A battle of the mind

Posted: July 22, 2011 in honorary glasses
Tags: ,
honorary megane danshi badge“Honorary Megane Danshi″
part 5: Dr. Spencer Reid

spoilers abound. you have been warned.

Dr. Spencer Reid

Dr. Spencer Reid, FBI Behavior Analysis Unit

Okay, so I’m sure you noticed really fast that he isn’t an anime character. I must confess I spent a great deal of my time lately watching more Criminal Minds episodes than is probably humanly sane. It’s also probably why I’ve been having a ridiculous number of serial killer nightmares, thanks to watching them so late at night. Curse you Ion Television and your midnight marathons!! Now I’ve been getting smart and started DVRing them. But the episodes accumulate fast. I think I’ve got 5 of them recorded.

But, anyway. What I’m basically saying is that I’ve betrayed anime for a bit in exchange for a live action honorary “Megane Danshi.” Gomenasai! (Sorry!) I also apologize for the fact that I’ve only seen probably a little more than HALF of the episodes out there. And I’ve seen a fair few. But, of course, there’s six seasons, with a seventh coming in the fall. Needless to say, once I get rambling, there may be things I miss (if you’ve seen them) because I’m limited to what Ion and A&E decide to play any given day. I’ve completed almost all of season 4 (save for the last five episodes that I have on my DVR). And I’ve seen most of seasons 2, 3, and 5. I caught a few eps from season 1, and I haven’t seen a single one from season 6. So bear with me.

Anyway, again. Yay for tangents! Dr. Spencer Reid is a member of the Behavior Analysis Unit (BAU) in the FBI. He and his team members put together profiles of killers in order to narrow down and find the culprits. They utilize clues from the crime scenes and witnesses to make inferences as to the murderer’s personality. While the entire main cast of the BAU are phenomenal from character to casting, I find Reid to be the most intriguing.

Dr Spencer Reid

Dr. Spencer Reid

Essentially, he’s a genius. He’s got an IQ of 187, holds three PhDs, reads entire novels in a matter of minutes, and has an eidetic memory that allows him to recall images, words, and events exactly as they happened. He’s also extremely awkward socially, which makes for some hard to watch scenes with the ladies, and he’s shrouded in an almost painful stigma of not being normal. He’s been accused of being undiagnosed autistic, and he struggles with the threat of mental illness setting in. It also doesn’t help that he was a twelve year old prodigy in a public high school, which got him into some serious bullying. His confidence relies solely on facts. Feelings, even artistic interpretations, have little relevance to him.

Spencer’s mom (who is played by the ever awesome Jane Lynch) is a paranoid schizophrenic, and she was a college literature professor. His parents split at a young age, and knowing he couldn’t help his mother, he had her institutionalized when he turned 18. A large part of his growing up is revealed in season 2, and then further information is revealed in season 4 when Reid starts to realize his dreams of a murdered kid are actually a memory of a neighborhood boy on his tee-ball team.

Through the course of the show, he’s 23-27 years old, depending on the season, which is extremely young for a BAU member. His boss from seasons 1 and 2 used to introduce Reid as “Dr.” in order to gain the respect of others in spite of his young age; a habit the rest of his team members still continue.

The best episodes to watch Reid are any that involve an unsub (unkown subject, aka, the killer) with a major psychotic break. In fact, Reid seems to play major roles in episodes where the unsub has a split personality, or teens/ kids with neurotic tendencies. In one episode he actually says, “I know what it’s like to be afraid of your own mind.”

My absolute favorite episode is Season 5’s “Uncanny Valley,” which involves a psychologically damaged woman who was traumatized by her father at a young age. The way Reid figures out what happened to her just by the position of certain children’s toys on the father’s bookshelf was an epic T.K.O. And then Season 4’s “Amplification” where he discovers the location of the anthrax, and bars his partner from entering the building so that only he is contaminated, was heart breaking. And then when he called Garcia, their tech girl, to have her record a message for his mother in case anything happened, I was near tears.

glasses

Yes, he wears glasses.

Speaking of heart breaking. The absolute worst episodes are a two-part special in Season 2. Reid is kidnapped by the unsub, who has multiple personalities, and is drugged (by the murderer’s “good side” to numb the pain) and tortured (by the unsub’s “vengeful” side). It was incredibly hard to watch, and I spent the majority of part 2 watching it through my fingers.

And look! Behold! He can transform into a Megane Danshi! Though I can’t classify him as such, as I haven’t seen him in an episode with them yet. I think he only wears them sporadically in season 6. I honestly don’t think they’re showing re-runs of season 6 yet. If anyone knows of a site that has them in good quality and no time cut off, please let me know! I’ve seen other Reid fans raving about the episodes “Corazon” and “Coda.”

Spencer Reid is played fantastically by the very adorable Matthew Gray Gubler. Can you believe he was also the voice of Simon from Alvin and the Chipmunks? Yeah me either. Simon was always my favorite chipmunk as a kid, guess I was always a fan of glasses. hahaha.

Ok, now back to your regularly scheduled cartoon programming.

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