“Criminal Minds” Continues to Shock Audiences in Ninth Season

Criminal Minds airs on Wednesday nights on CBS.

“Criminal Minds” airs on Wednesday nights on CBS.

Rachel Spang

"Criminal Minds" airs on Wednesday nights on CBS.
“Criminal Minds” airs on Wednesday nights on CBS.

With a plethora of police procedural shows on television, it is easy for some of them to get lost in the crowd. Between the seemingly endless spin-offs of “CSI” and “Law and Order,” it seems that all crime shows are similar and predictable in storylines. However, “Criminal Minds” continues to create unique and oftentimes shocking storylines that have the ability to keep audiences baited until the very end, even in the ninth season. Along with the shock value of the heinous crimes presented on the show, the crimes are solved in a more interesting way than the hard evidence used on other police procedurals. The Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI, the focus of the show, captures criminals by profiling them based on their crimes and behavior, narrowing down the possible perpetrators. This psychological approach is an unparalleled method that elicits more interest with a more captivating storyline than just evidential research. Despite the series accumulating almost two hundred episodes, the crime drama program continues to be an original addition to prime time television.

The two-part season nine premiere  on September 25 attracted audiences with a combination of shock value and a cliffhanger ending. The storyline— which included a deranged perpetrator whose killing method included forced cannibalism— presented the perfect amount of horror movie-esque terror that has the ability to captivate viewers. The big plot twist, in which the BAU accidently captured the killer’s identical twin, left the audience craving the following week’s continuation. The premiere successfully displayed what the writers of “Criminal Minds” are best at— creating a terrifying atmosphere through original, twisted storylines.

“Final Shot,” the following episode of the series, failed to impress as much as the premiere. The plot, which revolved around a sniper in Dallas, started off as captivating and mysterious; however, the BAU’s back-and-forth guesswork at the sniper’s motivation and victim choice felt dragged out, causing the ending to fall flat. Although “Final Shot” was disappointing, the series’ fourth episode, “To Bear Witness,” displayed the same exciting, thriller-movie atmosphere as the premiere did. Focused on a deranged man who lobotomizes his victims and places small cameras into their eyes, the episode was a great shiver-inducing addition to the season.

Despite the longevity of the show, “Criminal Minds” continues to take an interesting and original spin on the ordinary crime show. It maintains the great ability to both terrify and fascinate viewers in it’s ninth season as well as it did in its first. “Criminal Minds” shows new episodes every Wednesday at 9 on CBS.