I thought this post would be easy!! It was one of the hardest I’ve ever written mostly because I usually do everything with a bit of fun and sarcasm, but I *love* this episode so much, it’s really hard to be sarcastic and funny. So I hope that you are all OK with me being a bit more on the serious side today. You see, not only is this the role that made me an Alex fan (years before I knew who he was), I believe it’s just one of the finest hours of television ever made IMHO. I’ve watched every episode of Criminal Minds since it started, but since this episode first aired in April, 2009, it has haunted me in the most marvelous of ways. For a show that sometimes becomes a bit too dark and gruesome for my taste at times, this was an episode that haunted me because of the LACK of gore and brutality. It uses what Alex does so superbly and that’s the unspoken word: the mannerisms and body language. The minimal dialogue that was spoken was pointed, affecting and sometimes downright gut wrenching.
There is a BTS video somewhere (of course I can’t find it now) where it was said during taping the crew was just waiting around, huddled around the monitors watching filming and that’s when they knew they were doing something special. <<–yes, special indeed.
I have to give a special shout out to Shemar Moore who I think was the perfect choice to take the lead on this episode. He brought a real sense of strength, vulnerability and softness to this episode in the way he dealt with the young victim. What a treat…
The Boy. **sigh** Jake Cherry plays Stanley…..he’s the male version of Lucy for H50 fans. You love his spunk and cheekiness but then he breaks your heart with a simple expression…
and you are never, ever the same.
**click on first pic and scroll through gallery for full size.
We begin with an introduction to Vincent’s OCD ritualistic morning routine. (Random Q – Why does he need so much lotion??)
More morning rituals. Brushing teeth, bologna sandwich (no crust), ritualistic door shutting (twice) and clock watching.
Vincent leaves his house and avoiding cracks on the pavement starts walking (where is he going?) and happens upon a couple putting an elderly lady in the car and hands them something they drop. After sanitizing his hands, he sees an Open House sign.
The realtor believes he is her next appt, Robert but he’s not Robert. Instead of buying her house, he stabs her.
This is probably one of the most haunting scenes from the episode. The way he watches her as she dies…like he’s studying her. So intense. So creepy.
Now Vincent is editing her footage in with his past kills. It entrances him, it thrills him…yet I almost sense, for just a fleeting moment, a moment of sadness or regret. Anyone else catch that?
Vincent scrawls the words “Help Me” on the wall of his last victim. After editing this tape, he sends it to the Buffalo police who contact the FBI’s BAU Team. They try to decide if the video is a taunt or a real cry for help. Rossi says the video taping of the kills means he’s a “sexual sadist”…thoughts?? The BAU Team re-enact the kill.
Vincent is full on in his OCD rituals. Then there is a knock at the door. Who knows where he lives??
Vincent reluctantly lets his co-worker in. She’s there to tell him there is a wedding they need him to film tomorrow (the 29th) and he’s the best (obvi).
He tells her he can’t do the job and tries to get her to leave. Then she sees the news break of the serial killer…Why do beautiful girls never listen to reason??
Vincent says he has to go change his glasses. What I find interesting here is the way you see the change come over Vincent from this flustered man trying to get a beautiful woman out of his home to the confident, self assured killer.
Our first glimpse of Stanley. Why is Vincent stalking this boy? Oh! He’s a friend! The one person who truly connects with Vincent. For a brief, fleeting moment we get a glimpse of a happy Vincent. He promises to pick Stanley up that night for a surprise.
The FBI needs information from the only living witness to one of the murders. A blind boy named Stanley who was present when his mother was killed. In a set of truly memorable scenes Morgan guides Stanley through the his memory of that night. Through Stanley’s eyes we see Vincent…and Vincent sees Stanley.
The FBI is asking questions so Vincent takes a side street, running into some bad thugs. They follow Vincent and try to intimidate him. Vincent makes his clicking noise.
One thug tries to intimidate Vincent with the size of his gun (pfffff…) Vincent impresses upon him the size of his knife but not before the thug gets a shot off and clips Vincent in the side. Vincent 1 Thug 0.5
Wounded, Vincent goes home to clean and pack his wounds. He has some place to be after all! and the BAU learn the story of Vincent, that he himself witnessed his own mother’s murder and inadvertently captured it on film.
Vincent picks Stanley up & Stanley tells him that the FBI came to visit him. The man who killed his mother had seen him. Vincent assures him this man will never hurt him. Stanley says, “I wish he’d killed me.” <<–This scene. This entire scene!! No words. The BAU figure out Vincent is taking him to see a real life "Big WheeL'.
At the top of the big wheel, Vincent tells Stanley that you can never wish to be dead. “Never wish that!” and then tells him that he was grateful that he helped him learn to “see”. Stanley wishes Vincent were his father and Vincent tells him he’s “going to hear bad things about me…..Forgive me.” (I.have.No.Words)
Stanley hears Morgan yelling his name and doesn’t really understand why Vincent won’t respond and why Morgan is carrying him away. Then it becomes clear. He asks Morgan, “Did he kill my mother?” No words necessary. I can’t speak. Only tears.
Here are some questions I had posed earlier:
1. Did Vincent plan on killing the real estate agent or was she in the wrong place at the wrong time?
2. Vincent writes, “HELP ME”. Hotch says, “He could have just turned himself in.” But could he??
3. What is the appeal of a Ferris Wheel to a child blind from birth?
4. Alex said in an interview that Vincent needed redemption. Did he earn it?
I’m beyond excited that some of you watched for the very first time just for this discussion!! So please, the questions above are only a jumping off point. Feel free to discuss any scene, any moment that moved you, that made you mad, sad or confused you.
I have a busy day planned so I will let you all have the floor for a bit to get started and will chime in later on Wed evening with my thoughts. I have LOTS of them! 🙂