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'Criminal Minds' fan recap: Star Thomas Gibson directs a jailhouse thriller

Season 10 | Episode 16 | “Lockdown” | Aired Mar 4, 2015

More than the subject of an Elvis hit or the setting of Oz, jail is a terrifying place. Crooks, dealers, and murderers all serving sentences in a tightly controlled space. But what happens when the guards become the criminals? Directed and written by Thomas Gibson, this week’s episode of Criminal Minds delves into the dirty world of prison, inmates, and the crooked cops who keep the peace with a brutal fist.

The case

We open with a guard patrolling a dark, cell-lined hallway. The air is full of tension as he notices a splotch of blood on the floor. Channeling his internal Sherlock Holmes, he follows the trail to find a fellow guard stabbed to death, his mouth stuffed with a sock.

Rossi reviews the case files with Hotch in season 10, episode 16 of Criminal Minds.

The guard’s name is Keith Rivers. He, like Rudy Hightower—who was killed a few months earlier—is just an ordinary guy making a living. While the team thinks there has to be more than one unsub, they have a lead: Leo Watson, a prison gang leader, was transferred to the prison a month before the first murder. Wheels up!

Upon arriving at the prison, the team meets Dale Chambers, head of security and the new warden. They learn about jail protocol, lack of cell service, and life inside.

The investigation

After the introductions, Morgan and JJ take a look at the body. They discover both victims each had seven fingers broken on their hands. Coincidence or calling card? We’ll find out!

Things get even more suspicious when Rossi and Morgan interview a wiseass Watson. Despite claiming he knows nothing about the murders, he flashes back to Hightower and Rivers spraying him with a fire hose just for kicks. Evidently, the two victims weren’t just “keeping the peace.”

Two guards hit an inmate with a fire hose in season 10, episode 16 of Criminal Minds.

The team then gets a breakthrough thanks to Reid, who memorizes the entire jail population in two hours. Turns out, there’s a missing inmate by the name of Devon White. And when did he disappear? Around the same time as the first murder!

Meanwhile, a creepy guy, who earlier looked like our unsub, is taking a shower. Before we can blink, the lights go out, he’s got a sock in his mouth, and he is being scalded to death. Talk about being in “hot water”! Two shows, ladies and germs!

The ramp-up

Dale and the warden ID the recently deceased as a serial rapist with “privileged status.” He’s allowed to walk around, even during lockdown, to do jobs. They also learn the lights had to have been turned off from a control room, which again points to an inside job.

After some phone flirting with Morgan, Garcia reports even more evidence. Hightower and Rivers were trading money back and forth as if they were involved in heavy betting. What’s even more puzzling is the numerous times Devon visited the infirmary despite having no history of violence. All signs are pointing to prison guard abuse.

Reid speed memorizes personel files in season 10, episode 16 of Criminal Minds.

To get more info on the men in white, Rossi interviews Sam, an older prisoner who knew Devon well. Sam tell Rossi that Devon was a great kid. He enjoyed reading, shared books with Sam, and was an overall swell guy. But he knows more than he’s telling, especially when Hightower is mentioned. Turns out Hightower took his books away just to be a jerk. Motive, perhaps?

Meanwhile, Dale and another guard show up at a new inmate’s cell. They pull it apart, discover a shank, and take him to solitary. The two have a heated conversation, a scuffle ensues, and when the prisoner threatens to expose Dale to the feds, WHACK! Dale gives him a shot with his nightstick. It’s official. Dale is our unsub!

The closing in

When Hotch, Reid, and the warden arrive on the scene, Dale lies through his teeth about Butler, the man he killed. After the warden dismisses Dale, Reid discovers something odd. The attack happened outside cell 34. Three plus four equals seven … as in seven broken fingers. Time to really investigate this Dale character!

Reid discovers an important clue in season 10, episode 16 of Criminal Minds.

As the team begins to interview dozens of prisoners, we watch Dale intimidate Tom, a fellow guard. As Dale makes veiled threats on Tom’s daughter, it’s clear there’s history there.

Later that day, Tom spills his guts to Morgan and Kate. Dale is the leader of a prison guard gang who forces inmates to engage in Fight Club-style bouts. Butler was involved in the fight that killed Devon. And how did Dale clean up the mess? By sticking Devon’s body in the incinerator. Tom assures Morgan and Kate that he’ll testify if asked.

But this is a prison with eyes everywhere. From a wall of monitors, Dale has seen and heard Tom’s entire confession! As the three talk, Dale barricades himself in the control room and unlocks all the cells in the block. He’s going to eliminate Tom, Morgan, and Kate by staging a prison riot!

The BAU closes in during season 10, episode 16 of Criminal Minds.

And it works. The prisoners rush from their cells, attack the guards, and make their way to the interview room. They bust in, Tom gets stabbed, and a fight ensues. Morgan and Kate do their best, but there are too many of them.

Surrounded by killers and with knives to their throat, It seems like Kate and Morgan are doomed. That is, until Watson arrives on the scene and tries to talk his fellow inmates down. As he does so, Hotch and Rossi confront Dale—who, like the coward he is, blows his own head off.

Back in the cell block, Watson has bought enough time for the SWAT team to arrive and settle down the situation. Morgan thanks Watson for his help, and Rossi returns Sam’s stolen books to him.

The final shot is of Kate rushing outside to take a breath after her near-death experience. It’s clear she’s shaken, but like a warrior, she refuses to let it get to her.

A stylish, tense, and well-acted episode, Thomas Gibson’s latest directorial attempt is one of his best.

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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