Criminal Minds has not made a better decision in the past decade than casting Aisha Tyler as Tara Lewis.
Sure, her Season 11 arc proved to be pretty insignificant, but Season 12 and the promotion to being a series regular has proved to be a substantial improvement to a series that risks growing tired after so many years.
Prentiss: I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am getting tired of losing to this rat-faced, son of a bitch. He’s not going to take anyone else away from us, not on my watch.
Normally, I’m not a big fan of longer-lasting big bad criminal stories on procedurals, but the BAU’s fight with Mr. Scratch has proved to be unique in ways unknown to their fellow series.
Aside from the interesting family developments in Tara’s life, the continuing strategy that Mr. Scratch uses by turning personality disorder patients into “someone else” is just very, very interesting.
The writers have upped their game this season, and this episode proved to be no different.
Many are still upset with Aaron Hotchner’s departure, but the show feels more alive than it has for several years now.
Not only were we shoved into JJ’s personal life in Criminal Minds Season 12 Episode 2, which remains one of my personal favorite episodes to date, but this episode started exploring Tara, who has been a relative mystery until now.
The series is strongest when personally tied to the profilers, rather than just a very structured episode that hardly differs from the episodes of the past 11 years.
Even though we’re familiar with most of the characters, they’ve never been fleshed out in quite the same way as they currently are. Aside from Hotchner and Gideon, there’s never been quite the same focus on a character.
Plus, the reason so many of the additional characters have failed is because they haven’t been fleshed out. There’s a different standard for characters added later in a series than those present for the beginning.
Luke still just seems like a Derek Morgan replacement, which is really why his character isn’t working. Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Kate lacked the interest of a character that was developed enough to understand how the problems in her life have plagued her, and Alex Blake just seemed like a fill-in for two seasons.
The new team is refreshing, and at this rate, the series could go on for several more seasons without fearing the inevitable defeat of growing tiresome.
- This story is very intriguing, and it’s interesting to see the lengths that Mr. Scratch is going to as he attempts to take down the BAU. Given that they’ve already lost Hotch, will they use Mr. Scratch as their opportunity to write yet another character off the series?
- Tara’s family makes her all the more worth watching. She does come from a painful past, and seeing what she’s been through to who she’s become is astounding.
- Bravo to Aisha Tyler for killing it. The pain Tara feels as this stranger pronounces himself to be her estranged brother is beautifully real. There’s tension, yet fear, but also confusion that pulls you closer to her character.
What did you think of this episode of Criminal Minds? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Criminal Minds airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on CBS.