Criminal Minds should make their characters superheroes (not flying around in
tights or anything -- though a sharp skirt or worn cardigan helps). Base each team
member off a superhero -- turn their stories into something of myth grounded firmly
in reality. Each character could be a reflection of one of the famous superheroes --
tragic flaws and all. Lord of the Rings is a fantasy, mythic with flawed superheroes,
yet it is grounded in reality and has outlasted many others. (I admit my bias in
using this example as I am a total nerd for LOTR and most things Tolkien.)
All the other procedurals (with maybe the possible exception of Without a Trace)
are after the crime has happened. There isn't usually someone to save; a moral to
uphold maybe, but the crime has already happened -- no one to save, no crime to
prevent. Hotch even said in one episode that he switched from being a lawyer to
being an agent in the BAU in order to stop the crime before it gets to his desk.
The world hasn't seen many real heroes lately. No more wars that are fought for
"good." Not since WWII it seems. It seems that was the last "good" war with the last
"real" heroes. Give the CM characters the impossible moral questions and decisions
and for the love of all that is good and holy, have them choose to do the right thing.
Yes, they make the wrong choice sometimes, but they know it and move on from it.
I see Hotch as Superman. I don't know who the others would be. The team has
suffered so many losses lately and not many wins, and with the balance of the entire CM universe about to be upset (with JJ leaving and soon after Emily Prentiss), it
needs something to bring balance back to the universe. CM will need a Luke
Skywalker to restore balance -- a new hope. Perhaps a slight shift could be made in
the show and more episodes (not all of them) could show glimpses from the victims'
points of view, how scared they are and then the team comes in to rescue them -- not
always, of course, because you can't always win.
It feels like we're falling apart. We need a hero. CM -- they prevent the crime.
They have the beginnings of mythic stories -- in the first season the team was likened
to King Arthur and the knights of the round table, and as was pointed out in the same
season (and episode) there are 7 on the team, 7 being a mythic or magical number of
completion. Each character has been through something of a hero's journey at some
point in the show. Now it can be stepped up.
Going back to heroes in general, we've had heroes since WWII, but they've all
been shot down, though not quite silenced. John F. Kennedy. Bobby Kennedy.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Hopes, dreams, heroes -- shot down. Destroyed by hatred (fed
by fear). But doesn't love overcome all? There is always hope. We need to know
that. Desperately -- we need to know that.
What started this tangent (which is really much more than a tangent in my life)
was a show on Biography about Superman. And the quote: "They can be a great
people, Kal-El; they wish to be; they only lack the light to show the way." (from Superman the Movie).