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.
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.
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?