It is truly unfortunate that we don’t get more of Jane Lynch as Reid’s mother on Criminal Minds, but when she does show up, you know you’re going to get some fantastic scenes between her and Matthew Gray Gubler and find out something else about that mother/son relationship.
Here are eight episodes of Criminal Minds you need to watch to understand Reid’s relationship with his mother.
Season 1 Episode 22 and Season 2 Episode 1, “The Fisher King Parts 1 and 2”
In the episodes that introduced Diana Reid, we found out that she was in Bennington Sanitarium in Nevada and Reid wrote her letters every day — but didn’t approach her when he went to visit her in person — and when Garcia said that was nice, he told her it “depends on why.” “I write her letters so I won’t feel so guilty about not visiting her,” he explained.
Season 2 Episode 15, “Revelations”
After Reid was kidnapped by an UnSub and Tobias Hankel drugged him, we got flashbacks to his childhood, to his father leaving, to his mother refusing to get out of bed and convincing him to read with her instead and to Reid putting her in a hospital. “I’m doing this for you,” he insisted. “You need help … I’m sorry.”
Season 4 Episodes 6 and 7, “The Instincts” and “Memoriam”
The case brought the BAU to Vegas, but it also led to Reid realizing his imaginary friend wasn’t quite so imaginary and was instead a boy who had been killed. As Diana put it, a mother knows when something’s going on with her kid, and as Reid investigated, he found out what really happened to Riley and how it affected his parents’ relationship.
By the time Diana showed up on-screen the next time, she had also been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s — and Reid not only took time off work and brought her home with him rather than keep her in a facility, but he also was giving her medication that wasn’t quite that easy for him to get. And no matter what she threw his way (including a slap to the face), he didn’t leave and still chose to spend the night sleeping in the chair next to her bed, a scarf tied around her wrist and the other end in his hand.
How far was Reid willing to go to help his mother? Well, time off work and trips to Mexico to get medication are one thing. But his latest journey across the border led to him getting arrested for murder after he was framed.
When Diana learned why Reid was in prison, she blamed herself, but he assured her that he did what he did because he wanted to and it didn’t matter when she ran out of her medication; Scratch would have been waiting for him.
As she worried about remembering who he is and loving him when he got out, he reminded her of what she’d tell him when she first started having her schizophrenic episodes: she’d never stop loving him, because that type of love is bigger than a disease of the brain and “love is a world its own that lives in the heart, not in the head.” And even if she forgot, he never would.
Criminal Minds season 12 airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on CBS. Want more news? Like our Criminal Minds Facebook page.
(Images courtesy of CBS)