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TV Open Thread: Criminal Minds Suspect Behavior – “Smother”

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“Guilt carried to the extreme,” Special Agent Sam Cooper surmises on the profile of the killer in this week’s episode “Smother.” Manchester mothers, abducted in broad daylight, with their babies left alone screaming, is enough to send any parent’s adrenaline pumping. Perfectly posed bodies, with no evidence of rape, lead the team to envision a female abductor who is making an apology, after a rage fuelled killing.

It isn’t long before we are introduced to the reluctant mother and son team responsible for the kidnapping and murders, however clandestinely. After interviewing a social worker with knowledge of troubled families in the area, the team discovers a criminal record of a young man named Trevor who according to the social worker was breast fed until the age of seven.

The last victim’s breasts were cut off.

The team suspects a strange form of mother/son incest with an over controlling mother, and this belief is confirmed at the capture Trevor at his home and the release of his latest victim.

However, the victim’s baby has been kidnapped by his mother who makes a desperate yet futile attempt to escape and start out fresh with a new baby.

When the team catches up to her and the baby, she is not willing to give it up. The only way to stop her is to lay a spike belt and disable to vehicle. The baby is saved.

This episode was disturbing and raises issues such as how much is too much in terms of breast feeding, affection, and parental control. Of course the mother was quite atypical and intrusive in her behaviour toward her son, and very creepy in her attempts to clean up his murderous mess, but can you empathize with either one, or even sympathize?

A mother fears the loss of her son and seeks to dominate him almost to death, and the angry son who seeks to be free of her clutches who shies away from making her the one to suffer in death. He instead chooses other mothers to take it out on. Does he fear losing her too, or is he just afraid of her?

In this episode, even the empathic master Special Agent Cooper appeared to be particularly challenged in this regard, until the two pieces were put together. How did you make out?

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