When a spree killing begins in a small Texas town, Reid's identification with the killer may endanger the girl with him, and cause Reid to put his own life in jeopardy.When a spree killing begins in a small Texas town, Reid's identification with the killer may endanger the girl with him, and cause Reid to put his own life in jeopardy.When a spree killing begins in a small Texas town, Reid's identification with the killer may endanger the girl with him, and cause Reid to put his own life in jeopardy.
What immediately stands out is the brilliant character development of Reid. He always was one of the show's best characters, both in development and personality, and "Elephant's Memory" sees one truly relating to him here.
Being mercilessly bullied in school (still think about it every day, and people really do under-estimate how bullying badly dents confidence and damages you, leaving me with severe anxiety and self-doubt which has contributed towards health problems), for being different from the rest- in a school where anybody with layered/wavy hair, a posh Southern accent, was autistic (Aspegers Syndrome, with learning difficulties and awkward social interaction) and who performed and listened to classical music and opera was not considered normal-, the character development of Reid and his situation and feelings genuinely resonated with me.
Also loved his very touching chemistry with Morgan, Morgan's more empathetic, sympathetic and protective big brother attitude being a very welcome change from his tough guy personality. Particularly strong is a scene where Reid opens up, which must have been incredibly hard for him but took immense courage on his part, ended up admiring him even more and reminded me of my opening up of my health problems and feelings on prejudice directed towards me earlier this year.
The scene at the end with Hotch was similarly great, Hotch showing both his serious boss side but also a caring friend side. The unsub is one that one actually feels genuinely sorry for, after seeing unsubs who are irredeemably evil or frightening or in later seasons poorly developed or ones that you're meant to be sympathetic towards but their crimes are just too cruel to make that happen.
On top of that, "Elephant's Memory" is beautifully made and shot with atmosphere, style and class, while the music is a perfect fit, the script is taut, tense and poignant and the story has great suspense and is genuinely emotional. The acting is very good from all involved, with Matthew Gray Gubler being absolutely outstanding here and giving one of his best performances on the show (and he has always been a high point). Great to see Michael Ironside too, though his role is small.
All in all, wonderful, emotional and remarkably relatable episode and shows Season 3 and 'Criminal Minds' in general at its best. 10/10 Bethany Cox
- Aug 24, 2016