"Criminal Minds" Revelations (TV Episode 2007) Poster

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A vast improvement over "The Big Game"
TheLittleSongbird9 July 2016
Don't get me wrong, "The Big Game" is still a good episode, with great atmosphere and introduces one of 'Criminal Minds' most memorable serial killers but suffers from some lazy writing and from ending implausibly.

It's just that, for this reviewer, "Revelations" is a vast improvement, with none of the problems that hindered "The Big Game" present. One can understand about the previous reviewer's complaint about the team not quite being in the episode enough, acting helplessly (but actually to be honest they were in a helpless situation) and finding out the location late into the episode. This reviewer did wish there was more of them, but wouldn't go so far to call them useless (episodes like "200" are more extreme examples of that).

What did make "Revelations" so good however was the dynamic between Reid and Hankel, which was essentially a psychological game that was both chilling and at times heart-wrenching. The same will apply for how the drifting in and out of consciousness, as a consequence of Reid's torture, and the beautifully inserted and emotional flashbacks, which adds complexity to one of the show's most interesting characters already.

"Revelations" again is stylishly and atmospherically made, if not quite as effective in its use of darkness as "The Big Game". Music is used only when needed and is haunting without being obvious or clichéd. The writing is much more consistent here, with enough of the ingredients that makes the best of 'Criminal Minds' so good in the first place. What was also really impressive was how Reid could have easily been too much of an annoying smart-ass in lesser hands, but Matthew Gray Gubler brings effortless humility and instead it's treated sympathetically and as the only way Reid can stay alive.

Here the story is just as tense and suspenseful, with no over-obviousness, little dragged out and nothing feeling like it was revealed too early. The driving force is the psychological game between Reid and Hankel, while the ending is both nail-biting and sort of moving, in a sense when Hankel is himself and not possessed by the other two split personalities he's not that bad a guy and is someone you sympathise with. The characters are still interesting, and much more is learnt about Hankel and he is given more complexity.

Acting is very good all round, with not a weak link. The standouts are Matthew Gray Gubler, who allows one to really connect with Reid as it is a performance of great and varied emotional impact, and James Van Der Beek, again in a role that is far removed from his previous work and clearly stretched him but he gives a truly outstanding performance here. He was chillingly effective in "The Big Game" but he's even better here thanks to the character being more fleshed out.

In conclusion, wonderful episode and a vast improvement over the still good previous episode that was essentially the first of an unofficial two-parter with this the conclusion. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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amckee-6406328 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I absolutely loved this episode! It was dark, tense, and very well-written. The scenes between Spencer and Tobias were equally heartbreaking and horrifying, and JJ's guilt provided an interesting plot line. James Van Der Berk and Matthew Grey Gruber both did a spectacular job. I watched it over and over again, and it was amazing every time. The show took all the best elements of Criminal Minds, mixed it with themse from films such as Psycho or Split, and made something truly great.
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Worst episode so far
k-nilsson9616 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This was absolutely garbage writing. There were numerous of logical errors that agents of the FBI would not make. To mention a few I remember:

When JJ and Spencer visited Tobias Henkel, they thought he was a witness. Hotch knew where they were and that Tobias wasn't a witness but the suspect. He still didn't call and warned them, why?

When JJ and Spencer knocked on Tobias door and he acted extremely suspicious, they still didn't back off and called for back up. Instead they watched through the window and suddenly Tobias magically stood right behind the window watching them. How could they not notice him before it was too late?

Why did they follow him, since they have no experience or education "on the field"? Why on earth did they split up? Even I, without any knowledge about police work, know that is an extremely unprofessional and stupid thing to do.

When Spencer got caught (and what a stupid way to get caught, as the genius he is) the team did nothing. They could immediately check if he owns a vehicle and send up a helicopter searching for it. They would find it in no time and save lives.

In the end of the episode, they finally came up with the conclusion that Tobias and Spencer only could be in a radar of 20 min driving from his house because he started streaming 20 min after they left the house. How could they not think about this before, as the experts they are? After that, it should be a child work to find suspicious facilities. Did they? No! Instead the whole team watched while another family got slaughtered and Spencer almost died.

I do not understand how some reviews give this episode a 9/10. There are so many errors that I would give this a 3/10 - and now I'm being generous.
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They need to hire new writers
luvroedtahil25 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
For a genius, he was kidnapped stupidly. This is becoming a pattern, the team were established as intelligent people but they get into trouble like idiots. It is common sense...Reid identified him as their Un Sub but they still tried to catch him even if they do not have a back up. I used to like Reid but this episode really was out of character. He was supposed to be this guy who can recite statistics. I'm sure there is a statistic about policemen splitting up in an uncharted territory. His teammates however were U-S-E-L-E-S-S!!!! All they do was watch him getting tortured. I mean it is freaking rural Georgia, everybody knows everybody and they got journals too and still cannot locate him. I was hoping Reid would die to teach them a lesson. They were all stupid and pathetic.
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