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'Criminal Minds' fan recap: A manipulative mama

Season 11 | Episode 13| “The Bond” | Aired Jan 27, 2015

Mothers and sons can have tricky relationships. Sons love the woman who brought them into the world, and moms yearn for their little guy to be little forever. It’s a delicate balance that can swing from sweet to stinging in an instant. Or it can go full mental, as it does in this week’s episode of Criminal Minds. A story of murder, mind games, and manipulation, this week’s edition brings new meaning to the term, “mama’s boy.”

Randy and his mom share a moment in episode 13, season 11 of Criminal Minds.

We open in what looks like an old folks home as a young man spends time with his mom. At first, it’s sweet. He shows her an engagement ring, talks about missing her for the last 24 years, and discusses recurring nightmares. An uncomfortable conversation to say the least.

Meanwhile, Garcia delivers the latest case. A homeless man was found dead at a truck stop. The day before, a school teacher named Claire was also found. Both were stabbed to death, dumped at truck stops with their left ears hacked off. Given that the two victims couldn’t be more different, the BAU speculates it may be a roving truck driver with a taste for violence.

Randy is conflicted over his crimes in episode 13, season 11 of Criminal Minds.

But as the BAU’s wheels go up, we learn the truth. The visiting boy with the nightmares (Randy) is the murderer, and this week’s unsub. As the scene cuts back and forth between Randy’s killing and his mom saying she’ll love him no matter what—it’s clear mom isn’t quite who we think she is.

The investigation
Initially, the BAU is Team Truck Driver. Always on the road with tons of stress, the life of a long hauler can lead to mental instability. Problem is, nothing seems to line up just right. Garcia’s initial search of possible unsubs via local trucking companies comes up blank. Everything seems too calculated to be impulsive, but the timeline doesn’t match a trucker’s schedule. Clearly, the truck stops are related, but the team is baffled as to how.

As the BAU digs up clues, Randy spends another afternoon playing Connect Four with his mom. He’s just popped the question to his girlfriend, Chloe. Strangely emotionless, his mom freaks when he asks if his dad could be at the ceremony. She violently refuses, saying it would be too painful. He’s the reason Randy and her lost so much time.

Randy

After his visit, Randy gets a call from Chloe. She wants Randy to come home and “celebrate” their engagement with her. Raaawwr! He makes a hundred excuses, but promises to come home after he finishes work. As he hangs up and eyes a realtor finishing up an open house across the street, we can only guess what that means!

As the BAU continues to wrestle with puzzle pieces that don’t fit, Randy pulls up to a truck stop and opens his trunk to reveal the realtor. He ties her up, does his deed and, after taking pictures, eyes up her ear! Time to give her a Picasso!

Another of Randy

The profile
After looking over the new crime scene, Tara and Morgan realize the unsub is losing his fear of killing. But Garcia hits on a big clue. The homeless man was once a defense attorney and the realtor had law connections. Claire, the teacher, doesn’t fit, but it looks like the unsub is checking victims off of a list. Profile time!

The unsub is white male who is killing people he feels are responsible for a past pain. Right now, he’s seeking revenge on those in the legal system who may have caused his trauma. That trauma may be linked to the truck-stop dump sites.

The team delivers the profile in episode 12, season 11 of Criminal Minds.

While the BAU is delivering the profile, Randy again meets with his mother. She’s furious at him for blowing her off to be with Chloe. She tells Randy that Chloe isn’t a good woman and she isn’t right for him. All Chloe wants to do is come between her and her son. Stonefaced, she ignores Randy’s flowers as he sulks away.

The ramp-up
At home, Chloe confronts Randy with some concerns. Ever since he reconnected with his mom, he stopped taking his meds. When Randy tells Chloe that his mom suggested he stop, Chloe hits the roof. But when Chloe accuses Randy’s mom of being a problem, Randy lunges and begins to choke her! After a tense minute, he releases and runs off.

As Randy heads back to mommy, Hotch and Rossi break the case wide open. While Claire wasn’t in law, the unsub could have been one of her students. And if the unsub was a kid, who would have a list of targets for him to go after? His mom!

Randy takes cell phone shots of his crimes in episode 13, season 11 of Criminal Minds.

Garcia does some clicking and zeroes in on Randy and his mom, Flora. Flora was raped by a truck driver, had Randy because of it, and spent the next few years killing six truck drivers in search of her attacker. The facility Randy is currently visiting her in is an insane asylum. She’s the one with the kill list Randy is acting out.

Back at the asylum, Randy apologizes to Flora for not seeing her and shows her the photos of his crimes. She beams with pride, praising his murders. After some twisted motherly love, she tells him Chloe has to be the next one to go. She’s just in the way!

Flora delivers her orders to Randy in episode 13, season 11 of Criminal Minds.

The closing-in
As the BAU gathers names and addresses, Tara swings by the asylum and has a chat with Flora. At first, Flora claims ignorance to Randy’s crimes, but Tara breaks her down. Through flashback, we learn about the horror of Flora’s rape and, for an instant, feel a bit sorry for her. As she reveals her missing ear, taken by her rapist, we feel even worse. We also learn her attacker (who’s also Randy’s dad) was victim number six.

And what’s worse, Randy was an active participant. After Randy captures Chloe and takes her to the barn where it all originally went down, we learn Flora had Randy put the final stab into his own father. Tara and Morgan use this info to talk Randy down from killing Chloe.

Tara and Morgan chase down Randy in episode 13, season 11 of Criminal Minds.

Afterward, JJ and Tara talk about a child’s need to stay connected to family. And as they talk, we see Flora and Randy wasting time in jail. Both longing to be with the other, both obsessed with the connection they once had. But, in one of the most terrifying final scenes this season, Randy goes the extra mile and cuts off his own ear to match his mom.

What started as an uncomfortable, but straight-ahead episode ends in one of the most grotesque final scenes of the season thus far. Motherly love, indeed.

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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