In the fairly long history of Criminal Minds season finales, Season 11’s was kind of meh. There was no shortage of action, intrigue, emotional terrorism or serial killers. There was even a party at the end of the episode, which is a feature I always enjoy and helps drive home the idea that the team is a family, especially considering Morgan’s exit earlier this season. Why, then, am I such an unsatisfied curmudgeon?
It’s probably because I read too many spoilers and, therefore, knew that no one was going to die, get shot or need to fake their own death in the finale, which kind of lowered the stakes/my blood pressure from the very beginning. The fact that Morgan already left also curtailed the drama — it wasn’t like another team member was going to leave the show in the same season.
The season finale relied pretty heavily on knowing the show fairly well and having followed this season intently, which I have. I always like it when shows reward longtime viewers for their loyalty, but overall, this season wasn’t my favorite, frankly. It took a while to get good, and while some characters got intense plotlines (Rossi, Garcia, Morgan), those who I’m most invested in (JJ, Reid) got left behind, and so I just wasn’t that compelled.
The finale was also pretty complicated in terms of the actual content of the case, so there was a lot of Department of Justice involvement/fake agents/serial killers disguised as law enforcement/exploding helicopters and fast talking. In other words, it was hard to follow. There have been season finales like this before — Season 6, for example — and I wasn’t super into that one either. It did succeed in setting up Season 12, though, what with the 13 escaped serial killers now loose in the world, so ready yourselves and, in the meantime, I’ll be making a list of everything this show has caused me to fear over the years.
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