Beginning with the opening sequence – the white clean space and the bald man, this episode immediately establishes itself as a different kind of Profiler episode. Focusing closely on the man and showing his response to the germy girl scouts, it has a wonderfully obsessive feel before the opening credits run.
Almost immediately, the show establishes the moral – pollution is bad, but blowing it up is worse. We get a glimpse of John the ladies’ man.
The filming is coming into its own – the sequence where the main characters watch the form a constantly rotating Mount Rushmore style image. Unfortunately, the scene ends with Coop – he’s just not that interesting in his James Dean knockoff character. We see here the beginning of the Sam/Coop relationship, which is obviously going to be continued in future episodes. The good news – A. Martinez is possessed of hotness. The bad news? It’s obvious he’s not long for this show.
The main plotline – the bomber. Since the bomber evades easy profiling it makes him more interesting than otherwise. First he sends a message about the environment, then he demands money, then he identifies Grace as “the sterile brunette.” This is an interesting double entendre since we know Grace has no children, and she’s a doctor. It’s a wonderfully sick joke from the writers. Sam slowly comes to realize that it’s about germs, not money, not the environment per se, but cleanliness, sterility.
The ploy with Grace and the car bomb is simultaneously frustrating and see through. It was obvious from the get go that they weren’t going to kill Grace off; it was equally obvious that it was a decoy. However, showing Sam’s growing understanding of the bomber’s psychology is extremely effective, especially as she prowls his house and gets to know him, you see her using her intellect, not just luck, not instinct. Intellect – Sam comes across as a powerful, character – this isn’t the shrinking violet running from her past – this is the strong profiler at the top of her game. The mood of the episode shifts effectively from obsessive at the opening to mournful. The bomber isn’t desperate, or pathetic – he is mournful, sad, someone deserving sympathy despite his actions.
This is still a four of five episode. Most of the bugs are being worked out and the episode works more rather than less – but the denouement with Coop and John disarming the bombs is too transparent – there was never any question they’d disarm the bombs and the sequence ended feeling like filler.