Criminal Minds Episode 16 Recap

Criminal Minds Episode 16 Recap

A woman finishes her prayers in church. As she walks down the aisle she sees a nervous finger flying man in a dark hoodie that obscures his face. She asks if he is okay he doesn’t answer but keeps on typing. She leaves. The man mutters “public laws are like water and justice will flow like sewage”. Recall he’s a serial killer. The priest leaves his room. The serial killer comes from behind and slits the priest’s throat. He utters “justice will flow like sewage”.

The Criminal Minds Team and police examine the body. Team Lead Kang Ki Hyung (Son Hyun Joo) sends Yoo Min Young (Lee Sun Bin) and Ha Sun Woo (Moon Chae Won) to talk to the woman that saw the serial killer. Kim Hyun Joon (Lee Joon Gi) notes the killer is getting bolder.

The woman tells Min Young and Sun Woo the man’s face was obscured. Team Lead Kang and Hyun Joon arrive. The woman describes the man’s fingers moved like he was playing the piano but never responded to her questions.

Professor Lee pulls an item of the victim’s ear.


Team Lead Kang learns from Na Na Hwang (Yoo Sun) that the priest had charged brought up against him but they were dropped. Hyun Joon asks Na Ha to see if any of the other victims had charges too.  NYH finds all the victims had some find of charges that were dropped or they were found innocent. Hyun Joon reports the connecting thread to Team Lead Kang and Sun Woo.

Professor Lee has Na Hwang look at the mark on the stone he drew from the priest’s ear. It’s symbol that the killer uses to mark the victim’s as evil.

The Criminal Minds Team brief their police partners about the killer covering the victim’s eyes after each murder. Team Lead Kang notes it signifies lady justice who eyes are covered signifying objectivity. Hyun Joon notes that in Korea lady justice’s eyes are not covered. Hyun Joon believes the killer is making a statement that Korean justice is not objective. Team Lead Kang believes the killer works in the criminal justice system and is aware of injustices that occur. Team Lead Kang believes the killer is normal and therefore anonymous in the public eye.

The killer gets off a bus.

Min Young gets a call that the killer has struck again. The victim also had murder charges but was found innocent.  Min Young alerts the team of new report suggesting a serial killer is at work bringing justice to those that deserve it. Team Lead Kang asks Na Hwang to determine who leaked the information to the news outlets.

The killer gets off the bus and follows a woman who was a critical witness in the latest victim’s innocent verdict. A man attacks the woman as she nears her apartment. At the same time HY and Sun Woo arrive. They hear her screams. The woman runs to the stairwell. The man follows and just as he is about to strike, Hyun Joon knocks him down. Hyun Joon handcuffs the man. Sun Woo helps the woman up. As they leave the stairwell, we see the serial killer watching from a floor above.


Hyun Joon and Team Lead Kang interrogate the man. Team Lead Kang realizes the man is not the serial killer when he doesn’t know the details of the murderers. Team Lead Kang leaves the interrogation. Hyun Joon tells the man to stop trying to put the spotlight on himself for things he didn’t do.

Team Lead Kang tells Min Young to meet with the reporter that leaks the information.

Na Hwang determines all the murder victim were processed in the same courthouse.

Professor Lee and Min Young talk to the reporter. The reporter tells Professor Lee that it’s not his fault he’s faster than the police.

Sun Woo and Hyun Joon go to the courthouse and try to ascertain how to find the killer amount all the workers. They visit a courtroom and talk to a prosecutor. A court clerk watches them.

Ah, that explains the typing the killer does.


Team Lead Kang, Min Young and Professor Lee talk to the reporter at the NIC office. The reporter admits from a certain vantage the killer is hero by bringing justice to those that evaded it. Team Lead Kang shares the symbolic rock the killer leaves with the victim. Team Lead Kang tells the reporter that glorifying a serial killer condones murder and taps into his own personal need to bloodlust. The reporter is offended. Team Lead Kang asks him to help them catch the killer.

The court reporter serial killer leaves the office in a hurry with a file and his stenographer device.

Sun Woo and Hyun Joon find a gap in the courtroom records. They learn the court reporter hasn’t finished the translation, hence the gap. They learn the court reporter is often out sick and therefore behind on his work.

Team Lead Kang realizes that a court reporter could be the killer. He asks Na Hwang to check the court reporter for the victims. Team Lead Kang tells Min Young that recording the courtroom could make the case feel personal. Min Young realizes the moving fingers the lady from the church describe would fit someone that was a court reporter.

Hyun Joon realizes the court reporter could be the killer. He tells Sun Woo they are like ghosts in the courtroom.

Hyun Joon and Sun Woo learn the court reporter of interest was in the courtroom when they spoke with the prosecutor. They realize they could have tipped the serial killer that they were close to finding him.

Na Hwang identifies the court reporter that handled all the victim’s cases. She tells Team Lead Kang that he is the only survivor of a crime against his family.

The serial killer waits at a bus stop. His fingers are flying.

Sun Woo and Hyun Joon go to the courtroom and learn the court reporter went home sick. Sun Woo guesses they inadvertently tipped off the serial killer.

The police and the Criminal Minds Team head to the court reporter’s location.

The serial killer picks his next victim. He leaves his apartment.

The police and Criminal Minds Team arrive the killer’s apartment. He’s not there. They search the apartment and find a single-family photo and a life insurance policy that was never collected.

We see a flashback of the murderer enjoying killing the court reporter’s family while he watched.


The Criminal Minds Team learn the man the killed the court reporter’s family only got 7 years and is now a missionary. They realize the court reporter knew they’d find him and search his apartment. Professor Lee identifies the marking mechanism for the pertinent cases. The police find a picture of the next victim.

The Criminal Minds Team and police drive to the next victim’s location.


The serial killer watches the next victim walking along the street. He crosses the street and follows him. Team Lead Kang calls the next victim’s wife and informs her of the situation. She calls her husband. She sees her husband attacked in front of the house. The serial killer pulls her husband into the playground. The serial killer tells the husband to admit to his crimes. The police and the Criminal Minds Team arrive. Hyun Joon tries to talk to the serial killer. Team Lead Kang joins in the conversation. He tells the serial killer he doesn’t have the right to kill. The serial killer he is the only one that meter out justice. The husband begs for forgiveness.

Flashback to the husband tells the court reporter that he’s found god and not to visit him in prison again.

Flashback to the serial killer seeing the guilty go free. He can’t stand watching. He determines he must provide justice.  We see his family’s killer released from prison and met by his family. Knife in hand, he’s stymied to bring justice.

The serial killer screams he must bring justice. The husband begs for his life. He says his wife is pregnant.

Note during this entire exchange a man at the park is watching intently.

As the serial goes to stab the husband the police shoot him. As he lays dying he tells Team Lead Kang and Hyun Joon he couldn’t cope with his family’s killer living life like his past crime didn’t matter.  He dies.

The husband smirks and walks through the crowd. The man watching stabs him and says justice is served. The wife screams. The police grab the man who stabbed the husband.

Hyun Joon watches the melee and thinks of the quote from Gandhi also said, “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary. The evil it does is permanent.”
Season 1, Episode 17,” A Real Rain”


Team Lead Kang watches the public reaction on TV. Some support what the serial killer did, some say the police killed him to stop his vigilante justice, some say he was a killer that deserved to die. Hyun Joon enters and they commiserate about the crazy world they live in. Team Lead Kang asks Hyun Joon if he’d like to get a drink with him. Hyun Joon is surprised. Hyun Joon accepts.

Min Young and Na Hwang return from a trip with Min Young’s daughter and Team Lead Kang’s son Han Byul. Min Young frets about the increase in her rent. Na Hwang urges her to accept a loan to buy a house.

A man walks through a tunnel where the homeless spend time.

The man has a paid companion at an apartment. He drugs her drink. When she wobbles his bashes her repeatedly with a golf club.

The next day when a realtor is showing the model apartment, the woman’s dead body is found.


Min Young briefs the Criminal Minds Team. This is one of two murders of young women in model apartments. The killer ate, drank and bathed after murdering his victims. Professor Lee suggests the killer liked the fantasy of pristine model apartments.

Sun Woo and Hyun Joon go to the model apartment where the murder took place.

My Thoughts

When is vigilante justice acceptable?  Writer Hong Seung Hyun left that question for each viewer to decide for themselves. The serial killer murdered those that were guilty and had gotten away with it. I found it odd that he didn’t murder his family’s killer first. The copycat killer that took out his family’s killer was a surprise. Was it justice that his family’s killer was murdered?

Sun Woo was paired with Hyun Joon this episode. I’ve enjoyed the different pairings Team Lead Kang generates. Sun Woo is the unemotional one no matter who she’s paired with. Though she isn’t as rigid as in the beginning of the series, a welcome change.

Professor Lee with his IQ of 187 realized the stone in the ear was symbolic. Professor Lee’s attention to detail was good. The stone in the ear was a yucky part of the killer’s process.

Min Young was not happy to see case details leaked to the press. But the reporter wasn’t sorry. He even admired the serial killer’s vigilante justice.

Na Hwang, the resident computer expert, is like google for NCI. At times her responses seem faster than when I google something.

Hyun Joon (Lee Joon Gi) was surprised when Team Lead Kang invited him for a drink. Hyun Joon’s face said it all. But he recovered and graciously accepted the invitation. I would have enjoyed a short scene showing them bonding over booze. I am not digging the styling of his bangs.

Team Lead Kang (Son Hyun Joo) seems solid with nary a trace of PTSD. Team Lead Kang trusts his team and they trust him. I like it.

Ranking the episodes (on a scale from 1-10) had me rank this episode as good.  My episode ranking chart is below.

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Posted in Criminal Minds, Recaps
5 comments on “Criminal Minds Episode 16 Recap
  1. Jane Tilly says:

    I find it very interesting that Korea’s lady justice is not blind folded;the follow-up comment about the assumption of killer’s thoughts on objectivity were telling. I thought the killer’s finger motions looked more like typing 💻 than piano 🎹 playing. When they talked about the murderer bring in the legal system, I knew I had seen the US episode (as well as the model home murder). After the murderer was shot, I found the smile on hostage, who murdered his family CHILLING. Did he not hear Hyun Joon say he would reinvestigate the case?

    The the man who killed his family should have been punished, but it is not up to a vigilante to give him the death penalty. I take umbrage with that thought process …
    🔹 How was the vigilante murdering a murderer justice⁉
    🔹 How is an anti-abortion activist murdering an abortion doctor justice⁉
    🔹 How is an anti-gun activist threatening or committing violence towards gun activists justice⁉
    THESE ARE NOT 🚫⚖ JUSTICE‼

    On a happier 🎶note🎵 it is good to see TL Kang normalizing. I agree it have been nice to see him and Hyun Joon bonding.

    • The the man who killed his family should have been punished, but it is not up to a vigilante to give him the death penalty.
      You three points resonate though on the vigilante side I’ve seen compelling examples of why the vigilante was the person to sentence and punish a killer.

      it is good to see TL Kang normalizing
      The PTSD seems to have faded into the woodwork, and I can’t say that I’m sorry about it.

      • Jane Tilly says:

        The law is not perfect. There are times when the guilty go free and sometimes the innocent have been convicted. However, if the rule of law is not followed, anarchy will reign. Justice would be relative, based on the vigilante’s mores.

        I guess what I’m saying is I’d rather have criminals take their chances in a court of law, even if it means someone guilty is set free, rather than someone’s kangaroo court.

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