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Recap / Criminal Minds S 4 E 3 Minimal Loss

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Reid and Prentiss are taken hostage when they go under cover to investigate possible child abuse at an underground cult.

Provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear:
    • Jessie's mother did not approve of what Cyrus did with the teenage girls he took as his wives, Jessie included, so she called the FBI. And at the end, the team can only look at her in shame that they weren't able to save Jessie.
    • One for the other members of the BAU after Prentiss and Reid, who were on a child interview case that was supposed to be non-dangerous, end up captured by Cyrus's cult. It gets even worse once Cyrus learns that Emily is FBI and beats her up while the rest of the team is forced to listen to it, and before the FBI raid on the compound, Hotch and Rossi have a moment where they both express their fear that Reid and Prentiss may not make it out alive.
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    • Prentiss being beaten up is also one for Reid. After Cyrus finds out that one of them is FBI (unaware that both of them are), she takes the heat to spare him, and Reid can only watch helplessly at gunpoint as Cyrus drags Emily away by her hair. The next time he sees her, she has several bruises, and he's wracked with guilt at being unable to help her.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Both Reid and Prentiss are put in situations where one is left alone with Cyrus.
  • Author Tract: The episode is essentially one long attempt to reinforce the official government story of what happened at Waco.
  • Berserk Button: According to Jessie's mother and from what can be seen, Cyrus hates liars.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Civilian members of the cult ultimately survive thanks to Jessie's mother. However, Jessie herself commits suicide by blowing up the chapel along with any of the other militia members still inside.
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  • Casting Gag: The actress who plays Jessie's mother also plays Jess's mother on Gilmore Girls.
  • Cult: Obviously. It's a pretty generic Christian cult who quote the Bible at people to support their arguments.
  • Drinking the Kool-Aid: Subverted. It's all a test of their faith staged by Cyrus.
  • Endangering News Broadcast: A news leak causes Reid and Prentiss to be put in danger after it reveals there being an undercover agent in the compound.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Leo Kane, the former leader of the group that Cyrus took over and turned into his cult, makes it plain that while he's a Libertarian, he does not stand for the teenage Cyrus messing around with underage girls.
    Leo Kane: [talking to Morgan] When he was 17, a couple of our young girls came to me and said that he'd been messing with them.
    Derek Morgan: You mean sexually?
    Leo Kane: Yes, sir, I do. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a Libertarian. But... those little girls were too young for a 17 year old to be messing with.
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  • Friendship Moment: After Prentiss takes the fall for being the undercover FBI agent to spare Reid from being harmed and is beaten up as a result, he spends the rest of the episode feeling very guilty about it. At the end, when the team is on the jet home, Prentiss makes it a point to assure him that he shouldn't blame himself and that she would gladly do the same thing for him again, and they smile shyly at each other.
    Emily Prentiss: *Gently eases Reid's book down to look him in the eye* I need you to listen to me. What Cyrus did to me was not your fault. It was my decision, and I'd do it again. Do you hear me? *Reid gives her a slight smile* Thank you. *They both smile at each other*
  • Get Out!: Cyrus (birth name Charles Mulgrew) was originally expelled from the commune for molesting underage girls when he was a teenager. He returned to the commune several years later, forced the former leader Leo Kane out at gunpoint, then turned it into a cult.
  • Hostage Situation: An entire episode of one, including two members of the BAU as hostages.
  • Hypocrite: In her own opinion, Jessica's mother is one, because she only called the police when Cyrus got to her daughter, not when he did things to other girls.
  • Irony: Jessie's mother alerted the authorities in a desperate attempt to save her daughter. In the end, Jessie is the only one among the women and children to not make it out alive.
  • Malaproper: When instructing his followers to keep an eye on each other to suss out who is likely to be tempted away from their faith by the Devil, Cyrus makes a reference to the story of Cain and Abel, saying "you are your brother's keeper". When Cain tries to feign ignorance about Abel's murder, he asks God, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Not quite the parallel he makes it sound like.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Cyrus gives one to Prentiss after discovering that she's really an FBI agent and lied about it. Hotch, Rossi, and Morgan are forced to listen to the whole thing over their audio surveillance and initially want to raid the compound to help her, but Prentiss, who knows they're listening, sends them a message not to do so by assuring them she can handle the beating.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Morgan and Reid run out of the chapel when Reid sees that Jessie has picked up Cyrus' detonator and is about to set it off. She does indeed blow up the building (and herself with it) almost immediately after, but Reid and Morgan get far enough away that they survive.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Hotch gives a furious one to the state Attorney General who is trying to boss around the local police monitoring the situation after he put Reid and Prentiss in danger by unilaterally sending in the state police to raid the cult's compound for illegal weapons as a plan to improve his chances of being elected state governor.
    Attorney General Jim Wells: I'm the Attorney General of this state. I demand to know why I wasn't told that the FBI was sending undercover agents into the Septarian ranch.
    Aaron Hotchner: The only thing that you're in a position to demand is a lawyer.
    Attorney General: Who the hell are you?
    Aaron Hotchner: I'm Aaron Hotchner, Unit Chief. I'm the guy who's gonna tell the Attorney General of the United States whether to charge you with obstructing a federal investigation or negligent homicide.
    Attorney General: You can't talk to me like that.
  • Secret Test: Cyrus and his closest lieutenants have all of their followers drink wine, then claim that the wine was poisoned and take note of everyone who starts crying or otherwise reacts with fear, showing Cyrus which members of the cult are not willing to follow him to the death.
  • Taking the Heat: Played with. When Cyrus points a gun to Reid's head, interrogating him and Prentiss about which of the two is the undercover agent (since he doesn't know that both of them are), Prentiss confesses. This leads to Cyrus beating her up for lying to him, and Reid feels guilty about it for the rest of the episode.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Reid and Morgan, so much so that even when Jessie grabs the trigger, they don't shoot her.


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