Criminal Minds

Season 7 Episode 1

It Takes a Village

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Sep 21, 2011 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (15)

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  • lady lancaster sorry JJ character changes: she is a profiler now

    such a switt friendly dissapoint
  • I think taking a cue from Bobby Ewing's shower scene would have made for a more satisfying return of the BAU's finest.


    Wherein icky scumbag Ian Doyle is re-cast as a poor, sad fellow who really only wants his son back. *Sniff.*

    While I'm happier than a pig in buttermilk to see the credits and to welcome AJ and Paget back right where they belong, I have to ask, is this the best the CM writers could come up with? Another frame story where the tale is told through the conceit of an investigation? Sure, Strauss is on "our" side this time, but we still have a committee of no-names sitting in judgment on our heroes after the fact a la Doubt and 100.If this epis to show us where we're going this year, that is, back down the writing rabbit hole where thelastunsuspenseful, badly written season traipsed, I worry for this show.

    Seemingly dozens of faces were trotted past our screens tonight, with no backgrounds or explanations or reasons for us to care about those characters. We learn only that there's a nanny, dead FBI agents, and a veritable harem of dark-haired beauties who were happy to sleep with ole Ian. And we care about this why??

    The team has been broken up ... but, um, Garcia, Morgan, and JJ are still hanging around the BAU offices, with Garcia and Morgan having all the time in the world to pin down Declan and Daddy. Geez, that's nice work if you can get it. Reid and Rossi pop up in time to find dead agents - were they simply waiting in the wings for their cues? and Hotch looks skinny and in need of a shave out among the tents and swirling sand. Is he still the leader here? If not, why is everyone so afraid that he's mad? If so, what's he doing in Pakistan?

    Oy. Enter Emily. Wow, we thought you were dead - but, hey, let's get on with the show about ... whatever the heck this ep was about. Not even ten seconds for some real reactions?? Morgan doesn't punch someone? Reid doesn't let out the sarcasm? Yes, very realistic there. There's that family feeling we've been ... oh, wait. :/

    Well, thank heavens Garcia found a screwdriver! That's all over but the shouting and we can forget all about it. I just hope we'll be able to forget the lazy writing of last season (and this ep) and get back to profiling next week.

  • OK, what's next?


    Well, they had to get Emily and JJ back, tie up loose ends and get the series back to normal. This episode did that and not a lot else.

    I was bit bored, the episode was a bit predictable, I didn't care a lot about the boy and I'm left thinking "thank heavens that's over, now we can return to the good shows". While it is pretty good that the producers listened to the outcry of the fans re dumping JJ and Emily, they could have just done the normal thing and spent 10 mins chatting among themselves about the returning characters and then gone on to a proper case.

    Roll on next week.

  • Hail, hail, the gang's all here!


    Regardless of what or may not have happened in Season 6, this remains one of my favorite television shows. I confess to have been waiting many weeks for the Season 7 premiere, particularly in view of the fact that A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster were returning to the series and Thomas Gibson finally had his contractual problems sorted out.

    The opening credits, I will admit, made me smile. It was good to see everyone back were they belong. At that point, I wasn't really concerning myself with the episode itself, I was just in a happy place, seeing the cast reunited - as I'm sure they were too!

    The first problem I had, was the similarity to '100', where the team were interrogated by Erin Strauss, following the death of George Foyet. This time it was a Senate Committee who seemed determined to get to the bottom of the whole Ian Doyle/Emily Prentiss business. Once again, we had flashbacks from last season to show what we may or may not have missed had we not watched the last few episodes and then back to the Senate Committee as they questioned each team member individually about how it was that they found and captured an international terrorist - seemingly, without any assistance. I actually wouldn't mind that question answered myself. If several international governments and police organizations had been unable to find and capture Doyle, just how was it that Morgan and Garcia, virtually working alone, did the impossible?

    Looking like Nancy Drew and one of the Hardy boys, Morgan and Garcia somehow managed - not only to find Doyle but also to capture him and locate his missing son Declan at the same time. Ordinarily, I would not find this unusual, if they whole team had been on board and proper profiling and logistics had been used. But it seemed as though every post was a winner, as these two intrepid detectives came up with ideas which just happened to hit the mark each time. They wouldn't tell J.J. what they were doing and they certainly didn't involve anyone else. But they obviously made it work. There was no profiling at all either, but I'm hoping the writers will remember that and add some next week...

    Emily's reappearance was, to say the least, underwhelming. She looked terrified when she walked into the room, as though they would not want her there or not accept her. She needn't have worried however, because apart from Garcia - who was her usual warm and loving self - nobody seemed all that bothered by her return. It looked as though she had just stepped out for a bite of lunch and come back again. It was almost as though the team felt she was guilty of something, when in fact, it was Hotch and J.J. who deliberately misled the team into believing she was dead. Certainly not her fault as she was in a critical condition at the time.

    I was stunned to say the least, that Morgan showed almost no reaction. The Derek Morgan I've been watching for 6 years would have screamed and ranted and raved and demanded to know why he had been lied to, to know why he had not been trusted with the truth and allowed to believe that he may have contributed to her death, due to his own belief that his response time was too slow. Reid acted like a sulky child while everybody else just looked around almost bored . J.J.'s explanation that they were 'in shock', doesn't cover it in the slightest. These people always refer to themselves as a family and if a member of your family, whom you have believed dead for several months suddenly turns up alive, whole and healthy, you would hardly be so devoid of reaction.

    I can only assume that - hopefully - we have seen and heard the last of the Doyle storyline. I realise they had to wrap it up and they did so quite well, in spite of the fact there were several insignificant, completely useless and totally boring characters rushing in and out throughout the entire 40 minutes. It was not necessary to introduce Declan's mother, she served no purpose, the child almost was enough to carry that part of the storyline. And I think the young man in question did an excellent job of his role. As for that Chairman of the Senate Committee, if someone had pulled out a gun and shot him, I think they would have been awarded a medal. If I wanted to watch a repeat of the events following '100', I would have just watched that episode, I don't need to see it again to kick off the new season.

    To me, A.J. Cook looked uncomfortable. I'm not talking about the character, I'm talking about the actress. It must have been very difficult for her being fired and then rehired again, just as I'm sure it was for Paget Brewster. However, you may call me selfish as I am truly delighted that they are all back together. Bring Mandy Patinkin back to join the team and I will be one happy camper. I hope that soon the writers get back to what we know (and love) best: profiling, hunting and apprehending criminals. Because that's what made this show so superb. I have decided to pretend that Season 6 did not exist so that I can hopefully enjoy Season 7 and beyond, without having to pick holes. Because I still believe that Criminal Minds has the potential and the cast to go back to being the best show on television.

    Just one final little nit-picking issue, Emily, the next time a man who has tortured and tried to kill you, dies; please do not look sad about the entire event, you don't have to hide from him anymore. Thank goodness for Kirsten Vangsness, who seems to be able to find Garcia whenever we need her and heavens knows where we'd all be if she hadn't had the screw driver in her desk.

    Believe me when I say, folks, I would LOVE to be able to give this episode a '10' because I am excited that it is once again on our screens and really looking forward to what may happen during Season 7. But I find that a 7 is as high as I can mark it because the writers have still not gotten it right. Let's hope with the team once more reformed, that will change.

    Go Criminal Minds!!

  • Fantastic episode but some worries...

    This was a great beginning to season 7 what with JJ and Emily both being back full time but it worries me that Reid didn't request to be reinstated with the team. What's with that? Also, I felt like it was kind of fast, what with getting rid of Doyle and accomplices with a shootout so the only surviving is Declan. Other that those things, awesome start to what I hope is an amazing season and I really hope Spencer Reid comes back in Season 8 or CBS will be losing a lot of viewers (me included...)
  • Prentiss - back from the 'dead'!! Great start of the new season!

    Ok, although is was a great episode and a great way to start of the season. I'm having doubts about Morgan. The first few seasons I really liked him, but he is so damn arrogant! He thinks he's knows everything best and I don't like it! And how JJ 'tries' to be a profiler?!?! Come on, really!? Go back to the beginning when it was right!!! That said .. great having Prentiss back, even this is her last season!!
  • AMAZING season premier! and brilliant acting by Shemar Moore.


    I think this a perfect opener for season 7. The team working together and their determination and mostly the old chemistry between the team members that was lost out in season 6 because of know finally BACK!

    This episode was kind of a wrap up from the previous story lines, inorderto ease up Prentiss's entry back into the BAU. This episode also opened up a number of story lines for the future episodes like the trust issues that may arise within the team because of hiding Emily.

    However for me the actor that shined in this episode was Shemar Moore. The determination with which he was finding Doyle just to avenge Emily's death was brilliant but the best scene was when he see's Emily enetr the BAU room...the hurt and confusion on his face were just so clearly evident. His expressions easily conveyed the hurt of being kept in the dark about a friend who he dearly loved and spent the last 7 months working for.

    Overall a really good episode. And for all those people who are tired of Doyle storyline, just wait for sometime as they will get back to normal cases but this episode was needed to bring Prentiss back.

    LOVE the old team back.

  • What a season premiere


    Thank god all of them are back together again. The whole cast being there on the opening credits just made my heart sing.

    So basically the team are being put before the 'board' for their conduct for the months after Emily's 'death' and I did wonder if they were actually going to bring her back in the very first episode. Morgan being angry a lot was great acting by Shemar and really showed he is a leader in his own right.

    Great play between Emily and Morgan, I think it was so sweet. Reid being such a badass was great to watch, especially suggesting the swap and then shooting that woman without any problems. Can't believe how soft Strauss was being, soo used to her being so evil!

    In the end you just felt relief that finally this whole case can be put to rest and they can carry on. bring on the next episode and hope this is going to be another great season!

  • Back from the Abyss


    Now, this was how you Start a season. When it comes to crime shows I normally don't do season premieres, because I just want them to get beck to normal cases, and crime fighting, but this is a premiere I'm glad I didn't miss!

    It had twists and turns, and I would have been completely shocked that Emily was back, if it had not been ruined by tvguide and the cbs promo's for the premiere, but I digress.

    The writing was amazing, as always. The actor was great, at it's best in a while for sure! And it had an ending I didn't see coming, but that worked out for Emily to stay on.

    Lastly, I'm glad to see the cast back the way it's meant to be, JJ and Emily should have never left, and here's hoping they never do again!

  • What a fantastic start!!


    Man this was one of the best premieres of this show. Partly because of what everyone wanted and waited: the unification of all cast members. Excellent acting. Well directed. My favorite character Reid has a new kick-ass side that just upped the coolness factor. No one messes with the resident super-genius. Morgan's moments with Emily were pretty good. JJ seemed back to her old cheerful self.. Penelope was lovable as always, Rossi doesnt get enough content and Hotch looks malnourished. Overall, eagerly awaiting this season!! Good work!!

  • wonderful beginning (possible spoiler alert)


    this is one of the best episodes I have seen. When I thought Emily Prentiss had died i didnt know if i would continue watching it was bad enough jj left but then prentiss i dont like when they bring in new agents its never the same with someone new who has no idea how close the team is to a family for one another. but when emily walked in my jaw dropped. such an amazing start for a new season. the team is back.

  • Brilliant and phenomenal start! (Potential spoilesrs)


    With the knowledge that Jennifer Jareau and Emily Prentiss would be returning to the Behavioural Analysis Unit, this episode was always going to be amazing - but it was definitely beyond amazing.

    The questioning by the Committee was done superbly, and the way in which Prentiss returned (to everyone's suprise) was just great - especially loved the scene where Prentiss was staring at her own picture on the wall of those who had died.

    The case with Doyle's son was phenomenal - I loved the way they did it, and I especially loved the ending, which I am not going to spoil.

    Overall, a lot of great adjectives may be used to describe this episode, but it was just amazing to see our beloved team back together! Can't wait for more!

  • Now that was a season premiere!


    Let's begin...

    JJ IS BACK! I couldn't help but smile and fill with excitement when she graced the screen. Already she is shown to be stronger, more assertive and more sure of herself. It's great seeing her be all BAU-y

    The cast photo at the end of the opening credits was a beautiful sight, gave me tingles seeing the cast all together again where they belong.

    Reid is pretty badass! Learning to use a gun, or be more capable with it was a logical thing to do after Emily's "death". His idea to allow Doyle to go for a trade and shooting whats-her-name without flinching.

    I was covered in goosebumps when Prentiss returned, couldn't stop smiling, I even shed a tear. Beautiful!

    Basically, everything is back to how it should be and I'm beyond happy and excited for this season. Perfect.



    What a Fabulous series return. Totally engrossing from start till the end.

    "The past cannot be cured" Queen Elizabeth I

    The fab seven are back together again after all these months.

    I personally felt that Strauss was a big softie in this episode. Hopefully her 'evilness' returns soon.

    Reading the teasers from everywhere, nothing compares to spending the forty-two minutes watching it.

  • A wonderfully outstanding season premier!


    This is (as others put it) an AWESOME season premier episode! I don't think I can overstate how much I loved the episode. It also set up so many subplots that I'm sure we'll see many of them continuing into the season. Just because the main story line is over doesn't it won't continue to ripple into the season.

    The major season subplots I see is how each member deals with Emily Prentiss being alive. They each took her death differently and may have been ready to do thing in their own lives because of her death. Hence finding out she is really alive will affect them because of what they might have been willing to do or did do because they thought she died at the end of last season.

    It really was a nice wrap up of what earlier had been small details, such as Ian's Son. This level of writing is what Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior deserved, but never got! Why the powers that be never put the necessary resources into the spin off, well, I just don't understand. I can say, though, as a viewer and fan of Criminal Minds, I do want to see a successful spin-off! I hope they will keep trying to finally do it right.

    Given this level of writing at the start of a seventh season means we'll be seeing Criminal Minds in its 10th and (most likely) beyond season. A major thank you to the actors, writers, the director, and producers for a fine and wonderful series and great episode.

    I'm rating it 10, as I can't rate it properly at 9.8 to 9.9 (so as always, I round up).