Criminal Minds: The Team Is Surprised by Its Newest Member — WATCH

Criminal Minds‘ BAU team got a bit of a surprise upon returning to HQ at the close of this Wednesday’s midseason finale.

No, no, Mr. Scratch wasn’t laying in wait on their home turf. Rather, the new hire whom some of them had speculated about during the episode was just checking out his new digs (and apparently looking for paper clips), as seen in the video clip above.

Thus marked the introduction of the latest change-up to the team, Behavioral Analysis Program recruit Stephen Walker, played by new series regular Damon Gupton (Bates Motel). His casting comes on the heels of, in order, 1) Adam Rodriguez joining the cast as Luke Alvez, 2) Aisha Tyler being promoted to series regular, 3) original cast member Thomas Gibson being fired after an on-set altercation with a producer and 4) Paget Brewster being upgraded from returning Season 12 guest star to, as she once was, a series regular.

Gupton’s character not only came recommended by new BAU chief Prentiss, but also seems to know Rossi, while the rest of the team welcomed the friendly face with open arms. (But sorry, Alvez, Garcia isn’t letting you shake your “newbie” label.)

What do you think of Criminal Minds‘ locked-and-loaded, eight-strong (with Reid included) BAU team? Is this the octet that will declaw Scratch?

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