The 9 Top Plot Points a ‘Criminal Minds’ Revival Should Cover

Criminal Minds Series Finale BAU Team

Exactly one year to the day that CBS bid adieu to Criminal Minds and its FBI profilers, fans received the news that they might just see their favorite characters again in a reported revival.

According to Variety, the series might find its way to streaming service Paramount+ (CBS All Access until March 4). The report stresses it’s “in the early stages,” with no word about who might return from the original series (2005-2020), which aired 15 seasons on CBS.

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The finale did end with most of the Behavioral Analysis Unit team we’d gotten to know and love over the years still chasing after the bad guys. Tech genius Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), however, did leave the FBI behind to work at a nonprofit.

If this revival does happen, we have plenty of thoughts on what we’d need to see — including at least one loose end from the finale addressed stat.

Prentiss JJ Criminal Minds Paget Brewster AJ Cook
Matt Kennedy / ©CBS / Courtesy: Everett Collection; Richard Foreman / © CBS / courtesy Everett Collection

Promotions for two team members

In the final episodes, both Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) and Jennifer “J.J.” Jareau (A.J. Cook) were looking beyond the team. Prentiss was being eyed as the first female director of the FBI (and showrunner Erica Messer told TV Insider “that’s something I’d like to see happen in the next five years” after the February 2020 finale), while J.J. was considering becoming a team leader herself. Why not have both those things come to fruition in a revival, with J.J. either heading the BAU team we follow every episode, or, if availability is a factor, one that works with the regular squad on a few cases?

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Karen Neal / © CBS / Courtesy Everett Collection

The return of at least one of the major UnSubs

Criminal Minds has had quite a few memorable serial killers over the years (C. Thomas Howell’s George Foyet, aka the Reaper, and Bodhi Elfman’s Peter Lewis, aka Mr. Scratch, to name a couple). Sure, most of them are dead, but as we’ve seen time and time again, does that matter? Take a trip inside one of the agents’ minds (a near-fatal wound will do the trick), and voilà, a way for one of them to pop up.

Criminal Minds JJ Morgan Prentiss Rossi Reid
Adam Rose / ©CBS / Courtesy Everett Collection

Returning characters in significant roles

Whoever returns, we want to see them back in significant ways, not just cameos to link the two series together. And for those who don’t make any appearances, we want to hear where their characters are. (Nods to any other projects would be fun.)

Kirsten Vangsness Criminal Minds Penelope Garcia Desk
Cliff Lipson / ©CBS / courtesy Everett Collection

Garcia only consults — at least in the beginning

It would be so easy to just bring Garcia back in her old job working with the BAU. But she left that world behind, and though we want to see as much of her (and Vangsness) as possible, we want it to make sense that she takes a seat again behind her colorfully decorated desk at the FBI. But let’s start by seeing her still away from the FBI.

Criminal Minds Series Finale Garcia Note

Garcia's note revealed

Before Garcia left behind the BAU in the series finale, she left a note for whoever comes next — and the contents of it have yet to be revealed. Though both Messer and Vangsness have stood by keeping that secret, the latter did wonder “if what Garcia put there is less for someone else to find and more for her to find.” If they do stick to that and we don’t see exactly what was written, let’s at least have it referenced, even if it’s just the next person at the desk mentioning it in passing.

Max Reid Criminal Minds Season 15

Reid's relationship is working out

Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) does not have the best luck with love. His crush on J.J. in the first season is unrequited (let’s not go into her confession of love in the Season 14 finale since it ultimately goes nowhere), and the woman who would’ve been the one, Maeve (Beth Riesgraf), is murdered right in front of him just after the phone pals finally meet in person. In the final season, he meets Max (Rachael Leigh Cook), and we can only hope that their relationship lasts.

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Cliff Lipson/©CBS/courtesy Everett Collection

Let's see the new jet!

In a way, the team did lose one of its own in the finale: the jet. In order to stop final season Big Bad Everett Lynch (Michael Mosley), J.J. blew up their mode of transportation (just as we found out about secret compartments!). They, of course, have a new one, and while we doubt it will be anything like the international spinoff Beyond Borders (it had to fit vehicles), we’re very interested in seeing the upgrade they’d be sure to have.

Shemar Moore Criminal Minds Derek Morgan
Cliff Lipson / ©CBS / courtesy Everett Collection

Quite a few — but not too many — familiar faces

We didn’t get to see Shemar Moore back as Derek Morgan in the series finale, and while it may depend on his production schedule for S.W.A.T., we hope he makes at least one appearance. And of course we’d like to see as many family members as possible — including, but not limited to Reid’s mother Diana (Jane Lynch), Matt’s (Daniel Henney) wife Kristy (Kelly Frye) and kids, Rossi’s (Joe Mantegna) wife Krystall (Gail O’Grady), J.J.’s husband Will (Josh Stewart) and kids — but not in dangerous situations. (Please, no more deaths in the family.) But at the same time, let’s not have a potential revival feature a revolving door of past characters, especially just for the sake of bringing someone back.

Criminal Minds Beyond Borders Spinoff Cast
Richard Cartwright/©CBS/courtesy Everett Collection

Someone else from one of the spinoffs

Criminal Minds launched two spinoffs, Suspect Behavior and Beyond Borders. Matt came over from the latter in Season 13 and was with the team through the end. Why not have someone else appear from one of the two shows, either as a main character or just for a guest spot?