Sunday, August 03, 2008

CRIMINAL MINDS: "ASHES & DUST" ***SPOILERS***


Criminal Minds spoiler thread for "Ashes & Dust" written by Andrew Wilder and starring Thomas Gibson, Paget Brewster, Shemar Moore, A.J. Cook, Matthew Gray Gubler, Kirsten Vangsness and Mandy Patinkin.

**We commented originally on this episode but now that you have rewatched it do you have any more thoughts?**

147 comments:

Chelsea said...

ahhh i only have 48 more minuets till it airs... SO EXCITED!!

Jan said...

I haven't seen the ep yet, I can tell from this photo that everyone took the "ashes and dust" theme very seriously in their clothing...

joyce the anxious said...

Oh JIll...I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL 2 HOURS FROM NOW!!!! Will be thinking about you through the whole episode...!
Joyce going home now to get ready.

Anonymous said...

Only 5 minutes into the episode and I'm annoyed. As a firefighter, I am dissappointed by the lack of technical knowledge exhibited by the show. The parting shot of the killer looking down at the family, had him wearing the equipment wrong. Hope the episode gets better from there...

Christi said...

Did Reid just admit to being a druggie???

steph said...

That's a good question. I'm going with YES

allie said...

Commercial break: Love it so far.

Anonymous said...

REGARDING THR DRUGGIE COMMENT - Details Please! I'm on the west coast where this hasn't aired yet. I can't wait.....

Sasha Doll said...

I'm a West Coaster, too. My friend who is watching it now [Central Time], is having to restrain me from asking too many questions. Gah, I can't wait! Damn time delays.

steph said...

Reid was talking about how an arsonist uses fire like someone who's hooked uses drugged. He said that it would be hard for him to stop without help and got real quiet and looked at Gideon. To me that's a confession but I don't know.

Mt. Suz said...

Oh it sounds like it. :-0
They're going to leave us hanging for almost a month. I just know it.

Anonymous said...

sounded to me like Reid had the problem, but Gideon helped him... like it was a "thank you" between them.

Mt.Suz said...

Personally I hope you're right. I hate this drug thing. :)

mara said...

Freakin great so far. Horrible fire scenes but cutting edge and unfortunately this crap happens. Loving this!

Steph said...

Same here. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Mt. Suz said...

PS...Spoilers. Thank you for posting. "pink heart here.":)

Anonymous said...

ooooooh!!! good twist!

kellie said...

OMG Hotchner is amazing in this and thank God about Reid.

Jan & Quentin said...

6 more minutes! Auurrgghhh!

Jan

Steph said...

Can I just say one thing? GO Hotch! I love the way he just breaks through the case. The man is brilliant some days.

mt.suz said...

I'm dying here! :0 Have to run.

allie said...

I can't imagine the horror of being burnt alive. Those poor people and way to get the job done Hotchner!

Steph said...

I'll say it again. GO Hotch! The man was so cool. God love him. I wish there was some Garcia Morgan though but I won't be picky with an episode this great. Loved the Reid moment. He looks somewhat back to normal so many y'all are right and it was a thankyou, not a confession. Overall, I give it a 9.8

Anonymous said...

ok, i just watched it and pretty good episode for hotch. the beginning was weird for me seeing reid. he seemed like he couldn't stop moving around and more clumsy than usual. maybe it's because he's on the drugs. heck, i don't know, he just seemed like he didn't have any self control. after he was talking about the drug thing and giving a look, my mouth dropped. he so totally on the drugs! LOL!

Christi said...

YAY!!!! HOTCH!!!!
Finally some serious Hotch angst.
I wonder how much longer Haley is going to stick around??
That last part was soo sweet, but the lack of JJ and Reid was really noticable.
Awesome ep all in all^^
Thank you CBS for another amazing Wednesday.^^

Chelsea said...

omg what a powerful episode. i'm suprised Hotch didn't start crying at that one part when morgan and gideon were restraining him... i almost started crying. it was an amazing episode... i think reid was talking about drug addicts to tell hotch and gideon that he needs help, like a reach out.. not a thank you.. he didn't look at gideon after.. he just looked away. did anyone see the look on reids face after.. it was like "don't look at anyone.. they could read(reid haha) you" pardon the pun. anywayz. can't wait till 3 (GAHHH) weeks from now.

Lisa said...

We were due for a real Hotch episode, and wow. We got it. And who was it who asked for more Hotch backstory? Can I have three wishes? :)

In "The Tribe," Sean said their dad died of a heart-attack. I guess Sean was pretty young; did they just lie to him?

And God, do I love it when, if Hotch has a problem, he always always talks to Gideon. *bask*

And one other thing... did they come to some kind of consensus that this was Reid-Bashing Day??
BTW, LOVED the drug reference there; Gideon and Morgan both looked at him as if they knew he was speaking about more than statistics. The Dilaudid plotline might have dimmed a little, but it is so alive and kicking.

I loved "Ashes and Dust." *sings* "So long and thanks for all the Hotch..."

Anonymous said...

So Hotch was upset and angsty because he figured out that the man was going to kill himself for his family then? Sometimes everything goes a bit fast for me..

Dov said...

I liked this episode because there was a lot more Hotch in it. There hasn't been too much of him lately and I think it's nice that they decided to make this episode centered around him. I think that the reason Hotch was so worked up was because Evan Abby's situation reminded him a lot of himself and Hotch's own father. Hotch isn't there that much for his son, just like Abby isn't for his own son. And Abby's dying of leukemia, just like Hotch's father did. Once again, glad that Hotch got the spotlight. What a great episode! I really loved it.

mona said...

Awesome....awesome episode and I am not even a big Hotchner lover. This was so well written. I did not breath the whole time. I am so damn impressed with this show and pissed off that I did not find it until the damn super bowl. God it was great.

Diane. said...

Wow, this was one GREAT EPISODE. Very sad.

The thing about the drugs,that wasn't a "thank you." to me it was like him reaching out to someone to actually help him. The way Hotch and Gideon looked at him, it appears they just knew.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, a Hotch-centric episode. At first I thought Reid's comparison with arson/drugs was somewhat of a confession, but some of you have an interest take that it was actually a silent thank you to Gideon. Now, I'm not sure. Gotta wait another couple of weeks for a resolution. This is getting painful. Aaarrgg! But, loving it!

lorna said...

The show just keeps getting better and better. Wilder should write ever episode. Damn I am so jealous you got to meet him and not me. This was so good. Hotch was fantastic.

Lee said...

Right off the bat I'll say I was disappointed at the lack of Dr. Reid. However I did enjoy seeing a warmer side of Hotch. He is usually so cold and nearly heartless that seeing him somewhat razzled was a nice change. I'll conclude in saying that locking children in a car and watching them burn was even a bit much for CM. Call me old fashioned, but I'm not ready for that.

Lee :)

sherlockette said...

No wonder TG had to work so late that day. Super terrific job!

Hotch seems to be able to handle the work related issues (the gore etc.) but the conflicts and guilt show when he has to deal with family matters. He seems to be desperately trying to mentally separate himself from his family while at work but was not able to do it. He is trying to remove some guilt by “adopting” another child.

Perhaps his unwillingness to deal with Reid, at least so far is a part of the guilt. We have not seen the last of that, and I suspect Reid’s issues will reach a crisis when he is needed most.

maura said...

I loved the Hotch angst in this episode. I love Reid but it was time to see the rest of the unit for a change. Great episode. I could have lived without the burnt flesh but it was cutting edge ripped from the headlines for sure!

slashgirl said...

Andrew Wilder wrote this ep, and he wrote two of my other faves: LDSK and The Tribe. I think I love this man. *G*

Let me start off by saying if I wasn't already a die hard Hotch girl? This ep would've done it for me.

For those complaining about the lack of Reid: the last 4 eps were really rather Reid focused, in case you hadn't noticed. The others deserve their chance as well.

Okay, next time ANYONE says Hotch is unemotional--I am going to direct them to watch this ep. If I didn't already love the man, I would after this. I just wanted to hug him. His dealing with the burned woman was...amazing. *sigh* He lied to her and then stayed with her until she died. *wibble*

Reid talking about drug addicts not being able to quit without help. And the looks from everyone. I don't think it's an admission...and alcohol is a drug.

Prentiss snarking back at Reid: I"m trying to be conversational." P=It's not working.

Reid with the coffee and donuts; female detective: He's a genius. JJ: Yeah, he's gets uncoordinated when he's thinking. (Or words to that effect. Too cute)

Gideon actually realising Hotch was upset after coming back from the hospital--and saying he'd go next time.

Dear God, Hotch actually told Haley he loved her. *wow* And on the phone in front of Prentiss. And I don't think we really ever need to hear that again. (Don't look at me like that--look at my user name, what did you expect?)

Okay gun/kevlar Hotch and casual clothes Hotch and backstory! Yay. Hotch's dad had lung cancer when he was in HS. In the Tribe he said it was from a heart attack--maybe he had a heart attack while he had the cancer. I've got two words for the folks at CM: show bible. (At first I thought it blew my ideas for his backstory out of the water, but I can work with it. Must write it soon though.)

Hmmm I have to wonder if we're soon going to see a crisis in the Hotchner household. I honestly don't think Hotch will leave the BAU--it's more likely Haley will leave him. However, if Hotch leaves the show forever? Then, I'm sorry but I'm gone forever too. (Although that would probably please some people. *G*)

As disturbing as some of the crimes were, I still loved this ep. What can I say, I've been a fan of horror movies for a couple decades, it takes a lot to shock me.

And please, CM people can we not wait so long for our next Hotch ep? okthnx. And would it be possible to have Hotch backstory and some Hotch/Reid moments? Yes, I know I'm greedy. *heh*

Loved this ep and I love Hotch so damned much. *sigh*

Elizabeth Bear said...

I'm going to have to watch it again for a detailed reaction, but again:

Our guys lost. And again, through no fault of their own.

They are having a *heck* of a year.

Reid realizing halfway through a sentence that he's projecting like anything was kind of priceless.

Great Hotch-and-Gideon episode.

Lin said...

There were some really good moments in this ep but -- I'm not in love with it. Missed Reid and Garcia and JJ and Morgan. I know it was a Hotch ep, but sometimes they manage to do a character-centered story and still have the whole team involved. I feel like this one just missed it.

I totally loved seeing Hotch with no tie in the finally scene. wonderfully done! I thought TG was great throughout, and I'm really pleased that they let him be a more rounded character again. I totally believed (and cringed) at how he connected his personal life to the case -- beautiful. Excellent character development. Just wish there had been a little more balance.

The whole Reid drug thing really ticks me off, and I wish they'd just leave it alone. This "is he, isn't he" thing was wearing thin about two episodes ago. Now it makes me swear at my TV.

The story itself was really compelling but ... as I've said before, I resent the use of children for dramatic effect, and this was full of it. (Fortunately they don't do it often.)

And -- when Abby was having the meeting at his house, couldn't we have had a few cops go look for the gold sedan in the blocks around the house, hmmm? I know they said he parked a few blocks away, but ... I can see my car in my driveway with the *free* version of Google Earth. We'd already established that it wasn't that common a car. Just one or two cops to drive around and look where we thought he would be?

All in all, far better than anything else on TV, but not my favorite.

harriet said...

I thought this was one of the best episodes yet. Ranks right up there with LDSK which I did not know until readying slashgirl's comment was written by the same writer. No wonder I liked it. I love intense episodes and this was very intense.

It did have moments that were alittle shocking even for our show but I can live with it. I really am going to have to watch this one again tomorrow to catch all the tidbits I missed.

Thomas Gibson was right on the money in this one. Emmy winning performance.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Lin. I'm sick of the "is he or isn't he" drug issue or non-issue for that matter. Just finish it off once and for all. It's frustrating. My patience is wearing thin. But, I absolute love the show, so I will keep watching. Just stand clear if the drug issue is not resolved soon.

Overall, though I liked this episode. It was a bit disturbing, but well written. TG did a great job bringing an emotional aspect to his character. It was nice to see one of the other characters take center stage. I wish there was more balance though. I missed JJ, Reid, and Garcia. There was a little more Morgan than those three, but not much.

Erin said...

I appreciate that CM doesn't just "kill and hurt" adults. They also show injury to children. Children are abused every day and ignoring that in a show like this would be unrealistic. Of course, too much can be overwhelming. I hope they close up the Reid drug issue soon. It's getting a little too stretched out. Kind of like the story lines in Lost.

Anonymous said...

Loved having Reid and his statistics back, however briefly!

Lori said...

GREAT EPISODE!!

Watching those people die in the fires was difficult, though.

Hotch was wonderful--empathetic, caring, angst-ridden, guilt-ridden. The whole spectrum!

I loved the looks that Gideon and Hotch gave Reid when he was comparing drug abuse and arson as not being able to stop without help. And then he looked a little sheepish after he said all that.

I really liked the scene with Hotch and the mother in the hospital. His staying with her spoke volumes to the strength of his character. And the scenes with Gideon and Hotch talking together, showed how well they knew each other and how to put their strengths and weaknesses to their best use.

This episode really showed the struggles Hotch is having trying to spend time with his family and working a difficult job and trying to not let it take over his life.

When Morgan held Hotch back at the last fire, I thought Hotch was going to lose it and when he was alone at the police station, I thought that Gideon might show up to talk to him, but he didn't.

I liked the last scene, too with the son and Hotch giving him his card and telling him to call him. Great scene.

What I missed was the team interaction, but all in all, it was another great episode.

Lisa said...

Deleted my comment because I forgot to write what I was responding to, and it sounded weird out of context.

slashgirl said...
Okay, next time ANYONE says Hotch is unemotional--I am going to direct them to watch this ep. If I didn't already love the man, I would after this. I just wanted to hug him.


This is where 1) the character of Hotch is expertly defined and 2) Thomas Gibson is a phenomenal actor. Hotch is never unemotional. Unemotional people don't just lose it like that. He's controlled; he exerts great effort to control his impulses and his emotions, but it isn't always possible. I think he's so disciplined because he's afraid of losing it; I'm thinking it has something to do with his abused-turned-abuser phobia and history. But I'm with you, slashgirl; I absolutely wanted to hug him, and kiss him all over his face :D

As for the crimes being disturbing, yes, true, but there are definitely much more disturbing episodes. "The Perfect Storm," for one. Two unsubs turning rape, torture and murder into a game, filming it and sending it to the parents of the girls. Eeek. This was tame by comparison :D

janie said...

This episode is exactly why I watch the show. It was wonderful and intense and it kept me in suspense. The idea of anyone dying like that, let alone kids, is horrific but this was meant to show us a horrific crime.

Andrew Wilder should write nothing but Hotchner episodes from now on because he really understand and gets him. Hotchner was just wonderful and TG was the best I have ever seen him.

I missed Garcia and I would always want more Mandy but Hotchner needed an episode and wow did he get one.

Well done! Keep it up!

Jan said...

Fantastic ep! I really loved the Hotch backstory!. I totally believe that Reid copped to addiction. I think Gideon caught it but I'm not sure. I hope they get this issue resolved soon. Reid as addict is not a good thing!

mia said...

I am sorry but one of the many reasons I liked this episode was the lack of Reid and the whole drug crap. Tired of it and would just as soon forget they ever filmed it to start with. This episode is the reason I have always loved the show. It was a great story with great performances and it held my attention and I just loved it. I really like how they are bringing us forward slowly with the Hotch back story. I loved the whole package tonight and I am very pumped to watch it again.

Lisa said...

Andrew Wilder should write nothing but Hotchner episodes from now on

He kinda does. "L.D.S.K.": Hotch outwits the bad guy. "The Tribe": Hotch teams up with a badass Indian, turns into a commando and saves the day. Ok, "North Mammon" I can't really remember. But the man does like Hotch. Nothing wrong with that :) I love Ed Bernero for the Team Chilling Out stuff, and for "The Fisher King," period. Love Chris Mundy for "A Real Rain" (my favorite episode), "Aftermath" AND "Revelations"; three superb episodes. Love Aaron Zelman for "Won't Get Fooled Again" (pretty much tied for favorite) and "Psychodrama."

Wow, this is the first show I've ever watched where I've learned the writers by name and episode. Just goes to show how incredible they are that they garner this attention from fans, who are usually focused solely on the characters and actors.

Jessie said...

You are right Lisa. We ALL know all the writers names and which episodes they have written. Criminal Minds is just too well written to not want to know more about the writers and the special effects team sure earned their money on this one.

Andrew Wilder has God like status to Jill and I really can see why. North Mammon, the one you could not remember, was a JJ episode, also written by Wilder. It was the one where the three girls were kidnapped in the small town and had to kill one of themselves to be let freed. It was also great.

tessa said...

I loved all of it. Every minute minus the stupid commercials. I need tivo!

B.J. said...

This was a great episode. I watched it and then realized while I was doing my evening chores that I was still thinking about the show. That is what makes this show so wonderful for me. It always leaves me thinking.

I thought Thomas Gibson was the best I have ever seen him. He really gave 100% in this episode and I am a total convert now. I traveled over to the Hotch side.

I really usually prefer when an episode is not one character based because I enjoy seeing the total package but I think we really did need a Hotch episode. We needed to see him in a bigger three dimensional way. He was still a little bit of a stick figure to me until tonight.

Really liked this episode. Now we need more. Much more.

jazz said...

Dear Mr. Bernero: I love this show. I loved this episode. I really have been a loyal viewer since day one. I just have one complaint and that is this Reid thingy we have hanging over our heads. Please finish the story with Reid and lets make it a distant memory. I feel like I am waiting for the roof to fall in on my head waiting for answers on the drug story.

Sincerely,
A fan who knows you will never read this but just felt better writing it. Now I can talk about the episode.

I loved Hotch in this episode and I have never been shy in saying he is not one of my favorites. You have turned me around and I know admit my ignorance. He does have emotions and feelings but I never really got that before. This episode was chilling at times but then that is one of the things most of us like the most about it.

This episode was worth the wait.

slashgirl said...

Yikes, I was so het up over Hotch...I forgot to say how amazing Thomas Gibson was tonight. He's always great as Hotch but tonight--I was totally blown away. Really, we need more Hotch eps. *G* (Like I'd say anything else.)

DNY LOVES CRIMINAL MINDS said...

I had the priviledge of being on the set for the last day of shooting for this episode. I watched Thomas Gibson work his butt off and it really paid off. This was a stellar performance by Thomas. One of his all time Criminal Minds best.

The entire cast and crew have so much to be proud of and I stand in awe of the post production people who put it all together so masterly. It was seamless. I wish I could have met this part of the production company.

Watching this episode was different for me than any other episode I have watched because I knew what was going to happen and who the unsub was. I also knew every line uttered in every scene they taped that day. For every scene we watch they have shot maybe a dozen takes. I can't begin to really describe how hard they all work. I am also amazed at how much of what they shot was not in the episode.

I said in a previous trip post that having time to talk with Andrew Wilder was one the highlights of my trip and I meant ir then and I mean it even more tonight. He wrote a brilliant script and watching it tonight made me proud that he writes for our show and proud to have met him.

*** And if you liked this episode then let me assure you that the next episode "Honor Among Thieves" written by Aaron Zelman is also going to put a big huge smile on your face********** :)

sammie said...

Really liked the show tonight. It was a daring storyline but good writers take chances. This one paid off.

julia said...

This was the first time my husband sat and watched a whole episode with me. He really liked it. I have been telling the dummy he would like it if he would give it a chance for months now.

Marissa said...

I Loved it! I felt so bad for the families and father that had cancer. I shed a tear when they showed Hotch trying to push past Gideon and Morgan. This was a great Hotch episode. What I was most shocked at was when Reid mentioned the arsonist being hooked on a drug and both Gideon & Hotch gave him a look. Do you think someone on the team will confront him soon?

blue said...

For me, it was a bit hard to watch the fire scenes. Especially the one with the man and his kids in the car. I was jump out of my sit. This was more a hotch showing tonight. But that alright, I like to have a show once in awhile like that but I also like the team work shows more. And they have done very good this season with that.

The unsub was just unreal tonight. I wonder what real case tonight show was based on. How can somebody be that evil. Evil for no reason. OMG

kara said...

It was certainly an emotional episode. The fire scenes were hard to watch but so was the JJ and the dogs scenes in one of the previous episodes. I think the writers take us to some of the darkest places they can imagine because the BAU is not setup to handle your normal run of the mill police type cases. They are called in for the really bad ones and that means it can get very dark. I loved Gibson in this episode and I agree with a previous commenter that he deserves an Emmy award for this one. Very happy with tonight's show. Looking forward to our next new one which is way too far away.

angie said...

I loved the episode. Hotchner owned the house tonight.

Tom said...

Powerful episode, but Hotchner's last words, allegedly from Gandhi, were a garbled version of Gandhi's repeating of an ancient epigram.

The original quote is from St. Isidore of Seville (c560 - 636), who is popularly called the patron saint of the Internet! In Latin it is "Disce ut semper victurus - Vive ut cras moriturus". In English, "Learn as if to live forever - live as if to die tomorrow." It was very common on the circuler edge of sundials from the seventh century, and was the motto of Scholastic Magazine in the 1870s. It has been misattributed to Erasmus and St Edmund of Abingdon, among others.

Too bad the research was so poor for such a good episode.

Ambra said...

I had a hard time watching this episode because I have a phobia of being trapped in a fire. I have no idea why because I don't have a problem with campfires, bonfires, etc., just the notion of being in an enclosed space around fire. The opening made me so nervous, in fact, that I actually began feeling sick to my stomach because it was like watching what I fear most happening right before my eyes.
I did like Reid's comparing what the unsub was doing to being a drug addict. It was obvious that the comparison struck close to home by his own reaction to what he was saying and also the reactions of some of the other BAU team members. I have a feeling the whole drug issue with Reid isn't resolved yet.

Lisa Sovulewski said...

This episode was awesome. I also was cringing when watching all the fire death scenes. Really grossed me out when I was trying to eat my dessert. Even CSI doesn't affect me that way, more psychological than anything else.

I live in the SF bay area and I laughed hilariously when they spelled the city of Fremont, CA as Freemont. They probably did this for legal reasons or whatever, I still couldn't stop laughing. Also the espresso machine in the police department sounds about right. There's a Starbucks about every half block or so, sometimes directly across the street from each other in downtown San Francisco, no exaggeration. Hahaha.

Hotch was great in this one, I just wanted to reach out and give him a hug at the end.

Kris said...

I thought this episode was good. Thomas Gibson really showed his talent.

I would like to see the whole Reid on drugs things cleared up too though. Other than that, I can't complain!

Elizabeth Bear said...

If we get out of this season without half the team having a complete emotional meltdown, I'll be a little surprised. Really, nobody's happy. And they have really good reasons not to be happy, too.

si,ome said...

I really liked the episode. I was surprised with some of the more graphic scenes but it was nec for the story so ok with me. TG was really great.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I have Canadian TV, I am going to suffer so much until 10:00 tonight. Because I haven't seen it I can't say much. I'm glad there's Hotch backstory, I love backstory. And Hotch-centric, they all deserve center stage on occassion. I'm a real Reid-girl so I've just been thrilled with all the attention he's gotten, but I'll share. The drug storyline, I think they're going to keep it running in the background until the end of the season, just becasue in real life, something like that would be an issue for years. I realy see it being brought into the open by the last ep of the season, but like the other issuesI think it's always going to be with the team, it's always going to be present, Hotch will always be disturbed by crimes against families, Morgan will always have issues with sex abuse against children, Reid will always have issues around alcoholism and addiction. It's part of who they are. It's no different than the fact that Garcia will always be the IT expert.
The fact that the show shows crimes against children,Ed Bernero says on the DVD, we're equal opportunity, men, women and children. Hell, there's been five dogs killed on the show, they'll kill anyone who coulld be a victim in real life, guess what? That's, um, everyone.
He also said they tone it down a lot from what the FBI gives them. So, too scary? It's supposed to be. As bad as it gets? Not nearly.

Okay, okay,I'm a little anxious about the ep tonight. I guess I'm starting to go a little insane already, (lol, only since last week when I found out they were airing it.) And you can bet I'll be back here after work to see what else has been posted.
So, thanks,

LoraLee

Anonymous said...

Sean O'Bryan was excellent as the arsonist. He was psychotic and very believable. Reid's issues were again acknowledged but not the a focus. I appreciated that Evan Abby wanted to make things better for his son and the public ultimately sacrificing himself for what he thought was the greater cause and putting an arsonist where he belongs. Very good episode.

sindee said...

WOW, I really get so excited when I read all your comments.
A Hotch ep *sigh*...
...and I can probably watch it in "a year" or so. *grmpf*
But it seems as if its worth the waiting. ;-)
Until then I will keep up with your comments.

CU sindee

Anonymous said...

Heart attack or cancer. Discrepancy or reaching out?

evie said...

I think the Reid bits can be interpreted in several ways depending on your opinion of whether or not the problem has been resolved or not. If it has then the glances from Gideon and Hotch mean one things and if not then obviously it sent warning signals to them.

Gibson was the true man of the hour and he did a great job. I give him four stars for the episode. The more we find out and understand the better I like the show.

Now who do we need to bribe to get some info on Gideon's past because I am ready to pony up some cash.

slashgirl said...

anon wrote:

Heart attack or cancer. Discrepancy or reaching out?

Maybe, maybe not. One could have lung cancer and die of a heart attack. Or one could survive a heart attack and still die of lung cancer. So they haven't completely fallen into the discrepancy pool.

steven said...

There is so much symbolism attached to fire. I wonder if Mr. Wilder didn't have a larger message. From the destruction of fire comes rebirth. Was this a message to us about Reid? Was this a message to us about Hotchner and the crossroads he finds himself at with his family? I will rewatch this one tonight and try to figure out why I think there was more to the story than the obvious case that was profiled.

Macmillk said...

Oh, I have Canadian TV, I am going to suffer so much until 10:00 tonight.

Oh my gawd I KNOW! I'm in agony waiting, I'm LITERALLY watching the time go by! How bad is that?

It's on at 8 pm for me, and I've got the willies just thinking about it.

I am a person who is VERY sensitive and passionate when it comes to crimes against (and treatment of) children, for rather personal reasons. But at the same time I realize that crimes against children are a lot more common than people like, and well, if they were to do no shows on children than it would be unrealistic as well. As hard as it'll be to watch, I'm glad they are sticking with reality on the types of cases they work with.

Oh my, I'm getting absolutely NOTHING done today. I can't wait, my heart is pounding just reading your guys's spoilers (yes, I can't help reading them even when I haven't seen it yet).

dannie said...

Just when I think this show has peaked it gets even better and I agree that I think the use of arson and fire in this episode has a larger meaning. The writing was first class and Thomas Gibson blew me away with his performance.

You can like the story or not in this episode but the performances really were great and I think leave no doubt at all that this cast can do the job. Writer, Andrew Wilder, smacked the wall with this one. Kudos all over the place to him for a great job and for topping his past episodes.

Great night for Criminal Minds fans as far as I am concerned.

angela said...

Is it just me or are we all missing something. JJ looked bad last night. She just doesn't look like her usual perfectly dressed and groomed self. Could she have a problem and we are so busy watching the other characters that we are missing it or have I gone nuts?

tammy said...

I have not posted here before so I hope it is alright that I do so now. I have only watched two episodes of this show but if they are all this good I will be making it one of my regulars. When I googled the show to get more info I found your blog but it will take me days to read it all. Very impressive. I have bookmarked it to my favorites.

cedrine said...

Did I miss a JJ meltdown? I really did not pay her any attention last night. I will keep my eyes peeled on her tonight when I rewatch the episode. I really liked the episode. I could add fire to the dogs I would never like to see again on the show but arson happens all the time in the US so I don't imagine it is the last we will watch of it. Great job Thomas. You brought us closer to understanding Hotch which makes me very happy.

Anonymous said...

I thought the episode was okay. It had some troubling moments for me. I thought TG did a great job.

connie said...

It is obvious that Hotchner had some type of abuse in his past and since he doesn't seem to resent his dead father in any way I have to wonder who caused the abuse. Could it have been his mom? Anyone else think that could be a possibility?

talia said...

I was amazed at the human side of Prentiss and how strung out she was when the woman was dying. She is usually so calm, cool and unemotional but this even hit her. It was not only nice to see something finally affecting her but it added to the enormity of the scene. Good job Paget.

lawrence said...

I think we received more of Reid's story than many think we did. I think the writers took a subtle approach to let us know it is under control. Just my opinion. Great job by the cast, crew and the writer but Thomas Gibson was simply perfect last night. No actor on the planet could have given a better performance in my opinion.

beth said...

The writer gave us an up close look into Hotchner's pain last night and Thomas Gibson was better than I can ever remember him.

I have wondering why the families didn't try to find other escape routes. Did I miss something? It was certainly a daring storyline. In the beginning I was not too happy with it but as the episode moved on I realized that the horror these BAU agents see everyday goes a long way into making them the semi broken people they are. All in all it was a really good one.

rayne said...

I liked the episode. It was intense for sure!

hmr1126 said...

This was an amazing episode that really showcased Thomas Gibson's talents and gave us great insight into Hotch's character. I think the episode helped to humanize Prentiss as well.

I missed seeing Reid, but hope that this is the beginning of the end for the drug storyline...I get that it allows the character to grow, but I would like to see an actual resolution. I, like some others, interpreted the analogy to the arsonist and drug addiction as a "thank-you" to Gideon, Hotch and possibly Morgan...all three looked at Reid as if they knew what had been going on, or at least what Reid had contemplated doing.

Can't wait for the next episode - great job!

wilma said...

It was well worth waiting for.

Anonymous said...

i think thomas gibson was great to nite

shemar's girl said...

The angst Hotchner feels was so real I almost cried for him. The fires were disturbing but nec so I guess I have to toughen up. The acting was top notch and the writing was the best. It is why I watch the show.

Interesting what was posted about JJ. I will also look for that during my rewatch of the episode.

Anonymous said...

The scenes with Gideon and Hotch were my favorite. They are so intuned to each other. They are like an old married couple. Loved the episode.

joyce said...

Of course, I LOVED it--with so much of Hotch (not that I could get too much of him..ha!), I couldn't help love it. SUPERB!!!

I think Hotch's father must have survived his cancer at earlier age. Then, later died from a heart attack at age 47. Very possible, and not uncommon.

JJ didn't look that good to me. I think I like her hair shorter than it was.

Missed seeing Garcia alot. But, she was a doll in every scene she did.

I loved the "Reid moment" with the food container. Priceless scene with him and JJ..!

I thought that Prentiss looked exceptionally beautiful...and loved her working along with Hotch!!!!

I LOVED THE WHOLE EPISODE! Taped it, rewatched it at midnight. Now my sister is screaming for me to get the tape to her at work before lunchtime so she can watch it. No VCR at her home; and she is a newbie "hooked" on the series, too!

So happy our Jill got to be there and had precious moments during that episode.

amber in NY said...

I have questions because I am new to the show. If someone could help that would be great!
1. How do we know Hotchner was abused?
2. People keep talking about the Hotchner marriage. What have we been told about that?
3. Is Gideon or Hotchner closer to Reid?

Thanks.

charlene said...

Great questions and episode Amber but I will have to leave it up to someone more experienced to answer you. I loved Hotch in this episode. I loved the whole thing.

Andrea said...

I loved the episode.

Steph said...

Hey Amber. I don't know for sure about the Hotch abuse cuz I came into the series late but I believe in a former episode that it was referenced by Hotch himself. As for his marriage, we know he's married to a woman named Haley and they have a son named Jack. It's up for debate on whether or not hte marriage is stable. Personal opinion-I think it is. And lastly I believe Gideon is closer to Reid. Mostly cuz they seem to have a father/son relationship and Gideon is really Reid's mentor. Of course people can infer what ever they want. So I hope that helps somewhat.
Steffi

Elizabeth Bear said...

Amber:

1) there have been hints that Hotch was absued as a child (first season episode "Natural Born Killer," for the most blatant one.

2) Hotch's wife is a bit cranky about his tendency to forget doctor's appointments and family engagements. Hotch is kind of an absentee dad, and to his credit, he hates himself for it.

3) Depends on what day of the week it is. Hotch and Reid have a strong friendship and a good deal of trust between them--and the ability to pick up on each other's very subtle cues. Gideon and Reid have more of a mentor/student thing.

amber said...

Thank you Steph and Elizabeth. I sometimes get worried about asking so many questions but everyone is so nice to answer them and help to catch me up. I hope to buy season one dvds in the summer. Thanks again.

amelia in va said...

I bow to Mr. Wilder. Great episode. Never thought he could do a better episode than LDSK. Well I am a fool because he blew it away last night.

Thomas Gibson deserves a medal for his performance. What emotion and perfection. He owns Hotch big time.

Missed Garcia but the rest of it was smack on the money.

joyce said...

With Hotch all over the place and often and as handsome and wonderful as ever, I LOVED IT!!!! Stacy...do you agree?

Paola said...

NOT ENOUGH REID = NO GOOD ENOUGH!
PAOLA VERY ANGRY!

edwina said...

I know that there are still a bunch of unanswered questions but it did not matter to me last night. We needed to get back to seeing our seasoned actors be front stage again. They had been relugated to the cheap seats for a few too many episodes. Gibson was his normal talented self and the story was well written and beautifully filmed. I am very pleased with last night's episode.

julie said...

Paola,

I realize you love Reid but it is an ensemble cast so sometimes others do need to get air time. I love Reid too but it was nice to see TG be featured for a change.

ellen said...

Jill: Could you post a picture of Andrew Wilder for us please. It would be nice to know what he looks like. Thanks.

Ulle said...

This is about the drugs. If Reid had taken them I doubt that a conversation with Gideon would make him stop. But if he hasn't aken them that probably would have helped.

jessie r. said...

There are so many ways to interpret the drug situation. I am not sure we could all reach the same conclusion. The writers must want us to keep guessing for a reason. I have no idea what the reason could be but I really believe Reid is alright.

city girl said...

There is no way the Reid could maintain a drug problem with both Gideon and Hotchner around him. They are too smart to not notice it. I really liked the episode. The kids set me back a moment but the story would never have been so intense and interesting without it. They all did such a great job. I also missed Garcia as everyone has already remarked but TG did a great job. Kudos to him and the writer and producer.

ryan's mom said...

I rewatched it this evening and I liked it even better the second time. The fires are still shocking but I was able to focus more and I also picked up on some things I think I missed the first time. I do believe we were winked at last night. I think they told us the drug horror is behind us and we are moving on. Really great writing and whoever did the lighting did a great job. I did not notice it the first time but if you rewatch it again pay attention to the lighting. It was nicely done.

leslie said...

I rewatched it also. It is a wonderful episode and I am not downing other people's opinions about the kids and all but I thought is was a well written, well balanced and wonderfully acted episode. It just might be one of my favorites.

Elizabeth said...

Seen this at last and I loved it.

The fire scenes freaked me a little. As a parent, your worst fear is being unable to save your children from harm and that was what was so chilling. Very well filmed and, as usual, we don't see as much as we think we do (if that makes sense).

Thomas Gibson did great. I love Hotch anyway for his deep emotions and how hard he tries to control them for the sake of others. I did shed a couple of tears when he spoke to the mother at the hospital and then sat with her. Great to get more insight into Hotch and his mysterious background.

Um, this episode actually made me warm to Prentiss more. I really liked the bickering with Reid at the beginning and it made a change for somebody to challenge him a little. It gives Prentiss a more solid footing in the team, rather than her trying to impress them which is what she was doing before.

And I'm glad this episode wasn't all focussed on Reid. CM is about a team, not the Spencer Reid show, cute though he is. Also, I disagree with those who are unhappy about drug storyline - Reid might be using, he might not, the teasing has been cleverly done, and, we might not ever find out for sure - which is a brave step for the writers.

nebula

jojo said...

Looking at this cap of Hotch's sad face makes me want to cry tears the size of bumble bees.

Lin said...

After more thinking about it, more things I loved ...

Hotch at the hospital was brilliant. I loved the acting, and I loved the writing. "They're in the waiting room" was just perfect. Understated, heart-felt, and in one sense absolutely true. He knew she was going to be with them soon. And Prentiss was so good -- you could see her almost wanting to puke, but controling it -- not over the top, but just enough to let us feel like she felt the same way we did.

Oh, and the make-up on the burn victim was brilliant. I mean, awful, but brilliantly done.

I loved the little lines between Hotch and Gideon about "you got the burn ward last time" and Hotch saying he'd take it -- I imagine he's protecting Jason from any burn victims because of Boston?
(shudder)

On the Reid drug thing, on third or fourth thought, I kinda think that the meaning was that Reid had dealt with his problem, gotten treatment, and Hotch and Gideon both knew it (as his supervisors), but the rest of the team didn't (because it's private) and they were a little surprised that he was being so open about it, but not distressed. More like, it's his issue to reveal or not. At least, that's the explanation I most like, so I'm sticking with it.

The scene with the family in the garage was horrific and excellently plotted. (more shudder)

But more things that bothered me, too: if there was a stranger in our house, my husband would wake up the instant he took a step. That's just how he sleeps, and I know lots of other people like that. There seemed to be no provision by the unsub for that.

AND -- if someone started dumping kerosene in that quantity, especially in the bedrooms, I'm certain everyone would wake up long before he got through the whole house. It stinks!

Likewise, showing him with the Molotov cocktail in the console of his car -- anybody want to guess how bad that car should have reeked of kerosene? I'm thinking blinding headaches and puking on the pavement reeking.

And -- there was no explanation (that I caught, at least) about how the unsub knew so much about fires, where he got his gear, etc. Never clarified where his training was. It's a minor thing, but after it was such a point of the profile. it feels like kind of a loose end. (Actually, it feels like it got lost for those extra four minutes of commercials.)

Okay, so, my b-day in on a Wednesday this year (April 4th) so could we pretty please move the next new ep up to then? We can? Really? Cool! (Hey, gotta think positive!)

DNY LOVES CRIMINAL MINDS said...

Lin: Sorry but I don't think they will move the episode even for your birthday. Would an autographed picture made out to you by MGG be some solace to you? :)

Lin said...

It would, Jill, very much -- thank you! I can't wait to see it. (giggle)

janie said...

My birthday is in June. Can I have one too? I love MGG.

I loved this episode. It was more intense than usual...fire and families are hard to take...but there was so much tension and emotion and the story itself was so well written and acting. I just loved it but I am still going with LDSK as my fav Wilder episode. Sorry.

AJCookRocks said...

I think it was great!!
We had a show to do at 7 and it ended close to 8 I was rushing out of that play, got into my car & sped up. I was going 60 mph in a zone where we were supposed to drive at 30 mph...And it was worth it. It was great how Hotch got to show some emotions

Anonymous said...

I loved this ep. Even without enough Reid (I'm a Reid girl) so much has been said there isn't much left. Very much Hotch's show, and he did it exceptionally well.

For those who hope/want the drug issue to just go away, I think it's going to be very low key, but it's not going to go away. Once a person has a problem with drugs and/or alcohol it's there forever. It can take months or even years in real life for families (and this is a family) to figure out someone has a drug problem. I know that won't happen here, but stringing it out over seven to nine episodes to the end of the season isn't out of line. And it's going to remain a character trait/backstory element as long as the show is on the air. Just like Hotch's and Morgan's abuse, just like Gideon and Bale. It's a commitment the writers have undertaken. Reid will be the one with the insight into, but especially disturbed by, the unsub who's an addict. He's a studier, a learner, he's going to add addiction to his list of specialties.

Oh, and I finally figured out why Reid disappeared onthis ep, the police station had an espresso machine. Need I say more?

LoraLee

slashgirl said...

Lora Lee said:
Oh, and I finally figured out why Reid disappeared onthis ep, the police station had an espresso machine. Need I say more?

Oh, this is a great explanation! And I think you just might be right. *G*

Elizabeth said...

I loved this episode. I am so happy that they are not dropping the drugs + Reid thing, I'm happy it wasn't a major component of the episode but that they gave us that little teaser, EXCELLENT!!!!

Hotch was amazing in this episode and snaps to Thomas for playing it so well, I really felt for him.

I got CHILLS this episode. One of my favourites.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Reid looked at Gideon as if to say thank you, I've rewatched it and he looked embarassed and woudln't make eye contact. I don't think this is over, I would like to see the resolution, but I am enjoying the ride. I just didn't want it to be a part of the season finale.

I liked the Hotch focus of this episode, he's a deeply troubled man who tries so hard to keepit all below the surface and I can't wait for him to snap.

janet said...

I don't think the look Reid gave was a thank you because the thing I am looking forward to is the breakdown and him getting help from the group. If it's a thank you why did we not see the drama to go with the way it started. Therefore I believe this is just little teasers for what is to happen. I am LOVING the drug thing although really would like closure by next episode, mainly because i have 0 patience. I want the help to be a group dealy so therefore I am content with the drug thing continueing and me enjoying it.

carole said...

Weeks later and I still love this episode. Rewatched it again last night.

jenna said...

I am really looking forward to this tonight. I think it will be great to catch the things I missed the first time.

carolyn said...

I had forgotten how intense this episode is. I can't believe it still kinda freaks me even though I have seen it before. Commercial over. Later.

beth said...

The connection and correlation between Hotchner and Abby's lifes obviously touched a nerve with Hotchner. I caught it the first time around but I really got it this time. I cried during the ending scene when Hotchner gave the son Abby's letter. I didn't do that the first time I watched. It moved me. I wish we knew for sure what the backstory is on Hotchner. It would explain so much about him but he has such a caring heart and that really comes out in this episode. I think I liked it more tonight than the first time I saw it. Children and fire are a hard combination and I was somewhat numb on the first go around. Thomas Gibson deserves an award for his work in this episode. I could say Andrew Wilder did a great job but we all always know that about him. I am very glad that I rewatched it tonight.

chris said...

This is by far the best showcase of Thomas Gibson's work on this show. He displayed every possible emotion there is and he gave a flawless performance.

I do not know how the real BAU people sleep at night with cases like this on their agendas. I am never going to forget the kids in the car with their dad...ever.

Very good episode. Special effects earned their money on this one.

Johanna said...

I thought the whole cast did a great job but I have a whole new respect for Thomas Gibson. I had never seen this episode before and I was so tempted when I found your blog to read everyone else's comments but I was good and waited till the episode was over.

I will be sleeping on the floor tonight in the hallway outside my kid's bedrooms. This was hard to watch. I hate when children are victims but in real life this happens everyday. That is even more frightening than the episode was. I wanted to cry when that poor woman asked about her dead family. Prentiss would have told the truth but thankfully Hotch was there to be a human being.

Do we know why there was that exchange between Gideon and Hotch about who was going to go? Did I miss something in a previous episode?

It was a disturbing episode but I liked it and oh please let me voice myself in agreement with several others that posted that Enya was a very interesting dark choice.

jesse said...

From now on my kids don't get into the car until the garage door opener opens the door. I am going to sound like a child but this episode still disturbed me and this is the third time I have seen it.

B.J. said...

I just read what I wrote when I originally watched the episode and I only have one thing to add. I totally missed how they blew off dealing with Reid the first time I watched it. I guess he was blown off. It certainly was a perfect time for something to be said to him but they passed that moment really quickly. I still love this episode and I still am a total Gibson lover since the episode aired the first time. I wish I could say that all the fires were less unsettling this time around but they weren't. I like this show because it takes risks. This was a risky episode to air.

skylar said...

I can't imagine the sheer terror of those victims. I think I will always remember Prentiss explaining that there is about to be a fire at the school. I knew Abby was going to kill himself but it was disturbing. I felt so bad for him. I can't put into words how wonderful Gibson was as the troubled Hotch. We need more Hotch episodes. We need Andrew Wilder to write more. We need him to write lots more.

erika said...

I liked it even better the second time around.

diedre said...

I will always associate Fire, Ashes, Wilder and Enya together from now on. Always.

evie said...

I was able to concentrate more on the story this time and not the shock of the fires and the families. I never stop being amazed with Thomas Gibson's acting ability.

eva said...

We have a great writing staff but Andrew Wilder just does it for me. The man couldn't write a bad episode if they told him to. It was great watching it again tonight. Now I am ready to watch LDSK again.

philly said...

The scene in the hospital was wonderful. Professional and compassionate. TG rocks in this one.

wendy said...

It has to have been hard for the cast to film this episode. Mandy and Thomas have kids and this was worse than any nightmare a parent could ever have.

natalie said...

The winner for Best Actor in a Drama Series goes to Thomas Gibson for his performance on Criminal Minds in the episode "Ashes and Dust".

monica said...

I am always the problem child you asks too many ?s but why didn't Abby just tell them what they needed to catch the unsub. Why suicide?

Anonymous said...

He was dying anyway and this way he could go out doing something productive.

wallace said...

The episode was better for me this time. I wasn't hiding my eyes during half the episode like last time. That Gibson can slam it out of the park is a given after this episode but I think the story itself is what I watched this time and not the actual performers. I think the story is very relevent to social issues right now. We have no idea what is under the ground waiting to surprise us. That is as scary as the fires themselves. I thought Abby's actions at the end really showed his sincere intentions of helping the community understand the health warnings.

olivia said...

Wonderful episode.

Anonymous said...

great episode.

regina said...

I watched the show for the first time last night but I cheated and read the spoilers first. I really liked this episode. It was very dark but that is what sets CM apart from other shows. They don't sugar coat things.

Brandy said...

I finally got to rewatch the show. What the hell did we do before satellite tv. I caught tons of things that I missed the first time.

First: I thought Enya was a bad selection the first time but now I think it was actually perfect. It set the mood perfectly.

The comments between Gideon and Hotchner that we have talked about before are clearer to me now. I think the whole "you do this one and I will get the next one" was meant to show us that handling fire victims is horrible and Gideon and Hotchner have the experience to both know that. I think that Prentiss is young and she did not quite understand it. So I think that whole back and forth was just a reminder of experience versus youth.

Watching kids burn up was not any easier the second time around but oh boy did it make me think last night on what to do if something like that happened to us.

Abby: I did not fully appreciate him during the first watching but now I really understand his frustration and the depth of his dispair. I really felt for him this time

Thomas Gibson was brilliant the first time I watched it and brilliant the second time around.

Andrew Wilder is an incrdible writer but this time I caught all the little things he was showing us.

Anonymous said...

I liked it the first time but I loved it this time. I was better prepared for the raw horror this time.

Anonymous said...

Finally got to watch it. Loved it. I liked it so much better this time since the shock was gone.

BlogStar! said...

Just that Matthew is STILL hot. :)

Oh, and that CM remains my favorite show!

Phoenix said...

Just wanted to say thank you to Andrew for joining the chat last night. It's always great to have to come; you never disappoint us in either the chats or the episodes you write.

Just wait for your birthday...
Phoenix