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Magnificent Light - Recap

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The episode begins with a show of the motivational speaker, Barry Flynn. In the middle of his speech, he points out to Cynthia and Richard, who are sitting in the audience and tell them to pursue their dreams. After the show, Cynthia meets Barry backstage and tells him that she is glad that he took her name. He tells him that he needs to hurry. He looks worried. Cynthia leaves and his assistant tells him that the fans are waiting for his autograph. But he tells her that he needs some alone time. We see someone wearing yellow overalls is following Cynthia. Cynthia arrives home and she pours herself some wine.

When she is about to drink it she sees a person standing in front of her; Cynthia is killed. Next, at the BAU office, Morgan has got a dinner invite from an old friend Jason who is with the British Embassy; but he isn’t going. Garcia then briefs the team about two murders that took place in the last two days; Lincoln Bell and Cynthia Strobl. The killer us the same as he left behind a same message at both the sites: HEAR YOUR EVIL. SEE YOUR EVIL. So, did the killer get the phrase wrong or was he trying to send his own message? Alex thinks that the killer could be someone who doesn’t speak English but the syntax isn’t helping identify the first language. It seems that the unsub knew the victims and planned his break in but once he was in, the rage took over him and made the murder chaotic.

And with 30 stab wounds, the unsub does have a lot of rage. We then see the unsub (face not shown) write something on a piece of paper and he has some weird demonic sketches on the wall. The language is not English. Lincoln was a ticket seller at an auditorium and if not that he wanted to be an architect. Cynthia is an accountant and she moved to Seattle a year ago. Cynthia lived in an apartment with a good security system; this means that the unsub had to be intelligent and to kill Lincoln he had to be in good shape. They need to find a point of convergence between these two victims; either a person or a place. The coroner tells Rossi and Reid that the murder weapon had a circular edge; something like a mezzaluna, a ceremonial weapon of some sort.

The killer used red paint to paint the message and it is available in hardware stores. This means it was pre-meditated and could also be a forensic counter measure. Alex and Hotch find out that Cynthia was at Barry’s speech. They meet Barry’s assistant and learn that Barry was the last person to see her alive. The assistant tells them that no one knows where Barry goes for his alone time; it is a part of his routine. At a bar, Ricky introduces himself to Harold/Barry. They get out of there to spend some time together. Detective Chen tells Morgan that Barry has been MIA since the murder and this makes him the prime suspect. Garcia tells Morgan and Hotch that Barry Flynn is actually the stage name; his real name is Harold Kerwin. He has some priors for bar fights and worked as a car salesman for 12 years and then left it.

He then got a divorce and took off and came back three years later and he was Barry Flynn and became a sensation as a motivational speaker. Now, what is the motive for a man like Barry to kill his own customer? Could be some sort of psychosis. Chen tells them that Barry’s rented car was spotted outside a bar. We then see that Barry is cuffed to the bed and he regains consciousness. A man with the same knife tells him that Barry made him do this. The team then finds Barry’s blood drops at the site the car is found. So, Barry is not the unsub; he is the victim. The MO is different here. So, what if Barry was the ultimate target and the others were just to get information on Barry.

They then deduce that it could be one of his greatest fans and if that is the case then there is a chance that Barry is still alive. At the house, Carl, the unsub, tells Barry that he had these weird ideas and that people did find him weird and saw him as a loser. He tells Barry that he wants Barry to listen to him till he can convince Barry that he is going to be his biggest success story. The team profiles the unsub and tell the cops that the unsub has erotomania and he thinks that Barry too is in loved with him. The infatuation could have started from Barry’s celebrity status and it is not necessary that they knew each other. It is possible that the unsub killed the other two victims in a jealous rage as he thought that Barry must have had some sort of closeness with them.

Carl tells Barry that he has a special gift and he has the ability to identify when people are lying as he can “see” it. He is about to show Barry what he is going to do. JJ wonders that if the unsub had poor social skills, how did he lure Barry out of the bar. Maybe he had another temporary partner. Garcia is still trying to force Morgan to go for the dinner. He tells her to find about Barry’s fans who had anger management issues. Carl goes to his old workplace and his old boss tells him that, the customers complaint about him saying that he yells at them and that he sees things. The team finds Ricky who lured Barry out of the bar. Carl has chained Barry in the van. He gets a list of customers who complained about him and tells Barry that he is going to kill them and that they are going to do this together.

Reid thinks that the unsub might have killed those two thinking that they are evil. Carl goes to one of the customer’s house and tells Barry that he is going to kill her because she is evil. And we then see that Carl kills the woman and Barry is watching him helplessly. This time the message he left is different; the word EVIL is replaced with RED. This woman worked as a paralegal and Janet was divorced and kept to herself. They see that all he calls were made to the same 1-800 number.carl runs into a guy at a food joint and he sees red letters when the guy yells at him; he is evil. Carl tells him that he is lucky as Carl is busy today. Barry pretends to be “with” Carl in his mission and Carl knew that Barry would come around.

Garcia pulls up Carl’s name as a fan with anger management issues. They figure out that he spoke to Janet and that he was fired from work. Reid, Rossi and Alex meet the manager of the credit card company. The manager tells them that Carl used to get all weird when he used to talk to them; like he was hallucinating. He also tells them that he downloaded a file with the list of his customers Reid listens to one of Carl’s recorded calls and figures out that Carl has synesthesia, a neurological disorder where two or more senses are triggered simultaneously and that is why Carl can “see’ what people are speaking. And every color has significance. They now know that the customer list is now Carl’s hit list. Carl and Barry now go to a man’s house but they realize that they got the wrong man.

Carl hits the man as he detects lies in what the man says about not calling the police. Barry tells Carl to hand over his gun and Carl sees RED words around Barry; PURE EVIL. At the office, Garcia narrows down two possibilities where Carl could be next. And one of them is Howard’s house where Carl and Barry are present at the moment. Carl attacks Barry and is about to kill him and the FBI arrives. Morgan convinces him to put down his weapons. Case closed. Next, Morgan tells Garcia that he doesn’t want to go to the dinner as this dinner was to honor Jason, a cop who was his father’s best friend and a guy who his father looked up to. But when his father died and when Morgan was supposed to say few words in his honor, he froze.

He thinks he might not be able to do justice to Jason when he couldn’t to his father. Garcia tells him that to help him deal with his issue, Barry has sent an incentive; but only for 24 hours; the keys to his expensive car! Next we see that Morgan is at the dinner with Garcia. He does a good job when he takes the stage. But then, a butler arrives (face not shown) and takes away Morgan’s wine glass with his prints on it. We then see a flashback where a guy’s leg is being cut by an unsub. The guy then pins the picture of the man with the amputated leg on a board midst the pictures of the BAU team members. The episode ends.

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Warning: Criminal Minds season 8 episode 9 guide may contain spoilers
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