Garcia is The Dirty Dozen!
Four hit men are targeting the computer genius in the BAU who uses eleven botnets on the darknet (Garcia's computer being the thirteenth). This just happens to be Garcia.
And in other news, JJ is back! And she's joined by Rossi's daughter Joy as well.
Joy brought the case of the week to the BAU, as she advised her father about some missing girls she was investigating as part of her magazine gig. The bulk of Criminal Minds Season 11 Episode 7 was spent on the hunt for the latest missing girl, Bahni Desai.
This was a rich and involved episode, one of the best of the series so far this year.
It was such a breath of fresh air seeing JJ come back to the team, wasn't it? She immediately went into sister mode with Reid and then with Morgan:
Morgan: Seriously, talk to me. What is your secret? Cause you look good.
JJ: Well yeah, see these guns? It's from lugging around two boys all day.
It's like everything is back to normal with this gang. She really is such an integral part of this unit; it's just not the same without her.
We also got a peek into two other BAU family dynamics: that of Reid and Rossi.
Reid's on his way to visit his mother, who hasn't been doing too well with her schizophrenia meds. Interesting that he told no one about this, until JJ came back. Even though he was reluctant to share it with her, he ultimately knew she had his back and would always be there for him. It's likely he trusts her more than anyone else.
And Rossi was bowled over by Joy's decision to take his last name as her byline for her magazine.
Even the unsub wasn't as harsh as we probably all expected him to be. Sure, he kidnapped and terrorized that girl, but it looks as though his ultimate intent was to do her no harm.
The fact that his thought process was so warped had everything to do with his sadistic father; a man who habitually beat his wife and son, ultimately driving his wife to suicide.
Though the case of the week was good (especially since it involved two unsubs), it was the back stories that made this episode so compelling.
Joy's account of her attack to Rossi was intense, and there was relief that she escaped him. Still, the fact that she never reported him has weighed on her all these years.
I appreciated the fact that the writers didn't just blithely offer up the capture of the unsub as a means to bring closure to that attack. Instead, Rossi wisely pointed out that she still needed to talk it out, with someone who would just listen to her and not judge. And he offered himself as a candidate.
No doubt we're going to see more of Joy.
It seems very likely too that we're going to see Reid and his mother together soon as well. Such story bites are never offered up as incidental throw-away plots.
Now we come to the season story arc: the hit men who are menacing "The Dirty Dozen." Namely, Garcia.
Did anyone see that one coming? I sure didn't.
Garcia knows computers and networks inside out, so she knows she has good reason to be afraid. Her reasoning was flawless:
Garcia: It's just a matter of time before...
Morgan: No, no. I'm not about to let anything happen to you.
Garcia: They killed Montolo at a Supermax, and you were right there. You can't stop them, Derek. No one can stop them.
Everything she said is true. This means we're in for some exciting and tense times as the BAU works hard to figure out who these jackals are, and then take them down before they get a chance to harm her.
Some final thoughts:
- Those pictures of JJ's baby were photos of AJ Cook's actual baby.
- Did you notice that Dr. Lewis was mentioned near the beginning? It's a way to keep her presence alive in this series. We'll see her again, hopefully soon.
- The actor playing Paul Larson (the unsub's father) was Robert L Hughes. He did an outstanding job, given the fact that he provoked such viewer dislike and anger pretty much from the get-go.
- You can watch this excellent story again when you watch Criminal Minds online.
What did you think of this episode? Are you happy to see JJ back? What do you think is going on with Reid's mother? Why aren't her meds working properly? Hit us up in the comments!
Douglas Wolfe was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He retired in 2016. Follow him on Twitter.