Episodes: 324 (hour)
TV show dates: September 22, 2005 — February 19, 2020
Series status: Ended
Performers include: Mandy Patinkin, Thomas Gibson, Lola Glaudini, Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, A. J. Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Paget Brewster, Joe Mantegna, Rachel Nichols, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez, Damon Gupton, and Daniel Henney.
TV show description:
This crime drama follows a unique team of profilers for the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) at Quantico, Virginia.
Supervisory Special Agent/Unit Chief Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) at one time worked in the FBI Field Office in Seattle but now heads up the BAU team. Divorced and with a son, Hotch works hard at balancing family commitments and work, yet admittedly doesn’t get to see his son as often as he’d wish. Occasionally his team refers to him as a “drill sergeant,” because of the high standards he holds them to, yet is even harder on himself.
Supervisory Special Agent Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) is the top profiler and the former Unit Chief. As Unit Chief he sent six agents into a Boston warehouse and all were killed by a bomb. He had a nervous breakdown and returned as Special Agent. He frequently helps his fellow profilers with their problems and eventually leaves the unit from burn-out.
Around the time that Gideon leaves, David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), one of the founding fathers of the BAU, returns as Senior Supervisory Special Agent. He felt the need to come back to handle some unfinished business and finally solve one of his first cases. He initially has a hard time adapting to working within the current BTU climate. Three times divorced, Rossi is boisterous, occasionally abrasive, and emotional.
Supervisory Special Agent Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) is the confident and assertive son of a mixed-race couple in a tough Chicago neighborhood. He earned a criminal record early on as a youngster after his father died. Very physically active, he attended Northwestern University on a football scholarship, is a Judo black belt, runs self-defense classes for the FBI, and also worked in a bomb squad unit and as a cop in Chicago. Morgan is known for being a huge flirt but hasn’t been able to maintain a stable romantic relationship.
Supervisory Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) graduated from a public high school in Las Vegas at the age of 12 with an IQ of 187. He holds PhDs in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Engineering, BAs in Psychology and Literature, is working on one in Philosophy and can read 20,000 words a minute. His father abandoned the family because of his mother’s paranoid schizophrenia, and Reid also suffered extreme bullying in school. A good map-reader, Reid is often tasked with doing geographic profiling. He also works well with words and is the team’s linguistic profiler.
Supervisory Special Agent Jennifer “JJ” Jareau (AJ Cook) is the team’s liaison with media and local police agencies. She’s not actually a profiler and has declined suggestions that she take classes to become one, despite being a crack shot. She decided to join the FBI after attending one of Rossi’s book readings during her senior year of college. After being involved with Detective William LaMontagne Jr. (Josh Stewart), she became pregnant with his child and kept the baby. He became a stay-at-home dad while she continues to work for the BAU.
Supervisory Special Agent Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini) was assigned to the BAU as an expert in sexual offense crimes. Her father was a cop who was killed in the line of duy and she is half Cuban and speaks Spanish fluently. She suffers extreme emotional trauma after being shot by a psychotic and who writes on a wall with her blood. After a brief return, Greenway hands in her badge.
Supervisory Special Agent Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), an ambassador’s daughter, replaced Greenaway and insisted that her influential mother did not pull any strings to get her the job. She became pregnant at 15 and got an abortion, then went on to attend Yale. She is fluent in many languages because of her childhood spent traveling with her mom. Prentiss briefly resigned from her position in the BAU, but was convinced to stay.
Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vansness) is the Computer Technician at BAU Headquarters in Quantico. Being orphaned at 18, she now counsels families of murder victims. She’s not always somber and often provides the rest of the team with some comic relief, being flamboyant and fun-loving. Despite her position on the team, she’s also on the FBI list for extremely useful or dangerous hackers. Her self-confidence is met with flirtatiousness from Morgan, yet they haven’t sought out a romantic relationship, and instead, she is involved with fellow Technical Analyst Kevin Lynch (Nicholas Brendon).
Episode #324 — And in the End
Following an explosive face-to-face encounter with Everett Lynch, a.k.a. “The Chameleon,” Dr. Reid suffers from a brain injury and, while experiencing hallucinations, is visited by ghosts from his past. Also, the BAU makes a shocking discovery about Lynch that affects Rossi personally, and the entire BAU team comes together to celebrate Rossi’s retirement.
First aired: February 19, 2020.
What do you think? Do you like the Criminal Minds TV show? Do you think it should have ended or been renewed for a 16th season?