Criminal Minds Recap 1/31/18: Season 13 Episode 14 “Miasma”

Criminal Minds Recap 1/31/18: Season 13 Episode 14 "Miasma"

Tonight on CBS their hit drama Criminal Minds returns with an all-new Wednesday, January 31, 2018, episode, called “Miasma,” and we have your weekly Criminal Minds recap below. On tonight’s Criminal Minds episode season 13 episode 14 as per the CBS synopsis, “The BAU is called when the New Orleans P.D. discovers a mass grave inside a vandalized above-ground crypt in a local cemetery.”

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Assistant Director Barnes had been asked to perform an internal review on the entire BAU team as well as the actions or mismanagement that led up to Reid’s arrest in Mexico and she thought her first action should be to bench Prentiss. Prentiss had been in charge at the time and so Barnes claimed that she needed to take a few steps back during the review, but Matt Simmons had dealt with Barnes before and that time she had slowly dismantled his team until there was nothing left. He said that she started by benching the boss and that she then tried to turn them all on each other as some part of internal politics. And so Barnes had a reputation.

Rossi said that Barnes rose through the ranks trampling over everyone she could and so the entire team had been concerned about what she was going to do with them however JJ asked them to instead focus on their latest case. She was the one in charge during Prentiss’s absence and she had to keep the team on topic. The topic was the mass grave that local police officers found out in New Orleans. They, unfortunately, found at least ten bodies out there and all of the victims had been drained of their blood in an apparent ritual that had many questioning whether or not a voodoo ritual had been involved.

The mass grave had been found near the infamous cemetery in Tremé and so they questioned if that could hold any significance. However, the more they learned about this Unsub the more they questioned. They found out the bodies had all been found in crumpled positions because they had been directly exposed to heat and that the burning of the bodies along with the blood loss had all been performed postpartum. What kind of ritual would demand the Unsub kill his victims first and then carry out “tasks” on the body? It sounded like nothing the team had ever heard of and so it hadn’t told them much.

The team was still trying to figure out what to do next and JJ was slightly crumbling under the pressure when they got their first lead. The Unsub usually subdues his victims by first drugging them and it turns out he hadn’t given Carl the proper dosage because Carl had been awake enough to escape. He later told the team at the hospital that he had gotten sent home from work because he couldn’t stop coughing and that he had been waiting for the boss when he got pulled into a van which was where things got a little hazy. The next thing Carl remembered was waking up on the table with a guy wearing a weird mask and gloves standing over him.

Carl was then able to use his remaining to knock the Unsub unconscious and had escaped by stealing the Unsub’s car. Therefore, Carl was able to lead the team to the room he was held in and the Unsub’s car. The car had looked lived in and so at least proven one of their theories that the Unsub was homeless. He had been staying in the back of the car and only seemed to leave it for one of his rituals. That was also something they got more information on because the abandoned building Carl described had been littered with dead chickens in a cleansing ceremony. The Unsub believed that the contaminated, “people that were sick”, needed to be cleansed.

The Unsub was profiled as someone that had lost a loved one to a prolonged illness he believed could have been prevented if the doctors hadn’t failed in their duty. That’s why the Unsub was using rituals performed by plague doctors as a way of making these people clean again. He genuinely believed that if he continues his cleansing ceremony that he would eventually have cured the world of disease, but he began to devolve after Carl’s escape because he chose to attack a clinic next. The Unsub had seen the doctor give her patient a prescription and he killed her for allowing the disease to spread.

The team had come across the scene long after there was anything they could do and, while callous, it did help their profile. They wanted to know why the Unsub was lashing out at disease to such an extent and they believed he was doing so because he no longer believed he could help people. He had started to kill his victims because he thought he was putting them out of their suffering and his first victim at the mass grave had been too clean to have been his actual kill. So they believed he might have killed someone he loved to stop their suffering and that he had continued on doing so as a way to justify his guilt. And so they looked for that loved one.

They couldn’t trace the car though they did find medication belonging to Tanessa Winters. Winters had gotten sick from her building that hadn’t provided proper ventilation following Katrina and her son blamed everyone for her suffering. He blamed the doctors that hadn’t been able to cure his mother and he had blamed the building owner for the black mold when in fact he had been the one to kill Tanessa. Tanessa had been ill for a long time and so he thought he was putting her out of her suffering only to realize he killed the one remaining family member he had. So the team found Kevon Winters attempting to set their old landlord on fire and they were carefully able to talk him down.

The team arrested him once he was calm and will get the proper help he needs following everything that happened, but the BAU went back to DC to find out they were under siege. Barns had gotten rid of Prentiss because she refused to pick a fall guy for her team and that’s all Barnes wanted. She wanted to pick someone they could blame for Agent Walker’s death and the whole screwup in Mexico because it would look good on her record if she somehow set the BAU to rights after months of screwups she would naturally brag was bigger than it appeared. So when she didn’t get that, she got rid of Prentiss and left JJ in control as an acting director as the whole department was firmly brought under her control.


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