Though Rossi is sad because his favorite bar is closing, the team goes to Boston to solve a series of strangulations.

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Cast

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Tanner Johnson
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Ashley Fouladi
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Hannah Johnson
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Nick Wilson
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Jake Preston
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Colin Kirkland
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Scotty Delfino
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Helen
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Storyline

The BAU heads to Boston, Massachusetts where three men thus far have been found strangled to death in the downtown area. Each were lower middle class which generally rules out theft as the motive, and some sort of garrote was used in each strangulation. Other aspects lead the team to believe that the killings were not random but that the unsub probably didn't know each of the men personally. In interviewing family and friends of the victims, the team also learns that each victim was well liked despite having a major character flaw, those flaws which may be partly the motivation of the unsub in killing them. The team has not been able to identify the last person who would have seen the latest victim, Scotty Delfino, that person who would have been his latest one night stand. But when a fourth and fifth victim emerges, both who don't quite fit the profile, it is their indirect connection and that to Scotty Delfino that may lead the team to the identity of the unsub and the reason why he... Written by Huggo

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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6 November 2013 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the end of the episode, when Rossi, JJ, Garcia, and Reid are singing "Piano Man", Thomas Gibson taking out his smart phone and filming them was unscripted. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Spencer Reid: [closing quote] "The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them" - Frank Clark
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Soundtracks

As Time Goes By
Written by Herman Hupfeld (uncredited)
Performed by Frank Sinatra
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User Reviews

 
The team moments fare better than the case itself
18 January 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As said in my recent review for "What Happens in Mecklinburg", Season 9 is one of the weakest and most staggeringly uneven seasons of 'Criminal Minds'.

While there were great episodes such as "Gabby" and "The Caller" (two of the show's best child abduction episodes) and finished solidly with the two-parter finale "Angels"/"Demons", Season 9 also saw two of the show's biggest low-points in "The Black Queen" and "200" and the show's worst season premiere in "The Inspiration".

"Gatekeeper" fits in neither extreme of being among the season's best or worst, instead being an example a middling/just above average episode from personal opinion. Not a bad episode, but while the team chemistry and the team character moments are delightful, the case itself left me lukewarm.

'Criminal Minds' has always been a well made show. "Gatekeeper" is no exception, being made with style, atmosphere and class. The music suits the mood very well, not being intrusive or overly sappy but while it is not the sort of music necessarily that you remember for a long time after it still has presence in the episode.

Writing has many moments where it provokes thought, and as said the team chemistry is adorable (just love Reid, and who can't help love seeing Hotch smile? He should have done it more often) and the character moments delight. Standouts are the parts where Reid's intellectual genius is on display, leaving one in awe and even laughing out loud) and the very cleverly written and sweet, with a little tension, scene involving the labour. The karaoke ending could have been really forced and cringe-worthy, but while the singing wasn't good (karaoke singing very rarely is) it did bring the case to a refreshingly lighter end and it was just lovely to see the team together.

Rossi's subplot with the closing down of his favourite bar could have intruded and jarred too much, but was handled sincerely and with the right amount of balance with the case. The acting is very good from the regulars, Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler especially.

Unfortunately, wasn't too crazy about the case. It has its moments, the best scenes being the climax and when one character discovers the truth in a quite horrifying way, but there could have been more tension and suspense and less predictability, it also lacks the complexity and creepiness associated with 'Criminal Minds' at its very best. The only part that really has either tension or suspense is with that character discovering the truth, and the unsub's words in that scene are suitably ominous, but it is let down by a death scene that feels rushed and anti-climactic.

More could have been done with the unsub as well, with the motive there is effort to do something different but the unsub here just feels like a variant of other fairly similar previous unsubs, except not as interesting or as developed, also not as creepy or as threatening.

Overall, worth seeing for the character moments and the team bond but look elsewhere for a more compelling story and criminal. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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