30 June 2016 | TheLittleSongbird
One of the best episodes of 'Criminal Minds'
Having been a fan for six or seven years now, this reviewer does admit that some episodes and seasons are better than others definitely like with most shows, but there are a number of great episodes and "100" is one of them.
Not only is "100" special, being an anniversary episode being the show's hundredth, but it has everything that this reviewer loves about 'Criminal Minds' in the first place.
As ever, it's well made visually, being made with a lot of classy style and atmosphere and the locations are nicely done. The music, like with the hypnotic and haunting theme tune, fits very well when used (being used relatively sparingly), doesn't intrude and matches the impact of the drama on screen while not necessarily enhancing it instead of distracting from it.
"100" is incredibly well written, while the mystery aspects, Strauss' debriefing (a great way of framing the story while telling the story through a flashback structure) and rapport between the BAU team continues to intrigue and delight with nothing being out of place or pointless, the highlights are Foyet's taunting, which very effectively chill the bone and bite the nails, and the tense and heart-rending final exchange between Haley and Hotch. The characters are well-written and serve a point to the storytelling, Hotch is more interesting than he usually is (in a show where Gideon, Rossi, Prentiss and Reid are admittedly more compelling characters) and this episode demonstrates why Foyet is one of the show's most notorious, perhaps even the most notorious, serial killers for good reason.
There is also a truly riveting story, with great tension and suspense. There are two highlights. One being the final exchange between Haley and Hotch (the scenes with Hotch and Jack also bring a tear to the eye), which is definitely the single most poignant scene on 'Criminal Minds' where my reaction to the scene was the same as Garcia's (yes more so than JJ's appeal speech on radio in "The Longest Night"). And the other being the climactic fight between Hotch and Foyet, which is a nail-biting bloodbath where the suspense levels are almost overwhelming and one really does find themselves rooting for Hotch entirely. The brutal torture of Kassmeyer is also effective in showing how irredeemably evil Foyet was.
'Criminal Minds' regulars all do strong work, with Thomas Gibson giving some of his best acting of the series showing off greater emotional range than his material usually allows. Matthew Gray Gubler is also excellent. Meredith Monroe really gets to the heart of the final exchange and looks as though she was in tears herself, but it's C. Thomas Howell who comes off best.
Foyet is one of the most notorious, creepiest and most interesting serial killers on 'Criminal Minds' and Howell really is a revelation, whether through Foyet's brutal torture, where he is demonic and merciless, or through the malicious taunting of Hotch, which Howell relishes with glee. This is proof that, despite many bad performances in rubbish low-budget films (some mock-busters) indicating a bad actor, that when his material is worthwhile and very meaty that Howell can really shine, his work as George Foyet on 'Criminal Minds' is some of the best of his whole career and it's the best and meatiest work he's had in a long time.
Overall, brilliant and special episode and one of the best of 'Criminal Minds'. 10/10 Bethany Cox