‘Criminal Minds’ Break: Matthew Gray Gubler And Friends Are Off For February [Opinion]

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Criminal Minds has been given February off by CBS. Fans can still see Matthew Gray Gubler, A.J. Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Paget Brewster, and the rest of the current cast in weekly episodes on January, 17, 24, and 31. Then no more until March 7 according to CBS.

CBS has opted out of Criminal Minds in February; instead, they are airing two-hour episodes of The Amazing Race and an episode of Seal Team on February 28. Perhaps fans missing Matthew Gray Gubler will have time to see Gubler’s new movie 68 Kill on Blu-Ray.

Matthew Gray Gubler has been MIA or at least barely there in a couple of Criminal Minds episodes, much to the disappointment of his fans, as explained by Carter Matt.

“[Matthew Gray Gubler’s character Spencer Reid] is still teaching his seminars as part of his condition on his return to work, but he showed up for the last half of the episode. We will take what we can get – this show is very different without him as part of the crew.”

Yes, Criminal Minds would be quite different without Matthew Gray Gubler, just as it is already different without Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore. That “no Hotch” difference is no good according to former fans at #NoHotchNoWatch, and Matthew Gray Gubler fans are not pleased with Matthew Gray’s temporary absences either.

Shemar Moore is also sorely missed as Morgan on Criminal Minds, despite his generosity in doing a few cameos now and then. Shemar landed the starring role on S.W.A.T. and so his fans can still see him on CBS each week. Is Matthew Gray Gubler looking for another role as well?

It is still unclear if Criminal Minds is going to be renewed for Season 14. No announcement has been made about the fate of Criminal Minds, despite the fact that Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon have already been notified of their renewal according to The Futon Critic. Apparently, the jury is still out on Criminal Minds and the rest of the CBS line up.

It seems as if Criminal Minds is casting off stars like the original Big Bang, exploding from within. Shemar Moore and Thomas Gibson have already departed the show, and completely unsubstantiated rumors and theories continue to buzz that Matthew Gray Gubler will be the next to leave Criminal Minds.

First Shemar Moore left Criminal Minds for a movie role and chose to star in S.W.A.T. rather than return full-time to Criminal Minds. Then Thomas Gibson was terminated by CBS.

Thomas Gibson, Paget Brewster, Matthew Gray Gubler, A.J. Cook, Shemar Moore Kirsten Vangsness
Thomas Gibson, Paget Brewster, Matthew Gray Gubler, A.J. Cook, Shemar Moore Kirsten Vangsness Featured image credit: Stephen ShugermanGetty Images

It is unclear if Matthew Gray Gubler’s character Spencer Reid is being phased back into the BAU, or if Matthew Gray Gubler is being phased out of Criminal Minds, but Gubler’s frequent absences are uncomfortable for fans.

Matthew Gray Gubler is staying busy though. Matthew recently appeared to a sold-out house at Largo at the Coronet with the all-girl comedy improv team Wild Horses.

Criminal Minds, once a proud flagship of CBS, has taken a sad turn after all these years. Not only have they lost stars, the story is less interesting as Carter Matt explains.

“For us, we still feel like this season is really lacking something. While we do love the story of the week set up of this show since it allows Criminal Minds to become this brilliant TV comfort food where viewers can dip in and dip out at their leisure without missing some major plotline, we haven’t been as engaged in the Unsubs as we have been in the past, or even earlier this season.”

Criminal Minds with Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore, and Matthew Gray Gubler started off as a shocking thriller in the Mandy Patinkin days. Later, with Thomas Gibson as team leader, Criminal Minds, strangely, became a comfort show to viewers. Despite the violent nature of the criminals, the Criminal Minds team seemed to have matters well in hand, and their strength was comforting.

Without Thomas Gibson and Shemar Moore, that protective reassurance is missing for some fans. Now, when Matthew Gray Gubler is away Criminal Minds viewers miss his warmth and comfort as well. Criminal Minds fans became so accustomed to Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson, and Shemar Moore over the years that their absence is jarring.

Will Criminal Minds survive to see Season 14?

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article reported that Criminal Minds Season 14 has been cut from 22 episodes to 17 episodes. CBS has made no indication that the season has been cut, only that no new episodes of the show will air during the month of February.