Setting the table for her character’s comeback, Paget Brewster tells TVLine, “The reason that I stayed dead is so [terrorist Ian] Doyle wouldn’t attack these people that I care about. But I have to come out of hiding to protect someone else I care abou,t and keep them from being harmed.”
Alas, once the full BAU team is debriefed on the shocking sitch, “They’re all mad at me,” Brewster says, “and I know I gotta face it.”
Technically, not all of her coworkers have a beef. After all, JJ and Hotch were in on the ruse — in fact, A.J. Cook tells us, “You find out in one of the early episodes that [JJ and Emily] were actually in contact this whole time.”
But for others on the team, “They were lied to, and in Morgan’s case, I died in front of him as far as he knew,” Brewster says. “So it’s very difficult to just pop up like, ‘Hey guys! Sorrrry.’ Some of them have emotions that they have to go through.”
Explaining Morgan’s individual anger, Shemar Moore says, “When he feels that he loses Prentiss [in the March episode ‘Lauren’], he takes the hit for that. It’s hard for him to let it go, because he really believes he could have done something different, had he been there 30 seconds sooner. So as much as he’s relieved [she’s alive], he kind of feels betrayed because I thought we were a team. I thought we were a family. Why would you allow my life to get turned upside down with this secret?”
Joe Mantegna, who plays Rossi, applauds the writers’ decision to allow a bit of anger in those who believed their colleague was murdered. “We don’t just wash it over and pretend like it never happened, so yeah, there’ll be a little hell to pay,” he notes with a laugh. But in the end, “It’s all positive. I think our fans will appreciate the intelligent way we deal with it.”
Ultimately, it’s up to Hotch to compel Morgan to lick his emotional wounds, saying, “It was a decision that had to be made, and we made it. Get over it!” And once it’s gotten over, the foundation is laid for a rich run of episodes, with new textures among the happily reunited team members (including JJ, who herself popped back up in the May finale).
“It’s good stuff to chew on for the first part of the season, but I think everything’s going to be OK,” Thomas Gibson assures fans. “We’re just kind of re-energized with everybody being back together again.” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)