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Criminal Minds is back. Where are the characters now?


In the final episode of “Criminal Minds,” which aired on CBS between 2005 and 2020, the main characters celebrated the departure of Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), who left the Behavioral Analysis Unit to explore less murderous pastures. But the rest of the team didn’t stay together for long. The senior FBI officials decided that the agents solve twice as many cases separately as they do together, so the team split up.

And that was that, until “Criminal Minds: Evolution,” a new 10-episode series on Paramount Plus, with the first two episodes streaming Thursday. All it takes is one incredibly dramatic killing spree to bring the team back together. For a refresher, here’s an update on the characters and what they’ve been up to.

Rossi, played by Joe Mantegna, joined the Behavioral Analysis Unit following the departure of Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) in Season 3. He took over the mantle of group mentor, with less of a calming fatherly presence than Gideon offered, but significantly more ex wives. As the series wound down, Rossi rekindled a romance and lived a happy life with his ex-turned-wife Krystall Richards while hunting serial killer Everett “The Chameleon” Lynch. We hope you haven’t gotten too attached to Kristall.

In “Evolution,” Rossi lives in a hotel room, eats sad microwave meals, and works as the department head of the Behavioral Analysis Unit, dealing with (or rather not dealing with) the death of his wife and obsessed with a serial killer who preys on families. has coined. The murder sign in his hotel room says it all. The rest of the team tries to support him, but is met with anger and resentment. Garcia, who is not on the team, hangs up when she tries to help with a case because of his outbursts.

Prentiss (Paget Brewster) evolved as “Criminal Minds” changed. A character who was anything but stagnant, she joined the team after the departure of Elle Greenaway (Lola Glaudini.) Prentiss solved cases, faked her death, ran the London Interpol Office, then returned to the Behavioral Analysis Unit to take over as head of the unit.

Now she’s been promoted to department head and has a lot more duties on her plate, along with meetings in rooms decorated with FBI logos. She fights with the copper to give the Behavioral Analysis Unit the funds and resources the team needs to solve cases. So far she has been unsuccessful in getting the group back together during an agent-gathering moment on a new private jet, as their old one exploded in the series finale.

JJ (AJ Cook), a communications consultant turned supervisory special agent, allowed her entire adult life to unfold on screen. She fell in love, had a baby, was kidnapped multiple times and confessed her love to fellow cop Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler). In the final season, after surviving another life-threatening injury, JJ and Spencer vented their feelings and decided to remain platonic friends and colleagues.

In “Evolution”, JJ deals with solving cases without having a unified team and still remains so focused on her children’s lives that she suspects about the girls her son is secretly dating. Her marriage is rocky, with husband Will Lamontagne (Josh Stewart) feeling neglected by her work-life balance.

Alvez (Adam Rodriguez) joined the Behavioral Analysis Department after his peak. Dubbed “Newbie” by Garcia, the army veteran replaced Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore), an impossible task. His adversarial relationship with Garcia developed flirtatious. In the last episode, he asked her out on a date, which apparently didn’t go over very well. Alvez still refuses to learn the names of her replacements, but he manages to drag Garcia back into the world of the Behavior Analysis Unit.

In “Evolution”, Garcia is thriving. She organizes a baking club in her beautiful house and is not bombarded with death and violence every day. She used what she learned while on the team to create a social media platform called Soar for young people that is double coded to avoid strange danger. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as safe as she wanted. Alvez delivers the bad news that Soar was used to attack two families, bringing Garcia back into the game.

Dr. Tara Lewis (Aisha Tyler), another late addition to the cast, temporarily joined the team in Season 11. She still works for the Behavioral Analysis Unit and handles cases on her own. While the rest of the team is on the east coast, Tara is out west dealing with an abandoned warehouse in the middle of the woods filled with victims and disturbing relics of a killer who was only active in 2020.

Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) was a “Criminal Minds” and Tumblr favorite throughout the show. The boy’s genius-turned-genius was put through the wringer in his time at the Behavioral Analysis Unit, and Gubler hasn’t yet confirmed he’ll star in ‘Evolution’.

Another character whose return is unclear is Matthew Simmons (Daniel Henney), who was on the show for the last three seasons. As the deputy director of the FBI puts it in the premiere of “Evolution,” the agency “is not free to discuss their assignments” and “if and when they return is entirely up to them.”

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