Criminal Minds Exclusive: BSG Vet Tahmoh Penikett Fills Key Role in Movie-Like Episode 200

Criminal Minds Tahmoh PenikettCriminal Minds‘ JJ is due to get a devastating blast from the past — and it will come in the form of Tahmoh Penikett.

As first revealed by Instagram photos shared by producer Rick Dunkle, the Battlestar Galactica/Dollhouse alum will appear in Episode 200 of the CBS crime drama, and now TVLine can reveal exclusive details.

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Penikett will play Michael Hastings, someone with whom JJ worked during her off-camera Season 6 stint at the State Department. And when he resurfaces, let’s just say that it is not happy to see me.

As previously reported, Criminal Minds‘ milestone episode will shed light on JJ’s time away from the BAU, addressing questions first raised by the introduction of Esai Morales as new section chief Mateo Cruz. As showrunner Erica Messer told me last week, “The mystery of what happened to JJ is very much answered…. A lot of things happened to her professionally and personally that we never knew about.”

At the time TVLine spoke with Messer, she had just screened a producers’ cut of Episode 200, which she said “looks like a movie. It’s beautiful, the production values are insane.” Told partly in flashback, it also features an encore by series vet Paget Brewster, as Prentiss.

Penikett’s other TV credits include Supernatural, Continuum, Castle and The CW’s upcoming Star-Crossed. (And yes, this episode will “reunite” Helo and Adama.)

Criminal Minds airs its 199th episode this Wednesday at 9/8c. Do not miss the final seconds.

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

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  1. Debra says:

    This is ridiculous. They can’t seem to make up their minds as to just exactly where this useless Mary Sue was during her time away from the BAU.Was it the State department or the Department of Defense? Although I’m pretty damn sure she worked for the State department when she helped Emily fake her death and go into hiding.

    • Julie says:

      I’m going to go out on a limb and say that “DoD” was a typo by E (which wouldn’t be surprising considering they referred to NCIS’s McGee as Gibbs repeatedly in an article last week) and didn’t come from Erica Messer. She has always said that JJ worked for the State Dept when she was away in season 6 and it was State Dept JJ who helped Emily fake her death. I do like JJ and would never go as far as calling her a useless Msry sue but I will admit that I liked her much better as Communications Liasion JJ rather than super star ass kicking profiler JJ. I would rather have Emily as kick ass profiler.

      • Mari says:

        Well, that answers some of my questions about this. I don’t find the current version of JJ particularly likeable or interesting. Apparently I’m not alone. I still haven’t figured out how a nice but bland character regressed to someone who often comes across like the overconfident mean girl she supposedly was in high school-and when exactly did she get all this special clearance and training? One year away doesn’t account for how a communication specialist became a profiler and did all the stuff her missing year unit trained/required her to do.

        • April says:

          I have to agree with you. I don’t really care for the “new” JJ either. While I understand why they made the change to her character I’m just not buying it.

          • I am with you. I am fed up of her character. It is not only unbelievable that she got the BAU job in an already crowded team, but also the fact that I don’t buy the idea of a good marriage with Will, after all those days away from the family. Haley wasn’t my favourite character, but she was right to be mad when Hotch wasn’t there while rising Jack…

      • maloose says:

        Exactly my idea, she was so sweet at first but now I really can’t believe such character, Mary Sue is the perfect word here.
        Honestly I couldn’t care less what she was doing off BAU, who cares? We are watching BAU cases and members, and I was so disappointed when I heard this milestone episode is basically centered off BAU, REALLY?!! It should be a big case with BAU at the center.

        The only good thing about this episode is its guest stars, mainly Paget.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      That was my error, “State Department” it is. (Unsure what “Julie” below is talking about re: any McGee/Gibbs mix-up. I guess mistakes happpen for everyone!)

    • Twyla Thorpe says:

      What a bunch of bitter complainers. Fans wanted JJ AND EMILY back. They got their wish. Sorry for your life that AJ wanted to stay with the show and PAGET WANTED TO LEAVE AND PURSUE OTHER PROJECTS. Don’t hate on JJ because your “kickass Emily Prentiss” should be there instead; that was her decision to leave, not the show’s decision. Go join her fanclub and see what she’s up to, if you miss her so much. If you don’t like JJ as a profiler, then watch a different show. Some of us happen to like the JJ character as someone more than just a one-liner who showed up to summarize the killings and then disappeared for the other 40 minutes. She didn’t have much of a role as the communications liaison which is how she got written out of the show in the first place and now that she has a meatier role TO JUSTIFY BEING KEPT ON by CBS and CM, y’all are complaining. Make up your fricking minds.

    • Dave says:

      Shut up and learn to enjoy a tv show without hating on fictional characters and reading way too deep into things.

  2. Julie says:

    My bad! I could’ve sworn I just clicked on the E article! Sorry Matt. tvLine did not make such an error with NCIS last week! Love TvLine!

  3. Beth says:

    I am soo excited to see more about JJ’s time away and get some clarification on where she was what she’s doing etc.

    The mix up between state department and DOD occurred on the show as well, during season 7, I think, when JJ first came back.

    I just want the 200th to make sense and to actually be about JJ, not start off about JJ and become about Prentiss.

    I hope there’s follow up to the episode too. I hate it when they just drop a story line.

    Can’t wait for the 200th episode though!

    • LDSK says:

      You are correct. The show itself made the mix-up. In season 5 episode 2 “JJ” Strauss clearly says that The Pentagon wants JJ. But later, in episode 18 “Lauren II” Hotch says he called in someone from The State Department and in walks JJ. Score one for continuity…NOT.

  4. Steph says:

    You had me at Tahmoh! :-)

  5. Hege says:

    I have loved Criminal Minds since episode 1 and I’ve had no trouble with the changes in the cast. I wish Emily was still there but I like Blake. I really loved JJ in the first seasons but she is the only character I’m not so fond of now. It seemed so strange she could change so much being away for less than a year. She left in September and came back in May/June. In those months she became a profiler and learned to fight and became this tough agent. She is a different person now.
    I think that this season, so far, is the best since season 5. Some of the episodes have the quality of the first seasons. I just loved the Strange Fruit episode. It was so different and so great!

  6. Tari says:

    I don’t think JJ is useless, or a Mary Sue. I am interested to see where they take her next.

    She has gotten the most character development of anyone on the team, save maybe Reid (who has become this awesome, thinks on his feet, take-no-prisoners saver of lives!), and it is hard for me to understand how some viewers can’t accept that yeah, people grow, acquire new skills, move, move back, and change jobs, all the time. How does the poster above know she couldn’t have learned those new physical moves or how to handle herself in a hostile situation within a year? What’s to prevent her from learning new skills within a year? I’m sure it would take her less than a day to learn how to disarm a weapon. What then, would be a satisfactory time table?

    It kills me that people can tolerate casting changes, rapid aging of child characters (not talking about CM in this case), time jumps, and Rossi’s personal transporter, yet niggle on one plot point to the exclusion of all else.

    I say more power to JJ, and I like the way she is moving to integrate the two sides to her persona. She struggled with that at first, but it’s nice to see her moving forward with it, and to see her do it successfully.

    • Angela says:

      Well said. I don’t get the complaints about her, either. Getting pulled away from the BAU, from her “other family”, like she was in the episode “JJ”, and having to deal with all the stuff regarding hiding Emily and the fallout from that when she returned…yeah. I can see where all of it would affect her a little bit, change her personality. People DO change all the time, after all.
      Meh. To each their own, though, of course. Anyway, I’m very anxious about the 200th episode. It’ll be nice to see Paget back, and the episode itself sounds intense. Should be fun.

  7. Alan says:

    tahmoh can now tick off another show on his quest to appear on everything currently on air in america and canada anyway, seriously the guy is in everything.
    as for jj kicking ass, she was always capable even before she left during season 6 but due to the nature of the position she had she wasnt often put into that situation but now that her position has changed she is in that situation more so it makes sense to see her kicking ass more often, and i for one am happy about that because the character is probably my favourite outside of reid.

  8. JulieAnn says:

    Eh, why do I think he will turn out to be a rapist or some sort of jackass who hurt poor JJ?

  9. Kristi says:

    This episode is getting better and better. Gosh, we have gotten so much information (and i like it). So freaking excited to see that episode. GO, JJ! Love this girl!

  10. Alejandra Jimenez says:


  11. Galia Amys says:

    Thanks so much for this, TVline. I seriously can’t wait for this episode it sounds amazing, it will be amazing.. and I love JJ! can’t believe *some* people think she’s Mary Sue and/or useless when she seems perfectly human to me and with flaws and she does help the cases…yeah I honestly don’t see what you guys say but ok, to me JJ makes sense and I really can’t wait to see what JJ was up to when she went away… bring on the 200 episode!

    • Dean says:

      totally agree with you. Every person has his/her favorite character, we couldn’t complain the one who ain’t our favorite but getting the spot light as “Mary Sue”, seriously people who think in that way are selfish.

  12. Fabienne says:

    I can’t believe people call JJ ”unlikable” and ”uninteresting” she’s one of the best actors on the show..Happy to see that 200 is about her..she deserves an episode about her..KICK SOME BUTT JJ!!!

    • Debra says:

      I don’t have a problem with her getting an episode,even though I can’t stand her anymore,my issue is that she was given this milestone episode of 200.

      • Galia Amys says:

        To each is own??
        it feels very appropriate to me that JJ gets the big 200.. I’m glad that a character that didn’t get much attention in the beginning.. heck even later on the show she didn’t got arcs like Hotch or Reid or Morgan or Prentiss..I’m glad they finally-truly exploring JJ, I’m glad she finally gets a season that is rather centered around her… her farewell was like an episode, her coming back was like a minute in the season 6 final and then there was this time jump with season 7 so we didn’t really got to see her re-join the team even and we don’t really know how it’s been over the State Department and what exactly she did..Really I’m so glad for this, it’s actually pretty sweet now how such long running character who’s been there from the beginning is finally, finally getting her due and in the big 200 nonetheless. Go JJ!

        • Beth says:

          I love this reasoning.

          The majority of JJ episodes have either been team centric episodes, or become about another team member or her family.

          The season 7 finale, really should have been a big JJ episode (s) – her family were in danger, she went head to head with an UNSUB and she got married – yet the episodes were more about Her husband and also Prentiss’ departure.

          I think a big hindrance, and a major reason as to why some people have suddenly taken a dislike to the “new” JJ, is because they didn’t really go into her return. They focused more on Prentiss and trying to get back to normal CM episodes. So I’m so glad we’re getting an insight into JJ and can’t wait to actually see the episode.

          I just hope they do JJ and AJ justice.

  13. Christie says:

    I’m watching purely for Paget.

    Not bashing in those who still like the show or JJ, it just changed so.much that I’m not interested anymore.

  14. Veronica says:

    I too am watching for Paget Brewster.

    I used to be a fan but with Erica Messer at the helm, the show has tanked. Pretty sure that’s why Paget left.

    I’m more of a fan of Prentiss, JJ’s character is like Prentiss-light, amd Blake is Prentiss old.

    • Alan says:

      or maybe paget left because she wanted to go back to doing comedies just like she said she did in interviews after she left the show.

  15. Valeria says:

    I can’t wait to see the 200th episode of Criminal Minds! Especially I want to see this episode because of JJ. I’m so happy that it’s her episode! She so deserve to be the center of the episode. JJ is my favorite character and never stops being my favorite! And by the way, JJ kicks the UnSub’s ass far better than any male FBI agent! So I can’t wait to see how she will do it in the 200th! GO JJ, KICK SOME ASS!!!

  16. april-ann says:

    He is HOT.

  17. Mark says:

    The whole premise on how she came back to the BAU didn’t and still doesn’t make sense, with regards to the story. The biggest complaint by the fans against Seaver was she was too inexperienced for the role being a recruit, she was at least studying to be a pro filer. JJ comes back to the BAU from the State Dept or DOD or god knows where as the writers don’t. And walks into the most sort after job in the FBI with no profiling experience. She was a press secretary no more no less who was there admin officer on the side. When she returned she had to take all the exams to qualify to become a pro filer, — how in hell did she get the job over the surely 1000 other people that would have been in line before her. Epic Fail… If anything she should have been a trainee or rookie. Like Seaver, unable to do anything on her own for a while but no she walked in and straight away knew everything and did everything. Granted she would have had some experience from the case work before hand but to go from being away to super agent in one season was a bit much (season 7) and was a bit thick with regards to the character. I hope this 200th episode does fill in the gaps on how this development from press secretary to super agent took place other wise it will be an epic fail across three seasons of the characters development….

    • Tari says:

      I have zero problem with it. She had Hotch pushing for her to do it, Morgan training her, and who knows what else. She could have easily upped her game in a year. Plus, she had to take all the field tests they all did way back in the day anyway. And who’s to say she didn’t take those exams. She has never been ‘just a press secretary’, in the field with the team, as part of the team, on almost every case. I see no fail, let alone an ‘epic’ one.

      I think people need to ask themselves why they are being so hostile to JJ succeeding?

  18. Some fans like JJ, and some don’t, at least not this new version. Some fans also love Prentiss, but some others don’t want her back. Personally, I am annoyed at the people that keeps asking for Prentiss and Gideon’s return, because both actors said already that they don’t want to work on criminal minds anymore. i wish they appreciate the actors that decided to stay, instead of asking for their return, or even more screentime for secondary characters such as Kevin, Beth, Will or Henry. I used to like the show a lot more in earlier seasons, and I still like some episodes, but my main issue about it nowadays is that they are slowly but steadily changing all the characters into something they weren’t used to be, and now they feel less and less believable, which is sad. I hate when they do those super unrealistic stories such as the one they did with ‘Prentiss the super spy’, and I will hate the 200s episode if they try to feed us with another silly, unbelievable storyline.

  19. Sofia says:

    I’m so excited for this episode, JJ was always my favourite one! I mean, we have so much information from the other characters and I feel like JJ deserves to be in the center of one episode again. We don’t know much about the year she left and I know that all the JJ/CM fans are excited to know more about that.
    About the JJ new version, I don’t know why some people are complaining, she’s stronger now and she’s not Mary Sue, in my opinion. I want to know what she was doing her time away from the BAU.
    Go JJ, we love you!!

  20. Such a late replay I know.. but I couldn’t log in before.
    Thanks for this, TVline! I’m SUPER excited for the 200 episode, I’m SO glad it’s JJ centric! I’m sure A.J. Cook will totally nail this :D

    people say that JJ’s a Mary Sue but I really don’t think she is, people are annoyed by her character change and it’s true the show could have done a much better job explaining that but she was ripped away from her BAU family and went over to the State Department (where .. well we really don’t know what she did ;)), she helped fake Emily’s death and had to lie about this for months like it makes sense if you think about it for the character to get tougher and to grow… and she really has grown. Personally I’m proud of JJ (and AJ really) I think she’s doing fine and really she’s so deserving of that big milestone and arc.. like was said she was there from pretty much the start but never got the attention the other characters got so now It’s JJ’s time :) yay for JJ! to me it make beautiful sense that she gets the big 200.

  21. Kara says:

    Is Edward James Olmos also guest starring on this episode? Just wondering if I missed something since the article says Helo and Adama will be reunited in a way.