Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 1 Episode 6 Review: True Conviction

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Wheels up! Who thought that would be a saying we’d miss so dearly?

It’s been so long since the last episode that I’d forgotten about the explosion by the time Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 1 Episode 6 dropped.

But this catastrophe is the first clue that things may get back to normal again if anyone can remember what normal was like anymore.

After almost losing two of her team, Prentiss finally stood up to Bailey.

Douglas, it’s time.

Prentiss

It was such a simple thought that Prentiss delivered beautifully. Bailey had no choice but to get on board (pun intended!).

Part of the reason Bailey isn’t on board and behind the BAU as he should be is that he’s not a field agent. From how he acts, I’d be shocked to learn he’s ever spent significant time in the field.

His skills include saving money that could be put to good use and covering his own ass. Neither of those is an admirable quality when lives are on the line. They aren’t admirable even when lives aren’t on the line.

There wasn’t any time to waste getting to JJ and Alvez after that explosion. It was time to get the wheels up so they could start strong, gathering what evidence was left behind at the scene.

They were safe because Elias wanted them safe. He’s not willing to go all in, killing federal agents. He’s holding back, but the team isn’t sure exactly why.

This is where he kept his buried treasure, but he destroyed it like that [snaps] like it was nothing. Souveniers, trophies, he blew them all up because he know it would get him caught. The discipline to do that. Someone or something made this guy very good. We figure that out, we catch him.

Rossi

It was maddening that Bailey wanted to make another boneheaded move by claiming Benjamin was Sicarius, effectively closing the case while there was still a highly intelligent killer on the loose. His reasoning? Covering his ass.

Bailey tried to lay the whole shebang at the BAU’s feet by saying Benjamin needed to be the killer so the FBI couldn’t claim that a high-ranking government official was assassinated on their watch.

Here’s the thing — she was assassinated on Bailey’s watch. Nobody else but him bought into allowing Benjamin to saunter out of custody at his mother’s insistence.

Still, his lunacy and desire to pin it all on Benjamin meant Prentiss had to work fast to find evidence supporting Benjamin’s innocence for the overwhelming crimes Sicarius committed.

Thankfully, evidence began pouring in, allowing the team to piece together seemingly disparate crimes that ultimately linked back 20 years to the dawn of Sicarius.

If Bailey had said Sicarius wasn’t one person, he would have scored points. He didn’t.

It got a little confusing for a while. Connecting the photo of Maria from one of the containers worked out nicely and gave Garcia an a-ha moment, which saw her apologizing for stepping out of her box and donning a profiler hat.

If the shoe fits, wear it, Garcia! It was easy to get on board with the locations all being near 2nd Street — any 2nd Street in any city. It’s as good a place to start as any for a killer like Elias.

But then they all got to talking about parents as victims and how he’s a husband and parent himself. Given what we’ve seen so far this season, it wasn’t a connection I could easily make.

It did work theoretically, though, since Elias lost his parents before he was a teen and got saddled with lunatic killer Uncle Cyrus. He’s also a doting father and loving husband to the three women in his life.

Even typing that feels wrong. A man of his ilk — no matter how his future was ravaged at the hands of a man like Cyrus — doesn’t understand love. If he did, he couldn’t do what he does. We so often want to paint killers in a positive light, but it’s not because they belong there.

We cast positive notions onto depraved people because we cannot understand that kind of depravity.

The lack of emotion it would take to torture and kill an animal, let alone a fellow human, isn’t sensical to loving, feeling people. So we want to believe that circumstances beyond their control led them there and that they’d be better people if only (no matter what it is).

Madness ran in Elias’s family. His uncle was a killer before Elias wound up with him.

Elias already lacked emotions, which was evident as he lay in the back of a truck next to a body wrapped in a tarp. He wasn’t upset by what his uncle was doing. He was transfixed, wanting to know why he was putting down lye. He was already a matter-of-fact kid.

But Elias was also a reader, so he explored his mind’s recesses. I can’t remember the name of the book he was reading while Maria, chained to the floor across the room, begged for her life, but it was psychological. By that point, probably after years of dead bodies piling up, Elias didn’t stand a chance.

People who believe that they are strong-willed and the masters of their destiny can only continue to believe this by becoming specialists in self-deception. — James Baldwin

Elias

The Criminal Minds franchise has always connected with the audience and moved the story forward with quotes that directly apply to the situation at hand.

That James Baldwin quote was brilliant. Elias’s destiny was likely mapped before he was born. No amount of reading would have given him the tools he needed to be a good man, but he’d fooled himself well enough that he attracted a wife and is successfully (so we think) raising two daughters.

None of that gets him off the hook for his more serious pursuit of torture and murder or even for luring troubled youth, much like he probably was into his slick web of manipulation and terror.

He’s reached all kinds of people, most of whom probably already had a predilection for criminal behavior. Through Tyler’s need for vengeance, Elias almost ensnared him to do the unforgivable.

Like we’ve seen Garcia do in the past, Tyler is struggling after his association with Sicarius. He was in pretty deep after suffering a terrible personal tragedy. But instead of going it alone and taking that final leap into nothingness, he reached out to Garcia.

Their earliest encounters suggested they had far more in common than either cared to admit. We often dislike people who remind us of ourselves. It’s not always easy looking into a mirror.

It could have been the best thing to happen to either of them. Garcia and Tyler can connect through their trauma and make a difference by bringing down Sicarius. A simple walk proved very fruitful in that regard. It wouldn’t be surprising if this connection between them lasted a lifetime.

One that didn’t pass the test of time was Tara’s relationship with Rebecca.

Red flags were all over the place from the moment we met Rebecca. She was placing demands on Tara that Tara wasn’t ready to meet. She was manipulating Tara as much as Sicarius was manipulating his followers.

So your theory is really more like a conspiracy theory, and you’re using that to undermine my entire career?

Rebecca

There’s a madman on the loose, and it’s connected to your case. Would you be more interested in discovering the truth or covering your ass? It’s not Tara’s fault that Rebecca wasn’t as good at her job as Tara is at hers.

The FBI on Criminal Minds (and probably in real life) often backs the wrong horse. We’ve seen it time and again.

Bailey is a shining example, and his experience proves that Rebecca was probably manipulated to yield results where there weren’t results to yield. When your bosses want the case closed, you have to decide if it’s better to do as you’re asked or uncover every possibility to ensure you’ve got the right guy.

There’s nothing I like hearing less than, “Didn’t he confess?” Confessions are so easily coerced with nothing less than torture tactics. Cunning interrogators make suspects reconsider their own experiences to fit their narrative, so why would you use a confession as the final say in the matter?

It sucks for Tara, who was coming off of a brutal divorce when she met and fell in love with Rebecca. But she’s got the floor now. She can find someone who will love her for who she is, not who or what they want her to be. It’s what we all hope for in life.

Speaking of what we all hope for in life, JJ and Will’s marriage is right up there. After that super scary encounter of nearly being blown to bits, JJ apologized. Will could have been angry, which often happens after you realize you could have lost someone you love.

It doesn’t make sense, but it’s common. Not to Will, though. She apologized to him, which led to him apologizing to her.

Leaving a message that you’re ready to put your life on the line isn’t ideal, and he didn’t blame her for not doing it. Instead, he accepted part of the blame for not answering her call when they had just made a pact to be there for each other in that way.

“True Conviction” was a well-written return after hiatus, and there are so many balls in the air as we move toward the end of Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 1.

Elias didn’t think twice about killing Uncle Cyrus, but part of his reasoning was that he might escape a similar fate by getting rid of the guy who made him who he is. The James Baldwin quote makes it clear that won’t happen.

It could be the catalyst for Elias fumbling the ball and making errors that make him even more violent and uncaring, or it could get him caught. There isn’t going to be a happy ending for Elias Voight, and we’re in for a thrill ride seeing his reign of terror through to the end.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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