"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Criminal Minds 6.20: Emily's Ghost

Although the central story on Criminal Minds 6.20 was a serial-killing mom scaldingly played by Kelli Williams (of The Practice and Lie to Me), the more important subtext and frame of the episode was the team's reaction to the loss of Emily.

I used the word "loss" very carefully, just as Hotch tells Derek he's "wishing she [Emily] was here," because in fact Emily's not dead.  J. J. knows this, 100%, and it's 99.99% clear that Hotch knows it, too.  Why else would we not be able to hear what J. J. whispers to him, after she tells the team that Emily had been killed?   And Hotch's careful choice of words tonight further suggests, even confirms, this.  On the other hand, Hotch heroically risked his life tonight (just as Spencer did last week), the kind of thing someone in his position might do when an agent on his team has been killed - or is this kind of thing Hotch would do out of some guilt, about lying to his team?

Which raises the question of why is Hotch lying to everyone on the team, putting them through their grief paces, wanting them to come to the painful terms of her death, if he in fact knows she's not dead?   Seems like that's a lot to put them through, just to make the ruse of her death ring true.  Does he suspect that one of the team might somehow compromise Emily?   Did Emily ask for this to protect the team?   None of the answers really make sense.

One thing is clear: Emily's ghost continues to influence the team, even though she's alive.  We've likely not seen the last of that ghost, this season or who knows when in the future of Criminal Minds.

5-min podcast review of Criminal Minds

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 ... Criminal Minds 6.19: Fight Club Redux Plus

And Criminal Minds 5.22 and the Dark Side of New New Media

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