Premiere Particulars: Criminal Minds

criminal-minds-cast-with-jeanne-tripplehorn

And so begins the ninth season of CBS’s Criminal Minds. Did this veteran show kick off with a bang or a whimper? Here are the particulars.

What I liked:

  • The opening scene. Right away there’s danger, but the episode presents the situation then flashes back, leaving us wondering if the whole team is getting out of this episode all right…
  • The ending. Just when you think everything is wrapped up, there’s a pretty unexpected and fairly interesting twist that will apparently be addressed next week.
  • The team, of course. Each member of the team brings something great to the table, and they just gel really well. Watching them ferret out the bad guys is always fun.
  • If you haven’t seen the end of last season, this is a SEMI-SPOILER. With Strauss’s position open, Agent Hotchner has got some career choices to make. Whatever he chooses, there will be changes at the BAU.

What I didn’t like:

  • After the fascinating Replicator villain at the end of last season, this bad guy feels a little…meh. He does have an interesting (albeit way disgusting) M.O., and the twist at the end directly involves him, but I still don’t think he’s that great for the premiere episode.
  • I feel like Criminal Minds becomes less and less accessible to casual viewers each season. I guess the creators are relying on the criminals to be interesting enough to draw people in, but I really think they need to turn the lens back on their profilers. They’re the real heart of the show, and we need to know more about them. Aside from Hotchner’s career choice, no new personal things pop up.
  • Like many other Criminal Minds’ episodes, this premiere is pretty formulaic. It’s not good to feel the show falling into a pattern again after the very first episode of the season. I desperately hope Criminal Minds does something to spice things up because, sadly, it’s becoming increasingly bland for me.
  • Reid’s hair. WHAT? What are you doing, Matthew Gray Gubler?

The Potential: As always, the potential is there for Criminal Minds. I’m sure there will be plenty of interesting bad guys killing people in inventive, awful ways, but we need to get back to developing the profilers’ stories ASAP. They’re the ones I really care about, and I would’ve stopped watching this show long ago if I didn’t. Give me some personal problems. Some tension. Some glimpses of home life. Anything, really. The team is as efficient as a well-oiled machine, but machines are boring. I hope the creators do something to get rid of the staleness. Otherwise, I worry that our favorite BAU team might not be around much longer…

My Grade: C+

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