The Women of Criminal Minds Celebrate: The Band Is Back Together!

What’s old is new — and improved — on CBS’ Criminal Minds, which on Sept. 21 will enter its seventh season armed for bear, with both A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster restored as series regulars.

At a Television Critics Association soirée last week, I huddled with Brewster and Kirsten Vangsness (aka Prentiss and Garcia) to cheer on Minds‘ fan-facilitated reunion, when before you knew it Cook (who plays JJ) joined in the revelry as well [see photo]. You kinda had to be there to feel the love going ’round, and that’s what I hope this transcript of our festive four-way delivers.

Criminal Minds Exclusive: Homicide Alum Cast as ‘The Love of [Spoiler]‘s Life’

TVLINE | Kirsten, did you even get a chance to miss Paget?
KIRSTEN VANGSNESS |
Yes. Hell yes. I got the chance to miss her in a big, huge way. I was already grateful and appreciative for both her and A.J. I didn’t need to be more so!

TVLINE | What is the feeling like on the set going into the new season — is it as if you “got the band back together”?
PAGET BREWSTER |
It felt like the band’s back together, yeah!
VANGSNESS | For me, having been there, it was sort of like, “Well, that was totally unnecessary.” It was what it was, and it was great to have Rachel Nichols there… [but] now [Paget and A.J.] are back because they need to be back. They’re a huge part of the show.

TVLINE | Joe Mantegna and I spoke about how the fans’ voices have been heard, which is nice to have happen once in a while.
BREWSTER |
And from what I can tell, for maybe the second or third time ever, as far as actually getting a network to change its mind about what it was doing. It’s certainly nice being on the good end of that! [Laughs] But yeah, unfortunately a mistake was made when A.J. and I were let go. Rachel [Nichols] did a great job, and then when we were brought back she was let go. So frankly, it was a lot of unnecessary firing, which is a shame, but… Rachel is going to be in huge movies [including Conan the Barbarian, opening Aug.19], she’s on the cover of Maxim, she’s totally hot….
VANGSNESS | What’s really cool is that [BAU Agent] Ashley Seaver was named after a woman who was dying that loved Criminal Minds, and that Joe befriended. Rachel has the legacy of being that character, which is important.

[A.J. Cook suddenly joins us, and the ladies clink glasses. As Cook introduces herself to me and smiles, I admittedly lose some coherency. See photo.]

TVLINE | Paget, where do we first see Prentiss this season? Is she still in France?
BREWSTER |
The first episode is a story about how I have to come back, and people are surprised by that. I mean, JJ and Hotch knew [about the faked death], but….

TVLINE | Are those who weren’t in on the ruse a bit peeved?
VANGSNESS |
Some of the gang is peeved, but I’m like, “Whee!” Garcia’s just happy.
A.J. COOK | [Overdramatically] Relationships will fall apart!
BREWSTER | It’s true. Relationships will unravel.
COOK | You’ve got to make it dramatic.
BREWSTER | You can’t go pretendin’ to be dead and mess your friends up and not get a little yelled at!

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TVLINE | One silver lining to all of this is that Prentiss got a helluva story out of it.
BREWSTER |
It was a great [exit] story, and fun to do.
COOK | [To Paget] You were so badass. I was so glad they gave you that story.
VANGSNESS | Listen, we have a totally new JJ, Emily has gone through this journey…. That is a testament to those two and their talent. They’re alchemists, coming back with, like, 10 new facets.

TVLINE | Yeahhh, JJ was one cool cucumber as she was slowly revealed in the season finale.
COOK |
With the legs, you mean? [Laughs] It was like Mrs. Robinson. Yeah, JJ’s come a long way, and that has been fun for me. Wow, you really are a fan of our show! You know what’s going on more than I sometimes do.

TVLINE | Will Timothy Murphy be back as Ian Doyle?
BREWSTER |
He’s back, yeah. Everybody loves Timothy Murphy!

TVLINE | And where do things stand with Hotch (played by Thomas Gibson)? The finale seemed to set up that maybe he’s moving on….
COOK |
It’s funny where we pick up everything…. You kind of see where everybody’s been for the last 3-1/2 months.
BREWSTER | No, it’s six months later — isn’t it?
VANGSNESS | It goes back-and-forth, remember?
BREWSTER | Oh yeah…. There is a passage of time, and the first episode is not linear. It’s a series of flash-forwards and rewinds to get us to where we are. It’s amazing.
COOK | It is a really well-written episode, yeah…. It’s so, so good.

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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102 Comments
  1. Dave says:

    weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Smiles says:

      Exactly.

    • paget says:

      Hey, this is an email for Matt Webb Mitovich – You were SO MUCH FUN to hang out with that night. We were talking about how cool you were at work the next day.
      Thank you for posting this interview. And thanks for being a true fan and a wonderful fella.
      Love, Paget “Emily Prentiss” Brewster

      • linderella says:

        So absolutely thrilled you and A.J. Cook are back with the team this season. It really was not the same series without you! Kirsten’s sentiments are echoed by your many fans. Welcome Back!

      • Barbara says:

        Looking forward to the new season…now that the team is back together. TG the girls are back. Don’t mess with success! Criminal Minds is the best show on television.

      • MamaCath says:

        Once again, you prove yourself to be a class act, on a personal level, in addition to being an actress w/ great range & depth, professionally, Ms. Brewster. When I heard that our boycott/protest actions had, indeed, worked, I was excited not only for fans, like myself & my teenage daughter, but also genuinely thrilled for you, Ms. Cook, & the rest of the ensemble. I get the impression that you are as warm & caring about your cast-mates, as Emily Prentiss is for the BAU team. Here’s hoping that you all find yourselves giddy at the good fortune of common work,together, this season, & that the dialogue/material you’re given to play is worthy all your talents! Welcome back! ;p

    • Karen says:

      Yeah!!!! The people have spoken and the network listened!!! Power to the viewers!!!
      I absolutely LOVE Criminal Minds!!! I stopped watching it when JJ and Prentiss left. So glad to have the team back in place… Network, PLEASE, don’t ever break-up this team again!!!!!

  2. Nicky says:

    So excited for the new season with everybody back together again!
    All smiles!!!

  3. CM says:

    Thank you so much for this interview.
    I REALLY CAN’T WAIT FOR SEPTEMBER 21, this new season could start tomorrow that it would be too long to wait. I want so much to see these 3 together again…, and I’m hoping (more like dreaming) to see some scenes between Emily and Hotch. In season 6 the writers forgot that they were a part of the same team, from the 18 episodes Emily was in, she and Hotch were only paired up together in 2 (6×01 and 6×12).
    I missed Emily and JJ a lot in season 6. But I’m still a little upset that CBS fired Rachel Nichols, hope she can return for at least one episode, even if it’s just for her to have a proper goodbye.

    • Alicia says:

      Agreed! They really need to show us some more Hotch/Prentiss. Things were shaping up nicely in season 5 with the Foyet storyline, but were all but dropped last season. Since Hotch and JJ are the only ones who knew Prentiss was actually alive, maybe that means more screen time between those characters? They’re the “cool kids” anyway; let Morgan and Reid be mad! :P

      • Trish says:

        A lot of people don’t want Hotch/Prentiss together so stop with the unashamed begging….
        This season looks like it will be awesome and I can’t wait to see the three ladies together and ALL the characters together…. It doesn’t look like the angst will last long so they can all get back to what they do best. To bring Emily back without a bit of angst would be very unrealistic…. can’t wait to see the scenes.
        These characters all have great relationships so it’s really annoying when H/P shippers hope for problems between Prentiss/Reid and Prentiss/Morgan… it’s really against the spirit of the show

        • CM says:

          I don’t remember mentioning a romantic relationship between Hotch and Emily in my comment and it was not implied. I just said that it would be nice to see some scenes between them. In season 6, like I said before, they only worked together in 2 episodes, they almost never talked to each other and when they talked they didn’t even look at each other. She even had a moment alone with each of her team members in “Valhalla” except with Hotch. I’d just like to know why. They are friends, or at least, they used to be, they are part of the same team, work together everyday, but it seems like that everyone forgot about that during season 6. Writers, producers, directors… Everyone.

        • Alicia says:

          Uh, there was no “unashamed begging”; maybe unabashed or shameless… but no, that wouldn’t be right either. All I said was I wanted more scenes of them together. I didn’t wish for coupledom, just more screen time. And I certainly didn’t hope for problems between Prentiss and the other guys. The show already revealed Reid would react poorly to her return and with Morgan’s pigheadedness, what else is there to expect? Hey, it’s the writers prerogative if they want to continue with Reid’s infantilization and Morgan’s irrationality.

        • Boomer says:

          Hate to tell you all but executive producer Erica Messer said in an interview that they will be focusing on the Hotch and JJ relationship this season. (No, not in a romantic way.)

          • Angela says:

            I’m not sure how the Erica Messer interview about focusing on Hotch and JJ’s relationship is related to Hotch and Prentiss sharing some scenes. One doesn’t exclude the other. I love the idea of exploring Hotch and JJ’s bond, but it would be terrible if that meant JJ can’t have any scenes with Garcia, or Reid, or Prentiss, etc. Or that Hotch can’t have any scenes with anyone else. So, I’m glad that Hotch and JJ’s relationship will be explored and I hope that Hotch and Prentiss share some scenes. And, I find neither one cancels out the other.

            Also, I think how Morgan and Reid will react to Prentiss being alive and finding out that Hotch and JJ lied about it is perfectly human. Not infantile or irrational. Well, no more irrational than we largely irrational human beings are. Yes, Hotch and JJ did what was necessary and I expect people outside of things (such as the audience) to understand that. But, if I was the one who thought a friend died, mourned her, and then found out that she was alive and someone I was close to knew and let me go through those terrible months? I can’t say I wouldn’t feel hurt, betrayed, or angry. I would expect the logical part of me to understand why it was necessary, but emotions and logic don’t always mix. I hope those perfectly understandable feelings of Morgan and Reid don’t last too long, because I want the team to be a team. Also, it’s the ability to work through those raw emotions that stops it from being infantile or irrational. But, as hard as it will be to see, I think not having everyone completely okay from the start is incredibly believable and realistic.

        • Bethann says:

          Wow, projecting much? The comment you replied to said nothing about Hotch and Prentiss getting “together” nor did it say anything about wanting bad things to happen to Prentiss’ relationships with Reid or Morgan. You’re reading all of that into the comment (not to mention claiming to be an authority on what a lot of people “want” with respect to the show when you can’t possibly know that because you can’t possibly be in touch with all of CM fandom). If anything, you’re the person bringing whatever issues you have about romantic H/P into a comment that was simply someone wishing for them to actually interact with one another, which they didn’t do hardly at all last season. And how is your sniping about it any less obnoxious than the so-called bad behavior you’re decrying about H/P fans displaying re: other pairings. You seem to be the one who’s hoping for problems between Hotch/Prentiss. What’s the matter? Feel threatened? Don’t project that onto everyone else.

  4. kevin says:

    I’m really going to skip Criminal Minds for the rest of the year ’cause Season Seven may very well be its darkest year yet.

  5. ck says:

    The ladies be back! A.J. is looking particularly fetching :D

  6. steve says:

    yay that there back together but kinda dissappointed that it sounds like there going to unravel paget return on 1 episode. I was kinda hoping they would do it over a number of episodes as it was such a great exit to unravel it over one episode will feel verh rushed and put to waste imo.

  7. Justin says:

    So glad the ladies are back! The show was definitely different without them. I feel sorry for Rachel Nichols having to go through this mess and wish her luck in the future. Now that the whole gang is back, this season is gonna be killer (no pun intended)!

  8. H. says:

    Can I just have the first episode now?!

  9. Ashley says:

    This is the best thing ever!!! So excited to have them back and absolutely canNOT wait until the premiere :)

  10. Lorie says:

    I’m still stunned that a network corrected not just one, but two, mistakes. They actually listened to us fans. I can’t wait for CM to return!

  11. Mel says:

    I LOVE ALL 3 OF THEM! (yes caps needed)

    So glad Paget and AJ are back. Thanks for this article Matt!

  12. Danny says:

    Thanks for the article! I still can’t believe that the girls are back and the perfect team is perfect again!!! I think this season is going to be great! Can’t wait for the premiere!

  13. Cora says:

    Those three together again: Best…news…ever!!

  14. Melissa says:

    So thrilled the girls are back where they belong but I do feel bad for the new girl who was villified by most fans. She wasn’t a good fit, but glad she is onto bigger things

  15. Gaby says:

    Can’t wait to see this season start. From the sound of it, its going to be excellent. Paget is back where she belongs and I could not be happier. I couldn’t manage to watch or enjoy the show when she was gone.

  16. Grace says:

    Beyond excited for this! One of the best casts on TV is back together. Yay!

  17. Tiffany says:

    I still get this sense of euphoria when I think about how we get to have our team back together this year. I can’t wait for the new season! I’m a little anxious about bringing Prentiss back to the team in the first episode as I was thinking it should play over the course of a few weeks, but if the CM ladies say it’s great I believe them. Thanks for the interview, Matt!

  18. Hallie says:

    Thanks so much for the Criminal Minds news, Matt! I’m so looking forward to the new season-especially now that Paget and A.J. are back. :)

  19. KarenG says:

    If the writers don’t put Hotch and Prentiss together in Season 7 it will be a travesty. They deserve to be together; and I agree the writers wasted them in Season 6. They gave us very little Hotch; a Prentiss who followed Morgan around like a puppy dog; and only two Hotch/Prentiss scenes for the entire season. Season 6 was a joke and complete waste of time.

    Glad all of my ladies are back; glad to see AJ so happy; and happy that Kirsten has her sister-friends back to balance off the boys.

    I hope Erica Messer doesn’t miss another opportunity to get great drama out of a Hotch/Prentiss connection. Come on Erica, get it right!!

    • Alicia says:

      My thoughts exactly. Hotch and Prentiss have a palpable connection, and with Morgan–I just can’t, especially the way he handled finding out about her past. The writers need to get over trying to make the two of them tight. Though I seem to recall reading (a long time ago) Ed Bernero said there would be no, uh, “fraternization” between the team members. But since Messer’s at the helm now maybe they’ll rethink that stance? Bring on the Hotch/Prentiss!

      • Lexie says:

        OMG stop with the Hotch/Prentiss pleading please… let the writers get on with what they do best…. and stop with the Morgan bashing… it’s sour grapes.

        I can’t wait for this season… no H/P please!

      • Babs says:

        Fraternization among team members is not allowed. Hotch would never break the rules and Prentiss would not want him to because it goes against everything he believes and who he is. So, if you really want them to get together that means one of them would have to leave the team….and I think the past year has made it pretty clear that NOBODY wants that to happen.

      • Linda says:

        What connection do they have? Can you explain to me what it is? I can’t see anything between them, there’s no emotion when they talk to each other, nothing. They’re team mates, friends even, but they’re not, and should never be a couple.

    • sadtroll says:

      Are you seriously shipping a Criminal Minds couple?
      W
      T
      Hell?

    • Dav says:

      If the writers put Hotch and Prentiss together (or any members of the team in any combination) THAT would be the travisty. Everyone has a right to their fantasies but please leave them in your head and stop acting like it is something the writers *owe* the fans. Because quite frankly half of the fans don’t want it.

      • Sammie says:

        The writers do “owe” the fans something; and there’s no logical reason why the writers can’t put Hotch and Prentiss together in the fictional BAU. They have creative license to create good drama and try to please most of the audience; and also increase the viewership. They’ve cheated Hotch/Prentiss fans in the past, especially last season; now is the time to take the characters where they would naturally go, which is together as a couple.

        I hope the writers see the benefit in creating some romance and happiness to go with the blood and violence.

        • Jackson says:

          Just because they work together doesn’t mean they would “naturally” get into a relationship. There are plenty of logical reasons why they shouldn’t get together and lots of illogical ones as well. They can create plenty of romance and happiness on the show without it being between team members. (Case in point: JJ and Garcia and their relationships with people outside the team.) If it’s happiness you want then you best not pair these two together because it is a given that the first rule of all TV relationships is that there be DRAMA. That is why they shouldn’t be together. We get enough of that with the cases they work.

        • BJ says:

          I don’t think it’s where they would naturally go. Breaking the rules is not something Hotch would do and to have him act differently is to completely go against who his character is and what he believes in.

          • Linda says:

            NO H/P!!!!!!!!!!!
            Why do people want them together? They have no chemistry, sure they looked at each other a few times but THEY SHOULD NOT BE TOGETHER. I really don’t want them to become a couple, I love Criminal Minds but the two of them getting together would ruin it for me. I really can’t express in words how much I absolutely hate the idea of them together. Emily would be much better off with someone new, or even Morgan, Reid, or even JJ. NOT HOTCH.

  20. Hallie says:

    Just wanted to add this: “[but] now [Paget and A.J.] are back because they need to be back. They’re a huge part of the show.” is so awesome. I love how much genuine affection this cast has for each other. :)

  21. Renee says:

    You did good Matt! Even with the “coherency” issue. :)

  22. Thomaline says:

    They really need to bring Rachel Nichols’ Agent Seaver back as a special guest star for a few episodes. It’s almost like basic courtesy for putting her through the wringer. And the character of Agent Seaver really needs her story told and completed.

    • Carol says:

      Wrong Thomaline, that story (Seaver) definitely does not need to be wrapped up. Look, I have nothing against Rachel Nichols, but to echo what somebody else said here, she just wasn’t a fit for the show and to bring her back is to be putting the audience through the wringer unnecessarily now that the cast is back together. Not to mention what some fans of teh show put her through sending her nasty messages which is not reflective of the mass of Criminal Minds fans I believe.

      Nichols has some projects coming up and I am sure she will get some more. It is time for her and her fans to move past Agent Seaver, something I truly hope she has done. You know, sometimes things click, sometimes they don’t, that is the way life is. To keep trying to make something click that doesn’t is a fail on all frints; for the actor, for the cast, for the show, and for the fans. I’m sure Nichols will do fine without Criminal Minds. Personally, I am so stoked for season 7 and am really glad the gang is back together!!! This cast is truly one of the best on TV. I’m glad the network finally got that.

    • BT says:

      No, no they don’t. Seaver was such a thinly-written character that her story has already been told and will hopefully be completed by transfering her to an office or unit that’s better suited for allowing a newbie agent to grow on the job. Rachel is a sweet girl, but Seaver needs to go away quickly and quietly.

  23. LoriCMfan says:

    All I have to say is that I’m totally excited for the start of season 7! It’s so great having everyone back together, the way it should be! Paget is the best!

  24. Jen says:

    I stopped watching when A.J. and Paget left, so I am sooo excited to get my Criminal Minds back!!! Alright my ladies time to start kicking ass again….WOOTWOOT!!!

    • Jax says:

      I believe you meant to say “kicking criminal ass” :-)

      (“Open Season” is still one of my favorite episodes if only for that scene with the three ladies in the bar!)

  25. joss says:

    Yay! Glad to see the show restored back to its former glory. Will most definately be watching this season!!

  26. JDHetherington says:

    These ladies impress me in that they genuinely seem upset that Nichols was fired. I hope she can appear as a guest star to tie up her role, and maybe find out Prentiss (her mentor) is alive. Maybe they can send her off to train somewhere else and bring her back as a main cast member for Season 8 (or Season 9 should any of the other main cast members opt to leave once their contracts expire.) That way she can go off, get more developed and experience, and come back when they need a new strong female, but that way don’t have to do a pesky introduction storyarc.

  27. Sarah says:

    This is so exciting. Can’t wait now. Great interview. Thanks Matt.
    Can’t wait to see Joe Morgan & Prentiss sort their stuff out. A bit of angst between them will be good but then they need to be back together where they belong
    This is going to be one hell of a season. I can feel it

  28. Annika says:

    The girls are back – yaaaaayyyyyy!

  29. Trish says:

    A lot of people don’t want Hotch/Prentiss together so stop with the unashamed begging….

    This season looks like it will be awesome and I can’t wait to see the three ladies together and ALL the characters together…. It doesn’t look like the angst will last long so they can all get back to what they do best. To bring Emily back without a bit of angst would be very unrealistic…. can’t wait to see the scenes.

    These characters all have great relationships so it’s really annoying when H/P shippers hope for problems between Prentiss/Reid and Prentiss/Morgan… it’s really against the spirit of the show

  30. Beate says:

    I am so excited for season 7!!! It is necessary to have some tensions within the team after Prentiss returns, otherwise it would be totally unrealistic and a waste of a great story. They could have taken their time to bring back Prentiss in the course of more episodes, but I think that if the 1st new episode is told in flashbacks and flash forwards that allows to pack great stories in just one episode. And: the sooner Emily is back, the more we get to see her. I really don’t want to see any romance within the team – that would destroy this show and be totally unrealistic. Thanks a lot for this great interview, and I am sorry if my English is a bit awkward, it’s not my first language and with all the great news for Criminal MInds I got carried away :-)

  31. Sarah says:

    Awkward cause I ship Reid/Prentiss… but basically no one ships them except for people on tumblr, which I think is stupid but oh well.
    Anyway, everyone needs to stop the Seaver bashing, she was great, and I do think she needs to be ‘wrapped up’. What else are you going to say? She just disappeared?
    I’m a HUGE Paget fan, absolutely love her to the moon and back, so I’m really excited for her to be back.
    I’m quite apprehensive about how Morgan will react though, considering he held Prentiss as she “died”, he felt like her death was his fault and blamed himself for not getting there soon enough.
    And Reid – he’s been abandoned by so many people, it’s going to break my heart. He’s my other favourite apart from Prentiss ;)
    Anyway – you were so lucky to get to speak with them! THE THINGS I WOULD DO TO TALK TO ANY OF THEM…
    Loved the interview, thanks!

    • Jen says:

      I ship Reid/Prentiss too (well, actually I ship Reid/JJ, but since that’s quite unlikely to happen, I accept Reid/Prentiss as adorable)!

      • francisca says:

        Oh yeah, so adorable.
        As MOTHER AND SON or BROTHER AND SISTER. The reason why Emily is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO protective of Reid is because he is almost the age her son/daughter would be if the had kept it whe she was 15.
        NOTHING ELSE!!!
        Criminal Minds will NEVER have any romantic relationships, at least not between team members, so please just stop saying that you ship this with this or that with that. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

        • Ariella says:

          THIS, so much about Reid/Prentiss. How people can ship them is beyond me, it’s like rooting for incest or something.

  32. LDSK says:

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!! Matt that was an awesome interview. Love those three ladies together and absolutly can’t wait until the show starts again!

  33. Lauren Reynolds(is dead) says:

    WOW! What stunningly beautiful women. And I mean that inside and out. All three seem genuinly nice and caring and all around awesome. Is it any wonder fans love them so much.

  34. Kimm says:

    Great interview! Wheeeeee!!! I will start watching Criminal Minds again and will support the sponsors again too. I stopped watching, buying, and deleted my Tivo season pass when they made the changes. Way to go fans! We did it BIG! :)

  35. Jax says:

    Well, Matt gets my nomination for “Luckest Dude of the Year.” Seriously! I am so jealous you got to talk to those three ladies. I’d thank you for the great interview but something tells me you’ve been rewarded enough. ;-)

  36. Dav says:

    I have an imaginary list in my head of actresses I’d love to go have a drink with. Not because they are famous or attractive, but because I think they are nice people in real life and would be so much fun to hang out with. Paget Brewster is #1 on the list. (AJ and Kirsten have just been bumped up to #2)

  37. Melissa says:

    Oh give me a break with the “Boo Hoo” stop Nichols/Seaver bashing. Just because you think a character was awful, or at the very least stunk, doesn not mean you are bashing. It is an opinion. I think that character was a no- go from the start. Whether you like the character of not, the fact is that it didn’t work and why would something you want to succeed need to bring something that doesn’t work. The majority of the fans (I say majority because the network wouldn’t have listened otherwise) wanted AJ and Paget’s characters back and Nichols character gone. That has happened. Let’s role with that and be grateful that for once the network listened to the majority of the audience who watches the show. Without us, there would be no show. I just want the show to return to normal with the great cast and characters it had before someone at the network decided to go off the rails. I’m sure that the girls think it sucks that Nichols got fired but thinking that something sucks and wanting it back is something different. Paget said Rachel was great but then quickly added that Rachel has a movie coming up, was on the cover of a magazine and I think is working on another movie. No “Boo hoo’s” necessary for that actress. Move on.

    Season 7 is going to kick ass!!!!

  38. Melissa says:

    Oh and as far as the character can’t just disappear agrument, the finale set it up perfectly, not to mention the fact that her character was a probationary agent. The budget cut season finale thing can tie into why she is not there, but really, the fact that she was a probabtionary agent explains it all. Probabtionary agents are not supposed to be in the BAU, neither are freshly minted agents (junior agents) that just graduated from the Academy. God, the whole character and the premise around it was stupid. I just want to start off the season right with characters that work. Plus, AJ and Paget are wonderful!! I love the characters that they play on the show and was definitely going to stop watching the show if all of the asinine decisions that were made for season 6 continued. The team is back!!!!!

  39. BT says:

    I am so looking forward to this season! The friendship between these three characters and the chemistry between these three actresses is a big part of what makes “Criminal Minds” one of my favorite shows. I’m so glad the insanity that marked season 6 seems to have passed and the ensemble that has made the show great since season 3 is back together again.

  40. Karen says:

    BT, with you on all that you said. Amen that the ensemble cast is back together. The chemistry is indeed great both off and on screen. It will be a pleasure to watch the show again.

  41. Cari says:

    I believe this is the happiest interview that’s ever been posted on this site. Or maybe it just made me the happiest. Thank you for being a Criminal Minds fan, Matt.

  42. Katy says:

    This is a fantastic interview – thanks, I loved it!

    But I gotta say, some of these comments are just wrong for so called fans of the show. To hate on a character is wrong – I actally liked Seaver, and Rachel Nichols, thought she was great in Alias and a few other things I’ve seen her in.

    I was totally GUTTED when JJ left and then when I found out Emily was gone, too, I was heartbroken. But I would never let that stop me from watching the show. If people are only watching for one or two characters then I’m sorry, but you’re a fan of the character and NOT the show. I adore each and every one of the characters – yes, I have my favourites, those being JJ, Garcia and Reid, but I still love Hotch, Prentiss, Rossi and Morgan.

    People seem to forget that these are not all original characters – the way you’re all going on, it would seem that people have forgotten Gideon and Elle, who came before Emily and Rossi? Without those two characters leaving, we would not have the great dynamic we now have all come to know and love.

    And so while I was genuinely bummed about JJ and Emily leaving, I did trust in the writers to make it work. That being said, I am SO FREAKIN HAPPY that they’re back, cuz I DO love them! Just got really annoyed to see so many negative comments/haters etc. This show is about all 6 characters.

    WHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Can’t WAIT for Season 7 (and I’ll have to cuz am in UK! :( )

    Sorry – rant over (aaaaaaaaaaaand breathe!) xxxxxx

  43. mandy says:

    So excited for this premier!!!!

  44. Paula says:

    I don’t understand what the fuss is about when it comes to the writers putting Hotch and Prentiss together. The couple on Covert Affairs is husband and wife; and he’s a Director for the CIA and his wife is his subordinate. The couple played by Peter Gallagher and Kari Matchett (who played in an episode CM) have an interesting relationship, which adds a refreshing and different dimension to the spy game.

    The writers could get a lot of creative, intriguing material from a Hotch/Prentiss coupling. In the seventh season, they shouldn’t hesitate to take advantage of what is already an in-demand couple and work to capture and exploit the magic and chemistry they already have on screen.

  45. Susan says:

    I’m sorry but get over yourself Katy. You have no right to define what a fan is or isn’t. People have a right to like or dislike a character if they chose to and for that matter they have a right to start or stop watching a show because of 1,2, or more characters. I thought the character that Nichols played was atrocious. Notice how I said the character that she played, not her. Also, you cannot compare Gideon and Elle to Rossi and Prentiss because the actors that played Gideon and Elle left of their own accord, AJ and PAget were let go and in Paget’s case essentially run out. If you like Nichols, great, but don’t put other people down for not liking her and/or the character that she played on Criminal Minds. I for one am glad that the character is gone and am uber thrilled that the girls are back and that things will go back to the way they should have been left. Network execs with too much free time played a big role in creating what I think was the weakest season of Criminal Minds. Again, that is my opinion that I am entitled to share. If you and/or others don’t feel the same, okay, but I would never say that you are not a fan or are more of a fan than anyone else; I would not say that about myself or others who think the way I do either. Basically, I am excited about season 7 and want to move on from all of the crazy behind the scenes drama.

  46. Jane says:

    No inter-team romance!!! Goodness, that has ruined one a many show. This is not a soap opera, it is a crime drama show. There is enough creative material to work with without hooking characters up with one another.

    Yipeee!!!!! Season 7, the girls are back!!!!!! Love it!!!!!!!

  47. Clay says:

    So nice to see Vangsness interviewed here. She is adorable and very talented.

  48. Jeff says:

    Just saw this nugget of information on TVGuide from an interview with the executive producer: “…Also look for JJ and Hotch, who kept that nugget a secret, to bond this season. “There is a relationship there that we think is worth exploring,” Messer says. “It’s nothing romantic, but there’s definitely a bond that these two have… that doesn’t come along very often.”
    I like this idea and think it makes sense. Hotch and JJ were always somewhat removed from the rest of the team because he was the leader(and had to remain objective as their boss) and she wasn’t a profiler. I always thought they should build on that bond and explore their friendship more. (and yes, I said FRIENDship.)

  49. Rebekah says:

    Thanks soooo much for this article. I am absolutely psyched about this season because my girls are back! I hearby lift my self-imposed boycott on all things CBS (not that it made a bit a difference to them, but it made me feel good!)

  50. Alisha says:

    I am so incredibly happy that Paget and AJ are back! I stopped watching the show after “Lauren” and am now looking forward to the 7th season. As for Rachel Nichols, I am saddened by the way she (and all the ladies) were treated, but her character really needed to go. As for the coupling that a small amount of people want on the show, I think it’s really unnecessary. Criminal Minds shows a complex group of characters who all value each other. That doesn’t mean they all want to jump in the sack together. You want H/P, or Reid/Emily? Go read fanfiction. I do. But in no way do I want any of the characters to get together. Never in a million years. So you H/P fans really need to realize what this show is about: the crimes, the psychology, and the awesome group of profiler friends.

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