Criminal Minds Exclusive: A.J. Cook Returns!

If you spot a Criminal Minds fan doing cartwheels this morning, here’s why: A.J. Cook is heading back to the BAU!

Sources confirm to me exclusively that the beloved Minds‘ alum — whose exit this fall triggered a sizeable viewer backlash — will reprise her role as Jennifer “J.J.” Jareau for one episode this spring.

When last seen, J.J. reluctantly left the BAU to take a job at the Pentagon. It’s not clear what prompts her return or when her episode will air, but I’m told Cook is due back on set this week.

When news broke over the summer that Cook’s contract option was not being picked up by CBS, fans mounted a massive online campaign demanding the network reconsider. What resulted was a compromise: The actress returned for two episodes to tie up her character’s story and give viewers closure.

Might J.J.’s comeback be tied to the looming exit of costar Paget Brewster (Prentiss)? THIS JUST IN: Cook just confirmed via Twitter that she is in fact returning for Brewster’s swan song. I was right! Love it when that happens.