Criminal Minds: Season 6, Episode 17

Valhalla (2 Mar. 2011)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 474 users  
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When a series of killings occur on the BAU's home turf, Prentiss realizes that Ian Doyle is responsible.

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Title: Valhalla (02 Mar 2011)

Valhalla (02 Mar 2011) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Lex Dreyer
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Andy McPhee ...
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Storyline

Doyle finally makes direct contact with Prentiss, telling her that he will eventually kill her, but in the process, she is not to involve her BAU colleagues. Meanwhile, the BAU investigate two DC area house fires that occurred on the same evening. Both seem suspicious - one looking to be a murder/suicide, the other an accidental gas leak explosion - especially as they seem to be under-reported in the media. Upon further investigation, the suicide was not so (that person also murdered). The only seeming connection between the two sets of victims is a European background. When Morgan and Prentiss investigate a common contact telephone number between the two families, they are ambushed, and manage to kill one of their ambushers. It is then that Prentiss not only suspects but truly believes this is the work of Doyle. As the BAU further investigate, which includes why the one news story of the fires was pulled from its online posting, they do find a connection to Doyle. Through it all, ... Written by Huggo

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2 March 2011 (USA)  »

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The subway cars shown in the Washington DC Metro system are different from the ones that the Metro system actually uses. See more »

Quotes

Penelope Garcia: Are you okay?
Emily Prentiss: Yeah, I'm good.
Penelope Garcia: I'm not a profiler, but you...
Emily Prentiss: Don't start... I'm sorry. I'm gonna be all right.
Penelope Garcia: Okay. I'm just really worried about you. The flu is going around. Are you pregs?
Emily Prentiss: [smiles weakly] No. No, I'm just... I'm not sleeping. I'm having this nightmare. It's a recurring nightmare. There's a hill, and there's a little girl on top of the hill. She's like six years old, dark hair. And she's just dancing in the sun. But somehow I know that she's waiting for me, so I start to walk ...
[...]
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The Art of Redemption
29 December 2011 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

I have to praise this episode. Over the past seasons, I've been very *critical* of Criminal Minds because of its un-evenness. There are gems, but there are also turkeys. This applies to almost every series ever made (The Wire being *one* notable exception). However, continuity and believability seem to be of a lesser and lesser concern for the show-runners of Criminal Minds as time goes by. But this latest mini-arc that centers on Prentiss goes a long way to redeem Criminal Minds' credibility and has already almost made me forget the mess that was The Reaper arc. Almost.

Though we are not yet at the climax, this episode stands out because it is a Format Breaker. Yes, there is a killer of the week, but it's not an isolated case and the way it connects to the big picture is handled really well. Criminal Minds has rarely been this captivating, their opponent so compelling. We get new information and twists at a steady feed, plus genuine shocks, the biggest of which is pretty hard to see coming. From script to the final product, all is great. There is even a firefight that is reminiscent of Michael Mann's classic Heat, and, unlike in most other cases that recall Heat, this firefight does not come across as a botched homage or imitation.

So why not more than an 8/10? Well, the story hasn't climaxed yet and there really is nothing *exceptional* here, "only" solid craftsmanship. Also, the whole "the Secret Past of Emily Prentiss" idea is still Retconning, no matter how well done. And master storytellers do not resort to Retconning - they plan everything *in advance*. Yes, in American TV this sadly often leads to potential left unrealized as shows planned to run 3 to 5 years are canceled after Season 1 (see Invasion, FlashForward, The Event, etc.)... but *the fact* remains. That being said, one cannot wait for the climax episode.


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