THIS. Its actually what’s made his character the least appealing to me over the past seven seasons. And I know 5 million fangirls will come in, disagree, and flame the hell out of this confession but I agree with it wholeheartedly. He just hasnt grown up yet in many ways and he needs to.
I love all the characters, but Reid annoys me sometimes: he’s a full grown man and yet he (sometimes) behaves just like teenage boys, acting out on people who care for him. I get it that he’s sensitive, but that’s no excuse for being childish. He should know better already, he should be mature enough to deal with stuff as a man.
No flame suit necessary! I just don’t agree. His outburts have been little measured on the amount of teasing he endures. I got no problem with that - I’m the baby of the family (just like he is) and I’ve had my fair share of teasing. It’s okay, it’s part of being a family, but as my grandmother used to say: “You know, crying is the only weapon those little ones have at times.” So, once in a while us family babies lash out a bit ;-)
Then, there could be a deeper explanation. Very early in S1, in “Broken Mirror”, the unsub profiled Reid as having “obvious autistic leanings” - and while they have never confirmed it on the show, he did and does display behavior that would indicate he’s on the spectrum (or possibly has Asperger’s). Acutally, some (knowledgeable) fans have analyzed his behavior and they make very, very valid arguments for him having Asperger’s. I’m not convinced myself, but if he is on the spectrum, it would explain some of his behavior, included the off kilter and seemingly “teen” behavior.
EDIT: His upbringing wasn’t exactly easy, either. While I don’t believe Diana was out of her mind all the time (or even half as much as we were led to believe), she was ill and it seriously inhibited her ability to take care of him and show him how life works. His father walked out on them, and being a smart as he was, he was a natural outcast. He always surpassed his peers, and people older than him, in knowledge - but that was only his “intellectual” age. His “emtional age” was on constant catch-up, but it never managed to get there - there always was a divide. In the process, he also got hurt and scarred.
While I can see some arguments for Reid being on the spectrum, I don’t personally agree either. I’m not on the spectrum myself, but I’ve worked with a wide range of kids and adults with autism, including some on the “higher” end on the spectrum like Reid supposedly is. This is especially an issue for me because MGG came out and said something to the effect that he thinks Reid has autism, NOT any of the writers, and as far as I can tell, MGG has no real experience with people with autism.
Plus, time and time again, MGG has done a shitty job of characterization of Reid, which is part of the reason why I think Reid’s back-slid into this man-boy-thing and why he’s suddenly “omg technology is scary!” and why he’s become a robot who is no longer empathetic to the victims or even his own coworkers/friends; the original writers aren’t around to reign him in and the new writers are trusting him with his bad characterization.
…and the unsub in “Broken Mirrors” isn’t that good to begin with. Because the things he says are generally half-truths that play on everyone’s fears - Hotch doesn’t want to be the director, but he does worry about the effect his job has on Haley; one of Gideon’s fears would be his inability to correctly profile someone, especially if that someone were his mentee; Elle does worry that she won’t make it in the BAU, but she IS a threat (as proved by the end of the episode); and finally, Morgan isn’t a “pumped up side of beef” token character (even if the fandom treats him that way), though he’d clearly worry that people see him that way.
And the thing that bothers me most? Is that he WAS mature and he WAS growing, back in seasons 1-4 and the first half of 5. His growth peaks at Uncanny Valley and then he just backslides horrifically.
…which gets me to my main point (oops) - I can definitely see anon’s annoyance at Reid’s childish/strange behavior during seasons 5.5-7, if that’s what they meant. If it’s throughout all the seasons, I disagree (especially if this is a “alpha males are REAL men and beta males are not” bc oh god I could not disagree more with that sentiment).