Monday, January 21, 2013

Criminal Minds: Spencer Reid & Maeve Donovan

So, yeah. I'm a few days late. But holy hell, Criminal Minds! You haven't shocked me thusly since season five! I feel the need to use lots of exclamation points! If you're Criminal Minds spoiler-phobic, I bid you be gone.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
CHA--yeah. That's what my face looked like at the end of this episode. ^^ I'm really surprised they went there. So where did they go? Hold up. I'm getting there.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Okay, the episode started off nice and CBS-y with a weird faceless bride dream sequence. Matthew Gray Gubler still managed to look disheveled despite being clad in a tuxedo. But it was a fairly innocuous teaser otherwise.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Then Reid went off to have his standard Maeve date over a magical pay phone that totally still exists. Not only do they exist - but there are SO many, he's able to have each and every conversation from a different one. Yeah. Suspension of disbelief indeed.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Only this time, it's not Maeve he gets. It's a scary voice saying "Zugzwang." I love when things happen on Criminal Minds that Reid has to explain to everyone, including the audience. Apparently it's a chess term that means you gonna lose. Which... how unpleasant. Why does such a term exist? It's like chess trash talk.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Then Reid gets to be super angsty and sad and ask for help from the team. They have to do all their investigating off the clock because they're not even sure anyone's actually missing. That probably makes it super illegal for them to run around flashing their FBI badges. But whatever. I suspended my disbelief back with the pay phone thing.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
So the only girl who has ever been an intellectual match for Reid is in danger. And Reid is beside himself with panic. He can't concentrate, which means he's effectively unable to help. He's got to rely on the team. And when he says he's the dumbest person in the room, you just want to jump into the screen and promise him it'll all work out. Because this is Criminal Minds, after all. It WILL work out because 99.9% of the time, they get the bad guy and save the victim.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
They visit Maeve's ex-fiance and Michelle Trachtenberg opens the door. Well - there's your un-sub. I'm pretty confident any actress whose name I know didn't take the role of suspect #1's girlfriend. Bad planning Criminal Minds.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Then comes a lovely, angsty scene in which Reid talks about all the hours him and Maeve have spent chatting on the phone. It was during this scene I decided to write a post about this episode. Reid's worried those hours on the phone will be the only time he ever gets to spend with her.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
And you know what? He's FREAKIN right. Like, WTF?! Derek promises they'll find her alive. Reid will get the girl. This will have a happy ending. But Derek is a big fat liar.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Reid mentions that one time, on the phone, Maeve said super causal-like "love you" before she hung up. Reid never said it back. He was waiting to say it in person. Awwwww. Guess what? HE'LL NEVER GET TO.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
They go back to their investigation and Reid hangs around being anxious and worried and terrified.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Then he goes and plays some chess with... Blake. Had to look that up. She hasn't made much of an impression on me yet. Side note - normally I really like Jeanne Tripplehorn. I enjoyed her on Big Love. But I'm not feeling her here. Either they haven't figured out how to write Blake yet or she hasn't figured out how to portray her.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
During the chess match - which  is sort of a macabre idea on Blake's part given the chess doom message from Michelle Trachetenberg - Reid realizes that MT was likely a rejected grad candidate of Maeve's. Because we're nearing the final act break, he's correct. Through some lameo non-genius-level clues (Easy as pi? Really? That's the best you got?) Reid figures out where they are.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Michelle Trachtenberg makes Reid wear a blindfold because she knows the super angst-tastic story Reid told Maeve about how the cutest girl in high school blindfolded him and then had him take off his shirt in front of everybody. Maeve had promised to make blindfolds fun again. I'm pretty sure after this, blindfolds are irrevocably ruined for Reid. Side note #2 - their endless string of Reid was bullied in high school stories are odd. He was 12. Maybe my high school was just a happy fairy land of wonderful, but how fun is it for seventeen year olds (especially girls) to torment twelve-year-olds who aren't their annoying little brothers?

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
Whatever. Irrelevant. Okay. Now the you-know-what hits the fan. (Such a gross expression...) Reid does a fantabulous job convincing MT that he choo-choo-chooses her over Maeve. Because that's what she wants in life. He even convinces her that she should leave Maeve alive so she has to suffer with her inferiority forever. But then, THEN, he blows it all on a kiss.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
MT realizes that Reid's lying. His lips can't lie!! Ahh!!

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
The whole gang watches on in horror as MT grabs Maeve. Reid tells MT to take him instead. MT is all: 'You'd die for her?!' and Reid is all: 'Hellz yeah.' And he says it that way with the z and everything. The sad part is - that's the exact wrong thing to say because it means Maeve has love that MT will never have. Reid should have been all: 'Kill her. Whatevs. Aint no thang.' But he doesn't say that.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
MT murder/suicides herself and Maeve. One bullet. Two deaths. All our jaws drop because shit just got heavy. They didn't let Reid save her! They killed her! And it's kind of Reid's fault! Twice!  Of course, it's not really his fault. But he'll think it's his fault. Oooooh the angst to come.

Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds S08E12 Zugzwang Spencer and Maeve 5 Matthew Gray Gubler Zugzwang Maeve Donovan
And that's that. I'm genuinely surprised they went there. After so many seasons of Reid being alone and unhappy, it kind of seemed like the right time to give him some something. Instead, they decided to gut him completely. I can dig a good gutting, but still. It's really really sad. And really cruel to the character. And after season five when Pony Boy got Haley, they waited a long time to cheer Hotch up. I sort of doubt Criminal Minds has another three seasons to spend repairing Reid.

But kudos, Criminal Minds. You've made yourself must-watch for the first time in a very very long time. Maybe Reid will fall off the wagon! That'd be fun. But knowing them - Reid won't even be in next week's episode. Sigh. Spencer and Maeve, the cutest little love story that never was.

9 comments:

  1. The choo choo chooses her over maeve and pony boy got Haley

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  2. Beth, MT and MGG: excellent performance
    Screenplay by Zugzwang: well done
    Maeve death:????
    Still do not understand Maeve's death, I hope the writers give achieve good handling the aftermath of his death, as I dislike the way it worked with Reid's headaches.

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  3. Loved every word from start to finish.

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  4. whaaaa,... I just died on that episode... I was like WHY?!?!
    Poor Reid, all I want for him to end up with Maeve and have lots of babies but no... the people who wrote this episode killed my dream... FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELS!

    Great Post!

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  5. Replies
    1. Episode 12 of Season 8. The title was Zugzwang.

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  6. This is the saddest Love story! They were perfect for each other and he didn't even get to hold her once!
    I cried my eyes out after watching this episode. Season 8 Episode 20 just made me cry too.

    I don't think I've ever felt this upset about a fictional Love story.

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  7. Why will Reid NEVER be happy? WHY? It's unfair. From movie stars that live across the country, to girls who seem to love him but then die, I mean COME ON WRITERS! Seriously? Season 8 was the most intense season yet, and that's not completely a good thing...

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  8. Well if you analysis this episode (mostly the part where the whoel shooting accurre) she makes it obvious that she was gonna die " becuase knowing that she wanted to take spencer from her, she told her she would never take one thing away from maeve and spencer, agrivate her.. she still said it.. but thr thing that makes this episode really good, is the author points out he regrets saying he doesn't love her.

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