I have watched Criminals Minds from the beginning for the most part, though I have missed some episodes here and there over the years. That show in particular can creep me out more than any other because of the nature of the crimes that are part of the stories. There are times when I’m not in the mood for that type of show. I have been known to follow watching it with very silly comedy or even a cartoon or two. For the last few years, CSI has been on after Criminal Minds but that has changed. CSI is now on Sunday nights and a new show, Stalker, follows Criminal Minds. It was just about as creepy as Criminal Minds.
There are potential spoilers ahead, for both Criminal Minds and Stalker.
At the end of the last season’s finale, the newest member of the BAU team, Alex Blake decided to leave the team. That particular case seemed to really get to her, so I wasn’t surprised that she decided to leave the team. The promos for the episode said that someone would be leaving forever, so I was slightly concerned that someone would be killed off before seeing the episode.
I’m not sure how much time was supposed to have passed since the finale, but both Reid and Morgan were fully recovered from the injuries they sustained. Kate Callahan, an agent the team has worked with before at some point, becomes the newest member. The team heads off to work on a new case while time is also taken to show what looks like a regular family. Then we see that the husband/dad has severed body parts hidden in the house. It isn’t long before he is arrested, with more limbs in his car. He claims he just bought the limbs and didn’t kill anyone to get them. As the investigation continues, the team discovers he was telling the truth while the audience sees a young woman being held against her will by a very creepy looking guy. It seems like he is the person who sold the limbs to the first suspect. The young woman is able to get away, after losing an arm, just as the team is arriving. They believe that they have captured the person responsible for the disappearance of several young women, though Kate does raise a few questions. The last bit of the episode shows another woman runner being kidnapped and then someone looking at some sort of website where it looks like women are sold to the highest bidder. It seems like the show is setting up another ongoing major villain.
When I first saw promos for Stalker, I wasn’t planning to watch it. Somehow, I didn’t hear that CSI was moved to Sunday nights and that Stalker would be on after Criminal Minds. I really just didn’t change the channel after Criminal Minds since there wasn’t anything else I wanted to watch on at that time. I’m not sure what I think of the show yet or if I will watch more. It seems like there is some potential there, but it has to be handled correctly.
Within the first few minutes a beautiful young woman is confronted by her stalker. Things don’t go well and it ends with him setting her vehicle on fire with her inside. That has clearly escalated beyond stalking. Later we see Jack Larson, a new detective joining the special stalking unit with the Los Angeles police department led by Beth Davis. She is not happy with Jack at first, something that doesn’t improve when he cracks a few stupid jokes. Another pretty young woman is doused in gas in an elevator, but she manages to get away. In addition to that case, Beth is also trying to help a male college student who says his former roommate is stalking him. The roommate is from a wealthy family, which makes it even harder to deal with. They discover two men had been working together to stalk both women, though one of them turned far more violent and wanted to burn the women alive for some reason. I honestly can’t remember if a reason for that was given.
A little bit comes out about both Beth and Jack during the episode. It seems very obvious that Beth was a stalking victim sometime in her past. She has a ritual every night at home, going around checking all the window locks and closing the sheer curtains before activating an alarm system. It does seem like she wants to help people being stalked, though sometimes she goes too far. She takes matters into her own hands with the rich young college student stalker, actually attacking him and then telling him that she can lie so much better than he can. It sort of looks by the end of the episode like the stalker is becoming fixated on her. She also tends to wear somewhat inappropriate clothing for work - low cut bouses - and then gets an attitude if someone notices. While I am not saying that a woman is asking for trouble if she wears low cut, tight, or revealing in some way clothes, there are things that just aren’t appropriate to wear to work. I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to that, but the writers made a point to make a big deal out of it by having Jack talk about it.
Jack has not been truthful about why he wanted to move from the other side of the country and join the unit. Taking the job was an excuse for him to be able to move to Los Angels and once again be near an ex - I’m not sure if it is an ex-girlfriend or ex-wife - Amanda and the child he believes is his son. He didn’t attempt to call the ex and talk to her about seeing the child or anything. He just skulks around the boy’s school, watching. At one point, he did take pictures from a distance as well. So John is basically a stalker himself. Amanda spots him and tracks him down to confront him, telling him to stay away. Nothing is shared to indicate that Amanda just disappeared with Jack’s son or anything like that. While I can get that he wants to see the child - though it seems like it is questionable if it is his son or not - the way he goes about it makes it very hard, if not impossible, to have any sympathy for his situation.
Criminal Minds was creepy like normal, which is what I expect from the show. Kate seems to fit the team well so far. With Stalker, I’m not sure what I think just yet. The two main characters both have issues that make them harder to like. The show has some potential along with the issues. I’ll keep watching for now. The pilot episodes can be different in some ways from how the show ends up being after a few episodes.