Criminal Minds (2005– )
7.6/10
1,699
5 user

Sick Day 

JJ tells her husband about the abduction of two children.

Director:

Larry Teng

Writers:

Jeff Davis (created by), Virgil Williams | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Mantegna ... David Rossi
Matthew Gray Gubler ... Dr. Spencer Reid
A.J. Cook ... Jennifer Jareau
Kirsten Vangsness ... Penelope Garcia
Aisha Tyler ... Dr. Tara Lewis
Adam Rodriguez ... Luke Alvez
Thomas Gibson ... Aaron Hotchner
Josh Stewart ... William LaMontagne Jr.
Genneya Walton ... Francesca Morales
Eric Murdoch ... John David Bates
Jaylin Ogle ... Roberto Morales
Dionne Gipson ... Renee Morales
Ciara Caneega ... Trisha Bates
Mekhai Andersen Mekhai Andersen ... Henry LaMontagne
Greg Yoder ... Max's Father
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Storyline

Beyond her bandaged burnt hand, Luke can tell that JJ is out of sorts because of the goings-on with their just completed last case. But it isn't until JJ arrives home in the middle of the night to find Will awake with the baby who has the croup that she is forced to talk about what has happened as Will will not let her go to bed before she gets the specifics of what is bothering her out in the open. That case, which took them to the Los Angeles area, began with the discovery of two teenagers, an older girl and younger boy, who were found burnt to death together in an abandoned building. The two, who were not related, were abducted in two separate incidents days apart in different parts of the city, both abducted in broad daylight, both middle class. This case mimics one in San Diego a few years ago, with a few differences, namely that those two victims were at risk runaways, and were discovered away from where they were burned. With this case, another teenaged girl, Francesca Morales,... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 2016 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final scenes in the burning building took 3 days to film, in over 100° heat. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Luke Alvez: Hey.
Jennifer Jareau: Hey.
Luke Alvez: You all right?
Jennifer Jareau: Yeah. Yeah.
Luke Alvez: You sure?
Jennifer Jareau: [indicating her bandaged wrist] Oh, you know this... this hurts like hell, but yeah. Yeah, I'm good.
Luke Alvez: You need anything?
Jennifer Jareau: No. I'm okay.
Luke Alvez: Water? Tea? I saw some microwave popcorn back there.
[...]
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Soundtracks

Criminal Minds Theme
Composed by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

 
JJ fans will be in heaven, Hotch fans will despair
3 June 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

After being underwhelmed by most of Season 11 (6 or 7 episodes, three faring better on re-watch, being good or more, but over half of the rest of the season was low-point 'Criminal Minds'), there was the uncertainty as to whether to stick with Season 12. Decided to however as a loyal fan, especially the best of Seasons 1-5.

Of the two episodes seen so far, while nowhere near classic 'Criminal Minds', neither "The Crimson King" or "Sick Day" have made not want to bother with the rest of the season (some of their later episode ideas seem intriguing, providing they are done well). Considering that Season 12 has undergone so much change already, and there's more to come later, the two episodes have done quite well with the adjustment.

Starting with what "Sick Day" does well, and there is a lot, one cannot talk about "Sick Day" without mentioning the acting of AJ Cook. Which, in short, is outstanding (some of the best she has given for the whole show), JJ's material is very meaty here and one really feels sorry for JJ and understands why she is feeling like she is in what is by far the most personal of JJ-centric episodes. Josh Stewart also fares strongly, in previous appearances Will could feel like background window dressing but here he is essential and in the foreground and really allows Stewart to shine, his empathy seeing a lovely side to him.

This said, all the acting is very good, lead and supporting. The case itself is incredibly disturbing and also very poignant, the atmosphere (which is tense and suspenseful when it should be, such as in the action) and emotions are palpable. The way the episode was structured didn't come over as confusing at all, the unsub was evil-incarnate, the victim was one one admires and sympathises with even in a short amount of time and the climax is just devastating. Some of the script is thought-provoking and tightly structured, and while one really worries initially about it being so JJ-centric and being so personal life-oriented (both of which with at times bad track records) it really could have come off so much worse than it did. JJ's dilemmas were actually relatable and hits one hard, and the personal story didn't feel as soap-operatic, forced or as clichéd as some of the other personal life stories in recent years on 'Criminal Minds'. Lots of interesting and valid questions are asked and answered in a way that's thoughtful and affecting.

Visually, the production values are without complaint as always. It's very well shot (one of the best shot episodes in recent years perhaps) and lit and is overall stylish, gritty, classy and atmospheric. The music is moody in the haunting and melancholic sense and fits well, without either enhancing or distracting from it. The direction has momentum but also has instances where it allows things to breathe. Considering 'Criminal Minds' track record for new characters, Alvez while not completely gelling just yet has good potential and Adam Rodriguez is going a good job.

Unfortunately, "Sick Day" is not without its faults either. While not the first case or the worst, in terms of focus it feels rather unbalanced. JJ's story, as surprisingly well done as it is, dominates a lot of the episode to the extent that the rest of the team and how they go about solving the case don't feel very well used, underused in this case. Didn't mind Tara not being in it much, speaking as a general non-fan (with a few exceptions) and who found that she featured too much in "The Crimson King". Far less forgivable were far more interesting characters like Rossi and Reid (my two main reasons for sticking with 'Criminal Minds' in the first place) being criminally underused, and even more so Hotch (especially considering how close it was coming to his departure) being far more deserving of being limited to the odd observation and instructions like here, such a waste.

Despite Cook and Stewart working well together, the chemistry between the characters themselves doesn't gel as much as it could have done. It didn't feel like they were in love, though they clearly cared for each other, but it was more like caring siblings or something. There is not enough profiling, with again too much conclusion-jumping and the all too convenient reliance on Garcia using her computer to find the answers. There are times also where it felt like there was too much going on in the story, if the pace had slowed down and that there was a little less going on and a little more time dedicated to a couple of parts (like the point of the view of the families and how it was affecting them, that was often done incredibly well in many episodes of 'Criminal Minds' but given short shrift in "Sick Day"). To me too, the unsub's methods and escalation was dealt with very haphazardly.

Overall, quite decent and for a JJ-centric episode it's so much better than "200" (which it could easily have been another version of) but when being reminded of what makes 'Criminal Minds' so great (the team interaction, profiling, little character moments and psychological delving into the criminal mind) and that it was not long to go before Hotch was no longer with us "Sick Day" was also a bit of a disappointment. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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