Criminal Minds: 12×20 – Unforgettable

🌟🌟🌟🌟½

When several federal government employees, including a close friend of Walker’s, succumb to symptoms of a heart attack, the BAU investigates. Also, Reid anxiously awaits his trial date.

Cliffhanger Alert

Criminal Minds has been a bit of a chore to watch this season if I’ve being honest.  The cases haven’t been that interesting, I think the whole Scratch arc has dragged out too long and Reid being in prison for so long is simultaneously yawn-worthy and signs of writers scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Then there’s the new team member of Stephen Walker who seems like a very nice gentleman, just a bit boring and one dimensional.  Three episodes away from the end of the season and I’d already written him off so when the episode started and it was clear that it was going to be Walker-centric and a chance to give him some backstory, it was all a case of too little too late for me.

Despite my reservations though this episode did pull me in.  I was invested in poor Sam and rooting for his reunion with his son.  I liked that the whole Russian spy thing was a misdirection and wasn’t the cause of his poisoning but rather a means of showcasing the friendship between him and Stephen.  And a female serial killer using poison as her weapon of choice at least matches all the criminal profiling out there even if the use of poison didn’t flag to the BAU team that they ought to be considering a woman killer.

In tandem with that, the whole Reid in prison arc suddenly got interesting ….

I wasn’t spoiled for this episode in that I haven’t read any reviews out there but I did notice Joe Mantegna’s daughter credited in the opening credits which tingled my spidey senses.  My automatic assumption was that due to nepotism they brought her in again but to play a different character because in my head she is still that young teenager that she was in the first episode she starred in.  Crap that was almost ten years ago.

There were some really lovely moments between Spencer and his mum, showing her both in the throes of panic but also in her lucid moment blaming herself for Reid being in prison and how she will forget who he is before he is released.  When she mentioned about having a new nurse I guessed that the new nurse was the woman working for Scratch and being Reid’s mother’s caretaker is a novel of inflicting torture on Reid ….. it was only due to the flashbacks at the very end that convinced me that they actually brought back Joe’s daughter to play the same character as she was before and she is Diana Reid’s new nurse!

Now I have a ton of questions: do I need to go rewatch that 2008 episode to fully appreciate why Joe’s daughter wants revenge?  Is she working for Scratch or is her master plan totally unconnected to that?  Have I really been watching Criminal Minds for over a decade with no concept of time?!

4.5 Stars

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