Criminal Minds

Season 2 Episode 20

Honor Among Thieves

11
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Apr 11, 2007 on CBS
7.9
out of 10
User Rating
346 votes
23

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Elizabeth Prentiss, a foreign ambassador and SSA Emily Prentiss' mother, seeks the aid of the BAU when a Russian immigrant in Baltimore is kidnapped and held for ransom.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Never felt like Criminal Minds.

    6.5
    This episode just never worked in what has been a very good season A kidnapping of a Russian immigrant turns the BAU to investigate when Emily's mother Elizabeth asks for their help but when I was watching the episode I thought what happened to tracking serial killers and profiling them because they are the episodes that work on this show Its the only episode on the show that I have rated low I have compared it to other episodes and its nowhere near the standard of any of them which is very disappointing for a show like Criminal Minds.moreless
  • A Russian immigrant is kidnapped and the BAU team must find him before he ends up dead. Good episode.

    4.5
    A Russian immigrant is kidnapped and his ring finger is cut off and sent back to his family. This was a slow boring issue. One that had Kate Jackson in it. I have hated her since the early 1970's. Always will, I know Criminal Minds can do a lot better than this episode. Thing is they cut off his left ear halfway through the episode and by some miracle it is still attached at the end of the episode. Those Russians can grow back anything it seems. Like I said boring garbage ready for the Russian trashcan. Here's to hoping the next episode is better.moreless
  • The "expert" profilers that we are expected to believe accurately profiled Elle as a murderer based entirely upon their profiling abilities (no proof) stood around completely clueless while an unsub pulled the wool completely over their gullible eyes.moreless

    6.9
    I'm trying to get over losing confidence in these people after the "throwing Emily to the dogs" episodes, but I liked that actress. I was used to her. And like someone else said, I'm having a hard time warming to Emily. She is classically pretty with dark, black hair and extremely pale porcelain skin and frankly her "look" reminds me of Morticia on the Adams Family. To me, her "look" better suits an unsub than a profiler. She needs a different hairdo, or a more lifelike personality. Bring in a makeup artist, change her hair and liven her up!moreless
  • Every agent in the BAU is having a very bad day profiling, apparently thrown off by the presence of one of Charlie's Angels. Or is it Mrs. King?

    6.5
    I adore the writers on Criminal Minds. I truly do. They usually put out some great episodes of a wonderful tv show with an excellent cast. However, I think this script might have missed the editing stage - that's the only scenario I can imagine - a time crunch and a quick once over. I read the reviews yesterday when I was trying to find one piece of info, and I thought "wow, I don't remember it being THAT bad," so I went back and watched it again last night and took notes. It really is that bad. However, it's not "that bad" in ways that I've read in most of the reviews. Yes, the BAU seems to have lost their profiling skills (when someone can recite a fairly long ransom note not too long after receiving it, I don't care what the excuse, that's suspicious... almost like they WROTE it, maybe? I should not be able to figure out the bad guy before the BAU in this show, unless they show me the UNSUB to begin with), but the main problems are with UNSUBS themselves. They are, apparently, lovers who need couples counseling - they don't communicate very well, and they seem to have some severe money issues. The money first. Lyov and Natalya have been kidnapping men for ransom for about a year, correct? The ransom they asked for Natalya's father was originally $100,000. That's a lot of money over the last year, if they have asked the same amount for each man. Yet Natalya still wears knock-off shoes and carries a knock-off purse, according to Morgan. Maybe she doesn't want to attract attention. I could understand that. But the bank account, when the increased ransom of $500,000 is transferred, shows an original balance of zero. What happened to the rest of the money?? They must eat out a LOT. I don't see why they would have a separate account for each kidnapping - they know no one will go to the police, and no one has until now, when for some reason the kidnapper herself let her mother call her uncle's former boss the ambassador and go to the FBI...



    Maybe Natalya had no control over her mother calling Elizabeth Prentiss and going to the FBI. But did she not have time to make a quick phone call to Lyov and say "hey baby, this is what's goin' down, don't freak out when you see the FBI, it'll all be okay"??? Apparently not, because Lyov for some reason flies into a rage when he finds out that the FBI is involved, and he cuts off his girlfriend's father's ear ahead of schedule. Did he not know that the FBI would not influence whether or not his father would pay the ransom? Surely he knew his father would not have called the FBI.



    There's a lot of weird rage in this episode, actually. When we first see Lyov, he is for some reason torturing Natalya's father - with no mask on. #1, why is he torturing him? His unfortunately-fated partner tells him to cool off, "they'll pay, they always do" - it's nowhere near the deadline, and this is his girlfriend's father, for cryin' out loud. #2, why is he not wearing a mask? At the end of the episode he's going to kill Mr. Chernus because there must be no witnesses - he's let everyone else go so far! Is it because this time the FBI was involved? Surely he would have recognized that Mr. Chernus would have been more likely to hide everything now that he knew his daughter was involved than just Lyov? Although, given the stated family dynamic, maybe not... but still. It made no sense.



    More weird rage - Natalya's whole point of letting her father be kidnapped was to get Lyov's father to pay her a ransom, and yet when he showed up at her door offering to help, SHE flew into a rage and pretty much spit in his face, sending him away and costing her father more time (and an ear, since Lyov found out and cut off the ear after that point). Why do that? To look good to the FBI? She could have at least been polite to him, not accuse him of being responsible for the kidnapping. Her reaction made no sense for someone trying to manipulate him into giving her $100,000. But then after she got the ear she suddenly decided to make nice? Why then? Because she realized Lyov had lost it? Did this couple not spend any of that money on cell phones with unlimited minutes?



    And then Natalya, "tough girl," goes all what - abused woman? when she gets back with Lyov, agreeing to let him KILL her FATHER - it was awful. Possibly realistic in context, I'll give it that, but it was still awful. They were just the kind of UNSUBs where, at the end, I was thinking "here, let me help you toss those trash bags off that bridge."



    However, I did still love the interactions between Emily and her mother. Kate Jackson was the perfect choice for Elizabeth Prentiss, and I hope we see more of her next season.



    I didn't give this episode as horrible a score as some other reviewers because any CM episode is still better than the episodes of some other tv shows I can think of, and ANY show is bound to have a clunker every now and then. Law of averages - you just can't put out tens non-stop, partly because people are going to compare them to each other, and partly because it's just not humanly possible.moreless
  • Review

    7.7
    Criminal Minds always seems to do this. In Season One it was the two times that the team went to Mexico that brought the entire season down from me. If you look at my old ratings for the entire season one and average them out you get a 9.10 for the entire season. If you remove the two episodes I was talking about (7+7) the average jumps all the way up to a 9.31! An average that only the elite shows get for me. This season was averaging a 9.35 up until this episode and the 7.7 is sure to bring that down quite a bit. I buy Criminal Minds through the DVD set so I was hoping by the time I got to this episode I didn't hate it as much as everyone else did, but it was a bad episode. To begin with the entire Russian Mob storyline didn't feel like it had an ending to it. A bunch of people died, guys threw body parts off a bridge, and the man is returned with two missing boyd parts. I didn't really see the point to the episode. Gideon, Reid, and the main man helping with the Russian mob storyline stood around and talked for 10 minutes of the episode. The episode was the most slow paced a Criminal Minds episode has ever been. While I wouldn't rank it as the worst episode of the series, its in the bottom three and its a shame to see the season ranking go down, but theres no way to defend this badly put together episode.moreless
A.J. Cook

A.J. Cook

SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jareau

Kirsten Vangsness

Kirsten Vangsness

Analyst Penelope Garcia

Mandy Patinkin

Mandy Patinkin

Senior SSA Jason Gideon

Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler

SSA Dr. Spencer Reid

Paget Brewster

Paget Brewster

SSA Emily Prentiss

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson

Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss

Guest Star

Elya Baskin

Elya Baskin

Lysowsky

Guest Star

Dimitri Diatchenko

Dimitri Diatchenko

Lyov

Guest Star

Brian Appel

Brian Appel

Agent Anderson

Recurring Role

Gina Garcia Sharp

Gina Garcia Sharp

CSU Tech Agent Sharp

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • This episode presented the second time the BAU worked a case in Baltimore, Maryland. The team previously worked with Josh Cramer of the Organized Crime Task Force in the episode "Natural Born Killer" (Season 1).

    • About midway through this episode, the left ear of the kidnap victim has been severed from his body and delivered to his daughter. Later in the episode, the kidnap victim's left ear is still fully attached to his head, and there is no evidence it was ever removed.

    • Casting director Gina Garcia Sharp appears for the first time in this episode as CSU Tech Agent Sharp.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Lysowsky: In my world, there's no such thing as a control problem. There is controlled, and there is dead.

    • Gideon: Natalya was a part of this.
      Morgan: How did I not see this coming?
      Reid: How could any of us, man? She sought us out. We were so blinded by the fact that she trusted us, we never considered not trusting her.

    • Morgan: (when Natalya rides off with Lysowsky) What are we doing? We're just going to let her go with him?
      Reid: What choice do we have, man?

    • Prentiss: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Leo Tolstoy.

    • Natalya: I guess I'm like my mother. When she's upset, she cooks.

    • Arseny Lysowsky: (to Gideon and Reid) Would you like something to eat? This borscht is exquisite. It is my mother's old country recipe.
      Reid
      : Didn't you forsake all your relatives when you swore the Thieves' Code?
      Arseny Lysowsky
      : I didn't forsake her recipes.

    • Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss: How are you enjoying your assignment to the BAU?
      Prentiss: Well, enjoying is an odd description.
      Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss: Is it?
      Prentiss: We deal with some pretty horrible things.
      Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss
      : I thought that was where you wanted to be.
      Prentiss: It is, definitely.
      Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss: Then you do enjoy it.

    • Anton Gorban: I mind my own business.
      Gideon: You've been watching us since we got here.

    • Garcia: (answering the phone) Your friendly neighborhood oracle of all things knowable and unknowable at your service!

    • Prentiss: An old Russian proverb reminds us, "There can be no good without evil."

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Reid: (looking at the pictures of Russian criminal tattoos) These tattoos are amazingly detailed…

      One of the tattoos on the board is a spider traveling up a spider web.
      In the Russian system, this can denote an active drug addict. If the spider were shown upside down, traveling down the web, it could mean the criminal is ending his addiction.

    • Garcia: (on the phone with Reid) I will compile and reconnect forthwith, Junior G-Man. Oracle out!

      Melvin Purvis, SAC of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI, instituted a program of "Junior G-Men" on the radio in 1936. These broadcasts encouraged children to send away for Junior G-Man items by saving boxtops from Post Toasties Cereal. Junior G-Men members were issued a Manual of Instructions, a badge, and lots of inside information on solving crimes, comparing fingerprints and using secret signals.

    • Garcia: (answering the phone) Your friendly neighborhood oracle of all things, knowable and unknowable, at your service!

      This quote contains two comic book references. The first is to Marvel's Spider-Man, whose frequent catchphrase is "Just another service provided by your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!" (or some derivative thereof). The second is to DC's Barbara Gordon, who fights crime under the persona of Oracle (after a spinal cord injury ended her career as Batgirl). Oracle helps other, able-bodied heroes in their exploits by using her genius-level intellect and computer skills, much like Garcia does for the BAU. (In an interesting side-note, Oracle was one of the main characters in The WB's Birds of Prey, a show which also starred Shemar Moore.)

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