Today, season 5 episode 16. And the final scene struck me. (No serious spoilers.)
JJ, Prentiss and Garcia are tidying up after a case. And the awesome mother of one of the victims comes in and they talk briefly about the case and their job; and then JJ narrates the final voiceover quote by Emily Dickinson.
5 women in one scene, and the first time I watched it I saw nothing remarkable about it, because Criminal Minds has been awesome about having women just be people. Yes, the victims are mostly women, but they still have agency, whether they're being kept in a cage, a car boot, or a paralytic state. Women also take their turns as perpetrator, cop-of-the-week, key witness, key expert, strong friend-or-family, the-one-who-got-away, and the-one-who-stabbed-the-perp-before-Our-H
And Garcia is the tech genius. And Prentiss is a geeky polyglot who's ready any day to strap on the kevlar, shove her hair into a ponytail, and kick in a door -- or to let herself be beaten up to protect her male colleague. And JJ is quiet and sweet and can flutter her eyelashes with the best of them, twist the media (or Hotch) around her little finger -- or alternatively kill three attacking dogs with three shots in the dark while standing in the blood of their last victim.
Season 5 episode 16 - okay, here are spoilers after all - (skip
) we find out that every time there's a missing child case, JJ has to deal with the mother of a boy taken 8 years ago, who thinks the cases are related. And then JJ realises that this time the cases are related. And when Morgan thinks maybe JJ's just being a mother (Morgan is always a doubter. Also did I mention JJ's a working mother? Her partner's the stay-at-home dad) Prentiss steps in to back her up, and they take the case. And the mother of the first victim has done a pile of research for them. And it turns out that the dominant unsub is a woman. And... you get the picture.
Basically, without the women, there'd be no story. And this wasn't that unusual of a storyline.
So of course CBS wants to get rid of JJ and reduce Prentiss from regular character to some kind of guest appearance arrangement
. The male characters can stay, they've got no problem with the male characters.
Someone's done a rejigged version of the opening credits which says it all:
There's a petition going around
-- I signed it when it was about 170 signatures, and now it's about 32,000. There's Twitter and Facebook campaigns, and people phoning the CBS folk and sending "Missing" posters
and lipsticks and all of that.
But, y'know? It's not like the CBS folk are trying
to be sexist. It's just that all of Hollywood and all of society is sexist -- no matter how well-written Prentiss and JJ and Garcia have been, the male characters still got all the *really* meaty plots, and/because/so guess who the fans' favourite characters are? -- and if CBS thinks they can save money by collaborating with that then by golly they'll collaborate. So I don't know if I should bother hoping at all.