Criminal Minds Mystery Solved: Reid's Girlfriend Is Revealed -- Did the Casting Surprise You?

CriminalMindsRiesgrafCBS’ Criminal Minds this week not only served up (non-faint praise alert!) one of its most disturbing UnSub MOs ever, it also (segue alert!) raised the curtain on who has been playing BAU agent Spencer Reid’s mystery girlfriend.

And the answer, as guessed by some fans with very good ears, is…. Beth Riesgraf aka Leverage‘s Parker, in a dark wig.

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Riesgraf’s character revealed her face to us for the first time at the close of this Wednesday’s episode, when Spencer (played by Matthew Gray Gubler, who also directed the episode) — fearing that his girlfriend’s stalker was in their midst — abruptly called off their first in-person meeting.

Spencer’s hunch was quickly proven wrong, but Mystery Girlfriend had already skedaddled, leaving behind a copy of the same book he planned to gift her with: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Narrative of John Smith.

Riesgraf’s uncredited work on Criminal Minds has been kept under wraps, with the only hint being her voice and something Gubler shared in a interview — that he called upon a “very dear old friend” to fill the role.

But again, how about the UnSub’s super-unsettling handiwork with the human marionettes? And the reveal about his accomplice?! Eek.

Want more scoop on Criminal Minds, or for any other show? Email and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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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  1. Mo says:

    I recognized her voice when she first appeared on the show … She has a distinct way of speaking.

    • Kimberly says:

      Agreed. As a big fan of Leverage, I recognized it was Beth Riesgraf almost immediately in the first episode – and was very excited that she was on the show. I look forward to seeing her on the show more – and actually SEEING her on the show. :-)

      • Bertha says:

        Too bad they killed her in tonight’s show :'(

        • Melissa says:

          So upsetting that they did that!!! I’m still upset. Poor Reid!

        • Tanys Kush says:

          For the first time ever, and I have seen every episode multiple times, I am SO upset with Criminal Minds!!! Why weren’t they trying to find another way into the building when Reid was in there alone, and they could have taken the psycho out with a quick shot before she killed herself and Mauve. It’s like they stood by and became bad agents!!! Poorly done!!!!!!

          • Kara says:

            Oh I totally agree. I saw that episode on Netflix just a while ago and I don’t think i will ever get over the fact of what happened to poor Reid :( They should have let Matthew/Reid direct that episode cause it was about him. He’s directed a couple of episodes already. I hate that they had to make Matthew act that out and make Reid look like a sad character after that.

  2. Kimmy says:

    Seriously. There have been some creepy episodes, but last night’s may be the creepiest one ever! I actually covered my eyes for parts of it. My roommate and I were freaking out when he hung her the first time…i can handle blood, but not that. I might have to go back to watching Criminal Minds during daylight hours! haha

    • LC says:

      No kidding. I watched with my husband and my 17 year old daughter (who is studying for her CNA, and doesn’t get squeemish about that kind of thing) and we all cringed and/or looked away from the screen on some of the parts. Creeped me out, big time!

    • Carm says:

      I know! I had to look away several times. It was so creepy when he was making the woman dance at the end of one segment. I actually said ‘enough!’ at that point… Out loud

  3. greengirl82 says:

    I knew I recognized her voice just couldn’t put my finger on it earlier until Wed’s episode.

    But great job on casting Beth Riesgraf as Reid’s mystery girl. I am a huge Leverage fan and particuarly her character Parker. I think she’s a perfect fit for Matthew Gray Gubler’s character Reid and loved that small cameo of her.

    Looking forward to seeing more of her.

  4. BlameLeno says:

    Glad I wasn’t the only one creeped out! I hid my eyes several times. This one was pretty freaky. I love Leverage and love the Parke character. Glad to see her here.

  5. Nicole says:

    I can’t believe I didn’t pick up on Beth’s voice, I’m usually so good at catching things like that! Great casting choice! And I agree, one of the creepiest episodes yet.

  6. No idea who she is, but hopefully when I see this season I’ll like her

  7. Tedi says:

    Absolutely LOVED that they cast her, the first time the character appeared I was more concerned with the story line and figuring out who they were alluding to recognize the voice. Last nights episode it sounded extremely familiar (I had watched Leverage the night before lol) but it all clicked when I saw her smile, Beth has a very distinctive smile as anyone who watches Leverage knows. Can’t wait to see it unfold =D great job Criminal Minds cast and crew

  8. Kelly says:

    Very cool. Parker is my fav on leverage so great to see her in more stuff.

  9. H.Houston says:

    I have been watching it during the day for the past several episodes… sometimes I think it is more over the top then I want to see

  10. Kim R says:

    It was so disturbing last night. This whole season has been. I did not see his assistant being a puppet coming nor did I see the audience reveal at the end. Creeeeepy! :)

    • Patty Ann says:

      I can say this is the one & only episode of criminal minds that really got to me-those puppets were scary. I do Love Criminal Minds & especially Reid.

  11. JoyAnne says:

    I used to love Criminal Minds but I had to give up as it went too far over the top for me. Great cast.

    • Revus says:

      the pig one freaked me out. I kind of stopped watching after that. The disabled guy who using his mentally challenged physchotic brother to drug and kill homeless people to find a cure for himself and then feeding them to the pigs ewww

    • JoyAnne – I loved CM when it first came on the air; however, it’s become far too gory for me. Sad because the cast is great.

  12. John Moshier says:

    at the beging the showed her name in the credits

  13. Stephanie says:

    Eek indeed. Just when I thought the Unsubs couldn’t get creepier… there’s a reason I usually watch CM during the day. Still, really, really well done.
    I don’t watch Leverage, so I didn’t recognize Beth Riesgraf from there, though I think I may have seen her in something else (the name certainly rings a bell). She’s definitely been great in the role so far; looking forward to seeing her and MGG actually in the same room. :)

  14. Justin says:

    Pleasantly surprised by Beth as Spencer’s new girlfriend. I love her on Leverage, but never noticed her voice. Good casting to me. Also, yeah, this was one of the creepiest episodes of Criminal Minds I’ve ever seen, right up there with the woman who made human dolls. Very well done to me. This is why this show is on my top 10 list of favorite shows. It definitely wasn’t over-the-top for me, it just stuck to its guns and did what it does best. Man, I love this show!

  15. Eli says:

    At times this episode felt more like a tv movie version of Saw. A little over the top with the ridiculousness of it all.
    Also the assistant and audience reveals were so blatantly obvious, you people need to watch more tv, sheesh :P
    As for Riesgraf, big fan, but I have to admit I did not recognize her voice until the beginning of this episode.

  16. Jenna says:

    I’m a fan of hers too, but I won’t be watching Criminal Minds. Every time I try to watch it, like last nite, I get totally creeped out. It’s way too disturbing.

  17. Chris Myers says:

    That was an interesting episode of Criminal Minds. In case anyone is wondering, Ms. Riesgraf was on NCIS a few years ago who kind of liked McGee.

    • Alison says:

      She more than kind of liked him, those two characters actually dated for a while. She only appeared in one episode, but later episodes made a couple references to her. They at least dated long enough to have slept together (take that however you will).

  18. catbean says:

    Not a surprise. I identied her voice in the 1st episode she was in. If you’ve been listening to Parker for five years, how could you not? Why did the show think this would be such a surprise?

  19. Dave says:

    OK … I agree this was an exceptionally creepy episode. The fact that Brad Dourif — who played the suicidal Billy Bibbit in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and Grima Wormtongue in “LOTR” — could portray a character more disturbed and disturbing than either of those previous roles … that says a lot. And the one scene where they raised the young woman up by the arms … how did they do that? Was it just a very realistic dummy, or did they have some double-jointed contortionist that actually could perform that way?

  20. Marshall says:

    The makeup artists on Criminal Minds are amazing I would of never recognized Beth if I didn’t hear her voice. Also very glad I was not the only viewer that turned away at the weird parts, my sister and I had to keep switching between the channels the whole episode. The guy was so child like so it make it very scary.

  21. Lokun says:

    Not being a very romantic person, I had hoped that Reid’s mystery girlfriend would just be in his head. That he hasn’t really been talking to anyone but himself in the phonebooths the whole time. Since his headaches are gone, I thought that might be a sign that his potential schizophrenia has finally broken out…

    But now I have to recycle that idea. It would be a little too similar to Perception, I suppose. Though, I am quite intruiged about this too. Hoping to see some nerve wrecking episodes with this girl! :)

  22. Meri says:

    So excited to see Beth R on Criminal Minds! Love her as Parker, and now she is paired with my daughter’s TV crush!

    This was the sickest episode yet…we could not watch several portions of this particular show. But, we will be back tomorrow for yet another installment!

  23. I just knew before I watched the episode it was going to be a good one as it was directed by the lovely MGG

  24. Mike says:

    I don’t see how people are so creeped out….maybe I’m just weird because I’m not disturbed by any of it. I love watching it all and find it incredibly interesting. I LOVE criminal minds!!!!!

  25. Don says:

    I wish Gubler would just stick to the acting. When he directs he has a smaller role in the show and his talent is in acting not Directing (Not that it’s a bad thing).

    • EdW says:

      Yet curiously Reid was the main focus of this Gubler directed episode and thus had a majority of the screen time! I think Gubler is a good director. He has a distinctive oddball style.

  26. Marie says:

    Ugh not a fan of relationships on the show. I want to see crime drama not dating drama!
    However i was disappointed by how plain and nerdy she was. Was hoping Reid would end up with a pretty and smart girl w a big personality!!

    • Kimberly says:

      Marie, if you see her on Leverage, she’s actually really pretty. I have guy friends that talk about how hot she is on Leverage all the time. I was surprised that it looked like they on purpose tried to make her look as bad as she possibly could. Though maybe the character did that to herself to deter stalkers. But it’s kind like what they do with Reid too. Matthew Gray Gubler was so attractive that he was actually a model, doing both print ads and fashion runways before Criminal Minds; but they use his hair and clothes to make him look as unattractive and nerdy as they can. Though Morgan still calls him “pretty boy” sometimes. :-) I’m hoping we see more of Beth Riesgraf on the show, and that they stop trying so hard to tone down how pretty she is.

      • Leo Toribio says:


        Pretty? Yes, Beth Riesgraf is certainly that! But her performances on leverage revealed something amazing. I don’t know if she did the bodily acrobatic maneuvers, but her facial acrobatics suggest that she may have spent countless hours practicing in front of a mirror to achieve — SUCCESS! She is one of the most talented actress/comediennes I have ever seen!

  27. Anonymous says:

    From what I’ve heard Matthew’s “very dear old friend” Beth will only appear on something like 3 episodes… Wonder why. Maybe LEVERAGE has something to do with it. I think the whole ‘girlfriend’ thing has become too distracting for Dr. Reid as the character has become smaller in almost every episode… I am NOT happy about that. Matthew used to be such a bigger part of the team, and now he’s not. The writers need to focus on bringing HIM back to the show- NOT ANOTHER PERSON (temporary or not)! Personally (and honestly) I was NEVER happy about Reid getting a girlfriend, because I knew this would happen… From the moment Erica Messer announced it- I was angry about it, and this is exactly why. I knew the Reid character would disappear. This season for me has been a completely disturbing bummer of a season. I hope the writers are completely happy.

    • Anonymous says:

      There were only 2 highlights in this season so far: J.J.’s little boy (A.J. Cook’s real-life son Mekhai) at Halloween dressed up as “his favorite profiler” (Reid), and the baseball game, where Reid actually accomplished sports thanks to Morgan (and won the game!)- and he had the support of the rest of the team… I LOVED and ADORED those two scenes of those two episodes. That’s it.

    • Marta Jary says:

      Giving Reid a sub-plot gives him more screen time, not less. He has always had the least screen time of the characters in my opinion, except during one or two episodes every season that are specifically centered around him. This season, the girlfriend episodes are those episodes which centre around Reid. You’d be in the minority being “angry” about this as most of Reid’s female fans are excited to see him with a girlfriend even if it is for three episodes. If anything the girlfriend sub-plot has allowed for more Reid-centered episodes than usual this season.

  28. Julie says:

    She looks like JJ as a brunette.

  29. linda chaklos says:

    When is cm coming back on?

  30. Ariadne Ziru says:

    I suppose that was the end of Reid’s girlfriend, hence, he will no longer be distracted from his duties and role as a BAU agent!

  31. Lisa says:

    Was sad.

  32. kristy says:

    Are we sure she is dead???

  33. Matthew says:

    wow! very upset! so does this mean that Spencer will leave the BAU next season like Gideon did after his girlfriend was murdered?

  34. Cindy C. says:

    Love the cast. Would have loved seeing “Spencer” fumble through his flegling relationship. I still watch, but not as devoted as I once was. Seems they have given over to more sensational aka gory stories. Previous seasons walked the fine line a little better. Still an excellent ensemble cast. Tripplehorn will probably get up to speed, but I do miss “Prentice”.

  35. D Gibbons says:

    outraged that they killed Reid’s ‘friend’. I realize that this show is all about violence, and a lot of it bothers me, but this was such a waste. Is Reid leaving the show? He will not be able to work at all now. This was impossible to believe. Angry!!!!

  36. christian says:

    i hope she didnt die

  37. Why does she haved to die reid loved her very much does reid get more power from her does he punch one of his team members i want to see more episodes please

  38. Brenton says:

    So annoyed they killed Reid’s girlfriend so hope they find some way of saving her life in the next episode like the bullet only knocked her out or something cause otherwise I’m not watching anymore

    • Cindy C. says:

      They almost always kill of the love interest of key characters. : ( It would have been a great side story to explore Reid’s ability to have an intimate relationship. Boo on the decision to adios her so soon.

  39. JusteMoi says:

    I never saw the eight season, but I just saw an episode where he protects a young actress victim of a crazy murderer stalker who is her friend and they kissed in the pool. I got here because I wanted to see if his girlfriend was that actress but it’s not the case, it’s deceiving :(

  40. Dixie says:

    This was so distressing. MGG and Beth Reisgraf had such wonderful chemistry. I would have loved to see their relationship develope over the remainder of the season. Instead, the “genius” writers keep Beth alive when Bellamy Young has absolutely no on-screen chemistry with Thomas Gibson. It’s actually “painful” to watch them together. Beth Clemmons needs to become a New York statistic while jogging through Central Park and our beloved Hotch deserves to make a real connection with someone. Casting better wake up and find an actress who clicks with this phenomenal actor. All the CM fans would cheer him on.

  41. Juan says:

    What episode is this? I got it’s in season 8, and I read this whole thing for pretty much nothing.

  42. Kara says:

    The casting didn’t surprise me but Reid’s loss upset’ted me or say disappointed me. :( And why didn’t they let Matthew direct that episode since it was going to be about him so he could have changed what would happen at the end.

  43. M. Sharp says:

    Gubler is so incredibly sexy it hurts.

  44. Can someone please tell me the person responsible for the love qoute that Reid’s girlfriend wrote on the book about John Smith.