Criminal Minds

Season 4 Episode 17


Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Mar 11, 2009 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

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  • The Curious Nosebleed

    The only reason I loved this episode was because it was heavily focused on Prentiss who is one of my favorite characters, and it was exciting to get some character development. I, however, was a bit unimpressed with the un-creepiness of the exorcisms despite the majority of the reactions I've read on here, and the ambiguity of the actual plot. It didn't seem very well thought out to me. That being said, I thought it offered a few interesting perspectives on religion, which I love seeing every now and then because I love controversy.

    As for the nose bleed at the end, I've noticed a lot of people questioning to its cause.

    We may recall Emily questioning the priest, accusing him of splashing his victims with holy water that contained some kind of chemical (though I don't recall what it was called) which was causing the bodies of his victims to give out.

    We may also recall the moment when Emily and Derek rush into John Cooley's house to rescue him. Prentiss shields John as Morgan detains the priest, but not before he splashes a final amount of holy water on both Cooley and Prentiss (note her line: "What is in that water?!").

    I'm assuming the nosebleed is a small residual symptom of the chemical she was exposed to, though obviously not enough to do much damage, but ultimately proving that she was right the whole time.
  • This was thinly veiled anti-religious bigotry.

    I really did not like this.

    I love Prentiss she's awesome! But this was so boring and tbh exorcisms/exorcists is the one thing that truly scares me. Apart from cringing at the fact exorcisms were performed there was nothing interesting about this. Crap crap crap!
  • Whil I love Emily, this episode was well below par.

    This was one of my least favorite episodes ever, even though I really love Prentiss as perhaps my favorite character.

    The storyline was definitely deifferent from anything in the past - I'll give it that much, but I didn't enjoy the idea of the exorcismsf. It was quite freaky and it gave me some nightmares for sure, but it wasn't even that gripping.

    All up, I wouldn't recommend this episode. It ws not very interesting and it was overly freaky and I didn't enjoy it. Thumbs up for trying something different in this episode, but safe to say, it didnt work well.

    I know Criminal Minds is awesome, and I'm sure it weill return to a high standard in the coming weeks.
  • Emily centric episode

    In this episode of Criminal Minds, the following happens. We open with Emily going to a bar to meet a friend. We learn that another friend of Emily's named Matthew has died. Apparently from a heart attack. But they believe that he was murdered and so Emily agrees to look into it. She returns to the BAU and Hotch agrees that the team will look into it as a case, as there appears o be a pattern and a second victim. We quickly learn that Emily's friend had a drug problem and due to this he had nose bleeds (thorough using cocaine and other medications which are illegal). Soon a 3rd victim is reported and Morgan, Emily and Reid go to investigate the crime scene. Emily admits to Rossi that when she was 15 she got pregnant and Matthew helped her get to a clinic where she had an abortion. Matthew helped her throughout it and he started questioning the bible. He also started taking drugs and Emily blames herself for it.
    They soon learn of the priest who is committing the exorcisms which is leading to the deaths of men and they learn that he has diplomatic amenity. Emily questions him but they have to let him go. Hotch sends Emily home for a few days, but Rossi takes her out on a little trip. They go to see Matthews's parents and his father admits that he was in the room with Matthew during the exorcism. His mother says that Matthew was never troubled until he met Emily. We learn from the parents that John (the fiend Emily met in the bar) was not told from them about Matthews's death. We then see that John is next in line for an exorcism. Emily and Morgan go there and find the priest performing the exorcism. As Morgan takes him out of the room, he splashes both of them in holy water. We also learn that John was the father of Emily's baby (at least I believe so after what I saw). At the very end of the episode we see Emily walking, and her nose starts to bleed. But why? Is she now sick? Is she doing drugs? Hopefully all will be explained in next week's episode.
  • Poor Emily Prentiss. We knew her childhood hadn't been an easy one and when an old friend who supported her through some tough times dies of a supposed heart attack, we can sympathise with her need to find out if he really did die of natural causes.

    Prentiss learns that her old friend, Matthew Benton, who recently returned from a trip to Spain, has died of a heart attack. She is clearly very shaken up and her pain is visible for all to see. When she learns of another, similar death, she talks to Hotch and tells him that they may be dealing with a serial killer rather than young men just dropping dead naturally. Seeing her distress, Hotch agrees to help and look further into the cases.

    Seems that the dead men DO have something in common. Not just Matthew, but others have recently returned from a trip to Spain where a priest died. Speaking of priests, as we see the BAU noting strange scratch marks on the bedroom floor at Matthew's home, (where Emily is decidedly unwelcome) we see an elderly one performing what is obviously an exorcism and the 'possessed' person is quite obviously mot having a fun time of it at all.

    Apart from learning that Prentiss fell pregnant at the age of 15 and that her friend, Matthew, helped her procure an abortion, this episode in itself was extremely predictable and very dull. It WAS good to some a Prentiss-centred piece though.
  • I am religious but this episode wasn't...

    This was a good episode. I find it interesting that so many other reviews judged this episode based on their religious beliefs. I just got home from church and decided to write this review. The difference of opinions regarding religion is a pivotal part of human interaction. That's what I see this episode about and it did a great job of portraying a portion of the vast and varied thoughts on the subject. The character development was noticeable in this episode but while each character grew they stayed true to themselves. The crime was not the exorcism but the absence of aid for someone who was dying. Prentiss was right to step in and, in the end her certainty saved a life.
  • A friend of Emily Prentiss requests her help when he believes one of their friends has been murdered. The BAU team discovers a series of suspicious deaths that occurred during exorcisms.

    Paget Brewster did a fantastic job in this episode. She manages to convey Emily's grief over the death of her friend, Matthew, her anger and frustration when the others doubt a crime has been committed, her determination to do right by Matthew, and her continued questioning of life-changing choices she made as a teenager stand out as some of her best moments.

    I always enjoy episodes where we are revealed more of the characters' backstories, and this episode is no exception. I really started to feel bad for Prentiss growing up while constantly being shuttled around by her mother's postings. She must have felt terribly lonely, and clearly she was not very close to her mother. The episode said nothing of her father, so I am still wondering about where he was while Emily was growing up.

    I also really enjoyed Rossi's role in this episode. I love how he saw Emily's pain and found a way to talk to her, but not embarrass her in front of the rest of the team. I don't really understand exorcisms, or how someone would die from one being performed, so that aspect of this episode continues to be confusing. I was also a bit disappointed that we never learn whether or not Matthew and his friends actually had any involvement in the death of Father del Torro. Since it is never addressed, I assume they did not.
  • Character development for Emily, but apparently set in a supernatural CM universe??

    I really loved this episode up until the very end. The character development for Emily was wonderful. Normally, not much phases Emily - she compartmentalizes well. Given that, seeing how torn apart she was at the death of her friend, how intent she was on finding justice for him and stopping it from happening again, was all the more powerful in this episode. I also found the reactions of both Rossi and Morgan to be very interesting - not sure why Morgan couldn't see the pattern in front of him, even if he didn't believe there was some kind of malicious intent or conspiracy.

    BUT. While the priest seeming extremely sure that he was doing the right thing wasn't odd - of course he would have that kind of conviction - the last victim telling him that he was more powerful than him sounded much more like a demon talking than a victim. And then, after he was rescued, he talked to Emily, his head close to hers... and then Emily took a walk, got close to what appeared to be a church, and her nose started bleeding, just like the other two victims... So. Are we supposed to now be wondering (as I obviously am) if perhaps the demon is now possessing Emily? On the other hand, that scene was a beautiful scene. The episode was an excellent episode. I just felt like I had been transported into an alternate Criminal Minds universe!
  • The team investigates a series of exorcisms where the person died which may be linked to one psycho exorcist priest. Some things are revealed about Prentiss' past and the team has to deal with their beliefs about evil.

    I don't know what to think about this episode. Normally I love every episode of this series. This one just seemed weak. Granted, being Catholic and interested in exorcism, I may be a bit biased but there were some holes.

    I had to laugh at the beginning seeing that it was set in Georgetown. This episode reminds me more of the Exorcism of Emily Rose than the Exorcist, with subjects of the exorcism dieing and the exorcist being investigated for murder. What was the deal with the shrine in Spain? I mean they vaguely mention that the four men had started this group on the internet, that a priest mysteriously died, and that the unsub may (or may not) believe that the men killed the priest. But they never followed up on it. What's the deal? They never answer that question.

    They also leave open the possibility that the men may have been possessed after all, with the exorcist confronting Emily's friend and calling him "Belial" which is the name of a demon and the man answering in Latin (or maybe Italian) "I am stronger than you." Anyone who has studied actual exorcism cases could clearly see an example of a typical "exorcist-demon" conflict. So does Prentiss prevent a demon from being cast out?

    I liked the scene with Rossi and his priest friend. It would seem that Rossi was once Catholic but no longer practices (probably having to do with all those divorces they always allude to). Bringing in the priests for the profile was a nice touch and I like how the priest explained how exorcism works in the church although I wish that they had followed up on what he said about sanctioning the exorcism. They never said this in the show but exorcisms must be approved by the local bishop before they can suceed.

    All in all, this episode disappointed me. The back story on Prentiss just seemed to be a swipe at the Church-oh, no the mean priest told the pregnant girl that she couldn't have an abortion! He told her that a sin was a sin! It annoyed me. It seemed like this show was hellbent on demonizing (no puns intended) the church, with the exception of Rossi's priest friend. And I really didn't like the subplot of Prentiss having an abortion when she was 15. I really liked her character. I did like Rossi going against the rules though and Hotch helping Prentiss out.
  • Surprising episode.

    It was good to get some background on Emily. I already knew her past wasn't all that great, but this was just a lot more information, and I am not sure whether I actually liked it.

    The religious connection did not annoy me that much. I'm not religious, and I think that when you work in such an environment as the BAU do there are bound to be some themes around evil as a religious thing rather than a human one. I must admit Rossi helping Emily was a surprising twist. He was the last person I'd have expected, to be honest I expected more support from JJ and Garcia. But Rossi, being a Catholic (or at least having been brought up as one), does fit, in a way. I felt pretty sorry for Emily during this episode, which I guess is a good thing for the writers. Still, something felt off. The only other episode that comes to mind when a character's past comes up, is Profiler, Profiled when we found out about Morgan. I thought that episode was more powerful and generally more believable, but this episode was not that bad either. Paget Brewster did a great job acting, and I also liked the little Italian and Latin phrases they threw in. That made it more convincing, I always like it when other languages come up like that.
  • Emotional..

    I do not know but lately episodes all seemed to have very similar building - they are all around one char.. they are emotional and we know who the unsub is from the start. To be honest, I want a little change. I have nothing against char centric episode but please - I really like the process of finding the unsub when we do not know the person..

    This episode.. i think people can have contra versa feelings as it was about religion. I am not religious person so I had no problems with this episode but some people really good.. I like they way how that contra versa came out in the middle of team. Rossi more about believing in evil but Morris.. he thinking they somehow took this case in wrong way..

    But the last scene was beautiful.. that falling snow.. the emotion and Emily's story.. not bad at all.
  • Exorcisms!!

    Prentiss received a visit from his past in Rome. It's nice to know more about Emily's past. I loved how Rossi, Hotch and Morgan had all 3 different visions of the case and Prentiss's situation. The case was great. The truth is that he wasn't actually killing anyone directly, just submitting them to so high levels of stress that their bodies couldn't stand it... The immunity he had made thinks more complicated but finally Rossi and Prentiss found a way to get through it. I really liked that Morgan tried to protect Emily all the time and was by her side all the time. Rossi was the one that broke the rules, and I like it! It made me thing that he is finally one of the team, willing to help Emily. And Hotch had to act like the boss he is.
    JJ, Reid and Garcia appeared very little but they had a good role on everything. I kinda missed the girls worrying about Prentiss.
    Good chapter!:)
  • The real demon . .

    I loved not only seeing this side of Emily but also the teams reactions to this side of her. Hodges acknowledgement that there is to Emily's story than she was sharing I think shows how good he is at his job as well as how well he knows Emily. I thought it was interesting that Father Davidson called Rossi "Davy" showing the two had a history especially when David calls him "Jimmy". I thought the premise of "death by exoticism" was pretty interesting especially the approach by the team. I thought the conflict between Prentiss and Morgan was an interesting twist. "Boy Wonder" I love the nickname. Diplomatic immunity seems to be a card only used when someone breaks the law not follows the law. I really appreciated that at the end the teams is still left questioning.