Warning: This review contains spoilers from this episode of Criminal Minds as well as possible spoilers from the season itself.
“And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.” – Khalil Gibran (Spoken by Tara)
When they said that in tonight’s episode, the phrase “Til Death Do Us Part” will take on a whole new meaning, they weren’t lying. Before jumping into the case, they gave us a glace into the team’s progress with “The Dirty Dozen” – which was introduced in the premiere – and a Morgan scene where he was helping coach a little league team with his friend and also NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin. We see that Garcia is having a hard time dealing with not being able to figure out who these potential victims could be and Morgan does his best to comfort her by telling her that they will catch the bad guys behind this eventually. These are the Morgan / Garcia moments that I love.
Tara Lewis won some major points with me tonight with bringing up the problem of victim shaming and spoke about the stigma with mental illness. I can already tell she is going to be a favorite of mine. The team is brought to Savannah, Georgia when two woman are found murdered the night before their wedding. On their way there they are alerted that another woman by the name of Madison Mills has gone missing and realize they must act quickly if they want to have a chance at saving her.
Female unsubs are much less common on CM, so it was a big surprise when they revealed who was actually behind this. As soon as they show Dana Seavers it is clear that she is a little too involved in Ryan Becker who happens to be her sister’s (Nicole Seavers) boyfriend. The two were introduced early on while at work in their flower shop. Moments later that little bit turns to a lot when it shows her go down to the basement which she calls her “workshop” and hallucinates Ryan telling her that she must kill Madison because she was trying to interfere with their (Dana and Ryan’s) relationship. Her delusions also involve Ryan telling her that he is only with Nicole to get closer to her. Madison is found with a bridal sash around her head like the last victim, only this time the word slut was added across her forehead in red lipstick, leading them to believe that the unsub is a woman.
Dana’s obsession with Ryan continues to spiral as the team work the profile, meanwhile Tara is dodging calls from Douglas (her fiancé). When confronted by Morgan for not wearing her engagement ring to make sure things are alright, she mentions her concern about women becoming flirtier with engaged men. This gives them the idea that this could be the case with the unsub.
Nicole doesn’t start to notice just how delusional Dana is until after Ryan invites the two of them out to a special dinner where he proposes to Nicole. Dana confronts her sister about being engaged to Ryan and then hits her over the head with a shovel after claiming that Ryan was hers. Thankfully, Garcia finds Nicole through a social media post where she announced her engagement, and they are able to piece it together and get there just in time to save Nicole by playing into Dana’s delusions.
A rundown: This episode was directed by the cast’s very own Joe Mantegna (who did wonderful as always), and was also the first episode from one of our new writers Karen Maser! Which did cause some concern, but it turned out perfectly fine. I am excited to see more from her. It was nice to see her add in a scene at the end with the whole team together telling stories and capture their dynamics so well. Also, did you hear that beautiful song playing in the background at the end of the “wedding” scene? That was “There He Goes” by Gia Mantegna.
“I hold it true, whate’er befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most; ‘Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all.” – Alfred Tennyson (Spoken by Rossi)