This episode was much stronger than the season opener - less choppy, more direct, and the music wasn't so intrusive. The story itself was beautifully done. CM close to its best. If every episode was paced so well and told so simply, and acted with such feeling - I'd be happy. The Unsub and Tommy and the bearded doctor, they all stood out. For some reason I loved the way the doctor said 'Don't touch him' and then the simple cry 'Oh God' as the other patient was killed in front of him. He got the bare human emotions right. The kids were great, weren't they? The little guy, just getting on with business like he was doing chores. Cop of the week was good, and that was one part of the usual format that was working well. The BAU methods (you have to understand the past so as to get ahead of the guy) versus the cop's methods (we have to catch him), there was a good interaction between those. It skirted really close to sappy that Prentiss sent Tommy to talk to the unsub at the end, and it probably wouldn't really happen at a murder scene -- why was Tommy even there? -- but when Tommy put his hand on the guy's shoulder, that was a good touch.
Handling a story so full of flashback is a hard job and whoever put this episode together, please, can you put the rest of the season together too? Lovely. I think that if you'd turned on to see the usual CM team's interactions, you'd be disappointed. A few characters were missing, understandably since Reid's knee exploded. But JJ wasn't much in it either. And those that survived onto the screen were subtly distorted by the overriding focus being on the one figure alone. Every conversation had to be about H. Every nuance had to be about H. Everyone had to be concerned about him, as if to make up for the deficiencies of the actor's range. Ach. The story didn't need it. There was plenty of resonance there purely on its own terms.