"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

Friday, January 27, 2023

Criminal Minds: Evolution 16.6-16.8: Better Than Ever on Paramount Plus

Back with a review of the last three episodes of the revitalized Criminal Minds on Paramount Plus -- 16.6, 16.7, 16-8 -- and revitalized is exactly what we got.  These three episodes tightened all the various stories underway, including the BAU's search for Elias the master of the serial killer network, the BAU's fight with the FBI, and most of the personal stories of the BAU's team.

Zack Gilford continues to do an impressive job as the master villain Elias.  It was good to see more of him with his family, and the increasing difficulty he has of reconciling and managing that with his serial killer endeavors.  More on his family in a few paragraphs.

[Spoilers follow ... ]

Penelope's personal life is the most happy at this point.  Sleeping with Tyler the good-looking material witness, despite Emily's explicit directive not to do that, was a good move on Penelope's part.  In a funny scene that typifies that more realistic portrayal of the Criminal Minds characters on Paramount Plus, Luke and Tara quickly realize that Penelope's good mood stems from her "getting some".  Of course they would realize what's come over Penelope -- after all, they're profilers, right?  The language has also become more realistic on Criminal Minds on Paramount Plus, and this adds spice to the stories told.  All that's missing in this new Criminal Minds for it to be in full R-rated territory is a little nudity.  But we don't get that much of that in any kind of television these days.

The other personal stories are not as happy, but it was good to see that A. J's husband's cancer is not getting worse.  Tara's pushing her significant other to help the BAU on a crucial case resulted in the two breaking up.   Personal relationships have always been a challenge for the BAU and its seven days a week, 24 hours a day schedule.

But the BAU is getting a boost from FBI Deputy Director Doug Bailey, who is turning out to be an important ally and champion of the BAU.  I expect he'll be playing a permanent role in the series as it moves into the next season.

I'll conclude with one important part of the narrative I didn't quite get -- indeed, it's the dramatic, cliff-hanging conclusion of 16.8, with Rossi knocking on Elias's door in Seattle, and his wife opening it, shortly after we see Elias calling her and telling her he'll be home in a few hours.   A little earlier, Penelope told Rossi that he would have a huge number of homes to search.  What's the likelihood that Rossi would get so lucky so quickly?  Or, for that matter, that Rossi would get to that house when Elias was due to return so soon?

I'm very much looking forward to seeing how that plays out in the concluding two episodes of this season, and I'll be back here with a review.

See also Criminal Minds: Evolution 16.1-16.4: Outstanding! ... 16.5: Assessment of What Could Have Happened at the End


Some reviews of episodes from earlier seasons:


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