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'Criminal Minds' fan recap: Aisha Tyler shines in the season premiere

Season 11 | Episode 1 | “The Job” | Aired Sep 30, 2015

Wednesday nights have felt empty since May. Without our weekly fix of unsubs and creepers, it’s been a boring summer. Luckily for Criminal Minds fans, our favorite police procedural is back—with a leaner team, some new faces, and a brand-new season of mind-bending mayhem.

The season premiere opens with a clichéd “tough-guy cop” investigating the death of a meth addict covered in face paint. He’s ready to call it an overdose when Rossi and Morgan appear like BAU badasses. Rossi knows it’s a murder because a victim, similarly painted, was found two days earlier. Morgan finds an unusual syringe, and the two head off.

The team gets down to business in the season premiere of Criminal Minds.

After a quick reintroduction to the shorthanded BAU team, we see a bald dude with a mask around his mouth loading a gun. A terrified woman comes down the stairs and, at gunpoint, hands him a folder full of pictures. Upon seeing it, Mask Man packs up a case full of the very same syringes Morgan found and leaves. Don’t need a degree to see the signs: He’s our unsub!

The Case
After an adorable moment during which see JJ with her new baby, Hotch starts the search for her replacement by interviewing Tara Lewis (Aisha Tyler). She immediately grabs his (and our) attention with her quick wit and down-to-business attitude. She’s a forensic psychologist who’s sick of studying crazies after they’re caught. She wants to use her skills to catch them before they kill. Hotch cuts the interview short after his phone rings. Tara promises to stick around.

Meanwhile, after Morgan discovers the victims were killed via a lethal injection of nutritional supplements, Reid discovers the face paint connection: Our unsub paints his victims like mimes because he can’t speak himself. Based on the precision of the killings, Morgan deduces that our unsub isn’t a random crazy. He’s a contract killer.

The unsub takes another victim in the season premiere of Criminal Minds.

Like clockwork, we watch our unsub confront a man who’s been tied up. After questioning him on “who did it” by writing on a pad, the unsub injects his victim with the killer goop. And as he watches the victim die, the unsub pulls aside his face mask to reveal a horrific injury: The side of his mouth was ripped open and has since been sewn shut. Imagine the Joker from The Dark Knight, and you’ll get the idea.

The Profile
Thanks to some fancy keyboard-clacking by Garcia, we learn that the most recent victim put $40,000 in escrow two months before his demise. Why? To hire a hit man to kill his estranged father. Two and two are put together, and it’s time for the profile!

Our unsub is a hit man who is doubling back and killing his old customers. He’s highly skilled and probably part of the Silk Road Network, an online marketplace for all things creepy. He’s unable to speak, most likely due to an injury, and the face painting is a warning to his old clients.

We cut to an auto mechanic named Al doing some welding. Before he knows it, our unsub has him tied up and ready for an injection. But when the unsub gets a text message, he panics and grabs a tube of glue.

The BAU team tries to save a desperate victim in the season premiere of Criminal Minds.

Thanks to Morgan and Garcia’s keyboard-clacking, the BAU and the SWAT team arrive at Al’s shop. Inside, they find a frightening scene: Al has a grenade glued to his hands, and his finger is holding down the pin. Reid quickly asks for a tube of battery acid to melt the glue. Acting with the delicacy often reserved for handling a newborn baby, Reid melts the glue, Rossi catches the grenade, and throws it away. KA-BOOM!

The Ramp-Up
Back at the BAU, Morgan confronts Al. They know he hired our unsub to kill his fiancée and need to learn his next move. Al gives Morgan all the information they need to identify the unsub. His name is Giuseppe Montolo.

Reid and Morgan review the facts in the season premiere of Criminal Minds.

What follows is classic Criminal Minds. In order to discover Montolo’s motives, Reid and Morgan carefully visualize his killings. The answer is shocking: Montolo has a mole in the SWAT team. A quick Garcia search reveals our terrified lady (Betty) and her husband, Phil (a captain of the SWAT team), have been helping Montolo the whole time! But why?

The Closing-In
When the BAU knocks down Betty’s door, they discover Phil and Montolo are gone. Betty reveals that she’s the one who originally hired the hit man. Phil was not the target and knew nothing about it until Montolo appeared, looking for revenge.

As Phil drives Montolo to his next victim, Hotch has Garcia call Phil on Betty’s phone. In code, Hotch tells Phil to drive to a spot where the BAU is waiting to make the arrest. Montolo, however, is no fool. He gets suspicious and forces Phil to call back on speakerphone.

Tara talks down an unsub in the season premiere of Criminal Minds.

Remember Tara Lewis? After being silent for the whole show, she answers the phone. Using her skills of inflection, vocal rhythm, and timing, she fools Montolo into thinking she’s Betty. As they arrive, it gives the BAU just enough time to pounce on the car. Gunshots ring out, and Montolo escapes.

As Reid talks a desperate Phil down from taking the fall for Betty, Morgan runs after Montolo. The chase ends in a fight that Morgan wins, and everything ends on a good note. Betty is reunited with her husband, and Montolo is on his way to prison.

Or is he?

After the action, Lewis quips about her day being the best job interview ever. Hotch smiles and, much to the delight of Garcia, agrees to take her on as a new member of the team.

Hotch and Garcia welcomes Tara to the BAU team in the season premiere of Criminal Minds.

But all is not well. Morgan confronts a hospitalized Montolo and swears to break the new ring of hit men. Montolo smiles and writes “The Dirty Dozen” on a scrap of paper. When Morgan asks if that’s his gang name, Montolo, in a moment of pure grossness, opens his mouth stitches enough to say, “You can’t stop us.”

As Morgan walks away, shaken, he realizes that The Dirty Dozen isn’t a gang. It’s a list of the people Montolo is planning on killing next. The premiere of Criminal Minds gives us two surprises: We have a new member of the team with an interesting skill set—and a villain who could be a season-long storyline. A fantastic opening episode to a brand-new season.

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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