Criminal Minds (S13E20) "All you can eat"

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Bookeend quotes:
Emily Prentiss: “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  by Anonymous
Penelope Garcia: “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” by Mark Twain

Good episode, although the focus is on Penélope García, who brings all the feelings to the table.

This week, we have one of those creepy cases that makes you fear the most quotidian stuff. I have to admit that these are my favorite kind of episodes, the ones that start with a scene seemingly taken from a horror movie and a villain in a basement. Classic Criminal Minds

It starts with a victim that falls dead with blood flowing from his eyes, queue to the team talking about the case and brainstorming theories about causes of death, victimology, suspects and so on. It seems quite ordinary, it’s exactly what happens almost every episode, but this time there is something different, Garcia is not there. Was I the only one who thought the team would have a hard time working without Reid and Garcia? Well, if you thought the same, you were wrong, and so was I. The team did a fast, neat job. Even though it was actually fun to see them reading reports and crossing references without the geniuses, I don’t think J.J, Luke, and Simmons were amused. They did it nevertheless.

As I said above, the case wasn’t important, not really, I think it was there because it had to be there, cases are a huge part of the show, but this time it is easily solved by the team, and probably by the audience. It offered some great scenes, like the UNSUB in the basement doing experiments, and the group of people falling dead with bleeding eyes, and it was quite terrifying how easily the criminal could get into places in order to poison the food and the water. Back to topic, and to sum up the case, the UNSUB’s parents used to have a restaurant, but with the crisis and new restaurants and bars opening all around Washington, their restaurant was foreclosed. Afterward, his mother died and then so it did his father, which triggered the murders. This was a case quite ordinary that didn’t impress me

Now with the important part of the episode: Penélope Garcia. I like Penélope, I really do, and I’ve loved all the episodes focused on her, but this one wasn’t one of my favorites, probably because I always expect excellence from a Penelope centric episode.
It was the anniversary of Penélope’s parents’ death, however, this year it also was their killer’s parole, so Penélope went to San Francisco to be with her little brother. They both wanted Jesse Willson, the man who killed their parents, to remain in prison and complete his sentence, which is understandable. The problem is that things are not so simple, life is not a matter of black or white, something that Penélope knows too well, and she was reminded of it when she found out that Jesse has been sending tulips to her parents grave on the anniversary of her parents’ death. From this point to the end we watch Penelope’s journey, from an untrusty, enraged, full of hate woman to the Penélope we all know and love. It was not an easy journey for her as she had to face her own guilt, Jesse, his sister and her own brother. In the end, she asked the commissioners to leave Jesse free, and I have to say that I was relieved. García being furious and resentful goes against her nature, and the team knows it, which is why they could barely hide how relieved they were when they learned what García did. After all, they were not there with her, but they backed her from the distance.

Sadly for Penélope, doing the right thing might cost her the relationship with her brother. Carlos was not ready to forgive and forget, and Penélope confession was a punch in the stomach, or at least it looks like that judging by the way he left.

The episode ends on a bittersweet note, with Penélope at her parents’ graves talking with them. It’s a heartbreaking scene, and at the same time, it is quite relatable. Since her parents were looking for her that night and she wished they would not return to their house because she was afraid of their possible punishment, Penélope has felt guilty all her life. I hope that now that she has been able to forgive Jesse, she will be able to forgive herself.
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Hero of the Day: this week was easy to choose. Penélope García is the hero of the day
Rating: 6