Sense Memory

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Drama/Crime/Mystery/Thriller, USA, 2011, 41 min.

Synopsis Welcome to Los Angeles. A taxi driver whispers creepy words into a mini-recorder (something about people being animals) and is startled when an attractive woman knocks on the window. She enters the cab and says how lucky she is to have found a cab. "Very lucky," the creepy cab driver mutters. Yikes. CUT to Emily's apartment, where she has a FLASHBACK to her former government boss explaining that dangerous gangster Ian Doyle has disappeared without a trace. She then notices that a window is open. She pulls her gun and searches the place. Clearly, the BAU agent is scared and paranoid.The next morning, a bleary-eyed Emily arrives late to work. Garcia immediately runs down the most recent case: three young women murdered in L.A. "They were drowned somewhere else and transported to the dump site," Hotch says. It gets weirder: the woman was drowned in methanol and had the same piece of skin removed from the bottom of their foot. "The unsub wants his victims to suffer and he has the space and privacy to do it," Hotch concludes. Time to board the jet and head for the west coast.Later, the gang theorizes on the motives of the killer. Rossi finally decides that the unsub must know the city quite well as none of the dump sites were discovered for some time. Detective Bailey of the LAPD introduces himself to the team. Rossi then visits the morgue where the mortician says the women were soaked in methanol but not completely submerged. Also: the cut on the foot of the last victim was a precision job -- not ragged like the others. "His confidence and skill level are increasing," Hotch says. The mortician also suggests that the women breathed in chloroform -- probably in mist form.Rossi, Emily, Hotch and Reid put their heads together and quickly decide that the women must have been given the mist of chloroform within an enclosed space -- and a potentially mobile one at that given the variety of the dump sites. A police car? A taxi, perhaps? CUT to the cab driver, who obsessively cleans his cab and mutters about the "filth" and "chemicals" in the city. A young woman climbs into the cab for a ride. He SLAMS closed the window partition, pushes a button and watches as the back seat fills with mist. Later, the woman wakes up inside some sort of laboratory/torture chamber. The cab driver flicks a switch and a dead female body on a slab rises out of a bath. She screams through the tape over her mouth. "You're going to live forever," the cabbie says.Later, Garcia calls with seemingly bad news: a check on taxis in the area reveals that NONE stopped to pick someone up at the time the last known victim was taken. Rossi suggests an unregistered cab, which would be very difficult to find. The team is dejected -- except for Reid, who recalls that when he used methanol in science class, he would always take a sample of the source material. That sample was about the same size as the missing squares of skin on the feet of the victim. "I think this guy's a scientist and he's experimenting," Reid tells Hotch. The BAU team then gives their profile to the local cops: unregistered taxi driver who is extremely antisocial. Suddenly, phones ring.Another body has been found by the side of a road. While Rossi and Hotch investigate, Emily and Derek pay a visit to a woman who says she was recently verbally accosted by the driver of an unregistered cab. "He made a paying customer get out," she explains. "He was listening to some dumb recording of himself talking." Later, Derek asks Emily what has been bothering her lately. Emily kindly tells her BAU partner to back off. It's none of his business -- yet. Reid, meanwhile, theorizes that the unsub is using methanol to draw out the essential oils of something. It's possible that the killer is motivated by smell -- or something relating to the sense. CUT to the killer's lair. The cabbie mutters something about the "essence of a woman" being "intoxicating." He opens a cabinet to reveal shelves of homemade candles with the patches of foot skin stored in plastic baggies hanging next to each. All different smells, apparently. The bound woman SCREAMS. The unsub assures her that the process has been "perfected." She's next.Back at police HQ, Hotch wonders if the particular smell of a woman decides whether or not she'll be a victim. Perfumes might turn off the unsub. Reid notes that smell is a powerful memory trigger. "He might be trying to bring back the memory of something he lost," Reid says. Garcia calls with good news: she checked on the sale of laboratory equipment in the area -- and it all went to the same spot. "We have an address," Reid says. CUT to the unsub, who is lowering the screaming woman into a vat of methanol when he suddenly hears the sound of cop cars. Outside, the BAU team has assembled.The killer hops in his unregistered cab and makes a break for it. Emily frees the crying, but safe victim. Meanwhile, a car chase ensues through the streets of L.A. The cab driver somehow loses the officers, who decide to split up to search the area. And wouldn't you know it? Rossi and Hotch spot the cabbie hiding out in an alley. The cab SPEEDS out of the alley -- and runs smack dab into a truck. The unsub is instantly killed. Hotch approaches the cab and hears the man's recordings playing on the mini-recorder. He goes on and on about humans being nothing more than "animals." Case closed.But not the episode. Emily returns home to her apartment to find the front door cracked. She pulls her gun and starts to perform another search. Emily then finds a wrapped gift on a table. Inside is a purple flower. FLASHBACK to Emily working in a flower garden. Suddenly, a fleet of black cars full of agents speaking a foreign language pull up and grab her. Doyle watches from the balcony above. He too is taken into custody, but not before telling someone on his cell phone to "stay on top it." Emily's past is mysterious, indeed.

Directed by Rob Spera  

Starring Joe Mantegna, Paget Brewster, Shemar Moore, A.J. Cook, Matthew Gray Gubler, more...

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