Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer of Spencer: Reid in Season One Part 1

Allrighty. I haven't really gotten on a roll with this whole Summer of Spencer thing and August is half over! So it's time I get my butt in gear. Here we go!

Matther Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds Season One L.D.S.K. S01E07 MGG Spencer Reid
It wasn't until near the end of season one that anything angsty went on with Reid. But those crafty bastards at Criminal Minds made us love him long before that. One of the first moments in which I felt inclined to go, "awww" was the episode in which Reid couldn't pass his firearm certification test. I mean, come one! He's the brains guy, not the brawns guy.

Matther Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds Season One L.D.S.K. S01E07 MGG Spencer Reid
Over the course of the episode, Reid and Hotch end up hostages of an evil unsub (played by Timothy Omundson who I'll always think of as Seamus McTiernan). Through a clever rouse of cleverness, Hotch pretends to hate Reid and asks Seamus if he can beat Reid up. Seamus obliges and Reid is able to get the gun from Hotch's ankle holster. With one stellar shot, he brings the baddie down. Reid gets to be the hero, proving he can use a gun while saving the hostages. Plus - we got to watch Hotch kick him a few times which was also fun.

Matther Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds Season One L.D.S.K. S01E07 MGG Spencer Reid
At the end of the episode, Reid has a nice conversation with Gideon. He promises Reid that eventually, the gravity of the fact that he killed a person will hit him, and when it does, Gideon wants him to remember how many people he saved. And also that he's proud of him. Aww, Gideon.

Matther Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds Season One L.D.S.K. S01E07 MGG Spencer Reid
A few episodes later, Snoozey McGee (a.k.a. Elle Greenaway) finds herself trapped on a train with a crazy Sheriff Bellefleur who is threatening to kill everyone if The Higher Authority doesn't come and remove a chip from his arm. Their best solution is to have Reid do a magic trick.

Matther Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds Season One Derailed S01E09 MGG Spencer Reid
Of course Derek would prefer that Reid just teach the trick to him. But Derek can't learn slight-of-hand in five minutes. Reid has to be the one. Now it's up to him. And Reid has the necessary courage. It's a more quiet, reserved sort of courage than the rest of the team - but when he's needed, he steps up. No questions asked.

Matther Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds Season One Derailed S01E09 MGG Spencer Reid
Reid gets onto the train and performs his magic trick admirably - making Sheriff Bellefleuer think the chip came out of his arm. Reid then wants to get off again. But no such luck. He becomes one of the hostages. Rather than sit around and do nothing like Elle, Reid is able to relate to Sheriff Bellefluer. He knows what it's like to be the only person who is thinking a certain way. It's one of the first times they allude to Reid's worries over going mad and the isolation his genius has caused him. Later, he plays if off like he was just profiling, but Elle knows he meant what he said. Reid saves the day with brains and magic. The most perfect of perfect nerd combinations.

Matther Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds Season One Derailed S01E09 MGG Spencer Reid
Reid's best episodes of season one come near the end. But these early displays of heroism really color him beautifully. Sure, he's not the toughest fighter or the best with a gun, but like Gideon says, you don't need a gun to kill someone. Reid knows his strengths - and he's a genuine, decent guy. And those things make his angst so much more deliciously heartbreaking later on.

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