Saturday, January 24, 2015

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 10 - 1012. Anonymous - Review

Y'all didn't think I had nothing to say about this episode, did you? Honestly?? Hehehehe... My thanks once again to the wonderful CMRT staff that asked me to guest review.

"Hey Rockie! Wanna review the episode that Joe is directing?" My answer was a resounding affirmative. And I even knew that Bruce Zimmerman was doing the teleplay this time. I believe this is my third reviewing one of Bruce's scripted works. He doesn't throw me for a loop anymore.

So let's get this party started!

The opening was an eye catcher. It was obvious the guy driving and the injured lady were not related. So you ask yourself WTH is going on with that; I did. A random guy takes a woman from an accident scene and drives her to the hospital, imploring her to hang on. OK; that's good. Bruce is playing with us.

Yet, it is Bruce. As I've said before, Bruce is a sneaky and cerebral writer. He wants to make fans think. And he's got that methodology down pat. But part of that methodology is he has to show the unsub right away. The deities help us all if he ever wrote a Criminal Minds episode that didn't do that. It would be off the charts crazy good. But alas, he didn't. Again.

Here's what caught my attention next: the guy gets out of the car, helps the woman up against a tree, and then pulls out a gun and shoots the injured woman. Now I'm totally confused.

Dissolve into the BAU with Morgan in Rossi's office. Nice piece of editing that Joe thought of. I loved the scene with the two of them. Rossi has such a personal connection with each member of team; past or present. He's sorta the patriarch of the BAU family. But what did catch my eye in the scene was the Zebco reel on a very short fishing rod; cheapest around. I hope that was a present for his grandson. Because that is not a rod and reel David Rossi would buy for himself.

Enter Garcia and we get the sad news about Sgt. Harrison Scott's death. I love them two together. They're like Forrest and Jenny: peas and carrots. And Joe's wonderful, yet subtle direction of looking at the gift of the military service weapon he received from Sgt. Scott in The Road Home (Season 9) and then to Rossi's shadow box of his military career, focusing on the Purple Heart was excellent. I love foreshadowing.

We then see the unsub strike again, making a 9-1-1 phone call; wiping down the phone he used barehanded before he dumped it. There's significance in that camera shot. Fade to black with the camera shot of the street sign. It's exactly the street crossing sign the unsub called in.

I had no problem with Hotch not being in the initial team briefing. This was not a first. It's been established in front of the cameras that Hotch is a busy man, answering to many entities. Behind the scenes, so is Thomas.

Hotch's interview with the psychiatrist was excellent, bordering on cognitive. And the camera shot of the doctor looking back at the victim with the street sign in the view was the tie-in to the first camera shot I mentioned. Joe can be as subtle as Bruce. However, Hotch getting the doctor to admit that sirens attracted him to look back was the first hint for the team.

This is also where Bruce's script shined. Before I continue, let me say that Danny Ramm was a contributing member to the story idea. However, I feel his contribution was solely the Harrison Scott storyline with Bruce filling in the gaps and connecting the dots. If I'm wrong, I humbly stand corrected. Anyway, Mr. Wright's words in his wife's hospital room to Morgan and JJ were prophetic. "Think you have years of time with someone; suddenly you don't." Segway to Rossi going through Harrison's things, coming across the picture of the old platoon we first saw in The Fallen (Season 8).

And here's where Joe's shot on the Purple Heart in his office first comes to bear with the retro scene with Sgt. Scott and PFC Rossi. We once again get the "scars" quote, hankering back to The Slave of Duty (Season 5) that Rossi delivered. That quote was so special back then for that episode and to hear it again was priceless in my world. By the way, a little  Criminal Minds trivia: that was also used in The Fallen but got edited out; it's a deleted scene on the DVDs.

It's back to the unsub and his daughter. My first watch, I questioned who was sick.

I have to give Bruce his credit; he can write the team profiling and do it well. I wish he'd pass that knowledge around the Writers' Room. Reid, JJ and Kate profiling gave us three POVs but all added into the team's growing knowledge of their unsub.

Then we see the unsub again, making another 9-1-1 phone call. And he's now wearing gloves. Our unsub is learning to be more sophisticated and that simple shot of him with the gloves that Joe focused in told all of us that.

The scene with Hotch, Morgan and JJ looking at the surveillance footage was wonderful in my world. First off it explained to me, through Morgan, my earlier question: why the unsub suddenly pulled out a gun; it's Florida's gun laws. Secondly, Hotch narrowing down the hesitation and body language change of the unsub gave the team, and us viewers, another insight into the unsub. It felt to me like I was profiling along with the team.

Plus, plus, -sorry channeling my inner Garcia,- Hotch's phone call to her and saying Mrs. Wright's organs were being harvested before Garcia could was my heroic team leader. Garcia's dialogue concerning that was wonderful as well.

This is where the episode sorta steamrolled at bit. Garcia and Rossi's conversation with Rossi saying that Hotch knew about Sgt. Scott. Estelle not receiving a liver after his father's hope got up, and him, the unsub shooting Keith, her friend from her support group. Reid knowing the MELD [Model for End-stage Liver Disease] score and his comment on how a transplanted piece of liver can regenerate. That was all good stuff.

I really enjoyed Rossi and Joy's conversation in front of New Directions. It tied into Dave's original claim of still not recognizing being called dad and then telling Joy "it's a two way street" on the learning curve. I giggle now. I live chat at another site and one of our significantly younger members posted "Who's Tony Bennett?" God bless her; she got deluged in mere seconds with Youtube videos. Seriously, who does not know the Velvet Fog Voice? I know; I know; don't start on me; I'm old. *proudly shows off AARP card*

Back to my review; may the deities bless Bruce for showing Hotch's profiling skills, figuring out the connection to the DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles for you non-States folks). It was my biggest highlight of the episode. However, this is where I join the chorus of the ever growing one of getting sick and tired of Morgan and JJ taking down the unsub. Please! There are four other supremely trained FBI agents (and as a commenter noted, one with two weapons) that are capable of doing this. It's getting old. However, I beg all commentators to this review to not beat this horse into the ground. It's been said and then rehashed enough. Rant over.

We then go to the black scene ender with the gunshot; that was the third highlight of this episode for me and then the rewind of what really happened after the commercial break. That was genius. The scene with Estelle getting wheeled into surgery as JJ reunited Greg Murray with his wife was special as well.

So was the case wrap up on the jet. I too questioned how a daughter could live with getting a life-saving donation, knowing what her father did to try and get her that, and then ultimately gave. Hotch's explanation put it all together for me about the brain masking some truths.

To the crux of my review; I really don't know what to say about the case part. It had its merits; but for me, it wasn't up to par for a Bruce Zimmerman penned episode. I dunno; maybe the Writers' Room, trying to fulfill Joe's desire to say goodbye to his dear friend Meshach overwhelmed Bruce. The episode "A" storyline had some redeeming qualities that I pointed out. However, I expected better out of Bruce and got disappointed. I like to call it "the mid-season writer malaise" that has happened in every season. Including the ones with the prolific writing staff of Wilder, Mundy, Mirren and Frazier (when Breen knew how to write a team of profilers). That part earns a "C" on Rockie's grading curve; and solely got upgraded by showing Hotch's profiling chops.

To the second storyline of saying goodbye to Sgt. Harrison Scott, and Meshach. It was simply superb. From Joy understanding the pain her father was in and joining him in LA; the wonderful conversation with Rossi and Thomas, Harrison's son, going through Scott's meager belongings; to Kate asking about Rossi and Hotch leaning his head back into his seat, thinking about his dear friend was absolutely wonderful. In my true heart of hearts, I had dearly hoped that the team would appear at the funeral. However, I get it. The tie between the two plotlines was a father and his daughter.

The short talk between Thomas Scott and Rossi was very nice. I loved Rossi's comment about the two three-star Marine generals in his cigar club. The final scene with Sgt. Scott's funeral I could really quibble with. If I'm an expert around here about anything, it is all things USMC. The funeral sequence was not true to US military funeral standards. Yet, as one who has raised the point more than once around here "it's a TV show; they take dramatic license" I must heed my own words and let it slide. And the notes of Taps will always be haunting. And for sharp-eyed viewers, the sergeant that served as the lead of the casket detail was indeed the same one that gave Anthony Hernandez's Marine grandson his medal at the end of The Fallen.

The gesture that Joe wanted for his dear friend, a final goodbye was excellently done. And I totally loved one of Joe's ending shots. The Purple Heart, the worn metal box, and the picture of the platoon were excellent. And the final shot of Rossi saluting Sgt. Scott's casket with Joy in the background over his shoulder was brilliant. Joe knows how to pull the heart strings and tie the whole episode together. The "B" storyline receives an A+ from me.

A final personal note: many of you may know Meshach Taylor from Designing Women or any other of his acting bodies of work. I remember him from that show as well, and with great fondness. Yet, in my humble Criminal Minds fan world, Meshach Taylor will always be Sgt. Harrison Scott.

Thank you Meshach for blessing this fan with your gift of two wonderful Criminal Minds episodes as a character I came to love. In my heart, you will always be Sgt. Harrison Scott. OO-RAH!

~~~~rockhotch31 (Guest reviewer)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Criminal Minds Season 10 - 1013. Nelson's Sparrow - Promo Video

Criminal Minds Season 10 - 1012. Anonymous - Comments Thread

This thread is open for you all to post comments and talk about tonight's new CRIMINAL MINDS episode, titled 'Anonymous', written by Bruce Zimmerman and Danny Ramm.

Hope you've enjoyed today's episode, and remember that next week we'll have a new brand one!

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 10 - 1012. Anonymous - Sneak Peeks

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 10 - BTS: 1017. Breath Play

This post may contain spoilers, probably small, but they may be big too; proceed with caution!
This post will be updated when more images of our dear gang are shared from the set.

I love signs! - Photo by Harry Bring
While scouting locations Friday I found a Throne chair I would dearly love to own. I
don't have anywhere to put it. - Photo by Harry Bring
Do you know what's BETTER than getting your first prime time NETWORK TV Audition?????
BOOKING your FIRST prime time NETWORK TV ROLE!!  See you on "CRIMINAL MINDS!" on CBS.
Filming my episode later this week!
- Photo by Jason Alexander Charchan
Erik Stiller rocking it on his first ep of @CrimMinds_CBS @criminalmindsrt
- Photo by Janine Sherman Barrois
@hillview798 is back directing on @CriminalMinds_CBS!! We love her! #tableread #killin' it!
- Photo by Janine Sheman Barrois
Table Read 10-17 - Photo by Harry Bring
Just wrapped up a "table read" with the entire cast of "CRIMINAL MINDS".... including ME!
- Photo by Jason Alexander Charchan 
Day One episode 10-17. Setting up for first scene. Director: Hanelle Culpepper. Writer: Erik Stiller.
- Photo by Harry Bring
DEREK MORGAN CATCHING FLIGHT!!! On set today Filming the latest episode of CRIMINAL MINDS....
- Photo by Shemar Moore
Today is Day 1of8 for first time writer #ErikStiller. #CriminalMinds #TheyGrowUpSoFast
- Photo by CM_SetReport
2 hours to go for an all new #CriminalMinds. Plenty of time to hit the showers. - Photo by CM_SetReport
Hot seat a cop Thursday... #fleabag #hotseat #shovelhead #panhead #knucklehead #flathead #ironhead #UltraClassic #harleydavidson #workin #CriminalMinds #Hollywood #California #wintersucks #carssuck #Milwaukee #Wisconsin - Photo by Fleabag
Juliet's TV debut ! On set today of Criminal Minds #jjbarnestwins #criminalminds - Photo by Veronique Vicari Barnes
Hanging on set with the camera boys from Criminal Minds. #CriminalMinds #KeslowCamera #Hollywood
- Photo by Brian Jones
Making television, people! With @rickdunkle on #CriminalMinds Ep10x17 Day 1of8.
- Photo by CM_SetReport
A Tale of Two Shemars @shemarmoore #CriminalMinds from Ep10x17 Day1of8 - Photo by CM_SetReport
 Just your local friendly neighborhood #CriminalMinds crew. - Photo by CM_SetReport 
It's all fun and games till you learn who your neighbors are. #CriminalMinds Ep 10x17
Day 2 of 8. - Photo by CM_SetReport
@CM_SetReport stage work to match what we shot last Thurs night.
- Photo by John Hatchitt
Look at what fabulousness i found!!! - Photo by Linda De Andrea
We had a visitor on set today! @MeJaag59 #criminalminds #shesback - Photo by CM_SetReport
On set @CrimMinds_CBS -in Hotchner's arms again! W hubby @michelgill ♥ ♥ - Photo by Jayne Atkinson
Always great to see our dear friend Hotch! Group 14 buds 4ever! @MeJaag59 @JuilliardSchool @CrimMinds_CBS
- Photo by Michel Gill
Twilight at the stages! - Photo by Linda De Andrea
Introducing Erik Stiller...the writer of tonight's steamy episode. #CriminalMinds
#TONIGHT - Photo by CM_SetReport
On set with @Hillview798, the director of tonight's wild episode! #CriminalMinds #tonight @erikstiller22
- Photo by CM_SetReport
The Unsub's POV from #tonights extra creeeeeepy #CriminalMinds written by
@erikstiller22 & directed by @Hillview798 - Photo by CM_SetReport
A sneak peak into the many "shades" of tonight's #CriminalMinds. Tune in NOW....
@erikstiller22 @Hillview798 #tonight - Photo by CM_SetReport

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 10 - 1015. Scream - Press Release


Greg Grunberg Guest Stars as Kate's Husband, Chris Callahan

“Scream” – Victims in California have the BAU searching for an UnSub who may have witnessed abuse as a child. Meanwhile, Kate shows parental concern when her niece, Meg, makes a date with a friend to meet a boy they met online, on CRIMINAL MINDS, Wednesday, Feb. 11 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Greg Grunberg (@greggrunberg; “Felicity,” “Lost”) guest stars as Kate's husband, Chris Callahan.

CHEAT TWEET: Will Kate B OK when niece Meg makes a date 2 meet a boy? @greggrunberg guests on @CrimMinds_CBS #CBS 2/11 9pm!

Joe Mantegna (David Rossi)
Thomas Gibson (Aaron Hotchner)
Shemar Moore (Derek Morgan)
Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Spencer Reid)
A.J. Cook (Jennifer “JJ” Jareau)
Kirsten Vangsness (Penelope Garcia)
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Kate Callahan)

Hailey Sole (Meg Callahan)

Greg Grunberg (Chris Callahan)
Brian Poth (Peter Folkmore)
Lisa Brenner (Greta Thomas)
Tyee Tilghman (Detective Davenport)
Taylor Mosby (Markayla Davis)
Jessica Martin (Lauren White)
Livia Treviño (Dr. Felicia Campo)
Jennifer Marks (Heather White)
Dexter Cross (Conner Thomas)
Martin Kove (John Folkmore)
Ty Haile (Young Peter)
Emily Kosloski (Karen Holden)
Joe Fiske (Frank Holden)

WRITTEN BY: Kimberly Ann Harrison
DIRECTED BY: Hanelle Culpepper

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 10 - 1012. Anonymous - Joe Mantegna & Danny Ramm's Video Interview

If not for a high draft number, Joe Mantegna might have chosen a career in the military instead of a forty-year career in entertainment. On Criminal Minds, Mantegna portrays David Rossi, an ex-FBI agent who was also once a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War. This aspect of his character is especially important to Mantegna, who comes from a military family and is very passionate about military and veterans' issues.

In the video above, Mantegna talks about his experiences with the military and why veterans mean so much to him. He and freelance writer Danny Ramm also talk about how and why they decided to highlight the plight of...

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 10 - 1011. The Forever People - Review

This week's episode - The Forever People - brought us back around to dealing with the fall-out of the events of episode 200. As we all well recall, JJ was kidnapped and brutally tortured in that episode. She was eventually saved by her very worried team with assistance from Prentiss. It seemed after that that the issues had been swept away, but Wednesday's episode reminded us that such is rarely the case when trauma is involved.

First, I should admit, I'm incredibly biased when it comes to JJ episodes. She's my favorite character so I'm always going to perk up and take extra notice of her scenes and her complications. I was actually very pleased to see them return to this because, frankly, a show about the degradation and downfall of the human psyche and brain should deal with their own characters struggling as well.

In brief, this episode's plot was about a a man who had gone undercover in a cult in order to save his son. The mother of his child had already been killed after undergoing a bizarre "cold" ritual meant to encourage her to face her worst fears. And that was the underlying theme of the episode - facing fears. It was something that JJ was struggling to do throughout the episode and by the end of it, we realized that she had a very long way to go.

What I Liked:
  • AJ Cook was fantastic. I've watched AJ since her days way back on Higher Ground and have always known that she can knock intense and painful material out of the park, and she really showed it.
  • The Reid/JJ scene from the bathroom to the office was great, and you felt bad for both of them; he wanted so badly to help her and yet didn't have any easy answers. This wasn't neat and simple and that was a relief. I especially liked their final scene when he hopefully asked if she felt better and I would guess many of us in the audience expected a "yes"… so it was nice to hear a "no" because that felt real and honest. And I liked hearing Emily get mentioned.
  • The stand-out scene of the episode was the final one. From reading the cringe-worthy file to facing the ghost in her mind. Insanely good acting and just really compelling and meaty material.
  • The case itself was somewhat interesting but especially the father and his motives. The scene between he and JJ was really nice without going overboard into melodrama over the un.
  • Loved the Reid/Kate/Morgan plane scene… especially with the Hotch fist-bump. That was a nice moment of playing against character expectations and having some fun with them.

What I Didn't Like:
  • The lack of Hotch being involved. Hotch knows JJ pretty damn well. Don't tell me he wouldn't have noticed that she's crumbling. If she has a massive part of her mind telling her that these demons of hers are going to strip her of everything, then she really needs her family both at the BAU and at home. And I get it, right? Reid won't betray her confidence but this is an ugly situation and when people are begging JJ not to go alone and she does and she has shown other signs of distress, it doesn't make sense to me that Hotch isn't all over this. But hopefully this isn't the end of this arc and by the time it, he'll be stepping in to assist her because he understands better than most.
  • This is probably really nitpicky, but they should have brought the son to the hospital where the father would have been recovering likely from hypothermia instead of suggesting dad recovered instantly. 
Overall, this was a strong episode for me (and for JJ) especially thanks to extremely strong acting work by AJ. I look forward to seeing where this story goes.

~~~~Sir Gareth

CRIMINAL MINDS Season 10 - 1012. Anonymous - The Bryan Times Interviews Joe Mantegna

by Jay Bobbin

Joe Mantegna is saying farewell to a famous friend in a special way.

The “Criminal Minds” star recalls one of the show's recurring guests — the late Meshach Taylor (“Designing Women”) — in the second episode of the long-running CBS mystery series that Mantegna also has directed, airing Wednesday, Jan. 21. It brings Behavioral Analysis Unit agent David Rossi (Mantegna) unsettling news about fellow war veteran Harrison Scott (Taylor's character) just as Rossi is about to spend time with Joy (Amber Stevens), the daughter he recently learned he has.

“It was emotional,” Mantegna confirms of filling two jobs on the story by Bruce Zimmerman and Mantegna's longtime assistant, Danny Ramm. “The last 10 minutes of the episode is basically...

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