Criminal Minds – Episode 5-5 Review

This case brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “robbing the cradle.”

The episode begins with a women in tears as she gives birth to her baby. What is unusual about this birth is that she is locked in a cage in what appears to be a basement of some sort. Shortly after giving birth, a man descends down the stairs and takes the baby from her and says, “It’s a girl.” Not long after we learn, this woman is found dead. Back at the BAU, JJ and Hotch are going over a stack of case files. Hotch finally tells JJ to go home to her son and when he returns to his office, Chief Strauss is there. She tells Hotch to shut the door and that they need to talk. On her way out of the office, JJ notices what seems like an intense interaction between the two. She asks Hotch if he is alright and he says he’s fine. That next morning, as he is walking into the office, Morgan receives about half a dozen emails from Hotch on his phone. When he asks Reid what they are about, he finds out that he’s the only one who received them.

Turns out the murder of our mom in the beginning of the episode was not the first of its kind. All of the past victims have been women between the ages of 16 and 19, each with blond hair. Because of the state these women were in when they died, it is also believed that the suspect kept them for about 2 years before killing them after they gave birth. Morgan, Hotch, and Rossi go to visit the coroner’s office to examine each of the victims. After reading the autopsy reports and speaking with the coroner himself, they determine that the unsub was cleaning these women of their alcohol and drug addictions before getting them pregnant. And once they were pregnant, he was giving them prenatal vitamins to make sure the baby was healthy. This is not normal for your typical sexual sadist – leading the team to believe there is something more than they think.

The team decides to try to get DNA off of the first victim hoping that they might be able to match that with a child from local adoption agencies. They bring in her parents to ask permission to dig up their daughter’s body and JJ explains that they believe she may have had a child while she was held captive. Meanwhile, Garcia has discovered that there is an entire black market dedicated to the buying and selling of children, a motive the team now decides to pursue. She also discovers that blond-haired and blue-eyed babies, regardless of sex, bring in the most money. This now ties the victims even closer together since they all had blond hair and blue eyes. Hotch asks Morgan to write a preliminary profile, even though they don’t have enough information to begin doing that. Morgan seems a little irritated and questions why Hotch is having him do this, but agrees anyway. Rossi then asks Hotch how he doing and Hotch responds that he’s “dealing with it.”

We next see a young man bringing who appears to be his girlfriend to a drug dealer. Once they arrive, a man places a plastic bag over her head until she is unconscious. The young man asks if she is okay, while the kidnapper (who we assume to be our suspect) pays him a large sum of money and says she’s perfect. Back at the BAU, Hotch tells Morgan that he completely disagrees with the preliminary profile he put together. Morgan insists that he did the best he could given the fact that he was asked to put a profile together before there was enough information. This causes some tension between the two of them but Morgan is still respectful of the fact that Hotch is his superior. The team locates one of the children from the first victim in Arizona. It is finally realized that this is why they were so unsuccessful at first. The suspect was killing women in New Mexico but was dropping their babies off at churches and hospitals in Arizona.

The team soon learns that this is not just a one man job. They figure that they are dealing with a couple working together. The man is raping and killing the women, while the wife is taking care of the women during their pregnancies and keeping the babies. After discovering that they are keeping the boys and getting rid of the girls, the team decides to head to Phoenix, AZ. Rossi goes to talk to a local doctor who is able to determine that the drugs in each of these women were not prenatal vitamins, but a cocktail of other medications that have been known to help fertility. Through some more investigation, Rossi discovers that the medications she has been giving these women are the medications she was prescribed for breast cancer.

Meanwhile, we see two new girls in the cage and one is about to give birth. The one in labor tells the other that this is not her first time. She had a little boy not too long ago but he never made it. At this point, she says “they let you live if you have a boy – even if you miscarry or he doesn’t make it.” Not long after she gives birth, the couple comes downstairs to take the baby. When they find out it’s a boy they take him from his natural mother as she sobs.

Once again, Hotch is giving Morgan tasks to do that he has never been asked to do before; a lot of which include data entry and report writing. When he confronts Hotch about these ridiculous tasks, a heated discussion ensues between the two once again.

The team finally locates the couple’s home and plans an invasion but insists that Prentiss and JJ go in first. Hotch says that if there are children in the home, they are more likely to trust a female presence than a male. As the team goes in, JJ discovers one little boy on the couch watching tv. She gets him to come outside with her while the rest of the team apprehends the husband. Morgan and Hotch continue on to the nursery where they find the wife sitting with the baby boy in a rocking chair. Morgan is able to convince her that she is not going to be the mother she wants to be because she has given all her medications to the women they have kidnapped, which means she is going to die soon. Eventually the woman gives the baby to Morgan. JJ then learns that the little boy who they rescued from the house belonged to the first victim Monica. As a result, the boy goes to live her parents who are the closest living relatives.

Back at the office, Morgan and Hotch finally have it out if you will. Hotch tells Morgan that Chief Strauss is concerned about his ability to lead the team since he was attacked by Foyet. He says that he needs to resign as unit chief before he is fired and someone from the outside is brought in to lead the team. This is where he says that he wants Morgan to take over as unit chief. Hotch will still be a part of the team, but his ability to lead has come into question numerous times since being stabbed. Reluctantly, Morgan agrees to take the job but only under the condition that Hotch takes over again once they catch Foyet. To this, Hotch agrees.