I’m no newcomer to Criminal Minds—I have seen nine prior seasons (would’ve seen the tenth but I could not find a box set anywhere). One of the things that I find tricky about it in relation to other cop shows is that it presents a more nuanced picture of why people commit crimes, one which isn’t so rooted in blasé Freudian analysis. But, even so, it does sometimes slip on the story-telling and become worn; enter season eleven. Not a bad season, just tired; watching through each disc, I could not but help and feel that I’ve heard this plot before. More accurately, the building blocks; each episode is different, even if the set-up is the same (missing girls, etc.). And yet, in this season, over and over again I noticed the same blocks being used in different orders; children being abducted and abused. One could level this charge at any season of Criminal Minds, but it seemed overtly apparent this time. Whereas previously the similarly created plots were spread out, here, it seems as though the spread is non-existent to the point where we have similar episode set-ups on even the same disc. Perhaps the writers wanted a more thematically interconnected season. Since eleven ends on a cliff-hanger, of sorts, then this makes sense as it could bleed into season twelve, but as it stands now, I dunno, it feels like the writers are getting a bit lazy or perhaps exhausted. It would make sense after a decade of writing the show; after all, one can only write so much of the same dark dreg before it starts to wear thin; while this season does have its interesting plots which show that the writers wanted to try and spice things up, their ploys only work to varying degrees and in some cases even make their efforts seem foolish (esp. the case with Morgan and his resisting of torture). In any case, season eleven is not bad, but it does repeat a bit much. Watch it if you’re a fan; if you’re a newcomer then start with one of the earlier seasons.
Criminal Minds (Season 11 Mico-Review)