Last night I was watching mah stories, and I saw the most enjoyable episode of Criminal Minds, the best crime detective show on television.
Criminal Minds is about a team of behavioral psychologists that track down sociopaths.
So, in _usual_ detective shows, the detectives ask a storekeeper, “Have you seen this man? He was 5’10” and had curly hair.” The storekeeper then says, “No! NEVER SEEN HIM BEFORE!” and then looks away nervously. And the detectives, armed with high problem-solving acumen, know something is up, but they can’t put their finger on it.
“He knows more than he’s letting on – I have a feeling” one detective will say to the other. The other detective, with much lower acumen, will be surprised to hear such a conclusion, and ask, “Really? You really think so? What makes you say that? He just said he has never seen him before.”
And the first detective will say, “Yeah, but something isn’t right.”
And the second detective will shake his head. And then they’ll use forensic evidence and a past criminal record to learn the shopkeeper is the murderer’s father!
Anyway – that’s how a regular crime show goes.
Criminal Minds is not your regular crime show. Since they’re behavioral detectives, they look for different traits. Rather than provide physical descriptions, they’ll give people personality descriptions. So, they’ll ask a storekeeper, “Did you see anyone do something suspicious yesterday here? Buy anything suspicious?”
And the storekeeper will say, “No…no not that I recall…”
And the detectives will then ask, “Did two men come in? One with a stutter perhaps, and another who seemed more confident and in charge – a real presence about him.”
The storekeeper will then say, “WHY YES! As a matter of fact! I remember the stutter -it was the most unfortunate stutter. And the other man in charge was very demanding – a real presence. They bought 28 guns I believe, let me see if I can find the receipt.”
Also, when they’re interviewing people, Criminal Minds detectives are smarter than regular detectives. For example, in last night’s episode, they needed a former victim’s help: “We need your help – you have to tell us what happened so we can find a new killer.”
And the former victim hugged herself, shook nervously, and then said, “NO! Nothing happened! I lied in the report!” and then ran off.
But rather than stand around and discuss whether or not she was telling the truth, one detective said, “Well, she’s lying,” and the other one was basically like, “Obvi. Way to go Einstein.” They don’t really say it in so many words, of course. What the other one really says is, “Yes, her erratic behavior, avoidant eye contact, and body shivers indicate that she was lying.”
Anyway, I appreciate that breakdown. Criminal Minds makes me feel smarter about myself as a television viewer, because it teaches me what to look for when I’m talking to a liar. It helps qualify instincts we all have!
Yeah, I was maybe a little bored today.