As I stated in my previous CM review and recap, last season was great but uneven at times. Season four started off with a bang last week, but this episode brings me back to the undisputed highlights for me of previous seasons- the last two episodes of season one, episodes 14 to 18 of season two, episodes 8 and 9 of season three, and almost matched the single best written episode in CM history, season three’s ” Elephant’s Memory”, which should have been enough to garner Matthew Gray Gubler some Emmy love, if not writer Andrew Wilder, who has written some of my favorite episodes ( including another season 1 highlight, “L.D.S.K.”, which is the episode the show really began to gain it’s footing).
It seems that Lower Canaan, Ohio, was once home to a serial killer nicknamed the Angle Maker. The man was caught and sentenced to death, a sentence that was delivered on a year ago. A pretty blonde woman is alone at home, and is creeped out by a noise. After the ominous horror movie music, we discover it was her cat, eating from a pot on the kitchen counter. Silly girl ( and a little cliched, writer Dan Dworkin. Tsk, tsk. I think it knocked you down a bit from ” Elephant’s Memory” level). Our lovely lady sees a shooting star and decides to make a wish. That’s when we see the intruder stealthily move behind her, vanishing into the house. Our fair maiden goes to bed… and our intruder decides to smash her over the head with a hammer.
Hotch is still having ear trouble, and bullies the ENT doctor into allowing him back into the field. JJ has a new case- the DNA of our dead serial killer has turned up in our victim. The police is feeling the stress, and our team heads off. Hotch decides to fly ( against doctors orders, for sure), and Reid tosses out the idea of an evil twin which gets the reaction you would expect from a group of profilers. The town hasn’t been the same, the chief says, as Hotch and Reid view our new crime scene. When a note arrives, Reid deems it to be authentic, and the chief exhumes the body of our serial killer- only to find the body missing. Then our team learns that the execution didn’t go off as planned- our killer died a long, slow, painful death. Justice for sure, I guess.
The team is going through the correpondence of our killer, and Morgan and Emily go off in search of a prison guard Morgan had met while at the prison gathering the letters. They find him dead- and then discover that he popped a Viagra before he died. It changes the profile from a male fan to a female fan, and the team now goes off to interview ladies. One, who clearly has to be insane to be in love with this monster, finally tells them something useful- he once sent her a letter that was clearly meant for someone else, a woman he called his Dove. And we get another victim, a daycare worker.
While examining the scene, Emily makes the connection of why the notebook paper appeared in the previous victim’s puncture wounds. Our unsub is using a template. Reid is still looking at letters, trying to figure out why the difference between the letters he sent to Dove and the ones to others. Reid deduces that there could be a code.
Emily finally comes up with a reason for the patterns- they are constellations in the Heavenly Waters, and our unsub is finishing our killer’s work. Reid breaks the code- it’s a binary code used by the Aryan Nation. The killer and our unsub seem to really be in love with each other ( creeptastic, no?) She got semen from our killer, and JJ suggests it might have been to conceive a baby. The team searches birth records, and finds one that clicks, but the baby died in the hospital, which set our unsub off, allowing her to leap into killer herself.
Off to the killer’s house we go, where it’s clear that she can’t let go of the loss- and the team finds the corpse of our killer in a trunk in the nursery. The discovery of the day planner leads them to the name of the next victim.
Our killer is prepping to kill our next victim, and the team arrives at the house. Hotch sends Morgan to find a way in to rescue the woman inside, and Emily tries to distract our killer through a megaphone. It works, and our killer wanders off from the victim, and Morgan helps her escape. But the profile states that our killer cannot be talked down, so as the team tries to figure out how to bring her in without hurting her, our killer takes the last pattern, inflicts it on herself, takes her gun, wanders outside, and dies by suicide by cop.
The episode was strongly written, with genuine moments of humor in the darkness ( my favorites- both Reid moments- are an exchange between Rossi and Reid where Reid goes on about the code being in plain sight, and Rossi asks what Reid will need to crack it. ” The ability to clone myself and a year’s supply of Adderall”. Then the second, Reid goes on about how he discovered the code and how they would usually use a computer to decipher but it was faster for him to do it long hand. Emily pokes his cheek and says ” He’s so lifelike.”) Strong performances by our team aid us, but the hidden unsub actually does allow for a genuine twist midway. I did expect a fan copycat, but not a woman ( again, statistics dictate most violent. serial criminals are men). Great editing and directing as well this week. Overall, a superior episode.