I didn't cut because the last episode I spoil aired way back in October 2006.

And, while the other person in the house has watched Criminal Minds from the beginning, I thought I'd written it off as yet another procedural (or a YAP), but it would seem that I've watched more of this show then I thought - from almost the beginning.

The first episode I clearly remembered (and almost everything that happened at that) was Broken Mirror, and aside from those first few episodes I can (for the most part) remember bits and pieces from just about every episode.

Even the episode I watched last night The Aftermath (which is the first horribly flawed one I've come across) I remembered the bits about the UNSUB wanting to get his victims pregnant, but admittedly I only remember the bits about the UNSUB and his victims, and not Elle going more than a little nuts. Sadly, I also remembered nothing from season one finale and season two opening, which explains why she was a bit nuts. But I don't know how I could remember the criminal case and NOTHING from the personal sub-plot, but that's how it is.

And Elle being off her game really isn't the problem with the episode, that works after seeing what came before. The problem is the fact that we're (the audience) asked to accept the other profilers on her team (especially, Gideon, Hotch, and Morgan) wouldn't see that, and really it feels weird that even Reid didn't notice, since the episode made a big point of him being the one around her most.

UPDATE: So, after making this entry yesterday I watched the next episode in the line last night, and I was pleased to see them (the show) address the fact that Reid should have known. Still a bit disappointed that they didn't address how the rest of them should have known, but, hey, at least even the show admits (that at least) one of the characters should have known, so they get a few bonus points for that.[/end update]

Seriously, I might not have been thrown by this if the actress had played it differently, but the actress played this from the moment it was suggested that she wasn't ready, but pretending that she was - good acting in getting the point across to the audience, but bad because if I (a dumbass audience member) can pick up on this then it does NOT work that the other super-smart profilers around her wouldn't.
(Yes, I understand this is a case of choosing the story over what makes sense for the characters, but surely this could have been done without throwing over characters. Off the top of my head, they could've used another Agent as bait, and then had Elle on the watch team, where she would then panic and screw things up, without making all the other profilers look bad. And that's just off the top of my head, I'm sure if I thought about it I could come up with something better that would still keep the overall story in-tact, but not make the profilers look like idiots in the process.)

Weirdly, I knew Elle was no longer on the show, I admit I had started paying slightly more attention to this show in 2009/2010 (season five), and I'm also aware of one other character who's in season one and two that isn't there anymore, and for now I can't remember seeing how any of them leave, but that's why I was surprised when Elle survived the season one finale in the first place. Now I can't help but wonder what happens to Gideon.

Anyway, I noticed this past season CBS seems to be grooming (or trying to groom) The Mentalist to replace the lagging (or starting to lag) CSI, and let me derail myself by saying that I LOATHE The Mentalist - okay, I just hate the main character not (I suppose) the show itself (though most of the other characters are so bland that they're boring to me), and I don't blame the actor, but the character needs to be bashed in the head repeatedly. Anyway, I remember thinking even during the 2009/2010 season that The Mentalist wasn't a good choice for CBS if they were trying to spawn another CSI-type franshise, and now I stand by that even more strongly then before. However, I do think CBS has the next CSI all ready hidden away on their network, but it sure as hell ain't The Mentalist.

Fine, I'll spell it out (in case you missed the title of the cut), it seems to me that Criminal Minds has much more potential then The Mentalist for CBS to build a franchise around. Now don't misunderstand, I'm not saying CM is the best show EVER! I'm not even saying it's as good as the original (early) CSI, but I do think it has more potential for greatness then The Mentalist, especially for me, cause the only way I'd start liking The Mentalist is if he started getting is ass kicked in every (or at least every other) episode.