Criminal Minds season 8 continues with episode 3, “Through the Looking Glass.” Late at night, a drifter directs construction workers to bodies. He disappears. Beth joins Hotch watching Jack on the soccer field. They need to talkÂ—she got a job offer in New YorkÂ—after the new case.
The bodies found were the Yamadas (minus son Scott), and while it looks like the father killed them and himself, it’s clearly a setupÂ—and another family has gone missing. The Acklins are in a basement, minus son Braden.
“Behavior Is the Mirror in Which Everyone Shows Their True Image.”
Mike tries to find a way out of the basement, but they’re in the middle of nowhere and the window is barred. It looks like the point of entry in the Yamada home was Scott’s room, while Rossi and Morgan find a broken mug on the Acklins’ kitchen floor. The unsub took control by entering through Braden’s room and threatening him. Braden is with the unsub, who’s painting figurines. The unsub tells him if he behaves, his family will be safe and gives him three guesses as to why he’s doing this. If he’s right, they’ll be free. If he’s wrong, they’re dead.
Scott’s body is found at a construction site that just reopened, and the unsub wrapped him, showing signs of remorse. Reid suggests that the rest of the family was the target, with Scott a tool to control them. In the basement, a light goes on in a separate room, and through the window, they can see Vanessa, Braden’s tutor, tied to a chair inside. When Mike doesn’t say who she is, she’s killed. The light goes out.
If Mike doesn’t tell the truth, Braden’s dead, and Mike admits he slept with Vanessa. The unsub wants them to all ask themselves why they’re there. Debra posted happy photos of the family online, and the Yamadas also had a similar page set up. However, Debra was depressed, and John Yamada made withdrawals from an offshore Panama account and visited there alone. Garcia discovers that “All Eyes” visited each family webpage every day for the last yearÂ—until they disappearedÂ—but can’t track the IP.
They do find the drifter, Nathan, but he was just a witness to the unsub leaving the bodies; he’s not smart enough to carry these abductions/murders out. Braden asks the unsub if he wants money or has a crush on Mackenzie. He has one guess left. The unsub talks about samurai and gives him one to paint. They’re looking for a man in his late 40s envious of what he can’t haveÂ—a family. He was raised in a dysfunctional one, and the sons are surrogates for himself. He’s already looking for his next victims.
Mike tries to talk to Debra, who just wants him to suffer. Then the light goes on in the room again, highlighting Debra’s painkillers after a surgery. Mackenzie took them to get high and to see if Debra even noticed because she was “so checked out.” Debra’s been working hard to keep up appearance to protect Mackenzie’s future.
Mackenzie’s dating Darren, who deals drugs, and they head to talk to him. However, he’s not at work, but his coworker tells them Debra took out a loan for $5,000 and didn’t pay it back. When Braden finds himself alone, he picks the lock and runs out of the house. The police have found Vanessa’s body, and there are signs she may have been raped. Garcia finds Ross texted her the night of the abduction, but he explains he was setting up a meeting for Mike. It turns out Vanessa wasn’t raped; she’d had sex with Mike. Back in the basement, Mike reminds them the unsub said to ask themselves why they’re there. He takes the blame for being a bad husband and father. Then the light goes on againÂ—Darren’s tied up.
The unsub’s making the families pay a price for their mistakes. He gives Debra a choice: save Darren or take the money on the table. Though Mackenzie begs her to save Darren, saying she loves him, Debra says he got her hooked on drugs and takes the money. She doesn’t care when the unsub says she’s choosing money over someone’s son. The light goes off.
In both cases, the parents were sleeping separately. Both houses were remodeled. The unsub catches up to Braden. After some research, Garcia discovers that the unsub is Arthur Rykov. When Debra asks where her money is, Arthur points out the more important question is where her son isÂ—and the light goes on to show Braden’s in the chair. Arthur confirms the choice she madeÂ—money over her son’s life. She was willing to kill someone’s son; it doesn’t matter whose. Debra says she made a mistake, and the light goes out.
Arthur was raised by a strict father and loved the family across the streetÂ—until he saw the father with a teacher, whom he was questioned about assaulting at 16. Arthur accepts Debra’s change of heart, but every choice has consequences. He directs them to a gun; if they all kill themselves, Braden’s free. If they love each other, they’ll die for each other. As the FBI pulls up, Mike says he can’t choose and puts the gun down. Debra grabs it and shoots herself as the BAU takes control. Arthur says they needed to appreciate what they had. There’s no blood on Debra. It’s loaded with blanks. Darren’s still alive. The family’s reunited.
“One of the Deep Secrets of Life Is That All That Is Really Worth Doing Is What We Do for Others.”
Garcia’s waiting with drinks for them and says she will never take any of them for granted. Hotch doesn’t try to convince Beth to stay, but they’re not over. New York is just a train ride away.
What did you think of Criminal Minds season 8 episode 3 “Through the Looking Glass”?
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Â© Meredith Jacobs 2012