“Jones” is not just a great story that did not have to sacrifice character development for plot development. It gave us profiling at its best, and real contributions by each of our favorite characters (except, perhaps, for Hotch). The women were in the forefront – and the realism of their reactions to the men they work with, as well as the arrogant rapist, was wonderful. The BAU characters are not stagnant, but are still evolving, revealing more depth every week. But this episode does so much more.
Some say our characters are most developed by the trials we experience in life, not the triumphs. In this episode the writer and director show us what can happen to a ravaged life – level after level after level. Rape victim Sarah Danlin, expressing her rage and grief by becoming Jack the Ripper, is only one example. Her story produces both pity and horror. What about Det. LaMontagne? Having lost his father in Katrina he goes about dedicating his life to bring down the murderer who, in a way, took his father from him. Reid’s friend, Ethan, finds solace for his choices in his music. And our traumatized profiler himself? His story of self-doubt is brought to a brilliant conclusion when he decides to admit his weaknesses and still go on.
By setting this story in New Orleans, the writer gives us another character to examine – the city has survived devastating hardship. The city herself has been raped, and is barely starting to rebuild, yet, in this story we see her coming back to life and welcoming new friends. Special kudos to Josh Stewart and Rhys Coiro, and director Steve Shill, for very downplayed, moody performances that harmonized with the darkness of the story beautifully.