The team is still adjusting to the loss of JJ from the unit, she who was transferred to the Department of Defense against her own wishes. The BAU's next case takes them to Bristol, Virginia, where young blond women are abducted from highly public locations. They are tortured and sodomized before being murdered by electrocution, their bodies dumped in a common location. They were forced to telephone a loved one to tell them of their impending death. This case is reminiscent of a sixteen year old cold case that Rossi worked on, the unsub of the cold case nicknamed the Butcher, who killed over a ten year period in the Bristol area. The primary difference between this new case and that of the Butcher is that the Butcher's victims were forced to say in their telephone calls that they enjoyed it. The BAU believe these new killings are the work of copycats, as they know there are two unsubs. Two of the major reasons they believe so is that the Butcher's profile had him as a narcissist who ...Written by
"Remembrance of Things Past" is a common English title for 'À la recherche du temps perdu', a novel in seven volumes by Marcel Proust, written between 1909 and 1922. A more literal translation is 'In Search of Lost Time'. See more »
While Morgan and Prentiss are reviewing a surveillance video on a mobile device, the orientation of the device changes between close up and zoomed out shots. See more »
Seventeen years ago he sounded like background noise, but when I digitized them, you could hear every word.
Yes, she did. She's dead.
Dr. Spencer Reid:
It's stunningly creepy.
I never caught The Butcher, but I caught his voice.
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While it is not a perfect episode, "Remembrance of Things Past" is one of the best of a very hit and miss season. It did do a good job working around the departure of JJ and AJ Cook's firing, with a touching nod from Garcia with the nametag, showing that the team were feeling her absence as much as we were.
The only problem with "Remembrance of Things Past" is the portrayal of Alzheimers Disease itself, speaking as somebody who knew someone who suffered from it for many years and died a few years from complications of this terrible disease. Such a great concept for an episode, that is spoilt by the inconsistent and confused way Alzheimers is portrayed (such as with the short-term memory and asking for food), which suggests a lack of, or sloppiness of, research. Another problem is Morgan and Ellie's bond being far too unrealistically close.
A shame really, because the rest of "Remembrance of Things Past" is very good. The relationship between the killer father and son is both terrifying and sad, and while somewhat too alert in places for a victim of Alzheimers, that doesn't stop Daniel J Travanti from giving an otherwise genuinely frightening performance. Josh Braaten is up to his level too, although Colby is the more able of the two Travanti's character scares more as he was the one responsible for the earlier murders and was the instigator of the newer ones.
The case itself, again a personal case for Rossi, is like this relationship, horrifying and affecting, with the realisation of the truth being a genuine shock when it first comes after being convinced it was something else entirely. The MOs for the murders and crimes are spine-chilling, and there is more than enough of what makes 'Criminal Minds' such a great show when at its best (profiling, psychology of the criminal's mind, pathology). The final scene between Rossi and "The Butcher" is just terrific.
Production values once again are very high quality-wise, and the music achieves the right balance of haunting and melancholic without being intrusive and over the top. The script is thought-provoking and tightly and logically structured, while the direction is solid, pacing never rushes or drags and the acting from all the regular actors (especially Joe Mantegna) is very good and even more so from Travanti and Braaten.
Overall, very good episode and with a couple of tweaks, with better research and subtracting a subplot that didn't need to be there, it would have been even better. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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