Criminal Minds‘ eighth season premiered on CBS Wednesday, September 26th and featured a deaf unsub (unknown subject). The episode entitled “The Silencer” follows our (we Criminal Minds fans’) favorite fictional FBI profiling team as they track down a murderer who sews his victims’ mouths shut. Actor Troy Kotsur guest stars playing the criminal John Myers.
Personally I found season eight’s premiere episode a refreshing surprise. Too often on television and in the media people with disabilities get portrayed in a helpless light. Our society tends to pity individuals with handicaps as evident by word choices like “cerebral palsy sufferer” and “wheelchair bound,” phrases commonly included within disability related news stories. Such terminology represent a lacking comprehension regarding life with a handicap.
The Criminal Minds team discovers this lacking comprehension leads John Myers to his murderous ways. During the show we learn Myers’ mother berated her son for his deafness, aggressively discouraging sign language and correlating John’s disability with poor intelligence. She attempts to “fix” him, having an experimental hearing implant inserted into him. His introduction into the hearing world triggers Myers’ stressor and eventually influences him to start killing.
Despite the fact the season eight Criminal Minds season premiere contained a fictional storyline, I believe the episode ultimately offers worthwhile didactic value. For example, different doesn’t mean broke. Interestingly enough by “fixing” her son John Myers’ mother actually broke him. Wouldn’t you agree? If you missed Criminal Minds season eight, episode one “The Silencer” Wednesday, watch at CBS.com and then share your thoughts via a comment below.
*Also make sure you don’t miss out on my latest Off Balanced publicity efforts. Read my second Life of the Differently Abled guest post “Online Dating and Cerebral Palsy,” listen to my Inclusive Class podcast appearance from Friday, September 28th, and watch my Off Balanced cyber reading on Youtube.