Opinions. Everybody Has 'Em.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

A sad, senseless farewell to a beloved character ...

Sorry, Reid. They can just take her away.

Beginning its 6th Season on UK TV on 7th January 2011, 'Criminal Minds' played out the 2nd part of the serial-killer-in-the-blackout storyline that ended last season, with a stand-out performance given by AJ Cook as her character manages to get through to killer Billy Flynn using an All Emergency Channel broadcast. The same power was delivered by Cook in her last-ever episode as Special Agent Jennifer ‘JJ’ Jareau, the BAU’s media liaison and so much more ( shown on January 14th 2011 on UK TV ), appropriately enough titled simply ‘JJ’. I am rarely given to displays of weepiness but I admit to tearing up a little as I watched this sad, senseless farewell to a beloved character. Senseless, because suddenly fans were expected to accept that we had entered some strange, alternate universe where an FBI employee can be ordered to take a promotion by the Department of Defense, and that said employee does not have any other options to fight a forced removal from her job for no good effing reason. It was pathetic and it has angered fans no end. Sad, because the farewell scenes between the characters so closely echoed how the actors felt about the wholly unexpected firing of Cook. Spencer Reid’s lip-quiver and desolate, “ But they can’t just take you away from us” was like watching Baby left alone by Mommy, and Garcia’s desperate denial of the inevitable and her helpless sobbing as JJ left, would have cracked even the stoniest heart. It was by far not the first time Cook has shone in this role either. The Season 2 episode ‘Revelations’ still is one of the very best, mostly down to how well Cook played out JJ’s self-blame and doubt at her fitness to be in the field after Reid is kidnapped by a psychotic killer. Season 4’s ‘Cold Comfort’ is effectively humanized by JJ alone as she tells David Rossi, regarding a victim’s mother, “ All she has right now is hope. How can you take that away from her?”
Just as the fans might ask CBS, “ How can you just take JJ away from us?”

CBS has already canceled 'Cold Case' and 'Ghost Whisperer' in similarly unsatisfying circumstances, and its track record of treating female employees with shameful disregard, continues unabated. This is the same network that gives a raise to spoiled, drunken, wife-beating brat Charlie Sheen, and continues to pour money into the dire 'NCIS' spin-off, 'NCIS: Los Angeles', nothing more than a weekly testosterone-fest which, incidentally, killed off the only decent female character immediately after the pilot show. Without any explanation either, leaving that to an obviously cobbled-together episode of 'NCIS' to do later!

It seems like these days ( unless your name is Mariska Hargitay ) if you are female and on TV, you are imminently expendable. What message does that send to all those young women watching who might be seeking role models? “ If you are strong, smart, and independent, you will be treated disgracefully … but hey, if you act like a violent, chauvinistic boor or a simpering bimbo, you’ll be rewarded!”

And no, Garcia, they don't care.