For months, many a Criminal Minds fan fretted about the fate of Derek Morgan, especially given the fact that Episode 16 would be titled “Derek” and guest-star Danny Glover as his dead dad.
And to be sure, the hour was easy neither for Derek nor for said fans.
Abducted at the close of last week’s episode, Derek was held captive in an extremely remote cabin by a torturer-for-hire named Edgar Solomon (played by Charles Mesure) and his team of goons. As Edgar progressively tortured Derek (first with blunt force, then by burning a trail of white phosphorous smudged down his Matt-needs-to-eat-fewer-carbs torso), the BAU agent first entertained a fantasy about an idyllic home life with Savannah and their two rugrats. But as the pain got worse, the fantasy eroded, ultimately leave him in the company of his late father, Hank.
Hank served as a guide for Derek — there to either make dying easier, or help his son hang on, by nudging him to work the case as he usually would, using himself as the victim. Derek flashed back to age 10, the day his policeman pop was fatally gunned down when trying to thwart a purse snatching, then briefly to age 15, when he was abused by a pedophile.
As the BAU team slowly but surely drew closer and closer to IDing and tracking the guys who grabbed their colleague, Derek went all Die Hard/Rambo on his captors, snapping out of a faked fugue state to gun down nearly all of the men. Another face-off from a bathroom hallway felled two more baddies, but Derek, after finally passing out for a bit, then found himself stranded with no cell signal and no transpo. One blackout later, Derek woke to hear one of the unfriendlies gasping his request for an exfil into a sat phone — before swallowing the SIM card to keep Derek from using it. Derek, though, would not let such a detail derail him, so he gutted the goon to fish out the SIM card, pop it back into the phone and then hit redial, hoping that Penelope and the team would be watching for the signal. And they were.
From there — and as Hank helped Derek realize that Savannah, when they last spoke, was readying to tell him she is pregnant — it was a race against time to see who would find Derek first, his BAU buds or the “cleanup” crew member that had been summoned. Bad news: it was the latter.
Derek did his best to fend off the cleanup creep with a knife, but fell short. Luckily, Reid and the others showed up in time to gun down the would-be killer and save Derek.
Or maybe… “save” him? Derek starts to flatline in the ambulance, and things begin looking grim, but Hank urges his boy to fight on and be the father he needs to and will be. And three days later, Derek comes to in the hospital, where he pours his heart out to mom-to-be Savannah and asks her to marry him — and she easily says yes.
What did you think of the wild ride that was “Derek,” directed by Thomas Gibson?