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“The Perfect Storm,” Criminal Minds. I think I saw this on the news.

Folks, I apologize for getting so far behind. As it turns out, spending five hours boiling down a TV show becomes a daunting task. It’s also a serious investment in alcohol. But together we shall persevere. In the interest of getting caught up quickly, I have made a valiant attempt at being brief. Or. Well. Briefer than usual.

Suburbia. Random blonde lady checks the mail and receives a package from her daughter. Banter with dashing graying man regarding the speed at which technology is passing the blonde (Mary Clemensen) by, as she expected pictures and instead got a DVD. The letter says that daughter’s vacation is awesome. The DVD suggests otherwise!

BAU. JJ exposits that the DVD so upset gray-haired man that he had a heart attack and died while watching it; the DVD appears to be depicting a rape scene as she snaps the computer lid shut.

The knights are at the round table, discussing the video. Exposition: part of a series of rapes and murders that have been happening these past two years. The knights do the profiling thing. Blah de blah, offenders are playing to an audience, the torture is escalating, sadistic need to spread pain to the families of the victim as well as the victim herself. You know, the usual! The DVD plays and “Only The Good Die Young” is on the video’s soundtrack. It doesn’t take our heroes long to figure out that there are (at least) two people behind these attacks. Master and commander. Dom and sub. Tonight’s drinking game is a shot whenever a master/commander/dominant/submissive reference is made. And is it getting hot in here or is it just Morgan?

Credits.

Today’s framing quote, from Mark Twain: “Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.”

More psyche-probing. The tag team approach is about control, blackmail, and hot hot snuff smut. Garcia pops up via webcam to say that the victim (Laura Clemensen)’s body has been discovered. The torture period from kidnap to murder is getting shorter. It sucks to be Mrs. Clemensen, who lost her daughter and husband within days and for the same reason. The emotional gravitas is almost more than I can bear.

Cut to Greenaway and Hotchner interviewing said widow, who despite a few tears holds it together remarkably well. She wants some sentimental jewelry from the body, and then the agents launch into profiling the victim to find common links. Mrs. Clemensen cries about how this wasn’t supposed to happen, but all that really matters in this scene is that Greenaway is wearing the gun holster again and, rank hair notwithstanding, that shit is still sexy.

Under the bridge where Laura’s body was found, Gideon and Morgan show up to talk to police. The ring Mrs. Clemensen wanted isn’t on the body, leading the team to believe that it has become a treasure for the Unsubs to give to someone else, which is apparently arousing. Well, whatever. We don’t judge.

Greenaway and Hotchner join Reid back at the BAU, where he is decorating the office with charming photos of strangled young ladies. Better than those damned Successories posters. Anyway there have been other unsolved rape/murders, and the going theory is that the dominant half of the tag team let the pansy half kill some people. Probably seemed like a good idea at the time. Also, the Unsubs have mommy issues.

On the mean streets of Florida, a pretty blonde in a pink tank (Tiffany) jogs by an SUV. Delicious bait! She will probably die. Man in SUV asks for directions which Tiffany helpfully supplies, only to have her effort rewarded with being kidnapped. I hate when that happens.

BAU, exposition that the victim count is now at 7, the humiliating poses of the dead girls is deliberate, a ligature is used for the choking of the victims because at first they tried a more hands-on approach that was less successful, yadda yadda yadda. In a silly twist, the Unsubs expend more energy hiding the cars of the victims than the victims themselves.

Gideon and Police Chief pedeconference about the weather. TV Special Agents… they’re just like us! Greenaway holds court in a police briefing; sexual abuse cases are her specialty, but as the exposition continues each member of the BAU gets their say. The Unsubs complete each other! Like the D.C. snipers and the Columbine guys! TV, it’s like real life! It’s like a bizarre history lesson in sexual deviance. As Hotchner speaks he has what are basically 3-D hallucinations of scandalous Unsub behaviour. Buying beer is a gateway drug to videotaping the rape of nubile co-eds. It must be true, I saw it on TV. Anyway so the gist of it is this is the most “profiling” we’ve gotten on a show about profilers in ages and then JJ interrupts all “guys! TO THE POINT!” because Tiffany’s mom is on TV begging for her daughter’s return. With a half hour left to the episode, it could go either way. Flash to rape in progress.

Morgan is on the phone with Garcia, whispering sweet nothings about isolating rape sounds in audio overlay. On the car tip, it seems the victim’s cars are being stripped and sold for parts. Yep. This gets our heroes a name – Joseph Davin – an auto-body worker with a history of prison and deviance. Morgan and Gideon head off in the general direction of ball busting.

Tiffany’s mother is in the station with her DVD, which Greenaway manages to pry away without the mother having to see the contents.

Cut to inside a house where the TV’s news station is conveniently relaying information about the kidnappings and murders that is no doubt directly related to the man staring intently at the screen. At the door, Gideon knocks for Joseph Davin, and an older man in a wheelchair, presumably the guy’s father, responds with an exasperated “what did Joey do now?”

Joey walks in, one hand behind his back, clearly unnerved, before whipping out his gun all “I’m not going down for this, three strikes and I’m out emo emo emo” and Morgan, Gideon, and police dude all whip out their guns. Lots of screaming to put the weapon down ensues, but Joey does not comply and gets his ass shot. And by ass I mean right through the heart, more or less. Anyway that’s one dead lead.

Joey gets wheeled away while his dad is all “um, can this wait?” Silly rabbit. Interview first, grieving later. That’s how this works. Davin-dad breaks down while ruing that he tried to get Joey to live a straight-and-narrow life, but it just didn’t work out.

Morgan and Gideon go outside and exposit that the dominant half would have gone down in a blaze of glory, not a blaze of nerves. Survey says he’s the submissive. Gideon calls Garcia to do research, and Garcia answers all “this better be HELLA GOOD” before flying into a fit of nerves when she realizes that it is in fact Gideon on the other end. The upshot is that Joey’s prison cellmate was named Tony Canardo. Or, as it says on Garcia’s computer screen: Anthony Paul Canardo.

That’s ANTHONY PAUL CANARDO. ANTHONY… PAUL CANARDO.

Just, you know, if it sounds familiar.

Gideon throws Garcia a bone in the form of a compliment for her efforts in unearthing this name and address, and she glows. Even after he hangs up on her.

Under a palm tree, behind a chain link fence (hey I’m sure the set dressing is relevant to the scene! This is clearly your average auto-body shop) Greenaway and Hotchner approach the former employer of Joey Davin. The boss man sweats a lot while not mourning Joey’s passing at all. The agents show boss man a picture of “Tony Canardo,” and he responds to the effect that when Tony was around, Joey didn’t take his orders from boss man. For the thick-headed out there, they are setting up our dom as certified. You know, for now.

In the ghetto, Morgan and Gideon knock on the door of a house, and inside is a pixie-ish sandy blonde by name of Mrs. Amber Canardo. They break the news that Joey is dead, she says that Tony is trying to turn his life around, but the Tony + Joey combo could get dangerous and unpredictable. They ask innocent little Lady Canardo to ditch the place so that Tony can be spoken to privately, and Gideon asks the police officer for a ride out, leaving Morgan to supervise.

At the unit, Greenaway and Hotchner talk to Garcia, who is hunting for flaws in boss man’s alibis. Reid and Gideon are also in the office, and then Gideon is alerted to the fact that he has a visitor – a visitor in the form of a bruised, bloodied, and victimized Amber Canardo. She confesses that Tony has fallen off the wagon and when confronted with the news that the FBI was on the hunt, went ballistic. Reid notes that the ring around her finger looks like the one belonging to Laura Clemensen. She shakes and tosses it onto a table. Anyone out there suspicious yet? Show of hands please!

Elsewhere, an SUV pulls up and an angry looking gent (I’m going out on a limb and saying “Tony”) stomps out. From behind Morgan gets out of a car where he’d been sexily lying in wait. Morgan follows but while clearing one side of a path gets hit with a baseball bat from behind. “Big mistake.” Tony has anger management issues but Morgan beats the shit out of him. The important parts of this scene are the shots of the rippling muscles beneath Shemar Moore’s t-shirt, a delightful khaki article of 100% cotton which envelopes him like gossamer, grazing his luscious body like a…

…uh, loving thing. That grazes. Kisses. And… caresses? Rawr.

Hotchner stumbles onto the scene and I’m brought back to reality. Fuck you, Greg.

Tony gets cuffed and carried out as the agents search the house. There’s a DVD in the player just waiting to be watched. Video of Tiffany ensues. Cut to Tiffany elsewhere bound and crying for help.

Back at the office the agents are discusses how to deal with Tony’s omigod like so dominant personality, and guys? Remember the drinking game? Well… I am hammered. Just saying. Hotchner goes into the room with Tony and strokes his ego, but Tony passes the buck. Gideon, watching on a video feed, starts to get that look. The one he gets when he is thinking big thoughts. The look he gets when the pieces don’t quite fit. Meanwhile, Hotchner looks serious, Tony looks smirky, there’s looks all around.

The wheels turn and Gideon suggests putting Amber in the room with Tony as a method of undermining his raw and unbridled power. He goes out and lays it out for the lady – talk to Tony, break him, find out where Tiffany is, be a hero!

She does it. A “power struggle” between Tony and Amber ensues. She says that none of this would have happened if Joey hadn’t gotten in the way, and she presses him for the location of Tiffany – a storage unit, and only Joey’s dad has the key. There is meaningful communication of the retinal variety.

In another room Gideon is still thinking. Davin-dad is in a wheelchair. Was he involved at first and now a vicarious participant? Was it a threesome? THINK THINK THINK SOMETHING ISN’T RIGHT. Meanwhile, elsewhere JJ and Greenaway discuss what a sick and mommy-issue-sporting bastard Tony Canardo is. Greenaway thinks about it and questions how Tony can be the dominant one when he lacks a supportive family base? Geez I sure hope they are not insinuating that perhaps Tony is not the dominant one after all?!

The key is cut from the storage unit, agents barge in, and… nothing. Furniture. No Tiffany.

Back in interrogation, Tony is still a tough guy. Gideon and Reid review the tapes and decide that Tony is projecting bravado, and that Amber Canardo is not acting as scared as she should be. Hold on guys, there are seven minutes left of this episode and I predict that it will only take two or three more minutes for them to figure out what my smashed self ALREADY KNOWS.

CRIMINAL MINDS THIS IS WHY YOU MAKE ME DRINK.

Okay so Gideon and Reid are all “actually she doesn’t look repulsed by the victims and Tony is studying her and she doesn’t seem scared” and Garcia calls Greenaway and JJ having finally isolated audio from the DVD and not surprisingly it’s Amber’s voice on the other end and DO YOU HEAR WHAT I’M TELLING YOU THE PRINCE IS MARRYING THE SEA WITCH IN DISGUISE!!!

I mean… she done it. *throws confetti*

FINALLY Gideons runs out after Amber Canardo. Except she’s disappeared. Oops! Amber is the dominant one! SURPRISE THAT SURE UPSET YOUR GENDERED EXPECTATIONS OF HUNTER AND VICTIM, DIDN’T IT?!

I mean, it would have, if it hadn’t been broadcast so obviously long before the profilers figured it out. And if this episode weren’t a tedious retread of what is probably the most infamous crime duo in all of Canadian history.

So Gideon is all “hey Tony, surprise we know it’s your woman! Why you frontin, G?” And Tony is like “nothing will come between us, our love is eternal!” As Greenaway and Reid watch the exchange via video in another room, Garcia calls them and explains that as a teenager Amber was raped and beaten by her father and brother, but her mother called her a liar and didn’t protect her. See, so AMBER has mommy issues! According to Reid, 1 in 8 abusees become abusers and guess that Amber is?

Gideon starts to break Tony down with the typical barrage of it “it wasn’t you because you’re you, it was you because you were there, she used you man!” shit that always works on woebegone criminals. Tony cracks like the voice of an eleven year old boy singing the solo at the Christmas concert. There is a cabin!

The cabin in the wood. Stylish overhead sun-flare lighting as Morgan stalks sexily through the woods. Other people are there too, but who cares. They burst into the cabin as Amber is slapping Tiffany around all demonic like. As she’s being arrested, Amber spits that Tiffany will “never be the same.” Morgan comforts Tiffany as word is radioed back to the rest of the team that the case is wrapped. Back in Garcia’s lab, the DVD rape scene cuts to static as she rubs her brow. I say this not so much because it is important but because Garcia is awesome.

The Plane Scene O’ Denouement. The team pats themselves for giving closure to the families and saving Tiffany. Hotchner voices over the closing quote: “Philosopher Kahlil Gibran wrote, “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.””

Oh shit that’s deep.

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2 responses »

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