Criminal Minds

Season 9 Episode 9

Strange Fruit

Aired Wednesday Nov 20, 2013 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

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out of 10
645 votes
  • Interesting episode

    Interesting episode that dealt with revenge killings and racism.
  • White guilt on steroids

    In the history of the series, blacks have been the weekly perp maybe just half a dozen times. So when they finally have one, they have to make sure we know that, as they sang in the musical Chicago, "had it coming". The episode was less about the murders and mostly about and endless litany of horribles suffered by blacks at the hands of evil whites. The writers are consumed by white guilt. The biggest insult was Rossi telling us that the Central Park rapists were convicted by false confessions. In fact they confessed freely in great detail and bragged about it for hours while in custody. Although they didn't find DNA evidence, there was plenty of other physical evidence tying them to the crime. Yes, someone else's DNA was found on her but that only means another person was involved who wasn't caught.

    How about an episode about all the random whites beaten to death by blacks on city streets in the "knockout game"? I won't hold my breath.
  • not the best but not the worst!and JJ isn't having affair.

    Definitely could have been idea!maybe would have been better is it wasn't clear from beginning that son wasn't the killer(clearly it had to be a mother as an unsub or father killing for revenge for his wife....

    And the whole JJ story will clearly (in my opinion) is just a case which will be either season finale or two part episode with a great twist (i hope);i think JJ is on some secret case or something.
  • Not the usual case

    Its never right to kill many for the suffering of 1. Hell, its never right to intentionally hurt anyone. As oppose to what Roshana below me said regarding 'the men had it coming', i really have to disagree. What happen to graciousness and forgiveness?

    Besides that, i think this is a fantastic episode despite firstly being a lack of action, and also this being not the usual case that the team would take on since they always take on cases which requires their immediate action so someone else wont die/get hurt eg. aduction/kidnapping, murder etc. For this case, the killings were done already. Theres no one else thats gonna get killed in the coming months thus, this isnt the kind of cases that the team takes on usually. However, i think Rossi did a good job and there was good profiling done within the team.
  • Comeuppance

    First time i sympathized with a murderer. He was not a sociopath. He was a man out for revenge. Our actions have consequences. the men had it coming.
  • Season 9 is going strong!

    Second fantastic ep in a row. :) I like CM best when we can see the team work... figuring things out based on the evidence and the clues, revising their profile as new evidence comes in, evaluating expressions and behavior and drawing conclusions. The show doesn't need fancy gimmicks (or long-lost twins)... there are still plenty of types of people, plenty of types of cases that they would reasonably take to keep it interesting each week.

    And they even handed us a little extra: with the bit of backstory on Rossi, and, interestingly, there was an extremely subtle tie-in to Morgan's backstory. A long, long time ago, there was an episode where the unsub was a teen that had been severely bullied. Reid took it personally, and behaved unprofessionally in the field. Hotch asked Morgan to talk to him, and Morgan told Reid that he'd been bullied as well, that he used to be small, but worked out because he had to, in order to survive. Then, in this ep, as Rossi is telling the story of the kid and the locker... check out the look on Morgan's face.

    Excellent ep, again. Keep up the good work, writers! :)

    (Regarding the reviewer who marked it down for being "disturbing"... this is Criminal Minds. It's supposed to be disturbing. The entire premise is that it's about "trained manipulators" with the FBI (quoting a CM fanfic that gave a good description), who study criminal psychology, and use their knowledge of that psychology, in order to get confessions/find suspects/save lives. It's just as much about the psychology and the manipulation-for-a-good-cause, as it is about the crime, because that's what this show's all about. This is a good
  • Unique, Edgy, Risky, Confusing

    So many words to describe this episode.

    I admire the show for trying something risky, but they tried too hard to build this race war that I just don't think was needed. Good for a CBS show to try something different, but at times it was uncomfortable, and not in a good way.
  • cheering for Rossi.

    Even if the plot of this episode didn't catch my attention as much as the other episodes of this season, Stange fruit was really good. Rossi was the character of this episode and it was great to see him share one of his deepest secrets.

    By the way, i really don't think JJ is having an affair with the new Chief.
  • Liked it!

    I really enjoeyd this episode. Although I have to admit it wasn't quite as good as the amazing episode we had last week, it came very close!

    The biggest negative was that the killer seemed obvious from the get-go, but that can easily be compensated by the way the episode is structured, and they achieved that.

    The storyline came together nicely. Interesting past while relevant events were brought up, and a lot went on...

    It was very solid. A couple of horrible scenes when you think about it, but a terrific hour of television.
  • It's okay. Very little bit disturbing though.

    Rossi shared a very disturbing story of his teenage life in high school. And he also said that one of his ex-wives is black. The story he shared with the unsub disturbed Morgan.
  • Eurgh, a definite miss.

    That was just an unpleasant hour. I didn't mind the racial theme going in, but I had some concerns with Janine writing. It was frankly just sub-par. It was almost exclusively an interview style episode, similar to last year's All that Remains. They brought in the unsub and his family right from the beginning of the episode, and it was only a question of whether it was the father or the son. The young man and the father were the first to pull the race card by how they mockingly used slave roles. The team was really narrow minded and obvious about their interviewing. They threw out any version of events despite whether they were the truth or not. And there was a sure lack of profiling, which always bugs me since this is a show about profilers. To my memory, the Rossi thing was more ambiguous by the end, even though others think it did not happen. And yet again they pull the race thing on Morgan, urgh. The problem was that there was no sympathy for the unsub until the very end of the episode, and by then he is seen as angry and violent. Earlier episodes in this style would rely on the sympathy to introduce ambiguity, but this one did it in reverse and it did not work. I really liked the thought that went into the set design- It was sometimes irritating to look at, but the black and white contrasts were a nice, albeit obvious, reference to the themes. Nonetheless, this just did not work for me at all. I don't mind if they want to show how someone is not perfect, but I also don't everyone to be really ignorant at the same time.
  • Great episode!

    I loved this episode. It was clever and although I knew who the unsub was from the first moment I was still hooked because of the motive. I t wasn't the ordenary reasons but retalliation. I felt so bad for Rossi who had to bring up something he cleary was ashamed of.

    As for the JJ thing it is not an affair. All she said to him was that she wished they could tell their secret because the team thought they were having an affair. The secret is concerning a case they worked on the year she was at the Pentagon. Season 9 has had some really strong episodes and this is so far the best of the season.
  • JJ????

    Didn't like the question JJ having an affair with that guy??? I'm lost. Doesn't make sense. I say she isn't, but she must have been with him before she got married. My husband said she IS having an for any ideas anyone has. :)
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