Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (S02E06) “Cinderella and the Dragon”

When an American flight attendant is murdered in Singapore and another is a suspect in the crime, the State Department asks Jack Garrett (Gary Sinise) and his International Response Team to step in.  They soon discover that the Singapore Police Department has pinned the blame firmly on the back of Kathy Hall (Toni Trucks) based solely on a single video of her fleeing the room where Jane Wicks (Janna Bossier) was killed. Kathy has simply vanished into the city. Since many offenses in Singapore are punishable by the death penalty without consideration of mitigating circumstances and without a trial by jury, the team is anxious to be certain that Kathy indeed committed the crime. When their go-to guy back in the States, SSA Russ “Monty” Montgomery (Tyler James Williams) learns that the two women were close, the agents are more certain than ever that there may be more to this crime than Inspector Cheong (Tzi Ma) is willing to admit.  When Monty interviews Kathy’s fiance, Scott Davis (Brandon Barash), he hopes the man can tell him where to find Kathy’s brother Will (Wade F. Wilson), Scott, however, says he’s never met this brother and has no idea how to contact him. Monty goes back to the drawing board, his computer, only to find a picture of Kathy, Scott, Will and Jane together, looking happy and very well acquainted. Now, why would Scott lie? SSA Mae Jarvis (Annie Funke), from her station at the morgue, finds traces of adhesive on the dead woman’s inner thigh. This leads to team to suspect that the women were smuggling and, since neither woman’s profile would lead to the conclusion that they might be drug smugglers, it’s possible that the lying fiance may be involved in the crime.

After another attack in Geylang, one of the worst sections of Singapore, is assumed by Singapore PD to be Kathy’s work, the team again turns to Monty to find answers. Garrett says, “He might have to lie a little bit.” Monty returns to the fiance telling him that the attack was brutal and the victim may not survive. FBI profilers believe that Kathy may be on a murderous rampage. Does Scott have any idea where she may be going? Of course, Scott says he does not, but as soon as he leaves, Monty intercepts a call made by Scott to a man named Han Bo Seng in Singapore.

There are several more plot thickenings, but I want to leave some of the mystery for you to discover. The ultimate bad guy, played by Osric Chau, will give you chills that will last for days. As this episode progresses, both the viewer and the Singapore PD learn that assumptions can often lead to erroneous conclusions.

I have been disappointed to see that this show seems to be following in the footsteps of other “Criminal Minds” spin-offs. The network has pinned its hopes on Sinise’s name to draw in viewers. The regular cast, including Alana de la Garza and Daniel Henney, is good. The writers sling a few lines at the beginning and the end to serve the need for character development. Somehow, it all seems a little half-hearted. When Sinise says near the end, “Okay, everyone. Let’s go home,” he does it with a little smile that dies in his eyes and I couldn’t help wondering if he was wishing he were someplace else. I think this show has all the right elements. It is growing on me in Season 2 and I’ll be watching for a little more enthusiasm from all involved.

Photo courtesy of CBS