By MARK TURNER
I’ve always said that one of the true benefits of DVDs is the chance to see your favorite TV series whenever you want to. Not only that, but it gives series a chance to be seen, especially when one series is programmed against another.
Series that at one time might have died off because no one watched their second season gain viewers when people see the first season on DVD and realize what they were missing. After six seasons that might not be the case with CRIMINAL MINDS, but for those who’ve never been exposed now is the time with the release of season six on DVD. Don’t worry if you’re starting here, the series is easy to get into.
If you’ve never seen the series it follows the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit), a specialized group of profilers at the FBI that tracks down serial criminals, usually killers. A profiler is a trained agent skilled in the psychology of the criminal mind, a person who attempts to track down the killer by getting in their head. And this team is the best there is.
The BAU is led by agent Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), a dedicated individual who guards his team as well as possible. The team also has David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), an ex-agent turned author who came back to join this team. Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) is the most physical of the team while also the most emotional. Jennifer Jareau (A.J.Cook) is the team’s press liaison and case organizer.
Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) is an effective thinker and effective interrogator. Dr. Spencer Reed (Matthew Gray Gubler) is a young genius with an analytical mind that sees patterns where others can not. And rounding out the team is Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), a computer whiz who stays in constant touch with the team where ever they are, finding information for them when in need.
The thing about this team is that not only do they seem like a working group of agents, there is a closeness about them as well. If you continue to watch the series you’ll get a sense of family about them. Each one has his role, though not in the sense of father or sister. Instead you get the feeling of familiarity between characters and once hooked on the series with viewers as well. That was seen in this season when one of the characters left and viewer outcry resulted in her return this year.
So you have the setup of the series, agents tracking down criminals, flying here and there ready to take on any and all bad guys. So what happens this season that hasn’t before? It opens with the second of two parts, finalizing the cliffhanger from season 5. The Prince of Darkness killer has returned for some unknown reason and takes the life of a policeman before the team can take him out of play. This results in the daughter of the policeman becoming the responsibility of Derek which comes into play in several of the episodes.
As I stated, one of the agents is forced to move up in the FBI though she’d rather not. This results in several situations for the team; having to deal with her departure, trying to take over her responsibilities and eventually finding another member for the team. Again, this takes place over several episodes but contributes to the sense of loss for the team and for viewers.
Various cases offer bloody situations and extreme violence not usually shown on TV. Then again we’re talking about serial killers for the most part and their actions are almost always violent. So a word to the wise when choosing who should and shouldn’t be watching this show. Adults will have no problem but younger children might.
The acting is unbelievable for having a cast this size. Each member is given equal opportunity to shine and not one stands above the rest. They all form believable characters that long term viewers grow to care about. Should you choose to watch you will too.
The season ends with a twist that few saw coming. Will it result in the loss or return of a character? What actually happened? And will we find out the answer come next season? No one knows except the writers who will let us know at their leisure. Until then we’ll have to content ourselves by having the chance to watch this season over and over again, viewing our favorite episodes and enjoying those not quite on our list. It doesn’t matter because there isn’t an episode that isn’t done well.
With the frightening fact that there are at any time dozens if not hundreds of potential serial killers out there, its nice to know that a team like this actually exist. Let’s hope for two things. The first, that they’re as successful as the team here is. The second, that those killers remain only “potential” knowing that the team is out there. This is a series not to be missed and one of the best TV has to offer right now.
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