Friday, February 17, 2012

CM_SetReport Chat Transcript for Rick Dunkle 02-16-12

RICK DUNKLE "RD": Hi y'all. Happy to be here. Week's been pretty non-news heavy re: Criminal Minds… so I'm sure none of you have any questions for me. But I guess we can start anyway.

JaniceKatharine: Hi Rick, thank you for your time. How are you going to write the season finale now that Paget's going to leave?

RD: Immediately with the tough ones, I like it... Luckily we have advanced notice so re: her Paget/Prentiss' departure so we have time to figure out the best story to facilitate the character's grand finale. How we do that will be a highly debated topic in the writers room for the next several weeks... It's interesting because as many of you know we had a pretty good idea where the season was heading and now we'll have to alter that a bit… But this show is nothing new to change and we'll make it work and give the character a worthy out. I remember writing Slave of Duty and that story was actually broken before 100… then we decided to kill Haley off in 100 and suddenly Slave of Duty was an entirely different story. It's part of the business. That's why we've got writers who enjoy their caffeine!

SmileyGidget: Hey Rick, last night's episode was absolutely amazing... It was great seeing Hotch smile some more and JJ kick butt... What was it you enjoyed the most about writing the episode?! :)

RD: My favorite part was getting to write our characters in different ways than we've seen before. Writing a casual Hotch and an ass-kicking JJ was just… FUN. The scene between Morgan and JJ was actually added the night before the last day of shooting because I was worried her sudden toughness would feel like it came out of no where. I wanted it to feel earned and also show she wasn't just sitting at a desk while at the State Department. She didn't just come back to the BAU as a profiler, she came back as a force to be reckoned with.

fran24ksawtgpb: Did anything in particular inspire you to write that car-killing scene ? that was great.

RD: You know, it came from the story itself. As we were breaking we knew we wanted to track where he was taking their cars and knew early on that Doug and Mike worked at the wrecking yard together… so where better else to have the death happen. That death actually came in many forms because we looked at multiple junk yards and the one we ended up using had the best mechanism for killing, lol. Even on the day we wanted to actually drop the car onto Rod (Doug) but the yard wouldn't let us do anything but lower it slowly… Then we thought, "smashing can be good, too, lol!"

Jasper: Between pasta parties, birthday surprises and cute little moments, do you think the focus on bringing each episode to neat emotional closure with the idea of the team as a family is prohibiting the exploration of the characters and their angst potential this season?

RD: Absolutely not. I think at the core they very much are a family and we've enjoyed the opportunity to explore that. But I also believe that the happy moments are a direct result of showing that angst for so many years. You can live in darkness without a glimmer of light at the end, but also you need the light so you can take it away and feel the loss.

MattyBangBang: 100 is an amazing masterpiece. Are there plans to do another multi-writer episode?

RD: Not this season… though come episode 200 who knows? I wonder what our anagram would be then? BO CRESE is no more… we'll have to think of a new pen name! Suggestions?

Criminallymindless: Out of the many episodes you've written, which one has been your favorite (in relation to dialogue for Paget/Emily, Paget's acting, etc)?

RD: Coda… I got to play her as the confident profiler and the very worried former interpol agent. That scene between Prentiss and Doyle at the very end is my favorite scene I've written for her because that stakes have never been higher and you can tell from her amazing acting that this SOB sitting in front of her is bad to the bone.

Hotchlovesjj: Hi Rick! That was a great fight scene that you wrote into the script for JJ. Who choreographed it? Any chance we can see more practice combats with her and Morgan?

RD: Tom Elliott, our Stunt Coordinator, choreographed the fight. I was thrilled with how it turned out and I really hope we get to see more of JJ beating the crap out of UnSubs in the future. Dream scenario: we approach a door that needs kicked down and Morgan can't quite kick his way through. Then JJ does another awesome roundhouse and the door flies apart Buffy-style! Speaking of JJ/Tom fight coordination… If you direct your attention to @cm_setreport and/or we'll be posting a behind the scenes look at how that fight came about.

Natalieee: The next episode you're doing, when is it, whats happening and how good is it?

RD: May 16. The team has to diffuse some tension and solve a mystery. Faces from the past will appear. Story lines from the past will factor in. And it'll launch you directly into the final hour of season 7. It's great! Fantastic! Brilliant even! (Read: I hope it's okay because I haven't written a word yet).

Toloveandbelovedbyme: Rick, did anyone ever call you Dunkaroo back in high school? :)

RD: No, but my middle brother did call me Rickaroo! Probably because he was a Dunkaroo, too!

Kelsey: What is JJ and Wills relationship status? Will they get married?

RD: They're a modern, working couple with a toddler. I don't think they have time to plan a wedding. But are they committed to one another? Only time will tell.

Laurenreynoldsisdead: Do you believe in 'ships' between characters?

RD: Absolutely. I think the 11th Doctor & Amy should have hooked up… Maybe they did! Maybe River is actually the doctor's daughter AND girlfriend. Now, THAT'D make a great episode of Criminal Minds!

Laurenreynoldsisdead: Can Prentiss turn out to be an unsub who has a french accent, slaps people to death and makes fun of their corpses?

RD: If Paget has her way… YES!

Laurenreynoldsisdead: Hey Rick! Why did you decide to show the unsubs face from the beginning and not let it be a mystery?

RD: Good question… In my original concept of the story, we didn't learn who the face behind the bar was until later in the episode but that seemed false when dealing with the Doug/Hunter of it all. We've got the triangle between Doug, Hunter & Mike and the triangle between Doug, Mike and Andrea and I wanted us to come to understand that by episode's end. It felt the only way to do that was to see the face upfront, but to add a layer of mystery as to who is Hunter? Is that Mike's gay lover? No, it's his son! Who's the father? etc., etc.

SesameSquirrel: Rick has anyone ever called you Dunkalicious? :D

RD: Aside from myself? No.

Elle: Is Beth going to be around for the rest of the season?

RD: She'll make at least one other appearance as race day approaches (7x16).

Sergiocushion: Do you enjoy writing slightly awkward Hotch as much as i enjoy watching it?

RD: Absolutely. In 7 years we've never seen it and it's just great to experience. I think it's a testament to TG that he can bounce so flawlessly between professional profiler Hotch; Rossi's friend Aaron; and Beth's fish-out-of-water Hotchner.

CM4Always: Aside from your great, fantastic, brilliant next episode, can you give us any hints about what we should be looking forward to in episodes to come?

RD: Next week's @virgilwilliams -penned up has some great Morgan/Prentiss moments; and Kathy Baker in @iKimHarrison 's ep 7x16 is just creepy good.

SSARiverSong: Rick! If a star from Doctor Who guest-starred in a Criminal Minds episode, who would you choose and what role would they play?

RD: MATT SMITH AS AN UNSUB!!! And sorry folks, NOT an in-the-shadows UnSub… If he's on the show, we're showing him up front and center… As a killer with a bowtie fetish!

Bittersweet_Dream: Did the idea of Hotchn getting a love interest this season just happen, or did it develop over time?

RD: Over time… At the beginning of the season we discussed everything Hotch's been through and how it's been so much darkness… Haley's death, getting knife-raped by the Reaper, getting half blown up in that SUV, lol, that it felt like we needed a little possitiveness in his life… And there are only so many "Jack is cute and Hotch is a great single father" moments you can play without it feeling repetitive.

Pennyj: Every week I come and ask if there will be any more focus on Reid and every week I get ignored...sigh!

RD: There's some great Reid stuff coming up in the 2-hour finale… We have an awesome bit that we want to do with Reid that we kind of sort of don't want to do until we get Jane Lynch to swing by… and there's another story line that probably won't play until season 8. Hang tight. We love, Reid, too, but every season and episode can't be about the boy wonder!

ChocolateDivine: Rick, if you could get a cameo on the show, what would you be doing and which team members would you get to interact with?

RD: I'd play a dead body in a car that gets hit by a semi and only interact with the main cast via crime scene photos of my autopsied corpse on the evidence board (see "Paradise")!

Marisa: Can we have an awesome unsub who thinks they can slay vampires like Buffy?

RD: Wasn't that Doyle? He did stake Prentiss!

wheelsup4demily: So are you planning on a cliff-hanger for the finale or something warm & fuzzy? :)

RD:Something… different… Peace amidst chaos.

Jasper: What character do you think deserves more fan love?

RD: Anderson! He's more than a pretty face!

Paula: Talking about anderson... is he going to be at the season finale?

RD: Maybe… I'm assuming he and Prentiss get married and run off together as the sun sets and we hear a wonderfully poignant quote that provides neat emotional closure.

Sophiepelosi: omgomgomg thank you Rick! MADE MY LIFE :DDDD ... I've given up on getting writers to reply to me. One last try: What sort of things do writers fight about?

RD: Everything! We're paid to fight. We argue over whether someone's pitch "works for us"; we debate what's funny, what's thematic, what's redundant, etc. Heck, we even argue over where to get lunch from. Everyone has their own point of view and somewhere we find a consensus… or try to displease as few writers as possible, lol. I fight with Kim the most. She always yells at me for stealing her ideas… and words… and... Well that's all the time we have for tonight. I hope you enjoyed because I sure did. Keep watching and thanks for all of your support! Hugs, Dunkaroo.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the chat and for the transcript.

    I wonder how the writers are going to write Prentiss's exit storyline. I certainly hope it won't be something too angsty, I don't want to see Prentiss dying for a second time (sort of...). I hope she'll leave on a slightly more positive note, she went through enough trauma as it is.
    I also hope there won't be angry feelings between her and her teammates.

    Personally, I think there's no need to replace Emily on the team.
    The cast staying as it is, with six team members, would be enough. No need to bring someone else in my opinion. I think it's even more true now that JJ is a profiler.

    I wonder who will appear at the end of the season, since you talked about 'faces from the past'. I know there were rumors about Gideon coming back for the finale, but it has been sort of debunked. But who knows....could be interesting but I don't think it'll happen.
    I wondered about Seaver, but if it's the case, I hope it doesn't mean she's back on the team.
    No offense to Rachel Nichols, who seems to be a very nice person, but I think that a team composed of six members, five of which are profilers, would be enough in the future.

    I also wonder what part Reid will play in the season's finale (since you said he had good parts). I hope he can use his intellect and put it to good use in a significant way.
    I won't mind if Seaver makes a short appearance during the episode, but I hope Reid's good parts are not tied to Ashley potentially returning for the finale.

    And I'm curious about his storyline for next season. I suppose bringing Jane Lynch back is a way to tie up the headaches storyline. Personally I'm not sure there's really a need to tie up that storyline. He suffers from headaches and I have come to see his migraines as part of the character's background. I don't think there should be a 'proper resolution' to that story. But I suppose I'll see what happens.

    On a finale note, I'm also curious about what you said about another story for Reid that probably wouldn't play out until season eight.
    If he could get a male love interest, outside of the team, I know I would be ecstatic.


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