Criminal Minds: 13×01 – Wheels Up

🌟🌟🌟🌟½

 

Agent Matt Simmons joins the BAU team in a race to take down Mr. Scratch and save one of their own in the process.

This is what I thought I knew for certain going into this premiere:

✔ Walker would die
✔ The rest of the team would be basically fine
✔ Reid would have PTSD
✔ Simmons would be an awesome addition to the BAU
X The Scratch arc would hang over the whole season, much like it did last season (except for real this season, not like last year’s red herring)

I was right on four out of 5 counts.

I definitely did not forsee Prentiss getting kidnapped and tortured.  I have to say the part of me that loves seeing my usually fighting fit awesome Heroines suffer a bit of whomp was relishing the prospect of more Prentiss-torture.  I knew she wasn’t going to be killed due to her being front and centre in this season’s promo poster but I thought for a little while that TPTB were going to be really really bold and have relegated to a wheelchair and maybe leading the BAU from behind a desk for at least half a season.  The fact that it is all explained by the fact that Prentiss is hallucinating the torture leaves me conflicted.  On the one hand hats off to the writers for wrapping it all up in a nice, neat bow and bringing in Scratch’s MO and use of hallucinogenics. On the other hand I was really hoping for some more longlasting Prentiss angst.

The mentions of Hotch and Jack and the team dangling that as a bait were a pleasant surprise as well, though I find it hard to believe that someone has smart as Scratch would truly believe that someone has smart as Prentiss would make such a mistake as to use Hotch’s initials in a text …..

I loved the Will/JJ moment.  The fact that they touched upon a past worry that Will had for her safety and the fact that they talked about “calling it” when things got too dangerous.  I love it when the writers treat us to a glimpse into JJ’s family life.

Rossi was on fine form in this episode with his “asshats” comment and general Rossi-ness.  Walker’s wife was a lot more gracious than I would have been if I had been in her situation. There may be no Scratch arc throughout Season 13 was Reid’s PTSD is definitely going to be hanging over the rest of the season which should give MGG a lot of material to work with.

The ending of the episode was perfect.  Having our superhero crimefighters agree to take time off from casework is usually only mentioned when the writers want to use that old plot arc where one of them discovers a crime whilst on holiday and has to call in the team.

The whole “Wheels Up” moment was an epic nod from the writers to the fans.  Lovely of them to indulge us this way, especially since we may be embarking upon one of my favourite team line-ups yet.  (Yes, I am aware that I said the same thing this time last year …)

Criminal Minds has been through some weak periods in recent seasons but this show always manages to bring its A game when it counts.  Fantastic premiere and start to the season and the end of Scratch practically wipes the slate clean.

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