The rebooted Criminal Minds is returning for season 16, and this is how every confirmed forged member and character can choose up proper the place they left off. 2021 marked the primary yr Criminal Minds was not on the air since September 2005, with the collection finale arriving in 2020 and marking the top of a stellar 15-year run. However, per Deadline, this hiatus proved to be very short-lived certainly, with a ten-episode revival of the collection confirmed as in improvement by Paramount+ in February 2021. The BAU has had many members come and go throughout its preliminary 15-year run, so who’s coming again for Criminal Minds season 16?


Six original Criminal Minds cast members are poised to enter negotiations with the collection’ new streaming residence Paramount+. Returning Criminal Minds characters embody Rossi (Joe Mantegna), Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), Alvez (Adam Rodriguez), JJ (A.J. Cook), Lewis (Aisha Tyler), and Prentiss (Paget Brewster). Two fan-favorite characters presently not within the body to return at this stage of improvement are Criminal Minds mainstay Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), and Simmons (Daniel Henney), who migrated from spinoff collection Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders in season 13. Henney is presently tied to Amazon Prime Video’s highly-successful fantasy collection The Wheel of Time, whereas Gubler’s causes for not returning to the Criminal Minds setup stay unknown thus far.

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That’s who’s returning for Criminal Minds season 16, however names and faces aren’t the one consideration. Season 15 was supposed to be the final time audiences would be a part of the BAU as they analyzed UnSubs and foiled the plans of serial killers, skilled hitmen, home terrorists, and all the pieces in between. The query of how every of the confirmed characters can return throughout Criminal Minds season 16 boils all the way down to the place every character’s respective story arcs left off. Faces similar to Jennifer Jareau (A.J. Cook) will slip again simply into the reboot’s setting given their continued affiliation with the BAU, whereas different characters similar to Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) could require a extra detailed rationalization of their journey again to Quantico. Here’s how every of the six confirmed Criminal Minds characters can return for season 16, in addition to the place every character’s storyline ended within the season 15 finale.

David Rossi

Criminal Minds David Rossi

Joe Mantegna’s David Rossi has been a main cast member of the Criminal Minds franchise since 2007 when he made his first look in season 3, episode 6, “About Face.” The Criminal Minds finale sees Rossi nonetheless wrestling with whether or not or to not re-retire from the BAU after being shot by an UnSub and reminded of his personal mortality on the finish of season 15. Ultimately, Rossi reneges on his oft-planned retirement as a result of how a lot the division means to him, as an alternative utilizing his prearranged retirement celebration as a becoming send-off for Penelope Garcia. Rossi’s return to the fray is probably the best of all to orchestrate in Criminal Minds season 16, given he canonically nonetheless leads the BAU group and stays as fierce a particular agent as he was in 2007 when Agent Hotchner (Thomas Gibson) coaxed him out of his early retirement plans.

Penelope Garcia

Penelope Garcia tells Xander about her favorite movies in Criminal Minds

Among everybody who’s coming again for Criminal Minds season 16, one character returns after leaving the BAU following a historic 15-year stint. This is, in fact, fan-favorite and mainstay since season 1 Penelope Garcia. At the top of season 15, Penelope decides to maneuver on from the BAU, taking a job at a non-profit (conveniently situated close to Rossi’s home), and likewise breaks her character’s cycle of (usually self-enforced) loneliness by accepting love-interest Luke Alvez’s (Adam Rodriguez) date proposal on the finish of the season. Bringing Penelope again for Criminal Minds season 16 is a brilliant transfer from the reboot, significantly given her significance to the collection because the emotional, human core of the BAU. However, the incredibly quotable Penelope‘s return is probably the most troublesome to ascertain since she left the BAU to guard her psychological well being on the finish of season 15. A possible possibility for Criminal Minds is to have Penelope return by means of her emotional attachment to the BAU. It’s unlikely she’ll really feel the identical connection to her non-profit job because the BAU. Since Alvez can be again there’s an opportunity that her new flame might be in bother himself, because it would not be the primary time a member of the BAU has discovered themselves changing into an UnSub’s goal.

Luke Alvez

Criminal Minds Luke Alvez

Adam Rodriguez’s Luke Alvez represents the brand new, youthful core of the BAU after his character was launched to fill the void left by Derek Morgan’s (Shemar Moore) departure on the finish of season 11. Alvez goes by means of his personal trials and tribulations throughout a three-season character arc, together with his biggest problem arriving after he and Matt Simmons (The Wheel of Time‘s Daniel Henney) are kidnapped in season 15, episode 5, “Ghost.” Like Rossi earlier than him, Alvez ends the Criminal Minds finale nonetheless working for the BAU, making his re-integration into the collection a seamless proposition for season 16.

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Jennifer Jareau

Jennifer Jareau’s arc is certainly one of Criminal Minds‘ most intensive examples of character improvement, with JJ present process three title adjustments and several other harrowing undercover assignments along with beginning a household along with her eventual husband, Will LaMontagne, Jr. (Josh Stewart). Jareau’s story in Criminal Minds season 15 consists of resolving her unrequited love for Spencer Reid, recovering from being shot within the season opener, and wrestling with taking a brand new job in New Orleans that may be extra appropriate for her younger household. Ultimately, the finale’s remaining scene because the BAU group toasts Garcia confirms Jareau is staying at Quantico, establishing her straightforward return as a part of Criminal Minds’ season 16 core agent group.

Tara Lewis

Aisha Tyler in Criminal Minds

Another returning Criminal Minds reboot character is Dr. Tara Lewis (Aisha Tyler), who joined the BAU completely from season 12 onwards after her heroics apprehending a number of vicious offenders. Given her dismay at quickly leaving the BAU in season 11, Lewis ends Criminal Minds season 15 precisely the place she deserves to be – surrounded by Rossi and the remainder of her colleagues at Garcia’s farewell celebration. Lewis’ frequent journeys away from the BAU to interview serial killers for analysis functions not solely permit her character’s inclusion within the storyline to be versatile as Criminal Minds season 16 begins, however can be a powerful supply of narrative choices for the Criminal Minds showrunners ought to they wish to discover extra of the psychological cat-and-mouse video games that characterised Lewis’ early seasons within the collection.

Emily Prentiss

Criminal Minds Emily Prentiss

The remaining returning core character for Criminal Minds season 16 is Emily Prentiss (Community‘s Paget Brewster), who’s canonically the present BAU Unit Chief. Prentiss’ season 15 ending carries shades of her abrupt season 7 departure following JJ’s marriage ceremony (additionally in Rossi’s yard), after which she didn’t return to the group till season 12 some 5 years later. This time round, nevertheless, Prentiss’ season 15 story ends on a extra optimistic be aware, with the Unit Chief in a position to hold her job regardless of her failings within the collection’ penultimate Everett Lynch (Michael Mosley) case, as nicely proven house-hunting along with her new associate Andrew Mendoza (Stephen Bishop) after famously struggling to domesticate significant exterior of labor relationships. Like lots of her colleagues listed above, Prentiss’ deep roots at Quantico means she is going to seemingly function closely within the Criminal Minds season 16 reboot in her Unit Chief function.

The Criminal Minds Cast Who Aren’t Confirmed For Season 16

Matthew Gray Gubler as Spencer Reid in Criminal Minds

Several forged members have not been confirmed for Season 16 of Criminal Minds. Daniel Henney, who performs Matt Simmons from season 13 onwards, is presently concerned in Amazon Prime Video’s Wheel Of Time. It might be that scheduling or contract points forestall him from returning to Criminal Minds, or he might be taking the chance to not return and push his profession past the world of the BAU and Criminal Minds’ varied spinoff collection. The most notable absence is Matthew Gray Gubler. Matthew Gray Gubler is without doubt one of the solely forged members to have been in all 15 seasons of Criminal Minds to this point. His character, genius analyst Dr. Spencer Reid, is barely rivaled by Garcia in reputation. His absence is notable, a lot in order that many followers are questioning how profitable a Criminal Minds revival can be without Reid. Gubler additionally directed many episodes of Criminal Minds, so his earlier involvement with the franchise was heavy, to say the least. Many followers have their fingers crossed that the shortage of Matthew Gray Gubler Criminal Minds season 16 information to this point is not a sign that Spencer Reid has parted methods with the BAU eternally.

Related: Criminal Minds Revival’s Darkest Theory Means Morgan Must Return

Other earlier forged members unlikely to return embody Shemar Moore as Derek Morgan and Thomas Gibson’s Aaron Hotchner. Morgan remains to be alive in Criminal Minds, returning for a number of cameo episodes after his BAU departure on the finish of season 11. While the present might convey Morgan again there’s nothing that signifies it should occur, particularly since Shemar Moore is pursuing film appearances after his function in Sonic 2, and has been the star of S.W.A.T. on CBS since 2017. As for Thomas Gibson, he was famously dropped from Criminal Minds after an onset altercation and problematic habits all through filming led to his dismissal. Unlike different BAU Alumni, Hotchner is barely talked about by the remaining BAU. He and his son enter witness safety, and that is just about the top of that. For many viewers, this wasn’t an enormous loss. The stern and stoic Hotchner was hardly a fan favourite, and subsequent leaders like Rossi, JJ, and Prentiss really feel like a lot better suits for taking the BAU’s helm. Since there is no fan demand for Hotchner, the present forged most likely will not work with Gibson, and the narrative must tie itself in knots to convey him again, it is just about a assure Hotch won’t return for season 16 of Criminal Minds.

Does Emily Prentiss Come Back In Season 16 Of Criminal Minds?

Emily Prentiss talks to Aaron Hotchner in Criminal Minds

As talked about, Emily Prentiss is coming again for Criminal Minds season 16. Prentiss first joined the BAU in season 2. However, like most of the different characters, she took hiatuses in varied seasons (though she was by no means removed from the present, being talked about and showing in cameos all through). In Season 15 Prentiss was the BAU’s unit chief, main the group all through varied instances together with the two-season lengthy hunt for Everett Lynch, AKA The Chameleon. Since Prentiss has been an on-again, off-again member of the BAU, some followers questioned if Pagit Brewster would return for season 16, or if the surprising continuation of Criminal Minds would see her written out to pursue a life with Mendoza in D.C. However, an update from Paget Brewster in June 2022 assured followers that she and the remainder of the aforementioned confirmed BAU alumni could be again for season 16 when Criminal Minds returns on Paramount+, each time the release date finally ends up being.

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