Criminal Minds

Season 5 Episode 10

The Slave of Duty

7
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Dec 09, 2009 on CBS
8.8
out of 10
User Rating
285 votes
12

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
While Agent Hotchner takes a leave of absence to contemplate his future with the BAU, the team is called to investigate a home invasion case in Nashville without him.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Rejoice & Bonding.

    10
    I was eagerly anticipating this episode, and it didn't disappoint. Another emotional and outstanding episode. It handled the aftermath very well.



    After last week's episode, I'm sure many were afraid that there was a possibility that we could be losing Hotch. I'm just so glad, thrilled, and elated that he (The Magnificent Thomas Gibson) isn't leaving the show. Rejoice!



    What I really loved, was the bonding in this episode. They all really came together and showed their support for Hotch. It just shows how much they care for him, and what he means to the the entire team. The comforting Rossi gave with his wise and encouraging words definitely helped ease the pain Hotch was feeling.



    Hotch is such a integral part of the team. He has a strong presence, a natural leader, and is gifted at what he does. The team respects him very much, and the thought of losing him would've greatly affected them.



    The home invasion case was a intriguing one, but not something we really haven't seen before.



    This week, to me, was mostly about the team supportiveness/bonding, and Hotch.moreless
  • Dreary. This show used to be good. Now it's a soap opera. Writers -- pay attention. You'll lose this show. You have to deliver something worth watching.

    1.0
    Soapy Minds

    This is the first season of Criminal Minds that has been feeble. It used to have interesting cases, a strong and well-used ensemble cast, a sense of urgency. This season has been pulled all out of shape by its focus on (arguably) the weakest character. Not one of the other characters has survived. They are there to support GIbson, who has dominated this season without any discernible impact. So I'm giving up. There's nothing here. Not even Mantegna, an actor I admire, can justify the amount of time this series is taking out of my week, or balance out the disappointment of watching something that used to be good struggling on in this depleted way. I sincerely hope that it gets better.moreless
  • A sad episode in which Hotch has to decide whether or not to go back to the BAU or stay at home with Jack in the aftermath of Hayley's death.

    8.0
    To be honest, I was never a big fan of the character of Hayley Hotchner. I found her annoying in a multitude of ways but Meredith Monroe did a superb job in Hayley's 'final moments' with Foyet in "100" (in fact, in the whole episode) and the funeral sequence here was very sad indeed. I loved the way Hotch spoke about his and Hayley's life together. The choice of pallbearers was interesting though. Where was Hotch's brother? Surely he would be there on such an occasion? And how well does Hotch actually know either Kevin or Will? Don't get me wrong, I really like these two characters but would you honestly choose people you barely knew to act in such a capacity?



    As usual, the scenes involving Jack were touching. He has a heart melting effect whenever he appears on the screen and his watching of his birthday film was a 'tissue' moment.



    I am constantly mistrustful of Erin Strauss. Arriving at Hotch's home complete with every offer under the sun he would need to take early retirement from the bureau just looked to me as though she was simply trying to engineer another way to get rid of him. Or perhaps I am being harsh? ... I don't think so though because she seemed both surprised and put out when he was not able to give her an immediate answer so I suspect she's being her usual manipulative self.



    The team investigating a case without Hotch was pretty much secondary in this one as their leader tried to sort out his future. The case wasn't all that interesting anyway.



    A good episode and well acted by Thomas Gibson and Jayne Atkinson. A bit lacklustre in the 'crime' department though. Writers, be careful.moreless
  • Really a touching episode! BAU not the same if Hotch left!

    9.5
    This was really a touching episode as it showed an emotional side of Hotch. And that Hotch has always been like a two dimensional character. But has since this year, show a different side of him. As he is overcoming the death of his wife. And trying to raise his son Jack, as a single dad. But we know that Hotch will come back to the BAU as that is who is he. And Morgan knows that Hotch is better being the lead agent, than Morgan is. Hotch's second family if you can call it that, is the BAU. Rossi I think has changed and become more of a team player. And a human over it. Welcome back Hotch, your BAU family needs you!moreless
  • Sadly, the episode opens with Haley Hotchner's funeral and Hotch pouring out his heart about all she meant to Jack and Hotch.

    9.5
    The BAU team is called away to Nashville to solve an escalating series of homicides involving upscale brunettes. Periodically, the storyline flashes to Hotch dealing with Jack and their loss of Haley. In one scene, Section Chief Strauss appears at Hotch's door with an offer of retirement and full pension. She bluntly states that she thought he should decide then and there, but she was wrong. Hotch wanted time to "consider all his options."



    Meanwhile, back in Nashville, the BAU team is hot on the trail of a serial killer who forces his victims to have a romantic evening and then brutally murders them. They put the pieces together and catch the unsub just before he kills another victim. Prentiss has more than a few unkind words for unsub as she has one hand on his throat and the other hand wrapped around her Glock pointed at his head.



    After returning, Rossi finds Hotch at the cemetery and asks him what he is going to do. He tells Rossi that Haley would want him to "catch the bad guys" since that is what he does with a passion.



    Overall, an excellent episode. It looks like another chapter in the life of BAU is about to begin. It also doesn't look as if Section Chief Strauss is going to get rid of Hotch without a fight. Hopefully, she will end up on the wrong side of her desk!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

Rena Sofer

Rena Sofer

Erika Silverman

Guest Star

Khary Payton

Khary Payton

Det. Landon Kaminski

Guest Star

Molly Baker

Molly Baker

Jessica Brooks

Guest Star

Jayne Atkinson

Jayne Atkinson

Section Chief Erin Strauss

Recurring Role

Josh Stewart

Josh Stewart

Det. William LaMontagne, Jr.

Recurring Role

Nicholas Brendon

Nicholas Brendon

Analyst Kevin Lynch

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (11)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Hotchner: Hey buddy, it's time for PJs.
      Jack Hotchner: Can I watch one more time? I'm waiting for Mommy. (they both watch the video)
      Hotchner: I miss her, too.
      Jack: Could I sleep in your room again?
      Hotchner:Sure. Okay, c'mon.

    • Rossi: Scars show us where we've been. They do not dictate where we are going.

    • Hotchner: (at Haley's funeral) W.S. Gilbert wrote, it's love that makes the world go 'round. And if that's true, then the world spun a little faster with Haley in it. Haley was my best friend since we were in high school. We certainly had our struggles, but if there's one thing we agreed on unconditionally, it was our love and commitment to our son, Jack. Haley's love for Jack was joyous and fierce. That fierceness is why she isn't here today. A mother's love is an unrivaled force of nature and we can all learn much from the way Haley lived her life. Haley's death causes each of us to stop and take stock of our lives to measure who we are, and what we've become. I don't have all of those answers for myself, but I know who Haley was. She was the woman who died protecting the child we brought into this world together, and I will make sure that Jack grows up knowing who his mother was and how she loved and protected him and how much I loved her. If Haley were with us today, she would ask us not to mourn her death, but to celebrate her life. She would tell us...she would tell us to love our families unconditionally and to hold them close cause in the end, they are all that matter. I met Haley at the tryouts of our high school's production of The Pirates of Penzance, I found our copy of the play and I was looking through it the other night, and I came upon a passage that seemed...appropriate for this moment. "Oh dry the glistening tear that dews that marshall cheek. Thy loving children here in them thy comfort seek. With sympathetic care, their arms around thee creep. For oh they cannot bear to see their father weep."

    • Rossi: (at Haley Hotchner's grave) Have you told her yet?
      Hotchner: Told her what?
      Rossi: That you're coming back to the team. That fighting the bad guys is who you are.
      Hotchner: I don't have to tell her. She already knows.

    • Hotchner: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson

    • Hotchner: Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts. Oliver Wendell Holmes

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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