Criminal Minds: Season 5, Episode 16

Mosley Lane (3 Mar. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.9
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 920 users  
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The BAU profiles a child abductor who may have been keeping children for more than eight years.

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Title: Mosley Lane (03 Mar 2010)

Mosley Lane (03 Mar 2010) on IMDb 8.9/10

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Roger Roycewood
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Sarah Hillridge
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Charlie Hillridge
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Aimee Lynch
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Mrs. Shepherd
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The BAU profiles a child abductor who may have been keeping children for more than eight years. Written by CBS Publicity

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3 March 2010 (USA)  »

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The initial scenes are at a winter festival in Virginia, but all the trees still had foliage. See more »

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Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau: [voiceover] Nietzsche wrote, Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of men.
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Performed by Tipper
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Furnace Funeral
14 September 2011 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

This is a great episode. However, it is *not* perfect. I watched it three times. It starts impressively, with a disappearance of a child – putting children in danger always raises the emotional impact on the viewers. Also, the immediate reveal that this is just the latest in a string of child disappearances over a decade combined with the creepy situation of the latest child and the gruesome fate of one of the earlier ones raises the tension sky high. Unfortunately, all this takes *six and a half minutes* - way too long for a pre-credits sequence in a series with episodes lasting 42 or so minutes. Surely the opening title sequence could have come sooner? Writers' bad. Director Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Reid), on the other hand, makes one heck a TV directing debut here (he's directed only short films before). Of course, he's aided immensely by the spot-on score by Fantini, Fantini & Gordon. The music here is *really* impressive.

Now, where the writers go wrong again is the "BAU agents imagine being in the moment of the crime" scene, which this series *never* seems to get right. Well, at least they are consistent. There's not much Gubler can do with such a clumsily written scene. The writers really should study The Closer, the classiest, most convincing crime procedural in recent memory and not underestimate the audience's intelligence. Fortunately, that scene is briefly over and the creepiness comes back with the "spreading of the ashes" scene. From that point on, the script is pretty much quality stuff, except for one weird fault: in the ashes scene they reveal the male unsub, making the later "questioning of the suspects" scenes where the BAU agents visit *innocent* creeps absolutely pointless. We now know what the man looks like and have a pretty good estimate on the woman. Why did they have to show his face earlier? Why?

Acting here is great all around, meaning that the story remains convincing despite the slight problems with the script. The character of Charlie serves as a great cause for conflict among the parents of the missing children and also raises complex questions, which is always good. The resolution, however, lacks the required big punch and raises the question "who exactly taught Charlie to shoot?" His kidnappers don't really seem stupid enough to *let* him know firearms, let alone teach him on how to use them, considering how clever they are otherwise portrayed to be. It would make sense that Charlie's general knowledge is not on a much higher level than when he was kidnapped.

The epilogue is harrowing, which makes amends for the faults, but overall, for every achievement in scriptwriting there seems to come a disappointment in return. And then there is the fact that the series seems to think 'continuity' means that mentioning that AJ now has a 1½ year old child is enough. Once you've established continuity instead of the good old Reset Button, the fact that Hotch moved on without barely a tear after his wife was executed by The Reaper becomes a *major* fault that, for as long as the series runs, will always hinder the series' plausibility, and hence, credibility. An 8/10 is as high as this can get, all problems considered. Sadly, this could have been even a 10/10.


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