"Criminal Minds" Empty Planet (TV Episode 2006) Poster

(TV Series)

(2006)

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8/10
'Criminal Minds' brings literature into life
TheLittleSongbird20 January 2017
"Empty Planet" is not among the best episodes of Season 2, like "Profiler, Profiled", "Revelations", "The Fisher King Part II", "North Mammon" and "The Boogeyman". It's hardly the worst though, being better than "Aftermath" and especially "Honor Among Thieves" (somewhat of the odd one out in a strong season).

It isn't perfect by all means. Was expecting a much better developed and interesting unsub, 'Criminal Minds' have some great unsubs and often do a great job fleshing them out, making us truly hate them or feel sorry for them. Didn't really feel either of those with this unsub, who came over more bland than threatening and too one-dimensional and shallow. The beginning doesn't immediately draw one in either and feels on the strange and lacking in momentum side.

As always (with a few exceptions like "The Thirteenth Step", "Hopeless" and "The Fight") with 'Criminal Minds', "Empty Planet" looks great, being beautifully shot and made with a lot of style and atmosphere. The music is suitably haunting and melancholic.

The script is intelligent and thought-provoking, while once the momentum gets going the story is very absorbing and makes the most of an initially odd but actually fascinating and beautifully done concept of bringing literature into life. Particularly good are the latter scenes, with an edge of your seat and moving scene with Morgan and Dr Brazier as they try and save her life and the revenge/hostage parts being done with a lot of suspense.

Regarding the team, they are not as warm in chemistry as they usually are (Morgan and Garcia excepted), but are hardly disconnected. They also serve their purpose well in the story and work great together as a team. While there could have been more little character moments and such, the last scene on the jet in particular between Gideon and Morgan is beautifully done.

All the acting is strong, lead and supporting. All in all, a very nicely done if not quite great episode. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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8/10
Unrealistic about birth mothers and memory
rachel-garber194712 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Of course, I realize that the plot had to progress the way it did, however, I found it strange that the character was convinced that the woman he was convinced was his mother, would know what the looked like after so many years. As I recall, she only saw him for a short period of time before she had to turn him over to the people who would arrange his adoption. He seems seriously delusional if he thinks she would recognize the man in the baby she gave up many years earlier. He was so caught up in his delusion that he was her child, he even seemed to reject that she had a baby girl. Furthermore, given the age of the "mother" I seem to recall that adoptions at that time were closed, so I wondered how he found out that she was his "mother" But I guess that is artistic license for you. I was very touched by the scenes when Morgan stayed with the woman whose life was threatened when it turned it turned out that there was a bomb under her car. Gideon nailed it when he said Derek put his life on the line. Just the wrong move could have cost him and the woman's life.
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