Criminal Minds (2005– )
7.6/10
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3 user

Surface Tension 

Reid has returned from Houston, where he was visiting his mother who is in a new facility on an experimental drug program. He is called back home from the office while the rest of the team ... See full summary »

Director:

Oz Scott

Writers:

Jeff Davis (created by), Bruce Zimmerman | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Damon Gupton ... Stephen Walker
Aisha Tyler ... Dr. Tara Lewis
Adam Rodriguez ... Luke Alvez
Paget Brewster ... Emily Prentiss
Jane Lynch ... Diana Reid
Joyce Guy Joyce Guy ... M.E. Joan Grayson
Eric Henry ... Bryce Jarvis
Beth Maitland ... Eleanor Parsons
Angela Robinson Witherspoon ... Cassie Campbell
Will Finley ... Mike Bollinger
Andy Cohen ... Kevin Hilliard
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Storyline

Reid has returned from Houston, where he was visiting his mother who is in a new facility on an experimental drug program. He is called back home from the office while the rest of the team heads off on their next case. It isn't until the team is in the air that they learn that Diana is no longer in the Houston facility, but that she is now living with Reid, as the trial drug was not having the intended effect. Reid had received professional advice that his mother should be in a facility both for her and his own good, but it may be news from a more caring rather than clinical voice which may carry more weight with him. Regardless, he makes himself available to the team, who are in the Tampa, Florida area where two individual deaths have occurred, both now considered murders, the two tied together by ink drawings on the inner arms of the victims, the second victim's whose has one more stroke of the pen than the first. The M.E. is able to determine that the markings were made with the ... Written by Huggo

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Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

1 February 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The aerial shot of Tampa, Florida near the beginning is actually Orlando, Florida, looking west south west. The lake in the center of the shot is Lake Eola. This isn't the first time Orlando has been used as a generic city in Florida. Criminal Minds: Future Perfect (2015) featured Orlando as St. Augustine. See more »

Goofs

The aerial shot of Tampa, Florida near the beginning is actually Orlando, Florida, looking west south west. The lake in the center of the shot is Lake Eola. This isn't the first time Orlando has been used as a generic city in Florida. Criminal Minds: Future Perfect featured Orlando as St. Augustine. See more »

Quotes

David Rossi: Huh, I wonder how Reid's doing
Jennifer Jareau: I know! He's been on my mind too
David Rossi: Ironic, isn't it?
Jennifer Jareau: What?
David Rossi: How eventually we become parents to our parents
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Connections

Featured in Criminal Minds: Spencer (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Amanda's Song
Performed by Jason Koiter
[Played at the end of the episode]
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User Reviews

 
Not that much tension here
10 June 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

In its prime (Seasons 1-5, with Season 4 to me being the best and most consistent season with a lot of classic episodes and even the weakest episodes being far from awful) 'Criminal Minds' was one of my favourite shows. From Season 6 it did become hit and miss, with the odd gem, but a lot of average episodes and some stinkers.

Season 12 so far has been nowhere near as bad as feared, all things considered with its significant changes and troubled behind the scenes. Nothing exceptional yet but no low-points either. While better than "Taboo" and "The Anti-Terror Squad", "Surface Tension" is one of the weaker episodes of the season so far. Not a low-point (none of the Season 12 episodes have reached that level yet), but "Surface Tension" is a long way from classic 'Criminal Minds' and as far as Season 12 goes thus far it's no "Elliot's Pond" or "Mirror Image".

One thing that immediately stands out is that Reid is back after being sorely missed in the previous two episodes. He is utilised brilliantly, even if his subplot with his mother takes up a little too much time of the episode. 'Criminal Minds' has always worked far better when there is an ideal balance of case and personal life, there is too much somewhat too much personal life and not enough case. With that being said, Reid's subplot is far more memorable than the case and is really quite wonderfully done, it was often very moving and tackled a very difficult subject with sensitivity and tact. Matthew Gray Gubler and Jane Lynch's (once again proving that she is as good in drama as she is in comedy) tour-De-force acting helps enormously.

Visually, the episode is very well shot and lit and is overall stylish, gritty, classy and atmospheric. The music is moody in the haunting and melancholic sense and fits well, without either enhancing or distracting from it. Direction is also good.

Acting across the board ranges from very good to great, Gubler and Lynch taking the acting honours. Eric Henry impresses too as Bryce.

Sadly, the case itself does bring "Surface Tension" down. It has far too much of an odd atmosphere and has a tendency to be very confused, raising a lot of questions that could have been much better answered. There is a complete lack of tension and suspense as well, and creepiness is sacrificed by too much weirdness going on. The unsub's motive is incredibly flimsy and one of the most confusing things about the episode.

While the team work cohesively and solve the case without baseless conclusion jumping or Garcia providing too conveniently the answers, one can't help thinking that they take too much of a back-seat. Rossi has the most screen time but some of the rest seem underused. Alvez this said has settled in nicely. This cannot be said for Walker who is still rather bland and doesn't gel yet. The script is good in Reid's subplot but patchy with the case.

In conclusion, loved Reid's subplot but the case left me underwhelmed. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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