I've watched it twice, and what kept me riveted to the screen was the interplay between Plaza and Gubler, a meeting of near-equals. Of course, we fans root and respect Dr. Reid as portrayed by Gubler, but Plaza is so sharp and engaging (even when being evil) that we momentarily feel perhaps our genius has finally met his match. At times I thought the writers were leading us to a downbeat conclusion, analogous to that mythical episode where Perry Mason actually loses a case in court to his oft- humbled adversary Hamilton Burger.
Two-character cat & mouse dramas are among my favorite genres -not produced often enough due to the public's fascination with let's face it - sensationalism and quantity. Such chamber pieces are instantly considered old-fashioned and lack the SPFX to dominate and seduce (a la porn content) a susceptible audience.
But the classic "Sleuth" model to me is drama in its most heightened form. Who could have guessed that an actress previously known for comedy in "Parks and Recreation" could stand to to toe and slug it out verbally with an iconic character like Dr. Reid, but she was up to the task, never stepping out of character and creating an indelible mark of her own (if ephemeral as guest) in the TV scrapbook. I hope dramatists take note of this -with the right casting, one-on-one adversaries can't be topped, even as the writers are challenged to give each and every team member something to do virtually every week.
I would expect Thomas Gibson to play stronger role in this episode though the main attraction is of course the conversation between MGG and Audrey Plaza. The great mind game that makes "Criminal Minds" great is in every second of this episode, while you can expect actions as intermissions.
Kudos for the 10-Star acting, MGG, and Writers: Please create more episodes like "Entropy" instead of boasting on barking senseless violence.
I haven't been particularly wowed by the "contract killers" plot arc and I'm glad it's over - and even more glad that it ended with a really strong episode.
"Entropy" is by far the best of the season, and the only one to be close to a masterpiece. Would even go far to say that it's one of the best episodes of the latter seasons along with "Mr Scratch" and "Nelson's Sparrow" and one of the best of the whole show.
My only small criticism is Cat being outwitted a bit too easily and outwitted somewhat, but to me this was easy to overlook because the ending was still intense and moving (her line about her remembering Reid's name and he not remembering hers chills the blood and makes one feel so sorry for Reid) and because the rest of the episode was so brilliant.
Usually Lewis is an underwhelming character and Aisha Tyler's acting impresses even less, but Lewis is much more at ease and pretty bad-ass and Tyler gives quite easily her best performance of the season, at least to me.
What was immediately fantastic was the story. Loved that it was centred around Reid, who is one of the show's most interesting characters and whose absence during the hiatus was immediately noticeable and instantly deeply felt and the episodes that the hiatus concerned suffered heavily as a result amongst many other things. But it also doesn't neglect the rest of the BAU or what makes 'Criminal Minds' so good in the first place, which so much of Season 11 lost or forgot about.
There is tension, suspense excitement, emotional impact, humour, twists and turns, chess-like manoeuvring and ingenious verbal sparring galore, the writing and storytelling really is some of the finest in a long time. The chemistry between Reid and Cat is truly a joy, the episode provides a truly satisfying conclusion to the Dirty Dozen story arc, Reid is developed absolutely beautifully here and the sight of Garcia drunk is priceless.
As ever, "Entropy" is incredibly well-made, hauntingly scored, tightly directed, majestically paced (one of few of the season to be rushed or dull) and as said the writing is the best of 'Criminal Minds' in years. The acting is the best it's been in a while too. Matthew Gray Gubler is phenomenal, and playing one of the more memorable supporting characters of Season 11 (cool, calculating, confident, deceptively charming and subtly chilling) Aubrey Plaza matches him brilliantly.
In conclusion, Season 11 has never been better, and along with "Mr Scratch" and "Nelson's Sparrow" it's one of the best latter season episodes. 10/10 Bethany Cox