Maybe Tom Wolfe got it wrong.
Maybe you can go home again
JJ pondered this question as she returned back to her hometown and painful memories on Criminal Minds Season 14 Episode 5.
JJ was at the heart of this episode, directed by Matthew Gray Gubler. That certainly explained why we didn't see a lot of Reid this time out
She has always been the BAU's empath, and by getting a glimpse at her roots, through memories and flashbacks, now we better understand why.
The suicide of JJ's older sister Rosaline had been first addressed on Criminal Minds Season 5 Episode 13.
Related: Criminal Minds Season 14 Episode 4 Review: Innocence
But now we learned that Rosaline's death was much more explicable than she had previously thought and that the monster that claimed her was still haunting East Allegheny decades later.
That monster wasn't the local boogeyman the Tall Man but someone much closer to home
I was afraid the powers that be were going to make the Tall Man a figment of Ally's schizophrenia, and that she had done harm to her friends Fortunately they didn't take that easy way out
Instead, the storyline took a darker, more twisted path, with Bethany a conquest of the unsub, Chelsea their target and Ally an unfortunate bystander.
Being back on her home turf, JJ should have been a helpful guide for the team, if she hadn't been so haunted by memories of Rosaline and their unhappy family life
She had escaped to the University of Pittsburgh, then Georgetown, for good reason, and now she was getting to recall why all over again
Related: Watch Criminal Minds Online: Season 14 Episode 4
For good reason, this naturally knocked her off her game, and she admitted so to Prentiss. Still, from Ally's detailed description, she was able to figure out where Chelsea was being held, just in time to get her medical help and save her
But Chelsea's reaction to the heart necklace which Rosaline had given to JJ tainted her fondest keepsake of her late sister, while essentially blowing the case wide open, once JJ had settled enough to put together the pieces.
That was largely thanks to Rossi, the BAU's calming voice of reason. He helped JJ to ponder why Rosaline had given her the necklace, and who might have felt threatened by it way back when.
And it was heartening to see an enraged JJ, wanting to take vengeance for her sister and the other girls through the years of whom this predator had taken advantage.
That was the big drawback of this episode, a shallow suspect pool. There was Chelsea's father Tom and Ethan Howard, the principal. Unless someone appeared out of the gloom in the third quarter, after Tom got eliminated as the unsub, that left Ethan. They didn't even need Garcia's Google skills to winnow down possible suspects.
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So solving the case was much less work than getting JJ into the right frame of mind so that she could solve the ca..