Criminal Minds: Season 6, Episode 18

Lauren (16 Mar. 2011)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.9
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 741 users  
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While Prentiss has gone missing to track down Ian Doyle and finish him, her team attempts to track down her and digs deeper into her past.

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Jack Fahey
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Prentiss has disappeared - without her badge and gun - as soon as her BAU colleagues piece together her connection to Doyle. They bring in an old friend, J.J., to use her role in the State Department to provide information on Prentiss' CIA past, and her connection to the international team that profiled Doyle and his role in IRA related terrorism. Some of what the team learn makes them understand Prentiss' behavior over the past month, but some of her past angers especially Morgan, who cannot reconcile what she did for her past job. As they learn more about Doyle, they realize that Prentiss, who they know has gone after him, is up against not only Doyle but his sizable army who will do anything to protect him. They also learn that of the profiling cell in which Prentiss previously worked, the only other surviving member is Clyde Easter, who they believe is the one who sold out the rest of the team to Doyle. As the BAU detain Easter, they have to see if he can or will divulge whatever ... Written by Huggo

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16 March 2011 (USA)  »

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Liam: Open it.
Ian Doyle: Liam, something bothering you?
Liam: None of our other suppliers can get stuff this good. She's too good to be true, and you're too blind to see it.
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No Good Can Come of This
1 January 2012 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

I was cautiously optimistic about this episode: the ingredients for a brilliant mini-arc-ender were there, but would it deliver? It starts well, with the Prentiss' return to the bar where she was first introduced to Doyle by an intermediary, Jack Fahey. And we flashback to that meeting. Now we're getting to the meat of the story! Meanwhile, her team tries to figure out where she's gone. Prentiss lies in wait for Fahey and reveals her cold former agent persona by finishing questioning him with a shot in the back of his head - or that's what it seems from outside the car they are in. Immediately alarm bells ring: for those quick to leap into a conclusion, Fahey is dead, but for those who've been disappointed by Criminal Minds, he'll probably turn up later with only a flesh wound. Giving the viewers the impression that Prentiss killed Fahey is pointless unless he actually killed him. Well, we'll see...

The team logically reasons that Prentiss will take the fight to Doyle to protect them. They detain Clyde Easter and the fantastic Sebastian Roché is wasted by using him in only three scenes. More flashbacks reveal how Prentiss and Doyle became lovers. The most important question here drama-wise is, "Did she love him as he did her?" That would offer fantastic drama, since we already know from previous episodes that in the end, she betrayed him. Obviously things have changed, as Prentiss illegally ambushes Doyle and uses lethal force (it just happens that no-one is unlucky enough to die), but walks right into Doyle's trap for her. Cue scene with gratuitous cleavage ("Not that there is anything wrong with that!") when Doyle brands her breast. The BAU, meanwhile - OMG! - arrest Fahey, who is, indeed, still alive, albeit with a bandaged ear.

Predictable and familiar-feeling mind-games between Prentiss and Doyle and between Fahey and the BAU ensue. There is a scene with tremendous potential, but the show-runners take the safe route out. After six years, they still have not learned anything from their more successful competition - 24, CSI and NCIS, to name a few - first build main characters the audience cares about and then kill off one or more of them. Criminal Minds rarely has the courage to kill off even supporting characters.

Seaver and Easter (now there's a name for a spin-off!) bring fresh perspective to the rest of BAU. Another flashback reveals that Doyle's housekeeper had a son Doyle treated as his own. Doyle also wanted a child with Prentiss. And she offered to get him "out", but Doyle would not give up his calling. Doyle's thirst for revenge is revealed: he has seen the evidence the boy was killed. But Prentiss staged the evidence! Doyle's son lives! And the BAU somehow come to the conclusion that the only place Doyle would be holding Prentiss is where his son's death was staged. Except for the fact that Prentiss had to *manipulate* Doyle into taking her there. What a nice coincidence it all worked out and the BAU rushes to rescue with an assault team at the exact moment Prentiss gets free and gets into a fight with Doyle!

Both are wounded. Doyle disappears (so much for FBI's ability to establish a perimeter) and Emily apparently dies on the operating table. Except, after the none-more-clichéd TV funeral, we switch to Paris, where JJ gives a "mystery" woman three passports and generous amounts of money. We can hear it is Prentiss, but we do not see her face. What is the point of hiding her face? The knowledge that Prentiss will return after a summer-and-seven-episodes hiatus just makes matters worse. There is no closure. Nothing is resolved. American viewers had to wait for six months for Prentiss to return. What is the point of that? Especially in a series that tries very hard to offer easy entry into episodes for new and casual viewers. This is a mess. And somehow - though consistently when compared to the series history - manages to waste all the great ingredients with which it started. With a heavy sigh, I'll give this a 6/10 - it looks good and passes the time effortlessly, but in the end only manages to leave a hole in the show. A hole they had to refill six months later, whether planned or not. For memorable examples of how to do this better, watch NCIS #2.23, "Twilight" and #5.18 & 19, "Judgment Day". Compared to them, this is only average at best.


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