Admittedly showrunner/episode writer Erica Messer had her work cut out for her in the Season 8 opener. In 43 minutes she had to: introduce a new character, give the character some “character,” tie her into two existing characters, write a solvable crime, show what the existing characters did on summer vacay, plant the seed for a series-long criminal arc keep existing viewers happy/interested while intriguing new viewers so the suits upstairs would be, like, WTG Criminal Minds. Yes, that was a ridiculous run-on sentence, which is kinda what this episode felt like–the run-on sentence from hell that would make your high school English teacher break out in hives.
I would love to coherently recap the actual crime our intrepid profilers “solved”, however I’d have to watch it three more times, and this ep doesn’t warrant a repeat viewing. As usual the actors were great–they always are on this show–but from a writing perspective, I found “The Silencer” difficult to follow, full of exposition, way too much dialogue for normal people (unless they have Red Bull intravenously fed through them every half hour) and an ending that was supposed to be creepy, but just wasn’t.
Maybe I’m jaded. Maybe after seven seasons I can’t help but see the formula seeping through the show. Maybe Messer was trying to cram too much into one episode, which ended up dulling the impact of this week’s criminal mind. I don’t know. I’m not ready to give up on this show…but I’m not lowering my expectations, either. And–this is important–neither should you.