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"Criminal Minds" About Face (2007)

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Pretty good episode on the whole if slightly shaky introduction to David Rossi

7/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
11 July 2016

"About Face" is chiefly remembered for being the first episode featuring Jason Gideon's replacement David Rossi. The episode is a pretty good one, even if one doesn't warm to him just yet.

Understandably, the character of Rossi is what keeps "About Face" being even better than it was. It was always going to be a tough call replacing Gideon after the character's and Mandy Patinkin's abrupt departure and in such a short space of time, less than five episodes worth in fact.

Again, understandably as it's his first episode and they did have to rush to write a replacement character and find a replacement actor, Rossi's introduction to the team is shaky and he does not settle in yet here. While the script handles the transition the best it can and at times beautifully, you can feel the awkwardness of the change in dynamic within the team as they initially struggle to get used to Rossi's more old-school, less intuitive approach than Gideon.

However, once Rossi does settle, and he does quicker than most other replacements on the show, and becomes more developed and interesting, his personality is warmer and more likable and the dynamic is more comfortable and often adorable. The only other criticism is that the ending feels rather rushed and abrupt.

Rossi aside, "About Face" is pretty good. The case is a very creepy and atmospheric one, with disturbing killing and modus operandi and a genuinely menacing unsub. It has many of the ingredients that makes the writing and storytelling elements of the best of 'Criminal Minds' present (especially some of the most creative and intelligent use of profiling of the earlier seasons), including the giving out candy touch at the end that brightens the general moodiness of the episode without being too much of a juxtaposition.

Production values are high in style and mood, the Halloween setting helps, and it's hauntingly scored, stylishly directed and smartly and thoughtfully written. The acting is fine, with a menacing unsub and all the regulars doing dependably fine jobs. Joe Mantegna does well actually with what he has, and once the character grows in his later appearances so does Mantegna's acting as the characters.

In summary, Rossi's introduction is not yet settled, but taking into account the circumstances and everything and taking the episode on its own terms, it is pretty and often very good episode. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Introducing David Rossi!

9/10
Author: ShelbyTMItchell from Seymour Tennessee
12 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We are introduced to David Rossi played by the great character actor, Joe Mantegna as really it is nice he is getting recognized on this show. I will admit, as well as Gideon fans that they did not take too kindly to Rossi.

Rossi was old school and took matters into his own hands. Plus his character had to take time to develop. As now he is one of the most popular on there.

Despite being ten years out of the BAU and one of it's founders sort to speak. Speaking and writing in retirement. Still the character I love now. After not liking him at first. As he still has that investigative mood. But he had to be a team player first. In order to click with the current BAU.

In this Halloween episode. Where a federal agent would not be surprised if someone took a gun or if a first victim disappears. That is what they are called in for.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Intense and dramatic.

10/10
Author: PWNYCNY from United States
14 October 2014

What a powerful piece of drama. Trying to piece together a puzzle, a team of police officers work to apprehend someone who is targeting certain victims for reasons that are unknown. Besides being well-acted, the story is plausible enough to render it credible and therefore worth watching. In other words, the story is not contrived; what is described could happen. This in turn calls into question the nature of a society that can produce people capable of exhibiting such aberrant behavior. The point of the story is that in our society there is no such thing as absolute security and that complacency is a luxury that none of us can afford. People leading quiet uneventful lives, suddenly upended by someone whose psychopathology is out of control. The question is: what kind of mind would concoct such nefarious schemes? In this episode the perpetrator is using modern technology to taunt the police and terrify the victims. The story is intense, highly dramatic and worth watching.

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