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'Criminal Minds' fan recap: The case of the graffiti killer

Season 11 | Episode 5 | “The Night Watch” | Aired Oct 28, 2015

So far this season, we’ve had terrorism, face-paint killers, and motorcycle hoodlums. In this episode of Criminal Minds, a missing baby and a string of murders brings the competitive world of street art to the forefront. What starts as a simple case of “find the killer” evolves into the most shocking ending we’ve seen thus far.

We open with a street artist creating a piece with unusual materials: springs, a giant mouse trap, and a human body hung upside down from a rope. In a true Tom and Jerry moment, the trap snaps shut on the body, and WHAM. We have our first victim.

A victim gets killed Tom and Jerry style in season 11, episode 5 of Criminal Minds.

Meanwhile, Tara comes home to her fiancé after a long day of interviewing serial killers and studying their behavior. Her fiancé is none too happy about her long hours and, after a two-minute discussion, announces he’s moving back to San Francisco. He’s sick of coming second to Tara’s work. A real jerk move, but Tara handles it with a quiet confidence.

The next morning, Tara is all business as Garcia lays out the Looney Tunes killing. The victim was Russel Pearson, a local reformer who was recently in the news for corruption. The mousetrap piece is signed by Morpheus, a reclusive street artist whose identity is a secret (much like the real-world Banksy). Why Pearson? Wheels up in 20 to find out!

As the team leaves, a shadowy figure snatches a baby from the crib of a wealthy family. As the unsub spray-paints the camera, our first thought is Morpheus. The game is afoot!

The investigation
The baby in question is young Corinne Wallace, daughter to Katherine and Stuart. At first, all signs point to Morpheus: Stuart’s business was recently vandalized, and all of the signatures match. The jerk even took Corrine’s stuffed giraffe. From the evidence, step one is clear: Find out Morpheus’ true identity.


While Garcia hunts down a person who’s never been seen in public, Morgan interviews Marcus Ivy, a local street artist who took down Morpheus’s most recent installation. According to Marcus, the world of street art is like gang warfare. Taking down Morpheus’s work was part of the game. He’s convinced Morpheus’s sudden crime spree is nothing more than a deadly publicity stunt.

As Marcus talks, we cut to our unsub dipping roses in black paint with a wailing Corrine next to him. The baby seems safe. For now.

Meanwhile, Garcia is at a dead end. Nothing makes sense, until a new piece of information comes in. Marcus never made it to his gallery showing that evening. Rossi and Tara investigate and end up arriving at a large art piece. The scene is an exaggerated baby’s room, complete with giant mobile, Corrine’s giraffe in a tiny crib, and Marcus hanging from the ceiling. Found him!

A second victim is found hanging from the rafters in season 11, episode 5 of Criminal Minds.

The ramp-up
At the new crime scene, Reid makes a shocking discovery. Morpheus’s signature, which has been on every piece of evidence thus far, has subtle differences compared to his older work. Using Reid magic, we learn that Morpheus is being framed. The killings are being done by an impostor.

After a “poring over the clues” montage, Garcia discovers Morpheus’s associate, Cory Marlin. He fits the slim profile they’ve built. He’s an art enthusiast with a criminal record whose travel patterns match Morpheus’s exactly. If their relationship soured, he could be getting revenge.

Reid also discovers a piece of evidence. The “Marcus death piece” featured a baby blanket identical to a piece done by the real Morpheus. Did the unsub have access to the same materials?

Reid tracks down Morpheus

After a quick shot of Cory hearing his name on TV in connection to a murder, the team gets a call on the tip line. A gravelly robot voice tells them to go to an address in 30 minutes if they ever want to see Corrine. Hotch and Tara arrive to find a laptop displaying the shadowy figure of Morpheus. The three talk until Hotch mentions the blue baby blanket. Morpheus, who’s claiming innocence, freaks and cuts off the conversation.

But they talk just enough for Tara to make a discovery. Based on her vocal patterns and concern, Morpheus is a woman!

Back at Cory’s place, he’s hastily packing a bag when he gets whacked in the face by a figure holding a wrench. While the figure is still shadowy, it’s obviously not Morpheus.

The closing-in
After the local police find Cory dead and tortured, Reid finally connects the mystery of the baby blanket. It wasn’t just the same material. It was actually the same blanket cut in half.

Hotch and Rossi review the evidence in season 11, episode 5 of Criminal Minds.

Thanks to some computer-aided magic, Garcia finally reveals Morpheus’s real identity. Her name is Ellen Clark. She lost a baby in a drowning accident several years earlier, causing the father, William Cochran, to spiral downhill. The relationship ended, and Ellen created the Morpheus persona to hide away from the world. William blamed Ellen for the loss of their baby and, after seeing the blanket in one of her art pieces, flipped out. His goal was to punish Ellen by destroying her credibility and framing her for the murders.

As the team tracks down William’s whereabouts, William captures Ellen and brings her back to his hideout. William gives Ellen a choice: Let him kill Corrine or take the bullet herself. After a struggle, Ellen agrees to die. William takes her up to the roof and, just as he’s about to finish her off, Hotch arrives with the BAU.

Tara deals with alot in season 11, episode 5 of Criminal Minds.

What happens next is the biggest shock of the season thus far. William grabs Ellen and jumps off of the roof. The two plummet to the ground, conveniently painted with an “RIP Morpheus” art piece, and die together.

Corrine is reunited with her parents. As the team flies home, Tara spends a bit of time with Rossi discussing relationships. The final shot of Tara back in the prison interviewing the serial killer shows her resolve. She is who she is, and she will never compromise her drive for anybody. It’s an empowering end to a startlingly grim episode.

NOTE: Next week’s recap will be released a day late due to a prior commitment!

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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