A man known to have killed four women in hotel rooms in Central Florida escapes before being arrested and has abducted another woman.
The team goes to Sarasota to BAU headquarters there, and sets up shop. Elle and Derek wind up driving north to Georgia after another killing takes place with the same MO. Gideon's unit, with Dr. Reid continuing to spout everything he knows about this type of killer, figures if they could find out exactly why he drowns all is victims, that would give them enough clues to where he is and liable to strike next.
I thought was a very episode, and built up the suspense very slowly to an extremely dramatic ending (although a bit overdone.)
The killer was a master of disguises and presented a formidable challenge.
One of my favourites from Season 1 that's for sure. Was not expecting it to work so well with the unsub's identity being known from the beginning, when so much of the appeal of 'Criminal Minds' is figuring it out eventually with the profiling.
However, unlike a lot of the latter season episodes (especially Season 11's), this decision actually works really well. The profiling is really interesting here as is the pathology and delving into the criminal's mind (which basically is what the show is all about, something that Seasons 1-5 understood and Season 11 especially missed the point of).
The unsub is also one of the creepiest and most formidable of the season, not quite as much as Karl Arnold who is in a class of himself when it comes to Season 1 unsubs, but this one is definitely memorable. Not everybody where a 'Criminal Minds' unsub is that much of a master of disguises. Another part of 'Criminal Minds' appeal is the chemistry in the team and their little moments. "Charm and Harm" does a wonderful job with that too, Reid and Gideon work surprisingly well together for two so very different but both intuitive personalities and Garcia's double entendres induce a few good giggles without feeling out of place.
"Charm and Harm's" story is incredibly tense and suspenseful. Not just the unsub himself but also the almost frightening scenes between him and his latest victim and the team rushing constantly to get one step ahead of him which really makes one bite their nails. Stylishly made, tautly directed, deliberately but also never dully paced (allowing the palpable suspense to increasingly mount up) paced and hauntingly scored, "Charm and Harm" as ever is a well made episode.
Plus a brilliantly written episode too, where everything feels relevant and nothing feels padded or like filler. Who also cannot help loving Reid's hilarious talking about corn kernels. All the acting is terrific, and it was great to see Robert Pine again.
All in all, phenomenal and one of the season's best. 10/10 Bethany Cox
The team have to track down a killer who drowns his victims - he's on the move and the killings are getting less organised and more random. The team split up with Elle and Morgan zipping around Carolina and Georgia by plane and car, while Gideon, Reid and Hotchner talk to the man's father and try to figure out what motivates him. Problem with this episode is the team have the killer's name at the start and their profile doesn't actually help them track him down. It is a waste of screen time to have Gideon trying to pin down why the killer drowns his victims. It just doesn't help in the end, and it comes down to just good ol' leg work. Elle and Morgan's road trip is just makes the whole thing feel rushed and chaotic. Not one of the best episodes by a long shot.