Criminal Minds: Ashes and Dust
(S02E19) Well that was just about the most disturbing episode of Criminal Minds yet. I can't remember a past installment being as graphic as this one. It was an excellent episode, but I'm surprised some of the scenes (especially the opening one) made it through the cut.
It was hard to stomach at some points. That opening scene was downright creepy as the arsonist watched the family burn. While not as graphic, the scene where he tossed kerosene all over that SUV with the family inside was equally hard to watch. This show definitely knows how to push the limits though because as I said, this was a great episode with a well done ending.
The episode focused on the leader of an environmental group, and for a large portion of the episode we were led to believe that he was indeed the arsonist. He wasn't and we instead found out that he was terminally ill with leukemia.
There was a very cool dynamic between Hotch and this guy though. This wasn't the first time that Hotch's devotion to family has come into play, but this was the first time he really got emotionally involved in a case. To the point that Morgan and Gideon had to hold him back from running into a fire. Hotch is usually very stern and calculated, so to see him really get intense like that was very telling of the type of person he is when he's not on the clock.
Elsewhere, there was another interesting line that I picked up on. Earlier in the episode, while the team was at the round table discussing the case, Reid made mention of the type of killer this arsonist was. He said that fire was his drug and that it would be almost impossible for him to stop without help. At that point he gave Gideon a bit of a glance. The impression I got from that is maybe Gideon has enrolled Reid in some sort of rehab for his addiction. I think he's doing something though because the look Reid gave him looked like a nod of appreciation.
Overall though, very satisfying episode. From a crazy guy who keeps Molotov cocktails in the cup-holders in his car to a guy willing to sacrifice his life to stop a madman, the episode covered the whole spectrum. Once again, Criminal Minds has proven that it's like nothing else on TV.