I just watched “Zugzwang”
…and I’m not Canadian. Sue me. If you want to read more, then click the Read More link. Be warned: It’s an extremely detailed recap. E.X.T.R.E.M.E.L.Y. Like, this will take you a very very VERY long time to read. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it, and I start off in the very FIRST line when you click the link. I would suggest that if you are even slightly hesitant, then you wait until after you have watched the episode to read this. It also includes all of the “Zugzwang” spoilers we’ve had so far (that I listed here) linked in their proper place.
You have been warned.
The episode is pretty good - except of course the ending, which ruined everything. I’m of the opinion crappy episodes aren’t saved by the cute scene(s) at the end, and I think I should be faithful to that by saying good episodes are ruined by the crappy scene(s) at the end. But there’s some problems with the final scenes which I’ll get to at the end. I’m also writing this with full knowledge of the end, since I looked it up before watching. So be forewarned I’m not writing this with any shock about what happens here.
As promised, we start with the tux. It’s a dream sequence. Reid’s at church, standing at the altar. The team is sitting on pews behind him, happily encouraging him on (even Hotch!). Reid is all confused. He turns, and it’s Garcia who’s the “priest”. He’s marrying a woman (with a ring WAY too big) completely covered by a veil. Garcia pronounces them “smart and smarter” (interestingly, Maeve is “smarter”), and tells Reid to kiss her. Reid lifts the veil, and it’s Maeve, but she has no face (think “Fringe” if you’ve watched that show). It’s actually a bit reminiscent of Reid’s dreams in “Instincts” (particularly the scene where the boy rises from the casket) and “Corazon”.
Car horn. Cut to Reid waking up on his couch (and wow yes, does he have a small apartment). He gets up, looks at the book Maeve gave him (“The Narrative of John Smith" by Arthur Conan Doyle), then we cut to a telephone in a park, where Reid is calling Maeve. He enters in the code, then waits for the call back.
Instantly, the phone rings. Only it’s not Maeve. It’s the operator, asking if he’d accept a collect call from Adam Worth. At this point, I pause and look up the name - though Reid later tells us all about it. Adam Worth is a real-life criminal, who is speculated to be the inspiration for Doyle’s Moriarty. Reid freaks, says yes, then scrambles (even dumping his bag out on the ground) in a desperate attempt to find the $2 the operator is asking for to connect the call. He succeeds, and says “Hello, I’m still here.” He’s greeted only by a distorted voice saying “Zugzwang”. Reid asks him to repeat it, and we hear the distorted “Zugzwang” again, then “Adam Worth” hangs up.
Cut to the BAU, where Hotch is hurrying in, as Reid called him in early. He meets Reid in his office, and Reid spills the whole beans. He met Maeve ten months ago after she commented on one of his Psych journal articles (which makes a comment MGG made make more sense, since at the time all we had was Maeve’s MRI comments in “God Complex”). For the first three months they corresponded through letters (she was too scared of her stalker), then moved to phone calls - where Reid has never used the same payphone twice (pretty amazing feat given the scarcity of them nowadays).
Hotch quickly finds out Reid pretty much knows nothing other than that Maeve is a geneticist. So he asks the obvious: “How do you know she’s missing?” Reid explains how when they wrote letters to each other, they’d used pseudonyms. His was “Dr. Joseph Bell” - the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes. He then goes on to explain the “Adam Worth” and “zugzwang” references (Canadian promo). Hotch points out Reid is part of the unsub’s victimology too.
Cut to Reid basically begging the team for help, eyes down. He’s got a wealth of knowledge but can’t help because he can’t focus his thoughts for more than four seconds at a time (and I’m sorry, but I laughed that Reid times his own thoughts - so Reid!). Hotch points out that they don’t know if they have a case, and that means they’d have to work on their own time. He then asks if anyone wants out. I’m gonna fanwank that he’s CYAing for when Strauss finds out, otherwise I’m nominating it for “stupidest line ever”. Of course, everyone’s in. Hotch: “Let’s get to work.”
Opening quote: “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ― Lao Tzu
Roundtable. Team instantly hones in that the stalker is possessive, feels ignored (“Why won’t you see me?”), and needs validation (“Do you think you’re better than me?”). They also note he has a suicidal ideation (“I’m going to kill you, then kill myself.”) They’ve basically just described Diane down to a tee, but got her sex wrong, and reason wrong (she’s in love with Maeve).
Reid thinks the initial contact between Maeve and her stalker was incidental. Lines, in order:
Morgan: “That’s gonna make the unsub hard to find.”
JJ: “Maeve too.”
Garcia: “I’ve found her!”
Heh. Honestly, I’m not surprised. “Maeve” + “Geneticist” can’t possibly bring up that many results. Which they don’t. Dr. Maeve Donovan is local, and worked at Mendel University until about the time Reid’s Maeve went into hiding. While Maeve’s burned her credit, apparently her parents are helping her hide. They just rented a new loft, presumably for their daughter. As the team splits up (JJ and Morgan to the loft, Blake and Rossi to the university, and Reid to observe Hotch interview the parents), Garcia tells Reid she’s got a picture of Maeve, would he like to see it? He says no.
First up: JJ and Morgan. They arrive at the loft (a sweet, but generic, room in a crappy building in a crappy business neighborhood) and immediately see signs of a struggle. They clear the scene, then profile the unsub shoved Maeve into a coffee table, then broke a vase over her head. They also note there’s no sign of forced entry, so somehow the unsub managed to get Maeve to let her guard down. A conflict in writing BTW, considering what we learn later.
Next: Blake and Rossi at Maeve’s lab. Basically? Maeve’s awesome. Star in her field. Makes connections faster than anyone else can see them. Rossi deadpans: “We know the feeling.” They do note her few colleagues are all men, but none seemed to take an interest in her outside of how awesomely cool her work is.
Last: Hotch interviewing Maeve’s parents. Reid is observing through the window. Yes, the parents are helping Maeve hide. Maeve stays local, because her mother is battling cancer, and they’re working together on an oncology project (Mom’s a geneticist too, she retired when her daughter entered the field). When Hotch asks if there’s anyone they suspect, Mom immediately answers Bobby Putnam, Maeve’s former fiancee. The police ruled him out, but Mom and Dad says he’s “a controlling bastard”.
Reid clearly didn’t know about the fiancee, and his expression isn’t hurt that she kept the info from him IMO. More like inadequacy. Either way, it’s an interesting reaction choice by MGG. I’m sure I’m projecting, but it just gave an air of “She’s more experienced, so what would she think of me when I do things wrong because I have no experience”. If that makes sense. Although according to Dad, and later Maeve herself, her experience really isn’t that much more than Reid’s.
Cut to the scene released in the sneak peek. I’ll just let you all watch it, instead of wasting time recapping it.
Hotch and Rossi interview Bobby, who demands to know where Maeve is. Bobby knew about the restaurant, because he hired a PI who basically watched Maeve’s parents. Interestingly, we find out it was Maeve who made the reservations, not Reid. The friend was because Bobby wanted the extra person in case the “psychopath” after her was there.
What really annoyed me about this scene is the timeline. If you actually look at it, Bobby says Maeve broke up with him when the stalker started, then pretty much immediately took up with Reid not long after. Quite the tart timeline there. Bobby’s not much better though, he moved on not long after as well.
They ask Bobby about possible jealousy over Reid. Instead of answering, Bobby goes over and picks up an envelope. In it are pictures of a happy Bobby and Maeve. Bobby: “He sent these to us. The last month of our engagement. Fact is, I was being stalked too.” I think we’re meant to assume Bobby was relieved the stalker stopped fixating on him, after Maeve left.
Boy, Bobby. Were you wrong!
Reid is now downstairs, outside waiting for the team. Diane comes out. “Excuse me, Doctor (duh duh duh). Can you tell me what’s going on?” Cue Morgan, who comes out, and pretty much gives Diane the brush off and heave-ho. She learns nothing. BTW, this entire scene has Reid again staring almost entirely at the ground.
Morgan tries to get a sniffling Reid to talk. All Reid can think of are numbers. Specifically how many hours (2412) and days (100.5) he’s spent communicating with Maeve. “What if that’s all I have?” Morgan is very reassuring, which I suppose is supposed to ramp up the awfulness of later and make you look back on this scene as more sad than it is, but honestly? It comes across as pretty straight-forward even on rewatch: this is it, and this is what it will be. It’s a very sweet and more importantly typical Morgan-comforts-Reid scene. The show’s done several of them, all as straight-forward in how it works within the plot as this one.
Anyhoo. Reid tells Morgan about the time Maeve let it slip she loved him (in “God Complex”). Reid hasn’t said it back yet, because he’s saving that for when they finally meet. Foreshadowing, I see you!
Cut to Garcia and JJ in Garcia’s lair. Garcia’s rambling with what at first to me seemed wildly out of context, given how tight the episode’s been so far. Then I listened. She’s talking about how everytime they deal with a stalker, she thinks of Roseanna Arquette. Turns out the actress is the inspiration for both “Roseanna" by Toto, and "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel. Shockingly, true. Garcia connects this by mentioning how it shows the myriad of ways men can be obsessed by women, and what must she have been like in bed and can she teach "us" anything about sex. (Ha! only Garcia would go on this route.)
JJ interrupts this rapidly escalating ramble with a “whoa”. She’s putting the pics of Maeve and Bobby back into the envelope (Garcia was scanning them into her computer), and shows Garcia the one where Maeve’s head is all marked out. Both notice something odd.
Cut to JJ with Reid. She’s explaining to him it’s not the message, it’s the medium. Duh duh duh. It’s not marker that’s obliterating Maeve’s face. It’s eyeliner. The stalker’s a woman. It’s why the stalker masked her voice on the phone, and possibly why Maeve let her into her loft (Maeve’s expecting the stalker to be a man). Considering how freaked Maeve’s been, I don’t buy that last part, but will let it go for now. At least it’s not a loose end the writer forgot about.
Somehow this gets JJ asking how the stalker knew about Maeve and Reid. Which is odd, considering the pics are of Bobby, not Reid. Logic of this aside, Reid’s lightbulb flashes over his head. He runs to Hotch, and asks how he intro’d Reid to Bobby’s girlfriend. Hotch says he didn’t mention Reid at all. Reid puts 2+2 together, and realizes the stalker is Diane, Bobby’s girlfriend. She called him “Doctor” when she talked to him, which technically she shouldn’t have known. Cliched, yes, but again I’m forgiving since it moves the plot along, and does so in a realistic way.
Cut to Bobby, and now a dowdy looking Diane - who pours what I’m guessing is a glass of drugged wine for her boyfriend. Blah blah blah. Long story short (and one that kinda pissed me off), basically Super!Hot!Bobby only has kinks for dowdy (implied unattractive) women. Which also pisses Diane off. Diane’s proved this by - as Bobby has now realized - wearing Maeve’s dowdy clothes, and gotten her first comment on her appearance. She’s been waiting for Bobby to notice she’s better than Maeve, but realized she had to “debase” herself in order to do it. Basically, everything the team said earlier at the roundtable. Diane, now also revealing her impatient side, decides not to wait for the wine, and just beats the crap out of Bobby with a wine bottle until he passes out.
Surprisingly, we find out Diane (who BTW is supposed to be Moriarty in our little play) didn’t know Reid is an FBI agent, even though she knew he was a Doctor.
Morgan, Reid, and Hotch at Bobby’s apartment. What happened to Bobby = what happened to Maeve (in case you didn’t catch Diane admitting that to Bobby in the last scene). Garcia calls to let them know “Diane Huntington” is a fake identity, and she was careful - to the point of only using burner phones when talking to Bobby. Hotch tells her to keep digging, then tells Morgan and Reid they need to rethink the profile in terms of “one woman stalking another.”
Cut to Bobby, tied to a chair. Psycho!Diane now has a gun. ”I couldn’t understand it. You could have had me, but instead you wanted that.” Maeve! Also tied to a chair. Psycho!Diane’s all about something Maeve took from her that “I can’t get back” and when Bobby asks, Maeve says she has no idea (and yet….she answered the door to this stranger apparently; see the conflict?). After Psycho!Diane hunted Maeve for 10 months (huh? given the phone calls and emails, she didn’t know where Maeve was?) and stealing her man, Psycho!Diane basically just parrots Garcia’s lines about Roseanna Arquette: “What is so freaking special about her?”
She’s found her answer though: Reid (yeah, just go with it, it’s kinda explained later). She wants what Maeve and Reid have. Apparently the restaurant had a plethora of stalkers: Bobby following Maeve, Diane following Bobby. Diane had no idea who Reid was before that night.
And I’m sorry, but at this point it’s pretty obvious Diane is not smart enough to be a Moriarty in this game. I’m not even sure she knows what chess is. So that’s either another (unexplained) conflict in writing, or something else is going on. And as much as I like conspiracies, I feel the answer is probably just that Breen Frazier really, really likes chess (he also wrote “Uncanny Valley” with the chess) and throwing in Sherlock…I can’t call them “clues” because I’m not sure they are. Maybe just Sherlock references.
Cue roundtable again, and a lot of stats about women stalkers. Only 10% of stalkers are female. Top of the list for motivators: Sex and erotomania. Morgan thinks it’s more female scorned (and he’s right, but not in the way he thinks), and the team tries to ask Reid to whether there’s a possibility that maybe Maeve had an affair with her stalker, but Reid won’t hear of it. It almost comes off as anti-homosexual, but I’m sure it’s supposed to be more “I know Maeve better than you all and that’s just not her”, even when the team is pointing out uhh…you really don’t know her at all.
So they turn to another motivation: Celebrity stalking. Reid says that fits better. The team is dubious, but Reid points out Maeve’s a star in her own field. And in the writers’ room, it turns out Rossi drew the short straw, so he gets the line: “That’s a stretch. Celebrity stalkers are usually nonviolent.”
And at this Reid loses it. He comes down hard on Rossi. Reid - voice nearly yelling - quotes Chapman after he shot Lennon: “You want to tell that to John Lennon? What did Chapman say after he shot him? ‘All of my nobodyness and all of his somebodyness collided’! Well, Maeve is somebody and this bitch is a nobody!” Honestly, why they’re not looking at people Maeve worked with right now escapes me. Though if they figured it out already, we wouldn’t get the uber cool upcoming Blake and Reid scenes.
Reid immediately reins himself in and apologizes. He tries to leave, saying he can’t be useful right now, but Morgan says yes he can. ”You have 100.5 days with the girl and your brain lets you recall everything verbatim.” Hee! See? Morgan pays attention :D Reid says he can’t sort through it with any clarity, so Hotch tells him to pick someone to help him. He picks Blake.
Blake takes him to a park, where a game of chess has been set up. He’s surprised she knows chess. Blake: “I know my way around a board.” She wants him to focus on the game, so that when she asks her questions the answers will come naturally and he won’t overthink it. First question: “When you think of Maeve, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?” Reid: “Thomas Merton.” He’s talking about the quote she wrote on the book she gave him, which - really really REALLY oddly - seems to lead both Blake and Reid to the conclusion she was using it to tell Reid goodbye. I was very WTF with that.
We’re basically at the point where we’re just gonna get back and forth exposition scenes. Diane “catching” Bobby up by reading a letter Maeve wrote to Reid, but hasn’t sent. Presumably, she’s also found Reid’s letters to Maeve, and I’m guessing this is how she found out about the Sherlock references. Maeve is telling Reid she bought him a blindfold and “I can’t wait to use it.” Cue the kink talk, and the hurt look on both Bobby and Maeve’s faces. Maeve: “It’s not what you think.”
And yet another odd thing: Diane doesn’t even know Maeve has never seen Reid. She actually asks Maeve if she’s slept with him. Also, Maeve’s lines make it appear as if she clung to Reid because she was lonely. “I just wanted to be with somebody.” Since we’re not to the lying-to-stay-alive portion of tonight’s episode, that line just seems…again, contradictory. Diane: “You could have been with Bobby.” Maeve: “It was different with him [Reid].” Diane: “Different how?” Maeve: “When we would talk, it was effortless.” Cue hurt Bobby again. Seems to me Maeve was with Bobby not for his brains, but because he simply took an interest in her. I don’t really believe she’s shallow enough that she was with him for his looks.
Back to Reid and Blake. She points out they have such a deep connection, they talk in their own code. So why did the unsub attack Bobby first (and not Reid)? Reid suggests access. I suggest stupidity. Blake says no to both. Reid tries again: “She wants to destroy anyone Maeve had a romantic relationship with?” In case you’ve forgotten, Diane already told us why in the earlier scene where she said she wants Reid. Blake goes back to the relationship angle, only this time suggests maybe Maeve got in the way of one of Diane’s relationships. Reid is still, “That’s just not her.”
Ping-pong back to Diane. She’s trying to get a reaction out of Bobby about Maeve’s “cheating”. Maeve tells him “we were broken up, I never cheated on you.” Bobby’s having none of that though, since he knows Maeve loves Reid more than she ever loved him. These scenes are actually fairly boring, although now Diane’s trying to get Bobby’s sympathy by comparing her situation with Maeve (which hasn’t been spelled out yet) to his. Bobby still in a not having it mood. BTW, if I haven’t made it clear, every time we see Maeve, tears are streaming down her face.
Blake and Reid. Blake’s asking about whether they compared relationship lists. Reid gives the exact date and time when they discussed it. Using the standard dream memory sequence cuz it’s cooler than just having MGG recite lines, Fake!Maeve appears. She didn’t date a lot growing up (just like Reid), and then we get the scene where Fake!Maeve comments about how all the girls must have adored him in high school. Reid to Blake: “I was 12. It was kinda confusing.”
I’m pretty sure Reid then gives Blake a heavily sanitized version of the story he told Morgan in “Elephant’s Memory”: “Once I got a note from this girl. She thought I was cute, but would only meet me if I wore a blindfold. I did and she took my shirt off. That’s when I heard the laughter. Most of the senior class was in there.” Fake!Maeve tells him: “When we finally meet, I’m gonna make blindfolds fun again.
So maybe a porno kink then.
….and WTF. Diane knows Reid called every Sunday! “You had this guy eating out of the palm of your hand every Sunday, and he never even saw your face.” Man, Psycho!Diane’s jealously here is really starting to build. Diane: “I have to admit, that takes skill. It takes finesse.” She rolls Maeve closer to Bobby. “How’d you do it?” Maeve doesn’t answer, so Psycho!Diane lets off a shot to scare her. Bobby: “Just tell her!” Psycho!Diane leans towards Maeve: “There was a moment when you knew you had him [Reid]. And you knew you had him. What was it?” Maeve finally answers: “Euclidean geometry.” She made a stupid pun about the Pemrose Triangle (“Every Pemrose Triangle has its thorns”), and he laughed. Somehow, the lightbulb now goes off over Psycho!Diane’s head. “That’s it!”
FINALLY Blake gets to coworkers. Reid mentions she once spoke of the awkwardness of being the only woman. Fake!Maeve gives her lines. Cue music of aha! Fake!Maeve moved from talking about how hard it is to work in a male-dominated subject, to how the competition is so fierce between women “sometimes it turns us against each other.”
Reid steals his lightbulb back from Psycho!Diane and immediately figures out about grad students. That’s why they wouldn’t have found her. She wasn’t an equal coworker, just an ignored wannabe (and yes, grad students? routinely ignored). Easy to miss if Diane wasn’t on Maeve’s crew, but since grad students are usually the first applicants looked at, it’s possible Maeve may have been in charge of her thesis review. Maybe Maeve rejected it, and “that rejection has turned into an obsession to possess.”
Back to Psycho!Diane, who’s getting more unhinged by the minute. “I finally see what he [Reid] sees in you. He sees you as his equal.” She’s all excited now, because she’s got the key to getting Reid: She has to let him see she’s on his level. Bobby, all pissy, “Great, you figured it out. Now let us go.” Diane’s all, uhh no. Gotta show the little tramp I can take everything she has, and then she’s gonna remember me yo. ’Cause in case you can’t remember from the earlier scene, Maeve doesn’t remember Diane, and Diane’s all about how Maeve took everything from her. Duh duh duh….like a thesis and a future, perhaps?
I will say one thing about this episode: Breen certainly did an excellent job setting things up, and tying later scenes to earlier ones.
Anyhoo, Bobby is now “superfluous”, now that Psycho!Diane has the key to Reid’s heart. (He was only necessary to get Maeve to talk, and now Maeve’s spilled all the beans.) Psycho!Diane rolls Bobby’s chair behind Maeve, and we watch Maeve’s terrified face (and her repeated “don’t hurt him” mantra) as we hear Bobby begging for his life, until the gunshot tells us he’s unsuccessful.
Back to the roundtable room, where Garcia has found Diane. Diane Turner worked as a research assistant at Mendel University. She applied for a Ph.D. but was part of a bunch of applicants that were rejected. She left not long after Maeve disappeared. Diane now works at a local junior college. Reid asks what her doctoral thesis was about. Morgan: “Says here ‘Spontaneous Cellular Death in Suicide Patients’”. Note again, how the first roundtable scene in this episode nailed it. Reid immediately knows why it was rejected. ”Cells don’t behave that way.” Blake: “There’s her suicidal ideation again.” Reid: “Why is she obsessed with it?” Me: “Perhaps you should check her family history.” Everyone ignores me.
Nice pic of the Capitol.
Shot of Maeve. Behind her, a dead Bobby leans from his chair. Much calmer Diane walks in. “Still don’t remember who I am, do you?” Maeve says no. Defeated, she tells Diane whatever she did, she’s sorry. Whatever Diane wants her to say, she’ll say it. “I just want this to be over.” Diane gets all happy. “I can do that!” Cutting Maeve free from her chair, she states, “You just have to do something for me first.”
Cut to the roof. Diane forces Maeve to get on the ledge at gunpoint. Blah blah blah. Long story short: Diane’s idea is that once the decision to give up is made, the cells immediately start to die. Maeve remembers because she rejected her thesis based flawed testing. Diane is all “you were juss jealouz of the competition and my science was sound, yo”. Turns out, both Diane’s parents committed suicide (I know, you’re shocked) when Diane was 8.
Rossi, Reid, and JJ clear Diane’s apartment. She’s got a shrine on her wall dedicated to her dead parents, including autopsy pics and news articles. Again, I know you’re shocked. Reid: “That explains her obsession.” Thank you, Captain Obvious.
Rossi discovers there’s a webcam, which Diane is using to watch them. While JJ calls Garcia to get a trace, Reid writes out something on a pad of paper. Rossi: “What are you doing?” Reid: “Making a deal.”
Diane accuses Maeve of not even finishing reading the thesis, but Maeve states, “No, I did. And you know what I thought when I finished? That whoever wrote this had suffered a tragedy, and I felt sorry for your loss. But you don’t get a Ph.D. just because something bad happened to you.” Not too surprisingly, Teary!Eyed!Psycho!Diane rejects this. “No! You just couldn’t see that I’m a genius!” Blah blah i’m-a-genius dialogue from Diane. She’s almost a Bond villain at this point. Maeve wins though: “Genius isn’t just one good idea. Genius is work! Thousands and thousands of hours of work! That’s why you didn’t make it. You didn’t do the work.” Maeve offers to help, but now it’s Diane’s turn to not buy it. She tries to force Maeve back on the ledge, but Maeve refuses. ”If you’re going to kill me, you kill me. But I am not jumping, because I want to live long enough to see Spencer arrest you.”
And then Diane beeps. Because - get this - apparently she has some sort of alert system that lets her know when someone holds a paper up to her webcam (I’d say it’s just an intruder alert for her apartment, but that’s a slow ass alert if that’s the case). Diane looks at her phone, and it’s Reid holding up his note: Me for her. Diane to Maeve: “Spencer has a different idea.”
Phone rings in Diane’s apartment. Reid picks up. It’s Maeve. She tells him about Bobby, and that in general she’s okay. I don’t know why, but I laughed when she didn’t lie about the concussion and bruises. Diane refuses to talk to Reid, and Maeve tells him: “She has a message for you.” Reid: “What is it?” Maeve: “She left you a present, and if you want to find it, it’s easy as pie.” Neither Reid or Maeve understand it, but I did. Even without the one pic, I immediately knew the present was the blindfold and the pie was Pi. Maeve quickly manages to warn him it’s a trap, and Diane will kill him before Diane takes the phone away. Reid, instantly, to Rossi and JJ: “I need a map of DC.”
Turns out Reid did understand the clue. Reid uses the cellphone tower nearest Diane’s apartment that Diane’s phone pinged off and draws a circle. Reid has already also figured out that Diane wants Reid to see her the same way he sees Maeve (by connecting Diane’s “Pi” pun to Maeve’s “Pemrose” pun). Diane wants Reid to see her as brilliant, the smartest girl in the room. Remember, like Maeve, he sees connections before everyone else. He and Hotch bounce off building ideas, and Garcia goes to work. They find one in the name of Diane’s parents that she set up.
Hotch takes Reid aside and tells him he can’t let Reid be a part of the takedown. Reid: “We don’t have a choice. If I don’t go in, Maeve is dead.” Hotch: “And if you do go in, you’re dead.” Reid: “Hotch, we’ve known from the beginning that she’s on a murder-suicide mission, but we’ve never stopped to ask why she’s on that mission. We know now it’s because she wants recognition. The type of recognition she thinks Maeve gets, and I can give her that.” Hotch: “How?” Reid: “I’m gonna tell her that I love her.
Cut to a bunch of cars with sirens pulling up to a building. Team gets out of the car and approaches. Hotch stops everyone. “Hang on, I’ve got a box on the steps.” Reid: “That’s the gift.” It’s a nice box, and yes the blindfold is in it. Diane’s voice comes over the door intercom: “Take your gun and [bulletproof] vest off.” Reid does so, gives them to Hotch, then enters the building alone.
As he walks down the empty hall, Diane enters in front of him, cocks her gun and tells him “Put it on.” The lighting they’ve done here, BTW, is super cool. Reid puts the blindfold on. She walks him (gun to his back) to Maeve, and doesn’t let him take the blindfold off. She shoves in a chair, facing Maeve, who up until this point hasn’t said anything.
Maeve, teary eyed, whispers: “Hi.”
Diane is all happy Reid figured out her riddle. Then she proceeds to practically molest him in front of Maeve, sticking her hand down his shirt. To Reid’s credit, he only swallows.
And here’s where Reid shows he knows how to profile: he totally plays Diane, and she buys it (although she does at first put up a protest, “Flattery will get you nowhere, I know what’s waiting for me outside”). He compliments her thesis (and she’s impressed he’s actually read it) and tells her he’s arranged for her freedom. He reminds her of the Nazi scientists and mafia bosses who were given a pass due to their work/testimonies. (Reid: “If what you have is valuable enough, the Federal Government will work with you; and what you have is very valuable.” Diane: “And what do I have, Doctor?” Reid: “You have a brain that doesn’t play by societal rules.”). He totally validates everything Diane has ever thought of herself, then throws in the kicker: Everybody leaves Diane (and lo, wish they’d remember this about Reid) “And I’m here because I’m not going to leave you.” He wants the chance to be with her.
Personally, I think he goes super overboard (“I think your writing puts you on a plane with Jonas Salk, I’ve already sent it to the NIH”), but then I remembered this is Psycho!Diane, and the way she’s been characterized so far with the need for validation and how she’s such a genius that no one sees, yes she’d totally buy it. It’s reminiscent of the tactic they used with the unsub in “Amplification”.
Maeve starts to calm down, realizing that it’s working. Reid reminds Diane of the deal: “Me for her, right?” Diane is totally buying that Reid is choosing her over Maeve. Reid: “Diane, how could it be anyone else?” Diane: “Prove it.” Reid: “How?” Diane: “Say it again, only this time say it to her face.” Then she takes his blindfold off.
Reid sees Maeve for the very first time. You can tell there’s a connection. Reid slightly smiles (IMO like that of a man at peace with his fate), and he tells her: “I don’t love you. Sorry.” Maeve slowly nods (IMO with an expression that says she totally knows what Reid is doing). “I understand.” Diane starts to go to Maeve, stating she doesn’t need her anymore. Reid convinces her not to kill Maeve, saying it’s better she lives knowing she’s not as smart as Diane. Diane’s all “that’s a good idea yo, you and i are so in sync!”.
She cuts free one of Maeve’s hands, but before she cuts the free the other one, she says “I just want her to see one more thing.” Uh uh. I saw this coming too. Remember, Diane wants Maeve to see her take everything - including her boyfriend. Diane calmly walks over to Reid, and I swear to God they engage in one of the most awkward and uncomfortable french kisses I think that’s ever been put on film.
Diane knows it too. Reid’s lying. She tries to shoot Reid, but dumb idiot didn’t tie him down, so Reid grabs her and pushes the gun up. (And on the third rewatch it’s finally dawning on me why didn’t he do this before? I know it’s more in character for Reid to talk the unsubs down, but damn dude. He needs to work more on his physical skills too. They probably would have helped more.)
A shot gets fired in the fight, and the team downstairs rushes in. Diane and Reid continue to struggle with the gun and another shot goes off, this time nicking Reid in the arm. He falls, and this gives Diane the opportunity to grab Maeve. The team enters the room, weapons out, and Reid begs them to stay back.
This turns out to be an insanely dumb idea as once again Reid displays an unnerving talent of saying *just* the wrong thing to give the unsub an edge, much like what he did in the bathroom scene in “Third Life”. As Diane holds a gun to Maeve and cries that Reid lied to her, Reid says no he wasn’t, they still have a deal, him for Maeve. He’d still go with her.
Unfortunately, Diane has now figured out that he’s not going because he loves Diane, but because he loves Maeve so much he’s willing to die for her. Maeve apparently knows it’s the end as she tells him “Thomas Merton” (remember my WTF from the earlier Reid/Blake chess scenes?). Diane freaks. “Who’s Thomas Merton?” Maeve, still looking directly at Reid: “He knows.” Because they have such a deep connection they have their own code yo. And honestly? I think Reid clues in too. Maeve gets a bit of fight in her because she tells Diane, who is still demanding to know who Thomas Merton is: “He’s the one thing you can never take from us.”
And here it is: Diane says “No” and pulls the gun from Maeve’s head to her own. Shot of Reid slow-mo’ing “Wait!” and the sound of a gunshot. Team reaction from the promo. Very sad song cues ("Infinity Street” by Richard Walters). Reid stares, agape (sad though, not the total shock he had in “Third Life”).
Cut to the floor where a very large pool of blood has formed, with Diane (eyes open, clearly dead) in the middle of it. Camera pans back to show Maeve lying next her, eyes closed. The assumption is the bullet went through Diane’s brain and into Maeve’s as well, killing her also.
Cut to Reid starting to crumple, the team just standing still behind him. Last look at Maeve. Last look at Reid. Credits. The end. There is no end quote.
My notes: Fuck them for killing her off, if that’s really what they did. It was completely unnecessary, makes this the third team member who’s basically had a loved one die in their arms (Reid, Hotch, Rossi), and dude pretty much continues the never abated cycle of Reid always having crap happen to him. It also pisses me off because some people over at IMDb lately have been whining about how they “always get there just in time”, “the victim is always saved”, and “it’s too predictable and boring” and THIS is the episode the show chooses to buck that trend. I do hope Breen Frazier faces a lot of anger in his chat talk on Thursday.
I don’t mind the Reid angst, but only if we can get some happy pay-off in the end. Which would happen if she’d say, needed witness protection or something, but not if she’s actually dead dead. Gotta say if the pay-off is Reid falls for another girl, that pretty much negates the Romeo/Juliet soulmate storyline they just did.
Because seriously, if Breen thinks that any of these comments of his happened in this episode, he’s seriously deluded.
I brought this in the room and this staff (aka Chicago Bulls circa 1996) came up with an amazing arc for her, Reid and their future together. Hope you guys like it!
Anonymous asked: Is fan feedback ever frustrating?
BF: Only when we disappoint you. We take fan input VERY seriously. And, in the case of Reid’s headaches, it gave us this great relationship.
Question:Jasper @Just__Jasper - Last season was the season of happy endings - how much of that is there this season? #AskBreen
Answer: Breen Frazier - @Just__Jasper I’d say there’s a lot of endings that are appropriate. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but it’s always earned & justified
Now moving on: I don’t wanna raise false hope - because trying to keep things alive because the reality was too stupid to believe is almost worse than the illogical ending itself - but there were some things off on that final scene IMO.
First off: neither of these pictures were addressed:
In fact, they don’t match “Zugzwang” at all, despite being filmed at the same time. For one, Reid’s clothes are wrong. ”Zugzwang” takes place over the course of one day. The only apartment scene in the episode didn’t have those clothes on either.
Second, I’m intrigued by the pics on the wall in the gift basket pic. They’re not there in the one with Garcia. Granted, that could just be Reid helping the team with their case in “Magnum Opus.” Maybe they didn’t want to make the apartment set again.
This picture is also not addressed, and it clearly does belong in “Zugzwang”:
Hotch’s costume is correct. I thought at first it might belong in the scene where the team identifies Diane Turner (as that’s clearly Diane in the lower left pic, and I think Bobby above her), but it’s probably just a simple cut shot. I think the guys behind Hotch’s head are Maeve’s coworkers at Mendel University.
Third, I’m sorry, but I know my BBC Sherlock is showing: that ending IMO reminded me of “Reichenbach Falls” like you would not believe. Everything except the cemetery scenes at the end. We even saw Sherlock’s bloody body on the ground. And yes, Breen did fill this episode with Sherlock references, even though I know now that one of his Sherlock chat hints was for something different than I thought.
Fourth: here are the following chat comments that didn’t seem to be addressed in this episode (and remember, Breen had already finished “Zugzwang” at this point):