This Is Why

criminal_minds_cast

Well I finished Criminal Minds. I’m all caught up until whenever the Season 9 starts, sometime in the Fall, I imagine. Well something went very wrong with the writing in the middle of the two-part season 8 finale. I’m going to chalk it up to yet another example of the casual every-day male supremacist/rape culture society we live in.

It speaks volumes – to me at least – that nobody caught it, and if someone did, they sure didn’t get listened to, as it got the green light and made onto our screens for primetime network viewing.

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Here’s what happened, and yes, it might be spoilerish if you haven’t yet seen the season finale of Criminal Minds. Sorry for that, but I have to say something.

Hotchner’s brother gets mixed up in some shenanigans going on at the bar he’s working at. The bar owner or manager or whoever he was, is written as some sort of womanizing dude. He thought it was a fine idea to augment the wine he was plying his victims with, by adding in some X. You know that feel-good drug that everyone supposedly takes when they are at a rave.

I guess I’m supposed to feel ok that he wasn’t using straight up rufies or something, but WHATEVS. So the current woman he’s macking on in the restroom no less, during working hours starts bleeding out from eyes, nose mouth and everydamnwhere and BroHotch comes in to see WTF and she dies in his arms. Hence his call to his brother – our Hotch – who happens to be in NY visiting his new lady love.

So during the investigation, BroHotch is holding back information, but Rossi gets him to spit it out finally, and he mentions that he knew about the bar owner’s habit of drugging female patrons without their knowledge etc. So BAM! Right there I’m thinking ok you just admitted to being witness to a crime, lots of crime going on for years at that – I’m pretty sure its not exactly lawful to go around rapey drugging people.

The next words out of Hotch’s mouth are not oh hey well now you are an accessory, no he just lets that moment pass by without responding to it. Writer fail if you ask me, especially when Hotch is such a boy scout and up to that point in the script, he’s said repeatedly that he isn’t past putting his brother away for any crimes he may have committed or been privy or party to at that bar.

But I guess serial killers are on his radar, and serial rapists are not. So his brother gets a pass.

Bad enough, that, BUT! When they are questioning one of the female bar employees and she says the same thing BroHotch just said about the rapey drugging dude, and the next thing that gets said by whoever is interrogating her is – oh hey that makes you an accessory to his crimes.

Ok what just happened??

White male, scripted as the brother to the show’s white male lead, gets a pass on being an accessory to drugging and rape, but the female character gets slammed with the charge for admitting the exact same thing?

And also, the way the whole scenario is mentioned, is like Oh Well, That Is Just The Way It Is. Like it was OK for that guy to be drugging women without their knowledge, but objections were only raised when the drug became tainted, and killed off the women who ingested it, instead of just making them susceptible to being raped. Seriously??

Everyone who worked at that bar knew that the guy was drugging those women, and had watched it going on for YEARS. Nobody did anything to stop it, because, well, rape happens, boys will be boys, chicks who go out drinking are asking for it anyways, so slipping in drugs isn’t a big deal? I’m sorry, WHAT?

The writers saw nothing really too much wrong with that scenario, as they had ample time to have any number of the characters talk about how awful that is, but none were written to even remark about it, other than casually. Nobody caught or cared about the inequality being shown – BroHotch gets a pass, the female employee gets charged. That was just fine with everyone, saw nothing wrong there at all. At least be consistent. Everyone gets a pass, or everyone gets charged.

At the end of the episode, BroHotch ends up actually getting arrested, though not for accessory to rapey drugging, no, not that, but because he was responsible for the tainted bottles of wine getting out into the general public. I can’t remember if they ever actually picked up and charged drugging rape dude or if he died or what during the episode, because by then I was seeing everything through a nice shade of RED.

What that episode tells everyone is that oh hey its ok to go around rape drugging women, just don’t kill them when you’re done. Because that would be BAD and you’ll end up in jail.

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I suppose I could pretty easily find out who were the writers for that episode and try to contact them and express my disappointment for the extreme FAILage, but well check this out:

What went on during the negotiations with the actors before signing on for two more seasons –

Gibson (Hotch) and Mantegna (Rossi) were reportedly the first to be close to signing on for the new season; Moore’s (Derek) negotiations were said to go on longer, while Vangsness (Garcia) and Cook (JJ) rejected their offers and banded together to seek salaries closer to that of their male co-stars.

According to Deadline, all of the aforementioned five have signed new two-year deals with the crime drama, and though Cook and Vangsness did not achieve pay equal to their male co-stars, they did receive significant raises.

Remember my post about Equal Pay for Equal Work? Yeah see this is REAL. It is No Joke. And it happens everywhere, everyday all the time. I have a feeling any complaints about misogynistic writing are going to fall on deaf ears.

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And I’ve noticed something else. While it might not be apparent to those who watched this show over the years, one episode per week, I gulped down the seasons nearly back to back over the last month or two. I’ve noticed that the violence towards women has gone from pretty demure, meaning not actually shown on screen, to rather lengthy depictions of what serial killers do to their predominantly female victims.

At first it those types of details were just spoken about via dialogue from the characters, and the grisly end results shown fleetingly via crime scene photos on the wall.

As the seasons went on, the shots of the photos were more lingering, as well as the addition of showing the serial killers doing what they do. Not as bad as it could have been, had this show been on cable, but I think they were pushing the network television limits.

I am not sure what the next two seasons will be like, but if I go by the track record so far, my enjoyment of this series is going to continue to be squashed by having to slam my eyes shut, and block my ears to what is being shown on my screen. Ick.

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Anyone know what actually happened if anything to the rape drugging dude bar owner guy? I’m very reluctant to go back and view that episode to find out. But I’m curious to know.
What think you? Writer’s fail? Show producers fail? Network fail? Status quo – so shup and get over it? Not a big deal? 
Think the on-screen violence will continue or get toned down over the next two seasons? Yeah, I know its a serial killer show, but it started out being just fine they way it was being handled, to what I consider gratuitous scenes that were bad enough just being verbalized.
PS This new WP dashboard SUCKS.
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