Criminal Minds is gaining new personnel for the BAU, or Behavioral Analysis Unit, in Season 12. After an onslaught of losses, including Shemar Moore (Derrick Morgan) and Thomas Gibson (Hotch,) the BAU needs new blood. There will be even more changes throughout the 2016 – 2017 season.
Derrick Morgan, portrayed by Shemar Moore, left the BAU at the end of Season 11 to spend more time with is family. Last season, Derrick decided that he felt his work endangered his family and with his new baby, he could not afford to take that risk.
Criminal Minds star Shemar Moore has every opportunity to return in the future, and the cast, writers, and crew hope that he will. Sticking with that tradition, writers allow Morgan to return to the BAU permanently or get involved from time to time with various characters in a few episodes.
Adam Rodriguez has been added to the cast. Rodriguez will be playing the role of Luke Alvez. The season premier will be largely allocated to Luke’s introduction.
Aisha Tyler is also confirmed as a Criminal Minds regular. Aisha is working out very well in the role of Agent Tara Lewis. Writers and cast are happy to have her around.
Criminal Minds’ Paget Brewster will also be a regular again, as Emily Prentiss returns to the BAU according to iTech Post. Fans will be excited to see her return full time.
Damon Gupton will also become a Criminal Minds regular. His character, SSA Agent Stephen Walker, will be joining the team at the BAU.
Spoilers that give away parts of the plot for Season 12 can be found below, some people don’t like to know, but these spoilers are related to the casing changes, not answers to the show’s mysteries. This is about actors either returning to the show or appearing for the first time.
Thomas Gibson unexpectedly lost his temper and was fired. His last appearance on the show will be on Episode 2 of the season. Breaking Criminal Minds tradition, Hotch won’t just go away, he will be killed off according to iTech Post. Hotch will die in Episode 2 of Season 12 according to iTech.
The Criminal Minds plot is not so clear cut according to TV Guide, however. TV Guide disagrees, saying it is possible Hotch will just quit the BAU, because of family concerns. His son Jack (Cade Owen) witnessed Hotch, Thomas Gibson. getting SWATed in the season finale. That could provide a reason for Hotch to quit.
Ed Asner’s character, Hotch’s father-in-law, could also provide a reasonable excuse since his Alzheimer’s is getting worse. Considering the many problems facing Hotch’s family, killing him off seems to leave a cruel reality for Jack and his grandfather.
Criminal Minds casting changes will continue throughout the season. The writers plan to add members to the team gradually so that each character has a chance to be introduced and allow fans to get to know them.
Thomas Gibson will not appear in any episodes after Episode 2, so fans will know Hotch’s fate soon enough. Perhaps writers reconsidered killing Hotch and will allow him to retire from the BAU gracefully.
The Criminal Minds premiere introduces Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez, who will be employed primarily to hunt down the Crimson King, one of the 13 escaped unsubs. The Season 11 finale, viewable on Netflix if fans need to refresh their memories, featured the escape of 13 deadly killers. Much of the season will be spent hunting these dangerous and vicious serial murderers, but not too much.
Criminal Minds writer Erica Messer explained that she didn’t want to burn the entire season tracking down those 13 unsubs. Messer also mentioned the possibility that Frances Fisher could come back by making one of the unsubs Antonia Slade. Fisher made a great impression as Slade in an earlier episode.
“We felt like we had so many other stories to tell that are our bread-and-butter stories that we felt like making the whole season about 13 guys and gals who got away before was just going to be a little repetitive. So instead, five felt like a reasonable number. Certainly, five throughout a 22-episode season feels different enough.”
Criminal Minds’ Adam Rodriguez told TV Guide that his relationship with Penelope Garcia will be strained at first because of the way “Baby Girl” felt about Derrick.
“Garcia obviously has a very close relationship with Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore). She’s a little salty that he’s no longer there. It’s good in a way because I think the audience will feel that as well. I had a similar experience on CSI: Miami [when I] left for a while. It’s hard for the audience to readjust after they become so attached [to a character]. Garcia gets to feel those feelings for the audience, which is great.”
Criminal Minds writer Erica Messer hopes that Paget Brewster will stay on permanently in the role of Agent Emily Prentiss. Prentiss may even replace Hotch, Thomas Gibson, as unit chief, but that is yet to be evaluated. The writers are taking their time in that decision. Perhaps they are considering the fact that Agent Rossi, portrayed by Joe Mantegna, would be a more logical choice for the position.
RELATED REPORTS FROM THE INQUISITR
Jane Lynch will be returning as Spencer’s mom. Matthew Gray Gubler’s substantial acting skills will be fully engaged in Episode 11 that will mark the return of Ried’s schizophrenic mom, now also burdened with Alzheimer’s disease. Jane will appear in many episodes starting with 11.
Damon Gupton will appear in the latter half of Season 12 as SSA Agent Stephen Walker.
Criminal Minds writer Erica Messer teases that Season 12, Episode 13 is going to be huge. Messer and Vangness are working on a really big production for that mid-season episode. A lot will be happening, but Messer isn’t giving anything else away on that. Just don’t miss it.
Criminal Minds casting changes and plots this season are going to be game changers, but it seems the show is upping its game in terms of plot building.
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]