Last Wednesday night, we were granted with a brand-new episode of Criminal Minds. “Self-Fullfilling Prophecy”, written by showrunner Erica Messer, relied on pent-up intensity from its very opening sequence, which featured the discovery of five dead bodies hanged in the forest during a military exercise, suggesting a mass suicide pact, while a sixth military boy seemed to be engineering an reckless escape through the woods. The BAU team is called up by Chief Erin Strauss (Jayne Atkinson) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of these young soldiers; however, as in most Criminal Minds stories, those “circumstances” take a turn that is both surprising and appalling.
One point that we found extremely positive about “Self-Fullfilling Prophecy” is the structure of its storytelling, which recalled some of Criminal Minds’ earlier episodes when the identity of the criminal used to be kept in suspense until nearly the end. There were a few twists in the story as the team gathered information on the victims, their families and their colleagues. In this sense, the episode struck us as akin to an onion, layer upon layer until there comes the brutal, harrowing truth, as we find out about “who” and “why”.
The episode also dealt with work pairings that are infrequent, which also pleased us immensely. The witty exchanges between Doctor Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Tech Analyst Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) gave a lighter mood to the overall sadness in the episode’s plot. Also, the unforeseen partnership between Chief Strauss and Agent Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) set the scene to an equally unexpected twist within the BAU “family”, as we are presented to a disturbing secret that prompts a clash between Morgan and Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson).
Once again, we feel obliged to pay homage to the excellent work of the guest stars in the episode. Jayne Atkinson was a stand-out as the secretive, yet latent Erin Strauss. Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) also did a superb job displaying the evasiveness and quiet menace of his character, who ran the military academy. But Kevin Fonteyne’s strong performance as young soldier Josh Redding was the highlight of the episode, his expressions reflecting eloquently the character’s determination and grit, as he allied military skills with an instinctive will to survive.
The episode closes with a outstanding solution to the crisis involving Hotchner, Morgan and Chief Strauss, which leaves us hanging as to what comes next in the relationship between the two men. All in all, Criminal Minds delivered another solid, well-written and well-perfomed story. We can hardly wait until next week!
We are dying to know your thoughts on “Self-Fullfilling Prophecy”. Liked it? Hated it? Neither of the above? Tell us all about it at the comments box!
Written by Ms. Dawn & Ana Monteiro