First, the psycho killer - soon identified as just one killer, not a gang, by the BAU - makes Spencer think about his own headaches and family background. His mother is schizophrenic, an illness that manifests right around Spencer's age. He's been to doctors, who can't find any physical basis for the headaches. He'd confided a little in Emily, but now that she's gone, whom can he talk to? He shares some of his concerns with Derek.
Before this story is over, Spencer will be caught up and nearly killed by Ben - the pyscho's - illusions. Spencer tells Ben all will be ok, if he gives up the knife. Ben says, ok, are you sure? But Ben is thinking that Spencer is telling him all will be ok if Ben kills Spencer with the knife. Not knowing this, Spencer approaches Ben, and Hotch's shot stops him just in time. A good Criminal Minds resolution.
Meanwhile, Hotch has a had a good night. He not only saves Spencer, but realizes that Ashley, though good for the team, can't replace Emily. And Hotch realizes that Ben is inside a house on the basis of seeing a young boy quickly closes the curtains.
Lots left unresolved at the end of this episode, too. Ben is not killed by Hotch's shot. He's put through shock therapy, but the cure doesn't stick. Are we seeing the birth of a potential nemesis for Spencer?
And Spencer's status is also left up in the air. Derek notes that he's sleeping on the plane back to Washington. But is it a peaceful sleep? It seems so, but, for all we know, Spencer might even have been dreaming the disquieting scene with Ben and his inextricable demons.
Good loose ends for the rest of the season ....
See also Criminal Minds in Sixth Season Premiere ... Criminal Minds 6.2: The Meaning of J. J. Leaving ... Criminal Minds 6.3: Proust, Twain, Travanti ... Tyra on Criminal Minds 6.13 ... Criminal Minds 6. 17: Prentiss Farewell Part I ... Criminal Minds 6.18: Farewell Emily
And Criminal Minds 5.22 and the Dark Side of New New Media
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The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News
"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book