CBS’ Criminal Minds will wrap Season 13 with a finale that is a “double episode” in name only — in that it turned out that way due to scheduling and not by design (as the crime drama sometimes does).
Across the two Wednesday episodes, which start an hour earlier at 9/8c, “The only common thread is that you see a friendship sprouting between Lewis and Alvez (played by Aisha Tyler and Adam Rodriguez),” showrunner Erica Messer explains. “We all sort of agreed that it was nice to see them smiling and laughing, to have that levity that we don’t always get to have.”
The opening hour revolves around The Taos Hum, “which is this phenomenon about a low-frequency hum that is known to drive people crazy. If you Google it, you’ll find some interesting things!” says Messer. “It almost feels like it would fit an X-Files idea in a way, because it’s like, ‘Is this really happening?’ And it is.”
The actual season finale then guest-stars James Urbaniak (Difficult People, Review) as a VICAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) agent whom Reid is led to find in a storage unit, triggering a mystery that will keep viewers guessing until the final moments. Watch a sneak peek below:
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“We haven’t really been able to do anything like this, where an FBI agent has been missing, and then when he’s found, presumed dead, we see that he learned how to survive as a victim for over a year,” says Messer. “This guy was trying to solve a case not with profiling skills but VICAP skills, and his almost-naivete got him caught, by serial killers.”
But as the BAU dives ever deeper into the case, we realize, “There’s an even bigger thing at play…,” Messer warns.
That “bigger thing” will leave two agents in harm’s way as the season cuts to black — a perhaps not-so-bold move for CBS’ No. 3-rated drama, which if renewed would open Season 14 with no less than its 300th episode.
Messer admits that she is “counting on” the nifty notion of launching Season 14 with a milestone hour to give CBS that last, final nudge to renew.
“There is no greater way to launch a season than to say ‘our 300th episode,'” she opines. “Our show has been through the wringer so many times, and we have such a great, loyal fan base that has been with us throughout all of these changes, I would certainly hope that we get that opportunity, to celebrate 13 years of stories.”