'Criminal Minds' Explores Penelope Garcia's Tragic Past

A week before the two-hour season finale, Criminal Minds shone a spotlight on one of its most beloved characters.

As the Behavioral Analysis Unit assisted the Center for Disease Control investigating a bioterrorism suspect, Penelope Garcia (Kristen Vangsness) works remotely from California, where she is visiting her stepbrother as her family deals with a difficult family situation.

It is revealed early in the episode that Garcia's parents died after a drunk driver hit them in a traffic accident. The person responsible is up for parole and her stepbrother Carlos (Sebastian Sozzi) is determined to see him stay behind bars.

In San Francisco, Garcia and Carlos share a sweet moment, but her brother also teases her for staying away from home for so long.

"You're busy, and you have a super cool and important job, and I get it... everyone is really proud of you, I know mom and dad would be too. If only they could see you now," Carlos says.

Carlos mentions he's grateful to his sister for sending tulips to her parent's grave every year for their parents' anniversaries, but Garcia is confused because she was not the one who did it.

After hanging up with the BAU, Garcia gets a call from a mysterious person who leaves her upset and fans wondering.

Later in the episode, Garcia sits alone at a park and she remembers her parents. Through flashbacks, viewers can see a teenage Penelope getting a note from her parents saying they went out to look for her after she had stayed out late.

Viewers then find out that was the night her parents died.

Penelope then meets with the sister of the man who crashed into her parents that night. She reveals he is the one who pays for the tulips that are sent every year to her parents' grave.

"Jesse is sorry for what he did... it was an accident," she said.

Penelope is adamant to forgive Jesse at first, and she is put in a hard place by Carlos when he asks her to give he testimony against his release for him. She agrees but decides to stop by the prison to talk to Jesse herself.

Jesse apologizes to Garcia for his mistake but knows he deserves to be in prison for what he did. Garcia tells him there is nothing he can do to make up for what her family lost and he agrees to stop sending the flowers to her parents' grave.

After the team solves the case of the week, Garcia gives her statement to the parole board. She states that was the worst day of her life, but holding on to the grudge won't bring them back so she advocates for Jesse to be released so they can all move on with their lives, despite her stepbrother's wishes.

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Garcia confesses to her brother that she was responsible for her parents being out so late. Brokenherted, Carlos says he can't even look at her sister as he walks away. The episode ends with Garcia visiting her parents' grave and apologizing for her part in their tragic death.

The two-hour Criminal Minds season finale will airs Wednesday April 18 starting at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.