Criminal Minds: The Second Season (2006)

Genre(s): Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Paramount || NR - 1007 minutes - $64.99 || October 2, 2007
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2007-10-04


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Jeff Davis (created by)
Cast: Mandy Patinkin, Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, Paget Brewster, A.J. Cook, Matthew Gray Gubler, Kristen Vangsness


Theatrical Release Date: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Profilers, Profiled
  • The Physical Evidence
  • Behavioral Science: Real-Life Criminal Minds
  • Meet Kirsten Vangsness
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scenes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: None

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

The FBI’s BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit) division takes on tough cases around the country. The most ruthless criminals and serial killers are profiled and pursued by the members of the BAU which include: Jason Gideon (Patinkin), Aaron Hotchner (Gibson), Derek Morgan (Moore), Dr. Spencer Reed (Gubler), “JJ” Jareau (Cook) their computer whiz Penelope Garcia (Vangsness) and Emily Prentiss (Brewster), who joins the team this season.

While most think of “CSI” as CBS’s staple series, and at one time, it was one of my favorite shows, but after watching this season of “Criminal Minds”, it’s basically 1b and “CSI” is 1a. What’s great about “Criminal Minds” is the handling of its characters. While I appreciate “CSI” taking crime-centered plotlines with the characters coming a distant second, it’s still nice to see a show that can balance the two without becoming overly dramatic or even boring. Of course, if it weren’t for the character development, I think some episodes would become too... routine. Although the crimes are chilling and involving, it would’ve gotten old real fast.

This second season has several strong points. From ‘The Aftermath’ as Agent Elle Greenaway, still dealing with her run-in with death at the end of season one, and concluded in the season premiere, gets too involved in a case of a serial rapist. Another solid episode, ‘Profiler, Profiled’ gives a deeper background on Morgan and his past in Chicago. The geeky Dr. Reed gets his own development episode with ‘Revelations’ (guest starring James Van Der Beek).

Thomas Gibson and Mandy Patinkin are the foundations for “Criminal Minds” and probably give it more life that some of the scripts can provide. However, the supporting cast does fine work, each playing off each other, with no one particularly standing out but also not dragging the show down either.

It’s too bad Patinkin decided to make his departure after this season (for whatever reason), so it’s a shame we only get two seasons. Although his leave might not be as noticeable as William Petersen on “CSI”, I think it’ll be felt. But that’s for the season three DVD review.

Here is the episode breakdown:

01. The Fisher King, Part 2
02. P911
03. The Perfect Storm
04. Psychodrama
05. The Aftermath
06. The Boogeyman
07. North Mammon
08. Empty Planet
09. The Last Word
10. Lessons Learned
11. Sex, Birth, Death
12. Profiler, Profiled
13. No Way Out
14. The Big Game
15. Revelations
16. Fear and Loathing
17. Distress
18. Jones
19. Ashes and Dust
20. Honor Among Thieves
21. Open Season
22. Legacy
23. No Way Out, Part II: The Evolution of Frank



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Audio Commentaries – Like other CBS DVD shows, this set also includes 4 commentaries. ‘The Fisher King, Part 2’ with executive producer Edward Allen Bernero and researcher/actress Amanda Bernero (daughter of Edward); ‘The Perfect Storm’ with writers Erica Messer and Debra Fisher and actress Nicki Aycox; ‘Profiler, Profiled’ featuring Edward Bernero, actor/star Shemar Moore and director Glenn Kershaw; and last, but not least, writer Chris Mundy and actor/star Matthew Gray Gubler. These weren’t the greatest TV show commentaries, but you do get some insight into the making of the episodes and, with the stars, what they thought of their characters getting more background.

Profilers, Profiled (12:13) – Just as the title suggests, the featurette covers all the personnel of the BAU as the stars and producers talk about their characters and the change from season 1 to more character development in this season.

The Physical Evidence (14:36) – Behind-the-scenes glimpse at how some of the gruesome crime scenes are put together, though this seems to feature more sound bites than anything.

Behavioral Science: Real-Life Criminal Minds (17:26) – We get to see the real professionals side of things with retired FBI agents talking about how they profile and the behavioral signs of serial killers.

Meet Kirsten Vangsness (6:31) – Actress/star Vangsness, who plays Garcia, gives us a glimpse at her life from her time in theater to a little of her home life (cooking, clothes, etc). Interesting for the growing fan base she has been accumulating throughout the course of “CM”.

Lastly is a funny, but typical gag reel (4:30) and two deleted scenes (3:24). One scene shows a different tone to Dr. Reed as his scenes had to be reshot due to episode order and those scenes had to be toned down due a character turn.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Like most current TV series, “Criminal Minds” is presented in anamorphic widescreen and looks great. Since the show tends to be dark, the black levels look fine and colors seem just as intended.

The audio is alright, though not as impressive as a show like “Numb3rs”. The dialogue is clear and the Dolby 5.1 track makes use of some ambient noises through a scene. But since this is a dialogue heavy series, it’s more than suitable.



.::OVERALL::.

The second season of “Criminal Minds” is a solid set that includes a perfect mixture of story and character without relying too heavy on either and also avoiding the serialized nature that some viewers shy away from (myself included). You can watch one episode, skip another and watch again without getting too lost.

The DVD is well done even if the featurettes aren’t anything fantastic. If you’re a fan of the show, then it’s well worth the $40-50 price tag. For those on the fence and you enjoy other procedurals like “CSI", even though this is a stiff price for a blind buy, I think it’s worth it.