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Criminal Minds 7x01: It Takes a Village

Posted on the 22 September 2011 by Tvgeek @TVGeek_blog

Criminal Minds 7x01: It Takes a Village

Original Air Date: 21 September 2011

Storyline: The BAU team is at a crossroads as they are questioned by a Senate Committee for their retaliatory actions in the wake of Prentiss' loss, but an unexpected familiar face could help them win their case and keep the team together.Trivia: The title of this episode is a possible reference to the book entitled "It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us", written by Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1996.

Beginning with this episode, Ed Bernero was credited as Consultant rather than Executive Producer for the series.

Best Quote:

Reid: A young boy's life was at stake. I ran the probability of his survival and it wasn't good. If you want to punish me for taking a risk, then I encourage you to do that, but do not put the rest of my team on trial for something that I suggested.
Cramer: Calm down, Agent.
Reid: This is calm... and it's Doctor!

IntroQueen Elizabeth I said, "The past cannot be cured." (JJ)Reid's FactsYou know, statistically the abduction of a child by its mother, no matter the psychological disposition of said mother, would be one of low risk to a child.

Review: Criminal Minds is back and I couldn't be happier! Hands down, it's my favorite crime procedural on TV, though last season was somewhat of a downer due to A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster's departures. But they are both back and it's one of those rare - and thus priceless - times when the producers actually listened to the fans and corrected their mistakes.

JJ had already returned in last season's finale, but the question remained on how will they bring Prentiss back and what would be the reaction of Rossi, Reid, Garcia and Morgan to finding out she was not dead. The premiere explores exactly that, while dealing at the same time with Doyle, whom Morgan and Garcia had been looking for ever since the night they thought he had killed Emily - 7 months before these events.
The episode starts with the team being suspended and investigated by a Senate commission regarding their actions in what the Senate thinks was a vendetta against Ian Doyle. Morgan and Garcia looked for Doyle's son, Declan, whom Prentiss had hidden from his father, knowing that, sooner or later, the Irish terrorist would find him. After months of surveillance, analyzing the evidence and profiling Prentiss, they find both Declan and Doyle and bring the latter into custody, only to find out that his son had been kidnapped by his mother, who wanted to collect a reward in exchange for his release.
We're given some insight regarding the three and a half months that had passed since JJ's return (last season's finale): Hotch took on a special assignment in Pakistan, growing a fierce beard that Thomas Gibson had proudly displayed on Twitter over the summer; Reid was on sabbatical - and I hope we get to learn what he has been up to during that time and maybe explore his headaches further; and Ashley had transferred out of the unit. As for Prentiss, all we know is that she was working from Paris under a false identity. 
The episode was tense all the way through and - though we knew that, by the end, the team would be reinstated - there were a lot of twists and turns. When  Senator Cramer told JJ at the beginning that six people, including two of her agents, were dead, my heart stopped for a second, especially since Hotch was not in the group waiting outside the room. It also had its share of action - and I did miss Morgan's biceps and action hero attitude during the summer - putting the team in tight spots and forcing them to make quick decisions when trying to save Declan's life. 
There are two characters in particular whose personal growth was visible and made them stand out: JJ is now a field agent and I liked her fierce attitude when going after Doyle with Morgan. I can't wait to see more of this in the upcoming episodes - though the quick allusion to her family life not being quite a happy one made me sad, it was refreshing to know that at least one of them had a working relationship. The other character who has obviously evolved is Spencer Reid. I'm still amazed to see him hold a gun with a steady arm after his struggles to pass his shooting exams in the past. But what made me cheer the most was his confident attitude and being able to make the toughest decisions on the spot - it was his idea to exchange Ian Doyle for Declan and the way he spoke to the terrorist proved that he is not the goofy insecure kid anymore. My favorite scene of the episode is when he told Cramer he is a doctor, not an agent, followed by correcting him on saying that "the United States government is not in the business of trading captives". I've always had a soft spot for Reid, he is my favorite character on this show.
Prentiss' return brings forth a lot of emotion within the team - Garcia is simply happy to have her back, Reid is confused because "we buried her" and Morgan feels betrayed - especially by Hotch - for making him believe he was avenging her death and finding out that he spent seven months wasting his energy with chasing Doyle. I hope these emotions are explored further in the episodes to come, especially the relationship between Morgan and Prentiss.
Ultimately though, Emily's return is not only a welcomed one, but she convinces the Senate commission to revoke the unit's suspension and have them back in the field.
Bringing A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster back was the best decision the show's producers have made and this episode proves just that. It was a great premiere for what is going to be a season that will explore the characters' personal life more in depth than they have done until now.Back to Season 7

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