S1:E5 – Broken Mirror

Content notes: gun violence, kidnapping, stalking


We open on a house party, and zoom into a white mixed-gender couple.  The girl wisely tries to convince the guy not to drive because he’s drunk, but eventually gives in and we see them driving along, nearly crashing into a stopped car.  After they get out to investigate, they realize their car keys are gone.  As they search the car for them, a gloved hand holding a gun enters the driver’s side window, and we cut to a long shot of the car as we hear a shot.

Cut to Morgan and Reid walking through the halls of the FBI.  Morgan asks Reid what happened with he and JJ at the Racists game, which Reid says is “top secret,” which is really really cute.  Morgan flirts with women walking past because that is totally a professional FBI thing you should be doing at work, and when Reid comments on it, clarifies that they are “totally off limits” because his “code of conduct says never mess with a woman who carries a gun.”  What an obnoxious asshat.  The whole exchange really bugs me, for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on.  I guess because it’s gross and dehumanizing to refer to your colleagues as basically women you’d score with if they didn’t possess the means to fatally wound you.  Oh look, I guess I can put my finger on it!  Anyway.

We hear Hotch on the phone to his pregnant wife, discussing bed rest, which she hates (totally within reason, I’m given to understand).  Elle knocks on his open door and they discuss Hayley’s preeclampsia, then they muster the team to discuss the kidnapping of the girl we saw in the first scene.  They have less than 9 hours to get to Connecticut, prep the dad for the ransom drop, and try to save the girl!  The team analyzes the ransom note a bit, then we cut to credits and the plane.

Plane quote: Euripides on how when a good man is hurt, all good men must suffer too.

Plane discussion about the dad, who is a US Attorney and has US Marshall protection, but whose kidnapped daughter, Patricia, has refused protection since she turned 18.  The daughter who was kidnapped has a twin sister, Cheryl, we learn.  Hotch, Gideon, and Reid head to the guy’s house to talk to the dad, and they discuss what they can tell about the kidnapper from his letter — it’s personal, targeted to this guy in particular, and he’s working alone.  Morgan and Elle head to the scene of the crime, where the twin sister is laying in the road, trying to sense some twin vibes or something.  Morgan and Elle talk to the girl and look over the crime scene. The twin has a feeling her sister is still alive, so that’s good, I guess.  Then she talks about how the profiling Morgan is doing is “unscientific,” because she’s a “science major” or something (maybe she goes to that university in Arizona with the arsonist?).  Morgan talks to himself a bunch here, which I find super annoying.  Shut up, Morgan.

Elle and Morgan are back at the house, and Reid tells Morgan that maybe the girl isn’t nuts for thinking she can feel her twin’s whatever, that there may be a possibility that it’s real.  They banter about how Reid knows everything and Morgan gives him shit about it, then Hotch calls them away.  Shut up, Morgan.  They wait for the kidnapper to call while Gideon coaches the dad on what to say.  The kidnapper calls and says he wants to talk to Cheryl (I’m refraining a lot from making Cheryl/Carole jokes here you guys).  They mute the mic and discuss whether to put her on the phone.  They try putting Elle on but the kidnapper is not fooled since he kidnapped her twin damn sister, people.  Sheesh.

They give the girl some quick coaching and put her on the phone.  The kidnapper seems to know what she’s going to say (hmm, how could that be?).  The kidnapper starts asking her personal questions, but the team coaches her to keep the focus on her kidnapped sister.  Gideon makes a thinky face and stares into the distance, this time from the middle of the screen.  The kidnapper puts a very drugged-up sounding sister on the phone, then tells them they’ll get another call in 15 minutes with exact ransom drop instructions.  Reid says he couldn’t trace the call (again, remember this when he says later in the series that he can’t even email).  The team discuss what they learned from the call, and Elle stops Cheryl from drinking wine, which honestly seems kind of condescending given that the girl is over 18 and her twin sister’s kidnapper wants to only talk to her.  One glass of wine isn’t going to make her unable to function, Elle, get a grip.

Kidnapper calls back to say that Cheryl will be doing the whole drop, from handling the money to dropping it off.  The team discusses how to keep her safe, since the kidnapper says he’ll kill Trish if they follow her or whatever.  Cheryl drives to a rental car lot in her yellow bug (not a vintage one, one of the new ones, which bothers me more than it should), surveilled by Hotch and Morgan.  Morgan wears lots of ties early in the series, which I forgot.  Morgan talks about how he feels like something is wrong, that he thinks the unsub (drink!) didn’t ask for the right things.  They realize it’s not a ransom drop, it’s a second kidnapping!  They burst out of the car and yell at Cheryl to get down just as a parked car vrooms away.

The phone rings as they return to the house.  The kidnapper creepily tells Cheryl that she secretly wants him to kidnap her because she secretly is in love with him, which he knows because of all her secret glances and whatnot, which reminds me of this (be sure to read the follow up links posted at the top of that).  Whoops, profile is wrong again!  This isn’t about targeting the dad specifically, it’s about the girls!  Oh well, let’s just move on without noticing that, shall we?

Gideon talks to the dad and Cheryl and tells them they can’t involve Cheryl in the discussions anymore because it’s feeding the kidnapper’s delusions.  Cheryl tells her dad that her sister was engaged to her murdered boyfriend, and Reid and Gideon identify this as the unsub’s “stressor” (drink!).  They describe erotomania, which is a delusion that someone is secretly in love with you and is communicating in codes and secret messages, very much like the stalker linked to above.  Hotch, Morgan, and Elle discuss the stalking profile, while Gideon points out the unsub’s weird speech patterns.  They also share an orange, for some reason.

s1e5 orange

Kidnapper phone call!  Gideon decides that they need to apply pressure and not allow the unsub to keep “calling all the plays,” so he lets the phone ring and ring, hangs up on the unsub, fucks with the unsub when he does answer, etc.  The dad and Cheryl get super upset and the team has to restrain them.  Gideon makes some really insufferable faces while the dad sobs hysterically and the unsub yells on speakerphone.

s1e5 gideon insufferable

When Gideon finally gets him on the phone, the unsub starts making personal remarks about the team (Reid is autistic [which is meant to be an insult here of course], Elle doesn’t have what it takes, Eyebrows is a token who’s a “pumped up side of beef” which I kind of find funny, because is he not?).  The team takes it in stride and doesn’t get angry, though Eyebrows eyebrows some.  The team insufferably explains, with many insufferable faces, that they now know how to find the unsub, while being lit from beneath by a golden glow that apparently is coming from the table with the speakerphone.  Ok.

s1e5 insufferable hotch elle

Dad continues to freak out at Gideon and is pulled away by some other agents.  The team realizes that the unsub must be one of the local agents on the case, so they need to get Cheryl out to a safe house to limit who she comes into contact with.  Elle and Morgan take her to the safe house with some of the local agents that I thought we had JUST decided we couldn’t trust, and there’s some really great cinematography as well as some really nice tension building.

s1e5 cinemaaaa

s1e5 more cinema

Gideon and the dad talk, and wait.  Elle talks to Reid on the phone and suggests that the unsub might have bugged the equipment brought in by the local agents.  Cheryl sits on a bed, and one of the local agents comes in saying “it’s good to finally get you alone” in absolutely the most terrifyingly creepy way possible.  The team back at the house finds the bug, and Gideon and the dad figure out which agent it is because he had referred to the dad by his first name and been to the house several times.  We cut to Morgan’s cell phone ringing next to an unconscious Morgan.  More nice cinematography!

s1e5 still more

Agent Creepster talks creepily to Cheryl about how much he loves her, and pulls out a switchblade.  That is definitely how I usually show love!  Elle sneaks in behind him with her gun!  Creepster tries to tell her she doesn’t understand his relationship with the girls, then comes after her!  Elle does some nice hand-to-hand fighting, grabs his gun, and throws him on the ground.  She puts her foot on his groin and asks where Tricia is, and Your Humble Blogger lets out a misandrist snigger.  Cut to Tricia’s rescue, sister and dad in tow.  Gideon smiles on, insufferable and benevolent.  Reid stands next to him, hair still slicked down and weird.

s1e5 insufferable and reid

Reid asks Gideon how he thought Elle got him to reveal Trish’s location, and Gideon tells him she probably found some clever way of “persuading him” (misandrist snigger) and that maybe Reid shouldn’t ask so many damn questions.  Hah!

More Euripides — love in excess doesn’t bring a man honor or worthiness.

Oooh cut to a nice shot of Morgan’s abs as he bandages his tazer wound.  Fun!  Yummy!

s1e5 asshole hunk

Elle comes in to check up on him and offers to help out with the report he’s working on, but not before some weird bantering that we are maybe supposed to read as meaningfully flirtatious, in contrast to Morgan’s earlier claim that he never dated fellow agents.  Who knows, though.  The writers seem fond of setting up a bunch of these subplots that don’t go anywhere (Reid and JJ, Voodoo Eye, etc.) so I wouldn’t get too excited.


Reid’s hair floppiness rating: still holding steady at 1.5 out of 10, still very non-floppy and weird.

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