Criminal Minds cast member A.J. Cook didn’t make her directorial debut with just any ol’ episode. No, with this Wednesday’s installment she got to set the stage for the 15th and final season, by introducing the Big Bad that will test the BAU like never before.
The antepenultimate Season 14 episode, titled “Chameleon,” was told in flashback, as Rossi recounted for fiancee Krystall the case he and the team had just wrapped up, leaving several agents wounded. It involved a con man named Everett Lynch (played by Castle serial killer Michael Mosley), who — by altering not just his face but also his mannerisms, wardrobe and speech — traveled from town to town, wooing vulnerable women. The UnSub’s modus operandi involved proposing to his mark, then eventually slicing off her entire face, to drape around his home as a trophy.
Taking a cue from Everett’s imprisoned mother, Roberta (a turnt Sharon Lawrence), who had worked as a con herself, the BAU was able to deduce his next hunting ground and closed in for the capture. Everett, though, knew the feds were coming and set a trap with help from his daughter Grace, whom we had been led to believe was dead but actually was now being pulled into the “family business.” Everett’s latest mark was saved and Grace arrested (after she pulled a blade on the BAU), but Rossi following a foot chase was unable to overpower Everett. The UnSub instead gained the upper hand and pinned down Rossi until he blacked out. But rather than kill the G-man, Lynch left him with a nasty head gash by which to remember his victory — this time.
“This is the first time in a long time that I was beaten by someone younger, faster, stronger than I am,” Rossi said to Krystall at the close of his recap. “Maybe I’m not as good as I once was, maybe I’m a half a step slower. Maybe I shouldn’t be out there, because next time I won’t wake up.”
To that, his fiancee countered, “You left something out — you didn’t say [Lynch was] smarter. Because he isn’t. And that’s how you’re going to catch him.”
Everett Lynch “is a bit his Joker” to Rossi’s Batman, showrunner Erica Messer recently told TVLine of the new adversary, who will carry over into the recently announced 10-episode final season. “He’s a worthy adversary because he does have a lot of things on his side, including being a truly twisted individual.”
A.J. Cook, who directed this episode, in turn teased Lynch as being “a very worthy opponent” and “a slippery bastard,” adding: “He’s definitely going to fall under the category of Most Prolific Serial Killer on Criminal Minds. He is something else!!
What first impression did Everett “Chameleon” Lynch leave on you?