'Criminal Minds' 200th episode: JJ's missing years revealed in intense, torture-heavy episode

aj-cook-criminal-minds-200th-episode-cbs.jpgDuring its 200th episode on Wednesday (Feb. 5), "Criminal Minds" finally shed some light on just what JJ ( A.J. Cook) was up to during her time away from the BAU with the State Department.

Responding to the profiler's kidnapping at the end of the last episode, the team jumped into action, learning that her disappearance was related to her secret mission while she was away. Turns out JJ was on assignment in Afghanistan to find Osama bin Laden, which is where she met Cruz ( Esai Morales).

The show spent some time trying to convince us that Cruz was the mole in JJ's Afghani team, informing us that he never put his name in for Section Chief, but in the end, that wasn't the case. Askari ( Faran Tahir), the team's translator, is revealed early on as the person torturing both JJ and Cruz, but eventually Hastings ( Tahmoh Penikett), the team's fourth member, was unveiled as the mastermind behind the torture.

It's a tragic episode for JJ. Not only is she subjected to some horrific torture at the hand of Askari (waterboarding, electrocution, sensory deprivation -- some of which Cook says she actually experienced so the show would look authentic), but it's also revealed she miscarried a previously unannounced pregnancy during an ambush in the Middle East. Poor JJ.

The landmark episode also brought back Emily Prentiss ( Paget Brewster), called in to help the team find one of its own. With her knowledge of Askari, she helped lead the BAU to where JJ's being held. Instrumental in the intense episode, she saves JJ during the ultimate battle with Hastings on the top of the building.

It's nice to learn what JJ was up to while she was away, while also seeing Prentiss for one last time, but watching JJ go through such brutal torture was a reminder that "Criminal Minds" is quite the uncomfortable experience. Sure, the violence is in the show's DNA, but that doesn't mean it's always welcome. Sometimes, a respite would be OK.

Did you enjoy the 200th episode of "Criminal Minds"?
Photo/Video credit: CBS
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