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Criminal Minds Sneak Peek: Watch Prentiss' Extremely Awkward Return

Paget Brewster‘s Prentiss makes her anticipated return to Criminal Minds on Wednesday (CBS, 9/8c) and it’s an awkward re-entry to say the least.

Her first scene back — which can exclusively be viewed above — starts off warmly, with kisses and hugs and doughnuts. But things quickly spiral downward when it comes time for Prentiss to meet the new guy on the block, i.e. Luke Alves (played by Adam Rodriguez).

Meanwhile, you’ll notice that Prentiss tells JJ and Reid that she’s only back temporarily while Hotch (Thomas Gibson) is off on assignment. Well, as you know, since the episode was shot, Gibson has been let go and Brewster’s short-term return has become permanent.

“We’re all so excited to have Paget with us full time,” exec producer Erica Messer said last month when news broke of the actress’ status change. “The BAU family has definitely missed her, on screen and off. Having her back on set has been great, it’s like she never left.”

Press PLAY above and watch Prentiss’ homecoming, then hit the comments with your thoughts on the gang being back together.

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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37 Comments
  1. notfeelingencouraged says:

    Yea, I’m so done with this show. Haven’t even finished last season.

  2. Aly says:

    I’m so excited! Stopped watching the show a while back, but I’m going to start again now.

    • Jane R says:

      Paget kills every show she’s on. She’ll work her usual toxic magic and CM will tank quicker than you can say Damon Gupton. It’s done.

      • Sara says:

        …She didn’t kill Criminal Minds the first time around. Granted I haven’t watched the new season as I got bored last season and am quite angry about this situation with Thomas Gibson, but let’s please be factual about Paget Brewster’s track record.

        • Jane R says:

          She’s kind of like a cockroach and survives despite her track record. I’m pretty sure she’ll kill the show it’ll just add to her legendary status as ratings kryptonite. Because, honestly, if Morticia Addams is taking over Gibson’s spot, and the show fails, then it’s all on her … unless they plan on blaming the ratings crash on the new guy Gupton (actually this sounds like something they’d do).

          • A Goonie says:

            So now Paget Brewster is to blame if the show is cancelled. After all the gloating on social media after episode 2, I was pretty convinced that it was the boycott of Thomas Gibson and Hotch fans that was going to bring the show down.

      • Dysturbed says:

        Considering that the show was never “killed” with her previous stints on it, that statement isn’t fitting with this particular show. With that being said, if the show does end up “dying” any time soon, she certainly isn’t realistically going to be the reason, rather factors like production costs, people sticking to their claims about not watching without Thomas Gibson, etc would be the reasons.

        • Angela says:

          Exactly. Plus, .even if Gibson were still there, the show would probably be looking at an end date sometime in the next few years anyway simply because ,well, the show IS twelve years old and no show can last forever :p.
          .
          However much longer this show lasts, though, I’m in to the end. Looking forward to seeing Emily back with the team :D. I’m glad she was able to come back.

        • Jane R says:

          Hilarious! It’s episode three, but the excuses for the show’s cancellation are already out there!

      • You are right. The lead actor is gone and Paget is not the replacement for him. He led the team now you have a group trying to make decisions. Paget does not lead, Rossi would work. I think you treated Gibson badly.

  3. NoHotchNoWatch…. she didn’t bring any ratings her last two appearances.. What makes them think she’ll bring ratings now. ESPECIALLY as Jim Clemente was all over twitter to Hotch/Prentiss shippers implying that they were finally going to get their dream and see a romance between Hotch and Prentiss…. That’s all destroyed now.. How vocal to you think those Shippers are going to be!

    • Bec (@a_c81) says:

      Funny her first episode back was the highest rated episode a), since she left & b). of the entire 4 seasons without her…hmm but yeah her return didn’t bring any ratings, just nearly 3 million extra alone in the US

      • Coop says:

        If you’re referring to episode “200”, that’s not quite right. It tied the 2.8 rating high for that season and individual episode ratings had obviously been higher than that between her initial departure and return. Regardless, Criminal Minds’ ratings have been pretty steady through the years with a gradual downturn, just like most shows. Not bad considering the constant casting changes, but that gets harder and harder to do when a show reaches this age. Final season? Probably.

    • when you say Hotch, you mean that guy who plays unit chief with a robot-like personnality who serves no purpose ?

  4. kevinkimr says:

    So funny. Looking forward. :)

  5. HollyGal says:

    That was a super awkward meet-cute for Prentiss and Alvez! Emily seems a lot happier now – Paget’s great with comedy so I hope that funny bits like this continue throughout the season. Can’t wait to see her back with the team… AND IN CHARGE.

    I’ll miss Hotch and I definitely wish Derek were around to rib Prentiss about being Chief… but I’m still excited!

  6. SoFla says:

    No thank you. I have not watched a single episode this season and will not watch until Hotch a/k/a Thomas Gibson returns to the show. Will get a big smile though when the show fires Paget again because it will be all on her for coming back when she should have stayed away after how she was treated before.

    • CurlyGirly says:

      I guess you missed the part where Gibson was fired from the show. So looks like you can delete this show from your DVR.

  7. Coop says:

    I’ve got the first couple episodes on DVR and don’t think I’ll ever get to them. This show has been going downhill for a long time and I’ve mainly watched out of habit. Many times, the episodes have felt like punishment. There have been some good (and even great) episodes here or there, but it’s not the same anymore. It’s not going to get better when the core member of the show is gone.

    • lkthomas07 says:

      These first two episodes have actually been really good! Hope to end up giving them a try!

      • Coop says:

        At the very least, I’ll be waiting a couple months until I can read how they’ve handled Gibson’s exit. Even then, it may not have an impact on my decision to watch or not. I entered the “just let it die!” Castle-like mentality for Criminal Minds during last season and it’s only solidified after seeing two more original members leave the show.

        When you watch the earlier seasons and compare them to the past couple, there’s a huge gap in quality IMO.

  8. Ellen says:

    Glad to see Paget is back. The show started to lose interest for me a few seasons back, but I’ve kept watching, hoping that it would turn around. I hate to see Gibson gone and it is still too early to tell, but so far I’m not ready to throw in the towel on this show. I’m gonna give it a chance.

  9. Jorja says:

    I used to love this show, but I will not watch it without Hotch. Too bad, I will miss Rossi and Reid.

    • You can still watch for Rossi and Reid. All the No Hotch No Watch crap is silly and just weird if you ask me. I was never a fan of Hotch, so I’m still watching the show. Even when I got heartbroken last season with Morgan leaving (and I still am because my main ship is gone) but I still watched it after he left.

  10. phillymd says:

    So disappointed that Erica, ABC and CBS have made such a mess of CM simply to get Paget back full-time and to bring in cheaper, somewhat younger actors. Thomas deserved much better. I desperately wanted Paget back; but now it seems as if she’s gleefully parading around like the cat that caught the canary, an unsympathetic, selfish demeanor. And don’t get me started on Kirsten Vangness’ double-talk in fake support of Thomas. Somehow no one else seems interested in saying anything about Thomas, but Kirsten is allowed to make stupid statements. If there’s a gag order, somebody forgot to gag her. They blew a non-issue out of proportion and fired the best actor, and the backbone of CM. What a shame too because I had such high expectations for Season 12, and eagerly anticipated the new season. Something that was supposed to be so good has become such a disaster. And Paget has become symbolic of all that’s contemptible about CM and this fake family. And don’t get me started on Alex Rodriquez demeaning CM fans as not being real fans simply because they want Thomas back and his presence is secondary or not even wanted; and he hadn’t been seen in any CM episode when he said it. As far as I’m concerned, Thomas Gibson is the only real, deserving person in this whole sad saga. The scheme devised to remove him will end up sinking CM. It’s really silly to believe Thomas would just come in kicking someone and not be reacting to some form of aggression. CBS/ABC need to give him his job back, then he should tell them where to shove it. #NoHotchNoWatch

    • Angela says:

      So what exactly is the cast supposed to do here to make you and other Hotch fans happy? If they don’t say anything, they’re not supporting Gibson. If they do, they’re not being sincere enough, and being fake. There’s no winning. I’d also be curious to see those quotes from Rodriguez in context. If he’s saying people aren’t fans for not watching the show in and of itself, then yes, I would disagree.
      .
      But if he’s saying the fans who’ve been harassing the cast and crew online and sending nasty messages and coming up with wild conspiracy theories aren’t real fans? That, I can’t exactly argue with. I really, truly do not get why anyone is mad at the cast with all of this. They have absolutely ZERO control over any of what’s happening here, and I’m pretty sure they want to remain as neutral as possible both out of whatever loyalty they may still have to Gibson and to the show itself (’cause, y’know, god forbid they actually want to keep their jobs, like any other person would!). And yes, they are going to keep talking about the show and try and remain excited about whatever else is going on there, because they have a show to promote. Would you rather they all sit around and mope? Do a walk-out? Stage a protest?
      .
      And I have to laugh at all the reactions here regarding Prentiss’ return to the show. For years after she left, all I heard from fans was demands that she be brought back. Anyone who took her place on the team was not well-received by many fans, because “they’re not Prentiss”.
      .
      Now she is back, and people are getting mad at her because of something she had no role in and blaming her for Gibson’s actions. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. If people don’t want to watch anymore because Gibson/Hotch is gone, that’s entirely their choice and that’s fine. I can understand not watching if a character or actor you love is gone. If they even want to be angry at the network heads (aka, the people who actually DO have the power to hire and fire people) or Virgil Williams, that’s understandable, too.
      .
      But this weird anger towards the rest of the cast and crew of the show itself is just ridiculous and absurd.

      • HelloDolly says:

        The worst thing that has come out of this whole Thomas Gibson off-screen drama is the harassment the cast and crew on social media have been subjected to. His firing may be unjustified but that does not justify the hate that has been thrown towards the other actors. No one among the cast have spoken about the incident and I actually prefer that over them speaking about it in interviews or sharing on social media. Whether they were actually on gag order from the networks or not, I appreciate that they have stayed quiet rather than stoke the fire. The few times someone from the cast spoke about Thomas, the answers were rather diplomatic and acknowledging of the fact that the fans will miss him and his character. No one was dismissive of him or of Hotch. But the cast have been called everything from traitors to ungrateful b****** to crack wh***s looking for a fix on social media and on comments section of entertainment websites. I’m wondering if these people who throw these hate around online are just as hateful in real life.

  11. grys03 says:

    Have really enjoyed the first 2 eps this season – probably more than most of last few seasons. Gibson was not a large part of the story & I will reserve judgement for future eps,
    .
    I like the Prentiss character but am not convinced that she is a good fit to lead the team – the way she has been written has called for over-the-top emotional responses.
    .
    In the same way the only other logical choice would have been the Rossi character but again he has been written as someone who would pursue a more “right” result & probably not a objective result.
    .
    Gibson had that role down pat even during the death of his wife episodes.
    .
    Not saying he is irreplaceable just that I’m not sure the right character is currently in the show to lead the BAU.

  12. T says:

    I’d rather watch paint dry then watch her inconsistent acting. Bring back Hotch!

  13. Paco says:

    Greg never kicked Dharma

  14. Dan Michaels says:

    I have never watched it in real time. I thought it went off air a long time ago. I don’t stay up that late. So I watch it on reruns. I have always been bother by Hotch ,I like don’t Brewster also.
    But the rest of the people I like , that guy from Princes Bride I miss.

  15. Sharon says:

    How fast we forget! So many people tried to get Paget back on CM when she left. She’s a great fit with the cast.
    Yes, Hotch had a strong role but each of the remaining original group is a big contributer…..come on, J.J. ,Rossi, Reid, Garcia. I think both Adam and Aisha will add a new dimension and now with Prentiss back I’m looking forward to the season.

  16. Joy Reinhard says:

    Okay, I love that Prentiss is back, so sad the Hotch is gone. But this was the most lame story line ever. This show was my favorite because of the complex characters and plots but when the “unsub” is pouring concrete onto a live and unbound victim and we’re supposed to believe he is really a threat I have to wonder where the show is headed. I love all of the characters in this show this and the backgrounds they have all been given. Don’t cheapen the show by seeking ratings for action and sacrificing substance for quantity in audience. I am a real fan of the intelligence shown in this show.

  17. Zepha says:

    If Prentiss’ awkward, unprofessional and out-of-character reaction to Adam Rodriguez’s character is indicative of the writing for this show now I will happily never watch again.

  18. Over it says:

    What a shame. Brewster will kill this show…again. She is such a joke of a character (NOT person, I’m sure she’s great…) but her return is so forced…and false. Why doesn’t she just go away and ATTEMPT to succeed somewhere else? Because she CAN’T…just hung around like a vulture waiting for yet another chance on this show…

    What a shame…

  19. Over it says:

    Ah-ha-ha!!! Parting quote for E8…”sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together…”. Do they’d think we are STUPID???” Congrats…will never watch this show again..