Criminal MInds Reid Prison

Criminal Minds: Might Reid's Mom Save the Day? Plus: Mr. Scratch Still Looms

Mom’s the word as CBS’ Criminal Minds nears May sweeps, and imprisoned Reid awaits his trial date.

Reid (played by Matthew Gray Gubler) of course has been behind bars for five episodes now, suspected of killing the Mexican doctor who was selling him black market meds to treat his mother’s Alzheimer’s. In the second of Jane Lynch’s appearances this season, Diana herself pays Reid a visit this Wednesday (CBS, 9/8c), “and she indirectly brings a huge break in the case,” showrunner Erica Messer told TVLine as part of our May sweeps/finale preview. “That will kick us into Episodes 21 and 22 to hopefully exonerate Reid and free him from this mess. That’s a great turn in the story.”

(Given Reid’s compromised mental clarity since the murder, after which he was drugged by… someone… we had to ask if Diana is in fact really there, during the prison visit. “Oh, she is there for real,” Messer confirmed. “When we finally were able to get Jane Lynch [to reprise the role] after all these years, it worked out so great that we have this Reid story planned and she was actually going to be available for us to use her, so we always wanted to have it be real character moments and not imaginary ones.”)

Alas, “big break” or not, Reid may not be out of harm’s way any time soon. As teased by the synopsis for the season finale (airing May 10), “an impossible scenario” forces the BAU genius to “square off with an old nemesis.”

When TVLine asked if the nefarious Mr. Scratch is perhaps out of the picture in the wake of the most recent episode, Messer countered, “He will definitely still be playing a part, all the way to the last frames of the finale.”

Elsewhere in Wednesday’s episode, the BAU investigates when several federal government employees, including a close friend of Walker’s, succumb to symptoms of a heart attack.

“We get to learn a lot about Walker (played by Season 12 addition Damon Gupton) and who he was before he joined the BAU, and it’s told in a really interesting way [by writer Stephanie Sengupta],” Messer shares. Having focused much of the winter/spring run on Reid’s predicament, “It’s nice on a lot of levels [to explore Walker] — but of course, you know, it’s a tragic story.”

Want more scoop on Criminal Minds, or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.