TVLine’s highly anticipated #2020FirstLook series kicks off with an exclusive photo from the CBS crime drama’s Season 15 premiere, titled “Under the Skin” and airing Wednesday, Jan. 8, and it is 260,400 sq. pixels of mixed emotions. Yes, Reid and JJ seem to be sharing a sweet, perhaps intimate, moment. But there is, of course, the none-too-small matter of the ring on the latter’s finger….
To recap where we left off: As Season 14 drew to a close, JJ was challenged by an UnSub with a “Truth or Dare.” Held at gunpoint, she chose the former and confessed her “deepest, darkest secret”: “Spence…. I’ve always loved you,” she shared with her fellow captive. “I was just too scared to say it before. And things are really just too complicated to say it now…. I’m sorry. But you should know.” After they eventually got free, JJ claimed to Reid that she only said what she did to throw the UnSub off balance. Reid responded by posing his own “Truth or Dare,” asking, “Did you mean it?” JJ’s expression said it all, before they got pulled back into the revelry at Rossi’s wedding reception.
In a TVLine poll, 47 percent reacted to JJ’s declaration with a “Woo-hoo!,” 35 percent argued that JJ and Reid have always been more like “sister/brother,” and the rest of y’all wanted the summer to chew on it.
Surveying the romantical reveal, showrunner Erica Messer told TVLine, “These people have been in the trenches together — as far as work goes, it’s life or death quite often — and who are we to say who gets close and who doesn’t?” She also conceded, “Yeah, it’s messy and it’s weird, but ‘I’ve loved you for a long time’… that’s just the truth.”
As for what happens next (JJ’s marriage to Will included), Messer said, “We deal with that in the first two hours of the final 10 [episodes], because that needs some explanation and some tender care really to have her be fair to everyone. I think 100 percent that Reid loves her, too, so that’s where it’s hard.”
Also perhaps complicating matters? Rachael Leigh Cook (Perception) will appear in at least two episodes of the farewell run as Max, a quirky, kind-hearted woman who strikes up an unusual relationship with Reid.