Criminal Minds - 2.15 - "Revelations"
This was a tremendous conclusion to the cliffhanger left last Sunday. Powerful, emotional, and mindblowing. Tobias Hankel (played by guest-star James Van Der Beek) had kidnapped Reid and brought him to a secluded house in the middle of nowhere, tormented by three multiple personalities, one of them happens to be the voice of his violently religious father who, as we learned, tormented Tobias since childhood. JJ is psychologically troubled after encountering the murderous hounddogs that killed the woman as the BAU team saw through the viral video, and she feels guilty and personally responsible for leaving Reid alone. Gideon and the rest of the team try to figure out the puzzle of where Tobias could've taken Reid before Tobias, or the personality of Tobias' father, kills him or other people. This episode also deals with personal conflictions, including Reid overcoming, or basically confessing, his guilt over his mother.
I have to give major props to Matthew Gray Gubler and James Van Der Beek in this episode, they gave excellent performances in a powerful and emotional light, also frightening too. Seeing Reid tortured really pained me, since Reid is a favorite from the BAU team; although part of the BAU he may be genius-smart, but dealing with situations like this could've broke him emotionally which, in certain ways, it had. Van Der Beek's portrayal of a multi-personality serial killer was impressive, a performance that should be noted upon because it's above and beyond his Dawson Leery days. He gives a stunning performance as the semi-sympathetic and vulnerable Tobias Hankel, which snaps back almost immediately to the sadistic version of the father, with his twisted religious logic, and it was haunting just seeing both sides. Should you feel sympathy for Tobias? Should you not? Could Reid convince Tobias to not listen to the personality that was his father? It literally was a mind-boggling and terrifying episode, and the acting had gone through the roof with much intensity. This is the psychological show that I know and love.
Kirsten Vangsness never fails to bring the performance of the adorable and loveable Penelope Garcia. Her reaction when she and Gideon were watching Reid getting beaten and tortured was not only realistically done, but amazingly acted too. Gideon comforting her as they watched was touching, too. I loved Morgan's reaction to the whole situation, he seriously wanted Hankel's head on a stick (even mentioned it too!). Shemar Moore is so much love
I don't know about anybody else, but I thought bringing the light onto JJ and her personal turmoil about Reid's kidnapping was nicely done. Originally, JJ was the BAU's liason to the media and really had little to do with being part of the action. It most recent episodes she's become more and more involved in that aspect, however I don't know if she's trained, or mentally prepared, for that kind of work. As Garcia mentioned, dealing with that kind of stuff means losing parts of yourself; kind of like losing bits of your innocence in viewing the world. JJ is a strong woman, I have never doubted that, but the BAU confronts the dangerous of the dangerous criminals and tries to get inside their heads about how and why they do such things. She might not be ready to face those head-on quite yet. I love JJ to death (being the A.J. Cook fan that I am), and I'm glad they focused more on her character involvement and how these things effected her emotionally than in the past. I just hope she goes back to dealing with the media rather than with actual criminals and putting herself in that line of fire. Because I love the character too much for her to be rattled and torn up by these horrific experiences. She was beating herself up over Reid, and I smiled when she hugged him and apologized in the end.
Although, logically it was Reid that had mentioned that they split up in the first place, so if JJ had gone with him they would've both been captured. Still, it's understandable she would be feeling guilty over it because it would've been two-to-one if that scenario had taken place.
Overall, I immensely enjoyed this episode and felt it was completely memorable, if not the best this season. Everything was done perfectly and terrifyingly well, the storyline and character arcs, the true and genuine fear. The most frightening parts were when the father would come out and would seemingly become smarter than your average criminal, let alone completely psychotically demented. But the most terrifying thing is that there are people like that in the world; those who twist the words from the Bible to justify their means, basically giving themselves the right to do heinous crimes against humanity because they believe they are doing the work of God. Other shows have given the light of these kinds of people before, though it's Criminal Minds that explore the mentality and reasons behind it. Hence why I love this show.
Though now Reid's going to become a drug addict, because of the Tobias giving him drugs to numb the pain of the torture given by his father's personality? That's going to be interesting to see, but I hope Gideon recognizes this soon and breaks him out of that habit. I don't want to lose Reid like we lost Elle!