CRIMINAL MINDS: Some Swan Song

Did you happen to catch last night’s Criminal Minds and the exit of arguably my favorite character on the canvas, Paget Brewster’s Emily Prentiss? Ignoring the specifics of Prentiss going at it with an adversary from a recently remembered past, my biggest gripe with the episode was the subtle as a sledgehammer “twist” after Prentiss apparently met her maker via wooden stake. As soon as Hotch and the returned JJ conferred meaningfully behind the hospital glass, I knew Emily was not en route to that big BAU in the sky but rather would live life with a new identity in some far off corner of the world (in this case, it was Paris). Maybe it’s a trick we’ve seen too many times on too many procedurals, but it was about as unoriginal as you can get. Had they just killed Emily off, the grief displayed by Reid, Morgan, Garcia, and Rossi might have at least struck the proper chord. All I was left with was the feeling that Hotch and JJ (and to a lesser extent, Prentiss herself) let these people think they had lost a valued co-worker and friend. For their own good? They couldn’t be trusted with the information? They’re friggin’ FBI agents! Maybe I’m alone here, but the whole outing was obvious and, if you think about it, kind of cruel. At least I hear Brewster’s got a new show on the horizon. Sounds more inspired than what went down last night (and I speak as somebody who actually likes the often-maligned Criminal Minds).

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