An unbelievably good episode from a soon-to-be-favorite group of CM newbies show us that there are still stories to be told, both about the evil that men do and about the characters of our profilers. It has been quite a while since a Reid-centric episode flashed across our screens, but this one was worth waiting for. The story was wonderfully current - this is Spring Break for many schools across the country including mine - and perfectly told. I love the "viewer is kept in the dark" storylines, myself, and, recently, there have been far too few of them.
While some of the scenes we've come to expect, and almost dread in their predictability were there - conference room, giving the profile to the local LEOs, the compulsory cornering of the unsub - the new scenes breathed with life. The bracketing scenes in the psych office with Dr. Reid hiding in the shadows, desperate to help this wounded man, were heart-rending. Yes, he'd met a man suffering from DID before, a very sick man who had tried, in his own way, to save Reid from himself, and, in Reid's own eyes, he'd failed him. This was his second chance.
I thought the direction and pacing of the episode were as good as I've seen on television lately. It is so difficult to keep something like this from the viewers, so hard to show them enough and yet not too much, but this crew pulled it off. Okay, I got it from the first time we saw Adam and his migraines, but I'm way too tuned in to abnormal behavior. Seriously - this scenario was handled better than I've ever seen it in episodic television. They gave the audience a chance to figure it out, but also gave us a reasonable suspect in Adam's friend at the hotel.
Reid's character has always been one of the most interesting for me - maybe because I've always been drawn to the geeks - the vulnerable, trusting, hoping for the best while expecting the worst for themselves types. His interrogation of Adam was beautifully written, directed, and acted. Reid was attempting to be tough enough even while he sympathized with Adam. And the eye contact between the two characters across the police station as Adam became Amanda right before our eyes was truly chilling.
Did anyone else notice the unbelievably great parallel to Tobias Hankel in Adam's room at the hotel? The mirrors he'd placed on the wall brought me immediately to the computer screens in Hankel's farm. And the episode just got better from there.
Jason Alexander's direction of the rooftop scene between Morgan and Reid was outstanding. Reid stands in the extreme foreground, facing the sun - his eyes squinting painfully. What a perfect way to show us that he is still completely open and vulnerable to everything he sees on this job before any words are even spoken? And behind him stands Morgan, sunglasses firmly in place to shield him from the sun, and from any observation we might make about what he's feeling. Closed. The voice of experience. The connection between these two characters as Reid briefly turns his back on the blinding sun and then faces it again is intense and real. Mega-kudos to all.
So these cases have an effect on our heroes - we've seen that to some extent in all of them. Sometimes it makes them angry, sometimes it makes them snide, or distrustful, but sometimes it makes them better profilers, and better people. Way to go, CM. I'm still a fan. (Oh, yeah!)