1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Not bad, but for a season opener it was disappointing
TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
2 August 2016
'Criminal Minds' at its best was and still is one of my favourites.
"The Silencer" is nowhere near one of the best episodes, but there has
been far worse (especially from the misfires from Season 11), and this
is including from Season 8.
"The Silencer's" biggest issue is the character of Alex Blake.
Admittedly she is one of the better Prentiss replacements (at least
she's not as dull or out of place as Callaghan or Lewis) and the
chemistry between her and Reid is enjoyable as is her tension with
Strauss (who is as cold and uninteresting as ever). However she
generally doesn't fit with the rest of the team, her personality at
this point of her two season stint is not easy to be engaged in and she
just seems disconnected with everything around her. Jeanne Tripplehorn
does her best with what she has, which is not much.
What's more, that there is too much prominence on her hurts the
episode, especially when it means that there is not enough of some of
the BAU. For example Garcia is still a ray of sunshine when she appears
but she is underused, but worse Rossi who is practically invisible. The
case itself also evoked a mixed reaction. There are some tense and
suspenseful moments, with a very well staged crash and escape scene
that saw everybody doing wonders with a small space, but the unsub's
story does feel second fiddle to the introduction of Blake which makes
for some draggy stretches and parts that could have been explored a
touch more. It is a shame because it is a pretty good and atmospheric
case that should have been better balanced out and the unsub is both
creepy and one that one feels sorry for.
Production values however are very high, with the usual atmospheric
stylishness and audaciousness, while the music is haunting and
melancholic. The dialogue is thought-provoking and mostly tight, with a
nice dynamic between the BAU team, while the direction is as solid as
ever and there are some great moments with the story that one wishes
that that quality was contained consistently, as well as some terrific
use of profiling and procedural aspects (always a huge part of the
appeal of 'Criminal Minds'). There is some very effective
fore-shadowing of the season's on-going story arc towards the end,
which makes one sad that such potential fizzled out so badly at the end
of the season.
Acting is very good from all the regular cast members, and the unsub is
chillingly and poignantly played.
In summary, a somewhat disappointing season opener but not a bad
episode. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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