This was teh culmination of five years of great performances on this great show for A.J. Cook, aka Jennifer Jareau. It was not the greatest of cases, overall, but seeing JJ caring for the family was realy sweet, particularly with the fact that eher time at the BAU was running out.
The case in itself had some strong points. It was cetainly very different from past episodes, as there weren't multiple victims to consider, but that was also a positive characteristic about this episode.
I did shed a tear when JJ entered that elevator and left the BAU for good. It was so sad, as she was certainly one of my facvorite team members, if not my overall favorite.
All the best to A.J. Cook in the future, and hopefully we will see her on or screens very soon, in another awesome role!
Can't wait for next week, but it will be without "JJ". :(
Give this show an nomination for best acting. I havent seen good acting like these in years. Instead of giving it to Two and a half Men and all of its sex crimes and horniness, why not give it to this show?
Very touching episode, crime committed was not that important (ultimately, no one died, and it was a bit far fetched).
JJ was stellar in her final acting scene, very mature, considering that she was about to leave the show. Touching final scene with Garcia, when Garcia was in denial about JJ leaving the episode. I loved the part when she said she could have put a virus into her file. I loved the part about Garcia saying that they might not get to meet when schedules crop up and they lose contact with each other. But the part that I loved the most was JJ hugging Garcia and telling her that everything was going to be ok. The motherly love that we would be missing from this show.
A fairytale ending in the end for the victim, but hey, we need these once in a while.
I don't want to say this was the worst episode ever of Criminal Minds because I remember the one that introduced the cast of a spin-off and that was worse.
Anyway, the case was lame, boring and almost obvious (either one of the guys did it, duh, and surely it won't be the obvious one) and that the girl was still alive and able to call for help after three days in the middle of the sea was unbelievable (to say the least).
But was pissed me most was the slow sugarcoated never-ending boring please-stop-or-I'll-blow-my-brains last fifteen minutes of JJ's departure. Go away, girl! We don't care if you are in the team or not! We want smart plots, brain and muscle action, psycho killers, not fifteen minutes of "We are gonna miss you, we are so sad" over a unbearable bland music background.
I hope next episode gets better. My patience has a limit, you know.
Where in the heck was JJ's goodbye to Reid? You know, the Godfather of her son!?! I was a little confused as to why she did not have a heartfelt goodbye with him. Again, I will admit I LOVE Reid and MGG, but I thought that the writers leaving out that particular goodbye was strange. Reid has had a crush on JJ since the second episode of the first season. He asked her on a date. She was devastated when he was kidnapped by Tobias. She made him the Godfather of her son. So why would she not have a heartfelt, tear jerking, all out, sad goodbye with him, like she did with Garcia. Okay, I know I am going over board, but seriously that made me hate this episode.
Also, this might be the first episode where the entire team had the profile wrong. They thought it was the one stuck up, pompous jerk. When it was the quiet, shy, but seriously messed up guy. I can't remember another episode where they had so many wrong ideas. Also, to have JJ leave the show for such a dumb reason is just ridiculous. I'm a fan of some strange, far fetched, out there shows, but I never thought Criminal Minds was one of them. At least have JJ go out with a bang. She deserved better than what she got. I mean Elle and Gideon had better exits from the show and the writers only knew about there departure for a few weeks. The writers have known for months that A.J. Cook was being fired from the show. So why was her exit not more spectacular. I mean Elle freaking killed someone and most people thought Gideon had killed himself. So why was JJ's exit so pathetic. I don't getting it!
First and foremost, as I am always a strong proponent of, it's about the case. Case first. Then characters. (But it's hard to tow that line this time, even for me.)
Basically, we have "Natalee Holloway: Maryland." Not much writing needed here – a young woman goes on vacation with friends, is abducted after leaving a club with some young men, including a very well-off, good looking one, who claim to have dropped her off at her hotel all safe and sound. Parents very much involved – sort of. I will admit it was much better than a documentary. Faint praise indeed.
Kudos, first, to Michael Welch and Christopher Marquette for their performances as the suspects. Well played. Second, hats off to the writers for remembering that our team are profilers, and using them as they should be used, not having them racing around, guns blazing, for once. The interrogation scenes were excellent. The not so twisty twist of having the "submissive" actually being the clever murderer? Good, but you've done it before in The Perfect Storm.
Parents are mad, but don't make any other contributions – that was a mistake. I'd like to have seen them insist on taking a role here, besides the refusal to leave the building. And, of course, the wife is blamed by the husband. A pattern emerges… but I'll get back to that.
Speaking of mistakes. What moronic police officers! First we have the 'come on, she's dead,' guy who hangs around in the background to ask questions just so the BAU can explain things. THEN we have the fact that, although they apparently confiscated their cell phones, the brain-dead officers did not check them for evidence! Really? In all the time that you've held them you couldn't have gotten a court order for that? And, when, exactly, has the BAU ever even considered getting a court order for any of the 'intelligence gathering' that they've done? Utterly stupefying.
Kudos, also, to have Morgan NOT go ape-crazy on the suspect. A role-reversal for him. Almost like he's a real agent and not just a hot-head.
JJ finds the clue. Nice panacea to the fact that you're shoving this character (and actress) out the door – let's make her the irreplaceable one now that we've kicked her out. Tiny sops to the blood soaking into the floor. But I digress. Again.
Finding the girl alive was a nice touch. But I'll get to that later.
Now to character. JJ's 'offer she couldn't refuse.' Strauss' continued characterization as a manipulating harpy that has absolutely no control over anything that makes its way into her hands. The sudden alternate universe in which an employee of the FBI can be forced to take a job with the Department of Defense – or anywhere for that matter. I will not be able to suitably convey the utter disgust and disdain I have for the writers for displaying this swill with a 4.5 rating for the ep. I am appalled.
This episode should have been called, "No Strong Women Allowed." Besides the victim, not one woman is given any power over her own life. JJ is 'forced' to take a new job. Strauss is 'forced' to 'force' her. They are all victims, and I will not applaud any show for making a strong woman into a victim, and JJ is very much the victim here.
In the real world, JJ had options. First, she could decide to take her backlog of vacation/sick days in order to hit up HR and perhaps contact a lawyer. Second, if she is given the only option of transferring (to a completely different government agency!!!) or being fired, she could offer her two weeks notice and simply leave until they got the message that she could not be manipulated like this. We know she's not coming back, no matter what words of hope they gave Thomas Gibson to spout. A bullet to the head, while upsetting, would have been more respectful to the character.
Erin Strauss. Seriously, writers, take some classes in how to write a strong woman administrator. Her 'hands are tied' scenarios are getting ripe. And her smarmy, 'more time with your family' is false on the face of it.
JJ's decision to 'take the high road' is a mirror of what actress AJ did this summer. Her choice. Perhaps that makes her stronger than someone who simply rants and raves and pouts. She was 'laid off' as so many in the regular workforce can sympathize with. But that isn't what they chose to do to JJ, so, they all flail their hands helplessly in the air, sigh, and cry, and wish it weren't so. Please.
The deliberate attempts to parallel the victim with JJ (you caught the name, right?) leave me with bile choking my throat. JJ didn't 'save herself,' she simply let the waters close over her head. The elevator doors close because it was 'above her pay grade' and she sighs and moves on. Yeah, I get it, that's what happened to AJ. JJ deserved better.
Perhaps this was an attempt to let the cast and viewers say good-bye. All it did for this viewer was to stoke the fires of anger as the women fall like ninepins and the illogical, unintelligent excuses continue.
I know everyone on all the boards is upset about JJ leaving, however, that's show biz and the show must go on. Don't get me wrong, I will miss JJ too, but this is a great show!
I loved the episode as a whole. The way the layed out the case, the two unsubs playing off each other, and the ultimate confessions. The best part for me was that Kate ended up alive -- a good day! JJ as always was wonderful, as was the entire cast.
Regardless of the current and upcoming changes, this is still a great show. We might not like the direction the writers always take, and let's face it, they have given us some real lows, and some excellent highs. I for one am still going to be at my TV or online watching every episode.
I have rated this episode as a 7.5 for two reasons. Number 1, I thought there was some excellent acting by Paget Brewster, Thomas Gibson, Kirsten Vangsness and guest star Michael Welsh. The second reason was J.J.'s speech at the end which was obviously for the fans and the cast of the show (and it almost seems as though also to the executives at CBS) which made it quite clear that leaving was not what she wanted.
Now, on to the show itself. We have a pair of unsubs with the usual dominant/submissive situation which involves the disappearance of a young girl.
Meanwhile, while all this is going on, we find J.J. and Hotch in Strauss's office where J.J. (we learn for the third time) is turning down a job offer from The Pentagon. She (and Hotch) are adamant that she has no desire whatsoever to leave the BAU and has no intention of accepting their "offer". It SHOULD have been left at that. Just in case anybody is unaware, the Pentagon has no authority at all to order a member of the FBI to accept a job transfer. From the time the writers went in that direction with the script, they were, quite simply, making it up as they went along. I assume they thought the fans would swallow it hook, line and sinker. Well, let's hope they don't because in a show that supposedly employs people to assist with realism, this part was one big fabrication.
J.J. has never had any connection with the military or with any people "higher up" in the chain, apart from her liaising duties. As her job is non-military, she CANNOT be compelled to take the trasfer, reagrdless of what the producers and the network honchos may have instructed the writers to say in the script.
In a recent interview, Simon Mirren made the extraordinary statement that (paraphrasing again) "We have always known that J.J. had other connections ..." Have we? When was THAT ever mentioned? Certainly in none of the episodes I have ever watched. Seems that CBS will instruct the 'Criminal Minds' team to say anything if it means the fans will get off their backs about A.J. Cook's firing.
Let us hope that all the nonsense in this episode and in the interviews centred around it, will make the fans keep at them, even if it IS too late. I hope they learn that they have meddled with a hugely popular and highly successful show all for the sake of saving a few dollars and that there is no way they can justify it. They certainly can't be short on money if they can pay Charlie Sheen millions per episode for his program.
The missing girl was almost unimportant to me, I found the two suspects far more interesting. It was clear from the outset that A.J. Cook was upset, and I mean the actress, not her character. She has lost a ton of weight and her lines were forced and not at all convincing. In fact, I think it was possibly the worst performance I have seen from this talented lady on the show. The only time I was convinced by anything was when she was saying goodbye to the rest of the team, particularly Garcia. And Hotch's promise to try and get her back? That was just a red herring to make the fans feel better. It didn't work for me.
We will miss you, A.J. It would be better than nice if The Powers That Be at CBS admitted they have made a huge mistake and brought J.J. back into the fold where she belongs. We can only hope.
AJ's character was cut from the show by an executive decision by CBS, and fans of the show have not taken it well. But, watching this episode, you can see that the writers didn't like it either, and the metaphors are strong. Strauss= CBS
Hotch and the team= CM's writers and staff
Plot Points: The higher-ups are forcing JJ out. No one on the team, including herself, wants her to go; she is a vital member of the team; the group dynamic won't work without her; Hotch isn't replacing her and even still hopes to get her back, etc.
They even gave her a stirring farewell address.
So none of the viewers should get upset with the writers for making Strauss into the easy villain; instead, compliment them for giving AJ Cook the send off she deserves while they are being forced to write her off.
First, let's start with a rant, shall we? I know that this point has been done to death by just about every person with a brain, but I'm going to reiterate it as I feel it's important backstory. CBS is stupid, and arrogant, and sexist, and pigheaded, in short. Criminal Minds has been successful and enjoyable for so long partly because it's unlike any other long running show. There is such a sense of family between all of them, so much trust, and no obscene pairings are ever brought into play. Garcia and Morgan flirt and sexually harass each other, Prentiss and Morgan are always together and have in depth conversations, Rossi calls Garcia kitten, read into it what you will but they've never "gone there", something I respect. Anyway, they go and cut one of the best female TV role models and downsize another only to have her leave at the end of the year! It's incredible how badly these two beautiful actresses have been treated and I'm not surprised that Paget's only doing one more year. I wouldn't put up with it either. *Rant Over*
Back to the episode! Now, I did sort of drift away from CM last year. Can't put my finger on why, I guess I felt that the episodes were sort of lacking their usual passion and gusto. "Parasite" had got to one of the most boring eps EVER. No offence. "100" was amazing though, and they really pulled it back by the end of the season with the fantastic "Rite of Passage" and "...Thousand Words". Of course that then lead to the shockingly bad finale (which I was SO bored by.) I was on the fence, and then I heard that the women were leaving and I decided I was done. BUT... JJ has always been one of my favourite characters, I think she represents someone in the BAU who's had a relatively normal life. I know that her sister killed herself (and I'm not putting that down, I have a close friend who tried it as well and I understand how hard it is on family and close friends) but I think they only added that to make her just that little bit more messed up. Other than that, she grew up in a small town, played soccer, grew up, met a nice boy and had an ADORABLE baby. It goes to show that you can look at pictures of murder all day and still be well adjusted, which is always a good message. You can tell that CBS did the making her leave story in parallel to AJ, who was as well forced out. But - and I wish I wasn't admitting this - I thought they pulled it off beautifully. I deliberately watched this episode (and probably won't watch any more) because I wanted to see if they did JJ justice. Fortunately, I think they did. The case was interesting and although the sadistic "Dominant/Submissive" thing has been done to death, I really like the spin they put on it. Prentiss was great this episode, though I felt Reid a little absent. And sharks! That's new. JJ looked beautiful as well. Because you're normally distracted by the case or the other more dominant characters you don't notice JJ, but AJ Cook really is stunning.
I was looking at her while she acted and realised - though my emotional attachment to this show is small and rapidly diminishing - I felt really sad. The idea of not seeing her on CM again did make something pull at my heartstrings. Hotch trying all he could (I hope) to save her was sweet, and his almost tears at the end were heartbreaking! But I was little annoyed by the handshake. Six years and she can't get a hug? There's always been a mutual understanding between the two of them I think, both being parents. The job hits them differently from the others. And everyone else? So sad... Reid's face. It's like Mommy's leaving Baby all alone. I know how close they were, and his lip quiver was so sad. Prentiss tearing up was also emotional, as they were close as well. Her and Garcia's heartfelt goodbye was horrifically sad, especially when Garcia burst in sobs as she left. The best mate connection between the two of them is rarely shown and I'm glad the writers acknowledged it. I know some people say the clip montage was a cliche but I really liked it. It should moments with her girls, and Reid, and moments of her pregnancy and Henry. It's important they added those as being with BAU for that did shape her, certainly. As I saw her walking down that hallway for the last time, I'm unashamed to say that tears were pouring down my cheeks. My chest was aching and I just felt so sad to see her go, to know that such an integral part of the team was leaving. CM won't be the same, and I doubt it will go on much longer without, might finish S6 but without Paget CM is toast. JJ's final words were so true and poignant that I really felt genuine unhappiness at seeing her go. She may have been a little in the background at times and CBS hasn't appreciated her enough. Apparently, she can just be thrown out like trash. While I am devastated to see her go, her exit was done well. I felt like her going on to bigger and better things was great, and least she'll have been promoted. I am really, really going to miss her. Goodbye, JJ.
This is the best episode of Criminal Minds to date (equal to episode "100" with Hotchner losing his ex wife but his boy surviving). First reason - the case was gripping and emotional. The family, the two friends, how hard the team worked to unravel the case. Brilliant twist and great strength with the girl surviving. Second, and MOST IMPORTANT reason - our JJ being told she HAS to leave. Even after declining twice before and declining a third time because she wanted to stay - what an upset! The team was devastated, as was I. I don't know how they'll push on. I felt so sorry for Garcia and Reid. Poor JJ. I teared up over this episode, it was hugely emotional and her final words were beautiful and so true. JJ - you will be missed. And it better be a temporary miss. Hotchner better find a way to bring you back!
I gave the episode a 10 for one reason: as a homage to actress AJ Cook and her character JJ. CBS made a terrible mistake in removing a strong female lead character from the show. JJ was the glue that held the Criminal Minds "family" together. Her scenes with Reid while she was pregnant were touching, her acting was inspiring (especially with the material being so depressing...murder, rape, etc.), her smile uplifting. I will miss her character but I will miss the woman behind it much more.
Why this show must remove two of their lead females this season is beyond me. Maybe they should have found a way to continue with them instead of casting them off after so much excellent work. It's not as if JJ was just a profiler and there are other profilers on the team to take her place. She was the liaison for police departments and the FBI's BAU! When they tried to replace her while she was on maternity leave it was awful (no disrespect to the actress that played the part of her fill in). I wish they would have cut their budget in some other way than to rid the show of such a beautiful, talented and capable actress and character. We love you AJ!!!
I should start this off by saying that I SOBBED at the end. Like, ugly cry. It was bad. The interaction between the team was excellent. The way they received the news of JJ leaving was perfect, especially Reid (which was what set me off crying in the first place). I would've liked if Hotch hugged her, even if it's not really a Hotch thing to do. It would've been nice. I also loved how Garcia's "Don't they know that we're a family? Don't they care?" echoed everything the cast has been saying since this horrible news surfaced.
I think AJ Cook was absolutely brilliant and handled this debacle with incredible grace. I was a little bit disappointed with the way they sent her off, y'know, the whole "JJ has to leave, Strauss's hands are tied, yada yada yada", though I am glad they sent her off to bigger and better things instead of killing her, which would've been really upsetting.
The case itself was not my favorite. The actors playing the unsubs were great, but I called the submissive being the murderer within five minutes. I was irked by the parents for some reason...maybe it was just the acting. Keeping the girl alive was a nice touch and completely unexpected. All in all, a good episode. This would usually earn an 8.5 or 9 from me, but out of respect for AJ, it gets a 10. We'll miss you JJ!
So, as a devout CM fan, I was dreading this episode. First of all, I had no idea how they were gonig to write JJ out. I do like the way she did in that she's going on to bigger and better things. I find this a better alternative than, well, dying.
The main storyline was actually very good and intense. The actor they found to play the Sid guy was super-creepy and a fantastic actor for the job. I honestly felt quite intimidated by him. The fact that the girl was alive was great, but a tad bit unrealistic. That comes from someone who has no idea how someone lives on the ocean for multiple days, so it could be totally realistic and I just don't know it.
In the end, yes, I did cry. It was just so darn depressing, even with the cliche video montage. The fact that Prentiss began tearing up was something totally unexpected. I loved her interaction with Garcia at the end and the little tender moment between her and Reid. Overall, I thought this was a very well-written episode (except for the loss of our very dear JJ). It definately, in my opinion, made up for the lackluster appearance of the premiere. Now I'm just curious to see how they continue on without JJ.