Matthew Gray Gubler’s Poignant Performance On ‘Criminal Minds’ As Spencer Reid [Opinion]

Matthew Gray Gubler has contributed tremendously to Criminal Minds this season in terms of an extended story that showcases his considerable talents as an actor. Gubler is digging deep in order to portray Dr. Spencer Reid in his darkest hour.

Criminal Minds, again playing one of the best of their remaining cards, has tossed Spencer Reid, portrayed by Matthew Gray Gubler, in prison. The recent episodes have been terrifying, and a lot of Matthew’s fans are saying it’s too much for them to withstand, according to TV Buddy.

Matthew Gray Gubler is such a powerful actor. It is hard to watch Spencer Reid suffer in the way that Gubler portrays him. Sadly, there is no end in sight. It is likely that Spencer Reid’s prison arc will continue into Criminal Minds Season 13, according to TV Line.

Criminal Minds’ ratings have been falling all season, but showrunner Erica Messer is quick to say it isn’t Matthew’s fault. Erica confides to TV Line that this Spencer Reid story arc is designed to bring back viewers.

“I think [the trend was happening] before the Reid arc even got kicked off, so I don’t think it has anything to do with that. In fact, the hope was that people will have to tune in, because it’s something serialized, and it’s with one of the fan favorites. So if anything, we’re certainly hoping this sort of puts that [decline] to rest and gets people back watching.”

Matthew Gray Gubler’s torments as Dr. Spencer Reid are just beginning, according to Criminal Minds’ showrunner Erica Messer.

“No…. You haven’t. You have not [Seen the worst of Spencer’s troubles.] There are a lot of internal and external factors that are yet to come in that storyline, so hang on tight.”

Following Thomas Gibson’s termination from Criminal Minds and Shemar Moore now preparing for his new role on SWAT, Spencer Reid is more alone than ever without Hotch and Morgan. Matthew Gray Gubler as Spencer Reid is in real trouble, having been accused of murder, and Spencer Reid inexplicably has no memory of the night before.

This Criminal Minds plot may sound a bit cliché. After all, TV detectives have been framed before, but Matthew Gray Gubler is skillful enough to not only make this story his own but drive it home as few have ever done before.

Matthew Gray Gubler shines in the role of Spencer Reid. Gubler has manifested a masterful portrayal of an awkward and innocent young genius for the last 12 years, and from what he has shown viewers in Criminal Minds Season 12, Matthew Gray Gubler has surpassed his previous performances as Spencer Reid, which have always been stellar.

Criminal Minds Mandy Patinkin, Lola Glaudini, Matthew Gubler, Shemar Moore

Criminal Minds showrunner Erica Messer is almost disturbingly upbeat about Spencer Reid’s plight, perhaps because Matthew Gray Gubler is doing such a masterful job. Messer told TV Line it is fun to do this to one of the show’s most beloved characters.

“It’s such a fun thing for us to do on this show, because as you know we’ve never done anything this big of an arc for this long. And to take our most vulnerable hero and put him in the last place you’d ever want him to be has I think got people talking, which is great. We want that.”

Matthew Gray Gubler is showcasing his astounding skills on Criminal Minds as an incredible and perhaps vastly unappreciated actor.

Matthew Gray Gubler was awarded most underrated actor by CarterMatt in late December of 2016. After hundreds of thousands of votes were counted, Matthew Gray received 70 percent. The award is for actors who, despite their talents, have not received any other notable awards.

Criminal Minds has always been aware of Matthew Gray Gubler’s talent. That is why they chose him to portray Dr. Spencer Reid, despite the fact he didn’t fit the original description for the part. But now, Matthew has bumped up his performances to a whole other level. Gubler is killing it, but sadly even his most heroic efforts are not boosting the ratings.

Matthew Gray Gubler of Criminal Minds Has a Facinating Mind

Criminal Minds’ rating decline could be due to the absence of Thomas Gibson as Hotch and Shemar Moore as Morgan. Thomas Gibson fans are still boycotting the show on Twitter at #NoHotchNoWatch. They oppose Gibson’s termination and also the manner in which he was let go. Perhaps other fans quietly agree, because Criminal Minds lost millions of viewers during Season 12.

Matthew Gray Gubler of Criminal Minds is by far one of the best young actors in television. Coupled with his boyish good looks and his compelling role as Spencer Reid, Gubler’s talents have made him quite a heartthrob.


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Criminal Minds was once one of CBS’s top-rated shows, with a strong cast of veteran actors, like Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, Joe Mantegna, and Matthew Gray Gubler, as well as Paget Brewster, A.J. Cook, and Kirsten Vangsness. However, casting changes, including the loss of Gibson and Moore, have destabilized their fan base.

Matthew Gray Gubler masterfully portrays an incarcerated Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds amid plummeting ratings.

[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]