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Criminal Minds -- When A Stranger Calls

Updated on December 11, 2013

I'm gonna get you!

I kind of feel like the show is listening to viewers complaining about there being too much gore on the show, as this is the second episode in a row that really didn't have any. As gross and as stomach turning it can be at times, I'm actually kind of missing it. Like they say, "You can please some of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time."

It all starts with Lida Talfert getting another anonymous phone call from a child. The child says, "I'm gonna get you!" It doesn't seem so harmless when Lida realizes her young son Andy is missing just as her husband, Malcolm, finds blood all over their front door.

It turns out this happened before 15 years before to another family. In that case the child was killed and the father became the prime suspect. History repeats itself as Malcolm also becomes the team's prime suspect. That is, until Andy is found dead and they actually believe that Malcolm's grief is real.

The past few weeks Criminal Minds has become Cold Case with the team making an early judgment about someone and raking them over the coals in interrogation to try and get a confession out of them. Only for the person they were so sure did the crime is proven innocent.

I felt bad for the dad, Malcolm. After getting tried and convicted for having kidnapped his own child, Morgan didn't even have the class to apologize. It must be a horrible thing to be scared to death over your missing child and then have the people you turn to for help victimize you by treating you like a criminal. The least they owe someone after doing that is an apology.

The team talks to Richard Clayvin the previous victim who also received the same phone calls from the kid before his child was kidnapped and killed. Richard got the Malcolm treatment from the cops and had a breakdown. He tells the team after everything had gone down he'd gotten another call from the unsub, this time the child voice said, "I got you!"

Malcolm gets the same call after Andy's body is found. Richard asks to speak to the Talferts to see if he can help them, as he's been through the same thing. Later, Lida and Malcolm aren't dealing well with the murder of their child and Lida almost acts like she suspects Malcolm was behind it. Or at the very least she's blaming him for it.

When Lida decides to go out, Malcolm gets another call from the anonymous phone caller. He rushes out to the car and finds Lida gone. The unsub has now kidnapped his wife. The team surmises that Richard's wife wasn't targeted because she was dead.

The team finally discovers that Andy's teacher, Burt Solomon, is the unsub. He obviously saw something in the Talfert family structure that reminded him of his own childhood and that's why he targeted the Talferts.

As is often the case, the unsub's crimes are rooted in his childhood. He's using his own voice recordings from being a child to make the phone calls. The team finds his lair and thankfully find Lida alive. From there they take down the unsub and it's finally all over, but not really.

Yes, Lida will be returned to her husband, but it'll never really be over for them anymore than it's over for Richard Clayvin 15 years after the unsub killed his child. It's never over when a child dies. It's still a big question mark if Lida and Malcolm's relationship will be strong enough to survive this.

I really wish when law enforcement officials are investigating a missing child, they'd stop targeting the parents as their prime suspects. All they heard was Malcolm was over zealous in his monitoring of his son's activities and they had him tried and convicted for being behind the disappearance of his missing son. And Morgan didn't question Malcolm in the vein that he might have done it, he was put through a brutal interrogation as if there was solid proof he did do it.

The BAU may also be responsible for Lida not trusting Malcolm. Okay, the unsub made it look like the calls Lida had been receiving had come from Malcolm's cell phone. But if you looked at it logically, it really made no sense. So Malcolm is calling up his wife talking like a child so she'll be distracted while he abducts their son and paints the front door with pig's blood? I actually expect more from the team.

On the team front, JJ asked Cruz if she could tell the team the truth, because she thinks they think their having an affair. Cruz vetoed that claiming the case was still under investigation and everyone had to be on a need to know basis.

I have to admit that this season I've started wondering if the people saying it's time for the show to take its final bow are right. The show has kind of covered every perversion known to man. The cases this season haven't really been that riveting. The JJ/Cruz side story isn't that riveting, either. It might actually be more interesting if they'd had an affair or if he'd sexually harassed her when she was working for him.

I thought the episode when Hotch collapsed from supposedly old injuries the doctors apparently missed when he was initially injured disappointing. The whole Hayley thing might have been more effective if it had happened before Hotch had moved on with Beth. It just seemed a retread of a missed opportunity that didn't happen when it should have. And the whole thing with the Reaper showing up added nothing to the episode.

This show has been a good show, but I'd rather see it end now, while it's still relatively good, then be dragged out until it become a dying show that needs to be cancelled to put out of its misery. So maybe it's time that Criminal Minds bid network TV adieu.


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