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'Criminal Minds' fall finale recap: A complex family killing

Season 10 | Episode 10 | “Amelia Porter” | Aired Dec 10, 2014

Usually, Criminal Minds is a relatively straightforward affair. A crime, some clues, a profile and a killer. Tie it all up with a guns-drawn standoff, and we have the show we know and love. This week’s edition shakes everything up. Despite being downright confusing at times, episode 10 still delivers a solid story of murder, betrayal and family ties.

The setup

We open with a shady character cruising down a dark road. He pulls over and tells a young woman in the backseat bad news: Andy didn’t make it. Solution? Torch the car and make an escape!

Twelve hours earlier, Hotch and Rossi are chitchatting about their nonexistent social lives. Rossi’s solution for the antisocial blues? Head out to a jazz club. Rossi has his eyes on a singer and asks Hotch to be his wingman. Hotch reluctantly agrees.

Kate and Morgan investigate the victim

The case

Garcia lays down the details on the latest case. A couple and a security guard were both found dead the previous day. Disorganized and seemingly random, it looks like a classic killer on a spree situation. Wheels up in 30 minutes … always thirty minutes!

As the team mobilizes, we see the unsub outside a different car with a new partner. The kid is concerned about the trail of bodies the unsub is leaving and advises him to chill out. Our unsub mutters something about staring into the eyes of death. With the girl from earlier tied up in the trunk (Rebecca), he drives off.

The investigation

After learning that the unsub has a partner, Reid and Kate discover something else at the victim’s home: a large hole in the backyard. Reid deduces the hole was dug by the unsub. Clearly, he was looking for something specific.

Some quick Garcia magic reveals the house was once owned by Amelia Porter, a murderer who raped and killed a woman named Miriam several years ago. She escaped but her partner in crime, Benton, was sent up the river for 12 years. And guess what? He was released two days ago. He’s the unsub!

Reid investigates one of the victim

Back at the car, Benton has let Rebecca out of the trunk on the advice of the young kid. We learn the two kids are Miriam’s children. Benton tries to explain how much he loved Miriam and didn’t kill her. It was all Amelia’s doing. The levelheaded young boy recommends they hide out in a friend’s cabin.

Following the trail, Rossi, Reid and Morgan arrive at Benton’s father’s house to find the old man dead. After learning Amelia has been sighted out in the remote Northwest Territories, Reid pieces together the family history.

The complex family history

According to Reid, when Benton was released from prison, he went to his father’s house. There he found Rebecca and Andy (the young boy). They are his niece and nephew—Miriam was his sister. Andy, having undergone therapy for years, seems to sympathize with his uncle Benton. Rebecca is more reluctant.

Benton’s dad then came home and after an awkward dinner, threatened Benton with a knife. Benton responded, stabbed his bushy-bearded dad and ran off, taking the two kids with him. And yes, I had to diagram all that with a pen and paper.

Rossi and Reid close in on Benton in episode 10 of Criminal Minds.

The profile

Benton is extremely volatile and is highly unpredictable. He’s armed, dangerous and is traveling in his dad’s Volvo. While Rebecca is definitely a hostage, Andy may be either helping his uncle or simply protecting his sister.

Back in the car, Rebecca asks Benton to let her go. He says he can’t. It would break a promise. Andy signals his sister to put her seat belt on and purposefully crashes into a ditch.

With Benton dazed, Andy goes to check on his sister. Benton wakes up, shoots Andy and a concerned passerby. He then picks up Rebecca and speeds away in the Good Samaritan’s car.

The unsub glares at one of his victims during episode 10 of Criminal Minds.

Luckily, Andy survived the gunshot. In the hospital, he explains to Kate and Morgan that he was just protecting his sister. He also tells them where Benton is headed: his friend’s cabin.

We then cut to the scene that started the episode: a torched car and a giant explosion!

The closing in

With the cabin coming up empty, the team investigates the burned-up car. Hotch has a theory: Benton is on foot with a clear destination in mind.

We cut to Benton and Rebecca walking. Rebecca tries every trick to keep herself safe: reasoning, pretending to bond with him and even playing along when they come across two hikers. One of them even seems to recognize her.

The two arrive at an old house and find—you guessed it—Ameila! Clearly frightened, Amelia doesn’t seem like the “femme fatale” the papers made her out to be.

Benton begins to manipulate Amelia during episode 10 of Criminal Minds.

Thanks to more Garcia magic, the team has zeroed in on two possible Amelia hideouts. It suddenly hits them. Benton was the ringleader all along. The raping and killing of his sister was his idea, not Amelia’s. Creepy!

Back in the house, Benton reveals his plan. He wants to relive the murder/rape of Miriam using Rebecca as her stand-in. As he tries to coerce Amelia into one more killing, Rossi, Reid and JJ barge in. After a failed attempt to trick Benton that they’re really after Amelia, he puts a bullet in his brain. Rebecca is safe and finally reunites with her very brave brother.

Rossi and Hotch enjoy a well deserved cocktail at the end of episode 10 of Criminal Minds.

Out on their boys’ night out, Hotch and Rossi enjoy a well-deserved cocktail. Rossi, ever the smoothie, tries to hook Hotch up with a friend of his gal-pal singer. As the two chat, it’s great to see Hotch enjoy the company of another woman. I feel like he never truly let go of Beth, and seeing him relax and smile gives me hope he can move on. A charming end to a complicated yet rewarding 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

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