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Criminal Minds -- The Sniper
It's a little lighter episode this week
That is if you could call a sniper gunning down people light. But there for no human Praying Mantis with bugs coming out of her mouth crawling on the ceiling, so for Criminal Minds this was lighter. Actually, this wasn't the episode the was originally supposed to air after last week's episode. This was actually the fourth episode, not the third. Which might explain JJ's strange behavior throughout the episode. She definitely wasn't herself.
All thought the episode I kept wondering where the new bureau chief is, since he was due to debut in the third episode. He's also supposed to have some past connection with JJ. I still don't know why CBS decided to air the episodes out of sequence? Is it another heavy psychological gross-out episode and they thought after the two-part Praying Mantis one it might be too much for viewers to handle and wanted to give them a break between episodes?
Anyway, the team headed to Texas when a mall was fired on by a sniper. When the sniper attacked another spot, they tried to find a connection between the people shot at. In short, why did he attack these two spots? Who was his intended victims and who were just collateral damage.
A lot of this episode takes place in the sniper's mind and isn't real. It just some fantasy he builds about his intended victim. Hotch claims this is a common occurrence for snipers to make up this kind of fantasy in their head so they can stay awake for 72 hours straight. That was a new one to me. I wonder how they know that? Have snipers admitted that to them or is it just a case of artistic license with no real proof to back it up?
In his imagination Colin, the sniper, approaches his target Maya and tells her they must run because they've been found out. In reality while he's having this adventure with Maya in his mind he's really watching her from across the way waiting for his chance to kill her.
Colin, it seems, was hired by Maya's husband to kill her. Maya was trying to get away from her abusive husband and she'd hooked up with an organization that helps women escape their abusive spouses. They have a system similar to the Underground Railway that helped slaves escape their abusive slave owners. Colin appeared to blackmail one of Maya's handlers into giving up her whereabouts and once the woman rolled over on Maya he killed her.
I'm guessing Maya's husband thought he wouldn't be connected to her death if she was one of many victims of some crazed sniper. Unfortunately, for him, Hotch took down Colin before he could kill Maya. This time there was no attempt to bring him in alive.
At one point an eyewitness claimed she saw the sniper and he was white, and I thought maybe she might be involved in the mess. The guy was definitely not white. I guess the show did it so we'd think maybe Colin wasn't the sniper we saw shooting people at the start of the show. Either that, and she got confused because the guy had been wearing white paint overalls. But you'd think with the guy dressed all in white it would be even more evident that the man was black.
So I guess we'll meet the new bureau chief next week. Maybe we'll find out why JJ was acting so un JJ like, this week. At times she almost seemed cold about the case.
I have to admit this wasn't one of my favorite episodes. While it was nice that someone was doing a semi-exploration into a sniper's psyche, it lacked the punch of some of the more gross-out episodes.
It's a horrible thing to admit, but some of the more grosser episodes is almost like riding an amusement park ride. You get to experience danger while knowing you yourself is really safe. As much as some of the cases may make your stomach turn and make you turn your head away in disgust in horror, there's also something almost darkly irresistible journeying into the dark and twisted psyche of some of these unsubs. As human beings we all want to understand how someone can do something so sick, twisted and inhumane. By watching these sick individuals committing their atrocities we get that question answered for us.
Of course, you do have to wonder if this show will run out of sick and dark psyches to investigate. In the many years this show has been on, they've tackled a vast array of sick individuals. Is there really much more left to explore before they have to start doing repeat episodes? I mean, you can only explore so many different dark psyches before they begin to all seem like the same. At some point the show is going to need to call it a day. Of course, how the show would end remains to be seen.
Anyway, it'll be interesting to see if next week we'll be back to the dark and twisted and what trouble the new man in charge will have in store for the BAU.