Remember that ill-fated trip to Ayr when the car Mr Click and I were travelling in broke down?
Well, while we were there we picked up Series 8 of Criminal Minds as we were fast approaching the end of our seven series boxset and it worked out about the same price in HMV as it was on Amazon. And we've just finished watching it.
We sort of binge-watched the first seven series which was fine because I've seen them all before. This time around we took a little slower, we watched one episode a night mainly to make them last.
I'm not sure if perhaps I'm getting a little more sensitive in my old age, or if there's really been a shift in this series, but I felt like these episodes were a lot darker. As with the earlier episodes there was a mix of the more psychological cases alongside the more gory ones; both are disturbing in their own way. It seemed like there was an increase in the number of episodes which were like something out of the Saw films; series killers with elaborate rooms for torturing their victims.
As I said, perhaps I'm getting more sensitive, but it felt like there were an awful lot more of these disturbing episodes which stuck with you long after you finished watching. One in particular was the fourth episode 'God Complex' in which a man is abducting people to transplant their legs from person to another. Even now just thinking about it makes me feel weird and this was one of the tamer ones.
This series did see a slight change in the line up. Prentiss is gone again, this time without any fanfare and the series begins with Garcia and Morgan having just returned from visiting her in London. As normal, I was prepared not to like the new character who was 'replacing' her.
This new character is Dr. Alex Blake, played by Jeanne Tripplehorn, and she's a linguistics expert, something which Reid has dabbled in in the past. I was torn between not wanting to like her and being thrilled to see linguistics getting a mention on the show. As it happened, from the moment she first sparred with Garcia, I couldn't help but like her.
There are a couple of arcs that run through the series. The first is all about Spencer Reid. He's been corresponding with a woman named Maeve who has withdrawn from the world due to a stalker. Of course, it can't end well and the resulting case is one which Reid brings before his BAU colleagues.
Maeve's final episode sees her dying in front of Reid and I hated the writers for this episode. She was perfect for him and it actually hurt to see his happiness taken away from him. Personally I would've been happy for this to be a series long arc, rather than a mid-series one, with a cliffhanger ending, providing we got a happy ending at the start of series nine.
The other arc which ran through most of the series was the Replicator case. This saw a serial killer recreating the BAU's cases to get to them. Eventually it's revealed that the Replicator is not only on the inside, he's also Luke Skywalker!
When this last bit was revealed I gasped so loudly that I woke up the dog and she got all worried. I honestly was not expecting that!
It also led to the departure of Erin Strauss, which I honestly wasn't too fussed about as I never really cared for that character for a great deal.
On the whole, it was a good series. It did what it set out to do, showing a wide variety of disturbing serial killers and following the methods used by the BAU to catch them. The main thing I enjoy with series such as this is playing along as I watch, trying to figure out who the bad guy is.
It's just that the series got to me a little more than past series did. I don't remember feeling this way about the older series, so perhaps it's a shift in the storytelling method. We've just got the next two series and I've already put in a request for us not to be watching them when we start treatment next year. I'm really grateful that we're watching Scrubs right before bed otherwise I think perhaps there'd be a few nightmares.
I'll let you know whether I still feel the same at the end of series nine.