Criminal Minds Episode 17 Recap
Ha Sun Woo (Moon Chae Won) and Kim Hyun Joon (Lee Joon Gi) go to the model apartment where the murder took place. Hyun Joon notices that the rug should have blood stains where the victim was, but instead it is clean.
Yoo Min Young (Lee Sun Bin) and Professor Lee discus the differences between the two model home murders. Team Lead Kang Ki Hyung (Son Hyun Joo) guesses that even though the method was different the model home could be sufficient for them to consider a single culprit for both murders. Na Na Hwang (Yoo Sun) finds a potential third victim. This woman refused to go the model home and was beaten. Team Lead Kang wants to speak with the woman.
Sun Woo and Hyun Joon grapple with the culprit taking a bath after cleaning up the murder scene. Hyun Joon wonders if the culprit was fastidious and had to leave the model home pristine.
Team Lead Kang, Min Young and Professor Lee meet with the victim that survived. She hesitated going into the model home and was beaten for it. She wonders if her plea that she was a mother and the subsequent phone call from her son was the reason she was able to flee and not be killed. She recalls the man was dressed casually and held an object in his hand. When she describes the object, Professor Lee draws it and she confirms it. Professor Lee explains it is a level weight used in construction. Min Young receives a call that the latest victim was drugged. Professor Lee states the drug is called the “zombie drug” and sold on the internet.
Na Hwang tells Sun Woo and Hyun Joon that the two murdered victims both moonlighted as dates from an on-line site. Sun Woo believes the culprit found the victims on-line.
The Criminal Mind Team meets to discuss all they know. They theorize the culprit is a construction worker that has a painful relationship with a woman in the past. With the culprit under the influence of the “zombie drug” they wonder if he will escalate. Team Lead Kang agrees that the culprit’s fantasy for perfection won’t be easy to give up.
We see the culprit chatting with his next victim on-line. When she arrives at the construction site, she’s taken aback. He meets her outside and compliments her style. She asks if they can go to a hotel instead. He refuses. Against her better judgement she follows him into the model home. He has dinner waiting. He lies that his furniture hasn’t arrived yet. The culprit prepares his bath. The woman gets nervous. She asks if she can go to the convenience store. She tries to leave. He grabs her. Another man arrives at the building. The woman begs for her life. The culprit tells her this is only the beginning. The other man enters the apartment and leaves when the man lies about who he is. He calls the police. The culprit bashes him.
The Criminal Mind Team examines the murder scene. Sun Woo notices he didn’t clean up the murder site. Na Hwang calls with security video that may have the culprit. The police note the man was walking towards a known homeless hang-up. Hyun Joon and a police officer head out to check it out. Professor Lee puzzles that if the culprit is homeless, how could he afford the on-line dating costs. Sun Woo wonders if he committed another crime to get the money for the on-line dating site.
Hyun Joon and police officer ask the homeless if they recognize the man in the video. One man runs. They chase him. The man fights. Hyun Joon disarms him. Hyun Joon examines the man’s possessions. He finds the level weight.
Min Young holds a press conference to request help in finding the culprit. A marriage counselor watches the broadcast and is taken aback.
Hyun Joon interrogates the homeless man. He admits a man “Mr. Kang” asked him to hold the weight and items from the murder victim until he returned. The man is horrified to learn “Mr. Kang” could be murderer.
Min Young tells Team Lead Kang the tips resulting from the press conference have not yielded viable suspects yet.
Sun Woo and Professor Lee visit the construction company. The manager shows them a day worker’s file and says the man liked the home they built even marking it with the triangular level weight symbol. He notes that once when he showed the house to potential buyers the man was there.
Min Young tells Team Lead Kang a man has arrived claiming the murderer is his younger brother. The counselor tells Hyun Joon he believes the homeless man is his younger brother. He provides a picture. Team Lead Kang arrives and Hyun Joon shows him the picture. The brother explains that he’s been searching for his brother who stopped calling months ago. Team Lead Kang asks why the man thinks his brother. He recalls who their mother up and left them when they were young. His brother recalls their father committing suicide after that. The man explains that his brother had hard time coping. The man says he searched for this brother among the homeless but didn’t find him.
The search for the culprit is on. A homeless man recognizes the culprit’s picture. Sun Woo sees a triangular level weight symbol on the wall. Hyun Joon theorizes the culprit leaves this mark wherever he stays. The culprit watches them from a distance.
The police search the area. They find the triangular level weight symbol. An explosion occurs. When Criminal Mind Team examines the explosion site, they find the culprit’s things and body. Hyun Joon finds gasoline. He wonders if the explosion was deliberate.
Team Lead Kang puzzles over the different methods of murder. Na Hwang finds footage of the homeless culprit that doesn’t add up. Team Lead Kang wonders if the counselor is more involved than he claimed. Team Lead Kang wonders if the counselor is the puppet master of these crimes. They find out the counselor is going through a nasty divorce. Team Lead Kang theorizes the homeless brother committed the first crime. Then he started his own crime spree pretending to be his brother. Hyun Joon guesses that once they went to the press, the counselor came forward to pin the murders on his brother. Even setting the fire to frame his brother. They realize the two brothers suffered the same trauma of their mother’s desertion and acted out their revenge in a similar manner.
Team Lead Kang and Min Young stop by the counselor’s office ostensibly to return the level weight. He thanks them. Team Lead Kang shares that his brother made have had an accomplice. Team Lead Kang notices his nervous reaction. They leave.
Team Lead Kang tells Professor Lee and Min Young the culprit will now take action.
Hyun Joon and Sun Woo return to interrogate the homeless man.
The counselor calls his wife and is incensed when she refuses to let him speak with their child. He recalls learning that his mother left him property which forced him to find his brother. When he found his brother, he admitted to murder. His brother died. This further traumatized the counselor. He read his brother’s diary that detailed his method of killing. The counselor decided to take up the gauntlet.
The counselor leaves his office. Team Lead Kang, Professor Lee and the police follow him. The man enters his apartment and pulls out his brother’s diary from a hiding place. Professor Lee, Hyun Joon and Team Lead Kang arrive and find the diary.
Hyun Joon interrogates the counselor. He doesn’t admit to murder. Hyun Joon asks why the counselor killed his brother. Hyun Joon pokes at the counselor’s life issues. The counselor tells him to stop. Hyun Joon ramps up the litany. The counselor gets mad. But Hyun Joon pushes him further. The counselor threatens him. Hyun Joon declares this is the real him. The counselor admits he killed the women. Hyun Joon smiles and nods to Team Lead Kang and Professor Lee on the other side of the one-way window. He leaves. The counselor rages. Min Young tells Team Lead Kang and Professor Lee that DNA analysis provides the counselor was the culprit.
Team Lead Kang looks at the homeless brother’s diary and thinks “Happy families are all alike. Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Leo Tolstoy. Season 2 Episode 20 “Honor Among Thieves”.
Model home fantasy? Writer Hong Seung Hyun gave us two brothers abandoned by their mother, orphaned by their suicidal father, who longed for the perfect home. I found the homeless brother more compelling than his counselor brother counterpart, though the two murders were done by the counselor brother. Taking a bubble bath AFTER murdering a drugged woman was a surprise. Once again the point is driven home, meeting men you don’t know can be fatal.
Sun Woo has achieved a calm competent air. She’s not engaging but she isn’t angry or cold. I’ll take it.
Professor Lee with his IQ of 187 is increasing his profiling skills. Professor Lee’s ideas about the killer were helpful.
Min Young is the public face of the team. I like how her makeup has been toned down and softened from the original heavy handed application of the first several episodes.
Na Hwang, the resident computer expert, help the team connect the dots. She finds the connections between the victims, the methodology, etc. whatever the team needs.
Hyun Joon (Lee Joon Gi) cracked the counselor with his persistent interrogation. Hyun Joon should have dropped the microphone once he got the killer to confess.
Team Lead Kang (Son Hyun Joo) surprised me with his initial assumption that it was a single killer. Team Lead Kang has preached throughout this series that a killer uses a particular method. When he stated it was a single killer for two different methodologies, that didn’t ring true.
Ranking the episodes (on a scale from 1-10) had me rank this episode as good. My episode ranking chart is below.