What do you really know about the people you work with? In a job like profiling, it must be difficult not to automatically try to analyze one another. Morgan has apparently been able to avoid the curiosity of his fellow profilers with his friendly, seemingly open personality. Sadly, there’s more to the story.
The character of Morgan was consistent, and wonderfully written and acted in this episode. He spoke and acted just like someone who had experienced child sexual abuse would – he was defensive and deeply protective of the privacy of his past. He was also appropriately appalled that someone he had worked so closely with for so long, Hotch, would suspect him even for a moment. His violent reaction to the name of his molester, and Hotch’s continual digging into his past, was visceral – even before we knew his history, we saw that Morgan had been deeply hurt. And the scene at the youth center with James was very touching. The ultimate confrontation between Morgan and his abuser couldn’t have been better.
Unfortunately, the writers didn’t couch this revelation of Morgan’s character into a better episode. If, for even one second, the viewers could have believed that Derek had actually committed these crimes, it might have worked. If the circumstances of his expungement, his arrest, and his miraculous escape from lock-up weren’t so ridiculous, it might have worked. If the character of the police detective wasn’t so one-dimensional, it might have worked. It is a shame that such a powerful message had to be expressed within a weakly plotted story.