TV Recap: Criminal Minds, ‘The Inspiration (Part 1)’

Written by Kelly Duncan


Criminal Minds is not a show for the faint of heart. Particularly the Season 9 Premiere which can be described in one simple word: Gross.

If you like creepy and twisted stories, Criminal Minds is a show you should be watching. In the season opener the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) is sent to Arizona to investigate a serial rape case. The victims thus far have been petite blondes who are raped, shot in the chest, and then left in parks praying on crosses. It’s a bizarre pose and the BAU isn’t quite sure what the make of it just yet.

Once autopsy results start coming in, we discover that each victim has been forced to eat another person’s remains. I repeat, gross. This is the discovery that leads boy wonder Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) to realize the killer’s obsession with the praying mantis. It’s pretty bizarre, I know, but that’s what makes it so great. The good Doctor tells the team that the female praying mantis is able to kill a variety of animals in different ways and that when she has sex she will eat her partner’s head afterwards, sometimes even during. This leads him to believe that someone had hurt the killer in the past; he killed her, and is now feeding her head to his victims. He calls it, “projected cannibalism.” Honestly, I know they always say it’s a group effort but I don’t know what the team would do if Reid ever left.

Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) jumps to action and quickly discovers a missing woman fitting the physical descriptions of the victims they know about and realize she is the person the other victims have been eating. This isn’t the first time the show has dabbled in cannibalism, but there’s something so incredibly awful about these victims actually knowing what they’re being forced to do. Especially when it’s an uncooked head that’s been wrapped in tin foil, put on a cake plate, and left in a refrigerator. Again, gross. Now that the BAU knows the victim they are easily able to track down their killer. His name is Wallace (Fred Koehler) and the first victim, Heather, dated him in high-school. The relationship ended badly and she needed to take out a restraining order on him. Ever since the break-up, he has been in-and-out of mental institutions. It was Heather’s wedding announcement in the newspaper that sent him off the deep end.

Wallace knows his time is up, so it’s just a matter of when he’s actually caught. He does what any smart psychopath would do and packs up the severed head of his ex-girlfriend and heads off to his job as a chef. He begins chopping up bits of the head and putting it in the food for his customers who quickly realize that teeth shouldn’t be floating around in their soup. He comes out of the kitchen when people start to complain and he starts seeing visions of Heather. He never actually hurts anyone except the security guard he shot, but I’m pretty sure he’s okay.

This kicks off the high-speed chase around town that leads Morgan (Shemar Moore) and JJ (A.J. Cook) to nearly be flattened by an 18-wheeler. Luckily, they avoid that scary situation and catch their killer. Or do they? Everyone knows that Wallace is off his rocker, so when they arrest him, they are thrown off by just how calm he is. On their plane ride home, JJ and Morgan are both uneasy, feeling something is off about the case. A few minutes later, Hotch (Thomas Gibson) gets the call from Arizona. It’s the wrong guy.

Wallace is in a convenient store when he sees the story of his arrest on television. Not wanting to be seen, coupled with the realization that he has a twin brother he never knew about, Wallace bolts. I’m guessing that’s the kind of thing that can make a crazy person go a little more nuts, don’t you think? Unfortunately, we won’t be able to see how this all plays out until the second half of the episode next Wednesday night. Hopefully the “projected cannibalism” will be cut to a minimum.

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.