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It's been three years, man. Three years and I'm still right where he wants me. In this chair.
Phil to Luke

Phillip "Phil" Brooks was the best friend of Luke Alvez and his former partner from his time in the FBI's Fugitive Task Force and a recurring character on Criminal Minds until his death at the hands of Jeremy Grant in the Season Fourteen episode of the series, "Luke".

Background[]

Phil was born and raised in the Bronx borough of New York City and has an uncle who still lives at home. As an adult, he decided to enlist in the U.S. Army and attended Ranger School, where he met fellow Bronx native Luke Alvez. The two became friends and served together in Iraq as part of the 75th Rangers Regiment. Following their discharge from the Army, they simultaneously joined the FBI, being assigned to the Fugitive Task Force and were partners in the field. In 2013, Phil and Alvez were tasked with apprehending a serial killer named Daniel Cullen, a.k.a. "The Crimson King". During the manhunt, they couldn't get a positive identification on Cullen so Phil went undercover to draw him out. Though the operation was successful and Cullen was arrested, it only came after Cullen managed to abduct Phil and torture him by disemboweling him. During the torture, Phil was found and rescued by Alvez. Afterward, Phil informed Alvez that, before he started the torture, Cullen had told him "Try not to flinch". The event traumatized Alvez to the extent where he never told anyone everything that had happened that day. However, he later recounted the whole story to Hotch following Cullen's escape from prison.

Phil's injuries from the torture left him unable to walk and doctors believed he would never be able to again. However, in 2016, after a year of physical therapy, he regained some feeling in his feet and was even able to take a few steps but by then, Phil had become disillusioned at the prospect of ever recovering from his encounter with Cullen. These doubts led him to ignore calls from Alvez, prompting him to visit Phil.

Dust and Bones[]

When Alvez comes to visit him, Phil is practicing walking with his personal trainer. However, he is forced to stop because of intense pain, with the trainer helping him into his chair. Alvez playfully applauds Phil and refers to him as "The Brick", much to the irritation of the trainer, who promptly leaves. The two briefly discuss the nickname before Alvez asks why Phil hasn't been returning his calls. Phil initially dodges the question and the pair exchange witty banter, but Alvez continues to probe him for an answer. He tells Alvez that three years after the incident, he still feels he is where Cullen wants him to be: in a wheelchair. Alvez reminds Phil that Cullen is now locked up for good and that he was a part of the takedown. However, he then counters that although he escaped Cullen alive because of Alvez, the only progress he has made after two years of physical therapy is a few steps. Phil then expresses the futility he feels regarding his recovery and states that he will never walk again, despite doctors telling him that he is getting stronger and encouraging him to keep trying. However, before Phil can elaborate further, Alvez receives a text that the BAU have been asked to help with a case in Texas. Alvez reluctantly starts to leave but tells Phil that when he returns, they will have dinner and talk more about the issue. Phil calls him back and jokes that he had better be buying dinner because he has suffered enough without having to eat Alvez's cooking. During the flight to Texas, Alvez confides in Simmons that he thinks of Phil as a brother and it is difficult to see him in this situation.

After the case is concluded, Alvez tells Simmons that, having been inspired by one of the unsub's victim's resilience to persevere for the sake of her children, he may have found a solution to Phil's problem. He visits Phil again and tells him that he knows why Phil is struggling with his recovery. Alvez recounts his own struggles after being discharged and that if not for his pet dog Roxy, he wouldn't be sure where he would be today. Phil jokes that Alvez is obsessed with his dog and he "needs help". He merely replies that he needs something to live for and to push him to pull through. On cue from Alvez, Garcia enters the room and presents Phil with a young Belgian Malinois puppy named Lou. Alvez tells Phil that Lou will need to be brought on walks and he had better get busy getting better. An overjoyed Phil accepts Lou from Garcia, smiling and laughing as the dog licks his face. He then embraces Alvez, telling him "Thank you, brother", ending the episode.

Luke[]

Brooks reappeared in this episode, where he is murdered by DEA sniper-turned-serial killer Jeremy Grant. His death enrages Alvez and ultimately leads to him tracking Grant down and apprehending him after a brief fist-fight between the two. Alvez's actions ultimately lead to Prentiss temporarily revoking his SSA privileges.

Notes[]

  • At the start of the episode, Phil states that three years had passed since Cullen was captured. However, in "The Crimson King," the episode featuring Cullen, Alvez also states that it had been three years since he and Phil arrested Cullen as of early October 2016. This would make it four years since the undercover operation by the events of "Dust and Bones"[1]. This was most likely an error on the writers' part.
  • Much like the relationship between Morgan and Reid, Alvez thinks of Phil as a brother.

Appearances[]

References[]

  1. Depending on the date Cullen was arrested
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