Criminal Minds

Season 4 Episode 22

The Big Wheel

6
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Apr 29, 2009 on CBS
AIRED:
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
332 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

When a serial killer in Buffalo sends a videotape of one of his crimes to the BAU, the team discovers a message from the murderer that begs for help in stopping the killing.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Episode that the "monster of the week" totally steal the show from BAU team

    10
    This episode is fine example of thing why this show last this long. Such fine writing...



    We get to start this one from unsub's(Vincent) point of view. Everything look just a typical case, we get a very typical unsub at first glance. He has his OCD, there is a type of victims that he kill's and he's very vicious. Then the whole story take a giant twist, when we get a young blind boy(Stan) that is only living witness of Vincent brutally murdering his mother. We get to see our violent and brutal Vincent actually stopped and feels some kind of connection with the boy. That is when we found out this unsub's past, the reason why he is a sociopath and a direct reason why he do what he does. He can actually see himself in the boy, as they have a similar experience. Stan is like a innocent version of himself(as in many way Vincent has been stuck on that moment when he saw his mother's death). They form a bond which may seem odd to some, but for me it was very human. Vincent go out his way to befriend with Stan.



    Last few minute of the show was really moving. Vincent keeping his promise to Stan(when bleeding to death), his advice to guide Stan about living(never give up), he thank Stan for giving something back to him, a thing he had lost(the ability to feel something) and he actually apologize the him about the killing of her mother(which mean in the end the boy save him the way himself could not).



    In most form of entertainment(tvs,movies,books or games), there isn't going to be many cases you will get some sort emotional bond with a character, especially if the characters are "monster of the week" type, but I have to say I really feel bad for both Vincent and Stan. By twist of fate, Vincent become the same monster that toke away his mother, then he did the something thing to Stan by random chance, he try his best to save him from the same fate. Sad sad...

    moreless
  • I had a lot of mixed feelings about this one but the story was certainly very moving and Alex O' Loughlin did a great job in his portrayal of the unsub.moreless

    8.0
    A murderer with severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is murdering women and leaving the police messages asking for help. He is also filming the murders as they take place.



    It's clear that the camera is hidden because none of the victims can see it, nor are they at first aware that they are about to be killed. Meticulous research shows that similar murders have been taking place in the Buffalo area for at least a decade. The question is, who is the unsub and what was the stressor that set his rampage in motion.



    Enter young Stanley, a boy who has been completely blind sinse birth. Stanley was very close by when the killer murdered his mother two years previously, but because the boy was blind and could not see the unsub, he was left untouched. Stanley has recently been adopted and we all hope for a happy future for him. His friend, Vincent, an older man whom he met through a mentoring program has been very good for Stanley but is shocked to learn that the boy wishes he had been killed at the same time as his mother.



    When the BAU learn that Vincent saw his own mother being murdered and is clearly the unsub, they have to race against time to catch him as he takes Stanley to a fun fair for his birthday.



    Great work by both Alex O'Loughlin as Vincent and also by young Jake Cherry who did a great job as Stanley.moreless
  • Another great one!

    9.5
    The BAU is called after the local authorities receive a video recorded while the last murder they had in town. They bring Garcia with them and the whole team starts working to find qho the killer is, specially after they find out that the killer wrote 'Help me' while recording his video. After recreating the unsub's steps they discover some more treats about him, like he has a huge OCD and that at the end that he whitnessed and recoreded his mom's murder. They talk with the only whitness of his crimes, a blind child, that unknowingly has been friends with his mom's killer.

    Really great chapter, with Alex palyiung an amazing unsub. Another team chapter with all of them taking part.moreless
  • Not your usual unsub.

    9.0
    I've always believed that the best thing about entertainment, be it through movies, books, or television, is when you can walk away with a thousand thoughts churning through your mind about what you've just seen. Questioning and evaluating your usual view of the world and everyone in it. This episode does that for me. Even more incredible is that it manages to do that through the eyes of the unsub and his youngest victim, rather than through the eyes of the BAU team as I expected. Vincent, the unsub, is a sadistic killer at first glance. He seemingly chooses young blonde women at random and kills them without hesitation. But as the case progresses, we see a different side. Vincent, the sole witness to his mother's murder at the tender age of nine, is reenacting the most violent act of his life repeatedly through his victims. That alone doesn't really leave much room for sympathy in my book. Plenty of people have lived through situations just as tragic without the compelling need to kill. That's where Stan comes in. Stan is the son of Vincent's 10th victim. Stan, like Vincent, was at home when his mother was murdered. But unlike Vincent, Stan wasn't the traditional witness. He was born blind, and thus didn't witness his mother's murder, only discovering the event afterward. But even so, Vincent feels a connection with Stan, seeing his younger, more innocent self in the wiser-than-his-years young man. And through Vincent's love for Stan, and Stan's obvious adoration for Vincent, I am able to feel compassion for Vincent. I can see the little boy that Vincent once was, the child that lost his most precious gift, innocence, at the hands of a monster. And though Vincent has grown into a near replica of that monster, Stan is his only hold, his only connection to the innocence he once had. The final scene, as Stan 'reads' Morgan's face as he asks him if Vincent murdered his mother is very moving. All in all, this episode gets a 9 from me. I realize that some may not see the message in this episode, as it really isn't as crystal clear a message as we are used to seeing in most Criminal Minds episodes. But it does make you think, be it about your own personal views of the world or that of society, and that, in my book, is always a good thing.moreless
  • Episode with moving ending.

    8.5
    I am not sure what to think about this episode. It had beautiful ending but the way the story was build, I was not sure what they tried to say - I mean we know from first scenes the man who killed but what they tried to make us understand? That he had to kill those because of his disorder? or that even if he was killer there was something humane him as he saved the boy and wanted to teach him to treasure the life as he suffered the same way as the boy? That he saw himself in the eyes of that boy and wanted to redeem some of his sins? They all may be possibilities but I was left confused about why they made this episode - usually there seems to be very good and clear message - it is important for some char, there is a really good meaning.. this time I did not see any of it.. it was just an episode and not the most intense or greatest story we have had.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 (5)

    • Reid: (about the unsub's MO) A complete and sudden emotional change. It's absolutely fascinating.
      Garcia: I love you, Reid, but the stuff you find fascinating is sad.

    • Garcia: He sure does like his blondes. Not a good date though, too stabby.

    • Det. Henderson: (discussing Vincent's videotape) You're right. He's been doing this for 10 years.
      Garcia: Nah, more like 20. The woman in this video... she's wearing a sweater I haven't seen since Flashdance.

    • Morgan: "No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible." George Chakiris

    • Hotchner: "In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present." Francis Bacon

  • NOTES (2)

    • The music heard in this episode was "Tears and Rain" by James Blunt.

    • Jake Cherry's performance as blinded Stanley Wolcott in this episode was assisted by Daniel Kish, a perceptual mobility instructor, who is the lead founder and CEO of World Access for the Blind. Daniel holds two national certifications in Orientation and Mobility, COMS and NOMC, and is the first totally blind individual to obtain both certifications.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Garcia: She's wearing a sweater I haven't seen since Flashdance.
      Flashdance was a 1983 American romantic musical film that was the first collaboration of producers, Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. Its presentation of some sequences in the style of music videos was an influence on other 1980s films.

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