“Criminal Minds” long has been on my list of go-to rainy-day watches.
Yes, it’s a show about serial killers, pedophiles and generally bad people. But the reason I watch it is less for the gruesome aspects and more for the psychological.
This won’t be a huge surprise to most, as I have said many times that abnormal psychology fascinates me.
There is a certain appeal in how the Federal Bureau of Investigation profilers featured on the show dissect the psyches of criminals they are trying to catch.
But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the show is seeing exactly how dealing with horrific situations can affect the people who see such things day in and day out.
The profilers on this show each bear the scars of their job. Some have been held captive by the very criminals they try to bring to justice.
Just last year, two of the main characters who had been with the show since its inception in 2005 left.
Shemar Moore, who played Derek Morgan, left in season 11. He was followed by Thomas Gibson, who portrayed Aaron Hotchner.
Unfortunately, there was some controversy concerning Gibson’s departure.
I’ve heard several different stories as to what actually happened, but I choose to ignore them all — the gossip mill is not quite done, I believe.
Instead, I choose to mourn the loss of both characters. Gibson’s character has been through the ringer in the last 11 years, as has Moore’s.
However, their departures have made room for new characters and the return of one who has been absent for quite some time.
Paget Brewster, who plays Emily Prentiss on the show, was as a regular from 2006 to 2012. She signed on to be a full-time cast member in 2016.
Adam Rodriguez, who once was on “CSI: Miami,” was slated to replace Moore’s character when he left in the 11th season.
The other new face we will see is that of Damon Gupton.
There is no clear picture yet of who might step in to lead the Behavioral Analysis Unit team.
Part of me hopes it’s Spencer Reid, portrayed by Matthew Gray Gubler, but he still is the “kid” of the team.
Suffice to say, I think this season either will take a great leap forward or end in disaster.
With any luck, the balance that “Criminal Minds” has had for the last 11 years will remain, even with new characters.