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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Criminal Minds" Episode 7

2017/08/16 | Permalink

Once again, "Criminal Minds" finds a weird way to mess with the fairly transparent "murder happens right away, team investigates it" format of the American original. This time it's not one, not two, but three completely different storylines one after another without so much as a segue to cue the audience into the fact that gears have shifted. Incidentally, that name drop which started the second section really caught me off guard, because I was struggling trying to remember if we'd ever actually seen that guy before.

First up, the case of the horrible person sending horrible videos to innocent victims' mothers is wrapped up- mostly thanks to the power of criminal profiling and the various team members making smart decisions about what strategy to use to crack up the accomplice. There is no car chase. There's a few kind of violent scenes, but overall I was pretty satisfied with the overall construction of this mystery. The solutions they come up with are pretty clever.

Next is another step in the big overall plot about some sort of ultimate serial killer. Practically speaking the main purpose of this section is to further establish the backstory of Hyeon-joon and Seon-woo. As far as I'm concerned this backstory still isn't terribly interesting, but then it's less about backstory as it is about foreshadowing for the presumed finale, when the ultimate serial killer will set the team against each other or something.

It feels germane to note that Hyeon-joon has only been on the team for five cases that we see, so to act as if he is a lifelong member of Gi-hyeong's brain trust is a tad odd. Maybe there's just other cases we don't see, which does, at least, seem implied by Seon-woo's solo trip to apprehend the underdeveloped rich guy. It's not clear to me why we couldn't just start that case from the beginning and segue that into the backstory, especially since the introduction of the road rage military otaku serial killer has nothing to do with anything.

I do have to admit that's a pretty fun concept- road rage military otaku serial killer. I mean yeah it sounds and looks ridiculous in practice but then the production team behind "Criminal Minds" doesn't really seem to care whether the drama has any tonal consistency. The whole project is just a greatest hits tribute to episodes of the American series they happened to like, set to weird remixes. "Criminal Minds" does have that much going for it, I guess.

Review by: William Schwartz

"Criminal Minds" is directed by Lee Jeong-hyo and Yang Yoon-ho, written by Hong Seung-hyeon and features Son Hyun-joo, Lee Joon-gi, Moon Chae-won, Lee Sun-bin, Yoo Sun and Go Yoon.

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