Criminal Minds Episode 20 Recap (Final)
It’s a standoff between Kim Hyun Joon (Lee Joon Gi) and the Phantom club member holding a knife to the victim’s throat. Hyun Joon puts down his gun as directed by the Phantom club member. Hyun Joon then takes his baton and fights the Phantom club member after plucking the victim safely away. The Phantom club member smiles at the Reaper who is watching in the crowd as the police lead him away.
During interrogation the Phantom club member claims all the criminology students are members of the club. He dismisses the fan fiction as intriguing and enticing to know what murder felt like but the club’s actions were pretend not real crimes. Yoo Min Young (Lee Sun Bin) and Team Lead Kang Ki Hyung (Son Hyun Joo) watch from behind the mirror. Team Lead Kang knows they don’t have hard evidence on this first-time offender. He tells Min Young to gather victim information so they can amp up the psychological pressure. Team Lead Kang enters the room along with boxes of victim information. This thrills the Phantom club member who can recite the victim details. He even provides hot tips to trap victims. He chuckles and itemizes all the tricks used to get him to confess.
Ha Sun Woo (Moon Chae Won), Professor Lee and Na Na Hwang (Yoo Sun) aren’t happy that the Phantom club website has been moved. Now they can’t track the club’s activities.
A Phantom club member looks at the Reaper’s fan fiction chapter.
The finance of the missing woman (abducted by the Reaper) searches for her without luck.
The Reaper takes video of his chained victim.
The Chief tells the Criminal Minds Team they are no longer in charge of the investigation another regional team is. He says his superior worry that the Criminal Minds Team’s involvement incites the criminals.
Team Lead Kang watches the Chief leave the building. He wonders if the Reaper has something on the Chief and asks a shocked Na Hwang to track him. Professor Lee and Min Young show Team Lead Kang an anonymous message on their electric message board. Hyun Joon and Sun Woo see the message and wonder if it is intended for them. Sun Woo notices the writing style is different. Na Hwang deciphers the message and identifies a potential location. The Criminal Minds Team realizes it is where yesterday’s victim was apprehended. Na Hwang reports the Chief is has arrived at the hospital where the victim is located. Team Lead Kang calls the Chief but he doesn’t answer.
At the hospital the Chief is directed to the victim’s room by the Reaper. The Chief says this isn’t his daughter. The Reaper retorts if he does as he’s told, he’ll get to see his daughter. The Reaper sends the Chief the video he took of his chained victim (the Chief’s daughter). The Reaper calls the Chief and order him to kill the victim to save his daughter. The Chief tries to negotiate but the Reaper won’t engage. He orders the Chief to open the drawer next to the victim’s bed. The Reaper tells the Chief to pick up the scalpel. As the Chief holds the scalpel the Reaper orders him to kill or his daughter will die. The Reaper hangs up.
The Criminal Minds Team arrives at the hospital. They don’t see the masked Reaper pushing a bed with a covered body on it. When they reach the room, they find the victim dead. Sun Woo reports the Chief’s daughter is missing. Team Lead Kang realizes the Reaper is doing the same thing to the Chief that he did to him. Team Lead Kang orders the Chief’s car tracked. They find the car but it is empty.
Back at the office, Na Hwang reports another anonymous message is on their electric message board. They decipher the location.
Team Lead Kang and Hyun Joon meet the Reaper in a coffee shop. Now we are back to the scene at beginning of the last episode. Team Lead Kang demands to know where the Chief is. The Reaper claims he’ll be able to walk out of the coffee shop without being apprehended. Team Lead Kang says he understands the Reaper’s pain and notes the Reaper can’t feel pain. The coffee shop is surround by a ton of cops. The Repaper puts a bag on the table and declares it contains he ticket to an easy exit. Hyun Joon slowly unzips the bag. It has a body part. The Reaper says it isn’t the Chief (it must be what the Reaper put in the freezer in the previous episode). The Reaper shows a news report on the TV that shows an anonymous video of students trapped in a room with a countdown to their death. This is another “greatest hits crime” in this series. The students are gassed and fight over a single source of oxygen. One of the students is an important politician’s daughter. The Reaper asks Team Lead Kang if he’ll tell him what he wants. Team Lead Kang stares into the eyes of the master manipulator and cold psychopath.
Hyun Joon tells the police outside that the Reaper wants to leave with Team Lead Kang. They have no choice but to acquiesce to the demand in hopes of saving the student’s lives. Team Lead Kang and the Reaper exit the coffee shop. The Reaper is relaxed and thrilled he has the upper hand. He gets into the back of Team Lead Kang’s car. He warns Hyun Joon not to follow him or the students will die. Team Lead Kang drives away.
Hyun Joon calls Na Hwang to track Team Lead Kang’s car.
The Reaper tells Team Lead Kang the Chief caved on his ethics to save his family. The Reaper declares Team Lead Kang will never beat him. He says soon Team Lead Kang will feel the flames just like those that died when he set the mental hospital on fire years ago. He directs Team Lead Kang to turn right.
Na Hwang losses the signal on Team Lead Kang’s car. She realizes the Reaper deliberately directed Team Lead Kang’s car into an area with underground tunnels to break the signal lock. She tells Hyun Joon one of three location (the closest) where Team Lead Kang’s car could have gone.
The Reaper has Team Lead Kang stop the car in the middle of the tunnel. They get out of the car. He tells Team Lead Kang a building with ivy on the other side of the tunnel is a spot important to him. He tells Team Lead Kang to hurry if he wants to save the students. As the Reaper walks away, he turns and tells Team Lead Kang they will meet again.
Team Lead Kang drive to the end of the tunnel. Hyun Joon arrives. Team Lead Kang tells him to follow the Reaper. Hyun Joon goes to the end of the tunnel but can’t find the Reaper. Team Lead Kang goes to the building with the ivy the Reaper described. He opens the door. Gas pour out. He finds the student behind a chained door. They are still alive.
Parents are reunited with the students. Professor Lee arrives and surveys the scene. He says the gas was merely harmless smoke.
The Chief is tied to a chair with rope. He recalls looking at the victim in the hospital bed. When the Reaper enters the room the Chief spins to plunge the scalpel into the Reaper. But the Reaper plunges a syringe he holds into the Chief. The Reaper vibrates with the pleasure of the act. He tsks and tells the unconscious Chief his actions are predictable. The Chief manages to free himself but the drugs impair him. He hears his daughter call to him. He opens the door and finds his daughter. She weeps. He unties her and says it is time to go home. The Reaper appears. The Chief order his daughter to run. The Chief and the Reaper fight. The Chief goes down when the Reaper bashes him repeatedly with a pipe iron. The daughter runs down the road crying.
At the hospital the Chief’s daughter asks if they’ve found her father. Team Lead Kang reports they’ve searched but haven’t found him. The daughter and the Chief’s wife recoil. Team Lead Kang promises to find the Chief. Guilty that she ran, the daughter begs Team Lead Kang to save her father.
At the office the Criminal Minds Team brainstorms how to catch the Reaper. Min Young can’t believe the Reaper can execute flawlessly without help. Na Hwang reports a video has been delivered. She plays the video showing the Chief tied up. Is this video before the Reaper bashed him? The Reaper calls and tells Team Lead Kang to give him what he wants. The Reaper tells Team Lead Kang to give him the boy, publicly admit he’s been bested and the Chief will live. Team Lead Kang refuses to deal with the lying Reaper. Team Lead Kang says they’ll arrest him soon. The Reaper warns Team Lead Kang his arrogance will be his downfall. That’s the pot calling the kettle black. The Reaper declares he will never be beat.
Team Lead Kang is right. The Reaper lies to make his victims dance on a puppet string. But he won’t let any captured victim free unless it is part of his plan.
Team Lead Kang tells Hyun Joon that the Reaper had the Phantom club enact his fan fiction just as written as part of his plan to destroy the Criminal Minds Team. Team Lead Kang recalls the police officer that handed him the copy of his signed book found at the abduction point. Hyun Joon recalls the officer’s name. Team Lead Kang says the officer was engaged to the Reaper’s seventh victim. They believe the officer has been helping the Reaper to get revenge for his finance’s murder. That’s a bad plan.
The officer stares at the looks at the Reaper’s fan fiction chapter.
A woman is attacked at a remote location. The officer watches. When the woman gets away he intervenes to stop her. But it turns out it is the police who have set a trap for the officer. The Reaper watches it unfold. Na Hwang reports a can behind Team Lead Kang’s car has moved. Team Lead Kang orders her to watch it. The police officer declares they’ll never catch the Reaper. Hyun Joon tells the officer the Reaper knew who he was and used him. Team Lead Kang calls Hyun Joon and reports the Reaper watched it unfold as expected. He says he’ll follow the Reaper and Hyun Joon should follow suit.
Team Lead Kang and Hyun Joon are there when the Reaper arrives. Team Lead Kang knew it would end here. He knows the Chief is in danger. They enter the building carefully. Little do they know the Reaper is watching them via CCTV. They burst into the room that the Reaper just left.
They find him in another dark room. Everyone points guns. The Reaper taunts that the Chief will die if they kill him. He suggests they negotiate. He drops his gun. He taunts Team Lead Kang to take this only opportunity to kill him without regret. He taunts Hyun Joon to kill him. Team Lead Kang and Hyun Joon drop their guns. The Reaper uses a device to shut the door. He tosses a bag on the floor. Hyun Joon opens it. It only has 1 gas mask. The Reapers wears his and pushes a button to flood the room with gas. Hyun Joon and Team Lead Kang try and share the gas mask. Team Lead Kang hands Hyun Joon a single bullet. They fight with the Reaper but he gains the upper hand. As the Reaper pummels Team Lead Kang, he claims the Chief is dead. Hyun Joon stands and aims him gun at the Reaper. He turns and uses Team Lead Kang as a shield. The Reaper claims that Team Lead Kang’s wife was his most satisfying kill.
Team Lead Kang and the Reaper struggle and spin. A flash of light appears and Hyun Joon fires his gun repeatedly. Both men fall to the ground. Hyun Joon opens a window to get fresh air flowing. He holds his gun. A man steps out of the darkness. It is Team Lead Kang. Hyun Joon steps to the Reaper’s body. He’s dead.
Final quote of the series “Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky. (US Series “666” episode 3, season 3).
The Reaper is defeated in the final episode. Writer Hong Seung Hyun ends the series on a high note with the defeat of the compelling criminal of the series, the Reaper. Using the Reaper’s fan fiction to feature the “greatest crime hits” of the series allowed us to reflect on all the dreadful criminals and crimes. The Reaper looked like he might prevail until he put himself in a locked room with Team Lead Kang and Hyun Joon who would not turn against each other when self-preservation kicked in. Instead they shared the gas mask, fought the Reaper and Hyun Joon fired the shots that ended the Reaper’s reign of terror.
Professor Lee with his IQ of 187 was a team player. Professor Lee was a smart, insightful part of the Criminal Minds Team. We never knew him personally but he was professionally a contributor.
Min Young was a team player. She evolved over the series into a more capable profiler.
Na Hwang, the resident computer expert, tracked the Reaper to the final location. Na Hwang sifted through websites and electronic data to focus the Criminal Minds Team to find solutions. She had a heart. I always liked this character.
Ha Sun Woo (Moon Chae Won) didn’t let suspension stop her support. During the series we learned the major baggage she carried from past involvement with crimes. This was the implied reason for her unemotional and stoic nature. This character was the most disappointing of the team. I should have rooted for this survivor.
Hyun Joon (Lee Joon Gi) took the shot that felled the centerpiece criminal of the series. In that flash of light, he fires repeatedly and hoped he hit the Reaper and not Team Lead Kang. He did. The Reaper was dead. I liked this character but didn’t love him. Writer Hong gave us just enough personal information but not enough to attach fully. I chuckled every episode when Hyun Joo ran and chased criminals. Lee Joon Gi is a great actor. The series wasted his talents.
Team Lead Kang (Son Hyun Joo) proved the Reaper wrong and beat him. Team Lead Kang finally had the showdown with the Reaper. His humanity was the key to survival. I liked this character. His wife’s death at the hands of the Reaper was the stunning and gut wrenching moment of the series. At that point death was the only option for the Reaper in my mind.
How did I do on my wish list the final episode?
* The Reaper caught; dead or alive. GRANTED. I worried Writer Hong might wrap the series never resolving the Reaper. In two episodes Writer Hong put a bow on the series by coming full circle with the Reaper and highlighting the most compelling crimes of the series. My only nitpick was the dark and foggy room for the final showdown. I wanted to see more though I understand why the fight had to be in the murky dark so Team Lead Kang and Hyun Joon could be victorious and walk away and into the light. This pair evolved from cautious coworkers to trusted partners. It was fitting they took down the Reaper together.
* The Criminal Minds Team smiling and happy at the end of this series. NOT GRANTED. I don’t care. Ending on the Reaper’s death worked for me. The Criminal Minds Team is okay. Did the Reaper kill the Chief? My opinion is he did.
Ranking the episodes (on a scale from 1-10) had me rank this episode as terrific. My episode ranking chart is below.