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A Well Known Yet Well Done Premise
Set up to appeal to those with an appetite for violence, 'The Bittersweet Science' manages to be cathartic enough for those that watch crime procedurals for the shock value, yet based in an easy-to- empathise-with situation that even those that are there for the 'gorn' might feel a bit sad.
An easy to follow plot; being away for 5 minutes in any part of the episode would most likely not change it much. 'The Bittersweet Science' does not revolutionise anything, but it's not necessarily a bad episode. It's well-developed and ends with a sense of completeness.
There is a definitive lack of character development in all respects; skipping this episode wouldn't lose you much. This is a classic reset episode, as even Hotch's current involvement does little to develop him and is inevitably rehashed enough. However, though it is a typical 'Baddy of the Week', it is nonetheless very well executed.
In short, if you have the time (or a particular interest in Hotch): watch it! It's a good episode to cool down with.
Criminal Minds: True Genius (2012)
A Return To 'Classic' Criminal Minds
For those that, like myself, are binge-watching Criminal Minds after having only previously caught the odd episode on the TV: this is the episode that you most likely vaguely remember, and that you really ought to watch again. There are only a couple dozen or so 'memorable' Criminal Minds episodes out there and this is certainly one of them!
The plot is incredibly engaging; though initially (and overall, to some degree) not one of the most original concepts for an episode, the plot is well-developed and the resolution seems just. Though season 6 and 7 are rife with forced-dramatisation and oddly placed emotional appeals, the development of this particular episode allows it to stand alone, but not as the typical 'Baddy of the Week' that we've come to expect. Instead, it is supported by its own merit: it is a good episode with great development, characters that are human, and above all it is worth the 44 minutes!
There is also an overall advancement in Reid's character, and development of the team as a whole, which is always something great to look out for in this series.