Sunny California: home to traffic-tangled freeways, easy shooting locations, and some weird-type therapy techniques. Where else will you find an unsub who starts off being a bank robber, segues to sex offenses, and ends up shooting children? This is a new one, even for our team of champions, and Hotch, for one, is getting rattled.
A good, twisted, hard to follow case, with an actual car chase - how many of those have we seen on CM? Okay, it's a lame one- mid-town traffic keeps us from squealing on two wheels around corners, but still. Everyone on the team is involved poring over files, checking out crime scenes, and the interaction among them is also good. The unsub is potentially the most creepifying yet, even though we only really see him at the end. It's always scarier when we can in no way understand what makes this guy tick.
We learn some things about the team, too. First, Elle's favorite word is "scumbag". New Yorkers may be high on sarcasm but low on vocabulary. Second, Reid can channel Mr. Spock on a moment's notice: "Remarkable. By utilizing a practical MO this unsub has stumbled into a psychological signature. Fascinating." (I am not making that up, it's word-for-word.) And Morgan would rather use his brawn than a key to open a door - but we already knew that.
Poor Hotch. First his wife arrives with a tractor-trailer sized load of guilt for missing his son's doctor's appointment. This starts our Captain America off on the wrong foot. Then the unsub starts targeting little boys. Nothing is more certain to get Hotch's blood boiling than any possible parallel between the violence of the case and his own family. And apparently the pay's crap, too.
Great scenes between Hotch and Gideon. These two have quite a bond.