Criminal Minds (2005– )
7.7/10
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2 user

To a Better Place 

Following the final incident with Scratch, the team has been taking a mandatory break to decompress. In addition, Reid has gone through his reinstatement evaluation, he who has been ... See full summary »

Director:

Diana Valentine (as Diana C. Valentine)

Writers:

Jeff Davis (created by), Bruce Zimmerman | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Aisha Tyler ... Dr. Tara Lewis
Daniel Henney ... Matt Simmons
Adam Rodriguez ... Luke Alvez
Paget Brewster ... Emily Prentiss
Alberto Frezza ... William Lynch
Mary Jo Deschanel ... Edith Lynch
Jeanine Mason ... Helen Pierce
Tim Russ ... Agent Lawrence
Tiffany Daniels ... Wanda
Gretchen German ... FBI Instructor
Karin Collison ... M.E. Rosalind Bell
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Storyline

Following the final incident with Scratch, the team has been taking a mandatory break to decompress. In addition, Reid has gone through his reinstatement evaluation, he who has been conditionally reinstated without the possibility of negotiation on that condition. In their time off, there has been a backlog of cases. However, they depart to Naples, Florida on a case of some currency, as a female has just been discovered murdered, her body stuffed into an old suitcase and placed in a public location. She is the second victim, the first as of yet an unidentifiable Jane Doe whose body had decomposed beyond a state of visual identification. By the time the team lands in Naples, a third victim is discovered. Beyond the suitcase in a public locale, the other similarities between the two identified victims is gender, that they were strangled, and that the same old fashioned shade of lipstick had been smeared on their mouth area. The lipstick and the suitcases indicate that there is some ... Written by Huggo

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Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 October 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Palliative care is a specialized field of medicine and nursing that deals with end of life care for people diagnosed with terminal illness. It focuses on making the patient as comfortable as possible by providing relief from symptoms such as pain, anxiety and physical stress. Psychological therapy is offered to the patient and family members to help them cope with dying and losing a loved one. See more »

Quotes

Emily Prentiss: [Calls] Garcia?
Penelope Garcia: Welcome to the request line at noon with Penny. What's your pleasure?
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Connections

References The Amazing Race (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Back to basics

'Criminal Minds' has always been one of my most-watched shows and was a personal favourite for a while. Seasons 1-5 was its best period, Season 4 was especially great. It did get hit and miss from Season 6 onwards, with a mix of good and more episodes and disappointing and less episodes. Season 11 was, apart from about 5 episodes, pretty weak. Season 12 was inconsistent but generally an improvement, its weakest episodes nowhere near as bad as the low-points of Seasons 6, 9 and especially 11.

Season 13 started off very strongly with "Wheels Up", a very tense and emotionally powerful episode. While it was far from a 'Criminal Minds' low point, it's much better than the likes of "200", "The Black Queen", "The Fight", "The Thirteenth Step" and the worst of Season 11, couldn't help feeling let down by "To a Better Place". There are a lot of good elements, but it also could have been much better.

It's the case that brings "To a Better Place" down. While creepy at times, the opening scene is pretty unnerving, and the unsub is creepy while also one one oddly feels a pang of sympathy for (it's Edith that one hates the most here, that is one loathsome character), it does lack tension and suspense. Would have liked a little less of the unsub and a little more procedural aspects instead and also felt they were revealed a little too prematurely. The biggest problem though is that it's pretty generic and predictable, with a lot of familiar elements that are lifted from previous 'Criminal Minds' episodes. Even though there are a few nice twists to the case.

The dialogue at times is on the awkward side, particularly between Helen and her friend. Also thought that after such an intense and tragic previous episode that the traumatic events in that were too down-played and almost neglected here.

However, the procedural aspects are well done and very interesting, how it's all solved is not overly reliant on convenience, the team still have plenty to do and the team interaction is a delight. Really appreciated that the show returned back to basics and didn't seem to completely forget what made it so great before. There are lovely little character moments, always part of 'Criminal Minds' charm, always look out for them myself, and something that lifted lesser episodes.

Rossi has some amusingly corny lines, the stuff with the germs was cute, Reid and Prentiss' chemistry and talk together was touching and they as ever do a great job with Reid. The unsub is an interesting one, despite the over-familiarity, and Edith does evoke chills. Simmons is settling well. All the acting is very good, especially from Matthew Gray Gubler.

Visually, "To a Better Place" is atmospheric and stylish. The music is neither too intrusive or too low-key with the ever memorable theme tune, some of it is suitably unsettling. The script, apart from the odd bits of awkwardness, and direction are mostly nicely done.

On the whole, decent episode but could have been better. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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