Criminal Minds

Season 6 Episode 14

Sense Memory

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Feb 09, 2011 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

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out of 10
489 votes
  • love Garcia presenting the cases with Hotch

    Endeed, the best
  • Before you gove me a thumbs down for rating it a 5.5 hear me out.

    It was a good episode. It was intense and extremely watchable until the last 10 minutes, that is what I have a problem with. The begining was entertaing I really got into it. I loved the ,will they save the girl or will they be to late, suspence of the episode. But the story didn't have an ending. We didn't learn why the killer was collecting sents, what did the semlls remind him of. We don't know why he did it. Then later Prentiss gets a flower and smells it, and she remembers a scene from her past. All of this, just seems like they wanted to tell a story of Emily's past, and wrote an episode of sence memory just to tell us her story. The case was just filler to get the the ending.
  • Prentiss has clearly moved house and the team must travel once again to Los Angeles, this time to help apprehend a killer who is abducting young women and drowning them in chemicals before cutting skin from their feet.

    This episode had both good and bad points in it for me. It was certainly better than the last couple of offerings, but, in my opinion, that was mostly due to the excellent performances of Paget Brewster and Matthew Gray Gubler.

    Emily arrives at her new apartment and greets her cat. She is clearly extremely tense and, after the tiny slice at the end of last week's episode, that is no surprise. I enjoyed watching how well Paget portrayed Emily's fear and how she faked the bravado necessary to get her through the situation.

    The next scene, I have to say, annoyed the heck out of me. It has become the norm throughout Season 6 for the viewer to see the unsub almost immediately the episode begins and I am getting sick of it because part of the reason I love 'Criminal Minds' so much is the suspense and the build up to where the identity of the unsub is revealed. Finding out who it is in the first few minutes and then, in a sense, waiting for the team to 'catch up' takes a lot of the enjoyment away from the whole thing so I wish they would stop doing that and make the audience work through things the way the team has to.

    It was nice to see some profiling around the conference table again but, once again, Garcia, a Technical Analyst, was thrust into the J.J. role and presented the case to the team and, again, with some rather tasteless remarks at the same time. J.J. is gone. We GET it, writers. We don't like it, but we get it, and making the loveable Garcia into any kind of J.J, substitute is not going to work, not now and not ever. Either bring A.J. Cook back to the BAU or have someone else, such as Hotch or Reid, take over the presenting of the cases but please, let Garcia do what she does best and stop trying to use her to fill such a huge gap with a dual character role when she already has a clearly defined and very important place in the team dynamic.

    I was pleased to see Reid spouting statistics because that is the Reid we all know and love. I was not so thrilled that the rest of the team seemed to contribute very little to the profile itself, in fact, they tended to be asking more questions rather than reaching conclusions. The people of the BAU are far more highly skilled than that and while it's great to see Matthew strutting his stuff, it looks pretty bad when the others don't really seem to have a clue.

    Morgan giving a press conference certainly had far more credibility than Garcia giving one, but as the episode went on, I found myself wondering why the BAU were actually a part of the case at all, most particularly in the beginning. I'm sure the LAPD are not without skill and talent. Surely the team didn't have to go running there so quickly? Maybe I'm missing something, but it was just a little odd.

    The film 'Perfume' was not one of my favourites and I have to say that I found this unsub pretty dull. Victim number 5, 'Lisa', however, gave an excellent performance after her abduction. The actress genuinely looked petrified and seemed as though she was really living every second of her terror. That is something I like to see and kudos indeed to the young lady who played the role.

    The white sheets and the cornfields or rye grass or whatever, were never properly explained and I found myself not being all that bothered due to already finding the unsub and his storyline dull.

    Watching as we learn more and more about Prentiss's backstory makes me sad. Sad because we still have no idea whether or not Paget Bewster will be returning in Season 7 and we won't know for quite some time yet. Like almost all fans, I'm certainly hoping that she DOES return because I'm not certain how many more exits this show can stand without falling in a complete heap. It was sweet that Reid invited Prentiss to see a Russian film with him but surely inaccurate when he stated that the two of them were the only ones who would truly understand it due to knowing the language? I am certain that Prentiss said she could 'just get by' in Russian in the episode where her mother brought the Russian immigrants to the BAU for assistance so I'm not sure how she could possibly follow a 5 hour film in the language. If the producers are trying to say that Reid is falling for Prentiss, that would displease me. I love both characters, but relationships in shows of this nature between leads just does NOT work and if Prentiss leaves or dies, then poor Reid will be left brokenhearted so let's just hope he was excited about the movie and thought she might enjoy seeing it rather than having any romantic notions.

    Finally, Prentiss is clearly in great danger because of people from her past. She is obviously terrified, so why not confide in Morgan or Hotch or even her mother? All of them could certainly protect her. Perhaps the writers want her completely alone and vulnerable to whatever (or whomever) is to come? Either way, I hope she comes out if it alive and that we see SSA Emily Prentiss back with the team full-time next season. It would be great if she could bring her buddy, Agent Jennifer Jareau with her as well. We can only hope, particularly as neither Shemar Moore nor Thomas Gibson have formally renewed their contracts yet. Let's hope that issue at least will be positively resolved soon.
  • The leading and teasing out of Prentiss' past is both titillating and annoying at the same time.

    It's obvious that the story is going to be dragged out over a number of episodes, but the needy consumerist in me wants it now! I do wonder why Prentiss hasn't told the team yet. I mean, with the teams history you would think something like this would affect them all and place all of them in danger.
    To the actual episode – taxi drivers seem to be a bad lot in the criminal minds world. That or truck drivers. The ending was karmic I suppose, and true to life in some ways. The killer is not always caught alive, and sometimes not at all.
    I do wonder where she went at the end of the episode. Perhaps to one of her teammates? Maybe we'll find out next time.
  • Mediocre to average case, but a very interesting look at Prentiss' past.

    I loved this episode with regards to thie first two minutes and the last two minutes, but everythingg in the middle was sadly forgettable.

    I thought the case was decent but it wasn't special. I certianly theink that there have been much bettter cases and there will mbe much better cases in the future!

    The realstrength of this episode was the fact that we got another look into Prentiss' life, as the storyline develops. She is clearly fearing her safety, and has good reason, it seems, when she receives an interesting package that holds one lone flower.

    Certainly think this story is getting interesting, even though we don't yt know the details.

    Keep it up, Criminal Minds, and I can't wait to see what will happen with this Prentiss case!
  • The writers seem to have come to their senses a bit more with this episode.

    After the disappointment of last episode I was pleasantly surprised by 'Sense Memory'. It wasn't perfect but was more like what I expect off Criminal Minds. Seeing who the murderer is from the start of the episode is not my favourite set-up, yet I did enjoy this episode and I found the killer intriguing. As I said though, I do prefer to catch the unsub with the team, and to watch them use all the evidence given to them to catch 'that one' you wouldn't suspect.
    Being a viewer of CSI:NY I thought I would be bored or disappointed after the Cab Killer portrayal in NY, but I was very interested throughout and this is thanks to the unique twist the writers had put on this killer via his commentary and motive.
    Compared to the previous episode the scenes of murder were more acceptable, we saw just enough of the torture to understand why he was doing what he was doing and yet it still allowed enough to make us squirm and really feel for the victims.

    The audience could follow how they caught this killer step by step; this by the team using profiling and utilizing the beautiful Garcia. It seems the team are back to doing what they do best; profiling with the evidence they have in front of them not just making assumptions like in "The Thirteenth Step".

    Paget Brewster had an excellent episode. Her paranoia at the start was just perfect and gave the viewer an idea of just how dangerous this Ian Doyle must be to have Emily on her toes like that. And her snappy-ness with Morgan and even the phone call with Reid was just so believable. I believe Paget showed brilliant acting throught the whole episode.

    I feel Reid was back to his best in this episode too, becoming our favourite, insanely-intelligent, fact-knowing geek once again. And THAT phone-call seemed so real and really like it was between friends not actors. I was looking forward to the development of his psychosis but it's just clicked how much I love his quirkiness so now I'm not too disappointed the writers have decided to leave that alone for a while.

    Garcia was another character whom the writers have seemed to have gotten 'right' in this episode. She is back to being a bad-ass and 'a player' :) and I really loved her banter with all the characters in this one.

    Seaver was once again not in this episode. No comment. ;).

    All in all, I feel the actual case-solving is still not excellent but Emily's story and the team itself had enough to make this a pretty good episode. I look forward to next episode and for more information on Ian Doyle.
  • Intense, suspenseful, nicely executed, slightly off-balance. Not quite there, but better than expected.

    The subject has been compared to the movie 'Perfume' and to the 'taxi-cab killer' arc in CSI:NY. Having seen both, I'm pleased that despite the almost mimicing of 'Perfume', it didn't give me a sense of deja-vu. It also helps that unsub and what he does was not poking us in the eye. We're shown only enough; just enough to make me put on that horrified face and cause my muscles to tense, and not any more. Isn't that how it's suppossed to be?

    Much to the relief of the viewers like me who'd rather not watch the creepiness of the unsubs for the better part of an episode, the focus in this episode is thankfully on the the way the team tracks him down. It still feels like everyone's adjusting, trying to shift a bit so to fill the gaping hole JJ has left, but it also feels like they're getting there. (Please note that I'm not even mentioning the Seaver character in this review.) Still not hard-core, but they seem to have remembered that it is profiling what they should be doing; lovely. On the other hand, was it too wordy at times? Reid, slow down, take a breath, so that we can follow what you're saying! Not that I'm not extremely pleased to watch you solve a case in a way that definitely makes sense and exchange sweet banter with Garcia..

    Tension is high throughout the entire episode, and I'm pleased that the way the team worked on the case keeps the viewer on their toes. However, it seems to me that the suspense is somewhat misplaced and uneven. The episode opens and closes with Prentiss on needles and pins, and Paget Brewster does a great job taking us into the mood with her character. The problem is, just like the numerous previous episodes, there is no suspense at all in the actual case.

    Why do we know, even before watching the episode, who the unsub is, how he's taking his vistims, and even why he's doing what he's doing? Why are we handed in the previews everything that should be revealed during the episode? What is there, other then our hard-dying hope to see a glimpse of the team that we've come to adore in the first five seaons, to keep us watching how *they* find the unsub?

    This will be a strange simile, but this episode is like a clothsline stretched between two poles: the case is stretched high like a thin thread between the hard, intense focus on Emily's past shown in beginning and the end of the episdode.

    Personally, to be fully satisfied with CM again, I'm looking for the full-circle effect. Profiling in this episode is great, but there are still tiny things that leave me with question marks, some things that I can't quite follow how they deduce. (And I was definitely expecting to see the real memory the scent of the victims trigger in the unsub.) This season, the cases feel like thin ropes from which facts hang off like wet laundry. The team walks below the line, pulling the facts down as they go towards the very obvious end while we watch the mess the wet cloths make, frankly, because the walk isn't interesting at all. I'm waiting for episodes where all they have is a knot and they take it, break it down, track down where each piece leads to, come together, weave them together, and reach a whole that we could not have foreseen. Because they're profilers. We're not. We're not suppossed to know until they solve it.

    My absolutely favorite bit in the episode is the way Emily talks to Reid at the end of the episode. It actually *felt* genuine and intimate. I miss that.

    To conclude; the writers are fishing for the fans, and although still displeased with how the cases are being handled, personally, I am hooked. For the first time since the beginning of the season I'm actually looking forward to the next episode. Actually... while they're at it, why don't they just take the cases out of the way? They don't serve a purpose anyway; that way we could just enjoy watching Emily..

    Well. We wish for a lot of things.
  • The BAU travels to LA - again - and we find out more about Prentiss' past.

    This episode reminded me of the book 'Perfume'. CM hasn't used an unsub who kills because of smells before (at least not that I remember), so that was an interesting new story, but it also has one big flaw: how do you portray smells on television?
    Anyway, I think it was well done. But what I really liked about this episode was Prentiss' story: the man who is after her was possibly her boyfried; looks like he was rather shady and they knew each other in France. They were both arrested by CIA or MI6 agents and I guess she flipped on him. But if that's true I wonder how she managed to become an FBI agent...

    It was a good episode, but there have been better ones and I wonder how the Prentiss-story is going to end, since we all know she is going to leave the show before the season is over.
    And why did Reid's headaches suddenly disappear?
    Also Methanol really smells (something people could have noticed?), and I daubt that a "normal person" could get their hands on enough to submerge a body in; well that's the US I guess. xD
    I hope they can/will answer some questions in the upcoming episodes.
  • Criminal Mind writers lift plot like from the book "Perfume"

    Don't get me wrong, I mostly enjoyed this episode. The character dynamics were more interesting than they have been for a while. My philosophy though, is if you're going to borrow so closely from another writer's work, don't be lazy. Take what you have, add you own twist and try to make it better. Anything less is just bad fan fiction. And I'm not knocking bad fan fiction, but I get annoyed when people who get payed A LOT more money than I do to make something clever fall short. The unsub wasn't that creepy, or at least we didn't get a chance to see him bring the creepy. Again If I hadn't read the book, I wouldn't know how much potential this story has and how much was wasted. Especially at the end when we find out the killers fate. With out releasing spoilers for either tale, CM didn't come close to the awesome, twisted debauchery of "Perfume".