Criminal Minds' Joe Mantegna Previews Season Finale Shake-Up: 'Sometimes Art Imitates Life'

This Wednesday at 9/8c, Criminal Minds presents an hour that, for a season finale, might be a little light on pyrotechnics, but nonetheless is high on drama. What’s in play? A possible “art imitating life” shake-up at the BAU, coupled with the (at one time seemingly unlikely) return of fan favorite A.J. Cook, as former team member “JJ” Jareau. TVLine welcomed the chance to speak with Joe Mantegna, aka FBI Special Agent David Rossi, about the major goings on both on and off screen at the hit CBS procedural.

TVLINE | The big question is: Can a season finale that is not about exploding SUVs or a team member being held at gunpoint be just as compelling?
[Laughs] I guess we’ll see! But yeah I think so, partly because when you have a series that’s six years old, it’s nice to be reflective. And the subject matter kind of mirrors reality in that six years is a normal series contract. The writers were clever enough to say, “Sometimes life imitates art, and sometimes art imitates life.”

Criminal Minds Scoop: Shemar Moore Re-Signs, Thomas Gibson Still Without Contract

TVLINE | So the promos that have been running are no fake-out? The team will be changed when all is said and done?
I think it might be – and whether or not that’s a change for the good or the bad or a change back to the way things were or toward something new, that’s to be determined. As in life, there are no guarantees. As a kid, [the St. Louis Cardinals losing] Curt Flood made me realize there are no guarantees — in baseball or anything else.

TVLINE | What brings Hotch to say what he does in the promo, that team members will be invited to leave?
We’ve laid that groundwork in the past, that he has that almost antagonistic relationship with the director. Listen, if you ask any citizen what would they consider to be the most screwed up organization, they’re always go to say the government, as far as being muddled with red tape, being inefficient or whatever. But you just make the best of it, and it’s the same thing here. Sometimes things get shaken up, and who’s to say why? Maybe sometimes people shake things up just to get your attention.

TVLINE | What a time for J.J. to return to the fold. How does that play out?
It was a very emotional and traumatic parting when she left, so I’d like to think there’s going to be an equal kind of reception when she reappears. But as to how that resolves itself and where that goes, that’s what we figure out over the hiatus.

TVLINE | Having been in the business for some years, what does it say to you that fan outcry resulted in A.J. Cook being brought back?
Nothing’s infallible. Sometimes people who make important creative decisions will try something, but when the fans react a certain way, you’ve got to listen, swallow your pride and say, “OK.” You learn more from your mistakes than your successes. I’ve always felt the public ultimately dictates what they want. It’s like when [celebrities] who engage in a lot of bad behavior start saying, “I’m not your role model.” Well, you don’t have that choice. The public decides who their role models are.

TVLINE | Why do you think viewers care so much who is out solving these horrific crimes? I mean, Criminal Minds doesn’t give us huge dollops of character development.
While you say there’s not much character development, I still think there’s enough there to create a strong familiarity. What I like about this show is there’s a lot of equal time given, it’s a true ensemble. I learned that when I joined the cast. I remember reading the press when Mandy Patinkin left [after Season 2] — “How will the show survive without its main character?” — and as I caught up on all the episodes during negotiations, I’m thinking, “What, are they crazy?” This is not a one-man band. Each character is very well defined. I use the analogy of The Beatles. Millions of people love The Beatles and millions of people have their favorite Beatle, so on the one hand if you love the music, you love the band, and on the other hand you say, “But I really love George Harrison.” So while we don’t do massive character development, I always enjoy when we do.

TVLINE | Like the soccer coaching scene a few weeks back, with Rossi and Hotch.
Exactly. And I think we’ll do more and more of that, I always push for that. Especially on a show that’s run as long as ours had, this is what the fan base does want to see. They have an investment in these people, and they want to know what the “family” does during their off hours.

TVLINE | Do you think the show would be daring to go to the well too often by also bringing back Paget Brewster (as Prentiss)?
I don’t think we’d be going to the well too often, no. Anyone who saw how her ultimate “demise” happened saw that there was that window of opportunity [to bring Prentiss back]. As with [Jareau], she a tremendously strong and important character. There’s nothing wrong with shaking things up, maybe putting people on edge and even angering people if at the end of the day you can justify it. So I feel optimistic about that.

TVLINE | The biggest obstacle might be how to manage it on-screen, since Prentiss faked her death for a very important and continuing reason.
We had to do a lot to create that storyline, so I think we would just have to do as much work to resolve it – and I think you can. The reason it happened still exists, [Ian Doyle] is out there, so now we have to solve that problem.

TVLINE | Right, just take a few November sweeps episodes and nip it in the bud.
Exactly. I don’t think that’s a big problem. If indeed we go that way, it could be a very exciting and memorable [storyline]. People will look back on it and say, “That whole arc was very interesting.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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67 Comments
  1. teniba says:

    Seaver/Nichols is so out of the picture, she is not even mentionned in that interview lol… Bye bye Seaver!

    • NickC says:

      I will never get the fan HATE for Seaver/Nichols..She is just an actress(a good one)playing a role.(with not a lot of time to develop)Fans should blame bad writing/show running.I hope they keep Seaver and get Prentiss/JJ back..

      • Alex says:

        I think the hate for Seaver/Nichols comes more out of the WHY then the character or actress herself. More then likely, she’ll be the one who chooses to leave when Hotch gives them their outs.

        • Pat says:

          The reason I don’t like the Seaver character is because they chose to pick someone who looks like AJ Cook to replace her; why choose a Doppelganger when you can have the original.

      • BT says:

        I agree with Alex. The dislike for the Seaver character stems mostly from the fact that there’s no reasonable explanation for why she’s there. She doesn’t contribute anything to the show that JJ or Prentiss didn’t contribute better and she doesn’t contribute anything to the team that justifies her placement there so early on in her career. As for her not having a lot of time to develop her role, she’s been on for about half a season – it didn’t take the other CM replacement characters, Emily Prentiss and David Rossi, nearly as much time to develop. She’s an ill-conceived, poorly-executed character and I hope she’s gone by the season 7 premiere or I’ll seriously have to consider not watching Criminal Minds anymore.

        • NickC says:

          You can’t say she has been given the attention to character that Prentiss or Rossi got.(both are bigger actors)Other than her first ep there has been zero time given to her…and IMO JJ was kinda boring in the first season but given time i liked her better…Lets be straight.No matter how good she was people were going to hate her because of JJ and Prentiss leaving…this season has been so hit and miss..I blame the writing and the show runner.Not the actress.

          • BT says:

            I don’t blame the actress (who, agreed, isn’t as big a name as Joe Mantegna but has a similar resume to Paget Brewster), but that doesn’t change the fact that the character is a dud. The fact that she’s had so little to do is a testament to how the writers don’t know what to do with her. As for your theory that people would hate her because of JJ and Prentiss leaving, I can only speak for myself and say that (1) I watched hoping I’d like Seaver because I thought there was no way JJ or Prentiss was coming back and I didn’t want to hate a character on my favorite show; and (2) I WAS determined to hate Ziva on NCIS because I didn’t want Kate to leave but that character won me over on her first episode as part of the team. It’s the character, not the situation, that ultimately wins fans over and Seaver just doesn’t have what it takes to win fans over.

          • tripoli says:

            The character sucks. And she’s not that good of an actress either. Time to go take up space in another show you aren’t needed in.

      • Rowan says:

        It’s simple, really. They got rid of JJ/AJ, not because they ran out of things for her character, but because after 5 years she was a) expensive and b) had the lowest TVQ of the cast. It’s plain and simple. Studio was cutting down all shows’ costs last year. They then hire another blonde Seaver/Nichols play a lesser part, who gets dialogue that makes her look rather dumb compared to the rest of the team and people hate her. The show says she was not a replacement -but in the fan’s eyes she was, so, again, they hate her. This is not the fault of the actress in any way.

      • Suncatcher says:

        Thomas Gibson was recently interviewed by one of the main fan websites. He made a point of making an emotional plea to CM fans – to start treating Rachel Nichols with the same respect as the rest of the cast. He has the utmost regard for her and felt she was being treated unfairly by fans for something she never did. He apparently reads the comments on the websites.

        • BT says:

          Thomas Gibson said this because he wants people to understand that there’s a difference between treating Rachel Nichols with respect and liking Seaver. I, like many other fans, have the utmost respect for the actress and feel for her situation, but don’t like the character and don’t think Seaver adds anything to the show.

          • Dav says:

            BT – I couldn’t have said it better myself. I have nothing against Rachel Nichols but I just don’t care for ths character of Seaver. It was an experiment that didn’t work.

  2. gaby says:

    Just bring Paget back, work that storyline through, and I will be a happy fan.

    • Rowan says:

      Her pilot wasn’t picked up and they already had an offer out to her if her pilot failed, so it sounds like it’s up to her.

    • Alicia says:

      This! Prentiss must return!
      Though I’m scared about what the situation in the finale means for next season. What if the potential shake-up at the BAU is just preparing fans for the possibility that Hotch/Gibson won’t return? He still doesn’t have a contract and it’ll be another blow if we lose him.

  3. Ashley says:

    I’m all for a shake-up ss long as it results in Hotch staying, Prentiss coming back, and Seaver leaving for good. Please, CBS and CM show runners, listen to Joe here: swallow your pride, say “OK” and learn from your mistakes!

  4. CM says:

    Thomas Gibson is not signing a new contract and that makes Hotch leave the BAU to replace Strauss.
    That sucks! The show should’n have been renewed before TG sign a new contract. I WILL NOT WATCH CRIMINAL MINDS WITHOUT THOMAS GIBSON!

    • CM says:

      *shouldn’t*

    • L says:

      I REALLY hope this isn’t true! How do you know?!? We’ve just gotten JJ back and possibly Prentiss next season! We can’t lose Thomas!

      • CM says:

        I don’t. It’s just a hunch. I feel like this is the way the show will be written if Thomas doesn’t sign a new contract.

    • CM says:

      I also think that they are waiting for tonight’s episode to air (big changes on team, members leaving and members coming back) to announce that Thomas Gibson didn’t sign the contract.

  5. Mel says:

    For the love of GOD, bring back Paget and resign Thomas!
    Just give them the money they want dammit and give us back our regular Wednesday family!

  6. Tracy says:

    Having JJ back is a good start but bring back Prentiss and I’ll come back too.

  7. HRU says:

    If the women return to criminal minds so will a lot of women watchers. Me and daughter for two

  8. phil says:

    Hotch apparently is not part of the puzzle next year. So neither am I.

    • Jax says:

      Jeeze people calm down! The deadline for Gibson to sign a contract is still a long ways away. I’ve known actors to negotiate right up until the first day of shooting (which is several months down the road for next season.) Let’s stop declaring the show dead before we even finish the current season.

  9. Tiffany says:

    I feel like a broken record. If Hotch is out, so am I. Thomas has said several times that he wants to come back. If he doesn’t, I’m not, either.

  10. Jennifer says:

    The Seaver “hate” comes because she is a terrible actress and has no chemistry with anyone in the show, except maybe Rossi, and that’s just weird. She was a totally unnecessary addition. I think this season has been, with the exception of a few episodes, the most disappointing to me when it comes to the writing and premise behind some of the episodes. Seaver is a horrible character, and serves no purpose but to put another cute blond chick in the mix. Excuse the bad pun, but whoever made the decision to get rid of JJ and Emily were out of their “minds.”

  11. JGM says:

    Somewhat off-topic, I’d really love them to revisit Elle at some point (and perhaps they have… I don’t see every single episode). Has she turned completely evil, or become overly good to compensate for killing? Does she still harbor resentment at the team? Anyway, just thinking out loud.

    • fyrkat says:

      After Elle left she was never mentioned again as having contact with any of the crew. We have no way of knowing what’s happened to her since she left.

      • Cherry says:

        Well, maybe she could guest star in an episode. Return as a police officer or a victim or something. I’m all for a revisit to season 1 (like when they mentioned Lila in season 5…except bigger)! If that ever happened, I’d like to see some sort of interaction between her and Prentiss (if she returns. I’m crossing my fingers).

  12. GeeGeeDub says:

    To each his or her own. Where some viewers may like Hotch’s serious demeanor, I find him a bit of a one-note downer. I won’t miss him.

    • Amster says:

      I absolutely wholeheartedly disagree. Hotch is the glue that holds the team together – and although he may have a serious, no nonsense, gruff demeanor most of the time, that is only at first glance. His subtle nuances and the few times cracks have shown in his stone facade have proven that he has a heart of gold and carries the welfare of his team as a responsibility much like he does his own child. He is a much better, well-fleshed out, and solid and dependable leader than Gideon ever was, and I was a huge fan of Gideon.

      Not that I am disparaging your opinion. Honestly, I love that not everyone feels the exact same. How boring would that be?

  13. Suncatcher says:

    MATT WEBB MITOVICH – Thank you so much for interviewing Joe Mantegna! It was a rare treat. He’s a wonderful actor and integral part of Criminal Minds. He also seems like a genuinely nice guy. Great hearing from him!

  14. LDSK says:

    My dislike of the Seaver character is mainly because of the absurd notion that the BAU (one of the most elite unites in the FBI)would accept a rookie agent who hadn’t even graduated the academy when she came on the team. Also, the actress has no chemistry with the other actors. I’m not trying to be mean here, it’s just a fact. Go back and watch episode 209 “The Last Word” in the scene at the end when Prentiss is trying to convince Hotch that she belongs on the team. We’ve known this character for less than two minutes and you can already feel the connection. Prentiss/Paget was like that with everyone. Printess and Gidion at Guantanamo, The ladies hanging out at the bar in Open Season, Prentiss and Morgan talking about books in “Fear and Loathing”. All of those were from episodes shortly after she first joined the show and all were great. Seaver/Nichols has been on for almost half a season now and I still get nothing from her interactions with the other team members. (except kind of a creepy feeling when Rossi hands out with her.)

  15. Binarydaddy says:

    To say that a character isn’t worth it like Seaver/Nichols is…well that’s just plain stupid! She was brought in because she was a victim who related to a particular unsub and, while uncomfortable, wanted to stay. That and let’s face it, forthe first time, it looks like a real relationship within could be building! I see the way Reed looks at Seaver and vice versa. I think a chemistry is coming together and whether she is on the team still, I’d be cool seeing her more if it meant Reed finally getting out of the brain box and into something more appealing than the case!

    I think we will begin to see Hotch fade as Patinkin did. Rossi or Morgan will take over b4 the series is over. And I would love it to be a dramatic exit with the director!

    • May says:

      I’m still not buying that Seaver had anything to contribute to the case that the other agents couldn’t have figured out but even so…it that were true then you would bring her to consult on that ONE case. If she wants to continue working with the BAU then she can earn it like everyone else instead of dragging the show down every single time they have to stop and EXPLAIN something to her.

    • Ember says:

      Oh please spare me. I’m all for Reid having a real romantic relationship but not with another member of the team. No. Just….no.

    • Ashley says:

      1. Seaver wasn’t a victim, she was the daughter of a serial killer; and her “insights” ended up really not helping with the case.

      2. Someone doesn’t get to stay at the BAU because they want to. They have to be qualified and/or experienced too, and she’s not (having a daddy for a serial killer no more makes her qualified to be a profiler than having a parent with cancer makes someone a doctor – it might be motivation for a career choice, but nothing more).

      3. Please – a “real relationship” between Reid and Seaver? Aside from having zero chemistry, they have nothing in common besides being young and pretty. The “looks” between them in her first few episodes were forced and reeked of the show runners’ desperation to introduce a prominent romance to a show that doesn’t need it. The idea of Reid and Seaver hooking up reminds me of a Dr. Cox line on “Scrubs”: “I’m gagging and vomiting at the same time – I’m ga-vomiting!”

      4. I really hope Hotch doesn’t fade. The reason the show could survive and thrive after losing Mandy Patinkin/Jason Gideon was because Thomas Gibson/Aaron Hotchner was already a strong lead and anchor for the show. I love Rossi and Morgan, but neither of them could fill Hotch’s shoes.

      • Tracy says:

        Ga-vomiting! HaHaHaHaHa! Love it. Perfect description of how I feel. I agree with everything you said above. Especially #2.

  16. Purple Scarf says:

    Change will be good if it means we get Paget/Prentiss back and Seaver leaves, never to set foot in the BAU again. Give me a S7 of Reid, Hotch, Morgan, Rossi, Garcia, JJ and Prentiss and I’ll start watching CM again.

  17. Angela says:

    Please, people. This whole thing with Thomas Gibson not having a contract is aggravating enough without people saying he’s not signing like they’re speaking fact. If you only think he’s not signing, then say that. Before people have to ask if this has actually been said. You have a hunch? Then say upfront that you’re speaking from that. If bad news happens, it’ll happen soon enough without people jumping the gun and acting like they have insider information. Speculate all you want. My own speculations aren’t of the positive nature. (I know, negotiations take a long time, blah blah blah – but sometimes they don’t work out and thinking they always do doesn’t make it so) But, just be clear that you are speculating.

    Also, about Seaver, I like her character. I do have to suspend disbelief about her being there, but it’s easier for me because I do like her. And, it’s true that JJ didn’t have much to do in her first season. I didn’t care about her one way or the other until season 2. And then totally fell in love with her. Now, if the writers threw their hands up in the first season and declared her a bust, well, we wouldn’t be to this point where she’s a beloved character coming back. But, there is a very good reason why Seaver hasn’t had much to do so far. A good chunk of her episodes coincided with Prentiss’ exit story line. Imagine it? If they took time away from Prentiss to give the new person focus and stories, the resentment would have been so thick, the writers would have choked on it. She rightfully took a backseat for reasons that had nothing to do with not having anything to write for her character. And after Prentiss left, they gradually started to give her a little more to do.

    Hey, I know not everyone will like her or warm up to her. But, the idea that she only has a finite time to be developed or get used just doesn’t make sense.

    • Angela says:

      eta: Sorry for the block of text. I thought there’d be paragraph breaks.

    • Me says:

      “Hey, I know not everyone will like her or warm up to her. But, the idea that she only has a finite time to be developed or get used just doesn’t make sense.”

      Actually, it makes a lot of sense. We don’t OWE it to the actress or the showrunners to give the character an infinite amount of time to contribute to the show. They owe it to US to make a character interesting in a timely manner or, if they can’t, get rid of her. Comparing Seaver in the 6th season to JJ in the 1st isn’t relevant because (1) first seasons are for figuring out characters and chemistry; the show should have that down by the sixth season; and (2) JJ wasn’t carrying the female agent load all by herself – Elle was around too; Seaver has a bigger responsiblity character-wise than JJ in the first season and so should be a better character.

      If they weren’t going to give her a proper introduction before Prentiss left they shouldn’t have introduced her before Prentiss left. They only did so because it was the only way they could make her continued presence on the remotely plausible for anyone willing to take that gigantic leap (which should have been a red flag for the showrunners right there). Now that Prentiss has left, they’re giving her more to do but they’re not giving an explanation as to why this team of experienced profilers is so willing to accept and even count on the non-expertise of this rookie.

      Bottom line: the character of Seaver just sucks and all the time in the world isn’t going to change it, so they might as well cut their losses now.

  18. Rob J. says:

    I like to think of this situation not as “Art Imitates Life” but as “Art Gently Satirizes Life” — especially in that story of J.J.’s departure at the top of the season. If they revisit the sentiments that the rest of the team was voicing in that episode, it’ll be meta-amusing for sure.

    There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer yet on the contract negotiations with Gibson, but I think it’s safe to say that budget issues are still a major problem for the show, especially since they re-signed A.J. back up and Shemar Moore got the 100% pay bump he deserved to get at least a couple of years ago. I couldn’t imagine that they’d keep Nichols/Seaver if they sign not just Gibson back on full time, but also Paget Brewster, too.

    OTOH, I’ve gotta say that I think fans of the show that dislike Nichols/Seaver really ought to cut her a huge amount of slack and stop blaming her for the entire situation. The cast change was imposed by CBS, not the studio, Bernero or the current showrunners. They realized their mistake rather quickly, trying to get Brewster back full time about two months into the season, then re-signing A.J. Cook last month. In that context, Nichols came into the show in an almost thankless task. They had originally cut down her mid-season run from, IIRC, something like nine episodes to three in expectation that Brewster would have re-upped rather than look for a pilot. Which meant that the writers really didn’t have much room beyond the episode in which Seaver was introduced to develop her character or background. Then Brewster had to be given her multiepisode arc to write her/Prentiss out of the show.

    In other words, Seaver has been an underdeveloped character out of the pure time-sensitive urgency of addressing another storyline. In that sense, it may seem like Nichols can’t act — I strongly disagree on the basis of her lead role on the leason of Alias — but it’s really down to her not being given much opportunity to do character-based rather than exposition-based acting yet. Her few scenes with Joe Mantegna regarding Seaver being a surrogate daughter to Rossi have been nice, IMO, and to a certain extent complement the *far* more turbulent surrogate father-son relationship between Gideon and Reid in the first two seasons. The compare-contrast between Rossi/Seaver and Gideon/Reid has great story potential due to Rossi’s substantial difference in temperament from Gideon and the massively different personal histories of Seaver and Reid. Both of which play into the larger storyline of the team as a whole being a surrogate family.

    I’d like to see the show be able to bring *everybody* back *and* keep Seaver. Heck, Grey’s Anatomy is so a *ginormous* cast that if it lost two or three regular characters, it would *still* have several more lead characters than Criminal Minds does. Yes, they shouldn’t have done it at the expense of two beloved cast members, but IMO, the show *needed* to bring in a new regular cast member to get the team back to expressing how their cases affect them in an external fashion again — and IMO, Nichols and Seaver fit that emotional bill.

  19. Blue Sunflower says:

    I can’t believe they’re even THINKING of returning with Seaver, but according to Rachel they are. I want Rossi, HOTCH, Reid, Morgan, PRENTISS, JJ, and Garcia. New girl SUCKS. Lose her ASAP.

  20. Tam says:

    This is just pure speculation on my part but I’m guessing CBS is waiting to see what Paget does before they make a decision on whether to keep Rachel or not. It just doesn’t make sence to add an eighth person to the cast since they still seem to be worried about money.

    I see three choices:
    1. Paget returns and Rachel leaves.
    2. Paget and Rachel stay because Thomas leaves (I really hope not!)
    3. All Three stay but only because the work out some kind of reduced episode schedule between them so the show can save money.

  21. D says:

    “Antagonistic”, Joe? Hardly. Strauss is a flat out *bleep* and that’s all there is to it!

    • fyrkat says:

      I’m not sure if Joe misspoke or not. Strauss isn’t the Director, she’s an assistant director. She answers to Richard Schiff’s character.
      I don’t know of any reasoning behind Hotch having difficulties with the ‘Director’, but Strauss sure has some difficulties with Hotch.
      If Gibson doesn’t resign, I hope they promote Hotch to Strauss’ job so he can at least be a recurring character.

  22. Rob J. says:

    UGH! Sorry about that mess — WE NEED HARD RETURNS!!!
    .
    I like to think of this situation not as “Art Imitates Life” but as “Art Gently Satirizes Life” — especially in that story of J.J.’s departure at the top of the season. If they revisit the sentiments that the rest of the team was voicing in that episode, it’ll be meta-amusing for sure.
    .
    There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer yet on the contract negotiations with Gibson, but I think it’s safe to say that budget issues are still a major problem for the show, especially since they re-signed A.J. back up and Shemar Moore got the 100% pay bump he deserved to get at least a couple of years ago. I couldn’t imagine that they’d keep Nichols/Seaver if they sign not just Gibson back on full time, but also Paget Brewster, too.
    .
    OTOH, I’ve gotta say that I think fans of the show that dislike Nichols/Seaver really ought to cut her a huge amount of slack and stop blaming her for the entire situation. The cast change was imposed by CBS, not the studio, Bernero or the current showrunners. They realized their mistake rather quickly, trying to get Brewster back full time about two months into the season, then re-signing A.J. Cook last month. In that context, Nichols came into the show in an almost thankless task. They had originally cut down her mid-season run from, IIRC, something like nine episodes to three in expectation that Brewster would have re-upped rather than look for a pilot. Which meant that the writers really didn’t have much room beyond the episode in which Seaver was introduced to develop her character or background. Then Brewster had to be given her multiepisode arc to write her/Prentiss out of the show.
    .
    In other words, Seaver has been an underdeveloped character out of the pure time-sensitive urgency of addressing another storyline. In that sense, it may seem like Nichols can’t act — I strongly disagree on the basis of her lead role on the leason of Alias — but it’s really down to her not being given much opportunity to do character-based rather than exposition-based acting yet. Her few scenes with Joe Mantegna regarding Seaver being a surrogate daughter to Rossi have been nice, IMO, and to a certain extent complement the *far* more turbulent surrogate father-son relationship between Gideon and Reid in the first two seasons. The compare-contrast between Rossi/Seaver and Gideon/Reid has great story potential due to Rossi’s substantial difference in temperament from Gideon and the massively different personal histories of Seaver and Reid. Both of which play into the larger storyline of the team as a whole being a surrogate family.
    .
    I’d like to see the show be able to bring *everybody* back *and* keep Seaver. Heck, Grey’s Anatomy is so a *ginormous* cast that if it lost two or three regular characters, it would *still* have several more lead characters than Criminal Minds does. Yes, they shouldn’t have done it at the expense of two beloved cast members, but IMO, the show *needed* to bring in a new regular cast member to get the team back to expressing how their cases affect them in an external fashion again — and IMO, Nichols and Seaver fit that emotional bill.

    • Me says:

      Nobody blames Nichols/Seaver for the AJ/Paget situation – they just don’t like or believe the character. Not the explanation about her being a team member, not her forced relationship with Rossi (he hasn’t seen her for years and now she’s like a daughter to him? Yeah, right), and not the way the other characters have to slow down an investigation where lives are at stake to explain something to her. And no, the show didn’t need a new regular cast member “to get the team back to expressing how their cases affect them in an external fashion again” – they were doing that just fine before all the changes of season 6, and even if they did need help Seaver’s not a strong enough character to do that. Seaver supporters need to stop blaming the dislike on the AJ/Paget situation and realize that the majority of fans don’t like the character of Seaver because of inherent and unfixable problems with the character of Seaver.

      • Blue Sunflower says:

        You forget how Rachel can’t seem to act either, which makes the bad writing even worse. Otherwise, word to your whole post Me. The criticism against Rachel and Seaver has nothing to do with “how the situation started” but EVERYTHING to do with how the situation IS. She’s a horrible character, horribly written, and horribly acted. Seaver wouldn’t even have been accepted if they’d intro’d her back before all the drama with AJ and Paget started.

  23. deedeedragons says:

    Always loved Fat Tony.

  24. Kaylee says:

    “The criticism against Rachel and Seaver has nothing to do with “how the situation started” but EVERYTHING to do with how the situation IS.”

    – Sunflower that statement is perfect. Nothing more to add. End of Story.

  25. Amanda says:

    I don’t like her character. It doesn’t matter what the reason is. I want her off the show and I don’t have to apologize for that.

  26. karen says:

    Enough already! CBS needs to fix the situation. Get the gorls back, get rid of Seaver, and for Gods sake DO NOT get rid of Hotch!!!!!! Learn from your mistakes. Letting go of Hotch willbe the shows END!!!Come on now get it together. Don Not Hesitate what is the matter with you guys @ CBS???? You have a one of a kind award winning team, and you go and mess it up!!WOW!!! Just fix it !

  27. Robin1113 says:

    I just want to say that I agree with the people who want Seaver off the show. I honestly just had to make sure I had her name correct because she dosen’t even register when I’m watching the show. I see her but it’s like she’s one of the police officers in the towns where the crimes take place. What I mean is she dosen’t feel like she’s going to be around long enough to get use to her. I love Hotch and if they absolutely can’t get him for next season it would be great if they somehow got Gideon to return. I miss him. I have also wondered about Elle, JGM. They should do a show about her. How crazy would it be if the team had to hunt her down. She’s smart enough that they would have to drag it out for a few episodes. Honestly, Reid is my absolute favorite though. He’s the reason I watch the show. If they ever lose him, I’m gone.

  28. darkangel says:

    Since Criminal Minds treated us with so little as a thought abt how we would feel abt the replacing of AJ/PAGET.I hv little thought abt them as well.I now watch CHICAGO CODE,& i lvu it.

  29. Miiissyy says:

    I’m glad jj is back but it’s time to bring back prentis and not get rid of hotch. Get rid of Seaver and leave the cast how it is. There is no one better than jj, prentis, hotch, Reid, rossi and Morgan. Get rid of them and the whole show is nothing. I won’t watch the show without them.

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