team's voice over speaking some philosophical line to put it all in some sort of perspective as the team flies off in the jet back home. It ends with someone intimately involved with the unsub doing something disturbing that tells you that this isn't the end; it's only the beginning.

Serial killer Rodney Garrett is about to be executed. He's opted to be shot by a firing squad, opposed to a lethal injection. A group of people have come to watch him die; no doubt the families of his victims. As he nears the moment of death he starts reciting words from a letter that were written to him.

As Garrett's execution is taking place a blonde woman is tied on her bed with duct tape. Duct tape is over his mouth. The unsub waits until the moment of Garrett's execution to plunge an ice pick in her heart. This killing is eerily similar to the killings Garrett had committed.

Six hours later another blonde woman is killed in a similar manner. The team believes they have a copy cat on their hands. Then JJ notices something that differs from Garrett's MO. Both victims had long blond hair and the unsub cut their hair off. He also took souvenirs from the scenes of the crimes: some flowers and a bottle of wine.

Rossi and Prentiss go a visit Garrett's wife, Helen. She continued to support him until the day he died and never missed a day to visit him in prison. She explains when she had cancer he stood by her, so she's standing by him now. She tells them her father used to say she was a divining rod for the evil in man and she can't help think it was her that brought out the evil in Rod.

Six hour later the unsub target another blonde with long hair; only things don't work out quite like he planned. The unsub is laying in wait inside Emily Sisk's house like he has with the previous victims, but Emily didn't come home alone. She brought her boyfriend with her. The unsub attacks her boyfriend and Emily tries to escape from him, but he abducts her.

Morgan and Prentiss are out patrolling the streets when they see a car driving fast and believe it may be the unsub. When they manage to stop the car, they discover Emily's boyfriend in the car. He was trying to catch up with the unsub. Not long after that Emily is found. The unsub killed her elsewhere, but dumped her outside her home. Her hands are duct taped together and duct tape is over her mouth. Instead of one precise stab through the heart by an ice pick, she has multiple stab wounds and when the unsub took her hair he removed her scalp, as well.

The team learns the unsub picked the victims because the houses that they lives in form a heart-shaped symbol around where Helen Garrett lives. They also discover Helen had a brain tumor and she can't get hair to grow on his head and she has a huge scar on her head. The unsub is taking the blonde hair to make a wig for her. He also took the flowers and wine to romance her.

They figure out someone at the prison fell in love with Helen all the times she visited her husband. Somehow they figure out it was the prison shuttle driver, Dylan. Meanwhile, Dylan won't let Helen leave the shuttle and asks to take her somewhere. She's apparently told him about her about not being able to get hair to grow on her head. When they arrive at their destination, Dylan has wine poured from the bottle of wine he stole from one victim, as well as the flowers he stole from another victim. He takes Helen's wig off and puts his dead-hair wig on top of her head. He says this isn't just any wig, the hair will grown into her scalp. Maybe he thinks that because part of that wig contains a human scalp.

The team closes in on Dylan and arrests him and goes on his merry way, not realizing they made a lot of errors in this case they're unaware of. Like the letter written to Garrett with a quote from 1001 Nights that Garrett was reciting as he was executed wasn't written by Dylan as they believed.

When Helen comes to visit Dylan in prison, she's quoting the same verse from 1001 Nights like Garrett did as he died and in a letter that was written to Garrett that they believed Dylan had written, only he doesn't recognize the verse. So it appears it was something Helen actually wrote to her husband. She tells Dylan it's her duty to visit him, believing her father was right, and she is a divining rod that brings out the evil in men.

I also think their logic for why someone tried to kill Garrett in prison twice, delaying his execution two times, doesn't make any sense either. If Garrett was going to be executed, why go to all the trouble of trying to kill him? It makes more sense the attempts on Garrett's life were done so his executions would be delayed. Maybe Dylan was behind them so she could keep seeing Helen when she came to visit Garrett or it's equally possible Helen was behind them to delay Garrett from being executed.

It's kind of shocking, because the team doesn't usually screw up this badly on a profile. There also seems to be a parallel between Helen [whose father told her she was a divining rod to bring out the evil in men] and Laura the girl in Heathridge Manor whose mother cut off her arm as a baby so she wouldn't be attractive to the devil and she ended up imagining the devil was at her door. For both Helen and Laura the end of the case wasn't the end for either of them. They were both too mentally damaged to be able to move past the ugliness they'd been exposed to going back to their parents suggesting they both were an attraction to evil.

I actually like the episodes ending on such creepy notes. It isn't very realistic to think a lot of the victims can just go back to living a normal life after what they've been through.


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      karen 5 years ago

      garrett had attempts made on his life in prison BECAUSE his execution was postponed twice. the unsub wanted him out of the way as soon as possible, so that he could express his love for helen. but because garrett's execution was postponed due to appeals, the unsub took matters into his own hands and hired killers to try take garrett out (failed both times).