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'Criminal Minds' fan recap: A twisted tale of lies and deceit

Season 10 | Episode 18 | “Rock Creek Park” | Aired Mar 25, 2015

Allow me to start this Criminal Minds recap with an “airplane quote” of my own: Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive, by some guy named Walter Scott. In episode 18, that line rings true as the BAU attempts to untie a twisted snare of politics, passion, and old-fashioned lies.

The setup

We open with a smart-looking woman in a smarter business suit walking through a hallway. As she’s gabbing on the phone, a picture gets taken of her.

According to Garcia, that was the last known photograph of Sophie Troy, wife of U.S. Senator Ben Troy. She disappeared a few hours earlier and the BAU have been called in to help find her. Ben is there to provide any help he can.

Morgan, Garcia, JJ and Kate circle the wagons in season 10, episode 18 of Criminal Minds.

When asked, Ben tells Hotch that his life with Sophie is perfect. Regardless, Hotch asks for him, his mother, and his brother, Paul, to remain in protective custody. And oh yeah, no chatting with the media.

But it’s too late: As soon as they leave the room, a reporter is already spilling the beans on Sophie’s abduction. We have a leak!

The case

Thirteen hours into Sophie’s abduction, the team doesn’t know much. The last video of Sophie was useless old surveillance footage, the abduction was organized, and Ben has had run-ins with Russian oil companies.

While corporate involvement seems far-fetched, new evidence gives the idea some weight. Organized crime intelligence has a wiretap of two low-level Russian thugs discussing a kidnapping. Turns out the department has an agent running surveillance on them, so Rossi sends Reid to check them out.

Dawnie introduces herself to Reid in season 10, episode 18 of Criminal Minds.

When Reid arrives at the stakeout spot, he meets Dawnie Loaker, a counterterrorism agent. She has all the goods on the Russian gangsters, named Roman and Taras. After Dawnie assumes Reid can’t speak Russian and Reid ruins Great Expectations for her, the two settle in for a long watch.

Meanwhile, the team learns a bit more about the Troys. Ben is concerned about what his mommy thinks, Paul is distant, and mom believes everything is perfect. She comes off as delusional and overbearing, especially when Ben walks into the room. Ben gets a big hug; Paul gives him a cold shoulder.

The Russian suspects are all lined up in season 10, episode 18 of Criminal Minds.

As the family dynamics get wacky, Reid overhears a cleaning lady in the Russian’s apartment talking on the phone to her mom, saying they need more money. One of the Russians come in and cuts the phone call short. Hmmm …

Back in the BAU, Hotch is confronted by the reporter who broke the story. She has even more information: a ransom note! She refuses to surrender it unless she gets an exclusive interview with Ben. Ben agrees and they discover that the note is a tape of a beaten Sophie reading a script. You guessed it: the kidnappers want $20 million by midnight or she gets the ax.

The ramp-up

None of this makes any sense. The kidnappers are dopes for thinking Ben has $20 million to readily spend yet were smart enough to plan Sophie’s abduction. The team goes into action: Morgan and JJ send a public plea to the kidnappers while Ben does a teary interview.

Ben asks for the interview to stop in season 10, episode 18 of Criminal Minds.

The publicity does the trick. A guy named Victor calls the BAU and puts “Sophie” on the phone to prove she’s alive. Ben is unraveling as they try to ID her, but it’s no use. The call was rerouted through Chechnya.

But what about Paul? He’s a reformed druggie who had a debt with the Russian mob. Is he involved? Morgan grills him and they learn that Ben paid off Paul’s debt. Why? Because Ben’s been sleeping with an intern and Paul knew all about it!

Suddenly, Garcia gets a break: She’s identified where the Victor call came from. The team rushes to the address, only to find a gift-wrapped box. They carefully open it and discover Sophie’s earring … with her ear attached to it!

The closing in

With the clock ticking, Michelle, the intern Ben has been sleeping with, comes forward. Both Ben and Michelle have vastly different stories. Ben says she’s a dangerous psycho, Michelle says he loves her. It’s a mangled mess of lies until new evidence breaks Ben down. He doesn’t care about his reputation anymore. He just wants his wife back.

Reid discovers some uncomfortable truths in season 10, episode 18 of Criminal Minds.

Meanwhile, Reid overhears the cleaning lady being attacked by Roman. His mind’s eye can see what’s going on; when a gunshot sounds, he rushes to the rescue—only to be stopped by Dawnie. He could compromise her entire mission by busting in there!

Luckily, Reid stops and they learn it was Roman who was shot by Taras. Taras and the cleaning woman are lovers who kidnapped Sophie for a payday. We’re not quite sure who gave the order, but we have the culprits.

But Rossi has an idea. Ben’s relationship with his mom triggers a thought: What if Ben’s mother is the mastermind? Hotch and Morgan grill Mom and uncover the truth. Mom has been pulling Ben’s puppet strings since he was a kid. If he does well, she feels like a winner. This whole thing was orchestrated by her!

Rossi hits on the truth in season 10, episode 18 of Criminal Minds.

Upon threat of ruining her son’s career, Mom calls off the kidnappers. The FBI rescues Sophie (minus one ear), Ben gets an unbelievable approval rating boost from the public ordeal, and mom gets put in the slammer.

After an adorable moment where Reid asks Dawnie out for coffee (yeah!) and shakes her hand (double yeah!), we see Ben visiting his mom in jail. It turns out he was in on the scheme the whole time! Ben is his mother’s “Manchurian candidate” and is willing to follow her blindly for his own personal gain.

As he asks his mom what to do next, we are chilled to the bone and left upset that the criminal politician will continue scheming in the name of his mother. A dour end to an episode full of incredible twists and turns.

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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