‘Criminal Minds: Evolution’ Boss Reveals Prentiss Storyline We Wouldn’t See Until Series Ends

Paget Brewster in 'Criminal Minds: Evolution'
Michael Yarish /Paramount+

One season of Criminal Minds: Evolution down, at least one more to go.

The BAU may have just caught Sicarius (Zach Gilford’s Elias Voit), but they’ll be back for a 17th season, to deal with whatever Gold Star is as well as likely another hybrid of a recurring UnSub and standalone cases. And, as the series did quite well this past season, we’ll continue to see the team’s lives away from hunting down those bad guys.

Showrunner Erica Messer teases what’s ahead, including a love triangle, team leader, and more.

At the end of the original series’ run, you’d said you’d love to see Prentiss (Paget Brewster) possibly being nominated as the first female director of the FBI in five years’ time. Given the timing, is that something we might see a Season 17, her starting on that path or thinking if she even wants that?

Erica Messer: She might be thinking if she wants it, but the reality would be she’d be taken away from our team and that’s something we never want to play because she’s such a good leader and everything else. So it might be something that we play with years down the line whenever the show is coming to an end, that she’s either gonna ride off in the sunset or do something incredible like be the director of the FBI. But as far as a Season 17 arc with her regarding that, it feels like it wouldn’t be anything we’d really want to pursue because she wouldn’t be with us anymore.

Who will be Unit Chief? Still Prentiss? Rossi (Joe Mantegna) again?

I think right now we’re going to keep it as Prentiss and then that’s always that door that can get opened here and there if something happens. Rossi told us multiple times, “I didn’t want it anyway.”

What did you want to do for Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) when it comes to who she is and her love life with Luke (Adam Rodriguez) and Tyler (Ryan-James Hatanaka) this season? I was surprised how much I liked Tyler.

I know! We sort of set them to be there’s no way these two would ever like one another to oh my gosh, not only do they like one another, this is all happening. So the plan is to have RJ come back and it’ll be a little more complicated because they’ve had this relationship and it’s something we haven’t really been able to play on the show before because we always stayed away from team members having relationships beyond like a familial type thing. Of course JJ [AJ Cook] and Will [Josh Stewart] and we have Will around a lot, but that’s different.

Kirsten Vangsness in 'Criminal Minds: Evolution'


Garcia and Tyler Green had this secret relationship, it got discovered, things went sideways. She stood up for herself and said, I can’t be with somebody who’s gonna do this, but when we have him come back, it’s gonna make her question all of that. “Is this my person?” will definitely be something she explores this year. And then Alvez is like the sweetest and I love them together so much, so it’ll be an interesting little triangle with them.

Will we continue to see Will working with the team? I loved what you did with JJ and him in the field and their relationship this season, especially since we’ve seen it play out from the very beginning and now see their family.

We love Josh Stewart and he’s always on multiple projects and he’s got such a huge great career that it’s like we get him when we can get him and we’re happy to use him when we can. There’s something fun about the fact the character’s background is a detective and he feels very believable in the field with us and there are joint task forces all the time between the FBI and Metro PD and all that kind of stuff. So it certainly works in the real world test of it. But yeah, we have to wait and see when Josh is done with his next project

The book doesn’t seem completely closed on Lewis (Aisha Tyler) and Rebecca (Nicole Pacent), or is it? Will we see Rebecca next season, or was it more about Lewis seeing she can commit and trust in a relationship?

We love Nicole so much and we really want to be able to bring her back this year and also let her be that voice that represents the AG and the AG/Gold Star of it all and who knows what and that kind of thing. So we are hoping that Nicole is gonna be available to come play with us a little bit more and then that will also help define where she and Lewis are. It’ll be a slow probably getting back on track for them, but we really like them together and we want our heroes to find that happiness.

If the show lasts long enough, is JJ and Will’s son Henry going to become a profiler in training?

I know, right? [Laughs] It certainly feels like it. I love when he is using that language with his mom — do you know that you have a tell and you guys are horrible liars and you avoided the question right now. It’s amazing. So, yeah, maybe he even interns there when he’s 18.

Criminal Minds: Evolution, Season 17, TBA, Paramount+