Criminal Minds: The Fisher King, Part Two (season premiere)
(S02E01) I really like this show and I think CBS was smart to give it a second season. It's nothing special, just remarkably consistent in the sense that at the end of the episode I always feel satisfied. Like I didn't waste my time by watching the whole hour. Unlike say any of the three Law and Order series. I've always found those shows to be a crap shoot. Sometimes they're good (really good), but more often than not... they're crap. With Criminal Minds, I dunno... it's like Won-Ton soup. You just can't go wrong.
The episode picked up right where last season's finale left off, so if you missed it, the first ten minutes probably made no sense. The main thing to draw from it was the cliffhanger: last season ended with Agent Elle Greenaway being shot and now her condition is critical. She's alive though, so the whole thing is a moot point. Her "I'm lying on the operating table and talking to my dead father" delusions, while informative, really served no purpose other than breaking up the episode. That was the only thing I didn't like, or I should say I didn't see the point. Why not just leave her out of the episode (keep us wondering for one more week) and give the main story some more plot points?
Regardless, the main story was very good. I loved how they tied it all together through Reid's estranged mother. At first it seemed far fetched to me but as it unfolded and her relation to The Fisher King became clear, I was impressed. On a sidenote, while I think Jane Lynch is a wonderful actress, I always laugh when I see her because all I can think about is her role as Laurie Bohner in A Mighty Wind.
Kudos to the people who went ahead and cracked the code over the summer. I know I read numerous blogs over the past few months and they had all pegged The Collector by John Fowles as the book Reid would need. I didn't realize how it would tie into the episode though. You can see the cover of a 1963 edition of the book to the left and it has all the elements that The Fisher King weaved into his game: the yellow butterfly, the skeleton key, and the locket of blonde hair. Kind of cool. If anything, it just goes to show you the amount of detail that went into writing this two-part episode.
Oh, another random side note. I'm very glad they've added Kirsten Vangsness (she plays Garcia) into the main title sequence. She's a big part of the show and deserves to be part of the credited cast.
Overall though, a very good premiere. As I mentioned before, if you're looking for an alternative to Law and Order or The Closer or any of those other cop procedurals, Criminal Minds might be worth checking out this season. Nothing too wild, just what you expect... am I the only one who thinks that's a good thing?