S1:E8 – Natural Born Killer

Content notes: torture, rats, blood, choking


Sorry I’m late today!  Spousal unit and I have a long weekend out of town we are gearing up for!

I definitely don’t remember this episode very well based on the brief Netflix description, but I feel like it’s not one I particularly cared for.  Let’s find out!  We open with some country music and a smoky bar where some men are bantering with the bartender.  A really attractive blonde guy gets stopped by a cop and says that the cop pinched him and they beat their chests a bit at each other.  A dark-haired guy asks blonde guy why he’s “friends with cops,” and makes some threatening noises about the “people he works for.”  Blonde drops the dark-haired guy at home, then we cut to a woman in curlers and a robe going to a house to ask them to turn down the loud Frank Sinatra music.  There’s blood on the doorknob and the blonde guy runs out the door!  Cut to morning and cops all over the place.

The BAU team is walking through the house; Hotch says it sounds like “a typical double homicide” and wonders why they’re there.  We get a creeptastic montage of blood just everywhere, and Morgan says that there is “massive overkill” (drink!).  They discuss the details of the killings, that the woman was killed quickly while the man was tortured, and speculate whether it’s multiple killers or one killer with “multiple personalities,” because that is definitely how that works. They think that maybe there was a third victim and that their killer took the body with him, ugh.  Credits.

Hemingway on hunting men.  No airplane since the killings are in Baltimore.

JJ is giving a press conference, the team is still in the house profiling away.  Cut to the blonde guy on the phone asking to meet someone at 8:00 and that he’s in trouble.  Gideon says there’s nothing they can do at the house until they find the third victim; they speculate that the unsub is a professional, or at least has done this before, so they get Garcia on researching similar cases going back 10 years.  We cut to a guy finding a body in a garbage can, who the team tells us back at the BAU is a low-level mob guy and the nephew of the couple found murdered in their house, so there’s the third victim. Garcia found some murders with similar torture aspects who also have mob connections, so maybe it’s a mob hitman.  But hitmen typically don’t torture their victims, we learn.  The federal organized crime unit shows up to tell the BAU to step off their turf but the BAU won’t back down because Reasons?

Gotta tell you, I watch a lot of crime shows and one of the most boring parts is inter-departmental turf fights, second only to IAB investigations.  I get that it’s an easy way to create drama, but it’s just not that interesting to me.

Anyway, Morgan and Hotch go talk to a sort of vaguely Italian-looking guy at a scrapyard and ask him about the kid in the garbage can.  Italian guy stonewalls them and the three of them all try to out-toughguy each other while a gigantic white bald guy in sunglasses looks on, menacingly.  This is some seriously lazy writing here,all “I don’t know nothin” and “nice place you got here” level crap.  Cut back to Reid, Elle, and Garcia in Garcia’s computer nest, where she complains that Reid is breathing on her neck.  Reid gets all uncomfortable about it.  But honestly I really, really hate people breathing on me so I get where Garcia is coming from.  They find out some info about the blonde guy, whose rap sheet doesn’t seem to make behavioral sense, almost like it’s been made up.  Hotch and Morgan go to his apartment, which seems like nobody really lives there.  Something is wrong.  We cut to the blonde guy waiting in an alley while Morgan locates a secret compartment behind the stove holding a “hot weapon,” come on Morgan, nobody talks like that.  They realize it’s a law enforcement weapon and the blonde guy is undercover!  Cut to one of the organized crime guys we saw earlier in the alley and they can’t find the blonde guy!  Uh oh!

Organized crime guy storms into Hotch’s office and they argue about the undercover guy.  Neither of them have him, which seems super bad.  Gideon comes in and the organized crime guy explains that the undercover guy called him for an extraction after he found the bodies.  The unit is after the mob guy at the junkyard, and the blonde guy has been under for almost two years now.  Gideon tries to get the organized crime guy to understand just how dangerous this killer is based on the crime scene, and they need to overcome their differences and work together and whatnot.

Cut to blonde undercover guy, Jimmy, being tortured.  So that’s not good. The torturer tells him he’s a “liar and a rat,” which you’ll want to remember.  Garcia and Morgan go through the cases she found that match the unsub’s signature, and Garcia is wearing a totally awesome blazer that I love so much.  There’s these floopy sleevy things too which you may not be able to see in the screen cap:

s1e8 blazer

The victims aren’t all mob hits, Morgan says.  So what they have is a serial killer with the perfect job.  So that’s also not good.  Hotch and Morgan go to a smoky bar and talk to the mob guy; they try to explain to him that he has a rogue hitman in his “organization.”  Mob guy looks concerned but tells them to eff off.   Gideon tells Elle and Reid that the mob guy is probably going to meet with his hitman because his confidence got all shook up by Hotch and Morgan, so they set up a sting.  We get some more looks at Jimmy and his teeth in a stainless steel tray, and the scary hit man sets rats on him and that’s all I’m gonna say about that because yikes and also ew.

There is a hilarious scene where Garcia throws away Elle’s coffee after she repeatedly puts it down too close to her expensive computers mwahaha.  I bet Garcia would be a lot of fun if you poked her screen!  They think they’ve found the hit man, but there’s been no records of him as an adult, so they hope they get him when he comes to meet with his mob guy boss.  Gideon, Morgan, and Hotch are in the scrapyard waiting for the hitman to show.  He finds Hotch first and they fight, and he gets Hotch around the neck with a cord.  Morgan has a “head shot,” but they tazer him — remember, they need him alive to find the undercover cop.  Now we get the same goddamned interrogation scene we always get — the smart, cool as a cucumber serial killer, the killer and the BAU team fuck with each other, the local cop wants to rough him up, and the team ultimately outsmarts him and he loses his cool and confesses/incriminates himself.

Hotch, Elle, Garcia, and Reid go through the stuff found in the hitman’s van, and Gideon and Hotch handle the interrogation.  The hitman looks a little familiar to me.  So does the organized crime detective.  Let’s check IMDB! Organized crime guy is Gonzalo Menendez, who I guess I just know from around.  The hitman is Patrick Kilpatrick, who has also been in lots of stuff, notably Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman.  He also was in an episode of a show called 18 Wheels of Justice that I MUST find now because it sounds awesome.  Anyway, back in interrogation, the interrogation goes on, interrogatively .  Reid and Garcia are looking at some tapes they found in the hitman’s van of people being tortured.  Reid’s got a cute 5:00 shadow thing going on here.

s1e8 reid cute

Gideon argues with the organized crime guy, who had just burst into the interrogation room and screwed up their whole plan.  Reid tells them Jimmy is being tortured, and based on the tapes, the hitman uses the same location to torture all his victims, so they need to figure out where somehow.  Cut to Jimmy and some rats ughhhhh yikes ew.  The team works on figuring out the torture location; Garcia and Reid work on the background audio from the torture tapes, and Hotch goes back into the interrogation room to mess with the hitman about his childhood, yawwwwnnnnn, because they think the murder of the mob kid’s aunt something something mother issues.  Elle and Morgan look through the takeout containers and pizza boxes and realize they can use the location of the pizza place to find the torture location, while Gideon thinks the property may be under the hitman’s father’s name because the hitman was abused as a child or whatever.  They find the guy’s house (under his father’s name) (who he likely killed when he was a teenager in a “suspicious hunting incident”), and the team finds Jimmy just in time and there are a lot of rats on him ughhh.

Meanwhile, Hotch stony faces at the hitman and tells him that with the abuse he’s suffered it’s not surprising how he turned out.  Some people, he stony faces, grow up to become killers, while some people grow up to catch them.  Oh look, Hotch has a troubled past.  Stony faces.

s1e8 hotch stony
Quote from Jung on how it’s the tortured who turn into torturers, which is a bit, you know, on the nose, but hey.

Overall not a particularly interesting or suspenseful episode, really.  Something about it just seemed very flat and off to me.  Mleh.

Reid’s hair floppiness rating: 2 out of 10 still, but I do like the scruffy face.

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1 Comment

  1. I only barely remember this episode, even with your recap. There’s just enough recognition to say definitely that I saw it – but nothing really stuck. Very meh.


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