Criminal Minds will end with its 15th season next year, and the series will provide fans with one last opportunity to see some of their favorite members of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit and criminals return.
On Thursday, CBS announced that Criminal Minds was renewed for a 10-episode final season, which will air during the 2019-2020 TV season.
Like many ensemble crime dramas, Criminal Minds has seen its cast change several times over the years. With a few exceptions, some have come back, including Paget Brewster. Still, a handful have never returned since leaving in the first place. Since their characters did not die though, the writers do not have to jump through hoops to bring them back.
“I am very hopeful that we can honor all of those characters who have been beloved and with this team, with the audience for years, but I don’t know what that’s going to look like; I don’t know the logistics of anything or the story," showrunner Erica Messer told Deadline. "That won’t be shooting until the spring, so I have some time to think about it, but the hope is to be able to honor all of that history, all of those heroes who have come and gone.”
Criminal Minds is now in its 14th season and airs on CBS Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET. Scroll on for a look at eight heroes and villains we would love to see return.
Unfortunately, Mandy Patinkin's Jason Gideon was killed off in a 2015 episode, years after Patinkin left the show. However, Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner could come back. However, actor Thomas Gibson's violent past behind-the-scenes could make that unlikely. The character was written off the show after Gibson got into an altercation with producer Virgil Williams. Gibson was initially suspended for two weeks before he was fired in August 2016.
At the end of Season 11, Shemar Moore left Criminal Minds to lead his own CBS show, S.W.A.T. However, he made guest appearances in Seasons 12 and 13 as his character, Derek Morgan. Derek was a star-making role for Moore and hopefully his ongoing relationship with CBS means fans get to say goodbye to him one last time.
Jennifer Love Hewitt had a one-season run on Criminal Minds as Kate Callahan. Hewitt left the show because she was pregnant, which was written into the show. Callahan's family was a big part of the season, and the character was written out so she could spend more time with her family. Hewitt now stars on FOX's 9-1-1.
Jane Lynch played Spencer Reid's (Mathew Gray Goobler) mother. During Season 11, she showed early signs of dementia when Reid visited her. Should we get a Spencer-centric episode in the final season, it would provide some closure to see where she is today.
When Penelope Garcia (Kristen Vangsness) needed a replacement, the writers brought in Kevin Lynch, played by Nicholas Brendon. Kevin became a romantic interest for Garcia. The relationship appeared to end in Season 7, but Kevin continued to appear in the show periodically until Season 10.
Criminal Minds became known for its preposterous, grotesque murders, going where no broadcast crime drama had ever gone before. One of the most horrific cases came in the Season 8 episode "The Lesson." Brad Dourif played Adam Rain, a serial killer who turns his victims into puppets after waking up from a coma. He killed three people and abducted four others. Adam did not die in the end of the episode, so he could come back somehow.
Back in Season 4, Jason Alexander stopped by to play against his usual types of characters. He starred as Henry Grace, who killed seven people and abducted five others. Henry was a narcissist, claiming he was better than everyone else and targeted women who looked like his ex-fiancee. In the episode, he challenged the BAU to find the women he killed. Henry was imprisoned, so he could conceivably help the BAU with a new case.
Many of the most disturbing Criminal Minds episodes ended with the killer dying. But one early episode with a particularly gruesome killer ended with the criminal being incarcerated. In the Season 3 episode "Lucky," the BAU met Floyd Feylinn Ferell, a Florida man who killed prostitutes and cooked them at his BBQ restaurant to eat them.