Criminal Minds Finale Recap: The Replicator Is Unmasked, But Not Before Striking Back

THE REPLICATORThe Replicator revealed himself in the Season 8 finale of CBS’ Criminal Minds, but not before displaying loads more bravado and, yes, doing some damage.

First, the crime-copying killer — played by out-of-this-world guest star Mark Hamill — targeted Strauss, in her New York City hotel room as she slept, doping her up on Ecstasy before leading her to be found outside on a bench. Hotch got to the boss lady while she was still alive, but she shared few clues before succumbing to her forced OD, dying in Hotch’s arms.

Along the way, The Replicator showed off his intel on the BAU and overall smarts, hacking Garcia’s mighty computer fortress, taunting Strauss about her drinking and family sitch, revealing that he knows about the Foyet case, even drugging Rossi (into pulling a gun on Morgan!) with tainted interoffice mail. All of which pointed to someone on the inside — a theory that was pursued as Hotch learned that top-level DoJ peeps were cc’d on his case reports, as they kept tabs on the BAU.

Once an Alex Blake connection is theorized, it is determined that the BAU’s stalker is John Curtis, a “nice guy” G-man who also worked the bungled Amerithrax case in 2001, after which he got demoted and then was shuffled around the system. Everyone ‘copters to Curtis’ rural ranch property, but he commandeers one of the birds with a remote control, downing the aircraft and grabbing Blake.

THE REPLICATOR

“Looook! I am your follower!”

Holding Blake captive, Curtis expounds on how he resents her getting a second chance from Strauss, while he landed in Tatooine Kansas. Using a pressure-sensitive seat beneath Blake, Curtis sets a booby trap where, once she is rescued, she and her colleagues are entombed in the cellar room. Rossi, though, frees his colleagues, then has a stand-off with Curtis — ultimately employing Strauss’ one-year sober chip (touché!) to trap Curtis himself in the chamber, as the C-4-lined farm property goes kablooey.

“Zugzwang!”

The finale closes with the team gathered as they did last May, for JJ’s wedding, but here for a very different circumstance — “because that’s what families do,” Rossi says. “It’s been a hard year. But tonight we celebrate a life well-lived, well-loved. To a good woman, an even better mother, our friend… who I will miss very much.”

What did you think of the Criminal Minds finale? Any surprises?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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165 Comments
  1. Linda says:

    Hey don’t forget we got to meet Hotchner’s brother in the first hour.

    • jerzygirl45 says:

      He was actually on the show once before, years ago.

    • Joe says:

      We saw hotches brother few seasons ago when he tries to set his brother up with interviews and jobs from what i can remember. The last seen was when hitch is at the dina his brother was working at and they kinda get along and smile at each other

    • michelle lueras says:

      I love criminal minds I feel like they are a part of my family I miss prentice I wish they would bring her back anyways if any of the cast of criminal minds reads this post I am your biggest fan and I love all of you

  2. Blue Sunflower says:

    Oh brother.

  3. jerzygirl45 says:

    Frankly I was surprised the finale hinged on the newest character that I’m not sure a lot of people actually care about.

    • GMom says:

      True. I was hoping Blake would be the one killed. She is no replacement for Prentice. Sorry, but that’s what I think.

      • jerzygirl45 says:

        Remember when her hubby came back and said he got a job in Boston. I was so excited thinking she was leaving, only to be disappointed when she decided they’d do the long-distance thing.

        I have nothing against Jeanne Tripplehorn, but her character brings absolutely nothing of interest to the show

      • emily says:

        agree with jerzygirl45 omg so true i was lkike u cannot replace prentiss blake is good and all but she cant replace her and omg i cried when prentiss dies then later realized she faked it smh omg wow what a season im gonna miss the show so much

    • Carol says:

      Actually I agree. There is no emotional attachment to her. Maybe it was the writer’s way of bringing her into the fold, but it did not work with me.

  4. I’ve always said that Luke was more Sith than Jedi.

  5. GS says:

    Awesome episode! I actually liked Strauss and hate to see her gone. Still wish it had been Blake. Great twist being an insider. I will rewatch this one multiple times. Glad it’ll be back! Loved it!

  6. Don’t like seeing Hotch with Beth! Hope the writers decide to never bring her back next year!

    • A CM Fan says:

      Perhaps in the ultimate act of “brother betrayal,” Sean will make a move on Beth steal her away from Aaron; as Sean pointed out, they do live in the same city, LOL! Such a tidy resolution… I can dream, can’t I?

      • Dixie says:

        That’s not a bad idea, but it would keep Beth in the picture. Don’t we want her to disappear completely? That way, if the writers insist upon boring us with a “love interest” for Hotch, they can bring in an actress who has good on-screen chemistry with TG. That’s where the problem lies. Casting really dropped the ball with Bellamy Young.

    • Dixie says:

      I agree Jennifer. If I was disappointed with anything over those two hours it was that we didn’t see Beth taken out by the Replicator. However, I keep reminding myself that she was with Jack, and I certainly don’t want any harm to come to him. Also, Beth is too dull and insignificant to attract the Replicator. But hope springs eternal. Come this fall, we have an entire new season to figure out a way to rid ourselves of Ms. Clemmons. It’s just amazing to me. Hotch has loved both Haley and Emily (yes, we all know he was in love with Emily), and he ends up with the likes of Beth? I’m disappointed to see that he has really lowered his standards.

      • Will says:

        Why are the people who are so against Beth women? I for one really enjoyed her introduction and the moments we’ve been given with her. If anything, I’d like to see more of her so she can become more developed. She was a big step for Hotch’s character and I loved seeing him move beyond the place he’d been for a long time, and I really love how they interact together, and that she totally accepts and adores his son.

        • Dixie says:

          Hi Will – we all like seeing Hotch moving forward; but the main issue with Beth (and I speak for myself) is that Bellamy Young (who I happen to enjoy in the other projects she has done) has zero chemistry with TG. Knowing that Hotch has loved two incredible women (Haley and Emily), it’s almost painful to watch his interaction with Beth/Bellamy Young. As for her relationship with Jack, it’s somewhat unrealistic. I speak from experience when I say that a child of Jack’s age doesn’t warm up that quickly to a substitute for a dead parent. I always thought she got way too close to Jack, way too soon. I know Beth is not an Unsub, but her relationship with Jack always made me feel very uncomfortable. I’m hoping that Season 9 will say Bye-Bye to Beth and introduce someone wonderful and worthy of Hotch and Jack.

          • Laurie says:

            I’ve seen every episode from the beginning at least twice, except this season, and Never has Hotch been in love with Prentiss!!! You guys are nuts!!

          • lolyncut says:

            I’m in the minority, but I, too, never saw the attraction of Hotch and Prentiss. I saw a cougar (Prentiss) and a young cub (Reid) with chemistry that would melt steel. All the hand touches- I remember that hug when Reid came out of the compound alive. Now, that was chemistry.
            Anyway, I enjoyed the finale, and am glad CBS didn’t show the body of John Curtis.

          • Ramona says:

            I’ve never seen this “love” between Hotch and Prentiss. I think that you are seeing things. Hotch never loved Prentiss.

        • Kyah Lezama says:

          I totally agree at least sombody has somthing POSITIVE to say

    • jamie says:

      RIGHT!????

  7. Birdie says:

    Like no one could figure out Strauss would die, despite Messer & cast trying to say it was a “team member”. Boring end to a boring season.

  8. Sheila says:

    Ending was a little too neat for me. Alex is chained up! Oh, no, we found her. Oh, we’re all okay. Look, fire!

  9. Joshua Reguin says:

    Hated the finale. In my opinion, Finales should end on a cliffhanger, something to keep us talking while the show is on break.

    • Sadly they didn’t know if they were going to come back, AJ Cook (JJ) and Kirsten Vangsness (Garica) were not planning on signing on because they weren’t getting paid as much as the men were. It wasn’t until the fans rallied with them and the producers renegotiated and the ladies signed new contacts that season 9 was a go!

      • ang says:

        fans do not dictate contracts agents do. having watched since the beginning I would have rathered the original cast over this one. this one will do but the original cast was great.

        • Dixie says:

          You’re right. An actor is only as good as his agent. And you’re right again about the original cast. They were first rate and have yet to be duplicated. But change is a part of life, and hopefully the writers can recover what they lost over the hiatus and we, the fans, will continue to enjoy a great series on Wednesday night.

        • CC says:

          Fans clearly can have an impact on networks keeping actors/shows around when they unite to make a fuss – networks want viewers, so viewers occasionally have power. Not enough, perhaps, but it certainly worked for “Chuck.”

      • new girl says:

        All they had to do was pay thems more. Mens.

    • PPPG says:

      I disagree. you might like cliff.’s, but I can’t stand them. Everything end with a cliff.. It used to be unique, but now it’s so prevalent I hate them. “remember 20 shows while you enjoy he summer shows …. then you’ll be asked to do it again for those shows.” To each his or her own, but I say thank you for not ending in a cliff..

      • PPPG says:

        typos sorry …. bad sight is worse at night. :-)

      • Angela says:

        Yeah, I like a good cliffhanger on occasion, but ultimately, I’m with you, it does get used an awful lot, so it’s nice that they didn’t do it this time around. I agree with those who said the ending was kind of quick and rushed, but at the same time, I couldn’t help but cheer when Rossi left the guy in the house and ran out. I liked the storyline of it being someone who worked within the Bureau, that made sense ’cause it explained how he knew such intimate details…but I kind of wish it hadn’t been the celebrity guest who’d been the criminal, y’know? Though ultimately I thought Hamill did a good job with his role.
        But that stuff aside, overall, I did enjoy the finale. So weird to think Strauss is gone for good now…I’m actually a bit more sad about that than I thought I would be. And I liked the story involving Sean, too. And the ending was really sweet and touching-got me a bit misty-eyed. I’m such a sap :p.

    • Ash says:

      Yea you might love cliffhanngers but I really like seeing everyone safe and together everyone else can have their cliffhanger give me a wedding or a funeral!

    • JEst says:

      Oddly enough people have been complaining on various sites lately about cliffhangers, therefore proving that there is no “should” about it. In other words it shouldn’t end on one any more than it should not end on one. I myself like them too, but realize that would could happen (cliffhangers) isn’t necessarily what always “should.”

    • the8tregirl says:

      Oh no, I prefer the season to wrap up, more or less. A little cliffhanger, maybe a small question or two that might be answered in a future episode, or might not, depending on the writers’ whims, but I want to empty my brain over the summer to let more umbrella drinks in :-) I do NOT want to worry about someone dyin’ while I’m sippin’

      • PPPG says:

        agreed …. sorta. Unless you put an umbrella in my iced mocha/caramel swirl latte – heavy on the caramel. heh

    • Tonya says:

      I love a good cliffhanger but the season premiere let down that tends to follow most of them has ruined it for me. It’s the rare TV show that can do an amazing cliffhanger and follow it up with an amazing premiere the following season. The only one that comes to mind for me was the BtVS season 5 finale and season 6 premiere.

  10. Neil says:

    Should’ve been Gideon. Would have made for a much better, more personal episode. Even recast if necessary

    • Criminalmindsfan26 says:

      I am with you on that I think it would have been much better if it had been Gideon

      • shuayb says:

        I agree too! I really thought it would be Gideon. That he finally snapped or something. Oh well… I’m just glad Hotch, JJ n Reed are alive. Love those 3.

        • Anne says:

          Gideon would never snap! He was amazing… I am glad they did not tarnish his good name. I am also really glad this season finale wrapped up neatly. After watching the Law and Order SVU cliffhanger tonight… it was so nice to have some closure. Cliffhangers should not upset viewers.. they should present a challenge where viewers can imagine multiple ways that the story will go on. Dexter, breaking bad, mad men- they make good cliffhangers. SVU- this time around was a horrible cliffhanger.

          • Dreamrose says:

            I totally agree; they should never, ever have Gideon go the way that Hamill’s character did. It would be like what was done with the first “Mission Impossible” movie – I can’t stand to watch it after what they did with Jim Phelps!

    • jennifer says:

      Inigo montoya doesn’t like criminal minds. He’s talked too much smack about the show to do a guest appearance

    • alie says:

      The lovey pet names used by garcia and morgan make me gag! They are
      supposed to be professionals? If anyone worked with real people doing
      that there would be big charges of sexual harrassment. It makes me feel
      like all the other characters are uncomfortable… The writers should cool
      it… I love A.J. Cook and Rossi (blanked out on his name) they are class
      acts. I want to love Erin but he never seems that real to me.

    • kirads09 says:

      Yeah, I had theorized it could be Gideon. That would’ve been a great twist. But as far as I understand Mandy would not want anything to do with the show, so that is why I figured there is no way.

    • suzi says:

      Gideon is a positive character who left on his own terms, so I can’t see that at all, also a bit of a downer regarding reruns.

  11. Criminalmindsfan26 says:

    All of our characters that we love dearly were in danger because of the newest member of the team. I mean really that was of my opinion not that great of a storyline. I personally don’t like Blake she annoys me. But seriously I did not like the storyline at all. Everyone was in danger because the guy hated her. Worst storyline ever played. I am glad everyone is safe and I am sad about Strauss although she probably wasn’t a big character but i loved her and Rossi together. I just wish they did a better storyline where everyone knew or remembered thr guy from a case they did. But no it had to be connected to Blake . The new person who is probably not that liked by the fans. It was pretty lame storyline with her. I wish it was connected to someone else like someone on last weeks said that they thought it was Gideon’s brother. Now that would have been one hell of a storyline. I just wish the storyline wasn’t based on one character the one that is new and the one that isn’t popular

    • Anne says:

      They did try to get us to like her- they showed her husband and all. CM always makes me nervous when they start showing family… it always seems like a ploy so we like someone before they get killed. Kind of their magic formula. I’m just glad they didn’t do that this time. When Strauss told Hotchner that the killer said “think you can race home before me (something like that).. I was just so worried something would happen to his son or gf. Phew.
      The plot development was not good… being overlooked for a job is not good enough reason (Kansas isn’t that bad). Wish it had been something else.. but glad it had nothing to do with Gideon.

      • Dixie says:

        I’d be devastated if anything happened to Jack. Beth Clemmon’s demise, on the other hand, would have me dancing in the street. That would open the door for a better actress and someone worthy of our dear Hotch.

    • I didn’t write down end quote, can you share??

  12. Vicki says:

    I agree with some of the posters. Criminal Minds has some of the top writers and such creative stories. The big 2 hour season finale was…ok. The first hour was great the second was gobs of commercials with oops he didn’t kill them yet..and then a rushed job at the end. Strauss dying was..”oh that’s the one who is going to die? I missed a big party for this?” One scene she’s crying, talking stupid that you know she was forced to drink and the next scene she’s covered up dead..that was strange. I just expect much more from Criminal Minds. Are the writers on a writer’s block or did some of the best leave the show?

    • macdad says:

      talking stupid that you know she was forced to drink and the next scene she’s covered up dead..that was strange? No, it was obvious that she was ‘slipping away’ and died in Hotch’s arms. And the season finale might have had to be the series finale if the show was not renewed. I just would like to know what the song in the finale is.

  13. tardis repairman says:

    Yes, but if this show had a cliffhanger and The Powers That Be couldn’t come to financial terms with the cast you guys would be complaining there was no resolution in the final episode.

  14. chloe says:

    amazing 2 hours! strauss i was just starting to like you and i will miss you!

  15. Chris says:

    I thought the episode was really good. It seemed almost like a series finale to me at the end.

    • JBC says:

      Maybe the writers had a series style ending in mind in case they couldn’t negotiate the salaries for the ladies and this would have been a proper ending for the show.

  16. J V Smith says:

    I loved the entire 2 hours!

  17. Melissa says:

    I suspect the finale was intended to serve as a series finale if the renewal didn’t come through. It was not horrible, and ended tidily. I also liked the use of the chip in the end.

    • Blue Sunflower says:

      I find it ridiculous that it’s even possible the writers wanted the crap they’ve pulled this season to be it, should the show get canceled.

  18. Chris Ar says:

    I thought it was good, even if the death of Strauss was telegraphed too easily. This show also had the feeling of a potential series finale, in which the last scene could have been changed at the last minute to facilitate such. Mark Hamill has not aged well. I also found it cool to note that, with all the time, effort and technology The Replicator put into killing the BAU, he was defeated by a simply AA token.

  19. AB says:

    Anybody know what song was used during the final scene with the team?

    • David says:

      The song was “Ashes Like Snow” by Lily Kershaw-she sang the song “As it Seems” in last seasons finale. She just happens to be the actress in “To Hell and Back” episodes who escaped in the end.

      • Angela says:

        Oh, seriously? I didn’t know that. I thought the voice sounded familiar-thanks for the info! Kinda neat that she shows up in some form in some of the finales.

  20. eds says:

    Boring and predictable. I liked the first hour better than the second hour. The Replicator arc was a total bust.

  21. John says:

    Kind of a let down

  22. alim says:

    ANTICLIMAX!!!, IT WAS OBVIOUS THAT HAMIL WUD BE THE REPLICATOR!! DID NOT CARE FOR THE FIRST HOUR

  23. Shannon says:

    How could Garcia’s computer get hacked when she installed new blockage etc after her system was hacked by the one dude I think in season 1, 2 where Elle was stabbed and left for dead by the serial killer. She stated after that she encrypted and put up multiple safe berriers etc to prevent it from happening again. Oh I thought it was actually going to be a better surprise as who the replicator was than Curis Hamill. Another article made it seem like it was not him. I am disappointed because I thought it was going to be better than it was. I am disappointed in the show and it had such great seasons but this one was not one of them. What happened to the writing, subtle back stories etc.. I like it better when they have a serial killer of the week etc than a season long arc.
    I mean if they were ging to do that they could have done it with other killers that were much better written like Foyet, the one in season 2, so many others would have been netter to be season long than the boring replicator. He isn’t even that scary. The actor who played Foyet wa great and may me believe in that character and he was frightening.

    • lolyncut says:

      I, too, like the “killer of the week” better than a season long unsub. I was hoping that John Curtis (Mark Hamill) would be the one taking Strauss’s place.
      I can take or leave Beth and Blake. Neither one add much to the series. I would like to see Reid happy, though. He’s been through an awful lot in eight years.
      I haven’t been happy with the writing for a few years. Maybe TPTB should go back and look at the earlier seasons.
      I enjoyed the finale, especially the footage at the end. Loved seeing the guys dressed up.

  24. Maggie says:

    I loved seeing Eric Johnson back as Sean Hotchner, even if he ended the 1st hr in a squad car. It was also fun to see Hotch SMILE when he was with Beth.

  25. Shannon says:

    Is it me or did Blake seem way to composed with the Replicator stuff and strauss’ death etc? When they are back at the office discussing Foyet which is a classified case she seemed more of taking it in and thinking like getting information for something else than solving a case. I do not know the whole 2nd hour I got a really bad vibe off of Blake and why would the replicator go after all the tam when he was only affected by 2 characters and none of the other team members were connected to him. It seemed odd.

    • Shannon says:

      Blake seemed way too composed with everything, making me think like she has some ulterior motive. While the whole team is displaying anxiety, grief, she seemed way non chalant and like she was eyeing the team and taking notes etc..
      I just cannot put my finger on it, but maybe next sason they will play it out more since the replicator is closed, but not closed..

  26. Shannon says:

    I wish the Replicator had a connection with the whole team and not just Blake that was way too lame. It is even more lame that the whole team seemed to go overboard by the simplest thing. Reid is super smart and has always been able to figure out things and yet this episode made him look he was stupid. I thought I would get into the show again, but after these 2 episodes it seems like the show has lost it heart, will and good written episodes and stories.

    • Anne says:

      Yeah- they kept saying this guy was one step ahead of them and yet they fly two helicopters into his territory? How about use different modes of transportation/ change the game/ send in SWAT teams. It would make for a stupid ending… but would be more in tune with what a group of intelligent individuals being targeted by a psychopath do to ensure their safety.

      • Dreamrose says:

        Speaking of those helicopters…. is it even remotely possible to take control of a chopper the way he did? And if they were going to meet up with units on the ground anyway, why didn’t they just drive from the FBI building? Or fly to where the ground units were based and all drive out together?

        • Diandra says:

          No, my fiancee is a helicopter pilot and says he has never experienced or heard of anyone taking remote control of your helicopter.

          • mytopsecretid says:

            Where did your boyfriend learn to pilot? The back of a cereal box?

            Some military/government craft can have on board computer systems that involve terrain following tracking. It will act as a warning if you’re approaching a hill, and compensate faster than the pilot will. If you can tap into that system, you can cause a craft to rise or bank sharply, or, conversely, try to level out sharply, but the pilot should have override to recover before there’s a crash

            The B-1 bomber had that technology, all the way back in the 80s, and TFTC systems have been engineering school projects for at least 15-20 years now.

  27. Anonymous K says:

    Kind of liked Strauss, too bad they killed her off.

  28. Emily says:

    Aww! Poor strauss, but her death is kinda lame. And i really wished it was blake. And i don’t like beth, she’s so boring. Don’t like her. Though, i like sean :) i find the season not as interesting as the ones before it. And i miss emily so much! If maybe they had fixed the financial problem a lot earlier, she might still be here and the lacklustre replicator plot and the team would be much more awesome, and so would the whole season.

  29. A Fan says:

    I thought it was an interesting comment Reid made when “rescuing” Blake stating it was too esy and it was way too easy.. The locks were too easy to figure out, she got up way too quickly w/o concern that she is sitting on a bomb, did not look very distressed the whole end game just seemed odd and heavily staged. Really The Replicator would go back inside where he nows there is a bomb after being portrayed as so smart he really looked stupid int he end and it was kind of lame.

    • A Fan says:

      To me Blake just looks and seems out of place she even acts like she is out of place. How hard is it to figure things.. Too rushed for a season long Villian and now it is all oh this connects to this that etc was way too lame. It would have been better if the Replicator would have been connected to the whole team like on a case they worked on and someone just snapped and when off the deep end.

  30. jennifer says:

    Too rushed and replicator plot did not live up to all the hype. It’s a good thing I like the characters. (I like Blake and Strauss was growing on me)

  31. Goran says:

    And it turns out it was just a recurring character death… Who is going to take Strauss position? My guess Blake bc on this she worked the last 10 years. The ending took way to much suspension of disbelief.

  32. Rissa says:

    Strauss’ death was heartbreaking! So incredibly sad! And I was hoping for more of a storyline with her and Rossi. It was so unnecessary to kill off Strauss! The second hour was just rushed and messy. The show is just not the same since Prentiss left.

    • Leah says:

      Ditto. Wasn’t crazy about strauss but they didnt have to kill her. i actually almost started crying but was brought back to reality by a 14 year old. lol

  33. elise says:

    disappointing…pretty lame after all that build up for the whole season.

  34. peg says:

    Nice that it was a 2 hr. finale. Don’t dislike Blake but I do miss Prentiss. Wonder if Hotch will be promoted to Strauss’s position and still be able to run bau. Was a bit surprised at the fact Rossi was so connected to Strauss. I know it was suggested in one episode a while back, but the storyline seemed to be dropped after that. He could do better. Glad to hear Garcia and jj will be back next season.

  35. dine says:

    I definitely prefer 2 hr finales to cliff hangers.

    Had thought that the Gideon angle might come in after the nurse killer case and was disappointed that the target was not an original BAU team member. Lame to hitch it to Blake. The Replicator was not well fleshed out like previous vallians The Reaper, Valhalla, The Prince of Darkness and the 2 Cannadian brothers. Kind of a letdown after the build up from the entire season.

    Think is is a fairly good 2 hr episode, but not that well done like Lo-Fi/Mayhem(cliff hanger), To Hell and Back, Outfoxed/100, Valhalla/Lauren(my favourite only because I watched it late, after knowing Prentis will come back next season) and even Hit/Run. Found plotline that was not Rossi-related rather telegraphed(eg. Strauss going into the field = something significant to her. Blake offering to send her to the hotel & she being the only one at the hotel = she is going to be the next victim, 2 helicopters=the one with Blake will crash). However, was shocked with Rossi pulling a gun on Morgan(but anti-climax of him just capitulating so quickly to Hotchner) and loved that Rossi used Strauss’ AA chip to zugzwang the Replicator. Did find the ending too rushed, corners were cut and plot evolution simplified making the pitch a little off and some characters seem OFC, eg Reid, the dumbdown version(guess we can blame his being off and less analytical/perceptive as usual to his still recovering from his loss and the impact of the loss of a sort-of family member of the BAU). After watching it, it was like were Reid, JJ and Morgan there? Oh yes, Reid did not figure the Zugzwang until Blake removed her butt, JJ teased the goofy Rossi and Morgan running on the roof-jock the team thing.

    Am also one of those who don’t like Blake(though like Jeanne Tripplehorn) , but never really gave her a chance cos love Prentis too much. Like Strauss even more than her, especially when she elicited the goofy barmy look from Rossi. So much fun and potiential possibilities and they killed her immediately.

    Found Jeanne Tripplehorn(used to like her performances) rather stilted but Joe Mantegna did an amazingly engaging and stellar performance.

    • dine says:

      Adding:
      This is one episode that I find many things not accounted/explained adequately, which is very atypical of CM’s usual style of its crediting viewers intelligence and don’t gloss over things. Feels like there are plotholes, or maybe it is only me who can’t figure them out, like if Curtis was burnt by Strauss and is supposedly a brilliant agent under her, how come Strauss did not recognise him? All that hate towards Blake when the lead up was the BAU team, just because she took his chance? Did he not have his when he was transfer then rose in the DOJ as they said? The team knew that Curtis was an insider, had hacked into their system, had been several steps ahead of them, that he was targeting the team and that Blake was his endgame and yet walked into the trap? How did Rossi figure it out to be able to save the team, especially just after recovering from a drug that addled his brain to the point that he pulled a gun on Morgan? I have more than 10 more questions niggling.
      I hope the DVD version will have an extended version as I do agree with Eli’s perception, the ending especially seems fragmented, like they ran out time and force fit it with poor editing.

  36. Teléfila says:

    So they killed Strauss… I think I’m done with this show, loved it but this season has been awful.

  37. Eli says:

    Guys, I need some help here. I just watched the episode and I think a part of it is missing? Basically at the end of the episode in one scene I see Blake getting up from the chair with the rest of the BAU in the room with her and the trapdoor closes. Then in the next scene it shows the Replicator walking outside in his FBI vest (ridiculous btw, but that’s not the point) with his transmitter in hand which shows which shows the signal getting interrupted at 1:01 left to go. Then we skip to Garcia saying “sir I can’t block the signal for long”, then it skips to The Replicator walking into the traproom the door of which is now open and is empty and then Rossi comes up behind him.
    .
    I’m starting to think I’m missing some critical scenes, cause if this is actually what everyone saw it’s a really bad episode… Can someone please confirm anything?

    • GS says:

      Rossi showed up and saved them but they didn’t show it. It was implied when they were running and asked where he was. He stayed and trapped the dude using the sobriety chip from Strauss. You didn’t miss anything just didn’t catch that it was implied Rossi saved them.

      • Eli says:

        Thank you, but that was really crappy writing then. It’s like trying to wrap up 20 minutes of story in 5 minutes of tv. Just very bad.

        • Dreamrose says:

          Agreed – I was left completely confused. They didn’t even show Rossi arriving at the scene, let alone being in a position to rescue the team. Wouldn’t Hamill’s character have seen Rossi enter the building to save them?

      • Cliff says:

        I combletely missed how or why they jammed the transmitter or how the troups got out of their trap. I replayed it several times after reading this post and still do not see it?????

  38. Dixie says:

    Even with the glitches (and there weren’t many), I really enjoyed those two hours; and I look forward to Season 9 and interacting with my fellow CM fans.

  39. Pat Brewer says:

    The finale wasn’t that bad, at least in my opinion. Of course, I still miss Emily, don’t care much for Blake. Also, am I the only one who thought Hotch had a thing for Emily, but she was fantasizing about hitting the sheets with Rossi. Just always seemed to like being close to him and the Lauren episodes did seem to imply she liked older men. Not to mention she decided to leave the BAU after he confided to her that he had reconnected with his ex-wife. Maybe, I was just watching a whole “nother” show; Idk!

    • Dixie says:

      You’re not the only one Pat. Hotch definitely had feelings for Emily. But he was a straight shooter and knew that an interoffice relationship could compromise the team; therefore, he did not pursue the issue. Too bad. Haley’s death (I still can’t watch the episode where she is murdered) really affected me; but Emily would have been a great partner for Hotch – and good for Jack too.

      • Laurie says:

        You need to show me where Hotch had feelings for Emily. Never happened!

        • Leah says:

          Have no idea what Dixie and Pat are talking about. I’m with you Laurie.

        • Dixie says:

          I understand what you’re saying and feeling Laurie. Truthfully, I can’t really zero in on a specific moment between Hotch and Emily. It’s just something I sensed between them that never really developed because of the job. I’m definitely not one of the fans who longs for Emily to return; but I think she was a good sparing partner for Hotch and was definitely on his intellectual level. Maybe it was more “friendship” than “love”, but Paget Brewster definitely had more chemistry with Thomas Gibson than Bellamy Young.

  40. Done&Next says:

    True fan. Have watched since the very first episode, and several times again and again. They need to concentrate on the storylines of whatever crime more and and stop sooo many personal storylines. Especially makes me crazy when someone on the team enivitably has an obvious or subtle connection of why they care sooo much. It’s their job.
    Far as cast- like Rossi, don’t really miss Gideon, watching him on Homelad. Hated Prentiss, character or actress–hard to tell. As far as new cast member, Alex—love her. With more episodes under her belt I really think she’ll become more loved. Hell-she’s the closest thing to what a professional FBI person looks like, but that aside… Watched every episode of Big Love when she/it was on and loved her the most.
    Love Reed as well as really like everyone else. Will watch until it ends!

    • GS says:

      I am also a true fan and have seen every episode multiple times. Hated Elle Greenway and was glad she left. Loved Prentiss from day 1 and really think the show is suffering from her loss. Thought I would miss Gideon but now I realize he was a total jerk and Rossi fits in much better. Blake sucks. She has no chemistry with the team. I don’t care one way or another about the actress b/c I’ve never really watcher her in anything but her character should have died last night. Horrible, horrible, horrible! Love the rest of team and wish they would stop adding women who do not mesh and mess with the chemistry of the team!

    • Angela says:

      They need to concentrate on the storylines of whatever crime more and and stop sooo many personal storylines.

      I find it weird when I hear comments like this. Yes, I get that this is a crime show so obviously there will be focus on the crimes, and that’s fine. But at the same time, I like these characters, too, and want to know more about them and their lives and how the job affects them. If I were solely focused on the crime aspect of things I’d watch any old crime procedural, but I got into this show because the characters interested me.
      To each their own, of course, everyone’s got their reasons why they watch this show. But if you’re going to have a proper cast and set of characters, it makes sense to do something with them and create some interesting stories regarding them, right?

      • Bethan says:

        Yeah I think many of us want to know these things but for the writers getting a glimpse into the characters personal life for some reason means seeing a team member with their partner and often it’s boring (Beth), pointless b plot (Will and mr Blake), out of no where (Strauss) or really pointless angst (Maeve). I want to see why the case effects them and their backstories and so much more, just preferably without the cheesy rom com/ lack of chemistry/ where did that relationship come from moments :/

  41. Dani says:

    All the little glimpses into Strauss’s life and personality over the years made me like her more than what i’ve seen from Blake all season, I’m sad that she’s the one that had to die. Blake is a bland character at best. She’s contributed nothing to the team at all. All of her lines are just either repeating things someone else said or stating obvious things the audience probably already figured out before she said it. A weak replacement for Prentiss, the team would be better off without her.
    Last year’s 2 hour finale was more action packed than this one, even without the whole ongoing storyline through the whole season. It seemed to flow more with that one big case in the last episode, rather than having one regular episode barely tying in to what the last hour was about. Definitely not one of my favorite finales from CM, but this season has been underwhelming in general, aside from the two excellent MGG directed episodes and the Maeve storyline.

  42. Teresa says:

    I was disappointed it was Strauss and not Alex. It seemed like they figured out when there was about 10 min to go it needed to wrap up! Drug out and then wham – everything happening off camera.

  43. Beth says:

    I think it was very predictable if you read what was online before hand but it was still enjoyable. Not my favourite finale, I agree with others, a cliffhanger would have made the storyline have more impact, but I was in the camp that didn’t think the replicator had much impact throughout the season. It felt like there was only two episodes this season, which included the finale where the team seemed concerned.

    Strauss was obviously the goner, before they even started releasing spoilers about series regular it seemed the most obvious way to go.

    It was good not great. But can’t wait for season 9. I think it’s the first season where they havent got a cliffhanger to address or a new cast member to integrate or an old character to bring back from the dead, so it’ll be interesting to see how the writers start next season. I just hope we get more focus on the team and the interactions within the team rather than series regulars or unsub/victims focus…

  44. shadester says:

    i would not call her a major charater or regular but i am glad it wasnt anyone on the team. I actually like Blake. i liked prentiss better but she left the show. i thought it was an awesome finale!

  45. dennis says:

    even though it was kind of cool to meet hotch’s brother. the whole story line of part 1 seemed unnecesarry. Seems to me they would have been better served by using that hour to more fully develop the conclusion to the replicator story line…it was much too rushed …will also miss Strauss.

  46. Scretwitch says:

    I’m just glad it wasn’t one of the cliffhanger type episodes. I hate waiting to find out what happens!!

  47. Tyrone says:

    It sucked

  48. Sharon says:

    I really liked the finale, but all the time I kept thinking: “This would have been soooooo much better if Prentiss were still here!”

  49. Cate says:

    I’m starting to warm to Blake, it took till the end of the season, but I think the writers have learnt from how they brought in Seaver and have done their best to flesh Blake out over the course of the season instead of shoving her down our throats or making her unbelievable. I think they could have Blake could be a litttle warmer and these still some way to go to make her integrated into the team properly, but I don’t understand the hate she gets.

    As for Prentiss, I miss season 2/3 Prentiss when she was nerdy and eager to be accepted and wasn’t super spy Prentiss. Also Paget wanted to go, so I don’t feel as desperate to get her back. I know she felt badly treated by the networks, probably all the women do, but she could have stayed and made best of the situation like AJ did when she returned. But it was PBs choice to go and I think it was right choice at the time, in interviews it seemed like she didn’t want to be there and I think even the way she played Prentiss became a little lacklustre towards the end of season 7.

    Overall I like the team as it is now, I hope we get more Hotch, JJ, And Garcia episodes next season but a lot more team episodes as well, I think this is my favourite team set up since season 3-5.

    :)

  50. Lana says:

    I was kind of hoping that the Replicator would be Kevin…give Nicholas Brendon a nice juicy storyline.

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