Criminal Minds

Season 8 Episode 12

Zugzwang

84
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jan 16, 2013 on CBS
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (58)

9.1
out of 10
Average
451 votes
  • Loved this ep except for...

    9.0
    Ok I was a huge fan of the show Leverage and Maeve was it one of the main cast there and I loved her character so i had a good impression of her already the moment I realised shes Maeve. I also watched earlier seasons of Gossip Girl and I recognised Diane from there. So this ep was a plus plus for me.



    I agreed with all the other reviews that the ending was surprising. I totally thought that it'll be great for Reid to finally be with someone. Seriously he had been single in the show since forever. Isn't it about time already?!!?



    Coming back to my review title, I really am disgusted why Reid chose Blake to relate to. I mean, seriously, doesn't she get enough screen time already since the season started? Did the writers really have to make her the centre of every important scene in each episode? I mean, think bout it, if the character had to be another female for Reid to relate personal things to, why wont he choose JJ? JJ has been there since season 1. How can he not feel closer to her? Plus, Blake is MUCH MUCH older than him. Remember this thing bout age gap? Wont he relate to JJ better, or anyone else in the team? Really don't understand what the writers were thinking.. I'm trying to like Blake but its really not working out. And I blame it on 2 things: they chose the wrong person to replace Prentis. I don't have a problem with the character itself (the Ph'Ds, the attitude etc) but she doesn't fit into the team overall. Secondly, the writing is bad. The writers gave her way too much credit every episode, kinda like everyone is a shadow to her character. Really a turn-off.
  • What about Bobby!

    8.0
    Funny enough the things that pissed most people off about this episode is not what ticked me off. Imagine being poor Bobby, being in love with someone who didn't think you were their equal. Then to add insult to injury dating the psycho who was stalking your ex only to get your brains blown out by said psycho, that sucked. Bobby's death was dismissed to me and it really ticked me off. If you have been watching since the pilot it seems to me the life of Spencer Reid is marked with a lot of tragedy, he paid a tragic price for being a genius.
  • emotional but brilliant

    9.0
    I would of loved for this two be a two part episode as it did have a huge build up, however it was brilliant episode none the less! very emotional and one of the best performances I have seen of Matthew gray gubler! It also made me completley warm up to Blake as I had been unsure on her before, brilliant!
  • Love the show

    7.0
    This is one of my favorite shows, I have been watching for a long time and waits impatiently for each new episode.







  • Reid meets Maeve for the first time but proves to be the last.

    9.5
    A brilliant episode with the phone booth girl Maeve getting kidnapped The episode shows how far Reid will go to save her and I was shocked to find Maeve's stalker was a woman but Reid was willing to replace Maeve as the hostage so she would be safe It was hard to believe when the unsub shot herself she also killed Maeve and you could see the horror on everybody's faces especially Reid who will never forgive himself I hated how she had to die but overall it was a really good episode.
  • Mind-Blowing Ending

    9.0
    Clever, killing two birds with one stone... S08E12.

    However producers have to be more careful with the comprehension factor when actors speak.

    In quiet soft settings, keys words are often muttered.

    Always remember, you people are working on the project where as we the audience are watching it for the first time.

    Otherwise, very well done!
  • Not great

    1.0
    I love this show, but this episode was just frustrating and depressing. I mean, there was so much buildup to it and teasers and all that, and it just kind of made it all seem pointless... ='(
  • Great episode! well... apart from the last scene...

    9.5
    Loved this episode! until a few seconds from the end...
  • Worst ending of an episode of anything that I have ever seen, EVER!

    1.0
    I'm a bit of a "cryer", but this episode was so sad that it only made me angry. I really wish I could take back the fact that I saw it. I have always loved the show and I've been praising it to everybody I know, but this just felt like a punch in the face, really! This episode made me stop watching Criminal Minds.
  • oh my goodness

    9.5
    Spoiler Alert ... This episode does not end well. I'm heart broken, shocked, and pissed off.

    Guess that is why CM is so awesome as it doesn't fail to shock us or tick us off.
  • So long....

    3.5
    Very poor indeed. Switched off before the end.

    Been with this show for eight years and it is a pale shadow of what it was.

    See ya.
  • omg!!

    10
    one of the best episodes ive seen in a while... not on criminal minds - this season is pure perfection, one ep better then the other!!!!

    but lets get back to this one. My heart broke for my fav character (Reid), when Maeve died. Telling the truth - i wasnt expecting THAT. I thought, you know, that Spencer would somehow save her from the crazy bitch. Yeah, I said it - so what?? Trachtenberg was superb in her portrail of a demented stalker. Im kinda hoping that Hotch will give some advice to Reid on how to deal with the loss of a loved one, since he lost his wife (which was another heartbreaking episode) and had to go through all the stages of mourning.
  • Best episode I've seen in a while.

    10
    This episode brought me back to the days of the early seasons. The days of drama - not gore, the days of real profiling, and the days of phenominal writing, acting, and directing. What has perhaps been slipping in those areas recently just sprung back up from the grave and truly gave audiences a praise-worthy performance during this episode.



    Allthough some may argue the ending was unnessesary and that Maeve shouldn't have been killed, I thought those last final scenes were some of the most powerful works of art I have seen in a while on television, and although I, along with everybody else would have loved to see Reid and Maeve happily skipping into the sunset at the end, I understood why it ended the way it did.



    And after re-watching the final scenes. After debating in my head over and over again what should have happened instead. I reached the conclusion that I wouldn't change a thing.



    The outcome was, as strange as it sounds, horrifyingly beautiful. Wonderfully powerful. And I'm not sure if I will ever forget the images from those final scenes in this episode. Richard Walters' "Infinity Street" playing in the background was about as perfect a choice for a song as possible. And seing as I'm just starting to ramble at this point, let's conclude things by simply saying "well done" and "bravo" and "thank you".
  • to 44tvfan (spoilers)

    9.0
    it was not "Thomas Martin" BUT "Thomas Merton" the name she said. And if you think carfully, you know who he is, but to make this easier for you, I'll just tell you. He is a philosopher, and he is Reid and her favorite one. During the chess scene, he explain that she left a quote from him on a book she gifted him. The quote said "Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone- we find it with . now, I think you'll get why she mentioned him....
  • Phenomenal writing... But the end of this episode makes me wish I never watched it.

    5.0
    Fantastic writing all the way to the last 30 seconds. I'm not even just talking about the episode alone. The gradual nagging buildup throughout the season, to draw you in to the mystery of Reid's new somebody. Brought to fruition in an entire opus of an episode devoted to just that.

    The episode delivers, completely. Incredibly done. Payoffs, twists... keeps you guessing, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The final scene was tantalizing. Nearly enough to bring you to tears as you watch events unfold.

    Then, the very last moment, the writers snatch away any glimmer of hope and joy anyone could ever have for any of the characters in this show. Now, I finally understand, that to be a character in this show, you must be repeatedly shit on, over and over, with no hope of ever finding happiness. The best you, the viewer, can hope for any character, is that they see a brief glimpse of the bliss they could strive for, if only their writers weren't heartless succubi. As of this episode, this series has dived down to a new level of depressing I've rarely found in a drama series.

    Final words: If you like this show exclusively for the crime drama, analytics, twists, and the overall high quality weekly plots, then this episode will knock your socks off.

    If you care for, have developed the slightest affinity for any of the characters (especially Reid), and tend to find yourself affected by their personal strife, then prepare to have your heart mercilessly ripped out.
  • Good quality

    9.0
    Oh dear, I am late on this review! I can blame this on one thing only: the long Christmas break had me stewing over the nosedive in quality this show has recently taken. But when I bucked up the courage to watch this episode, I was pleasantly surprised. The writing really improved from the last few episodes and I found my brain actually working, something I have not experienced watching CM in a while.



    I was so fearful when it was announced that Reid was getting a girl, as I was 95% certain the writers would fall into the usual cinematic drivel I've come to expect from Hollywood. But as they have done with all the other relationships on the show, Reid and Maeve's relationship seemed positive and an example of mature writing, and as promised, it was actually different. I never expected to be able to trust them when they said Maeve's stalker was not what we would expect - and nobody can claim they guessed the stalker would be a woman, nor that the relationship would end so suddenly and so violently. I think it unfair that so many reviewers have marked this episode poorly just because they did not want Maeve to die, just as I think it unfair that reviewers mark another episode good just because it was focused on their favourite character, not because the episode was actually well made. This particular episode was very well made.



    I give Gubler 9/10 for his acting. He's always been astoundingly - worryingly - good at portraying a tortured character and here was no exception. I felt uncomfortable in the scene with Reid confessing to Hotch and later the team, as he had schooled his voice perfectly to tremble, and I felt uncomfortable intruding on his upset. The scene when he loses his cool and refers to the unsub as a "bitch" was also fantastic to watch - he used the script well, recognising it was a big thing for Reid to use such a word, and also letting his anger bubble over the edges while Reid tried his best to contain it - you could see the inner war he was fighting. I only do not give him full marks because of the scene towards the end in which the unsub blindfolds him and puts her hand down his shirt. I felt Reid himself would have been far more uncomfortable with this unwelcome touch - he can't see and then suddenly feels his kidnapper touch him in a very personal spot - really it's a form of sexual assault and I can never see someone like Reid being able to sit through that. Though maybe it was the director who told him to react this way. Maybe the editor selected this take from several, some of which included Reid reacting. In any case I felt somebody - Gubler, the director, the editor - misunderstood Reid's character for a brief moment.



    My main criticisms of this episode involves the acting of the unsub and her boyfriend. The boyfriend, whose name escapes me, was adequate in the kidnapping scenes, but was a little stiff in the scenes prior to this, and the unsub seemed to me to be poorly cast and was stiff for the entire duration of the episode. I wish they had hired a woman more like the Queen from the Face Cards of the Season 7 finale - the stiffness of the actress chosen actually caused me to be a little confused in some parts when the team explained the profile.



    Kudos to Breen Frazier, who has risen above the drivel that is the majority of this season to create a great episode. I love that the unsub was not revealed until the team discovered her - we have been missing this. I did feel the episode was just a little too unsub focused, but it wasn't too bad. I love that Reid told his story to Blake, as I feel that is the character he would most likely choose in reality (a little distance goes a long way) and I loved the way she reacted to this choice. My only wish for the writers is that they recognise that it is the everyday episodes that keep them in a job. It is not acceptable to only write well when it comes to big character episodes like Zugzwang and The Fallen. The in between episodes must be good, as they are the foundations for our reasons to watch. These big character episodes are just that little extra spice.



    I give this 9/10, taking away a point for the poor decision to hire the actress who played the unsub.
  • Really?

    9.5
    Great episode, but the ending is disappointing.
  • Damn Mind writers!

    6.0
    this episode had me crying since when Reid asked the group for it :-(
  • ....

    7.0
    Please can someone tell me who Thomas Martin is??? She said to Reid we'll always have Thomas Martin. Thanks for any info
  • Great start.... disappointing END

    1.0
    This was the worst ending ever...
  • Worst Ending EVER!!!!!!!!!!

    1.0
    The writers screwed us over. They showed us the possibility of something beautiful and killed it before we could enjoy it. Will remember this episode as the MOST disappointing episode EVER!! Horrible, Bad. Insulting,
  • Best Ending

    10
    The ending was the best. I was worried that the girlfriend would turn criminal minds to reids little chick-flick. Criminal minds is the best with George Foyet , Frank Breitfopf, and the Fox. Cant wait to se the Fox agian. or some other Unsubs that are not died yet( like been the team arch nemises) or may be having a team of corporate executives-Hitmen cult like group unsubs that can last along more than one
  • Soooooooo sad!!! :(

    5.5
    This episode was great, but it was totally wrecked by the ending!!!!!!!! WORST ENDING EVER!!! IM SOOO DISSAPOINTED
  • so disappointed!

    1.0
    I LOVED this episode. But I was very disappointed in the way this one ended. Why kill the girlfriend? Really?? The writers messed up on this one... should've let Reid save the girl and have a chance at playing a character "in a relationship" for a while like most of the other actors on the show.
  • They told us it was gonna end badly!

    9.0
    So, this was a love hate episode for me. Loved seeing Reid not have it together for most of the time. Hated it purely for how it ended which probably goes without saying. After I had picked my jaw up off the floor I had time to think. They told us it was gonna end badly. The episodes title says it all, Reid even talked about it with Hotch. Zugzwang, defeat is gonna happen its just a matter of playing it out or giving up. And obviously the show played it out. That made me more okay with how things turned out, but there is still a part of me that wants this "tragic loss" Reid is dealing with next episode to be something else. I just dont think that is going to happen.
  • Always remember this episode!

    10
    What an episode! Normally episodes like this use two parts in which you fget this kind of ending in part two and not part one. However, this episode pulls it off as just one! I think it's been a while since we had a Reid-centered episode and my god, I almost cried when Reid asked the team to help him find his girl.

    I sure hope she isn't dead, I don't think she is, but you never know. Reid deserved love in his life and quite frankly it's about time one the team members get a relationship that will last besides Will and JJ.



    This was just an amazing episode. One of the best I've ever seen on the show and surely it will be well remembered.
  • yey it's hurt!

    1.0
    I'm really looking forward to this episode watching this episode the 1st thing I said "Are you serious , deadly serious?" I like the girl's character. Why would you make her dead? oh man! yey it's hurt! Poor Reid.. :(
  • There should be a to be .

    9.0
    They can't just start a storyline as big as this one and end it so... It's not a contract negotiation and it's not a end of season or mid season hook. Translation just check the next episode ;)
  • Unclear future for Reid?

    10
    What a classical Greek-like tragedy! I loved the episode from the beginning till the end! Guys, its a tv show, so realism doesnt apply - otherwise it would be so boring. There has to be drama and tragedy on a personal level as a leverage to all those many many happy endings the show gives us very often (saving the victim at the last moment is a regular formula, among others). Even though I love Reid and I want the best for him, somehow distress suits him: he is a tragic figure (the similar outline is a typical theme in the history of literature - gifted genius does plenty of remarkable things, but suffers more than others and ends tragically).. and this is not necessarily unrealistic - even in real life, someone is just sooo unlucky and suffers more than others... I guess that the writers orchestrated this last tragedy only to bring up his former problems (unsolved (neuro)psychological problems, hallucinations, drugs, fragil which are very interesting. But at the same time, my deepest fears come to my mind: isnt it a prologue to MGG departure? Im not sure if Reid can take any more suffering - even without his possible schizofrenic genes, a normal over-sensitive person can go mad after all those traumas or withdraw from this type of job.. At least the drug problem will be brought back IMO, relapses are so common and in this kind of stress, its almost a sure thing.. If he manages to get over all this, hes a superhero in my eyes!

    Anyway, I loved both actresses so much! Creepy and emotional unsub Michelle T. and subtle Reid-like Beth R. - great job, girls! This pure mind-and-soul-romance made even a bigger impact on my feelings, more than if we had seen them dating, kissing etc... It just suits Rieds character so well and it makes us love him even more, because he wants her gf to be an equal partner and soul-mate, and doesnt care about anything superficial like looks.. Love the whole concept! It made the end even more painful: the only couple of minutes when they saw each other was this awful! The first words he said to her face to face was "I dont love you"! He will re-live these minutes again and again for a long time..

    Unlike "amazing_race", I dont think the unsubs stressor wasnt enough - rejecting a doctoral thesis could be the end of the world for an unstable person - . thesis is not just "a paper"!!!! You have to work on it intensively at least 3 years (a lot of my colleagues spent 8 year on it!) and its an expression of your professional identity - for a person who is obsessed with her work and nothing else exists for her, rejection of her thesis means rejection of her own existence: everything she lived for, everything shes done was said to be useless... so she made up an explanation of her failure as Meaves vicious plan to get rid of all her rivals... So, to torture and punish Meave = to fight against her own failure, trying to erase it and feel relevant again. I think the plot made a perfect sense!
  • Criminal Minds Kills Beth Riesgraf

    10
    I love Beth, and the fact that they felt the need to kill her just to give Reid drama is depressing. She is a highly underrated phenomenal actress, and I honestly would have LOVED to see more. Great episode, in the sense of drama and suspense, but disappointed that killed yet another loved one within the cast. It is truly becoming OLD. I will ALWAYS love Criminal Minds, but I can't help but to agree with Steffenlcecol. There is to much pain in this cast. With all the death, you might as well just throw the whole cast off of a bridge, haha. But seriously, I would've loved to see Beth Riesgraf more than that. SOOOOO hope she's not really dead!!!!!
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