Another television post! I really don’t want this blog to become all about television, and I promise it won’t. However, I had to write about one particular episode this week.
Criminal Minds: This episode was called JJ. That in itself was nearly enough to make me cry, because, as most people know by now, the powers that be at CBS decided that, for financial reasons, AJ Cook (the actress who plays JJ) had to go. There has been so much said about this decision, and my own initial reaction (as my friend Katy can confirm) was somewhere between shock and outrage. I have tried to be philosophical about it since then; it is, after all, only a television show. Also, as much as I love the character of JJ (I had a big old girl crush for a while back there), I don’t think that she is bigger than the show, and I would never claim nor threaten to stop watching it because of her departure.
These were my thoughts before this episode aired, however. Of course, I am not going to stop watching, I love the show too much. But I have come to realise just how much I love the character of JJ, and just how big a mistake has been made with this decision. The episode was great, and allowed AJ Cook to leave with a little dignity, and with her head held high. Anyone who follows any of the cast of Criminal Minds on Twitter would have been able to recognise their sentiments being acted out on screen. Everyone was in disbelief about the fact that she was going; nobody, not one of them, was happy about her leaving. Reid repeated “They can’t just take you away from us” twice. Hotch tried to get Strauss to pull some strings to allow her to stay, to no avail. It was all quite moving, as it just hammered home the fact that AJ Cook didn’t want to leave, none of us, as fans, wanted her to leave, and none of her castmates wanted her to leave. It’s one thing to get rid of a character in some huge storyline to boost ratings, or during sweeps, but its quite another to do it for financial reasons, possibly to the detriment of the show.
The crime that the profilers had to solve was compelling, though, as the review at TV Fanatic says, it did get rather overshadowed by the whole JJ storyline. It was refreshing to see that the victim of the crime actually turned up alive, despite essentially being fed to sharks.
I had a little cry at the end, especially when JJ was saying goodbye to the team. Nothing would have pleased me more than to see Hotch give her a hug when he said goodbye. However, knowing Hotch as we do, of course he wouldn’t have hugged her. It is Hotch, after all.
AJ Cook looked stunning in this episode, by the way. Girl crush has made a brief reappearance.
It doesn’t look as though JJ is going to be replaced in the near future, and as such, we are going to have a heavily male-dominated show for a while. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to watch Hotch and Reid on a weekly basis (not so much Rossi, and I really don’t like Morgan all that much). But it was also nice to see JJ, a really strong, independent woman on screen, balancing a demanding job with motherhood and seemingly doing it rather well. I think the people who made the decision to sack AJ Cook have made a big mistake, but I am more than willing to continue tuning in to see how things turn out.