Criminal Minds

Season 8 Episode 9

Magnificent Light

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Nov 28, 2012 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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  • Shoddy

    Another poor episode in the tradition of season 7. Unlike the previous episode, which I also considered poor, this one did not have the feel of an unfinished script: rather, the script was just bad. The beginning profiling sequence in the BAU almost had me in tears; Morgan's idea that the killer simply got the phrase wrong and Blake's suggestion that he had been a non-native English speaker were about the most far fetched ideas possible when confronted with the phrase "See Your Evil, Hear Your Evil" - in fact, Blake's suggestion had me thinking, more than anything else, that nobody on the CM writing staff had ever buckled down and learned a new language.

    The plot was lazy and not at all like the original erotomania episode, season 1's "Broken Mirror". It reminded me more of "The Performer", another atrocious episode in which the writers tried to convince us of how hard it was for the famous person, and the level of importance to which they gave him: Garcia's sudden obsession with him was a very lazy way to try and convince the audience he was talented. I found myself thinking Garcia unprofessional, which I never do as I dearly love her, but she should not have been spending so much time consuming his products when she could have been helping catch the unsub. This was out of character for Penelope, as I know she would care more about the victims than to waste her time on trivialities such as this.

    Barry Flynn himself was a very shallow character. Considering how much screen time he got (I personally would have preferred watching the team) he should have had far more depth. The acting on the part of most of the guest actors was poor bordering on wooden, and even the main cast really struggled to keep scenes from sinking. This makes me very sad to say, as I know they all are very capable actors. However, even the most talented actor can only do so much with a dreadful script. Kirsten Vangsness was, in the end, the star of the show; as she was the only member of the cast that gave a good performance all the time, even with the terrible writing she had to work with.

    I fail to understand what Great Britain had to do with Morgan's father's former parter, or with 9/11 at all. As a non American, I've seen this many times: a complete misunderstanding of culture outside the States. The dinner at the end had me fairly groaning; the cultural mistakes were so bad. The director may have thought it a cute and quirky reward for fans, but I found Morgan's car a fairly out of character inclusion. Derek Morgan is not Shemar Moore; Morgan, I think, would enjoy driving powerful cars occasionally, but would settle for a standard up market Audi or Mercedes Benz, perhaps more powerful than average, with a 6 cylinder engine and maybe a turbo engine, but nothing like the one he drove to the dinner. The director would also do well to remember that the BAU are not actors and do not earn as much as their realistic counterparts. I believe Morgan may be the richest character besides Rossi, due to his property work on the side, but I do not believe him wealthy enough to own that car.

    All in all, I almost cheered in relief at the end, because if we had not caught a glimpse of the mysterious photographer I would have thought this episode a complete waste of my time. I pray next week's will be better. I know the writers have the ability; I don't understand why they only choose to show it every few episodes.

    EDIT 1st December 2012: Thanks Jennifer for pointing out my mistake with the car. I retract that part. I think I was feeling so frustrated by the episode I was not paying the close attention I usually give CM by the end there :)