The authorities believed that two Virginia based cases of missing boys, Adam Morrissey and Jimmy Bennett, from two years ago were unrelated, until their bloodied clothes, those in which they... Read allThe authorities believed that two Virginia based cases of missing boys, Adam Morrissey and Jimmy Bennett, from two years ago were unrelated, until their bloodied clothes, those in which they were last seen, had just arrived in one intercepted package at Fletcham Correctional Cent... Read allThe authorities believed that two Virginia based cases of missing boys, Adam Morrissey and Jimmy Bennett, from two years ago were unrelated, until their bloodied clothes, those in which they were last seen, had just arrived in one intercepted package at Fletcham Correctional Center in Troy, Virginia. The addressee of that package is Antonia Slade, a serial killer of y... Read all
Along with "Entropy", "The Job", "Hostage" and "The Witness", "Devil's Backbone" is one of the season's top 5 best episodes. That is saying a lot when most of it has been average at best and poor when at its worst, with particularly bad episodes being "Till Death Do Us Part", "The Bond", "Future Perfect", "Awake", "Inner Beauty", "Internal Affairs", "Outlaw" and "Drive".
The only thing about "Devil's Backbone" that could have been done better was explaining the significance of why Tara Lewis and Antonia were speaking to German at one point, that was very vague and even to someone who studies and speaks German was the one confusing element of the story.
However, as ever "Devil's Backbone" is a slick and stylish episode with a wonderful ominous and gritty atmosphere evoked. The music is appropriately moody, in both the haunting and melancholic sense and the direction is quick-paced yet sympathetic.
Writing is some of the most tightly structured, thought-provoking and tense of the season or of any post-Season 6 episode, the interrogations with the individual team members and Antonia being wonderfully twisted and illuminating. Despite Antonia's blatant attempts to break them, one has to admire them for sticking to their guns and focusing directly on the case. Reid's interrogation with Wilber was intense too, and to me Reid struggling with Morgan no longer being there was understandable and plausible considering that of the BAU members it was Morgan who looked out for him the most and was particularly protective. The team function so well and work delightfully together, and after being sorely lacking for most of the season classic 'Criminal Minds' profiling is back.
Loved the story, it had many twists and twists, lots of tension and suspense yet was very easy to follow, the more psychological focus rather than the horror-story-like ones of many latter season episodes was appreciated and done brilliantly. Antonia is one of the season's creepiest and meatiest supporting characters, portrayed superlatively by Frances Fisher, while the unsub is one shrouded in mystery done very effectively yet it's Antonia that's the character that one really hates.
In fact, all the acting is very good, even the usual Achilles Heel Aisha Tyler whose Tara Lewis actually fits well here and proves herself useful (the German-speaking exchange being the sole false note).
Overall, unexpectedly great episode and after being let down for so much of the season this was refreshing. 9/10 Bethany Cox
- Mar 4, 2017