Criminal Minds

Season 5 Episode 11

Retaliation

4
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Dec 16, 2009 on CBS
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
255 votes
10

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
After an ex-convict makes a daring escape from the BAU's custody and embarks on a killing spree in Lockport, New York, the team must profile the criminal's past in order to catch him again.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Not my favourite episode of the season. The plot was both dull in places and more than a little difficult to swallow. The BAU team members often behaved as though they were in the Twilight Zone. Strange.moreless

    5.5
    Witch Hotch back at the helm of the BAU, the team have to deal with a fugitive who escapes from custody in New York whilst being moved to another location. Prentiss gets injured and it's obvious that the escapee had some assistance as his flight from the law went far too smoothly. The escapee, Dale Schrader, was a bank robber who had been in prison for those crimes. The police officer assisting Prentiss is murdered and what follows is a convoluted situation where we have a murder, a kidnapping and a BAU who seem to have forgotten how to profile or even function properly.



    I won't be doing a re-watch of this one anytime soon.moreless
  • Too often the show relies on making 'FBI' look better than 'Police'.

    3.0
    I did not particularly enjoy this episode.. at all. Opening: the "bad guy's" escape.. He's riding with Prentiss and A. Martinez?? Why?? Where was the escort/backup? Morgan was busy getting groceries or something?



    The unsub's partner.. He's from the 'normal' Police (we know because during the raid, he wears 'Police' whereas the regular cast members wear 'FBI') and is being made to do things against his will because his family has been kidnapped. He watches the guy kill the Stacy chick, seriously? And he's a cop? How did he think this would end? When the guy's done he'd just tell him where his kidnapped family is and they'd go their separate ways?



    When the guy's actually caught, the dude runs a truck head-on into a police car to set him free?

    The guy's been apprehended, what, normal 'Police' guys aren't aware of any means to make criminals talk?

    The best thing he can think of is to set him free to carry on his killing spree?

    That's worse than the typical impotent father syndrome we see in some asian movies.

    Then again, in every other episode 'FBI' are the level-headed cool ones whereas 'Police'

    are trigger-happy bozos who just rush ahead on the least lead and gladly oblige criminals' suicide-by-cops.



    How did the unsub know when and where the guy would run his truck into the police car to set him free? I must have missed that part.moreless
  • A superior episode with an unique perspective and writing template, and a heartfelt ending.

    9.5
    This "Criminal Minds" is a superior episode. The opening was novel, where we (the team and viewers) know early on who is the suspect. The middle provided its own unique perspective, keeping us on our seat with several questions, especially why & how we got here, who is helping him, and other lines of thought. The ending not just ends the episode on a positive note for those harmed, but also for those of us who feel Hotchner hasn't been given a fair deal since last season.



    The opening was unique, since I started watching "Criminal Minds." I loved the change of pace and the writer's willingness to look at alternative beginnings. Missing and troubling (at least for me) was why was the team already there?



    Typically, a team chooses a site based upon local law enforcement requests (from many they choose the one most needing). Local Police don't normally invite the BAU to their jurisdiction, until they figure they need the help. Based upon other cases, an invitation doesn't occur after the first death of a prostitute or kidnapping of a child by her own Dad. Instead the local police would wait for several deaths before calling the FBI / BAU. As for the kidnapping or custodial interference one would think the local police and/or upper NY state FBI would work this case before calling the FBI. Yet, the time frame from the prostitute's death, his daughter' kidnapping, and his first capture seems to be under a maybe two days at most.



    My suggestions to the writer is to attempt this opening again, but to provide it more front time / information. I know it is only 40-45 minutes long and something has to go. One suggestion would be to start this episode during the last 1/3 or 1/4 of the previous episode. Not a full two hours over two episodes, but something less. It could go as follows:



    Towards the end of episode 1:

    The Criminal Mind team is in the area on some case, which starts out normal. As that case winds up, the local chief ask them to take a look at something and make some suggestions on how to handle it after they leave. While looking at the case, they figure out who it is, find out he took his daughter, etc. The go out to find him.

    End of episode 1:



    Start of episode 2: Episode starts where they arrive and take him down.



    As for the middle, again it was very well done for the first attempt of a new story template. My main issue with this story style is how quickly stuff went by me. Many of us are used to the current template and so we can keep up or actually feel were ahead and know what's coming. I found it difficult to keep up and I suspect the writers struggled with writing it with doing too much within the normal allocation (but then may not). In any case, looking at it from a viewer's perspective, I'm saying splitting the episode will give the middle more time for proper development.



    Finally, the ending did seem a little unexpected. Here is Joe in a police uniform and carrying a fully loaded gun. I'm at least surprise, if not shocked, to see them allowing him to come along after the possible charges with which the local DA could charge him.



    Please don't get me wrong, I want Joe to be free and clear on all charges. But he did help a known murderer and kidnapper (or a case of custodial interference), with escape, another murder, robbery from a police evidence locker, etc. I'm to take it the local DA decided that quickly not to file any charges because Dale took Joe's family? I just wished life and other TV series worked as quickly for the good guy!



    In this vein, I must say I love the camera on Hotchner's face when he heard the voice mail recording!! You could see the real pain and realize the man is now more than ever in touch with his humanity.



    The final scene between Hotchner and Derek Morgan is heartfelt and warmed me throughout. I took from Derek's offer that the team (or maybe it just Morgan) will help Hotchner raise his Son. I also love how it was Derek who was the one saying here is your job back & let me help you with it.



    Personally, I can't wait for a Criminal Minds Spin-Off. It has been and continues to be long overdue. In a way, I was hoping Derek would take one team and Hotchner the other, but now I'm not sure as this assistance would greatly help Hotchner and his Son.moreless
  • Not a great episode, but quite interesting and quite different.

    8.5
    I thought the start of this episode was sensational and perfectly executed, and I highly enjoyed the concept behind it. However, I felt that the storyline(r became a little tiresome after a certain point.



    I thought the episode did introduce goo variety, and the structure to this episode was very different to most other episodes, which is a positive, in my opinion.



    I did, however, find the case to be below average, and that was my only disappointment with this episode.



    I would recommend this as it is a great show, but in my opinion, this is not one of the better episodes, and although it is worthwhile, I would recommend other episodes instead of this.moreless
  • Not my favourite.

    7.0
    After the last two episodes that were so packed with emotion this episode left me me cold. I love Tim Guinee, but even he didn't impress me in this episode.



    For one, I couldn't figure out the logic of Emily and the local LEO driving the guy to the station, sure, I buy that. But then the LEO pulls over? That's just asking for trouble. Also, how were Emily and the LEO not able to notice Schraeder working his hands,which are supposed to be cuffed behind his back, under his body and down over his legs so that his hands are in front of him?



    For another, there's no way Emily would be released from the hospital so quickly after the accident. The car rolled down an embankment, for crying out loud. Yet less than four hours after the accident the biggest problem she seems to have is that the dark circles under her eyes are more raccoon-y than anything. I've been in less severe car accidents and come out looking worse than that--I've looked worse than that after vaccumming the living room around two dogs and a rabbit that all like chasing the vaccum.



    Also, I understand that MGG actually hurt himself over the hiatus, which is why his injuries have stretched on so long into the season, but even so Reid is really being underused. He's not the kicking down doors guy, which is part of what I like about him, but lately he's not even being his former quirky statistic-quoting self.moreless
Thomas Gibson

Thomas Gibson

Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner

Joe Mantegna

Joe Mantegna

Senior SSA David Rossi

Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler

SSA Dr. Spencer Reid

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

SSA Derek Morgan

Paget Brewster

Paget Brewster

SSA Emily Prentiss

A.J. Cook

A.J. Cook

SSA Jennifer "JJ" Jareau

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Hotchner: (after Morgan finishes the case paperwork and hands the file over to Hotch) You don't have to do that anymore.
      Morgan: I know I don't, but I also know what it's like to be raised by a single parent. Every minute counts.

    • Prentiss: (discussing Stacy Ryan) Can you take us there?
      Joe Muller: Wait. You think she knew about my family?
      Prentiss: Her murder was the only thing that didn't fit and now it makes sense. Schrader killed her to shut her up.

    • JJ: (after Prentiss leaves the hospital and returns to the Lockport Police Department) How are you?
      Prentiss: (deadpans) I feel like I got hit by a truck.

    • Prentiss: (about the unsub's plans) He should have back-up plans for his back-up plan.

    • Prentiss Thank you, I can walk.
      Morgan Sit. I like pushing you around. (Prentiss scoffs)
      Morgan Does it hurt?
      Prentiss If by "it" you mean my entire body, then yes.

    • Hotchner: Any word on Emily?
      JJ: Apparently she's arguing with the doctors.
      Hotchner
      : That's good.

    • Prentiss: Washington Irving said, "There is a sacredness in tears. They are not a mark of weakness, but of power. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and of unspeakable love."

    • Prentiss: "Men are more ready to repay an injury than a benefit because gratitude is a burden and revenge a pleasure." Tacitus

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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