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