Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Criminal Minds spoiler thread for Criminal Minds episode "Tabula Rasa" starring Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson, Paget Brewster, Shemar Moore, A.J. Cook, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Kirsten Vangsness. Written by Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie.

-- The team uses brain fingerprinting to see if a suspected serial killer who wakes up after four years in a coma really doesn't remember any of the crimes he supposedly committed.

***Beware- Comments on this thread will contain spoilers***

***This is the original spoiler thread for the episode. Please feel free to comment on the episode after you have rewatched it this evening. ***


Deirdre said...

I'm curious to see how this episode turns out with the flashbacks and the brain fingerprinting. It seems like it won't be a typical episode.

love2teach said...

Cant wait! Get to see it an hour earlier! (Thanks CTV!) But don't worry, all you who are jealous, next week I go back to my normal hours at work, and will see the finale with you all at the same time.

love2teach said...

First 30 min

Awesome!!!! Loved how it starts with a flash back. Think I like Reid's shorter hair.

We get to see the first time Morgan calls Garcia "Baby Girl"! :) Loved her reaction and how she reacted!

I also love what JJ keeps hiding behind. Table, cabinet, Morgan's coffee cup, her notebook, her arms... Think they are hiding something???!!!!!!!!!!

love2teach said...

First 30 min again:

Loved the pic of Prentiss! Not how I pictured her in high school at all! I pictured as all prim and proper.

Last 30 min:

So glad Reid stopped him! So glad! Don't want to see anything happen to the dad.

Love Hotch in the court room, profiling the lawyer guy! So glad he said and did all that and it was so true! I wasn't liking him very well!

I think the guard should have been a little more careful there. She should have been more guarded, even if he couldn't remember everything at first.

Love the music that was playing during the search when he escaped.

The ending! oh wow! Him telling how he remembers and finding his first, they never knew about. Love the scene with Hotch and Reid, and Reid going to the dad to tell him personally the guy pleaded guilty and give back the watch!

Anonymous said...

i have 3 hours tell this one starts. this one sounds very good can,t waite to see it

slashgirl said...

They obviously don't have a show bible!!!!!!!!!!! They have Reid being "new" to the team in the flashback scenes in 2004. In LDSK, aired in 2005, Hotch said he worked with him for three years....Of course if Reid joined in 04 that would make him 23 instead of 21.

I...just. Stop dicking around with the show's already (3 years worth) established canon!!! You know what, they'll probably, in the very last ep of CM ever, reveal that everything that's happened is the fevered dream of some serial killer...I mean, why not? They throw every thing else away. *mutters* Newish writers, at least, please to be watching the old eps. Please????? *flail* *head desk*

Okay, now that I'm done being Ranty McRanterson...

Flashback to 04...Hotch still looked good in kevlar. *hee* And not only can he tackle, but Morgan can leap tall buildings in a single bound...silly boy.

Prentiss and I graduated in the same year (Garfield High, class of 89; me: WK, class of 89), although I assure you my hair NEVER looked like that. And what's up with Reid--he doesn't know the KISSING song, but knows Siouxsie and the Banshees. *sigh* Cute scene though...and Prentiss convinced her hair never looked like that.

And what's up with the prosecutor refs to Hotch in the last couple of eps? Are they actually going to admit he was a child genius and was a prosector at age 19? *lol* Yeah, the timeline thing still bugs me, prolly always will.

Hotch to CeCe: I'm not just doing it for you, I'm doing it for them. *loves*

Flashback to the 2004 scene--interesting that Reid was confident enough to talk to the parent--isn't that kind of at odds with how he was first season of the show...God, is continuity too hard a concept to grasp??? Is it too much to ask for? *grumble*

Defense lawyer is played by Stephen Culp who played the CIA guy on JAG and his name on there is escaping me.

Hotch testifying--he's a cool one, our Hotch. *G*

Another flashback--Morgan in a suit...hee. Loved it: what's the new tech girl's name? Reid: Gomez I think...(Gomez and Morticia?)..."Hey, Baby Girl". Aw. So sweet... And Garcia's "I've been called worse". So, Reid and Garcia started at the same time. Or not.

Back to present day and Rossi saying he taught Hotch everything he knows about testifying...yeah, Dave, keep your fantasies. The man was a prosecutor and obviously a good one...

LOVE Garcia getting the info on the adoption...Go for the jugular, it.

And, OMG: HOTCHALANCHE on the defense attorney--he totally pwned the guy. You play horses like you practice law, taking the long shot. And saying when the phone would vibrate again. HEE! I loves my Hotch. And Reid's sweet smile when Hotch starts in on the guy. He loves his Hotch, too.

They find out the guy was adopted and bio-mum turned him away--he sent ehr the trophies...and Hotch figures out the guy is remembering. Guy knocks his guard out and takes off....

Hotch sends Reid to the guy's jail cell--he finds writings and drawings--figures out where the guy is going. They get there--and Hotch manages to get the guy to give himself up...

And Reid stops the father from shooting the guy--he'd noticed how the father was acting the day before when he talked to him.

And yes, I'm a happy slashgirl--we had some lovely if brief H/R moments. *sigh* Also the ending where Reid takes the watch back to the father--the quote? Heartbreaking...

Other than the canon WTFs--I loved this ep. Didn't see the preview for next week, though...

Anonymous said...

Loved the rendition Slashgirl......:-) Thanks.
We watch in 10 mins...:-0

aimee said...

My favorite part was Garcia hacking into the adoption records. Nothing stands in the way of Garcia, the wonder tech!

Morgan in a suit! Another reason to love the episode.

If there were any cookies in this episode then I missed them but I liked the episode.

kimmie said...

If I am not mistaken this was the BAU's first time in a court room. Hotch is so darn smart and wow he kicked butt. Never mess with a determined Hotch.

The flashbacks were wonderful. I agree that the they need to stop making the timeline worse than it already is. I wish there was someone at the studio who could chart it out so they don't stray so far outfield anymore.

Solid episode. Glad that this wasn't a baby episode.

Debbie said...


I loved that it was different than anything that CM has done before, but not out of step.

I loved seeing Reid get to be a big boy agent...finally! He's grown up to be all that I hoped he would - still smart, still sweet, still kind, but strong, assured, in control. LOVED IT!

I loved the compassion.

I loved the flashbacks - Morgan and Garcia!! Sweet! And Prentiss, OMG who would have thunk it?

One of the best episodes...this season has been incredible!

Thank you, everyone, for consistently giving us excellent, excellent programs this year.

hotchnerprentiss said...

Morgan and Garcia meeting was more than a cookie! It was a chocolate cake with whipped cream! Loved it!

Paget Brewster must have given them some old photos of her. She looked great.

I liked the flashbacks. I liked that this was a different episode. They seem to be trying new things. This one worked for me.

Hotch was on fire tonight.

lizzymmcf said...

great episode! it had some great garcia and hotch moments! When Hotch was profiling the defense attorney was amazing!

Anonymous said...

Loved the episode. Who played the bolnd prosecuting attorney? I've seen her before but can't place her

sherlockette said...

I think this episode was good. It was a bit different than the formula, sort of in the vein of the first season “Riding the Lightning”. I have some random comments.

This was the first episode that dealt with the use of profiling in the courts. Hotch’s testimony was a Perry Mason moment but it was entertaining. Of course the case moved along a bit fast compared to the real thing, and “late breaking” evidence is rarely allowed in the court unless the defense wants it in. Overall the court scene was well acted.

The flashbacks as the unsub got his memory back were good, and there were just enough of them to make the point without extensive unnecessary graphics. The pace and tone of the episode was enjoyable to me. I don’t really need to see constant action and head banging. We can get that anywhere.

It was great to learn about the characters through their work instead of having to watch their personal lives unfold. Reid’s relationship with the victm’s father, Hotch’s real attitudes about unsubs and Emily’s punk background were all revealed without being the focus of the episode. Good job Dan and Jay.

blue said...

best part was hotch on the stand, oh and the jump by morgan.

but I gotta watch this one again.

Emma said...

Anonymous: I'm pretty sure she was played by Amy Carlson.

Lori said...

Loved the episode! Dan and Jay did such a great job! Thank you!

This was a really interesting episode. The flashbacks were well done and the present day stuff was great.

Emily, boy you really were into the 80's with that picture! I remember that look very well. It reminded me of the Stray Cats--remember them? Anyone?

Like Slashgirl, I thought it was odd that Reid went to talk to the victim's father, but caught the looks between Hotch and Morgan, kind of amused and "let's see what happens" kind of looks. And Morgan's leaping from building to building--our superhero!

Garcia was wonderful, as usual, both in the flashback and the current day--can you see your cursor moving around? That's me hacking into your system . . . should I send your Jamaican vacation pictures to your boss--no tran lines! Go Garcia Go!

Hotch was incredibly Hotchly tonight and his Hotchalance on the defense attorney was fabulous and reminded me of his little diatribe, or Hotchalance, to Strauss at the end of last season.

Reid catching the victim's father with the gun was wonderful--I had wondered about his calling Reid "Spencer", and it was nice that Reid followed through and talked to the father at the end of the episode and gave him back her watch. The quote was beautiful.

Brian, the unsub, was kind of sad, remembering what he had done, and it was a real trick on us that when he went back to the park that his abducting the woman runner was a flashback and not the real thing.

It is interesting what you learn on CM--when they were first talking about how the bodies were found, face down, they talked about the killer's remorse, that he couldn't face his victim's and when they found out about his interest in Native American culture, we find out that in that culture, if bodies are buried face down, then their spirits can't escape and haunt you.

The brain fingerprinting seemed to be anticlimactic, except for Prentiss worrying that by showing the images of the murder victim's to Brian, that he might go on a killing spree because of them.

There was good teamwork in talking to the hosptial people about Brian's visitor, Garcia's finding the birth mother, and Rossi and JJ's subsequent visit to her and figuring out that her rejection of him was the stressor and then asking her if he had any contact with her after their initial meeting and finding the physical evidence that he sent to her--his trophies.

All in all, a great episode. Thanks Dan and Jay!

helen said...

I was surprised that JJ's pregnancy wasn't discussed and analyzed. It was such a big deal last episode.

I liked this episode. Talk about a blast from the past. We always say that we want to see their backstories. We got plenty of that.

khalid said...

Steven Culp was great. I've always liked his acting. He was great as the prosecutor.

I really liked seeing the first 'babydoll' and Morgan and Garcia's first meeting.

All in all, it was a good episode but we are off track. Seems like the show is rambling. They don't seem to have their footing back since the strike ended. Only Elephant's Memory did anything for me.

Tamara said...

I have to admit that I didn't really like this one. It felt like I got tricked into watching a lackluster episode of Law and Order. I really love Criminal Minds for the feeling of ongoing danger and rising suspense and there was almost none of that tonight.

To end the last episode with the news of JJ's pregnancy and then not even mention it in this one was really frustrating and jarring.

Emily's teenage years picture was a really random moment, but I guess it goes with the image of her smoking to be rebellious as a teen.

At least next week's promo looks good.

Ann said...

Great episode. My faves:

Emily's high school pic
The Hotchalanche
The first "baby girl"
The switcharoo where we think Matloff has the jogger...but it's really the skeleton of his first victim (yeah, did not see that coming!)
The end where Reid takes the watch back.

I admit, I kinda teared up at the end.

zed said...

I totally clapped and shouted 'GO HOTCH!' when he profiled the defense attorney :P

Deirdre said...

I thought this episode was ok. It had some nice moments, like Prentiss's high school pic, Morgan and Garcia's first baby girl. Reid's connection with the father, Morgan in suits ;)but overall it didn't compeletely grip me. I like when CM mixes it up and gives us different formats, like Riding the Lightening or True night. I feel it keeps the show fresh. So I don't mind that they did that for this episode but I just wasn't that interested.


This was the most wonderful episode of the whole season, maybe MORE!
Reid is an angel, I'm still shaking.
I'll be back when i'll recover a bit.

maxima said...

Just finished watching and all I can say it that I loved every minute of it!

Great job by everyone!

Anonymous said...

Great episode! From start to finish...from Emily's high school photo to Hotch on the stand to Reid stopping the was great!

Everyone was in total character and did a great job.

Dneumann said...

I am a huge fan of this show and have loved almost every episode to date. Unfortunately last night was a huge disappointment for me. I realize the show is fiction, but I was truly bothered by the way they handled the whole coma situation. People watch this show as if the scientific information provided is true. From what I know, most of it has been. But the aftermath of a coma was completely misrepresented. There are already too many misunderstandings about brain injury as it is. A show like this influences people's beliefs. To have profressionals doubt that a coma patient honestly didn't have any recall of events that occured prior to his injury is ridiculous. Come on. After 4 years of being in a coma it is more likely than not that the patient wouldn't have remembered this, and the characters on this show (certainly Reid) should have testified to this. Now many people who watch this show are going to be skeptical about memory impairments of people who suffered brain injuries. That's the last thing that the brain injury community needs. Many soldiers are coming back from the war with a brain injury and we don't need misconceptions like these to be instigated by a show that so many people respect. Next time the facts should be checked. 2 more comments: the parietal lobe is not where memory is stored- it is the prefrontal cortex. Second, memories may exist, but a person may not have conscious access to them. So if the person's brain had responded to those images, it still wouldn't have meant the guy was lying when he said he couldn't remember. There are many types of memory and recall. I'm surprised Reid didn't know this.

Anonymous said...

Once again CM gaves us a great episode.

Very creepy moment with the guy holding the corpse of his first victim.

Funny moments: Garcia hacking into the adoption system. Love that we got to see the first time Morgan called Garcia babygirl. Rossi telling Reid(?) that of course he (Hotch) would be great on the stand since he thought him about how to testify! Right Dave!

Hotch in Kevlar look darn good.

I like that Reid was able to talk the father into giving up the gun.

Great quotes particularly the one at the end.

Favorite moment: Hotch on the stand, poor defense lawyer, he gave Hotch just one tiny opening and down came the Hotchalanche!

Tonight episode was my favorite, great work Jay and Dan.


Lee said...

I really liked this episode. I did find it a bit unbeleivable that this guy fell on his head, all that blood and lived to tell about it.

Jim Walsh from 90210 was the father, I loved that! Rex from Desperate Housewives was the attorney, loved that too.

I found it crude that Derek called Garcia "Baby Girl" when he didn't even know her. I'm no feminist, but women already struggle enough to be equal with men in the workplace and in most cases that would have been a sexual harrasment suit. It just really rubbed me the wrong way. Yeah he is gorgeous and all, but still, very rude of him. He could have said, "Excuse me, miss." or "Hey new computer tech girl!" Anything but hey baby girl. yuck.

As usual Matthew did amazing and can I just tell you how much I LOVED the father calling him Spencer. We so rarely hear his first name on the show. They all call eachother by last names.

All in all a very enjoyable hour.

Lee :)

respectanimals said...

I really liked this one! Yes, it had some corny moments, and some really unbelievable moments as well, and I’m not a huge fan of courtroom drama, but overall I found the episode really interesting to watch. The Hotch scenes were the standouts for me, as every time he was on screen in this one, he was great. I especially wanted to stand up and cheer when he profiled the defense attorney. That was really cool! I could watch that scene over and over again. And Garcia’s exchange with the adoption agency (or whoever she was talking to) was fun to watch as well. And Garcia and Reid teasing Emily at the beginning was funny too. The picture of her as a teenager is certainly a contradiction to the appearance she gives now. LOL! The scenes with the father and Reid were somewhat predictable, but I really enjoyed watching them anyway and the way Reid went out of his way at the end to give back the watch and let the father know first hand about the ruling, was wonderful. I also really liked the actress playing the DA.

The worst part of the show for me was the behavior of the prison guard. She just didn’t ring true for me at all. I can’t see a prison guard (male or female) getting that friendly with a suspected serial killer, much less dropping her guard like that. Plus, would they really have only put ONE guard on him?

With regard to the flashback scenes, I thought Morgan seemed the most accurate portrayal. Maybe it was the way Morgan was wearing his hat when they went into the apartment, or maybe they did something to his hair to make him look younger, or maybe it was just the look on his face when Reid started rambling on, but he just came off very believable to me. Reid’s present day scenes with the father of the victim were wonderful, but I had a harder time accepting the flashbacks of him. And Hotch was just the same as he is now, which isn’t too surprising, as he is older and was already in charge then, so he wouldn’t have changed much in only four years anyway.

This was the first time I really noticed Rossi’s office. It sure is different from the way Gideon had it. It is so nice and neat, whereas Gideon’s was always kind of messy and chaotic. LOL! I know Emily made the comment once about how he is a neat freak, but I think this is the first time they had really let us get a good look at it. And wasn't his desk on the other side of the room, when they were painting in there? In any case, whether I'm just slow or they did some rearranging, I enjoyed getting to see his office and therefore get some more insight into Rossi's character.

I thought the scene where the team was discussing whether the unsub was a different person now that he didn’t remember anything, was a bit too much. I was with Morgan and Rossi on this one and couldn’t believe what Emily and Reid were trying to say. It didn’t matter to me in the least that he might not be a threat to anyone at the moment, as the victims and their families still needed to know that he would be convicted of and punished for the crimes and as Hotch said, it’s up to the courts to decide the punishment. I could definitely sympathize with what the unsub was going through in the episode, due to his memory loss though.

I’m not a fan of the pet names Morgan and Garcia give each other at all, but his Baby Girl line was probably a very good way to explain how the pet names got started in the first place, so I wasn’t exactly offended by it. I just try to ignore it myself.

traceylb1 said...

I loved the entire episode even if it did have alot of discrepancies. Of course, any ep with alot of Reid/Hotch interactions makes me pretty happy. And I enjoyed the opening scene tremedously with Reid and Garcia teasing Emily. It is usually Reid getting teased, so the turn-about was nice. The Morgan/Garcia cookie was sweet as well- a little silly- but very sweet, I thought.
Anyhoo, if there are any slash writers up to the challenge, I would love to see some of the little moments b/t the team members in the ep expanded on in the fanfic realm.....and i bet i am not the only one ;P

buffyaddict13 said...

i really enjoyed this ep. i loved the flashbacks, despite the continuity weirdness. i guess it depends on what hotch meant by "newest agent" when he introduced reid. maybe reid's been there a while, he's just the most recent hire? *grasps at straws*

despite the strange cm time line this is definitely one of my fav eps. reid was fantastic. he's become such an intregal part of the team, he knows what's going on.

best things: emily's hair, meeting garcia, morgan's running jump, reid's flashback hair--and the fact he wanted to try and comfort corbett, reid talking corbett down and returning the watch, hotchalanche! and garcia's mad hacking skillz.

great job dan and jay! thank you!

mauranewman said...

I loved the way Garcia took charge with getting the adoption records. It was funny about her going to send the vacation photos to the lady's boss who said that she couldn't have them. A court order and Garcia will always get you anything you want.

The idea of him waking up out of a coma and then starting to remember the crimes he commited was fresh. I almost felt bad for the guy. Adopted and then you find your birth mother and you are rejected a second time. Sending her the trophies of his kills. Very creepy.

Garcia and Morgan were and are magic.

jane said...

I knew I was going to like this episode the moment I saw Morgan wearing his backwards baseball cap. Seeing him in a suit was just gravy from the writers. It also made me flashback to season one. *g*

The scene where Hotch profiled the attorney was brilliant. Hotch talking about what color socks he is wearing, his fake Rolex and his gambling debts was poetry. Great scene. Hotch can be so Hotchly. He nailed the guy with his brilliance and the judge backing him up was great. Show him your blackberry or shut up. Go Hotch.

The ending was great. Reid going to Mr. Corbett’s house to return Darby’s watch and them talking about the inscription which was a line from a poem and our episode's ending quote.

Solid episode. Great lead into our season finale.

babruin said...

Wow, this episode explores the horrors of past events that continues to haunt us today. Yes, we're talking old high school yearbook pictures!!!!!!!
I love, love this episode. The theme is our past and how it informs our lives today and gives us our identity. It has touched everyone,from the grieving father who can't let go, the mother's guilt of abandoning her child, and the unsub tormented by his actions.
I loved the flashback scenes! It's a fun bit of nostalgia to see Reid again as the young ingenue with his awkward and stiff manner. He was wearing the same sweater and shirt from the pilot episode with enough grease in his hair to keep a whole chain of KFCs happy for years! MGG is a great actor in being able to show Reid's arc as he develops into a mature, seasoned profiler. You can see a big difference in the fluidity of his motions and how self-assured he was in disarming the father.
I also loved the great Hotch moment on the stand. He nailed that profile of the defense attorney. Go, go Hotch!!!!
Two thumbs up to Jay and Dan for a beautifully written story of remorse, identity, and remembrance of things past.

Elizabeth said...

Excellent episode full of difficult decisions and how people cope with who they are and what life has thrown at them.

The courtroom Hotchalanche was most entertaining and I loved Goth-Punk-Emily.

Bravo guys.

Elizabeth said...

dneumann - the parietal lobe is involved in memory and damage to that area can affect retrieval.

Anonymous said...

i really like this one.i like the flash back alot. reid hair was not that short. morgan had hair. hotch was great in the court room. i no the next one will be a chif hanger for next season so i can,t waite to see it.

lydia said...

Reid showd his sweet heart at the end. He was raised with poetry and knows it all but his pretending not to know the poem or the passage was his loving way of wanting the father to remember the poem and what it meant. It was a very touching scene. Nicely written.

Loved the episode. The courtroom scene was terrific. Hotch pissed off is a dangerous thing.

Now we know when the first "Baby Girl" was uttered and a fandom fell in love with the awesomeness that is Garcia and Morgan.

lauren said...

Our newly divorced Hotch sure was being wooed by the prosecutor. She did everything but sit in his lap. When even Reid notices then you know it has to be pretty darn obvious.

Garcia was totally awesome. When she lost her temper the smackdown she dished out was swift and funny. Gotta love Garcia.

ivyhamster said...

Brain figerprinting was new for me. I had never heard of it before. Interesting. Brian was actually likeable before his memory came back. The female guard was an idiot letting her guard down like she did.

LOVED Hotch profiling the defense attorney. Just awesome. It was a great episode from start to finish!

Dneumann said...

I double checked on a website called Neuroskills to make sure my knowledge about the brain is correct. According to that source, which is a reputible one, the parietal lobe is mainly dealing with processing sensory information and important for spatial attention. It can be associated with memory, but only when there is damage to a region that is close with the temporal lobe. When memory is referred to, typically it is the prefrontal cortex and temporal lobes that are involved. Check this website out if you don't believe me.

Anonymous said...

I loved this episode it was so cool the way Hotch nailed the other attorney's behavior to a T. I though it was neat the way Reid stopped the father from shooting the unsub it still blows my mind at how he almost could read the mans mind through his actions. The whole concept of the episode the unsub going into a coma waking up four years later not remembering what he did that was just brilliant.

Angel_The Original said...

There were so many things I loved about this episode. Hotch knocking that snotty lawyer down a few pegs (a 12 year fan of Steven Culp here), Garcia on the phone with the "grumpy" woman from the adoption agency (look no tan lines), Reid and Garcia giving Emily a hard time about her high school picture (I guess all those Morticia comments were more accurate then we thought), Rossi stating he taught Hotch everything he knows about giving testimony (like the years as a lawyer didn't help), Reid with the grieving dad (firm, take charge, in a suit, and oh so sexy), and of course our first "Baby Girl" (gotta love Morgan/Garcia banter). This episode was a total A++++++++++++++
I can hardly wait until next week.

morticia addams said...

omg it was so great! i don't know what to say! i simply enjoyed it!

hotch in court, was briliant!
reid was also great when he stopped the man of shooting the unsub!


Anonymous said...

I noticed that Reid shook hands with Mr. Corbett, the father of the victim. Is this the first time we've seen Reid shake hands with someone?

slashgirl said...

anon asked:

Is this the first time we've seen Reid shake hands with someone?

No, he shook hands with the Baltimore FBI agent, Cramer, in Honor Among Thieves. That's the only one I can think of off the top of my head. I think he only shakes hands if it's someone he's met before. And he'd met Cramer in Natural Born Killer.

Anonymous said...

Once again, another great episode. I have watched this one over and over since last week. It will go down as one of my favourites. I loved the wat Reid was written in this one! Thanks Dan and Jay!!!


Angel_The Original said...

Steven Culp played Clayton Webb on JAG. Yes I am a Jag fanatic as well *g*

marie said...

I really loved this episode.

Anonymous said...

i really like this one alot. it was one of my favorits of this past season.

Jan and Quentin said...

Well done episonde, as usual. Good to see it again. I'd forgotten some key points. And Prentiss' photo was a hoot - esp. when she didn't believe it was real. Too funny.