Tuesday, November 25, 2008

CRIMINAL MINDS: A LOOK AT JJ.


Criminal Minds: A look at what we know about JJ, played by A.J. Cook on Criminal Minds, written by Lori Q.

NAME: JENNIFER JAREAU
COMMONLY CALLED: JJ
FBI POSITION: Special Agent
JOB SPECIALITY: Media Liaison

FIRST APPEARANCE: Season 1, episode 2 - COMPULSION.

BACKGROUND:

BORN AND RAISED: East Allegheny, PA (NORTH MAMMON)
COLLEGE: Went to Pittsburgh Univ. on a soccer scholarship (NORTH MAMMON).

FAMILY:
MOTHER: Unknown
FATHER: Unknown
SIBLINGS: Not much is known aside from that she has one who has had a daughter(THE BOOGEYMAN).
EXTENDED: Has at least one aunt(NORTH MAMMON).

RELATIONSHIPS:

PREVIOUSLY DATED: Reporter Hal Greene (WHAT FRESH HELL).
DATING: Detective William LaMontagne, Jr. Called "Will", the New Orleans detective was first introduced in the second season episode JONES. He then reappeared in the 4th season ep IN HEAT and again in the 4th season finale LO-FI. Will and JJ are expecting their first child together. In LO-FI, Will announced that he was asking JJ to marry him, but it does not appear that they actually got engaged.

TEAM: JJ has called her BAU team "family", telling Garcia in PENELOPE "You do whatever it takes to protect your family."

Hotch - JJ and Hotch have a very respectful relationship that allows her to question him(DERAILED). He has shown(and stated) that he considers her opinion extremely important(LEGACY). He has also been the one to try to talk her into considering becoming a profiler(NORTH MAMMON). When she struggled with a case, taking it too personally, he offered her words of counsel(BIRTHRIGHT). When mass murderer Jacob Dawes offered information in exchange for a chance to "smell" JJ's hair, Hotch angrily refused, but JJ talked him into, winning the poker game(RIDING THE LIGHTNING). Hotch showed that he was upset/hurt by JJ holding back the information about her pregnancy from him(LO-FI).

Rossi- JJ's relationship with Rossi is still in the early stages and mostly professional. JJ was the one to push to help Rossi with the case that he couldn't get past(DAMAGED).

Prentiss - JJ and Prentiss hit it off almost from Emily's first day at the BAU. After being bitten by the wild dogs in REVELATIONS, Emily checked on JJ and insisted that she get out of the house. Emily, JJ and Garcia played with a bar patron who was trying to pick up on them in OPEN SEASON. She reached out to comfort an extremely upset JJ in PENELOPE. She and JJ have at various times teamed up to interrogate a suspect(JONES for one).

Morgan - If there's any relationship on the team that can be described as being sibling like, it's JJ's one with Morgan. Whether she's tricking him into believing a well told tall tale(THE BOOGEYMAN) or pushing for him to blame her for what happened to Reid(REVELATIONS), they are often contentious, but full of respect. He will challenge her more than the others, asking her why they should take certain cases(NORTH MAMMON, THE CROSSING), but he's also protective(IDENTITY).

Reid - There's been some speculation that the original plan was for JJ and Reid to be hooked up in the first season. Proof of this appears to be Gideon giving Reid tickets to take JJ to a Redskins game(PLAIN SIGHT). The romantic relationship never went anywhere, however and they settled into a good friendship instead. As the two youngest members of the BAU, they are often teamed up for investigations and interrogations. This led to a traumatic event for both of them in THE BIG GAME/REVELATIONS when they split up while on an Unsub's property. In the aftermath of this, in NO WAY OUT 2, JJ made Reid promise that they wouldn't split up again. As the only one who calls him Spence(PLAIN SIGHT), they can often be seen on the plane, challenging each other to a game of Gin.

Garcia - Easily JJ's best friend on the team. They often communicate during a case by phone, passing information back and forth On cases where JJ doesn't accompany the rest of the team, she stays back in Garcia's office, monitoring the case. When Garcia was shot in PENELOPE, JJ took it the hardest. After killing the Unsub, she stated that she had never hesitated, just done what it took to protect her family. There is a picture of JJ and Garcia hugging in Garcia's office.

DUTIES:

A full and armed FBI agent, JJ is an extremely gifted speaker. Also calm and patient, she is often counted on to provide counseling to families as well as to be the one who provides the "news", good or bad to the families. She will at times accompany the local law enforcement when they have to do death notifications(OPEN SEASON).

Part of her job description includes holding press conferences and getting the necessary information out to the media. This can be dangerous if the Unsub reacts badly to the often intentional taunting(THE LAST WORD) or if he views the interaction with the public as a violation of the rules(THE FISHER KING PART 1).

She acts as the gateway to the team, deciding which cases are worked and which are passed up. She has stated that she has the ability to "make anything a BAU case"(DAMAGED). This choice is extremely trying to her and even Hotch is aware that she constantly wonders if she has made the right choice(NO WAY OUT PART 2). She takes it quite personally when something bad happens in the case she didn't choose(THE CROSSING).

She is also the team's law enforcement liaison, often making first contact with the local police or sheriff's department and then setting up a place for the team to work out of. It is quite common to hear in an episode, "Hi, Jennifer Jareau, we spoke on the phone?"

SKILLS:

An athlete, JJ was the captain of her High School varsity soccer team(NORTH MAMMON). She is also quite talented at darts(THE BIG GAME) and loves to play cards with Reid- always trying to beat him(and finally doing it in EMPTY PLANET). There are also hints that she is skilled at "stacking the deck"(RIDING THE LIGHTNING) though JJ would be sure to deny this "cheating" charge.

Further, she is a phenomenal storyteller, able to trick even those who know her quite well with a tall tale(THE BOOGEYMAN).

Finally, JJ is quite the markswoman. Having only fired her gun twice on the show(REVELATIONS AND PENELOPE), she hits all targets squarely.

DEFINING MOMENTS:

SEASON 1

-JJ is introduced in COMPULSION, first meeting Elle and showing off the fact that is a fast-talking whirlwind of energy. In the same ep, her omnipresent PDA makes an appearance. In this ep, a common thread of her working closely with Garcia is also presented.

-In WHAT FRESH HELL, a former boyfriend - a slick ethics challenged journalist out of New York - Hal Greene is introduced. When Greene steps over the line JJ calls him out for it. Hotch watches the scene, content to let JJ handle the wayward reporter. In this ep she also helps a couple make a public appeal to the press for the return of their kidnapped daughter.

-In RIDING THE LIGHTNING, JJ assists Hotch with trying to find out if killer who is about to be executed has any further unfound victims. She consents to a game of cards where if she wins they get the information, but if she loses the killer - Jacob - gets to smell her hair. Not at all perturbed, it is very likely that JJ "stacked the deck" in this game to ensure victory.

-In A REAL RAIN, JJ offers to show Reid around New York. Later on, at dinner, she assists him by using the "rubber-band trick" on his chopsticks so that he can eat his chinese food without flinging it all over the place. She also goes head to head with a reporter who is being used by the vigilante killer.

-In the first season finale THE FISHER KING PART ONE, while the rest of the team goes on vacation, JJ and Garcia stay behind to work. When the case starts to ramp up, it is JJ's job to call everyone home. Once the case gets started, JJ receives a strange gift - a framed butterfly. She reveals that she used to collect them as a child. Near the end of the episode, she holds the press conference that sets the Unsub off and causes him to go after Elle.

SEASON 2

-In AFTERMATH, JJ comforts a deeply troubled rape victim, telling her that she did it what it took to stay alive and to not let anyone tell her different. She scolds a local law enforcement officer for calling a victims injuries "minor".

-In the BOOGEYMAN, she tells Morgan and Reid a tall tale about being afraid of the woods, expertly reeling them in. Noticing a woman in the police station panicking, JJ gets her to sit down so that she can ask a few questions that end up helping to break open the case.

-In NORTH MAMMON, JJ convinces the team to take the case of three missing HS athletes that she relates to. When the families start crumbling, blaming each other, JJ steps in and reminds them that they have to work together. Once two of the girls are found, JJ interviews one of them, managing to get her to identify the Unsub. On the plane ride home, Hotch suggests she consider taking profiler classes. She states that she likes her job just the way it is.

-In THE BIG GAME, while out at a bar, JJ shows that she's a stud with darts. She gets the call that brings the team out of relaxation mode. By the end of the episode, she and Reid are sent to interview a possible witness who turns out to be the Unsub. While looking for the Unsub, she and Reid separate. The ep ends on JJ walking into a barn, seeing dogs growl at her and then firing.

-In REVELATIONS, the team arrives to find a slightly wounded and disorientated JJ in the barn. After being tended to, she tries to help find Reid. Plagued by the fear of what happened with the dogs, she is unable to concentrate. Emily gets her to leave the house to interview a character witness. Later, she has a confrontation with Morgan, practically begging him to blame her for what happened to Reid. At the end of the episode, after Reid is recovered, she hugs him, apologizing. He forgives her, telling her that it wasn't her fault.

- In JONES, JJ works closely with a local detective, William LaMontagne, Jr. They flirt with each other while trying to solve the mystery of his father's last case. JJ and Prentiss team up to interrogate one of the men who raped the Unsub, clearly showing their disgust for him. At the end of the ep, JJ leaves Will with her card and an open invitation to call her.

-In OPEN SEASON, JJ teams up with Garcia and Prentiss to play with a guy in a bar who tries to pick them up by saying that he's a "real FBI" agent. JJ helps a local law enforcement offer do his first death notification.

-In LEGACY, JJ is approached by a nervous detective who is sure that something bad is happening in his district. Believing him, JJ sells the case to the team. Hotch respects her enough to check into. She later spots the information needed to make this an FBI case - a postmark showing that mail had crossed state lines.

-In NO WAY OUT 2 - JJ works with the team to try to clear Gideon's name, frantically trying to locate Frank's potential victims. After Tracy is kidnapped, she and Reid go in to find her. JJ tells Reid not to split up under any circumstances. He agrees.

SEASON 3:

-In DOUBT, JJ and Reid work the college students to try to find out who is murdering brunette co-eds. A contentious relationship with one of the students leads to her getting spit on. During the ep, she and Morgan argue over whether or not a suspect should be released and it's apparent how much the strain of having to be the one who does the death notifications weighs on her.

-In CHILDREN OF THE DARK, JJ and Emily work with the sole survivor of a killing spree targeting families. When the decision is made to have the girl face the man who killed her parents and brother, JJ fights against it. At the end of the episode, she and Emily talk about having children.

-In PENELOPE, after Garcia is shot, JJ appears to be the one besides Morgan who takes it the most personally. When Garcia is in the hospital, she pulls JJ aside and asks her to ask the team not to talk about her like she's a victim. At the end of the ep, when the Unsub tries to take an FBI supervisor hostage, JJ comes up behind him and shoots him in the head - getting her first kill. She tells Garcia that she never hesitated, she did it to protect her family.

-In BIRTHRIGHT, the weight of choosing some of the cases and relating to them hits JJ hard. She is worn out by a case of women her age being murdered. Hotch counsels her to never stop caring about the cases.

-In IN HEAT, the BAU comes across Detective LaMontagne while working a case in Miami. It's revealed that JJ and Will have been seeing each other since JONES. When he pushes her to make their relationship public, she breaks up with him. At the end, just as they're about to go their own ways, she changes her mind. Morgan, Prentiss and Reid reveal that they've known about the two of them all along.

-In THE CROSSING, JJ convinces the team to take the case of a woman who is being stalked. She reveals that she passed up another case like this and it turned out very badly. Throughout the case, JJ seems off-kilter, like she's taking it very personally. At the end of the episode, she calls Will and tells him that she's pregnant.

-In LO-FI, the team works on a case involving a possible terrorist threat. Will comes to New York to try to convince her to recuse herself from the case. She reveals to the team that she's pregnant. Hotch is upset that she didn't tell him, but she insists that she's fine and wants to stay on the case. At the end of the ep, she's one of the ones seen getting into a SUV.

26 comments:

notnerog said...

Terrific. Great job! I hope you will update it to include season four.

pamelap1981 said...

ACES!

mona said...

Love it. Thanks so much for it.

celeste said...

Oh my! Please do Morgan. This is really great.

hotchnerprentiss said...

Totally great. Really good job Lori Q!

monica said...

I hope this is the start of a series for all the characters. It is very good and a real blast from the past. I had forgotten most of this.

simone said...

Very cool.

jericholuva said...

You totally nailed her. Could you do Emily Prentiss next, please? She is one of my favs and you really did so great on J.J.

Alana said...

I love that this made it first page of the blog! I was impressed as I read it first time. Great job, great to have some light on such a beloved character. I miss JJ already, hope she is back soon as I hope AJ is doing great.
And yes, Prentiss next!

meaghan said...

AWESOME!

rose said...

Very nice job detailing J.J.!

enormousvdofan said...

Great fresher! Congrats on a well done job!

olivia said...

Awesome Lori! More please.

HardKOrr said...

I love this recap on JJ and I'm glad to see it posted on the main blog page. You did a great job Lori - now lets hope the writers will help fill in some of the blanks on JJ's canon. Can't wait for her to come back!

parker said...

Wonderful recap.

gubegirl said...

Great job, Lori! I was trying to remember not long ago how much we knew about each character when we were talking backstories, and I was thinking to myself I had never heard much about JJ's family except for school and sports, and you are right - kinda weird for someone who seems so sensitive and family oriented that we haven't heard more about any sibs or parents, huh?

I'm sure putting all this together was alot of work and others could/should rise to the occasion and help put together bios on the rest of the team. It's obvious we all enjoyed it.

You could collect all the facts on Reid within minutes if you put out a request, he has so many fans!

This being said, probably the others should get the attention first, we all have the details on Reid memorized!

(But we love you, Reid!)

anne said...

I'll miss the character while she is gone. Congrats once again to AJ and her hubby.

Bl├╝mchen said...

Congrats to this well done job Lori. I love to read. Thanks so much. I have forgotten most of that. Can it be a serie from all of the team ? It is so great.

MGGFan said...

Waouh, you have done a great description. I really love this character; your webside is fantastic.
Thanks
Greatings from France

Anonymous said...

very nicely done! refreshed my mind on some old things and brought some new ones to light. i cant wait til she's back on the show, not thats there's anything wrong with agent todd. could we do hotch next? :) :)

Jan and Quentin said...

Wow! What a fantastic job! I learned a lot. Thanks for doing it!

tracytrumann said...

Exc work and great memory. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

mauranewman said...

I didn't realize how little I remembered about J.J. until I read this. Thank you for jogging my old memory.

sarah g. said...

Wonderful.

gayle said...

I saw a link for this and almost didn't follow it. Great work. Thank you to whoever posted the link in the other group. I adore JJ. I think she is a very under used character and I hope they will do more JJ centric episodes when she comes back.

Anonymous said...

we need more JJ!!!