Friday, February 27, 2009

Criminal Minds - Recap & Review - Pleasure Is My Business

Criminal Minds
Pleasure Is My Business

Original Air Date: Feb 25, 2009

JD - Associate Staff Writer

I love my show.

I'll say it again, I love my show. After what I think was a somewhat spotty start to season four, the show is reminding me all over again why I love it with the last four episodes. Pleasure Is My Business is another strong one, with a lot of fantastic Hotchiness (it's a word!). You can't see me, but believe that I am doing a happy dance at my desk right now. I love my show.

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  1. You know, I can't really think that many viewers inclined to be attracted to the fairer of the sexes would object to starting the episode with a pretty girl in lingerie. Especially given that she's, you know, alive. Blood and mutilation really take the sexy right out of some of these girls on Criminal Minds, don't they?

    The problem with this particular girl is not that her skin is a lovely shade of blueish-gray, or even is it that she is a high priced prostitute, but it's that she's a murderer. I suppose that's to be expected. And honestly, my reaction to this is always, 'female serial killers for the win!', which... probably isn't normal. Still, I love it, and I could be wrong, but I think this season has a higher number of female killers than the seasons before (we've had 3 deadly chicks in 16 episodes already!).

    Anyway, Hotch gets the call from the Attorney General in Texas, and the team is... not going out? Apparently, he wants just Hotch. Hotch is a one man army, you see, but that's not why they want him on his own. Turns out the first victim of the episode was a wealthy hedge fund manager, and they don't think he's the first. They want the BAU to take the case, but only if they promise not to bring any scandal to these high profile, highly powerful men.

    "I'm sorry, but the politics of this are your problem," Hotch says. Yay! It's always good to be reminded of this, I think. Hotch is good at the politics, but he relinquished the opportunity to advance to "lead the Bureau some day" a couple seasons ago, rejected the political path, and never looked back. Hotch, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

    Actually, I don't think I have enough space here for all that. So we'll go back to Hotch still being good at the politics anyway, and willing to at least try to do this quietly for the sake of saving lives. He calls in the team.

    On the jet, the team determines that this deadly call girl is planning to kill these men before she even sleeps with them, and in the meantime, while the team talks it out, our high-price hooker is doing research on Hotch, who she met by chance in an elevator while Hotch was checking out the case.

    Reid notices that the language in the press releases used in both of the first two victims deaths is exactly the same, and Hotch sets off to meet with the woman who wrote them. She refuses to tell him anything, but she gives him the card to a Realtor, and insist that he wants to buy a house. Something tells me this Realtor is peddling more than real estate.

    Prentiss and Reid head off to "buy a house", and Spencer proceeds to get flustered and awkward when talking to the madam. Odd for a guy who can look at extreme bondage porn and videos of girls getting raped and killed without flinching. I would wonder if this was a writer error (as a fellow fan theorized to me), falling back to season one and two awkward-Reid, if it wasn't for his behavior the rest of the episode. But more on that later.

    The madam reveals that what these men have in common probably has more to do with what these men do out of bed than what they do in it, and it's Garcia to the rescue! She finds the connection between them: Each of these men had multiple ex-wives and children and were not sending their exes alimony, in spite of having plenty of money to do it. In short, they're both real swell guys, and our unsub probably has a real issue with that. And now the team has to figure out why.

    This was, as I said, another really solid episode, but more importantly, how awesome was Hotch? Thomas Gibson has this subtle sort of brilliance that I just can't explain (actually, a couple people on this show do), and you really don't have to give him much in any given episode to see it. When the writers do give him a lot, though, it has always been fantastic. A lot of the Hotch-centric/Hotch-heavy episodes in past seasons have been some of my favorites, and I think this one joins their ranks. The scene in which he talked to their unsub on the phone was particularly wonderful, and not just for Hotch either, but reactions of the team in the background of the scene really drove it home. Hotch is such a private man, and seeing him admit to what he did--to an unsub, no less, and in front of his team--was both achingly real and utterly beautiful.

    The other character that really stood out in this episode to me was Reid, which I mentioned above, and he wasn't even in the foreground of this case. Did anyone else notice he was behaving oddly? I asked a few fans, and many of them agreed that he was. Not only did he get flustered with the madam, but he was also doing that tired face rub thing he did a lot when he was high. Later, when they talked to the lawyers, he seemed awkward again, and not quite with it. A couple of people have hypothesized that it was the case bringing forth his daddy issues, but it just didn't read that way to me. I personally hope he might be relapsing, mostly because I think that would be a logical and very realistic answer for it. But I doubt the creators of the show intend to go that way again, sadly, especially after last season's Elephant's Memory. I can dream, though, right? Any of you that noticed it, do you have any theories?

    So what did you guys think? Is it awesome that we get a Hotch episode so close to "The Big Upcoming Hotch Episode", or do you think you might overdose on the Hotch? (How, I ask?! How?!) Do you think Reid just stayed up all night drinking coffee and reading the latest scientific journals (which would have taken a lot of them, given how fast he can read) and was tired? Do you sort of wish, as beautiful as the last scene was, that the unsub had, ah, taken a different path? Is it awful that I do? Give me your two cents!

    [Also, before I go, I wanted to say a HUGE CONGRATS Kirsten Vangsness, who recently announced her engagement to her longtime girlfriend Melanie Goldstein. Have fun, Kirsten, and eat a LOT of cake!]

  2. I Can.Not.Wait. for a big Hotch episode!! I would cheat on my husband with Thomas Gibson, he is *that* yummy.

    As far as Reid ~ this is such a rich show & the writers understand subtlety with the characters - I could see them setting up Reid for a relapse. It would be a realistic & fitting story line, which would be in keeping with their style.

    The elevator scene with Hotchner & killer - I was cheering for Hotchner to "FIGURE IT OUT!!!". Once he was with her on the balcony, I was blown away.

    (Can we get just one Prentiss-centered epi soon? It's been a loooong time since they've focused on my girl!)

  3. You know, I think there IS supposed to be a Prentiss ep sometime this season. In fact, if I remember from synopsizes, it's not long in coming. They said back when season four was just starting that we were getting more of her backstory!

    I would cheat on my husband with Thomas Gibson, he is *that* yummy.

    LOL! I know plenty of people who would. There's a line at least a mile long, I'm sure. ;)

    The sad thing about the relapse idea is that the writers dropped it in season two, and as far as I recall, they said it was because it just didn't fit the show. He already had Elephant's Memory, where he's struggling. I would LOVE that storyline to pop back off, but I'm doubting they'll go there. :(

  4. First of all, I loved this recap as well as this episode.

    Second, I don't think that the awkwardness of Reid had anything to do with drugs. He's always been awkward with actual people. Two other times off the top of my head that happened in this season were in 52 Pickup ("One of the girls asked me if I was the unsub.") and Masterpiece ("Quick, before he tells his quantum physics knock knock joke."). I mean, I fell in love with this show because of Reid and him being such an awkward genius. And to tell you the truth, I was never sure he actually used any drugs on his own. They were just vague enough about that that he might not have. We saw him with what looked like an untouched bottle of dilaudid and then at a meeting in which he said he was having cravings, but that's all. I think they were just trying to reinforce his overall social awkwardness in this episode to set up Conflicted (four epis latter).


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