The BAU heads south to investigate a fast-moving UnSub whose signature matches that of a serial killer from 30 years ago. Also, the team learns that someone is tracking their cases and replicating crimes the BAU is solving.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Willie Kestler
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Otis (as Stephan Duvall)
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Jane Sissler
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Sheriff Mitchell
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Dr. Frank Chapman
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Doris
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Floressa
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Brianna Wells

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Storyline

The BAU travels to the southeastern US where two similar murders of two very different victims - beyond both being involved with extreme religions - have happened 100 miles apart in the matter of days. Both victims were killed by being chiseled over the head, were in a submissive position, had urban wildlife hair residue in their system, and had wood residue in their back teeth (signifying that they were biting on a stick). And at each crime scene, there was an infestation of maggots inconsistent both with the location and the amount of decomposition, meaning that the unsub brought the maggots to the kill sites. When a third victim is discovered upon the BAU's arrival, they further learn from witnesses that the unsub is calling his victims by a name other than their own, and that he is being quite open about his activities. The BAU notices that many of the murders are reminiscent of the serial killings of Russell Smith, who killed eight prostitutes in the area over a twenty year ... Written by Huggo

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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12 December 2012 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Goofs

When Russell Smith dies, supposedly in 1988, the computer monitor that shows his heart rate is from the mid-to-late 1990s. See more »

Quotes

Brianna Wells: Need a menu?
Willie Kestler: No. But thanks for asking, Carol.
Brianna Wells: You've got the wrong gal. I'm Brianna.
Willie Kestler: I don't think so.
[shows a cut on his face]
Willie Kestler: Recognize me yet? I made it easy for you.
Brianna Wells: So just coffee, then?
Willie Kestler: The sign up there says I get a free dessert if it's my birthday.
Brianna Wells: And today happens to be your birthday?
Willie Kestler: Yes, ma'am.
[...]
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Not one of Season 8's worst, but one of its blandest
11 February 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As a fan of 'Criminal Minds', Season 8 has been a mixed bag while not as variable as Seasons 6 and 9 or as underwhelming as 11.

There are good episodes such as "All That Remains", "God Complex", "The Good Earth" and "The Lesson", and also some disappointing ones like "Magnificent Light", "Through the Looking Glass", "The Wheels on the Bus" and "The Replicator" (potentially good story arc, and a quite effective one for most of the season, that fizzles out badly which was a shame), not to mention a mostly decent "Zugzwang" before frustrating with its slap-in-the-face ending.

"Perennials" is nowhere near classic 'Criminal Minds', but it's not one of the worst episodes, it's not even one of the worst episodes of Season 8. It is, this said, one of Season 8's blandest episodes and ends up being average, being neither an episode that excited or frustrated me, instead leaving me indifferent.

Certainly there are good things, have yet to see a 'Criminal Minds' episode with no redeeming qualities, even the worst episodes. Have nothing to complain about with the production values, it's very well shot and lit and is overall stylish, gritty, classy and atmospheric. The music is moody in the haunting and melancholic sense and fits well, without either enhancing or distracting from it.

Intriguing ideas in "Perennials" too, particularly the connecting the birthdays and death days on to one another and the whole idea with the reincarnation. The team dynamic and little character moments that are such a huge part of the show's charm is mostly lacking but it has its moments, the standouts being the conversation between Reid and Blake about Reid's cancelled date at the beginning and then the nicely played if short Morgan and Garcia scene at the end. The cast do a good job with what they have, although the bland and sloppy writing is really beneath them.

Sadly, the case is bland. It does have a tendency to drag, has some over-explanatory repetitive moments that add to little and feel like padding, has a very long-winded explanation of what the unsub was up to and has very little tension and suspense. The profiling is badly lacking to the point of non-existence, there is far too much abrupt conclusion jumping and the too convenient over-reliance on Garcia giving them the answers from her computer. Plus it does take far too long for them to figure it all out.

Blake is at this point not a character that one can easily warm to, she is rather cold and dull, only really coming to life in her chemistry with Reid. Her dialogue is pretty bad here too, the dialogue in the scene with the medical examiner is weird and not in a good way. The unsub is not creepy or interesting enough to be memorable and is shown too much and too early.

On the whole, there is worse in the season and the show in general than "Perennials" but rather bland. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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