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'Criminal Minds' fan recap: Ed Asner makes a poignant guest-star appearance

Season 10 | Episode 20 | “A Place at the Table” | Aired Apr 15, 2015

Sometimes Criminal Minds keeps things simple, and other times, it’s downright crazy. It’s safe to put this week’s episode in the absolutely insane category. Featuring legendary actor Ed Asner in a touching supporting role, episode 20 is a constantly twisting story of families, lovers, and little white lies.

The case
We open to the sound of “Jingle Bells” in a posh home. Family pictures are on the dresser, a lamp is knocked over, and there are blood spots on the floor. But at least the dinner table is set … with four dead people sitting around it.

Kate lays out pictures of the murdered family in season 10, episode 20 of Criminal Minds.

Via video chat, the cops lay out the scene for the BAU. The dead diners are the Kingman family: Jenna (daughter), Lance (son), Donna (mom), and Claire (grandmother). Except for Donna (strangled), all were shot in the head. The father, Frank, and the other Kingman son, Dillon, are nowhere to be found.

But there’s one more member of the party. As the cops give the virtual tour, a guy runs out and makes a break for it! The cops catch him and bring him in.

The investigation
The blood-covered youngster is Ezra, Lance’s gay lover. Ezra insists to Rossi that he didn’t kill the family. He came over for Lance’s mom’s birthday, Frank and Lance got into a fight, and Ezra ran upstairs to hide and get high. He fell asleep, and when he awoke, the family was already toast.

Reid puts on his thinking cap in season 10, episode 20 of Criminal Minds.

Meanwhile, Reid and JJ find some odd clues in the house. Not only was there a fifth person at dinner, it looks like the struggle was carefully staged.

While the team continues to search for the Kingman boys, Garcia hits on a clue: Dillon was being supported by his dad to the tune of $5,000 a month until he was cut off 10 months prior. Could that be the trigger behind the killings?

But Hotch isn’t going to be able to find out. He gets a call on his cell and rushes off. What’s going on?

As the team searches for the father/son duo, Kate interviews Mark, the boyfriend of the now-deceased Jenna. He tells them Frank was a very stern father, constantly telling him not to get his daughter pregnant. Bizarre—considering he and Jenna weren’t having sex.

Ed Asner guest stars as Roy in season 10, episode 20 of Criminal Minds.

The spiraling story
While the team continues to dig, Hotch is at the police station bailing out Roy (Ed Asner), his father-in-law. Once they get home, Hotch learns from Jessica that Roy has Alzheimer’s. When Hotch tells Roy he’s going to stay and watch him, Roy flips. He doesn’t want any help, especially from the man who “let Haley die.” Roy still blames Hotch for the death of his daughter.

Meanwhile, a new twist emerges for the BAU. Out of nowhere, Dillon turns himself in! When confronted by Rossi and JJ, Dillon insists his dad must have been the one who killed his family. They also learn that Ezra has a history of violence, and that Jenna was a big party girl. So why were Jenna and Mark waiting for marriage before getting it on? Dillon has a theory: Mark was secretly gay and was using Jenna to get closer to Lance.

Dillon makes his claim of innocense in season 10, episode 20 of Criminal Minds.

Finally, after more drama than a telenovela, the truth comes out: Frank was having an affair, Dillon knew about it, and the $5,000 a month was hush money. The cash stopped coming when his dad ended the affair and came clean to Donna (Dillon’s mom).

The ramp up
Garcia’s fancy fingers reveal this mystery woman to be Cora Gilliam who (surprise, surprise) had to leave her expensive home 10 months ago to live in a smaller place. Pattern, anyone?

Rossi and Morgan bring in Cora for questioning. Cora admits that she and Frank had been seeing each other for almost 30 years before he broke it off. She promised to be only his and Frank took care of her financially.

Reid and Garcia pour over the evidence in season 10, episode 20 of Criminal Minds.

As the web grows bigger, Jessica and Hotch have a heart-to-heart: Roy has to go to a nursing home against his wishes. Her place is too small to take him in, and Hotch isn’t around enough. And what’s worse, the facility they have in mind needs an answer soon.

Suddenly, like a fist through a window, inspiration breaks the case wide open. The teams discovers Cora had a child with Frank. Could this be the unsub? Finally, the truth becomes clear: Mark is Cora’s son, back to take vengeance on the family that lied and abandoned him. And that’s why Mark and Jenna weren’t having sex: He knew she was his half-sister! Holy telenovela, Batman!

The closing in
Afraid to go back to her apartment, Cora heads to her old home to find Mark waiting, gun in hand. Frank is also there waiting for her, sitting at the table with a bullet in his head! As he sits Cora down next to her dead lover, Mark blames her for filling his head with lies about his dad. The “table-setting murders” were a way for him to take his rightful place at the head of the family without anyone getting in his way.

Cora gets the shock of her life in season 10, episode 20 of Criminal Minds.

As Mark tells Cora how he killed them in true supervillain fashion, Hotch and Morgan arrive to save the day. Mark surrenders, and Cora is safe yet badly shaken.

The only other loose end is what will happen to Roy. Over dinner, Jessica gives Roy some good news: She got a raise and is going to get a bigger apartment so he can move in with her. Roy accepts, but he knows the truth: Hotch is giving Jessica the money. Roy tells Hotch that he’ll never forgive him for Haley’s death but at least with this arrangement, he can be close to Jack. It’s the nearest he’ll ever be to his long-lost daughter.

Roy and Jack enjoy a little quality time together in season 10, episode 20 of Criminal Minds.

As a shaken Hotch goes to the living room to play with Jack, we’re left with a sobering end to a complex episode. Lies, disease, and deception all wrapped up in a mind-bending yet poignant bow.

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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