S1:E1 – Extreme Aggressor

Content notes: descriptions of abduction, prison, bound woman, gun violence

Welcome everyone!  We are starting right at the very beginning with these recaps!  I know and you know everyone’s names, backstories, etc., but I’m going to try my best to recap these as though I’ve never seen the series before.  I’ll try to add content notes to each episode, and I’ll try to keep descriptions of the violence minimal, but readers should be cautioned that this series has some pretty graphic violence, so take care of yourselves!

We open on an overhead view of what we are told is Seattle, Washington.  It’s rainy.  I mean, that’s one of, what, three things everyone knows about Seattle, right, so of course it’s rainy.  We’re in an open plan office (ugh) and we zoom in on an attractive white woman at her computer, negotiating the purchase of an orange vintage car of some kind (look, if you want car details you could probably look them up yourself).  She goes to meet the seller and test drive the extremely orange car, but is instead abducted when she gets into the passenger seat to get a ride back to her office!  A truly terrible industrial metal cover of the song “In The Air Tonight” by grody dude Phil Collins plays as she is driven away, so that’s a thing in the world.

We cut to a series of vignettes — a white mixed-gender couple putting together a crib and batting around baby names.  The name Gideon is suggested, but shot down by the man, just before the fax machine (in their bedroom?) rings, and the man gets all stony-faced and serious.  Interior of a club, where a handsome black man with expressive eyebrows entertains a stock photo-worthy mixed-race group of young ladies, getting suddenly serious and curt when the name Gideon is mentioned. Their evening is interrupted by a call from what one of the ladies helpfully tells us is the “BAU — Behavioral Analysis Unit.”

I’m not saying Gideon is Aslan, but I’m not saying he’s not.  Who is this mystery man?  Why does his very name provide such unusual reactions?

Inigo Montoya is lecturing students about “the Footpath Killer,” describing what he told the Virgina police about him.  He helpfully informs the audience that we should refer to suspects as “the unknown subject, or unsub” — this is where you should all take a drink — before being interrupted by an adorable young skinny guy who taps a folder urgently.  Inigo and cute guy discuss details of the Seattle case, and are interrupted by Stony Face and Eyebrows, who inform Inigo that his medical leave is up and he is needed for One Last Job (or whatever).  Inigo stands to the right of the screen and stares into the middle distance.

s1e1 mandy 1


They are off to Seattle!

I want to point out here that we’re six minutes in, and still know nobody’s name, not even Gideon’s.  Reid calls him “boss,” and nobody addresses anyone else.   Hotchner doesn’t even say the name of the director of the FBI, just says “the director.”  This seems odd in a pilot, almost like we’re already supposed to know these people.  We are also just now getting to the title screen and still have not seen the opening credits.

Super Srs Plane Quote is from Joseph Conrad.  Something something evil of men.

We get a name — Gideon!  Stony Face is being told to keep an eye on him, something about returning to duty.  And finally credits so that’s nice.

Plane discussion of the crimes, which involve abducting young women and strangling them.  We get a glimpse of the abducted car buyer in a cage, blindfolded and chained up.  BAU arrives in Seattle, and ominously walks and gossips about Gideon.  We get introduced to the whole team, with names, finally!  Reid’s hair is doing some weird slicked-down thing, and is not at all floppy today.  Disapointing.  Lots of background Gideon gossip goes on as the team visits the crime scene, talks with the local cops and FBI units, visits the victim’s family, etc. Eyebrows is skeptical, Reid is adorably nerdy, Gideon spends some time standing to the right of the screen and staring into the middle distance while at the crime scene.

s1e1 mandy 2

The team discusses the profile, while Gideon stands to the right of the screen, staring into the middle distance.

s1e1 mandy 3

Gideon suddenly says he is ready to give the profile but how can he be ready already?!  Guys, don’t worry, he’s a super profiling genius.  Gideon gives the profile in a weirdly dark room full of mostly guys in suits.  He tells them that they have already interviewed the unsub.  Dun dun DUNNNNNN.

Oh man, I forgot all the terrible CGI graphics they used early on.  Woof.

Seemingly unrelated scene of a young, brunette, white woman asking for help from an elderly lady because she found the house she is house-sitting suspiciously open. Grandson is sent to help.  Suddenly the FBI bursts out and the skinny weird-looking white kid from Road Trip is arrested.  I guess we are supposed to understand that since they have already interviewed the unsub, they were able to figure out who it was and go arrest him?  It’s not made clear.

Ooh another quote.  That’s unusual.  Emerson this time on riddles.

We talk with Elle Greenaway, who led the raid and who wants into the BAU.  Something is wrong — the profile doesn’t match up with this kid.  We get some really ridiculous discussion and profiling of the kid’s game of Go (of course by Reid, what’s wrong with you?), which you would think would be done to death on these types of shows by now but I’m certain I’ve also caught episodes of NUMB3RS that involved it so who knows.  Gideon interviews the kid in the kitchen and the kid tries to psych him out by talking about Gideon’s dead friend.  Gideon glares, then gets up and exits, pursued by Hotchner, who tries to talk to Gideon about his return to duty.  Gideon stands to the right of the screen and stares into the middle distance.

s1e1 mandy 4

Anyway, we are meant to think Gideon is freaking out about his dead friend, but not so!  He has had a profiling realization!  Gideon knows his profile can’t be wrong, because he’s a super profiling genius, so there must be a second unsub!

Bustle bustle, interview creepy kid’s grandma, and here’s Garcia, the in betweenie-sized (“TV fat” as my friends call it) “quirky” white lady computer genius!  Hooray!

Can I say for the record just how very much I hate her relationship with Eyebrows?  We’ll get into it later in the series, I’m sure.  For now they do some chemistry-less flirting and we continue bustling about trying to figure out who the second unsub is.  This scene seems to have been included just so that Garcia gets introduced in the pilot; she has zero help to give them in guessing this kid’s password.

We go to a series of pretty quick cuts between the three sets of team members: Reid and Eyebrows trying to break into the skinny kid’s computer, Gideon and Elle following a lead on the kid’s prison time, and Hotchner doing some tricksy interrogation maneuvers.  More background Gideon gossip.

Woah, another quote!  Churchill on looking to the past to understand the future.  Glad they didn’t keep this up, this is a lot of quotes.

Gideon and Elle see the prison guard’s keychain and realize the vintage car belongs to him and they have their second unsub, hooray! Reid and Eyebrows go to a lot of effort to make a pretty terrible Metallica joke.  Elle impresses Gideon when they chase and pull over the vintage orange car, which contains a guy who is NOT the unsub!

More fast cuts.  Urgent bustle music, computer password is guessed via the magic of Metallica, video of kidnapped girl, urgent phone calls, urgent bustle tricksy interrogations, the girl is on a boat!  Hotchner gets the creepy kid to snitch and now we are off to the shipyard!  Gideon and Elle arrive just as the second unsub gets there, and they don’t wait for backup, of course.

Does anyone ever wait for backup on this show?  (I guess we’ll find out.)  (But I’m guessing the answer is “nope.”)

Anyway, showdown on the boat, Gideon talks about the unsub’s penis, like, at great length (oof sorry), unsub gets mad enough to drop the girl and shoot Gideon, which means Elle can shoot our unsub and everyone lives happily ever after with absolutely no consequences or paperwork after discharging your weapon and KILLING A DUDE in the line of duty!  Suddenly it’s daylight.  Seriously, it wasn’t dawn before, it was pitch dark.  Now it’s bright daylight.  I guess we’re meant to read this as “the bad stuff is over, now it’s a new day,” but come on, guys, this isn’t a time-travel show.  More Gideon gossip, plane quote (Nietzsche on the abyss, REALLY?), baby name talk.

Mysterious cut to Gideon at a rural gas station, and we see all the things he was talking about when he was describing the Footpath Killer at the beginning of the episode (red pickup, photos, stutter), so we guess this is a flashback, because they were in Seattle in this ep and the Footpath killer was in VA?  We cut to black as the attendant pulls a shotgun on Gideon! Oh and that terrible song comes back.

Reid’s hair floppiness rating: 1 out of 10, very bad, all greasy and slicked-down, IDEK you guys.

Previous Post


  1. Ah yes, the magic of Gideon’s profiling, the random time cuts, and the giant leaps of logic: CM how I love thee.

    Seriously – I’m very much looking forward to your recaps.


%d bloggers like this: