EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

'Criminal Minds' recap: What goes up must come down

Season 10 | Episode 3 | “A Thousand Suns” | Aired Oct 15, 2014

Garcia’s heart went through the wringer in last week’s emotional episode. Themes of capital punishment and guilt made it a tough one for our favorite computer geek. This week, it’s time to learn a bit more about Kate in the midst of an airborne tragedy.

We open in a plane rocking some tough turbulence. As a kid in the front row smashes his toy cars (clever foreshadowing), the plane’s passengers complain about allergies, Wi-Fi outages and bridal parties. The “who-cares” nonsense of everyday life, straight out of a Louis C.K. bit. But when a final bash hits the plane and the oxygen masks fall, an annoying flight becomes every passenger’s worse nightmare.

JJ and Kate gets the bad news from Garcia. Call to arms, BAU. A plane has crashed in Colorado. Since the aircraft crashed mid flight (unusual according to Reid) and a witness saw a “streak of light in the sky,” they are being called in to determine if a crime has been committed.

At the wreckage site,  emergency workers sift through the rubble. Despite all odds, it looks like there’s one survivor: the co-pilot.

After an Oppenheimer quote, the team gets its orders: JJ and Morgan are sent to interview the pilot and Reid and Kate go off to investigate the crash site. Hotch and Rossi learn there’s not much information on the crash itself due to a radio malfunction right before the incident. Out of options, they go to interview the “flash-in-the-sky” witness.

At the crash site, Kate scans the wreckage, obviously disturbed. Reid senses this and asks how she’s doing. Kate tells Reid she doesn’t want to be profiled but makes a startling admission. Her sister and brother-in-law both died at the Pentagon during 9/11. Reid empathizes and shares his own stories of loss (his murdered girlfriend and schizophrenic mom) but Kate refuses to be a victim. We also learn the little girl from episode 1 is her niece, Meg. Kate took Meg in after her sister’s death. Nice to have a little more on who Kate is. This has to be a story line at some point.

After the admissions, they deduce why the co-pilot lived (a hard-to-believe story about seats and power lines) and discover some vomit in the wreckage. More clues for the case.

Episode 3 - Kate and Reid 2

Back at the station, Hotch and an army representative interview the witness, After a very vague description of what he saw, the witness clams up. After some pressing, he admits he knows who caused the crash but can’t say. He doesn’t trust either Hotch or the U.S. Army.

On cue, we cut to a group of army-clad wingnuts handing out weapons by an underground bunker. As they talk about mobilizing and the one who got away, they become our first suspects.

In the hospital, Morgan and JJ interview the surviving co-pilot. Rattled, he talks about severe turbulence and a jolt. He also remembers telling someone to stop. This strikes Morgan as strange. What would cause a jolt? Since it can’t be a bird (due to altitude) and it’s not meteor season, there’s only one real possibility: a missile.

With the witness’ story falling apart, Hotch puts the screws to him. After confirming he can trust Hotch, the witness confides that he can’t trust the army. Much like his theories on 9/11, the witness thinks the government was behind the crash. Why? He’s seen “covert military types” wandering around in the woods. He’s obviously mistaken our forest commandos for the U.S. Army.

Back in the station, Reid looks over the case with the local PD and Rossi. Based on altitude and the way it fell, the plane could have been hit by a heat-seeking missile. They are surprisingly easy to get. Since the flight path was modified in both direction and altitude, there could have been a hijacker, despite nothing coming up in the background checks of the passengers. No red flags means no proof.

Morgan and JJ hit on another clue. The found vomit points to the plane “porpoising” which means bouncing up and down like a merry-go-round. They learn that could only happen if the plane’s “slats” were deployed mid flight and unless something went catastrophically wrong, it was done on purpose. More fuel for the hijacking theory.

Garcia has even more information. After some digging, she’s found two weak leads: a Muslim sympathizer and David Marshak, who just so happens to be an ex-army missile technician. Convenient!

Episode 3 - Discuss

Back at the makeshift army base, Marshak and another “solider” try to leave with their arms full of weaponry. No such luck, however, as the feds swarm and make the arrest. Morgan and Rossi look like superheroes in the process.

In the interrogation room, Morgan and Rossi grill the pair. It turns out Marshak mentions a brother on various web sites, claiming they could start World War 3 if they really wanted to. Naturally, Marshak refuses to share where his brother is. Why save lives when you can lawyer up?

After getting nothing from Marshak, the team realizes these two couldn’t have done it. Not only are they dummies, they’re followers, not instigators. Luckily, Reid has some interesting info via the plane’s schematics. After sharing some fascinating facts about airline construction, he deduces the plane could not have been hit by something external. The slats had to have been deployed manually by either the pilot or the co-pilot.

Back in the hospital, Morgan and JJ re-interview the co-pilot. The co-pilot’s wife tells Morgan that her husband had some mental issues a few years ago and recently stopped taking his meds. The wife also claims the pilot (not her husband) was housing a “grad student from the Middle East.” After some probing by JJ, the co-pilot admits to turning off the radio. He just can’t remember why he did it.

Just as they’ve narrowed the suspect list to two people, the plane’s “black box” is found. After listening to the recording, they learn the pilots were not in on the plot. The radio was turned off because they lost control and tried to reset the entire system. Since nobody on board messed with anything internally, there’s only one conclusion. Somebody was controlling the plane from the outside. The aircraft wasn’t’ hijacked. It was hacked. The team now realizes this isn’t a terrorist with a political agenda. This is a mass serial killer!

Episode 3 - Approach

On cue, we cut to a generic creepy cabin where the un-sub looks at his computer screen and sees five planes on his radar screen. Hotch is right. This isn’t going to stop with one crash. The un-sub has a sky full of airborne toys to play with. And as he learns the co-pilot is still alive, foiling his plan for complete annihilation, he decides on a brand new target.

Back on the ground, things are getting crazy. The press is closing in and the co-pilot is receiving death threats from distraught family members. Morgan and JJ re-examine the plane’s passenger manifest. While they know there’s no terrorist, this is now a BAU crime. The choice of plane was not random. Garcia crunches some data and finds one of the passengers, Kristina Morrow, got a random Oppenheimer quote from a New Mexico phone number. She’s a normal person and it came from a pre-paid phone, but it’s the closest thing to a lead.

Meanwhile, the President has ordered a grounding of all flights in U.S. air space. Everyone has responded and landed except for one: Flight 1A 61. The army rep tells the team it has very little time left. If the plane dips below 10,000 feet, the President has authorized them to shoot it down. It’s now become a race against time.

Luckily, Garcia finds a new wrinkle. An Oppenheimer fan by the name of Hayman Vasher went on a bad date with Kristina eight years ago and may have chosen her flight out of spite. This also ties into motive: If he’s obsessed with the inventor of the atomic bomb, he may share Oppenheimer’s dream of destroying the masses. He’s most likely been planning this for years and used Kristina’s flight as a guinea pig. And if this was his trial run, his next target will be massive.

Back to Flight 1A 61, where the pilots start having the same radio issues the original crashed flight had. Instead of shutting down their system, they switch channels and learn they are the only plane still in the air. They never got the grounding order. The pilots try to respond to the tower calls but can’t. With fighter jets now behind them with missiles locked on, they have lost complete control of the aircraft.

Episode 3 - Airplane

With only minutes to find out where Hayman is hiding, the team gets their think on. Looking for a visible, high-profile target, they discover a high school football game is being played nearby and the stadium is in clear view of Tower Hill. A perfect place for a crazy person to watch his destruction.

As the jets move closer, the plane makes a sharp turn. It looks like Hayman knows the army is on his back and moves the plane toward Washington D.C. Garcia frantically tries to access the plane’s system but it’s no use. They’ll have to find out where he’s hiding and stop him in person. Luckily, a new clue surfaces: a call from a pre-paid cell phone comes into the co-pilot’s hospital room and they have the coordinates of its origin. Morgan, Kate, and Hotch rush to the site.

Guns drawn, they find the un-sub controlling the plane like you would drive a remote control car. They try to talk him down but he’s not interested in negotiating. He demands they call off the jets. Hotch agrees and when it’s confirmed the fighters have stood down, Hotch explains that Oppenheimer regretted his decisions in the end. This startles Hayman but not enough for him to give up control. As he presses down on the controls, the team blow him away.

With Hayman dead and the system disabled, everyone anxiously awaits the fate of the plane. There’s no radio contact at all. Did the plane crash or did they stop Hayman in time. If this were a season finale, it may have been more gruesome, but today the news is good. The pilots make a safe emergency landing. The room erupts in applause, Apollo 13-style.

At the crash site of the original flight, Reid, JJ, and Kate stand by a makeshift memorial. As they look on, Kate gets a call from Meg, her adopted 13-year-old. As Kate tells Meg that she’ll be home soon and can’t wait to see her, there’s nothing but relief in Kate’s face. While we now know a bit more about Kate and her past, we can’t help but wonder how this will all play out in the coming season. For now, I just hope you didn’t see this episode while on a flight or waiting in an airport. Me? I would have cancelled the trip. A terrifying episode!

Criminal Minds airs Wednesdays at 9/8C on CBS.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like