Thursday, March 24, 2016

Criminal Minds: A Farewell Tribute

On this blog you may have noticed that there are a handful of TV shows that I have been reviewing on a yearly basis, namely Arrow, The Flash, Supernatural, and Bates Motel. There are a few more that I will review that I will review as seems fit. You will notice that Criminal Minds is not a show that I write reviews for on a regular basis, despite it being one of my favorite current shows. The only reason behind this is that the focus for Criminal Minds is on the individual episodes as opposed to the season as a whole. It's hard for me to review a full season at a time with shows like this. To do it justice I would need to review each individual episode, which at this point I don't have time to do. If I did this with one of my shows, I would feel the need to do the same with all my shows and that's just too much. But there is something that happened on this current season of Criminal Minds (season 11) that I do need to talk about. One of our main characters left the show in last night's episode and I need to write the character a farewell tribute.

If you're not caught up with Criminal Minds and you don't want to know which character left the show and why, then this is your cue to exit this post and come back when you are caught up. If are still reading this sentence, I'm now assuming that either you are caught up or you don't care about Criminal Minds spoilers. Or maybe facebook already spoiled it for you, so you're like "what the heck, I'll read Adam's thoughts." Here's the news. Shemar Moore has left Criminal Minds. On very good terms, mind you. But still. There will be no more Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds. Not as a main, recurring character, anyways. This is sad. Criminal Minds will still move on, but I feel a chapter in my life has ended. Watching that episode last night was like watching the series finale of my favorite show. As Derek said goodbye to each of the members of the team, I was nearly as emotional as they were.

So let's watch a few of these clips that Criminal Minds uploaded to their own YouTube channel from last night's episode. First up, here's Derek's goodbye to JJ and Spencer:

And here's the super emotional farewell between Derek and Penelope as well as Derek's final farewell to the show:

I really love that last quote. It's so very true. "Every ending is also a beginning. We just don't know it at the time." I'm like Spencer in that first clip. I hate goodbyes and I hate change. It scares me. I suppose I'm terrified of the unknown and if there's a good thing in life, I want it to stay. But yet it seems that the only thing that's consistent in life is change. And yet again life brings another huge change. Derek Morgan isn't just one of my favorite characters on Criminal Minds, him and Spencer are two of the greatest TV show characters of all-time in my opinion. And now we are losing half of that great duo. When Matthew Gray Gubler leaves the show, I really hope it's because the show itself is ending because I don't know what I would do with both of them gone. Part of me wants Criminal Minds to go on forever with Shemar Moore staying on board the whole time. But the other part of me echoes the exact sentiments that Spencer shared with Derek. I don't want him back because I know why he's leaving and I couldn't be happier for him.

I'll talk more about the exit of Shemar Moore himself here in a second, but first I want to talk about the exit of his character Derek Morgan. Most of all I'm really glad they gave him a happy ending. That's one of my biggest gripes about the show in general. For some reason they don't like giving the male characters happy endings. Hotch got a divorce. His second girl moved and was never talked about again. Rossi's had several divorces. All of the male characters except for Morgan has had someone they care about get murdered on the show, some being right in front of them. Okay show, I get it. Life as an FBI agent can be rough. It might be hard to keep up a family when you're this busy with work. But can't we give one of them a happy ending? I was happy for Morgan when he found his girl recently on the show. Then I was increasingly worried in these last few episodes when it looked like they might go the same exact route as every other male character. Morgan gets kidnapped. We don't know if he's going to survive. That ends up happy at first, but then his girl gets shot. No! Don't do it, show! Not again!

That made for quite the intense final episode last night for Morgan. The whole time I was just telling them over and over to give him a happy ending, but I had no idea what was going to happen. Were they going to kill off one of our team's girls once again? Were they going to kill Morgan himself? I didn't know. Halfway through I became certain that his girl was going to survive, but then I wasn't sure about Morgan surviving. He was sitting there in the room with that psychopath without a gun and suddenly they start playing that random bullet game and the psychopath made Morgan call everyone and say goodbye. Was this it? Then we had the slow-motion shot of the bullet going into position and what sounded like a gun fire go off as we went to commercial. Man that was a crazy commercial break! Thankfully when the reveal happened, Morgan was not dead. Not even shot. He pulled that off in true Derek Morgan style, showing off how much of a boss he really is. Then we have the moral dilemma Morgan faced right after that of whether or not he should shoot this guy who shot his girl, nearly killing her and their unborn baby, then attempted to kill him. After a bit of anticipation, once again in true Derek Morgan style, he kept his cool and didn't shoot, letting him get arrested by Hotch and the rest of the crew.

What a great finish for Morgan! They made me nervous and I don't know if all the drama from the last several episodes was really necessary, but they what a finish! Not only does he get to show off his acting chops throughout the last few episodes, but he gets to finish off and capture this unsub like the boss Morgan really is. And he got a happy ending! I loved it. Morgan has had a fantastic story arc throughout the whole season. He had a horrible upbringing, but was able to overcome that and spend his life stopping psychopaths like a true hero. And when the time came to settle down with a wife and kid, he was able to step away from everything and live a normal life with his new family. That's just great in about every way. Not to mention he's such a likable character. It's hard to do him complete justice in words, but he's pretty much a perfect human being. Yes, he has his flaws like everyone else. But he's a great leader. He's a great friend. He's someone everyone can talk to. He's essentially the superhero of the team when it comes to chasing down the bad guys. He's super ripped and buff, but that looks completely natural and thus inspires you to exercise and stay in shape. I'm sure it makes for great eye-candy for the girls, but I can't be the judge there. He's just the perfect character and will definitely be missed.

The other thing about Morgan that deserves its own paragraph is his relationship with Penelope. I'm sure you've seen the memes that go around about this. Every girl deserves a guy who treats her like Morgan treats Penelope. And it's true. The best part of this is there is never a romantic relationship between the two of them. He's just a guy that can give her compliments, tell her how amazing she is, have constant playful banter, tell her he loves her, and everyone can be fine with it. There's no love triangle. Morgan's girl doesn't feel jealous with this. Penelope doesn't get nervous that Derek is going to propose because he told her he cares about her. It's amazing! I wish I could just walk up to a girl, tell her she is beautiful, tell her I love her hair, tell her I love her outfit, and she can just take my compliment without thinking twice. But no. I feel nervous doing that because too many girls that think this means I want to date and marry them. No. It's just a compliment. On the flip side of things, there are girls out there that would be willing take compliments like this, but the guys are too scared to give a compliment. So it goes both ways. We can learn from Morgan. We can learn from Penelope. It's one of the best on-screen relationships ever and yet Morgan married someone else. And nothing changed! So good!

Now let's switch gears to Shemar Moore as an actor and his departure. Let's start this by sharing a few more videos. I'm going to play the sorry not sorry card for posting so many videos in this post because not only do I want to make sure you see these, but I want them in an easy-to-access post to look back on if I want. Here's Shemar's farewell to his fans:

Here's the cast and crew of Criminal Minds giving their own tribute to Shemar Moore:

And here is Shemar talking about what he plans on doing next:

Going back to what I said earlier, part of me wants Criminal Minds to go on forever with the same exact cast. It's been 11 great seasons so far and I don't want it to end. I'm not ready to say goodbye to this show and I'm not ready to say goodbye to these characters. Thankfully I don't have to say goodbye to the show yet, but we did say goodbye to Derek Morgan last night and it was sad. But yet I am so excited for him. He is such a dedicated actor and I know he has a bright future ahead of him. I'm sad to see him go, but I get it. There comes a point in life where you need to make tough decisions to move forward with your life and career. You can stay where you are and continue to do the same exact thing with your life and sometimes it's good to keep that consistency going. But yet, you also have to look at the big picture. What do you want to do with your life? What do you want to accomplish? You only get one chance here on Earth, so make the most of it. Be a dreamer. But don't just dream. Figure out what you need to do to make that dream a reality. Starring in over 250 episodes of one show is definitely a great accomplishment. But I commend Shemar Moore for knowing when the right time is to call it quits and move forward. I'm excited to see what he has in store next.

I don't know how many people are going to read this. My highest viewed post ever is in fact a Criminal Minds post. It was a discussion of the first spin-off show that was wrongly cancelled and left on a huge cliff-hanger. That post is at nearly at 2,500 views right now. Maybe this post will equal that. Or maybe it will get just 10 or 20 views. I don't know. But I'm going to finish this post off by giving my personal message to Shemar Moore. Whether or not he reads it is irrelevant. But thanks, Shemar. Thanks for bringing the character of Derek Morgan to life. Thanks for your commitment and dedication to the show and to your fans. You have inspired me to do my best, to dream big, and to do what I need to make those dreams a reality. You have done this both with your portrayal of your character on screen and the way you live your life off-screen. I'm going to miss you and miss your character on this show. But I'm happy for you. I'm excited for what you have in store for the future and I plan on following you the whole way. I can't say I've been with Criminal Minds since day one, but I've loved it since I was first introduced to it and I can't believe that I've now watched 250 episodes of this show, all of them with you in them. So thanks for all that you've done and good luck to you, wherever the future takes you!

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