Criminal Minds
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Season 10: Episode 14 - Hero Worship
Posted on Feb 5, 2015 12:00am

Years ago, you could avoid trouble. Stay out of the bad neighborhood. When you see someone suspicious, cross the street.

But now, terrorism has gone local. And no place is safe.

When a local coffee shop in Indiana is bombed, several people die. But one man in the coffee shop has the quick thinking to save lives, including rescuing one pregnant woman. Is he a hero? Or was he behind the bombing in the first place?

The BAU start to investigate. A few weeks before the coffee shop bombing, an Indiana school was bombed during the night, killing one custodian who was there unexpectedly. Are the two incidents related?

Kate and Derrick start by meeting with the hero of the day, a local man who saved lives at the coffee shop. They learn that he was eating with his wife and step-daughter. But Kate is suspicious. This man acted so quickly. Why wasn’t he caught off guard by the bombing, like everyone else? What made him so calm?

Later that day, Spencer and Derrick get to the hero’s house, only to find the man in his own car, terrified by a bomb he spotted underneath the vehicle. Luckily, Derrick is able to disable the bomb and keep both the hero and his family safe. But – something’s suspicious. Why would anyone want to kill the man who just rescued people from a bombing?

Through their investigation, the BAU discover that their man of the hour is married to a woman whose previous husband was a Navy Seal. The Navy Seal’s specialty – explosives. And there was still a library of books on how to build explosives in the house. Now things are starting to come together.

Kate realizes that this man must be jealous of his wife’s first husband, who died serving in Afghanistan. Why not create a traumatic situation, like the coffee shop bombing, so he can be the hero, instead of the Navy Seal? When Kate and Hotchner bring the man in for questioning, he eventually breaks, admitting he orchestrated the coffee shop bombing. He didn’t intend to kill anyone, but the bomb accidentally hit the water heater, causing more of a deadly explosion than he intended.

But the coffee shop bomber didn’t bomb the school. And he didn’t booby trap his own car. The BAU now have a second UnSub to capture, before he strikes again.

Hoping that the school bomber is eager for attention and jealous of anyone else who gets recognition, the BAU stage an event where the coffee shop bomber gets a key from the city. It’s a staged ceremony, but it does the trick. The initial UnSub comes to set another bomb and steal the coffee shop bomber’s glory.

Garcia discovers that a local Indiana school board member had an affair with a high school student. Although the student was 18, he still lost his job and was humiliated. Definitely could be someone with a serious grudge. This is their second UnSub.

During the mayoral key granting ceremony, Spencer and J.J. track down the second UnSub in a nearby basement, about to set off another bomb. Spencer and J.J. use their psychology backgrounds to play mind games with the second UnSub. He wants glory, to be known for his crimes. But they argue that he can’t set off the bomb because then he’ll die too. You can’t enjoy the fruits of your destruction if you’re dead.

Spencer and J.J.’s logic works and the second UnSub disables his bomb. The BAU has won this battle, saving Indiana from another trauma. But they can’t fix the coffee shop bomber or any killer who uses violence to get attention. The attention they gain is real but the acceptance and adulation quickly give way to what will surely be a lifetime sentence in jail.