'Criminal Minds: Evolution': So Far
Criminal Minds or rather... Criminal Minds: Evolution, the American police procedural series' 16th season was finally released on the 24th of last month. Despite earlier anouncements of their absence, many were very sad at the non apperance of long time cast member and fan favourite, Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gulber) and former IRT member, Matt Simmons (Daniel Henney).
Set 3 years after the events of the final episode of Season 15, the remaining members of the BAU have an even bigger challenge on their hands in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic. But first the big changes.
Prentiss is now Section Chief and facing new oppostion. Penelope, (Kirsten Vangsness), no longer n the BAU, is the creator of a new social media platform called '-Soar' and hosts baking parties in her apartment... AND still obnoxious towards Luke Alvarez (Adam Rodriguez) for no reason. One wonders why he's so patient with that flake, because this behaviour has gotten really old. Hmph. 🙄
Tara Lewis (Aisha Tyler) came out as bi when she unveiled her girlfriend, Department of Justice staff Rebecca Wilson (Nicole Pacent), who immediately turns out to be a valuable ally to the BAU. Rossi (Joe Mantegna), to our shock and sorrow, is a shadow of his old self, as he's still reeling from the death of his wife Krystall (Gail O'Grady) and living in a hotel room instead of his luxurious home. After rediscovering each other in Season 15 (Krystall was his 3rd ex wife) and remarrying in the episode, 'Truth of Dare', this was really a huge blow. It was honestly disheartening seeing Rossi so sad and embittered, lashing out and refusing to open up; after always being the one providing advice and a shoulder to cry on. J.J (A.J Cook) and Will (Josh Stewart) are still married, their firstborn Henry is now a teenager and dating, which causes J.J to fear she's missing out on several moments and her marriage fading, which is not possible after all the odds she and Will have beaten.
The big challenge... the BAU have to find and destroy a network of serial killers led by a man dubbed 'Sicarius', who may be their worst nemesis since Mr Scratch (Bhodi Elfman); so far two members have committed suicide afrer being cornered by the authorities, apparently it's a conditon before being allowed to join the Network.
The other big challenge is staying ahead of Deputy Director Doug Bailey (Nicholas D'Agosto), who thwarts Prentiss at every opportunity and revealed, by Rebecca, to be taking steps to shut down the BAU. Honestly... why is the BAU constantly targeted like this, we all thought after that scheming cow Ast. Director Linda Barnes (Kim Rhodes) was put in her place in the episode 'Last Gasp', that was the end of it, now the threat of shut down is back again, as if the BAU don't have enough to deal with!
So far, the show hasn't lost its quality but we hope the threat of shut down won't drag on until the final episode. At least, Rossi has managed to get back in his feet emotionally, while Penelope- after much hesitation- has returned to the BAU but we don't know who the current Unit Chief is, unless of course Prentiss is acting as both Unit and Section Chief. It's wishful thinking, but we hope Reid and Matt will make an appearance or even better, we will see the return of former Unit Chief , Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), for we really miss him.
One thing we do know, the BAU team will always be one step ahead.