Criminal Minds

Season 6 Episode 18


Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Mar 16, 2011 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

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  • To lady Lancaster

    i don't like JJ being a profiler. she posy to be a liason, isn't right... that other cast can't move from her position, and JJ will "Be" prentiss
  • Very sad episode for me... (Spoilers.)

    This was definitely a teraful culminaion to the Ian Doyle storyline. Poor Emily is apparantly "killed" off and I am very disappointed to see Paget Brewster leave the cast, as Emily Prentiss was a huge favorite of mine.

    I really enjoyed this episode, and I LOVED seeing JJ back on the show, even though it was only for one episode, unfortunately.

    I really also enjoyed the whole case with Ian Doyle. There were a few great revelations throughout the course of this episode which made it a very interesting one to watch!

    The last few scenes were done perfectly, and I couldn't emagine Prentiss leaving in any other way, other than covertly. It was a great way to leave, even though I dont' want to see her go...

    You will be missed, Paget Brewster, as will A.J. Cook, but this episode was great, and I highly recommend it!
  • Very conflicted about this episode - many great moments and a few really sh*tty ones.

    I'm still pissed that they chose to remove 2 out of 3 women from the team, leaving it an all male bastion - except for poor Penelope, struggling with the loss of all her girlfriends - because of some half-assed corporate decision based on some budget or other.

    But apart from that:
    Emily kicked ass in this episode, which was great - I've really enjoyed the professional cloak-and-dagger routine these last couple of episodes, and tonights shoot-first-ask-later feel really got my pulse up - Emily shooting people's ears off, Emily tossing flashbangs into cars, etc, etc. Great stuff.

    Then there's some not so great stuff, the worst of which was Agent Seaver - again.
    Apparently, she's good with narcissists - because she's dated a few.
    And when Rossi's stumped, he appeals to his diamond-in-the-rough young trainee, who just needs her hand held to blurt out the key to everything.
    I wonder if she'll have a great-great-grandson called Wesley Crusher some day...

    I DIDN'T know Emily would walk away alive at the end of it all, but it didn't really come as a surprise either (I've got a suspicious mind), but I'm not sure how I feel about that. Is the entire team in the dark?
    They tried to save her and believe they failed - they - especially Morgan, who started out being really pissed at her before he learned what her motivation was - will beat themselves up over this, there'll be guilt enough to go around and I don't know if they'll all walk away from this, and the question I'm left with is WHY?!?
    The bad guy is DEAD, and so are quite a few of his men (most of who were just muscle for hire anyway), so WHY can't Emily stay at the BAU?!?

    I realize that writing this has settled things in my mind: Great episode - but I feel PISSED! >:(
  • It's so hard to know what score to give this episode and even more difficult to know how to properly review it because there were no surprises. We knew ages in advance that Emily was not dead and that made it far less suspenseful, but kudos to Paget.

    Watching this episode was difficult for me because I have liked the character of SSA Emily Prentiss ever since she first arrived in Hotch's office carrying her box of stuff, supremely confident that she had a job with the BAU. I am glad that she did and I'm very glad that she has become such an integral part of the team.

    As I said in my summary, one of the biggest issues I had was the fact that long before the episode aired, every man and his dog knew that CBS was going to leave Emily's exit from the show open-ended because then, as now, it was not known whether or not the pilot for Paget's comedy series would be picked up and, if the pilot is NOT picked up, there is a very strong possibility that she may well return to "Criminal Minds" in Season 7. Of course, even if the pilot doesn't happen, she may choose not to go back given the way that herself and co-star A.J. Cook were treated by Ms. Tassler, Mr. Bernero and friends last summer.

    As for the episode itself. I am very glad that Matthew Gray Gubler directed what could be Paget's swan song. Such a pity they didn't give the poor man (and the actors) a better script to work with for such an important airing with regard to the future of the show as a whole.

    Seeing Emily's backstory was ok, but just about every piece of it was predictable and one could guess exactly what was coming next for the most part. That is not good drama and it certainly can't be rated as decent suspense. The whole plot revolving around the Prentiss story arc has been so much like a B-Grade movie with a bad cast (with even more appalling accents) that I found myself very annoyed that such a fine actress who is beloved by the fans should have had to work through something so cheesy. Then again, J.J's 'removal' from the BAU was just as cheesy so I shouldn't have been surprised.

    Speaking of J.J. She seemed very cold, distant and almost uninterested right from the minute she stepped into the conference room. That is not the J.J. we all remember. Did the writers decide that, given her new exalted government job, she would think herself above her former colleagues? If they did, they don't know J.J. very well. She would never have been so matter of fact in the face of Prentiss possibly being dead or about to die. She was among friends and the cold exterior just did not sit properly. And why were they not at least mildly overjoyed to see her? I realise that Prentiss' life was in danger but these are the same people who ALWAYS refer to themselves as a 'family' and yet, when one of them returned briefly, there didn't even seem to be time for a proper 'hello'. Maybe Hotch has seen her since she left, but I doubt the others have.

    I completely understood Morgan's anger at Prentiss because I would have felt exactly the same way and possibly said very similar things if I were in his shoes. He felt betrayed by a friend and that hurts. A lot. Also, his questioning why she didn't spill the beans about Doyle et al in the first place was what many fans have been asking all along.

    We get that Doyle is a narcissist and I don't know about you, but I for one was thrilled to learn that Seaver knows all about them. I will sleep better at night knowing this. Poor Rachel Nichols. They are making her character insufferable and there is nothing she can do about it. She (Seaver) is arrogant, disdainful, opinionated and also, it would appear, the only person to whom the team can turn when they are in trouble and need 'fresh eyes' and mind boggling insight. The actress deserves better writing than that and the fans certainly don't deserve to be taken for fools either. She was on screen and talking almost more than anyone else so if that is going to continue, the "CM" people REALLY need to look at how they intend to develop the character for the sake of the show, the actress and, of course, the faithful viewers.

    Rossi always being within a foot of Seaver is starting to become a little unnerving, even somewhat creepy, particularly with the hugging and hand holding. Not very professional there, Dave, and if you are trying to be a father figure, you need to back off. A lot, or people will start to think you have ulterior motives which would be just plain icky.

    I'm afraid that Joe Mantegna, lovely man though he is, was not even in the ballpark when he stated that "Lauren" would "Make '100' look like a picnic" because it didn't. Not by the proverbial country mile. Paget Brewster did a superb job with a lousy script, but to even try to put it in the class of an episode like "100" is somewhat sad because to me, it means that "Criminal Minds" has truly lost its way.

    On the plus side,I loved Garcia's voicemail message to Emily because, just as she did when J.J. left, I think she echoed the sentiments of the fans with her words and pleas. Terrific work by Kirsten Vangsness as well as Paget Brewster there.

    The hospital scene was well done and good to see the chaps doing some blubbering too. Although I can't be certain, I think that J.J. said to Hotch "Emily is fine." As for Hotch, he looked like a man completely defeated. Was it because a member of his team whom he trusted implicitly had essentially lied about so many things and he hadn't noticed? As he obviously knew Prentiss was still alive, perhaps it was the fact that yet another of his people is gone from the unit.

    The funeral was a huge disappointment. We didn't get a proper eulogy and, because of the music, heard nothing the priest was saying at all. And where in the world was Ambassador Prentiss? It is completely unthinkable that she would not be at her daughter's funeral, particularly as it is so very vital to Emily's future safety that Doyle believes she is dead. The 'Lauren Reynolds' persona had Paget done up to resemble Kate Jackson so perfectly that it would have been very poignant (and sensible) to have the Ambassador there. Hayley Hotchner got a bigger and better send off so you would think a person who has been with the cast for so long would be entitled to the same.

    I have given the episode an 8.5 because I think Paget Brewster did excellent work. It was also marvellous to see (a very little) of A.J. Cook again and that little son of Doyle's was just gorgeous. Speaking of Doyle, has he vanished never to be seen again and gone off to learn a new appallling accent? Or will the team, at some point have a chance to catch him?

    The trust issue for the members of Hotch's team will be enormous if and when they find out that Prentiss is still alive. None of them will feel they can trust their leader or J.J. again. That just doesn't seem fair.

    Let us hope that Season 7 sees a return to the show for Paget Brewster AND A.J. Cook because I can't see it lasting into an eighth year if they don't bring back their actors and get some decent writers.

    If you don't come back, Paget, thank you for all your great work, but if you do, I, for one, will be very glad to see you turning up with Emily's box of things again!
  • Hey,at least both Andrea(JJ)and Paget(Emily) are coming back in season 7 I really miss them.

    I miss you both good luck in season 7. It was a sad episode at first i thought that she was really died until i read a little bit. i still question about how they are going to make the episode when Emily come back to make any since after every on thinks she is died. I really liked this episode it was very sad at the end. The only thing that I don't get is that if Emily is really coming back in season 7 then when she was leaving in season 6 why did she die I just don't see how they are going to make the episode when Emily comes back make any since cause people will know that she died.
  • 'Lauren' marks the finally episode of Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) as she goes searching for Doyle to end it all. Matthew Gray Gubler directs this episode. So much emotion and unexpected twists.

    I cried so much at this episode. Matthew Gray Gubler's directing was immense and their was so much emotion from all of the team. Full of twists, especially the ending. Although why was only JJ and Hotch allowed to know that Prentiss was still alive, I can understand JJ as she works for the Pentagon, but Hotch is just as vunerable as the rest of the team, I couldn't keep a secret like that from them. The best moment of this episode definatley had to be the reactions of the team when JJ announced Prentiss was 'dead', especially Reid's and Rossi's as they aren't ones who would normally cry. Also not forgetting Garcia's voicemail message for Prentiss, I got teary at that. Overall I can't believe Emily/Paget has left :'( Although even though I miss JJ/AJ Cook I was left wondering why she came back as she wasn't included as much, which is unfair. Bring Back AJ Cook and Paget Brewster!
  • Last episode of Paget Brewster, the return of JJ and a whole lot of twists and turns on an emotional journey which completes the story of Emily's past.

    Obvious Spoliers below: Loved this episode so much! It tied up many loose ends that we had regarding Emily's background - tells a little about what she did back in the day.

    It also shows the sacrifices that one is willing to make to protect what she believse in and to protect thoes that they care about. The BAU team is a family, and this sums up just what they mean to each other.

    I think Reid's reaction at the end, when he hugged JJ sums up what she meant to them and gave us a differing perspective. We knew what they meant to Emily but until the end we didn't really get to see what she meant to them.

    It's an emotional episode with you sitting on the edge of your seat questioning every desicion that Emily has made and asking why would she do that? Why wouldn't she tell soemone?

    It it not until the very end that you understand, and begin to realise the choices and the sacrifices that she made.

    Paget will no longer be in criminal minds which is a major shame as we lost our 3rd lead female role in Criminal minds, and Emily was a particular favourite of mine, second only to JJ. Let's see if they can top this the next time someone leaves the show!
  • A really different episode for Criminal Minds. It never really allowed you to be certain what would happen next.

    I'm really sad that Prentiss has left, though grateful that they didn't actually kill her off, which gives some chance she will reappear at a later date. Morgan's anger at Prentiss was hard to figure out until I realised how important the trust between friends and colleagues is to him. It was nice he made his peace before she 'died'. Garcia's phone message was sweet and goes to show how deeply the characters friendship has become over the series, so many of the episodes focus solely on the relationships between the victims and the Unsubs that it was nice to see the arc of the relationships before Prentiss left.
    So does that mean Seaver is going to be more involved now, and become the other permanent member?
    It was also nice to see JJ again. Though I noticed how much more reserved she is now compared to when she left. Probably from what she knows and what she had done while she was away. It was still a nice counterpoint, having Prentiss leaving and Seaver coming in with JJ around.
  • Seriously...this is the best the writers could do?

    I blame CBS for this mess. Ok the Episode "Lauren" was good certainly not great. I get it,CBS has to send off another character,and another female one at that. The episode had some solid moments but I'm never a fan of flashbacks on a drama show that were never on the show to begin with. In fact I find them corny and take away from the finer moments of the show. Once again CBS is the blame for this with their cheapness! It was great to see JJ again,but another CBS screw up to lose a very popular character due to money. Don't get me wrong,I love this show or I wouldn't be here typing. I found the episode "Valhalla" much better and suspenseful but it seems the folks reviewing that one didn't. The corny flashbacks in "Lauren" were almost as bad as the ones in the Season 8 opener"Out of Time" on CSI:Miami another show I love. Once again a CBS screw up to write the great character of Eric Delko off the show. They have since realized that mistake and brought back Delko. The one flashback of "Lauren" I did like was Emily pointing the gun in the photos. Is CBS going to realize their mistakes with JJ or even Prentiss? But as mentioned by another poster Emily would be hard to bring back due to the plot that sent her away. JJ on the other hand could return. I know it's doubtful the #1 Network and possibly the cheapest won't. So far the Seaver character is a JJ look alike to help fill the void of a missing blonde in the cast.

    So what does CBS have planned for this great show? The writers must be going nuts with these cast sendoffs. A new character on the way? A new female I would assume to balance out the cast. I realize many of you like "Lauren" a lot. As much as I loved parts of it I thought it almost had a "Jump the Shark" feel to it. Very sad if it turns out that way. "Criminal Minds" is an amazing show and us Fans can only hope it retains the quality we're used to.
  • "Watching 'Lauren' is like listening to a wonderful story from an old woman with a cracked, monotone voice and a bad accent."

    If my memory serves me right (and it may not be doing that), actor Joe Mantegna had said that '100' would be nothing compared to 'Lauren'(paraphrased).

    Sadly, I dissent.

    For months now, it's been a largely shared opinion that the show's writers haven't been at their best. Bad reviews after bad reviews kept coming from too many fans to be ignored. To be fair, it must not be easy to maintain such high caliber script-writing when a show reaches its sixth season. Granted, it must not be easy, either, to write such amazing episodes for each character. But we're fans. We're really hard-core fans. And we've had '100' which set an extremely high standard for any episode dealing specifically and intensely with one character. We expected'Lauren' to be just as good.

    At least, I did.

    'Lauren' disappoints not because of the content, the consistency of plotline, character interaction, acting, or any other technical matter. It disappoints, because its story is presented awfully raw.

    Verdently unrefined, like a paperload of second-drafts put to use on account of impatience? loss of inspiration? or lack of time for the crucial final editing that would make those drafts into a gem of a story.

    Refinement is the way a story is told. In '100' we saw an amazing example of it. In its core, it's the story of a law enforcement member losing his wife to a nemesis. It's a horribily common story. But '100' is far from being an average episode because that story is told masterfully: a wholistic narrative presented from multiple points of view, emotions carried not through cheesy/overly-used character lines but through the acting itself and through mastery in directing, beautifully brought together at the end in shape of this team closing ranks around one of their own.

    The sentiment being conveyed through the storytelling. Not through the story itself.

    In 'Lauren', like it's been in 'Valhalla', it's sadly clear that that mastery of storytelling has been lost, and the sentiment is left solely to words to be carried. Truly wonderful acting have been carried out; Garcia's phone call to Emily is most definitely one of the most touching parts of the episode. Paget Brewster has secured a top place in my list of amazing actresses. Shemar Moore seems to me to be the actor who's most comfortable in his character's skin. But on general, the entire sentiment of losing a colleage and a friend has been overexposed in the lines; and overexposure equals 'already cliched lines falling flat on emotion'.

    Have the writers tried to play safe and leave the story as it is? Have they -I don't know- lacked resources? Have they just gotten utterly lazy?

    Bottomline, there's absolutely nothing creative about the storytelling of this episode. Watching 'Lauren' is like listening to a wonderful story from an old woman with a cracked, monotone voice and a bad accent.

    And so, what could otherwise have been an ultimate tear-jerker and just as much a memorable episode as '100' is reduced to a good episode of second-class cop drama.

    I don't even feel like Prentiss has left the show, and something tells me that it's got more to do with this disappointing narration, this utter lack of cinematographic creativity than it is plain denial.

    Finally... I have to say this. Someone; please shoot Seaver. Find one moment when Rossi isn't holding her shaking hand, and shoot her. Please.
  • BAU race in apprehending Ian Doyle and save Emily.

    "Lauren" explains and reveals the tight bond that these characters share to a whole new different level - starting from Garcia's flawless performance, Morgan's determination to seek the truth and finishing with Matthew's pristine directorial gift. It's an episode which challenges the viewer in so many ways that no one knows how it will end.

    We learn in this evening's show that Emily (ex undercover for Interpol) is in too deep when her past comes back to taunt her after successfully finishing an assignment which led the capture of Valhalla. Everything seems to be forgotten until Ian Doyle escapes prison and resurfaces in Washington D.C. to reclaim and avenge all who went against him with last being Lauren Reynolds.

    One of the most compelling episodes in the series to date (not excluding "100") made me understand a few things; Criminal Minds will never be the same show that entertained my Wednesday nights, the writers need some creativity on how to get rid of characters and that CBS have made yet another mistake which no doubt will come around to bite them.
  • another sigh...

    OverseasFan pretty much said everything I was thinking. I agree!
    Except I want to type that I really can't stand Seaver. Please...the whole Seaver thing is beyond ridiculous!! It's bad enough that she looks just like JJ....but the fact that they continue to give her ANY responsiblity is ridiculous.
    Now as for Doyle. I had to rewind and watch the end again with Prentiss and Doyle. I'm guessing Doyle got away because I sure didn't see him get killed.
    NO surprise that she wasn't dead. Please writers....any fan of cop shows knows that if you don't see one of the main characters die on screen and the body is really lifeless then that person is still alive. I thought it was very poor judgement to end it that way. NO original thought. I still love all the characters ...except the useless Seaver....OMG Get Rid of Seaver!!! Please~!!!! Welp, that's the end of my rant. :)
  • A very powerful and moving episode. (Warning: possible spoilers inside.)

    Personally I was shaking during a good portion of this episode, and crying at many parts. Emily's determination to take on Doyle and end his killing spree was expected after the end of "Valhalla", but I found the portrayal to be very good. And with all of the rumors that had been flying around for weeks, I still found many unexpected moments and a real twist near the end that explains Doyle's rage and Emily's mission. The reactions of the team were great to watch, and seeing them so desperate to help their friend and colleague was wonderful. Rossi and Reid in the interrogation, Garcia's phone call and Emily's reaction, Morgan's scene with Emily, and the team reaction at the end were all very compelling, and moved me to tears at many points.

    I for one, appreciated watching Rossi give Seaver a little "shake." As an agent in training she is desperate to learn, but tentative to jump in. You can read all the textbooks and memorize the theories, but until you apply them they are useless. Her pulling back and saying "Oh no... not me..." is a classic reaction of the new kid who is afraid they will "get it wrong." She needed a push to jump in. I'm hopeful she will gain confidence from this and her character will step up more in the future.

    In the end, I wonder how much the team suspects or doubts. As pros who have knowledge of how such things can work, they may wonder if Emily is still "out there", and understand they cannot know. A few obviously DO know... more secrets all around. For those who do not suspect, I wonder if they ever will discover the truth and how they will react.

    I must admit that several scenes when Doyle is first holding Emily prisoner had me disturbed but were also not quite... believable, I suppose. And although I was thrilled to see JJ back with the team, I felt her overall presence in the episode was really underutilized. (I also would have loved to see more team reaction to her walking in, but that may be just me!) I'm confused as well, since as I understood it from her leaving the team, she was liason to the DOD, and not with the State Department? Perhaps it's my unfamiliarity with the system at work here, but it had me scratching my head a bit. But overall, those are my only complaints. More episodes directed by Gubler! :-D
  • Emily Prentiss confronts her enemy Ian Doyle, while the BAU tries desperately to track both of them down before it is too late

    Criminal Minds is my favourite series on television. It is dark, it is twisted and it is well written. Then this news broke that both Paget Brewster and A.J Cook were leaving in one season. They handled the writing in Cook's final episode well and it was heartbreaking to see her leave. Then the season developed and they brought in Agent Seaver (no disrespect to Rachel Nichols intended) but the character is awful and a rip off of J.J. Then they introduced this storyline a few weeks ago to help exit the character of Emily Prentiss from the show. The storyline dragged out and was boring to watch after about one week. Everyone knew what was coming, an ultimate showdown and maybe a tragic exit. What fans of the show did not expect was a complete cop out. They handled it wrong. What happened was the biggest fail of an exit that a show has ever had. You either go with one or the other. No what is left is an open storyline that may never get resolved if a pilot that Brewster has signed on for makes it to air? Are you kidding me writers? If there is chance that she does not come back you end the storyline right here. They need to address the issue at some point. Prentiss cannot be assumed dead forever to the people that mean the most to her. If they cant get Paget to reprise the role at some point, is that what will happen? Why wouldn't the team themselves keep pursuing Ian Doyle? So much went wrong with this episode and it disappoints me to say that. They answered no questions, but instead raised at least 10 more.

    I wont give up on Criminal Minds, but I want to see them get back to the writing that we have seen in past 5 and a half seasons.
  • Prentiss leaves and confronts Doyle, who in turn, takes her and tortures her. Then the team + J.J. finds her and tries to save her but fails. J.J. told the team she dies. The last time we see her is after J.J. gives her passports and walks away in Paris.

    *sniffle* Bye Prentiss! We'll miss you! Well, a few of us will. Hopefully in the next episode, they don't just forget her like they did with J.J. the episode after she leaves. Two in one season?! They lost two of their own in a matter of !6 episodes! Who da eff is writing these episodes? I don't know but to whom it may concern: U. R. An. Idiot! Loosing two of the best parts of the show?! What da eff is ur malfunction that you have to throw them out of the show? Huh? They were the two sexy ladies of the team and now they have two women and that's it!? Mer... Good luck Prentiss!
  • This is my first review here, I just needed to (try to) express how I felt about this episode...

    Hum....I don't know how to describe exactly what I felt while watching this, to me it was quite disappointing.
    I started liking it by the end....until the 'real end' happened and it was all too predictable.
    I know they left the window opened in case Prentiss is brought back to the show...but my rating would have been higher if she had died.
    But this season has been quite disappointing, so I should have expected that.
    I felt really sorry for Reid with him crying....=S
    And Garcia's voice message was also quite sad.
    But all of the things I liked are immediately forgotten whenever there's a scene with Seaver.
    Gosh, I still have no idea why they made her a regular.
    I have the impression that she always has the same look in her face, a "poor me, my father was a serial killer" look (although this was the only episode I thought that look wasn't so evident).
    If they had to take JJ and Prentiss off the show, I wish they hadn't tried to replace them.
    If it weren't for Reid, I'd stop watching it right away (actually, at times I've caught myself hoping Reid would leave the show so I could stop watching it).
    Another thing I really didn't like about this episode: why bring JJ back if you won't give her some decent screen time??
    Oh well...
    We can only hope the plot gets better next season, sadly I seriously doubt it.
    [My review got really confusing...sorry...I guess it's the disappointment with what one of my favourite shows has become]