This was Thomas Gibson’s last episode as the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit) leader Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner, but, sadly, the hour focused on A.J. Cook’s character FBI Agent Jennifer Jareau (J.J.). The team didn’t catch one of the escaped fugitives that left their prison cells last season. Instead, CBS’ “Criminal Minds” Season 12, episode 2 focused on nabbing a new Unsub – one that likes to burn children. Yikes.
“Sick Day” was narrated in a non-linear fashion by J.J. who arrived home after a harrowing case. She recalls the events that transpired during the day to her husband, Will (Josh Stewart). He knows that she needs to let it out before hitting the bed. And so she does.
The BAU is called when they discover that someone is burning children alive. It takes some time for the team to create a profile for the mentally ill serial killer. Most of “Criminal Minds” Season 12, episode 2 saw the profilers sitting around a conference room table and discussing the case. Unfortunately, Gibson has very limited amount of dialogues in this episode. Apart from an order to tech genius Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) and telling J.J. to take a week off because she was extremely affected with the killer’s monstrosity, the 54-year-old actor was barely seen.
J.J. is especially saddened by a mother whose daughter, Francesca, was kidnapped by the arsonist. It breaks her heart to know that she was a working mother, just like her, who was trying to do her best.
After narrowing down the profile and feeding a few criteria to Garcia, the team is able to identity the killer. The sadistic pyromaniac is a younger brother who has an older sister and works in a fire-related business.
J.J. and Luke Alvez (Adam Rodriguez) head to a burning warehouse just in time since three children are trapped inside. Even with a burning hand, J.J. can only save two of the three children. She feels guilty leaving behind one child who is burned to death. It’s a good thing that her husband is there to offer words of comfort.
While J.J. was busy recusing the children, the rest of the team managed to catch the murderer.
It’s sad that Hotch didn’t get the send-off he deserved. CBS’ “Criminal Minds” made sure Shemar Moore got the goodbye he deserved but not Gibson who has been with the crime series ever since it premiered in 2005.
“Criminal Minds” Season 12 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EDT on CBS.
What did you think of the lack of a goodbye for Hotch? Hit the comments with your thoughts!