Criminal Minds is bringing back several familiar faces for its special 300th episode — including Luke Perry.
Perry appeared in the long running series back in season 4 as cult leader Benjamin Cyrus. Longtime fans will remember that Perry's character died in the episode "Minimal Loss" — but executive producer Erica Messer told Entertainment Weekly not to worry about that detail.
"The plot will make sense," she said, adding that several others will be brought back for the episode.
Viewers who have tuned in since the CBS show's pilot in 2005 will appreciate the move from Messer, who said that she'll do "a lot of exploration of the history of the show in the 300th episode, right from jump. Even when we would normally be doing a 'previously on Criminal Minds,' we give a little history lesson of the current team on the show."
Messer says to expect many familiar faces to pop up in the season 14 premiere on Oct. 3.
"It's acknowledging the talent and history of those people," she said.
The returning main cast includes Joe Mantegna (David Rossi), Paget Brewster (Emily Prentiss), Matthew Gray Gubler (Dr. Spencer Reid), A.J. Cook (J.J.), Aisha Tyler (Dr. Tara Lewis), and Kirsten Vangsness (Penelope Garcia).
Several cast members will direct a handful of season 14 episodes, with Cook making her directorial debut. Gubler, Mantegna, Tyler and Rodriguez will also sit in the director's chair for an episode. It will be Gubler's 12th directed episode, Mantegna's ninth and Tyler and Rodriguez's second.
CBS ordered 15 episodes for season 14, which is seven less than the previous season orders of around 22, although Messer says that's more than enough time for dramatic storytelling.
“There’s always a chance there’s more,” Messer told TVLine. “But at this point, we’re going with the 15 order, and I’m planning for that in terms of storytelling.”
In a sneak peek of the premiere, CBS revealed in a press release some details of what fans can expect.
"When Reid and Garcia are abducted by Benjamin Merva (Michael Hogan), it’s up to the rest of the team to find them," the press release reads. "The BAU finds surprising clues in their own history to solve why the two heroes have been targeted by a mass murderer. It’s a race to save them before a 'Believers' prophecy is fulfilled..."
Season 13 ended on a cliffhanger when Reid discovered that the FBI mole who had been detailing the team's investigation was Special Agent Mary Meadows (Karen David), who Reid held up at gunpoint. Simultaneously, it was revealed that Garcia had been taken hostage by the cult Meadows was involved with, leaving Meadows to use Reid as an ultimatum to help her cult or risk Garcia's life.
"They feel like two incredibly important pieces to our team, who won't be available if they're held captive. They won't be available to help us solve the case, which is crazy," Messer told TV Guide. "The challenges we're coming up with now are, 'Gosh, if we have two of our MVPs sitting on the sidelines here, what can we do? What clues do they possibly leave behind for us to help find where they're being held or how we help to solve this case without them?' It's one of the first times, I think, we've ever been without, truly, truly without the help of both of them."
Criminal Minds returns on Wednesday, Oct. 3 on CBS with its 300th episode.