It’s always seemed to me that the Criminal Minds episodes where the case has a past or personal connection to one of the BAU team members tend to be the better episodes of the show. Last night’s installment (“Remembrance of Things Past”) was no different.
This was the first episode in the post-JJ era, and the writers were smart to make sure there was no need for a media liaison this week. I think if they had, it would have made her absence more noticeable; AJ Cook was great in that role, and anyone else doing it just after her departure just wouldn’t feel right. The episode was able to flow and work without her, though that won’t be the case every week and she is missed.
Agent Rossi worked a case some twenty years ago where a killer known as The Butcher abducted and murdered women around the Bristol, Virginia area. To add to the horror, before finishing the job The Butcher had the girls call their parents or significant others to let them know they were about to die and that they were enjoying it. This was The Butcher’s way of making an already painful event more painful for the family and showing off that he was in complete control.
Though Rossi got close to him, The Butcher was never caught. Now, it appeared that The Butcher may be killing again – except for the fact that his signature (the women saying they enjoyed it during their phone call) was missing in these new murders. The phone calls were taking place, but that detail was not present. The murders continued, and then the signature appeared. Now they knew for sure: this was the work of The Butcher. Typical fathers and sons don’t collaborate on kidnapping, torturing and murdering blondes in and around their hometown, but as it turns out, Colby Mullen ends up assisting his father (The Butcher) in these activities. We then learn that in his old age, he’d developed Alzheimer’s and was reenacting old kills because he couldn’t remember them – equally terrible and sad.
This season began with a disappointing episode, but has followed it up with two solid ones. Here’s hoping that continues. Grade: B