This post contains spoilers for the first six episodes of Criminal Minds: Evolution.
Well, I was right. In mid-January I posted about Criminal Minds: Evolution, and my thoughts on doing a “to be continued — new episodes coming in a month” cliffhanger on a streaming show. Basically I said that it took away any true drama after a bomb detonated and JJ and Luke were caught in the blast.
I watched the sixth episode on the 12th, when it dropped, and lo and behold JJ was fine (except for some dirt and bruises) and so was Luke (except for a splint/brace on his hand). By the time the episode ended, it seemed like everyone was perfectly fine with the fact that, just a day or two ago, they’d gotten blown up.
Look, trauma takes time to heal, and being caught in a bomb blast is one hell of a trauma. I mean, I give myself injections every week and sometimes I have a bruise that takes days to heal because I poked myself in the wrong way or the wrong spot. I have to believe that JJ and Luke suffered more than just bumps, bruises, and a damaged hand. No one’s even limping! We do see in the episode that JJ is feeling some type of way about lying to her husband about putting herself in danger, but Luke? Luke just goes right on with his life. He doesn’t even go home and hug his dog. (You’d think the producers could find a German Shepherd actor for him to hug, right?)
I get it: this it TV. It’s not real. But there’s suspension of disbelief, and then there’s good storytelling. I think it would’ve been good storytelling for at least one of them to have been seriously hurt. Plus it would have given the team another obstacle to overcome, and could’ve been used as a way to bring back another previous agent (or introduce a new one). I just feel like the whole bomb plot was too predictable, and that meant the results were predictable too.
Not that I didn’t enjoy the episode — I did, as much as I enjoyed the rest of the season so far — but sometimes, as a writer, it can be difficult to separate my writer self from my consumer-of-entertainment self.