Criminal Minds Episode 5-3 Review

This episode had a lot in it, so let’s get going.

The episode begins with a women who appears to be getting home from the grocery store. She’s on her cell phone yelling to someone who we can presume is a boyfriend or husband. She goes to turn the lights on in her house, but they won’t go on. She yells to a man named Ben, and when she thinks she hears something goes to find him. She finds him alright, but bound and tied to a chair; a bullet to his throat and heart. A man then attacks this women from behind and bangs her head against the wall. She gains consciousness long enough to hear a sawing sound and to see the man cutting off Ben’s hand.

We then cut to a scene showing a young boy on a swing in a park, and a man standing in front of a car with what is obviously a camera in the windshield. At this point, I am failing to see how these two people could be related, but then we see Hotch watching this little boy and find out that it’s Jack. Today is his birthday, and the U.S. Marshalls were able to work something out so that Hotch could at least see his son on his birthday. We find out that they are going to have to move Haley and Jack to a safe house because Haley has made several phone calls to her mother, and they can’t risk the two of them being put in any more danger.

Rossi approaches Hotch regarding their present case, and requests that he stay behind because of the fact that the crime scene is in his hometown of Commack, Long Island. Hotch says that normally he would oblige the request but says he just found out something and that Rossi will have to come. He shows a mysterious piece of paper to Rossi, who then nods in agreement. Turns out Reid wasn’t actually cleared by the doctors to fly yet – even though he told the team he was – and must now stay behind with Garcia until he can fly again. The team heads to Long Island where they learn the victim is Ben Vanderwaal and the women who has been taken is his wife Heather. At the crime scene, they discover voids in the victim’s blood pool that appears to be from a camera tripod. Prentiss points out that sexual sadists especially tend to document the torture of their victims as some sort of sexual escapism.

The team receives a call that Heather Vanderwaal has just been spotted wandering around the neighborhood and is now in the hospital. JJ heads over there to talk to the victim’s wife. Mrs. Vanderwaal says how she saw the man sawing off Ben’s hand but was never able to get a look at her face because she was on the floor. She also says that she recently found a naked picture of her daughter Allison on Ben’s phone (Ben was Allison’s stepdad). She said that when she asked Ben about it, he said that Allison had accidentally sent it to him and had meant to send it to someone else.

Meanwhile, Morgan and Rossi head to the coroner’s office to examine the body. The lack of gunshot residue on each of the bullet wounds lead to Rossi to believe that the killer used what is called a zip gun. It can be made out of pretty much anything that can fit a bullet (i.e. a lead pipe, a child’s toy, etc.) and obvioulsy does not leave the gunshot residue that a normal gun would. Rossi then tells Morgan that he is going to see an old contact that may be able to help them catch this guy. When Morgan “do I want to know?” Rossi just nods his head no. There is still some mystery to Rossi’s past that we don’t know.

This old contact of Rossi’s is located in what appears to be an abandoned restaurant, but looks vaguely like a mob joint. A man sitting at the bar pats Rossi down and finds his gun. A man named Ray then comes out to meet him. This man knows exactly who Rossi is, and even goes as far as saying that it had been 33 years since they had seen eachother. Still ambiguous as to who Ray is and how he knows him, Rossi asks for a favor in helping with their investigation. He shows Ray a crime scene photo of Ben. Ray tells him that there is only one guy who could be that specific: a man he called “Basola.”

The team learns that all related crimes have dealt with people who had been involved in crimes against children. As a result, Heather Vanderwaal’s daughter Allison is brought in for questioning. She denies any sort of a “relationship” with her stepfather but admits to sending him the naked picture of herself. She says she told her therapist about everything that was going on, but that he seemed to just look at her as if she were an arrogant little girl who was craving attention. When the team questions her therapist, he claims he reported the sexual abuse to the police but they did nothing.

Ray then contacts Rossi and tells him that he can deliver Basola tonight but that it is extremely important that he not know the feds are involved or he will never agree to it. Hotch and Rossi plan a stake-out in order to catch Basola. After waiting for a while, Rossi sees two flashes of light in the restaurant (camera flashes perhaps?) and the team rushes in only to find Ray murdered. They all seem very confused as to how he could have gotten in without being detected since they had the entire place surrounded, therefore leaving the them to now work with the assumption that they are dealing with two un-subs instead of one. We then see a man on the phone talking to someone else and telling them to pay close attention to a man named Dan Patton.

After Garcia and Reid do some research, the team finally has a suspect. Unfortunately for them, he is a highly respected member of the community. The man is Judge Schuller and coincidentally enough, he is the judge who precided over all three of the cases involving each of the victims. Schuller’s wife Emma was recently killed in a car accident by a drunk driver and he had taken a leave of absence from the bench 6 months ago citing health concerns; ironically when all of the murders began taking place. As Rossi is questioning the judge, he makes it very apparent that he knows a lot about Emma. This aggrevates the judge and causes him to admit that he was involved in the murders – even saying He says he was tired of seeing the judicial system failed and so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Trying to get the judge to give away the name of his final target, Rossi tells him that he had an affair with his wife Emma. He says he knew that she was married and didn’t care. Unfortunately for the team, they are unable to get Dan Patton’s name out of Judge Schuller before his accomplish had broken into Patton’s house and smashed his head in with a baseball bat. Recalling that the judge said there were two names left on his list, they determine that the judge’s plan was to have his accomplice kill him as the final task. As the team is transporting the judge from the police station to jail, gunshots are fired and the judge is murdered.

On the flight back home, Rossi tells Hotch the truth about his relationship with Emma. They had met when they were 12 years old. He never actually slept with her (only said that to get under Schuller’s skin), but he did love her very much. In fact, he tells Hotch that he regrets getting so caught up in the chase and the hunt that the job entailed that he never married Emma, even though he always wanted to. He then reminds Hotch that he still has a family, and although Haley and Jack aren’t with him right now they will be once the team catches Foyet. Rossi says Hotch needs to remember that he still has a family and that should be what he fights for.

The final scene of the episode shows the hitman that Judge Schuller had hired walking to his car after what appears to be a very expensive golf excursion at a country club. The man that worked for Ray then shows up and shoots him several times, leaving him to die in payment for killing his “boss.”

What did you guys think of this episode? Does it change the feelings you had about Rossi once you found out he had an affair with a married women? How do you think this case will affect him the rest of the season?

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