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Criminal Minds Exclusive: Scandal's Bellamy Young to Return for Beth's 'Lovely' Send-Off

TVLine has learned that as Bellamy Young embarks on her first season as a series regular on ABC’s Scandal, she will also squeeze at least two more appearances on CBS’ Criminal Minds, where she plays the love interest of Thomas Gibson’s Agent Aaron Hotchner.

Being able to wrap sweet Beth Clemmons’ storyline “is such an incredible gift, because it balances out everything I get to do on Scandal, where I’m very arch — and frequently angry” — as scorned First Lady Mellie Grant, Young tells TVLine.

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Young says her Criminal Minds run, which began last December, was “amazing” in that she had to win over a fan base that, in part, wanted the character of Hotch to pair up with colleague Emily Prentiss (played by Paget Brewster). Some viewers, though, reacted to the storyline by saying, “‘Oh, Hotch is so much happier now!'” the actress related. “‘Beth has come into his life, and we can see his family life and the other sides of him.’

“It’s been nice for them and me to see that glimmer in his eye,” she says of the widower’s new chance at romance, “and see a smile once in a while.”

Though Young says it will be “terrible” to ultimately bid Minds a final farewell, she’s happy to have any chance at some closure.

“I was afraid that I wouldn’t get to say goodbye, so I was so thrilled that [Scandal showrunner] Shonda [Rhimes], bless her heart, let me do a few more shows over [on the CBS procedural],” the Dirty Sexy Money alumna shares. “I just got the [season premiere] script and the storyline is lovely and warm and positive…. I can’t want to see where it goes!”

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Criminal Minds kicks off Season 8 on Wednesday, Sept. 26. Scandal premieres its sophomore run on Thursday, Sept. 27.