While browsing through the web today, I found a little tidbit of information that said that today is the anniversary of Friends 100th broadcast episode. Airing way back in 1998, and simply called “The One Hundredth”, the episode was about Phoebe finally having her brother’s babies.
I mentioned once before that for a program to reach syndication, there is some logic that holds that you need about a hundred episodes to make it profitable. As time has rolled along, that number has been tweaked and isn’t really accurate now (if it ever was), but a program’s hundredth episode still gets quite a bit of commotion.
Running across the blurb about Friends got me to thinking about one of my very favorite one hundredth episodes ever, and it comes from Criminal Minds. (Spoilers ahead, if you can call something a “spoiler” when the episode in question first aired back in 2009.)
Their offering, called “100”, finally brought to an end* the saga of the Reaper, an “unsub” the team had been chasing for months, and that team leader Aaron Hotchner himself had first chased years earlier. The Reaper was fixated on Hotch, taunting him, following him, almost killing him. He was the reason Hotchner’s ex-wife and son had to go into witness protection, though the Reaper eventually outsmarted them and found Haley and Jack, ultimately killing Haley while Hotch was on the phone with her, both of them knowing the end was coming. The entire Reaper storyline was well done—a feat that I’ll admit Criminal Minds does not always get right; sometimes their story arcs just annoy me—building tension and fear as he got closer and closer to trying to destroy Hotchner. It wasn’t just Aaron who was on the phone when Haley died; the entire team was listening to those horrific final moments of her life, each of them dying just a little bit with her. It’s one of the most emotional things I’ve ever seen on television, and still remains a high point for CM, even four seasons later. I must have seen that show at least a dozen times, and I still bawl like a baby every time. If you are even remotely interested in Criminal Minds and have not seen the Reaper story arc, do yourself a favor and hunt it down on Netflix or something. “100” has to be experienced.
* Though Hotch killed the Reaper in “100”, there are reports that he shows up again early this season in a series of flashbacks; that should be interesting.