Friday, April 13, 2012

CM_SetReport Chat Transcript for Co-EP Breen Frazier 04-12-12

Breen Frazier: Hey, it's Breen in the room. Evening, everyone.

hope: Very touching and sad episode (knowing that this kind of slavery does exist in reality).Thank you for bringing up the topic. Question: In the last scene, how did Garcia end up with Morgan? Wasn't he in Chicago and she in Quantico?

BF: The magic act was that she flew (business class on a normal jet) because she felt he needed her by his side. I felt that to show that would ruin the "aw" of the moment.

crimminds19: Great episode!! Where did you get the inspiration for it?

BF: The inspiration started last year with E623, "Big Sea." We always knew Cindi was a story we would follow up on. I wanted to do a clown episode, and still do. But I ran up against the wall of, "Why does a clown have to dress like a clown to do terrible things?" Gacy didn't. He dressed up like a clown, but not when he was killing. Finally, pitching this to Erica Messer, I said, what if it's a Morgan episode? And he wants to ruin Morgan's life, so he takes Garcia and Cindi hostage. And Messer said, "I like half of that idea, guess which half." So then we realized, it's time to follow up on the Cindi story. The first question was, is she alive or dead? We left the door to that open at the end of last year. It felt like a cheat to have Morgan chase after his cousin's killer and then for Cindi to be dead after two episodes worth and eight years of backstory. So, okay, Cindi's alive. Why is she alive? Where has she been? It felt like, if she's related to Morgan, she'd be in line with the character of his sisters -- upright, solid, can stand up for herself. So, something must have happened to her that broke her. That got us into the world of Stockholm, of dominance, submission and the fine line between that and slavery. I dug into the Jaycee Dugard story and a couple other women-as-captive true life stories. That's when Ticona, our amazing researcher, pulled a book for me on Colleen Flynn. (I might have that name wrong.) She was a hitchhiker in the 70s, who was abducted off the road. The man who took her put her in a head box. He made her sign a contract after two to three years agreeing to a lifetime of servitude. Once he got her to sign it, then he could afford her some degree of freedom. One twist in the real-life case, the abductor was married and his wife was a passive part of the captivity. The Company as a bigger concept sort of grew out of the episode, but I've typed enough.

criminalmindsislife: Hey Breen, it's 02:00am here in scotland, i'd appreciate it if you could answer this, who's idea was it to have Paget and AJ being their flawless selfs during the interview?

BF: When we were breaking the episode, we knew that Act Two would end with Morgan catching Malcolm, but no Cindi. Then, Act Three Out would be Cindi walking into the station and saying, "Free my husband." So the body of Act 3 lent itself to a series of interrogation scenes that needed to escalate. Before Morgan and Malcolm had their showdown, we needed to set the stage for how smart and creepy Malcolm was. So a JJ/Prentiss Q&A got us there. And that turned out to be more fun to write than the Malcolm/Morgan one. Because Malcolm/Morgan basically had one turn in it. Morgan confronts Malcolm, Malcolm slips up, Morgan thinks Malcolm killed Cindi. But JJ/Prentiss vs. Malcolm has a bunch of turns in the scene. Malcolm's expecting Morgan. Surprise! The women walk in. The women are completely dismissive. They bait Malcolm into thinking this is about Cindi, they say it's about John Hitchens, which throws Malcolm off. Then, Malcolm turns the tables on THEM. And it doesn't hurt that there are three pro's who are chewing up each line and making me giggle on set as I'm watching it. It was one of those scenes where I was lucky to find it in the writing and really enjoy it. Of course the first draft was also 85 pages, so there was that trade-off.

Sydney: Lots of returning characters in the finale. What's the general feel for episodes 723 and 724?

BF: Action, action, action. Tears.

NittyMcNitpicker: Did they even have chef boyardee in containers like that back when Morgan was a kid?

BF: It's not Chef Boy-R-Dee on the label, but you're right, that is the idea. Here's what changed, it went from a normal can to a microwave safe container. But I ate Campell's Chicken and Rice soup out of a can growing up, and I now feed it to my kids in those plastic containers. I also ate Cinnamon and Spice oatmeal and I feed that to my kids when I can find it. So it's a detail that I pulled from my own life, as a kid and as a parent. It also gets to a bigger thematic point of the episode. Morgan thinks this case is about him. Garcia screams at him, "It's not about you!" When he confronts Malcolm, he says, "Cindi stole this as a message to me." He still thinks it's about him. But it's not. It's really about Cindi's son. And when Morgan steps outside of himself and realizes that, he breaks the case.

LaT: There was a moment where it seemed like Morgan and Hotch were going to have a conversation about Morgan lying to his family after that initial phone call, but that didn't happen. What was the impetus behind the "That's it?" "That's it," exchange vs. a fuller conversation.

BF: We talked about this a LOT in the writers' room. The best example I can give is the end of Kill Bill Vol. 2. You've watched two movies of kung-fu, setting the stage for this incredible fight. Then, Uma Thurman gives Keith Carradine the five-points-of-death punch there at the dining room table, and you're like, "Wait, that's it?" Yep, that's it. We've had a Hotch/Morgan tension the whole season. It started with the premiere, continued with Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and culminating here. Hotch lied to Morgan about Prentiss and Strauss, but now the shoe's on the other foot.' So, how does Hotch respond? And it felt like, he'd respond as a leader. He knows what it's like to be in this situation. Would he make a big stink about it or would he let it go and say, "This is what we have to do." There's another moment I'm thinking of, Season Two of Battlestar Galactica, where the wounded Adama takes control of the ship back from Tyrol. And Tyrol has made all these mistakes. And Adama says, basically, "No one understands unless they're in that position." I think Hotch is showing that to Morgan by not making a deal about this. One more thing, Thomas had a very important take on this. We didn't have to change any dialogue, but we talked about the scene. And he said, "I would respect Morgan's decision. He made whatever choices he had to make a year ago. I would assume he had his reasons. And Hotch would respect it and keep his focus on solving the case." So the goal was to resolve the season long Hotch/Morgan tension in a way that felt real, and was unexpected. And underplaying the moment felt like the right way to go.

Natalieee: Breen, now we've seen more of Morgan's family and JJ's family is next. Will it be possible to see an appearance of Penelope's brothers in the next season? We know they haven't talked in years but could there be a reconciliation?

BF: We haven't talked about that, but it's fertile ground. Garcia's family is the easiest and hardest family to get into, because Garcia is land-locked compared to the rest of the team. So it's easy to see how the brother could come visit. But then you don't want those scenes to feel like total satellite scenes where they don't add to the story.

NittyMcNitpicker: Were there any scenes you really wanted that couldn't be kept in because of the time?

BF: Oh man, this one was hard. We had a TIGHT 56-page script. We knew it was talky, but it didn't feel excessive. Nelson had to go prep, I think, Good Wife, before he could complete his cut, so he told me he'd have to hand off his cut early. It would basically be a refined editor's cut. So we have a 43-minute run time so CBS has time for commercials. The cut I got was 54 minutes. And it was GREAT. I mean, it was a thing of beauty. The story flew, but it also made room for all the small moments. Plot connected together like a Star Wars lego set. There was nothing left over. But we had to cut 12 minutes out. And Nitty, you might be doing the math, and going, "Don't you mean 11?" Nope, it was 12 to make room for the "previously on" recap. When you're cutting 12 minutes, you're not cutting lines or pauses in the speech. The only way to get it airable is to cut whole scenes. So the first thing to go was a whole B-subplot essentially, with Dominic and Suzy Maguire, the couple who Malcolm and Cindi find shelter with. In Act 2, Suzy and Cindi talk and Suzy jokes, "Look this is all a game, right?" This comes on the heels of the profile where we talk about how voluntary submissives understand this is a fantasy. And she's living proof of that. Cindi is like, "What? No! Do you know what the cabin is?" And Suzy starts to realize, "Wait, this woman is scared." Malcolm intervenes, says, "Let's go," and we pick Malcolm and Cindi up at the grocery store. Then, while Cindi's doing a little shoplifting, Garcia has directed Morgan and Rossi to Dominic and Suzy, via the contract wording. Which Dominic has posted as a PDF online. Dominic says, "Guys, this is all a misunderstanding. The Company is just role play." But Morgan starts to read Suzy. She's being submissive, but she clearly wants to talk. And Morgan says to her, "You know the difference between submission and slavery." Dominic snaps his fingers and says, "You don't have permission to talk." Morgan says, "You don't need permission to do the right thing." And Suzy cooperates with the case. Tells them where they're headed, tells them about the Cabin. Then Morgan and Rossi are on their way to the grocery store and we're back into last night's episode, as structured. I want to give a shout-out to the actress, Elizabeth Khouri, who turned in an incredible, heartbreaking performance as Suzy -- AND YOU NEVER GOT TO SEE IT. There's one more thing that we had to cut, which I can mention much quicker. The ending montage, after Morgan says to Cindi, "You ready?" starts back at the police station. And there are a bunch of moms in the bullpen, sitting with Yvonne and Sarah. And all the kids at the cabin come around the corner and we realize the moms have been freed from their jerk husbands and they get their reunion. They leave and we hold on a nervous Yvonne and Sarah -- where's Cindi? Then Morgan, Cindi and Anthony round the corner. The reason we cut that was because it was a 3-minute sequence, all shot in slow-motion (which I wrote into the script and demanded… very foolishly). And we just had to cut that scene -- every scene, really -- to its bare minimum to get it to time. Most of the time, I feel like cuts only strengthen the episode. This one, I don't. If I could put the full 54-minute episode on the DVD, I would.

penny: So many of us are wondering if Reid is even a main character anymore? He has storylines that get totally dropped and honestly he's not on the show much. Even if he is there, it seems like he doesn't have much to offer. Disappointing.

BF: That's a fair question, but I don't have much to say about it. Obviously, we love Matthew, I love writing for Reid. But you're right, the last major Reid episode was, what, "True Genius"? In terms of the back half of the season, the only defense I can give is that we had to keep him light in "Foundation" so he can prep "Heathridge Manor." This episode was a Morgan-centric episode, so he's in it, but it's not his star turn. For Season 8, we're breaking an episode that's Reid-centric and I have another one that I want to tell. So we haven't forgotten about him. He was just light in the back half of this season. The same way that Shemar was light in the front half.

catherine: Will it be possible to have another episode where one of the team's family is in the hands of the unsub, like Will or Diana?

BF: I can't answer your question directly without giving anything away. Just, you know, don't get too attached to Hotch's brother who we haven't mentioned since Season 1. What I can say is, I like doing those kind of episodes because the threat is genuine. We might just kill that character. Cindi was really in jeopardy last night. Same with Haley and Jack in Season 5.

NittyMcNitpicker: Are they having you do any of the audio commentary for episodes for the DVDs?

BF: Yeah, Sharon and Matthew will do "Heathridge Manor" together and Shemar and I will do "The Company."

FrenchSlappyChick: What about his headaches?

BF: Nothing by the end of this season.

Sergiocushion: i love you

catherine: Are you guys planning on having JJ or Garcia-centric episodes in the next season? They're like the underdogs of the show and the least explored characters

BF: Yes, I think we will see more of them in Season 8. I think Kim did a darn good job of exploring Garcia in "Hope," I think we did some good stuff with Garcia and Kevin which will be followed up on by the end of the season. One thing about JJ... The focus of her character growth this season has been about her as a profiler. I can't tell you how great it is to have her be an equal member of the team, doing and saying everything Hotch or Prentiss or even Morgan has (at least in terms of kicking butt in a fight).

Moonfairy: Lately the episodes have been focusing more on the unsubs and not as much on the team. Is it going to stay that way from now on?

BF: No, we talk about this all the time in the writers' room, too. Next year, we want to try to balance it out so the UnSub's hidden more.

Tracey_Lane: Is Beth going to be a part of the season finale with Hotch?

BF: Beth is in the Season Finale. Was going for a joke, but I dissuaded myself.

wheelsup4demily: So I really miss Morgan and Prentiss working together as partners... Is there a reason that doesn't happen anymore? And can we expect a little M&P awesomeness before the season ends???

BF: Definitely Morgan/Prentiss' awesomeness coming up. Honestly, sometimes it's just cast availability.

toloveandbelovedbyme: I have always wondered this, are you and the chat-admin in the same room right now?

BF: No. I'm doing this from home. My 17-month old is going crazy.

carol: Breen, since you wrote "Lauren", I want to know: Was it a plan since the beginning to "kill" Prentiss or was it only because Paget wanted Prentiss killed off the show (and it had to be fake because she had a chance of returing)? I mean, if you had to get rid of the character with no coming back and Paget hadn't said anything, would you still kill her or you would have given her a happy ending? Please answer this...

BF: It was a mix of both. Our hand was forced in writing Paget off the show. Paget's request was, "Kill me." CBS said, "Uh, not so fast." So we had to write an ending that explained her exit, felt like a death, could be handled by the team as a death, but still leave the door open for her return. If it were me, as your question was framed, I wouldn't have changed anything about the ending of "Lauren." After writing for this character, seeing Paget execute her, coming up with an arc in which she's stalked by Doyle, seeing her fight the good fight and knowing about Declan, when it was time to write her death scene and ultimate resurrection... I felt, "Prentiss deserves a happy ending." And the way Matthew shot that last scene of her walking away with the Eiffel Tower in the background makes my heart soar.

swon: Breen, you're the only one who can officially clarify: what was JJ referring to when she said "I don't need a man to tell me what to do" after Prentiss asked "Do you ever..." some think it's about her marrying Will, some think something else

BF: She was baiting Malcolm and mentioning her marriage status to Will, but she wasn't, repeat, WAS NOT, being literal. In terms of something else, my wife could probably get by without me.

fran24ksawtgpb: joke joke joke joke joke

BF: Here's the Hotch/Beth joke: don't get too attached to Beth in the finale. Hotch has a tendancy to lose the loves of his life to serial killers. Oh, and Beth's pregnant. With twins. Sad, really.

Marbs84: Will we get a Hotch/Prentiss moment also? I am thinking he will be the first to know about her departure right?

BF: Prentiss is getting some GOOD stuff in the finale. With everyone. There's a Hotch/Prentiss moment that's really perfect. Can't reveal what it is, though.

ell: It's been interesting to see Hotch be ... a little soft and open with his team.

BF: I think that's Thomas' choice. It's the evolution of the character over 7 years. Think about what he's been through: Gideon's gone. Rossi's back. Pretty much every character has been kidnapped, tortured and barely saved by the rest of the team. Including him. He's lost his wife. His son was almost killed. He had to fake a death to make sure Prentiss would be safe. Then he had to explain to his team why she's back. So, yeah, I think he's playing a little more emotional shorthand with the team. And I'm glad. It shows how people change over seven years.

NittyMcNitpicker: I know how I feel on the subject, but how do you feel about the idea of replacing Prentiss? Would you want to bring in a new character? Or would you prefer to keep it with fewer profilers so more time can be devoted to each of them?

BF: First, let me say, Paget is pretty much irreplaceable. I don't know how we're going to do it. We're discussing who the new character is, and my joke in the writers room is that, every day, it's a new TV actress who CBS is forcing on us. Lea Thompson. Cynthia Nixon. America Ferrera. And the joke is, whoever it is has her work cut out for her. Because this team is a family and you can't just jump into a family and have everyone (fans, included) embrace her (or him… or Lassie) with open arms. We did this the best with Prentiss, I think. We wrote the innate suspicion people had toward her into the character. I think the new team member will understand that she has to work to earn her place.

swon: How come Rossi never gets an unsub against him?

BF: 722 is all about that. It's one of my favorite episodes of the season. Shout out to my mom in the room. Getting a question now… hang on...

ell: When you're writing an episode, do you usually have so many requirements? I mean, it sounds like there were a lot of fingers in that pie (omg, with my analogies tonight). It must be tough to deal with when your trying to complete the script for a 42 minute episode

BF: Depends on the episode. This one was hard because we had to catch up on the episode from last year. It's a personal episode, which means there's a lot more personal moments you don't want to lose. For instance, the scene with Morgan in the car talking to Garcia. That was out of the episode for a little bit. But everyone felt, "No. That has to go back in." I've said this before but Lauren almost killed me because I was trying to get a TON of exposition into the 43 minute box.

wheelsup4demily: Hi Breen's mom! Well done!

BF: But then you have episodes like Uncanny Valley or Unknown Subject from this year where the story just breaks like butter. The mystery is perfectly balanced, we tell the story just right. It shouldn't be 44 minutes. So it's a constant balancing act. This one was a surprise because I thought we had the right amount of story, there might need to be some minimal cutting. But instead all the looks and pauses and tension just overwhelmed us in the editing room.

shhtheadultsaretalking: Favourite line of the whole episode?

BF: I know "Baby Girl, you be tripping" is a fave. But mine is "There's my hero." If you watch Shemar's performance as Kirsten puts her head down on his shoulder, he does some VERY subtle work. He just kind of… exhales a little. His whole body deflates. And you have this feeling of the knight who can lay down his sword and rest. So it's not the line as much as the moment that it represents. And, even though I had to cut it down, I am still very, VERY proud of this episode. My dad called me afterward and said, "It was so good! I liked it, but I don't know why." And I said, "Is it because there weren't any dead bodies or kids in jeopardy?" And he said, "THAT'S IT!" So, there's that. That's it for me too, guys! Thank you for tonight's chat. Before I go, I want to mention that we watched some of the fan video submissions are they are A-W-E-S-O-M-E-O.


  1. More Reid. Much more. Please? Pretty please?

  2. So I guess I should pretty much stop hoping to see a fair enough bit of Reid this season? I don't know if I should hold my breath for next season either. We were promised that his stories would be addressed this season but they weren't. Although I am peeved at the dropped Reid story lines, it's the overall neglect of the character that upsets me the most. No Morgan was not "light" during the first half as Reid has been since season 5. Morgan may have not had episodes dedicated to him during the first half but his presence was pretty prominent unlike Reid who is pushed to the background. When he is on screen, his lines have been reduced to just merely spitting out obvious facts. He's a genius and is capable of much more. Just watch earlier seasons and you'll see. The episode didn't have to be about Reid in order for us see fair amount of him as well as hear lines from him that just weren't facts. He had lines that required more emotion and had much more interaction with the team.

    I think previously someone answered that not every episode can be about Reid and honestly I wouldn't want them to be. I love the team but Reid isn't being treated like a main character any more.

    Reid and MGG has a huge fanbase and he is being greatly neglected.

  3. Thank God for the hidden-unsub episodes next year...yay the viewers have been heard!! I'm already excited (though sad bc there won't be any Emily). I really loved your episode, Breen!! And the "my hero" line was a favorite for me as please write a Garcia-kidnapped-and-Morgan-must-save-her! Please! I BEG YOU!!

    1. Eh, I couldn't care less if the unsub is shown early or not, so long as the story is good - and IMO they have been. This isn't a whodunnit show. I'd wager most of the audience doesn't care either.

  4. Thank you for the thoughtful answers you always give at the chats. Which I think must be because you also put a lot of thought in the writing of the episodes themselves. Not just in the plot, but in the characterization. Thank you also for interrogation scenes that you put in so many episodes. It's good to be reminded that the strongest weapons these people have are their minds and the ability to get inside the unsubs' minds. And, that even though they use guns or their physical strength, that's not the main aspect of their job. Also, thank you for the personal moments.

    Now, having said that, maybe I'm alone in this, but I always thought JJ WAS an equal member of the team for the 5 years she was on the show prior. Certainly her duties were different, but I never saw her job as lesser or unequal. I also can't imagine any of her team would have seen her as unequal during that time. To me, her being a profiler means her job is no longer *different* not that it's no longer *unequal*. Fortunately, in the episodes themselves I don't get the feeling that she is only now equal to the other agents.

  5. While I appreciate that Breen was so honest and excited about his writing, I guess I have different preferences. I think that it would have worked if we had gotten at least something from Hotch and Morgan in terms of actually saying they were cool. I know a lot of stuff had to be cut.
    I'm sort of glad extra unsub stuff got cut because they show too much of that. Frankly, taking Cindi down to that basement with sex toys could have been cut and it wouldn't have hurt the episode.
    Garcia showing up at the end out of nowhere also could have been cut. I don't think that was necessary. We know that Garcia is there for Morgan emotionally. She doesn't have to actually be there physically. It wasn't an "Aww" moment it was a "WTF, how did she get there?" moment.

    As for the clown thing-- they did a clown unsub in "Damaged". Also, Garcia hates clowns bc one groped her at a birthday party when she was 12.

    Morgan was light in the first half of the season? What? Let's see, very first episode of the season: Morgan is all gung ho and angry at Doyle. Tons of angst for Morgan.
    Dorado Falls (episode 3) Morgan lies to Prentiss and tells her she has to re-qualify by taking training again. Then she finds out he lied but agrees to go along with it to appease him.
    Painless (episode 4) Morgan starts a prank war with Reid. Very out of character behavior from both of them.
    Hope (episode 8) Morgan is fairly prominent in offering support for Garcia.
    Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (episode 9) Morgan gets all up in Hotch's grill because Hotch didn't tell him about Strauss drinking (even though it was none of Morgan's business and Hotch thought she had stopped).
    Snake Eyes (episode 13) Morgan all wet/greasy looking in a towel + Morgan/Garcia angst= annoying.
    A Thin Line (episode 15) Morgan acts like a d-bag to a cadet then angsts over being a hypocrite when Prentiss gets shot.

    I would say that would make up the first half of the season.

    I would have to do a second post to do a comparison of Reid's time in the first half as well. It certainly wasn't what I would necessarily call Reid heavy although he had a bit more presence in some of the earlier episodes.

    Btw, the name Breen was looking for on the abducted hitchhiker was Colleen Stan.

    He didn't put her head in a box, he locked her entire body in a coffin-like box though.

    And please, no Garcia being kidnapped and having to be saved by Morgan. The whole Garcia/Morgan thing is just too much. It's made me start to dislike Garcia with her unhealthy obsession with Morgan. How about remembering that Garcia cares about other people too-- or that other team members are friends with Garcia. We already got the "Penelope" episode. We do not need a repeat.

    1. If you really dislike the show as much as it sounds like you do, then you should stop watching. The writers and producers do not work for you. Your opinions are just that, opinions, not facts.

      Here's another opinion for you since you like them so much... Garcia is the best female in the BAU.

    2. whoa someone needs to chill...Morgan and Garcia are the best

    3. Wow. Opinion comment is full of nothing but opinion. Also, bitter person seems very bitter. Now I understand why you get banned at TWoP for posting "opinion as fact".

      I'm happy the writers write to the *characters* and not zannej's opinion. I'm really not quite sure why she watches either, or for that matter *what* she's watching. It's certainly not the CM I am. I think, given what zannej's beliefs are, she'll never be happy with anything the show does, so she might as well cut her losses now.

      BTW, Garcia is one of the most popular characters on the show. It was reported in the press when CBS renewed *her* contract (and hired her for CM:SB), and at the same time "fired" AJ and Paget.

  6. Did anyone else notice the part about having certain people together based on the availability of the actors? WTF? They have the script and it should dictate who is with whom and when. Then the casts schedules can be adjust accordingly.

    Is this why we are getting very generic interchangeable dialog that could be said by any member of the team, much less any schmuck they stuck in there?

    I've noticed that the contributions from each team member has not seemed to reflect the experience, expertise, or even personality of each of the characters like it used to. I even saw some times where it seemed like they gave the line to the wrong actor bc it didn't seem like something that character would say.

    Was it because it wasn't written for that character?

    This is one of the problems with the show unfortunately and needs to be addressed.

    As for any allegedly planned Reid episodes for next season, I won't hold my breath. I'll believe it when I see it. we were told we would get Reid episodes this season and we got one. woopty doo.

  7. Breen was being funny when he said Morgan was light in the first half of the season wasn't he? I can't believe he was serious.
    Does he really believe that or is he hoping we're stupid enough to believe it.Is he really trying to say Reid was more prominent in the first half of the season than Morgan.Give me a F***ing break.

    I'm also tired of them using the excuse about Reid being light in some episodes,because of MGG directing.I understand that but he only directs one episode a season.And I highly doubt it takes
    MGG almost the entire season to prepare for one episode.

    I do appreciate that he recognizes that Reid has been neglected.
    As far as them promising good things for Reid in season 8,I'll believe it when I see it.

  8. Best episode of the season! Loved JJ & Emily with the unsub. Loved Rossi redirecting Morgan. Loved the subtle understanding between Hotch and Morgan. Loved all the emotions Shemar pulled off convincingly and I especially loved all of the Morgan & Garcia moments.

    Only downfalls: Not enough Reid. Morgan & Reid are close and this episode didn't reflect that. I thought the same way with Profiler, Profiled. The 2nd downfall, I was very confused about why Morgan and Rossi were in a hurry with their lights on when they didn't even know of the "robbery," yet. Reading what was taken out just made me even more confused on the whole concept of who thought it was real and who didn't and where the cabin fit in with both ideas of the company. The case was intriguing and kept my interest, but it was also confusing after reading about the left out scene.

  9. First, thanks for the chat Breen, it was certainly interesting.

    I'm a Reid fans too, but I think some fans need to calm down. I really miss him at times too, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the show.

    I was disappointed too when the storylines they apparently planed for Reid never made it (two seasons in a row).

    First in season six when the fans were teased about a "doozy" of a secret concerning Reid, about a big Reid arc,..and ended up with Reid having headaches because he was too stressed...

    Then there was season seven : Erica Messer told us during a chat (after the sixth season ended) that Reid would have a great arc involving Jane Lynch.
    We were then told he would face family problems. I was really excited about that at first, yet as the season went on I also very quickly came to the conclusion that it would never make it on screen (at least not this year....).

    We still know Reid took a three months sabbatical between season six and season seven and he said in 'Proof' that he had a lot on his mind and stuff to deal with concerning his mother...and we're sort of left wondering without an explanation.

    For Reid to take a three months sabbatical, it must have been something big....yet not a single word was uttered on that subject.

    I guess the general feeling here is frustration and disappointment, and I totally get it, I'm frustrated and disappointed too in a way.

    I'm still looking forward to season 8, but I'm cautious in my optimism concerning Reid.

    Despite the negative feelings, I don't resent other characters for their screen time or storylines. If the story is good I'll enjoy it, no matter who is featured.
    I'm trying to look at the bigger picture here (even if I miss Reid like you guys).
    I think the show is good, I still managed to enjoy a good deal of episodes this season.
    Despite me being cautious, I still hope the story(ies ?) they have planed for Reid next year will be interesting and deep stories (instead of being lighthearted stories....).

    1. I also wanted to add :

      Breen I hope you were joking when you talked about killing Sean Hotchner (not sure).
      I think Hotch has gone through enough as it is.
      The poor guy needs to be happy for more than a mere few months before disaster strikes again you know...

      Do you guys think Breen was serious ?

    2. I do have to say that I do not resent the other characters for getting good stories even though Reid is getting pushed aside and ignored. If you go back and look at the Reid-centric episodes throughout the first few seasons they always involved another member of the team prominently offering support. Most of the time that was Morgan, yet whenever Morgan has a centric episode there is no reciprocation with Reid.

      Did I mention that I don't have a problem when the stories are good? The issue I have is that they are NOT good. We have some of the same old same old stuff. Angry!Morgan over and over and over. Its like they forgot he's intelligent and professional. They have him act self-centered and annoying. He wasn't like that in the beginning. I miss the old Morgan who was objective and didn't illegally walk into people's homes uninvited, do a lame slow clap, and then grab the person-- or twist the arm of a suspect in custody. Ugh. Angry!Morgan is not cool. Calm and controlled Morgan is cool.

      The Morgan/Garcia thing just got way out of hand. It was cute at first and fine when Garcia didn't have a boyfriend, but it stopped being reciprocated and the dialog started getting worse. Garcia started obsessing on just Morgan. She used to show some love for Reid and JJ and other people too. But now its all about Morgan. ugh. It just seems unnatural. It makes her seem pathetic.

      Oh, and they changed Garcia to make her more annoying by having her whine and cringe about the details of the crimes. How the hell is she the one who reviews the cases if she can't look at crime scene photos? It's not believable. I hope that if they do replace Prentiss that they bring in someone else to do the case previews because it would make more sense to have Garcia go back to her computers. I'm not saying I don't enjoy seeing her in the round table room, but it just doesn't fit with her character and has made her more annoying. She used to be my second favorite character and now she is bordering on being my least favorite.

      And Hotch.. They were supposed to give him a story and they introduce some chick that comes off as a bit creepy and desperate. Why couldn't they hook him up with Andi Swan? They had chemistry.

      I guess I am slightly bitter because I see the quality of the stories (or lack thereof) and think "Reid is getting pushed aside for THIS?!" *sigh*

      Maybe they will surprise us in season 8 and say that Reid's headaches did have a physical cause and he went and had surgery during his sabbatical and managed to hide it from everyone but somehow it comes out. Maybe it was brain surgery and he started wearing a wig and that explains why he isn't as smart as he used to be... :P

      I mean, for cripes sake, they gave Kevin and Strauss more lasting drama this season than they did Reid! LOL.

      When your backup secondary characters are getting better stories than a main character you know it means trouble.

      Oh, and poor Rossi hasn't gotten much-- neither has JJ. I did a chart and those two were not getting much at all. But at least they aren't disappearing at the end of the episode with no explanation.

    3. I think the episodes that featured Morgan heavily this year were really good, and I'm not a Morgan fan (by the way I'm talking about 'Self-Fulfilling Prophecy', 'Foundation' and 'The Company'). I know he had good parts in other episodes but I think these episodes are the three major episodes for Morgan this season.

      About Morgan and Garcia, I get what you mean even if I'm not annoyed by their usual banter (90% of the time at least).
      The only times were it bothers me is when the writers get heavy handed with Garcia (I think about Garcia's Lamborghini monologue during 7x05 - 'From Childhood's Hour').
      Garcia is a very colorful character, one who's definitely on the eccentric side, and as such, she needs to be handled with tact. If not it can quickly get overbearing. I think it's a question of tonality.

      In some respect, the same can be said for Reid. His scene at the beginning of "Epilogue", when he notices Rossi takes too long to read the newspaper, was a little overdone in my opinion.
      I'm not surprised in the slightest that Reid would know just how long it takes for each team member to read a page from a book or a newspaper. But the scene was overplayed (once again, just my opinion) and didn't feel natural. I think they (writers/director/MGG ?) should have put a little more emphasis on Reid's caring side, and less on his quirky side.

      About Hotch, I love the fact that he's found happiness and I happen to really enjoy Beth. Once season eight starts, I think we'll get a Hotch centric episode early on, at least I hope so. I just don't want more drama to come his way (that's why I hope Breen was joking about Sean, and I think he was, but I would love a confirmation....Hello Breen, you hear me ? :D).

      In terms of team interaction I know it can be frustrating when you want to see some characters interact and when it doesn't happen. But I guess we just need to tell ourselves that just because we didn't see it on screen doesn't mean the characters in question didn't talk at some point.
      Hey, my favorite team interaction is Hotch/Reid, yet we don't see that much lately do we ?
      I'm just trying to be happy with little moments where they work together (they used to talk and interact much more during the first three seasons and not just professionally). But since I've got no reason to believe this has changed, I just assume that the moments we used to see occur off screen.

      About JJ, well, she's a profiler now. What really bothers me about this is the reasoning behind it. She was already equal to the rest of the team before.
      I'm not a JJ fan but there was never a doubt in my mind that just because she wasn't a profiler didn't mean she wasn't an equal. She just had a different job that required both different and similar skills.

      I think it's simply easier for the writers to include JJ scenes in an episode now. They don't need to include specific scenes to showcase "JJ : communication coordinator/media liaison". "JJ : profiler" is probably easier to handle in that respect.

      But I think they missed the boat in some way : they made the transition looks way too easy, JJ is too perfect in her new role (and I DON'T mean that in a "she's too cocky" kind of way, JJ was always confidant in her abilities).
      She was still supposed to be a rookie profiler, yet she's just as good as the rest of them who've got so much more experience than she does.
      I know her previous job at the BAU, for seven years, plays a big role here. I understand why she's not your regular rookie profiler (and she was already a field agent before).
      But it was still her first year as a profiler and they should have allowed her to make mistakes, knowing how it works and being able to do the job are two vastly different things.
      But then again, they never had JJ making any mistakes in the past either....

    4. Apart form that I don't know who is going to get married at the end of the season, it could still be either Garcia and Kevin or JJ and Will.
      I wouldn't mind either, I appreciate both couples.
      I still have a preference for JJ/Will (I know you don't like Will, but I certainly do and hope he and JJ get married).

      But like I said, there's no certainty about who is getting married.
      I just think the writers wouldn't be too keen on Garcia getting married. She's too much of a free spirit and I think the writers are too attached to the Morgan/Garcia banter. Garcia getting married wouldn't necessarily put a stop to it, but it could change their dynamics in some way.
      I guess we need to wait and see.

      I'm certainly looking froward to 'Profiler 101', I do love Rossi (and Rossi/Reid scenes incidentally).

  10. Write about the epic haircut that Sean will need after 6 years of a barber-free life.

  11. The Sean comment! Breen, you're killing me. I'm 90% sure you'd NEVER do that to Hotch after what he's already been through. Please remove that extra 10% of doubt and tell me you were trolling.

  12. On a less panicky note, AMAZING episode. Morgan is not my favorite character, but I still loved this episode. Breen really knows how to utilize all the characters, even in the most subtle of ways, that leave the fans of each character satisfied. As much as I would have loved a Hotchalanche aimed at Morgan, what you guys did was 100% true to Hotch's character. Bravo to all! And all the ladies were a hoot.

  13. Thanks for doing the chat and for a great episode. I really enjoyed the story and how everything was uncovered.

    I thought I was the only one who isn't enjoying the Garcia/Morgan scenes lately. It isn't because I don't love their chemistry because I do and was a big fan of them. But now it just seems a bit much. Sometimes I feel like Garcia only cares about Morgan and doesn't really care for anyone else. For this episode I really wonder why it couldn't have another team member comfort Morgan at the end...why did it have to be Garcia who had to travel from Quantico when the rest of the team was still there? They had their moment on the phone (twice) and it would have been great to see someone else be there for him at the end (Hotch or Reid maybe?). There just has been too much Morgan/Garcia for me this season - towel scene, Morgan's role in proposal episode, Morgan comforting Garcia, Garcia comforting Morgan...just too much for me. I'm going to sound like a Garcia hater but I'm not trust her but lately I feel like they're going overboard with her character. I'm also not found of her presenting cases because clearly she unable to even look at the pics so it doesn't make sense to me.

    Reid....biggest letdown...he is soooooo neglected. His role keeps diminishing from S5 onwards. Stories barely start for him before they are completely abandoned. He really needs to be focussed on and soon. But hey if you guys want to postpone his stories than go ahead but why treat him like a secondary character?

    Sorry for the whining because I really did enjoy this episode and thought it was one of the strongest for the season. I'm a fan of your writing Breen!

  14. Please someone from CM answer this question for me:

    What is the logic of pushing Reid to the background? There must be a reason for it right? I can't make sense of it and it's driving me crazy. Is writing for a genius too challenging because I think you guys are all intelligent writers and there is no doubt in my mind that you can handle.

    I understand that they are waiting for Jane Lynch to do some story with him but does that me that he has to be completely ignored until that happens? Is anywhere on staff even aware that this is happening? Where is the interaction Reid had with other characters in earlier seasons? He was genius in more ways and was used for better purposes than a human encyclopedia.

    Please someone from the CM staff get back to us and tell us why Reid has been fading away since season 5. It's starting to feel deliberate. Again I cannot understand the logic since he is so POPULAR.

    So many unanswered questions when it comes to Reid: What were the cause of his headaches? Does he still get them sometimes? Why was he on sabbatical when season 7 started? What's this stuff going on with his mom?

    Even if the storyline about his mom had to be delayed because Jane Lynch was unavailable, why couldn't he just touch upon this at times. Why did it go from him being stressed out from the stuff he was dealing with about his mom to absolutely no mention of it ever again?

    To the very least, please give Reid intelligent lines that require emotion rather than a paragraph out of an encyclopedia. Please, pretty please.

    1. Wow sorry for all the typos...some sentences don't even make's like I forgot English for a second. Hopefully you guys get the point I was trying to make.

  15. So we're getting an episode for Reid in Season 8? Based on recent experience of Reid's storylines I won't get too excited just yet. He was supposed to be getting a doozy of a storyline back in S6 and we all know how that turned out - a few stress headaches and a quick chat with Morgan and it was all over. Then he was, supposedly, getting a great arc this year involving family issues. Again, I got excited only to be disappointed when that didn't materialise. A while back I read something about there being some good Reid content in this years's finale but now people are talking about Reid episodes in S8?? I guess the finale stuff has also gone to the place where all Reid storylines go these days.
    Like Reidlove above I would love to know whay Reid has been sidelined so much in recent seasons. It's certainly not just a feature of the back half of this season, it's been going on since S5. Why is this gem of a character not being used more. Sure it's not The Reid Show and I wouldn't want it to be as I love all the other characters (although the Morgan/Garcia stuff is getting too much IMO) but I guess I just share the frustration and disappointment of so many Reid fans these past few seasons.

  16. I know people want their Reid--I love him, too--but I think it's perfectly canon to have Morgan/Garcia be there for each other. In "Mayhem", he asked her to keep talking to him, in this, he did the same thing. He didn't say "Reid/Hotch/Prentiss keep talking to me." They have a chemistry--the actors in real life are best friends--why on earth would you not use that to your advantage if you were a writer? It sounds like sour grapes from people who do not care for either Morgan or Garcia (Or Morgan/Garcia together) to say otherwise. Seriously, what sense would it have made to have Garcia talking on the phone like she ALWAYS DOES to Morgan, give her pep talk, and then have Reid or Prentiss or someone hug him at the end? We expect hugging between Morgan and Garcia, they do that a lot and they have a bond... a weird one, but a bond. Let them have their moments--they add light, humor, and I think beauty to this darkness. I think this was BY FAR the best episode of the season. JJ and Emily's chat with the Unsub, Rossi's subtle way of putting Morgan's ego in place and Garcia doing it her way, and the end, coming full circle for Morgan with him relaxing.

    1. I agree that it was a good episode. The Garcia/Morgan thing to me seems more intense to me now than before. I love their relationship, I really do...they definitely have chemistry but it doesn't need to be forced. A little goes a long way in my opinion.

      I also agree that Rossi, JJ, Emily had a good input in this episode. It just seems like it's always Reid who gets short-changed...I wouldn't mind if it was once to twice but it has been going on since season 5. I guess many of us are getting tired of waiting and are trying to make sense of it.

  17. As a Morgan I hope the writers stop it with the Garcia/Morgan scenes. I prefer Morgan in scenes with any other character but Garcia. It was too much this season. First the Lamborghini thing, then she believed he slept with her while she was drunk and now she came across to me as if she was sulky because he did not sweet-talk her at the phone when he really had other problems to care about. Give her scenes with other characters, please.

  18. I really miss the closeness Morgan and Reid use to have on the show.
    They were like big brother/little brother.In the earlier seasons Morgan was very protective of Reid I understand that Reid is older
    and has more experience in the field,he is not going to need Morgan's protection like he use to.However I think they went to the extreme,now Morgan comes across many time as not having the least bit of concern for Reid.

  19. Seriously no Reid focus for the rest of the season? Seriously? So you guys decide to ignore a character who just happens to have HUGE FAN BASE? For real? How long do we have wait?

  20. I get that Reid fans are understandably upset because he didn't have an arc this season, but as far as the characters and screentime goes, he's had just as much as everyone else and probably more than some. All of the characters, with the exception of probably Morgan and Garcia, have suffered from the heavy focus on the unsubs this season. None of them are getting much to do and when they do get something to do it's typically something very generic that you could plug any one of them into the scene.

    Rossi had a couple of episodes where he had the dying ex-wife tagging the beggining and end of episodes, but beyond that he's not really had anything that has focused heavily on Rossi the FBI agent.

    Hotch had the same thing, a few episodes where he meets a woman, but even in those few episodes, he was barely featured during the actual case and hasn't had an episode where Hotch, the agent and team leader was heavily in focus.

    Reid had one episode where his character was heavily featured where it actually worked in with the case as well.

    JJ and Prentiss haven't really had much heavy focus either.

    I think the only reason it feels like Reid has been more neglected than the others is because other than his struggles with being lied to and his coming of age episode he didn't have something personal going on that spanned over several episodes, but if you were to sit down and watch the entire season, I think you'd see that he's getting just as much generic dialog as the rest of them are and that is the problem, it's all generic dialog that has nothing special about it to make the character stand out and be noticed.

    I agree that the writers need to have a meeting of the minds and get the stories focused back on this team of elite FBI profilers and the special things about each one that makes them unique and get the focus off of the psycho of the week. When was the last time any characters beside Morgan and Garcia shared a meaningful scene?

    If they bring in a new character I hope it's one to take over JJ's old job because frankly, I've had about all I can stomach of Garcia. She was always a much needed shot of comic relief that came in small doses and those small doses made the character endearing, but there's been entirely too much of her the last couple of seasons and she's gone from endearing to flat out annoying and honestly, does she even care about any other member of the team besides Morgan?

    1. I do agree that all the characters (besides Morgan and Garcia) have had reduced screen time due to increased unsub focus. It just feels like Reid has been neglected the most and for the longest duration.

      Even Strauss had a personal story line this season and she isn't even a main character.

  21. I love this show. I mostly love seasons 1-5 though. I hope the producers and writers, when planning season 8, focus more on the crime fighters than the criminals. They have created these great characters, but they no longer focus on what makes each unique. And more Reid, please.

  22. What drew me to the characters on this show is that they were heroes, but they had flaws. This is what made them interesting. Fans get so obsessed about getting happy moments for their favorite characters (Hotch, for instance). I say, "Bring on the angst"!

  23. I agree with Hazy Hazel, though I'd say Reid's had two focused episodes this season, not just one.

    I find the memory of some Reid fans...odd. MGG had a major injury in S5. Of course his time was cut down. They certainly made up for it once he started weaning off his crutches.

    For S6, with the fan uproar over Prentiss, JJ, and "No Hotch No Watch" it's not surprising the writers wrote the season realizing Reid isn't the only character on the show. It's not like Reid was ever secondary. He had plenty of airtime.

    And this doesn't even mention that they had a new character they were trying to sell to the audience.

    As to anyone expecting Reid in *this* episode? Uh...I'm gonna make an educated guess here and say those posting here know MGG also directed the *last* episode. MGG himself said last season they wrote him out for the surrounding episodes so that he could focus on directing. I believe he even asked for it after his experience with "Mosely Lane". MGG would spend at bare minimum the two episodes prior to "Heathridge" doing pre-production: storyboarding, casting, location scouting, blocking, etc etc, and the episode after post-production and editing. So while the cast was filming *this* episode, MGG would have been in the editing room, as well as trying to make up for the fact he hadn't just slept for a month. Reid was definitely heavy in the first part of S7, up until probably his directing issues got in the way.

    So the complaints that his airtime is low is because the writers can't write him make no sense. For one, he seems the same old Reid to me, though a bit more mature. For another, they've definitely had a ton of episodes where Reid's solved the case due to his genius, and this isn't even mentioning the "focus" episodes like "Sense Memory" and "True Genius".

    I'd LOVE more Reid too, but it's perfectly understandable why there hasn't been more, particularly since S5. And again, it's not like he's been background.

    1. I guess many of us disagree. He does seem like he's pushed in the background. Sense Memory was last season and I wouldn't call it a Reid episode but he did have some significant contribution to the case if that's what you mean.

      I know that he was editing during this episode and understand that he was prepping during episode before Heathridge Manner so I think it's understandable. 3 episodes per season of not having much Reid is something we Reid fans are going to have to accept since Matthew directs one episode per season. It's just going beyond this and it's not just amount of screentime (which I still think is less than others) but the quality. We don't want Reid to just blurt out facts...we want the old Reid back who was caring and emotional. He was capable of this before while remaining smart so I don't know why his character isn't written this way any more.

      So many of believe that he is pushed to background. We can't all be delusional.

  24. Well said, Sharmaine. It's not about screen time. It's about how the character is used. I'm sure he's a difficult character to write. I hope they put some more effort into it going forward.

  25. I guess I dont even have to say how much I miss Reid because you guys pretty much nailed it:)
    What I do have to say is please don't do anythig to Sean Hotchner!!! I think you were kidding I mean how much more can Hotch take??? I cried for like a week after Haley died! Mess with Diana I wanna see Reid go protective ninja!!
    Love this show!! Great episode too :)


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