I can’t think of any other fandom which has canon so heavily influenced by external events. The team used to keep each other at arms length with a few episodes of team bonding thrown in now and again and then this episode was all like GROUP HUG WE ARE A FAMILY, which is obviously how the cast is.
Nothing made me happier than seeing those opening credits. ❤ ❤ ❤
Morgan devoted months and months searching for Doyle to avenge Prentiss’ death. MONTHS you guys, MONTHS all by himself for the most part!
Oh dear God, I actually found myself feeling sorry for Doyle there when he realised Declan had been abducted. And I was weirdly interested in the whole Prentiss/Doyle-ness.
You know when you know so much about an episode, especially the “shocking moments” like Prentiss still being alive, JJ coming back as a profiler, Hotch with the beard before the episode airs, it’s a wonder whether there can possibly be anything left in the episode to surprise you. So yes obviously this episode wasn’t as ~intense~ as you expect to go hand in hand with epicness but there were still surprises.
That moment where Prentiss started apologising and hugging everyone? That surprised me. I think I always pictured her being kind of quiet and nervous and feeling awkward at being hugged rather than initiating it? And I thought that scene would be ~awkward silence~ and Garcia forcing her into a hug and basically full of awkwardness “hi guys, I know nothing I say will help you get over the shock” but it was actually more “let’s hug it out! I love you guys!”
And then the way that everyone managed to focus on the case again and park their feelings of shock and hurt and confusion? That is some serious compartmentalisation. But Morgan! Morgan! Did you see the way he was looking at her throughout that whole scene???? It was perfect you guys! And I never ever thought I would get a Morgan/Prentiss hug because in Prentiss’ past-Criminal Minds life neither of them would ever initiate contact like that. I mean, dude, THEY HUGGED.
Speaking of which Prentiss/JJ being all bffy and the arm around each others shoulders? Seriously, wow. This is like Paget and AJ playing themselves rather than their characters? And this is in the middle of the investigation. Isn’t Prentiss meant to be super worried that Declan has been abducted?! She risked everything for him!!! And, okay, JJ and Prentiss being like that isn’t so weird considering she knew she was alive and apparently they kept in contact but what was weird? The very last moment and Morgan has him arm around JJ. Seriously, the only people who generally initiate touch in this show is Garcia and JJ and then every other situation/character it’s like a ~big deal~. And especially since Morgan should have some serious issues with JJ (although it wasn’t made clear whether everyone knew that JJ knew about Prentiss’ fake death or not in the episode or whether they thought it was just Hotch who knew) I was seriously waiting for them all to group hug in that very last scene. This was bordering on an episode of Friends.
This may sound like I’m criticising but I’m not. I’m happy but surprised. Suddenly I’m watching a show where people hug and Prentiss calls Seaver “Ashley” even though they were never friends. It’s just weird seeing Real Life morph into canon so much.
And the way that Prentiss was all business-like with Doyle, not even thinking about what happened the last time they met, and the fact that the writers didn’t even go with that cliché <Prentiss is still in pain and clutches her abdomen as it twinged with pain and she thought back to everything she had gone through> deal.
Yes, I admit I did want to see Prentiss being weak and less girlpowery and showing signs of the trauma she’s been through but I suppose we still have chance to explore more fallout later. It’s still weird that this brought them together so much though – I mean there should be some sort of distance as the team get over the shock and remember everything that Prentiss did in her past life and the lies and everything she put them through. At least we had Morgan pulling away as everyone gathered round her photo. I’m expecting Morgan/Prentiss and Morgan/Hotch fallout and hopefully some JJ/Reid fallout. And some episodes of resentment and distance and then they can go back to being all best buddies.
Anyway, I liked the way everything storywise played out. Not having Doyle abduct Declan but rather have him abducted by someone who hates him who was actually working with his evil mother who wanted to hurt Doyle and earn some money was a nice twist when everyone must have gone into the episode thinking that Doyle would be the kidnapper. It was weird because we do remember that Doyle was this evil son-of-a-bitch who “killed” and tortured Emily, right? And yet throughout this episode he was this father who you weirdly wanted to be reuinited with his son….
And then the ending! You know, for awhile I didn’t actually think Doyle would end up dead but I was also wondering how they would do it without it being portrayed as a straight out revenge killing. Poor Declan having to see his mother and father killed in the same moment and the look on Prentiss’ face <3.
And now the team is back together with no punishment? I mean, dude, after that investigation and the fact that they did break a lot of laws and get agents killed and then Strauss is like “well, okay, you can all be a happy family together again.” I sort of expected more than that.
But I like Strauss. Not in an intense “she’ll make my top female characters list” type of way but the fandom needs to cut her some slack.
Favourite moment: Prentiss starting at the photo of herself on the “wall of the dead” and Rossi trying to take the photo down. AND GARCIA HAS SERGIO. I am so so happy that we found out what happened to Prentiss’ cat. And then the moment where Stauss says Prentiss can rejoin the team and Prentiss’ “May I think about it …………. I’m in” and everyone smiling, even Hotch! And and Prentiss quoting the Oath and the end group hug scene.
MY TEAM IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!