Criminal Minds

Season 5 Episode 12

The Uncanny Valley

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 13, 2010 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

out of 10
657 votes
  • They get the medicine wrong AGAIN

    In season four I suspended reality, but people come on this is getting silly. I loved this episode till the science failed miserably. If you use a central acting muscle relaxant like the ones mentioned in the episode which are used in hospitals, the patient needs to be intubated and placed on a ventilator because your diaphragm gets paralyzed too. Plus you won't be able to blink or roll the eyes. That's why they are so dangerous and only administered in a freaking hospital *facepalm*
  • Diabetics Rule

    i have diabetes and i find it cool that diabetes saved the victim's life in the end.
  • The uncanny valley.

    This is one of my favorites so far. Dr. Reid shined through in this one. This show is so deep and it really let all the stars shine through in this episode. Would watch again.
  • Wonderful

    I felt that as soon as I knew what this episode was about it was going to be good. It did not disappoint in the least.

    I find it very rare when I actually sympathize with the unsub, but I did. Her docile demeanor and overall pathetic childhood made me feel very sorry for the poor woman. It was not her fault anyways, nurture not nature drove her to kidnapping and manslaughter(I beleive that is correct as the deaths were unintentional). The make-up on the victims was almost eerie. They literally looked like dolls. I think this will go down as one of the best episodes of CM.
  • Better than the previous episode with a Kathy Bates-esque female unsub who is clearly very disturbed. I actually felt a lot of sympathy for her and tried to ignore a few plot holes along the way whilst giving kudos to the makeup department!

    Atlantic City, New Jersey is where the BAU must head to solve their next case where two women have been found dead and made up to look like dolls - clothes, hair and makeup all very doll-like and childish.

    When we learn that the unsub is a female who is abducting these women, paralysing them, then dressing them up like dolls to re-create a childhood fantasy of happily playing with her toys, it is hard to feel anything but sympathy for her as we realise she is completely unstable and has suffered some kind of great trauma in her earlier years.

    Because I liked the episode, I'm going to try to ignore the glaring impossibility of someone untrained correctly repositioning an iv on the first attempt without any torniquet to find the vein and also the fact that a 'doll' who could barely move across the floor somehow hoisted herself back into a chair before the unsub returned.

    It was shocking to hear that the unsub's father had subjected her to ECT to cover up his molestation of her but not surprising as we knew that something pretty horrendous had happened to make the unsub behave the way she did.

    Overall, perhaps not technically correct in some areas but I enjoyed it all the same. Didn't enjoy Hotch's obvious emotional difficulties though, but, of course, this is necessary to show and quite in keeping with all that he has endured.
  • Creepily Awesome or Awesomely Creepy!

    This episode was disturbing on so many levels. It was an amazing script though. The unsubs story was so sad, and then to have her traumas translate onto so many others was really terrible, but unfortunately true so many times in life.

    The best thing about this one was that it was a 'Reid' episode. I do love Reid and this is the first episode to focus on him this season. This season has been amazing, but I missed the Reid eps.
    The only bad thing is when the show focuses on one of the characters the others aren't in it as much and I really do love all the characters on this show, Reid just happens to be my favorite.

    Kudos to Matthew Gray Gubler for getting to direct an upcoming episode. I'm excited for him and can't wait to see it.
  • Pure excellence

    A return to form for criminal minds, the long expected return to regular non character centric episodes, this episode was great with excellent proformances from everyone on the cast and i was pleased to see reid of his crutches and back to real work, the profiling and really getting inside the killers head is something i think we've been missing recently and i thought that that was actually one of this weeks strong points.

    The living dolls were to some it up creepy it really reminded me of something out of a horror film and i think it personally just made one the list as being my new least favourite way to die.
  • Absolutely terrific and magnificent episode!

    I thought this was a very unique and thoroughly enjoyable episode, and because it was so different to anything we have experiences in the past, I found it to be extremely interesting, and highly enjoyable.

    I thought the storyline was great and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I absolutely loved the idea behind the whole script. It was really well constructed, in my opinion.

    I also enjoyed the beginning and end, in which Reid was playing chess, and I found that to be an interesting way to start and finsih an episode.

    I would highly recommend this episode, as it is so unique and so incredible in many ways. There really is nothing wrong with it and in my opinion, it is flawless!
  • So creepy...

    I study it in school, I watch the show every week, I study the psychology behind killers and devients of all stripe... yet the thought of being paralyzed and forced to endure an endless tea party until your brain strokes out or she poor completely broken woman holding you hostage finds a better doll? Totally creeps me out.

    Now, I won't say I'm a 'Trekkie', I am a fan of science fiction, and one of my first intros to the genre was watching the various Star Trek incarnations that were on in the late 80's and through the 90's. ST:TNG was one of my dad's favourites, so I grew up with Commander Will Riker in my living room every week. Will and Deanna were one of the first TV non-couple-couples I rooted for. So when I saw that Frakes was going to be in this episode I was excited. I knew he wouldn't be the same guy--for one, this isn't The Next Generation, for another a lot of time has passed since he's pulled on that uniform, and, well, for a man his size and age the options for what he would play were, in my mind at least, pretty much down to the UnSub or the father or husband of a victim. Still, I found myself not entirely prepared for my reaction to the scene where creepy-doctor-guy was stroking the little blonde girl's hair while she played with his daughter's dolls.

    It was great to see Reid get an episode after spending so much time on crutches and with that weird duck-headed cane. (I know MGG was injured, himself, and that was why Hotch was able to come back from being stabbed a whole bunch of times a week later with no outward signs of trauma while Reid was hobbling along after being shot in the same episode) Because of the injury, Reid/MGG was, IMHO, completely underutilized in the first half of this season.

    But where was the rest of the team? Emily popped into the room to pass along messages every once in a while and delivered a cut-away line or two, but she was largely absent. Derek was almost invisble. JJ outlined the case and was on the plane, but after that she was mostly in the background. And, despite apparently (we never saw anything about it, nor was it even mentioned in the most benign way) being back in charge of the unit, Hotch was less involved than the local police officer of the week.
  • An unsub is kidnapping women in the pursuit of fulfilling a fantasy of hers from her early childhood.

    *SPOILER* This was a poorly done episode with a large amount of plot holes. The biggest of these was the fact that the "dolls" eyes kept moving. Eyes are muscles and therefor could not move like that. Second, how does a person remove an IV without bleeding? Not to mention magically reinserting an IV into another person as if there are pre-drilled holes. And, if you can't even drag yourself across the floor, how do you get back up into a chair and sit down? This doesn't even take into account the question of how she managed to get that much of the drugs repeatedly without notice.

    Basically, this was a poorly written episode that seems like ti was thrown together. Really, several of the last few episodes have been lack-luster. I find myself losing interest in the episodes, which is really sad because this show has always been great up till this year. I hope this is just a lull, not a sign of what the future will hold for the show.
  • Another Criminal Minds stunner, but where was Hotchner?

    Once again Criminal Minds turns out another incredible episode. After the month long break CM delivers one of its creepiest episodes yet. The story of the abused girl who was making women into dolls was well developed and very well told. The acting was top notch as always. Jonathan Franks did a nice job in his brief appearance. The captured women and the disturbed girl who captured them where also wonderfully conveyed. Reid was the best of the normal cast but they were all on form. Visually this episode was very strong as well. One aspect of this show that I don't think Criminal Minds gets enough praise for is the score. Once again in this episode the score was tremendous. The end song that served as a kind of theme through out was incredibly creepy yet sort of uplifting in a weird way. A truly beautifully realized score.
    I have one question though. Where was Hotch? After several episodes intensely focusing on Hotch and his family he, for all intents and purposes, disappears. All of the episode summaries said we would see him struggle to get back to work, but he was barely in this episode at all. Now, I do like the fact that the writers didn't feel the necessity to overwhelm us with the Hotch story line but at the same time it seems a bit odd that it should be abandoned so completely. I'm sure we'll get back to it, probably as soon as the next episode, but it seemed like the episode should have at least spent a little bit more time on Hotch.
    Overall this was an excellent episode, though.
  • Creepy... and its good to have Reid back on his usual form and style..

    I loved the episode.. Ok.. the case was very creepy but.. I think that is something you expect.. And even thought we learned quite in the middle, who the unsub is, that was not bothering me too and not as usual, it did not killed the story, it opened in up much more.. put more emotion in it.. let us see what was going on. I loved that.

    I think there were some really great acting, specially by that unsub and those women who played dolls. I mean.. to play it out in believable way.. specially the one who could move.. that was.. I mean.. creepy, real-like, believable. And ofcourse, it was Reid's episode.. And that all chess thing and the way he figured those things out.. specially the scene on that unsub's father office. The clever plot he played and tricked the man to tell, gaining leverage, figuring it out.

    Brilliant episode.
  • A really creepy case....

    A woman kidnaps other young and petite women to dress them and make them look like dolls to have tea parties. She keeps the women sedated so they don't try to escape. 3 of them end dead after 2 months of being like that and then the unsub replaces them with 3 new ones. After a thorough investigation they found a lead on a dolls contest about 20 years ago. All that leads them to a Doctor that treated her daughter with electroshocks after her mother dies. Reid then discovers that the Doctor raped her and he still does with other patients. At the end they found the unsub with her live dolls and Reid convinces her to let them go and he would give her the original ones her father neglected her. She agrees and the 3 women are rescued.
    Creepy but original chapter! great one after a month missing them like crazy!!:D
  • Arguably one of the best episodes ever

    This one was chilling, and goes to show that you don't need any gore to be scary. however this episode expertly never goes to far and never becomes unwatchable. The plot is sharp and you really feel like your emotions are intertwined with the climax.

    the character development was Awesome as well, you care about the people that are involved in this case from the BAU members or be it the victims.

    On the production side of things this episode was stunning, from the makeup to sets they were all done with great detail

    i hope they put this much time and effort into future episodes.
  • Reid your knowledge & expertise to capture a role is awesome. The details of the plot where on the nail, I say this because of my experience of working with children for over 12 years.

    This episode may have been creepy, but my hats off to the entire staff from Actors, Writers, Directors, Make Up & Wardrobe & PA's... Excellent Work everyone. Reid Outstanding! I was at the edge of my seat, I didn't even leave to break during commercials.

    The details of the entire episode kept me in awe. The unsub was great, the victims were great. The plot is a sad reality and the ending took it to the top. The interaction Reid showed towards the unsub was so very believable and real. It was a natural. I am a new registered member, tonight after the show as a matter of fact. I was so moved by this episode that I just had to write in and express my thoughts.
  • This was one of the more bizarre episodes in some time.

    The title, "Uncanny Valley," has roots that date back forty years. The waxy, figurine-like appearance of the victims was reminiscent of the "Twilight Zone" episode "Living Doll" in which the doll named Talking Tina, took on human characteristics and eventually murdered to avoid being destroyed. Also, the novel and movie "Valley of the Dolls," is loosely tied to the episode's title in that the "dolls" were downers(drugs that can sedate and restrict muscle movement) to which the three main characters used.

    Hotch seemed to be more authoritative and his natural leadership skills were very prominent. The rest of the characters appeared more subdued than in previous episodes and the team dynamics was a little disjointed. This could possibly be due to Hotch's assertive personality. Hopefully, things will get back on track as Hotch rebuilds his career. It was enjoyable to see Reid with a much more active part in the solution of the case. He is really overcoming the "nerd" factor.

    The unsub was so child-like in her demeanor that she was almost pitiable. Reid was able to use her psychosis to prevent her from murdering one last victim. His anger was more visible toward the unsub's pedophile father than toward the unsub herself. There hasn't been a recent unsub that deserved more mercy than the father who was the more heinous of the two.

    The ending was anticlimactic after the tension of the attempted escape of the diabetic victim. Overall, it was a very good episode although certainly not of the caliber of "Omnivore" and "To Hell...and Back."
  • One word sums this up: Creepy!!! The actress who was the UNSUB was great in the role.

    I have heard about these drugs that do this to people, and it is just creepy. I am glad to see Reid get a couple of strong episodes. This was great for him. From the interaction with the kid in the park, to the way he confronted the father, to the way he talked to the unsub. He really made the episode.

    It was good to see Hotch in the drivers seat again, but I hope that he continues to let Morgan shine.

    I hope that we see more of Jack in the future as he will have a great impact on how Hotch behaves in the future.

    All in All it was a great episode and the writers need to keep them up.
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