Under the auspices of FBI Director Jack Finkler, played by Emmy-award winning actor Richard Schiff, Cooper’s team operates as yet another FBI Behaviour Analysis Unit, while inconspicuously identifying both human and systemic vulnerabilities from the criminal perspective.
With an embedded Threat Assessment Task Force Agent Beth Griffith (Janeane Garofalo), an ex-British Special Forces Agent Mick Rawson (Matt Ryan), and Special Agent Gina LaSalle (Beau Garrett), Cooper levels the playing field of his penetrating team by including former convict Jonathan “The Prophet” Simms (Michael Kelly), and former FBI hacker, now FBI Technical Assistant Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness).
Although the show’s mantra “look for the light” and the Red Cell connection may have proven elusive to audiences over the first three episodes, “One Shot Kill” gives this team it’s best shot at plugging any holes, and to bond.
As a serial sniper randomly targets Chicago citizens, Cooper and the team are called in to find and stop him. During the initial investigation the sniper profiles Cooper’s team, namely and comes up with some history on Mick.
Mick, a former sniper himself, offers his expertise when Garcia comes up empty handed as to whom the sniper might be. However, after building up a profile of the typical traits of a sniper, Mick resents being compared to, and goaded by a psychopath. He is further incensed when a package containing a pager arrives. It hails from the sniper with a text message that says “Bang Bang.” Mick understands it to mean two kills.
With Mick thinking like the sniper and the sniper thinking like him, the true purpose of the Red Cell team begins to sink in. Mick, however, is sickened by the sniper’s use of him to boast about his random and senseless kills, and initially tries to distance himself from the sniper’s infiltration.
Cooper, however, finally convinces Mick that in order to do this job he must feel the needs of the sniper, see him as a human, and look for the light.
When the sniper misses his next target, and the panicked city lays quiet, Cooper and the team begin to suspect who the sniper might be. With no suspect to match their profile they go in search of the next best thing, the son of a recently passed sniper, Jason Wheeler.
Judged an unstable young man, who stood accused of having shot his own father in an alleged accident, Jason Wheeler becomes the prime suspect. Yet, there is no time to waste when the team learns that that old man’s memorial, later that day, would be attended by more than 50 people. Jason was nowhere to be found.
With the lives of 50 people hanging in the balance, Mick finally resolves to pick up his own sniper rifle to make the shot. After training his sight on his opponent, Mick is ready to shoot “eye to eye” when Cooper comes upon the sniper and save him from having to make that fateful shot.
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour Airs Wednesday evenings on CBS 10 p.m ET
More information here on Red Cell/Team operations.