"Criminal Minds" Season 7 Premiere Recap: The Team Is Back Together At Last
On the season 7 premiere of "Criminal Minds" on CBS, the BAU agents deal with the circumstances surrounding Prentiss' death as they are all finally brought back together. The episode takes the emotion, a regular part of the show's character, to heightened levels with several dramatic moments throughout the hour program.
The highlights of the episode surround the return of Agent Jennifer Jareau (A.J. Cook) and Agent Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), who both left the show last season after budget cuts. Viewer complaints, however, brought both characters back to restore the team to its full capacity.
The episode begins with JJ in court, giving her statement to the senator about the investigation that took place directly after Prentiss' death. Morgan (Shemar Moore) had gone on a hunt for Prentiss' killer, Ian Doyle (Timothy V. Murphy), putting the entire team under scrutiny as a result. Within clips of other BAU members in front of the senator, the episode takes the viewer on a roller coaster of a journey, showing how the BAU found Doyle, and how Doyle eventually led them to his son. Prentiss had made Doyle believe that she killed his son in an effort to save the boy from a criminal life- this is the reason Doyle tried to kill Prentiss at the end of last season. She created an entirely new life for the boy in D.C, and his new location becomes the reason she decides to move and join the BAU to begin with.
After finding Doyle's son, the team storms his residence to find two FBI agents dead along with the nanny Prentiss had had put in charge of the boy's care. While at first they believe Doyle is to blame, they soon find out there are others responsible for the kidnapping.
The episode had several touching moments that tugged heart strings and reminded viewers why they've stuck around to watch the show for 6 seasons.
The moment the team finds out Prentiss is alive is filled with frustration, relief and utter disbelief, and fans can not help but hold back a tear or two while watching the reunion of such loyal colleagues and friends.
In another scene, the interaction between Doyle and his son also touches the audience and gives Doyle a more human side, which the show tends to do with all the criminals it features. "I remember you," Doyle's son says to him in the last gripping moments of the episode when the two see each other once again.
At the end of the episode, Prentiss remains in the courtroom after the rest of the team members are asked to leave. In a sincere speech about her team's loyalty and capabilities, the suspension on all of them is lifted and Prentiss is asked to return to the BAU for good. She asks to "think about" the decision, but after one second, joyously accepts the offer. The team is back together again (the way it should be) and viewers can sit back and relax knowing two of their favorite ladies from the BAU are back once again for the rest of the season.
While Season 6 began to delve more deeply into the personal lives of each character (we saw Prentiss' experiences before the BAU, Reid's strained relationship with his dad and the separation of Hotchner and his wife), the show's execs are promising even more character development as this new season unfolds.
“Every time we can reveal another layer of one of our characters, all the better,” executive producer Erica Messer told TVLine Tuesday at a Paley Center event tributing the crime drama. “We study how everybody else ticks, how all the bad guys tick, and I want to be able to study our heroes, too. And this season, we’ve earned that. It’s seven years, so I think it’s time we get to do that.”
Does this mean we'll learn more about Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) and his headaches, his mom or his past? Will we get to see more of Hotchner's (Thomas Gibson) relationship with his son Jack?
Regardless of what the show will provide viewers, they will be interested to know any and all personal details about the characters they've gotten to know and love throughout the years.
To read more about the premiere, check out this interview with the show's executive producer, Erica Messer, via Entertainment Weekly.
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