9 'Criminal Minds' Alums Who Should Return Before the Show Ends

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criminal minds return
CBS
criminal minds return shemar moore
CBS

Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore)

Part of the show’s original cast, Moore appeared as a series regular through 2015 and has returned occasionally to reprise his role as Derek Morgan. Moore last appeared on the show in 2017 putting him past-due for another reunion with platonic soulmate Penelope Garcia.

criminal minds return jeanne tripplehorn
Robert Voets/CBS

Alex Blake (Jeanne Tripplehorn)

The former BAU team member joined the series in its eighth season and departed at the end of the ninth when she left the team after Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) was shot. The incident was so traumatic, she left criminal investigation behind to teach in Boston. It would be a pleasant surprise to see her resurface.

criminal minds return rachel nichols
Adam Rose/CBS

Ashley Seaver (Rachel Nichols)

The agent, who appeared on the show from 2010 to 2011, departed the BAU when she transferred to a Domestic Trafficking Task Force. The exit could easily allow her to return in some capacity.

criminal minds return jennifer love hewitt
CBS

Kate Callahan (Jennifer Love Hewitt)

Debuting on the series in Season 10, Hewitt’s character Kate was a member of the BAU team who left due to pregnancy. Both the actress and character exited for the same reason, but considering Kate’s experience, she could come back to serve up a dose of nostalgia.

criminal minds return esai morales
CBS

Mateo Cruz (Esai Morales)

Appearing in over five episodes between 2013 and 2015, Morales’ character Cruz took over as Section Chief after the murder of Erin Strauss (Jayne Atkinson). Cruz left the team and went overseas, making a return possible whenever he wishes.

criminal minds return jane lynch
CBS

Diana Reid (Jane Lynch)

Reid’s mother Diana has appeared in some episodes throughout the show’s run. Diana is a genius (like her son) and she suffers from schizophrenia and lives in a mental health facility. Her last appearance involved an abduction, but she was rescued by Reid. Perhaps it’s time for another (happier) visit with mom, Reid?

criminal minds return nicholas brendon
Monty Brinton/CBS

Kevin Lynch (Nicholas Brendon)

The technical analyst and former love of Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) left the team but last returned to fill in for Garcia in a Season 10 episode. Considering his history with Garcia, he would be a fun guest.

criminal minds return eric johnson
CBS

Sean Hotchner (Eric Johnson)

Hotch’s (Thomas Gibson) brother Sean wasn’t in many episodes, and eventually disappeared entirely. But since Gibson was fired from the show, the next best possible return could be his on-screen little brother.

criminal minds return forest whitaker
Monty Brinton/CBS

Sam Cooper (Forest Whitaker)

The Oscar-winning actor appeared in one episode of the series as the leader of BAU’s Red Cell Team. Cooper’s role was prominent on the short-lived spinoff series Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, and considering his position, he could easily make an appearance back on the original show anytime.

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It's hard to think of saying goodbye to a beloved show like Criminal Minds, especially since it's been on air for nearly 15 years.

After the long-running show didn't receive an early Season 14 pick-up last year (though it did eventually get renewed for a shorter episode order), fans suspected this could be the CBS procedural's swan song. And luckily, it wasn't the show's last — but Season 15 will be.

'Criminal Minds' Executive Producer Erica Messer Teases a 'Season of Reflection'See Also

'Criminal Minds' Executive Producer Erica Messer Teases a 'Season of Reflection'

She also talks about the series' milestone 300th episode, and how a shorter season changes things.

Revealed earlier this year, CBS renewed Criminal Minds for a 10-episode 15th and final season, according to Deadline. The episode count is down from Season 14's 15-episode schedule.

Executive producer Erica Messer told TV Insider in October of 2018 that she asked the network to give her fair warning if a cancellation was coming so she could prepare for the fans. "I don't have the endgame in mind yet," she said at the time. "I said to CBS if you know it's coming, let me know so I can think of it."

Messer also shared that any ending would leave the story open to continue at a later date, explaining, "Ideally, there's a way to end the show if it has to end in this incarnation. There's also a way to undue that little ribbon and open it up again and keep telling stories because we're never going to run out of good guys catching bad guys. I would love to be able to see this brand live on for a very long time."

'Criminal Minds' EP on Garcia's Darker Side, Reid's Recovery & Rossi's RomanceSee Also

'Criminal Minds' EP on Garcia's Darker Side, Reid's Recovery & Rossi's Romance

Does EP Erica Messer have an endgame for the long-running series?

Now that the end is in sight, we're rounding up 9 characters we'd like to see return before the series finale. Click through the gallery above to find out who made the list.

Criminal Minds, Season 15, TBA, CBS