The team searches a gated community for a killer who has strangled several women.

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Bob Page
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Drew Jacobs
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Det. Felix Ruiz
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Harvey Brinkman
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Heather Jacobs
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Frank Morris
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SSA William Heller
Larry Herron ...
FBI Instructor
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Storyline

Oak Tree Hills is a security monitored gated community located in Las Cruces, New Mexico. In the span of two months, three women have been strangled to death in their home in Oak Tree Hills, each successive murder being more brazen in that other household members were within closer proximity when the murder occurred. With the latest murder, security showed no non-residents on site, meaning that a resident is the unsub. Because the community is homogeneous, an unsub profile is somewhat meaningless. As such, Hotch and Rossi enlist the assistance of an FBI cadet, Agent Ashley Seaver, who may be able to shed some light from another perspective as she is the daughter of a serial killer who murdered twenty-five women before she reached age twenty. Hotch and Rossi make it clear to her that she is only acting as a consultant and is in no way to take action without the approval of someone on the team. Det. Felix Ruiz, the Las Cruces police detective assigned to the case who happens to also ... Written by Huggo

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8 December 2010 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Trivia

At one point Reid is discussing the use of "Beam me up, Scotty" in the original Star Trek series. Rachel Nichols that guest stars in this episode was also in the 2009 Star Trek film as Gaila, Uhura's roommate. See more »

Goofs

When the team regroups after the meeting in the community church, Dr. Reid walks up to the team with information. After his line, he looks at Seaver and they both break character and smirk at each other. Dr. Reid looks down and closes his mouth so he doesn't laugh. See more »

Quotes

David Rossi: What else is on your mind?
Ashley Seaver: A dog... When I was seven years old, I found a puppy on my way home from school. I ran all the way home with this little ball of fur. I was so excited. And when I got to the house, my dad was the only one home. And I gave him the puppy to hold while I got him some milk. We didn't have dog food, but I thought, well, a puppy's like a baby, so milk, right? And when I got back, my dad was in the bathroom, and he turned and told me to put the milk away. I didn't understand...
[...]
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Connections

References Star Trek (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Far from Home
performed by Five Finger Death Punch
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User Reviews

 
Introducing Ashley Seaver
18 December 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'Criminal Minds' is one of my favourite and most watched shows. Seasons 1-4 (and to a lesser extent 5, 4 is particularly strong) have the highest number of great, even classic episodes, and garnering the most re-watches.

Disappointments (and even they are still watchable) or stinkers were very few, with lesser episodes of that period being nowhere near low-point level of Season 6 onwards. This is with the exceptions of "Machismo", "The Fight" and "Hopeless", with a few other big disappointments being "The Performer", "Honor Among Thieves" and "Parasite".

Season 6 along with 9 and especially 11 has varied wildly in quality. It has some good ("Remembrance of Things Past", "Hanley Waters", "Safe Haven", "Into the Woods" and "The Longest Night" faring best), have yet to see a great one, episodes. It also a number of disappointing ones, such as "Today I Do", "25 to Life", "Corazon" and in particular "The Thirteenth Step" (a bottom 10 'Criminal Minds' episode, also remember "Big Sea" not being good but that needs a re-watch).

"What Happens at Home" is better than those, but my feelings on it mirror the comments, ranging from indifference to dislike, expressed on other sites reviewing it, rather than the praise it's got here. It is notable for introducing Ashley Seaver. JJ left big shoes to fill, and it must have been daunting replacing her. The good news is, Seaver is nowhere near as annoying as in succeeding episodes, she at least serves a point, she doesn't do or say anything anywhere near as dumb or face palm-worthy, she actually has an interesting and quite painful if not exactly unique back story and Rachel Nichols gives by far her best performance as the character, showing more engagement and less limitations.

Against all this, Seaver doesn't gel very well and vastly overshadows the rest of the team, is still rather bland, is too inexperienced (a "rookie" if you will), her actions at the end were unrealistic and stupid and her dialogue even for a debut is still poor. Really could have done without that sob story, that felt very misplaced, coming out of nowhere and really feels awkward in placement and writing. While it was laudable trying to make Seaver interesting and with a story, "What Happens at Home" does feel at times like it's trying too hard to like her or feel anything for her and goes overboard, as said that sob story should have been scrapped and there could have been less of the rubbing in of her qualifications and the whole stuff about her father and exposition.

It is a shame, because, while there could have been more of them, the rest of the team are still fun to watch and have such adorable chemistry. There are still enough little character moments to satisfy, especially Reid's mini-monologue, the Star Trek reference, Prentiss' deadpan and snarky manner towards the security guy and the moment between Rossi and Hotch (with a rare opportunity to see Hotch smile). The acting is still very good indeed, with nobody coming over as weak.

The story disappoints here. There are definitely moments, the concept was great and there was a little tension and suspense, the revelation of the unsub was a shock to me and the climax was occasionally scary, one also feels sorry for Heather. What stopped it from being any more was that sob story, the unsub's too calm and cocky attitude and that very sappy and lengthy ending song that just kills the mood. The story on the whole however was pretty forgettable and bland, with too much of it being predictable. Was also a shame that the profiling, psychology, delving into the unsub's mind and the victimology was barely there, as well as not enough of the team's detective skills and the unsub being pretty underdeveloped and not as interesting as ought.

Production values are still very high in quality, being stylishly photographed and atmospherically lit, and most of the music is haunting and effectively moody, the only misfire being the climactic song.

Overall, the introduction to Seaver was a mixed bag and the episode was just average. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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