“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
That quote from President Lincoln would seem to be the inspiration for the title of Criminal Minds‘ series finale — “And in the End…” — as revealed Friday night by cast member Kirsten Vangsness, who co-wrote the script with showrunner Erica Messer (see below). Glenn Kershaw will direct.
The CBS crime drama was renewed back in January for a 15th and final, 10-episode season, which started production this spring near-immediately after Season 14 wrapped. (Whether the show will return this fall or not until midseason will be announced on May 15 at the CBS Upfronts.)
Messer told TVLine the series’ farewell run will pick up following a time jump and feature “a little more serialized storytelling” as well as “a couple of personal stories that might be surprising to people.”
On the casting front, Castle vet Michael Mosley will continue his run as Everett Lynch aka The Chameleon, a serial killer who late in Season 14 quickly proved to be the “Joker” to Rossi’s Batman.
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Jane Lynch is set to reprise her role as Reid’s mother during the final season; Messer said Diana’s return is “related to a revelation” made during the Season 14 finale, in which JJ professed her love for Reid. Further complicating that situation, Rachael Leigh Cook (Perception) will appear in multiple episodes as Max, a quirky, kind-hearted woman who strikes up an unusual relationship with Reid.
Messer seemed confident that Criminal Minds alum-turned-S.W.A.T. star Shemar Moore will put in a final encore, but as for Thomas Gibson, who played Hotch until his sudden firing at the start of Season 12…. She was noncommittal in January, only expressing her wish to “honor the history of the series in some way that is satisfying for all of us.”