Review Of Criminal Minds Season Finale Brothers Hotchner/The Replicator

For the final time in Season 8, we are treated to a review by the lovely Jasmine. Here is her take on the Criminal Minds Season Finale, episodes 23 and 24, Brothers Hotchner/ The Replicator.

May 22nd was the season finale of “Criminal Minds”, showing us the last two episodes of the season.  The episodes kept us on the edge of our seats and I enjoyed the entire season finale.


Brother’s Hotchner


Hotch finds himself in New York City to spend time with his girlfriend Beth and his son Jack.  He gets interrupted in a personal moment with Beth when his brother Sean calls him, in trouble.  Sean, while working at the club The Edinburg, witnesses a female victim collapsing to the floor with blood coming out of every hole on her face.

823. Brothers Hotchner - Hotch with Beth


Hotch arrives at the scene and finds out that this was the second victim, the first being Sean’s girlfriend.  Finding their deaths rather peculiar, Hotch calls in the team to join him in NYC.  Once they arrive, they learn that the victims are being drugged with contaminated ecstasy and a mixture of amphetamines to mask the effect of the drug, making the victims take an extremely large amount too quickly to get the effect faster.  The effect of this consumption would make the victims bodies act as if they were boiling from the inside out, thus causing the blood to spill from the holes in their faces. 

There was a surprise twist when the Unsubs M.O. changed and they realized that these victims were not obvious ecstasy users, nor were they anywhere near clubs when their deaths happened.  They discovered that these victims had drunk wine previously to their death and that the wine was also laced with the tainted ecstasy, causing their death. 

All these incidents eventually retraced back to The Edinburg, the club Sean was working at, and his Boss Thane.  Hotch during this investigation, learns that Sean lies to him from the first call he made, notifying him he was in trouble.  He finds out that Sean has gotten back into drugs, but has been clean since his girlfriend, the first victim.  He also learns that Thane, Sean’s Boss, is also the dealer for the ecstasy and helps Sean get a job.  Sean, feeling guilty of his lies and mistakes, decides to help Hotch catch the dealer of this tainted drug by wearing a wire and talking to Thane.  Hotch also learns from that conversation, that Sean also lied to his boss and sold the tainted boxes of wine to make money behind his back.




In the end, the team finds out that the Unsub is a man who just lost his daughter to ecstasy, and sends the tainted drugs and wine to the club where she bought the drugs to punish them.  Reid and Morgan apprehend the Unsub in the end.  Hotch, despite all the information he learns about Sean, decides to give him another chance to help him straighten out and we see the ending scene of Sean meeting Jack and Hotch’s new girlfriend.

Brother’s Hotchner was a great episode.  The imagery of the victims was both gory and traumatizing.  The first scene, where the girl, making out with Thane, suddenly feels hot and collapses on the floor with blood spilling from her eyes, nose, and mouth was really quite well graphic.  I must admit, that despite the fact that it was gross, I did whisper the word cool. 

Another traumatizing moment was when the parents of a little girl sit at the table to eat, and as the girl starts to pray before her meal, she closes her eyes.  When she finishes, she looks up to see her parents, both falling onto their dining room table, blood spilling from out of their faces and then die.  The effect of shock was immediate, and I wonder if it bordered on inappropriate, but I found it to be effective and quite disturbing.

I was happy to see Sean and Jack again, as well as Beth, focusing on the personal side of Hotch, who I felt was often left aside this season.  Since the death of Hayley, it was nice to see Hotch flirt and be intimate with someone new; and I enjoyed seeing Jack older and calling Hotch Dad instead of Daddy.  I also enjoyed the one moment where Reid took down the Unsub, while he incapacitated Morgan for a few moments.  Reid’s quick thinking and actions saved the day and I would enjoy seeing him get more action scenes in the future seasons.

And finally, we got a bit more humor with a Garcia scene.  She calls up the team and sees them having lunch.  She says “I hope you saved me for dessert” hoping Morgan would hear, only to have JJ answer her “Morgan isn’t here Baby Girl.”  I always enjoy Garcia and Morgan’s constant flirting, and am also hoping to see this next season.

The end of the episodes shows Section Chief Strauss being taken by “The Replicator”, played by Mark Hamill and we are left waiting on the edge of our seats.



The Replicator


The final episode of the season was a roller coaster ride from beginning to end.  The beginning of the episodes shows the team regrouping as they realize that “The Replicator” is with them, when Garcia, back in Quantico, gets hacked into her system and all her screens go black, filling up instead with the word “Zugzwang”.


Rossi tries to reach Strauss, only to get no answer.  The whole team heads to the hotel to regroup (making sure everyone is ok) and that’s when Rossi discovers that Strauss’s hotel room is empty, with small liquor bottles on the floor and the Medallion that Strauss has kept for being 1 year sober.  He immediately worries, knowing that Strauss didn’t go anywhere without it on her.

CM s8

The team then spreads out, looking for Strauss, hoping to find her alive.  Finally Aaron Hotchner finds her inebriated on a park bench and when he reaches her, she weakly falls into his arms.  She tells him how “The Replicator” put a gun to her head and made her drink.  Strauss, having been intoxicated with another unknown substance, says a sad goodbye to Hotch as she dies in his arms, but not before relaying the message that “The Replicator” was racing them home.


The team then rushes back to Quantico together, trying to figure out the true identity of who “The Replicator” is, worried about who would be his next victim.  They get word that Strauss’ body was drugged by the ecstasy mixture of their last case, which is what caused her to die, confirming that “The Replicator” indeed killed her. 


Garcia then comes up with a logical thought that the Unsub works inside the The Justice Department with deductive logic of how the Unsub could have gotten into her work system.  They also realize that “The Replicator” is an FBI member, when trying to find out why Strauss’ body has an infinity symbol carved into her wrist.  They conclude that Strauss was indeed close to revealing his identity, when they read a case file of theirs that had misleading information, including an infinity sign carved into the victim, which was actually false.  This showed that Strauss indeed, believed that “The Replicator” was an inside job, and was trying to find out by seeing if he would mimic the false information, which as seen on Strauss’ body, he did.


Blake also realizes that the Unsub started replicating their cases when she started working for the team, wondering if there was a connection.  Hotch managed to then get a list of the people who read the falsified report, confirming Blake’s suspicision, when she hears the name of a man who worked with her during the Amerithrax case.  This also explained the death of Strauss, the reason for this man and Blake’s demotion.

John Curtis, the name of the man Blake worked with, is indeed “The Replicator”.  Garcia, once her computers were back up and running (thanks to the help of Kevin), learns that Curtis did indeed suffer a demotion from that case and was sent to a small office to be seen as invisible, despite the fact that he was hardworking and a genius.


During their search for “The Replicator’s” identity, we watch as “The Replicator” places an envelope on Rossi’s desk.  Once Rossi gets back from Strauss’  arrangements, he enters his office and reads the report.  Morgan comes into his office for news and Rossi, who is very angry, tells him to leave and pulls out a gun when Morgan doesn’t cooperate.  Luckily Hotch is there and calms down Rossi, only to realize that the envelope had results mentioning that Morgan’s prints were on the glass that cut Strauss and that the envelope containing the information had been lined with a drug.  Rossi is soon sent to the infirmary for the intoxication.

Now, the identity of “The Replicator”, Garcia is able to pinpoint the location and sends the team, without Rossi, out to catch him.  The team splits up into 2, each taking a helicopter.  We are sent into the end of the episode, the last scenes of the show, leaving us clutching onto anything we had near us.


First, we see “The Replicator” with a remote in his hands, and watch as one of the helicopters loses it’s engine and then regain them moments later.  A few seconds later, he presses the buttons again, causing the helicopter (with Reid, Hotch and Blake inside) to crash.  As the other helicopter lands, the other members of the BAU run to see what happened, and is relieved to find Reid and Hotch alive, but Blake missing. Over at the BAU, Rossi returns from the infirmary and Garcia lets him know where to find the team.


The team runs to the house where Curtis lives and enters to search for him and Blake.  The team enters a room to see Blake tied up with a series of keys and locks.  Reid stays with Blake to untie her, while the rest of the team explores the house.  JJ comes into contact with a bomb that is timed and heads back to the team to tell them to leave, only for Blake to be unlocked and get up from her seat.  The seat is trapped, that causes the door to slam shut and lock them in.



We cut to outside where “The Replicator”, complete with FBI kevlar on, blends into the crowd surveying the scene outside the house. He looks down at his cell phone to see Garcia has jammed the satelitte and his timer has stopped. He heads back into the house to reactivate the bomb.


We are then brought to the team, outside and out of the room, and they turn around to ask where Rossi is, the one we realize, help them escape.  Rossi is in the room with “The Replicator”, who sits down in Blake’s chair thus reactivating the door. After taunting Rossi, we see him get up and watch as the door shuts behind them.  Thinking Rossi will die, we see him go to the door and pull it open, holding Strauss’ medallion in his hand, which he helped jam the door with, and we see Rossi close the door saying “Zugzwang”, leaving “The Replicator” alone in the house as the bomb goes off.

The end scenes are of the team as Strauss’ funeral and then gathered around a table at the infamous “Rossi Mansion” discussing memories of their fallen ally.




The season finale, though I found ran rather quickly at the end, was great.  I loved that it kept us on our toes the whole time and that it was a full team episode.

I was very proud of Joe Mantegna’s performance in this episode.  He played many different emotions and pulled them all off well.  The grief for Strauss tore my heart and his anger towards Morgan gripped me with fear when I thought he would shoot him.  His bravery also at the end when he faced the replicator alone and his cleverness by tricking him with Strauss’ medal was genius.

I was also proud of Mark Hamill for making a wonderful and creepy Replicator.  His years of acting experience did not fail him, and I enjoyed hating him throughout the episode, yelling every time I saw him doing something he wasn’t supposed to be doing, without anyone noticing.

I was saddened by Strauss’ death.  We knew her through many seasons as the enemy, always trying to tear them apart or bring them down, but this episode showed the wonderful side of her.  We saw her weak, as she asked Hotch not to leave her alone in her final moment, which still to this day, makes me want to cry.  I was also very angry at Curtis for embarrassing her in her final moments, forcing her to drink, something that Rossi thought her kids would find hard to believe even if it was true.  But I was glad that it also ended on the good side of her, showing that she was still a good woman deep down.

The team work throughout was great.  I was glad to see Agent Anderson and Kevin in it too.  I was also glad by the few moments of near death experiences for some of members, not because I wanted them to die, but to keep us interested to the end, to wonder if we would lose any other team in the BAU.  Although, I must admit, I was extremely nervous and scared when Rossi got locked in with Curtis, ready to cry if the house exploded with him in it.

The story might not end here though.  We may have seen the house explode with Curtis in it, but we had no actual confirmation of the body found in the house, so I am looking forward to seeing in season 9 if this is truly over.  I am also excited to see the new story lines and wondering who will be picked for Strauss’ replacement.   Now all we need to do, is wait for September to come around.


Jasmine (lintusflower)



Matthew Gray Gubler And The Adventures Of Sunscreen Ghost

As we all know, Matthew Gray Gubler is currently catching some rays in sunny Hawaii. All weekend he has been tweeting pictures of his trip, and here are his adventures as Sunscreen Ghost.


@gublernation: sunscreen ghost #1


@gublernation: sunscreen ghost #2


@gublernation: sunscreen ghost #3


@gublernation: early american sugarcane bandit


@gublernation: aunt of the sunscreen ghost

Biography Channel To ReAir Celebrity Ghost Stories With Matthew Gray Gubler

This Thursday, May 30th at 11am Est. The Biography Channel will be showing a repeat of Matthew Gray Gubler’s episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories.



Matthew Gray Gubler experiences a haunting in an eccentric Hollywood apartment building with a tragic past

The episode, which originally aired in 2011, also stars Mindy Cohn and Nicole Eggert. Check your local listings to find where Biography Channel airs in your area.

More News On The Learning Curve’s Appearance At The New Media Film Festival

As we previously reported, “The Learning Curve” starring Matthew Gray Gubler will be making it’s Los Angeles debut at the New Media Film Festival on June 12th. Here is an article from PRWeb with more information on this prestigious event.




David Sedaris’ is a New York Times best-selling essayist and The Learning Curve is an adaptation from his book, ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day.’ Director Phil McCarty shot on the RED Camera and chose Matthew Gray Gubler, the FBI behavioral analyst Dr. Spencer Reid of Criminal Minds to star as David Sedaris.

The Learning Curve follows Sedaris as he becomes a creative writing teacher at a local college, tries to teach his students creative writing, failing miserably. This New Media film will take the prestigious spot in programming as being the closing night film of the entire festival, Wednesday June 12th starting at 7:30PM at the State of the Art Theatre, The Landmark 10850 W. Pico Blvd. LA CA

Last year, the festival sold out in advance. This year, New Media Film Festival implemented a customizable festival experience by offering, individual tickets to screenings sessions, 2 Day Festival Badges and PPV/Live Stream click attend and choose.


New Media Film Festival: The Best in New Media-What’s New, What’s Next…Honoring Stories Worth Telling in all media that are innovative, imaginative and inspirational. Stories that can make you laugh, cry, think & go beyond the ordinary.

New Media Film Festival intersects the interactivity of new technologies & formats for Media & Cinema which exemplify the power of the cinematic arts to inspire and transform. A festival where we Honor Stories Worth Telling that are created by people of All Ages-All Cultures-All Media.


Each submission is considered for Screening, Distribution & Competition.

Judging by Pixar, Fox, The Caucus and many other Industry Leaders,

Each of our over 17 categories has a best of winner and there is one grand prize winner. Over 45K in Awards given.

Check our website often for panels, events, updates, news.

IMDB qualifying

International & Affordable-All Ages, All Cultures, All Media

SAVE THE DATE: June 11 & 12th 2013 at The Landmark Los Angeles

For our 4th Annual New Media Film Festival

Sponsors, fans, filmmakers and you.

Join filmmakers from around the World; hear industry leaders, network with distributors and funders. Enjoy the Opening Night, Networking Lounge- Screenings, Panels, Q & A’s, Closing Night and Award Ceremony and Red Carpet Press Junket

Proud to announce our 3D channel on NVidia


The Best in New Media: What’s New, What’s Next …honoring stories worth telling.

“Makes the cutting edge accessible.”- Huffington Post

” L.A-based festival… that addresses and celebrates all of the unique forms that visual storytelling can take in our new media world.”-BadLit

“This fest proves Tinseltown’s chops…the creativity and ingenuity of film.”-Cool Hunting

“Sundance for the Facebook Crowd.” – Culture Rehab

“Worth the entry fee.” – Movie Maker Magazine


Each year we donate to a different non-profit and give tickets to students.

Some recipients include: LA High School #9, LA Film School Students, weSPARK, Unemployment Fund and The Madrone Project!, GATE, Save The Whales, EyeCare4kids and more.

There is no charge for artists to submit to have their artwork/film exhibit in our Art on Wall Exhibit and the International Art Exhibit or to place business cards or postcards on our New Media Marketing Table (place 1 take 1).

Our Founder/Director – Susan Johnston is an Award Winning Producer and is a Global Speaker on New Media, Social Media & Incremental Monetization in the Digital Space. Check the events box on our homepage for a country near you For press or sponsorship opportunities, please email info(at)newmediafilmfestival(dot)com

Matthew Gray Gubler Appears On OMG! Insider

On a recent visit to the Criminal Minds set, OMG! Insider Correspondent Christina McClarty had the opportunity to interview Matthew Gray Gubler, and Shemar Moore about last nights Season Finale, who The Replicator is, and who lives and dies. Take a look!


Matthew Gray Gubler Photo’s From Around The Web

Here are a couple new Matthew Gray Gubler photo’s posted today, as well as a few from the past week and a half that I have yet to post (Since I’ve been a total slacker this week, lol ). Enjoy!!!!


Matthew Gray Gubler shopping at The Grove-Fan-Girl.Org


@ajcookofficial: Oh, Canada! You guys get it first. 2hr Criminal Minds season finale tonight. #CTV


@eligirl99: 823 playback; @rickdunkle and his 6ft + self did a great job. That’s a wrap for me! #CriminalMinds


@GUBLERNATION i once played the cat in the hat in a high school play


Matthew Gray Gubler from Criminal Minds reppin cTc! -Courtesy of driiamaya


@GUBLERNATION ran into an old friend today


@GUBLERNATION once the most limber son always the most limber son. #thewaybackforever


@CM_SetReport#CriminalMinds 2-Hour Season Eight finale tonight at 9/8c on @CBS !!

A Look Back At @Gublernation’s Appearance At “Set Sail With Saks”

A little over a week ago, Matthew Gray Gubler was back in his hometown of Las Vegas to host the 3rd Annual Set Sail With Saks event. The Dinner and Fashion Show was to raise money for the Las Vegas chapter of The American Lung Association. Along with his hosting duties, Matthew also took part in a VIP reception with guests before the festivities. Here are a few pictures from the event, as well as a nice article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.





Matthew Gray Gubler of the CBS drama “Criminal Minds” served as host during a fashion show and dinner benefiting the American Lung Association on May 10 at the Las Vegas Country Club.

With a theme of “Set Sail with Saks,” the event was co-chaired by Marilyn Gubler, the actor’s mother, and Annette Kinsman.

Matthew was born in Las Vegas and comes from an early Nevada pioneer family. He graduated from New York University’s film school and is an actor, film director and sketch artist.

The 300 guests were greeted by Diane Zapach, director of development for the Lung Association.

Association board members in attendance included Lynn Rosenbach, Linn Billingsley, Tami Corbin, Ramon Dimaculangan, Amy Hooks, Connie Jones, Pamela Lawson, Kelly LeGrow and Paul Stewart.

The reception in the club’s Rotunda Room included a silent auction for designer items, restaurant dinners, vacations, sports tickets, jewelry, art and autographed TV scripts. The live auction offered two VIP tickets for Fleetwood Mac and a meet and greet after the May 26 concert.

The dinner, with wine provided by Southern Wine and Spirits, took place on the club’s patio, which was decorated overhead with shipboard white lights centered to a crystal chandelier. Lonnie Hammargren provided the keyboard accompaniment. A seven-member group from Martin Middle School called TATU, or Teens Against Tobacco Use, entertained with an educational skit.

A highlight of the evening was The Best of Saks Fashion Show. Saks Fifth Avenue presented swimsuits, summer long dresses, cocktail wear and summer sports clothes for both women and men by designers Ferragamo, St. John, Robert Graham, Elie Tahari, Roberto Cavalli, Josie Natori, Eileen Fisher and Monique Lhuillier, to name a few.

Seen among the guests were Thomas DiGiacomo, Williston Dye, Wendy and Paul Bell, April Stewart, Candy and Ed Wilson, Rachel and Rick Hunt, Gloria Banks Weddle, Sharry and Tim Quillin, Darlene and Cliff Miller, Beverly Dix, Beth Schwartz, Sandy Hammargren, Mark Cannerdy, Sheila Dalo, Rob Kachelriess and Brittney Tanzer, Tami and Bill Corbin, Karen Staples, Cindy Pino, Rachael Dilling, Lynda Tanner Delgado, Carlos Monrreal, Agnes Winder, Deomoni Brewington, Barbara White, Brenda Bogue, and Laura Gubler Dahl and Timothy Dahl, and son, Hunter.

Craig Dickson, Debbi Miles and Rabia Mechkor represented Saks Fifth Avenue.