The BAU is requested to assist on a case in Mexico to determine if there is a serial killer in the town of a police captain who attended one of Gideon's seminars.The BAU is requested to assist on a case in Mexico to determine if there is a serial killer in the town of a police captain who attended one of Gideon's seminars.The BAU is requested to assist on a case in Mexico to determine if there is a serial killer in the town of a police captain who attended one of Gideon's seminars.
The production values in "Machismo", as always with 'Criminal Minds' are very high quality, the Mexican locale is both strikingly beautiful and atmospheric and the episode is stylishly and slickly shot. The music when used is not intrusive, inappropriately jaunty or melodramatic, it may not be atmosphere-enhancing but it's not a distraction either. The theme tune is memorable.
"Machismo's" mystery itself is not too bad, and does have some tense, suspenseful and entertaining parts with some shocking murders, the procedural and detective aspects done decently. The acting from the leads is very good, particularly Mandy Patinkin. The one exception is Lola Glaudini, personally have never completely warmed to Elle as a character and find Glaudini too cold even when she's meant to be sympathetic.
On the other hand, the change of setting was a nice change and seeing the BAU solving a case in Mexico had potential to be a very interesting change of pace, but it didn't work entirely for me. It would have been interesting to see what "Machismo" could have done with any cultural or language divides, but that's wasted by numerous glaring cultural inaccuracies and the decision to have the locals speaking fluent English, making the constant beating-around-the-head explanations of Elle's ability to speak Spanish pointless and even more annoying.
Script-writing lacks its usual tightness and can sound awkward and heavy-handed. Tension, suspense and entertainment don't come consistently, and while the mystery is quite a good one it does take unusually far too long for the team to find the connection/clue to solve the case when it was so close to them the entire time and is also bogged down by too many side-plots that either take up too much time or are given short shrift, giving the episode an unusually draggy and bloated feel.
Characters-wise, "Machismo" does suffer from too much Elle and the rest of the team given too much of a back-seat. The locals are stereotypically and perhaps potentially offensively characterised, and was there anybody else underwhelmed with the unsub? To me, even with little screen time, he was explored very little and was blandly, almost anonymously played.
Overall, not awful but the low-point of Season 1 and among the weakest 'Criminal Minds' episodes. 4/10 Bethany Cox
- Jul 2, 2016