Prentiss’ Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 2 Story Nods Back To Her Past, Teases Showrunner


Emily Prentiss’ Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2 arc will have ties to her past, showrunner Erica Messer reveals. Paget Brewster may not be an original cast member of the hit CBS police procedural, but she is part of the core ensemble that is widely regarded as the best roster of profilers on the show. Starting out as a member of the team, Prentiss was eventually promoted to BAU chief after Aaron Hotchner’s unexpected departure from Criminal Minds. Now, she continues to spearhead the FBI’s special unit as they delve into the Gold Star mystery in Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2.

Previewing what’s ahead for the BAU ahead of the Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2 premiere, Messer teases Prentiss’ story in the upcoming year. While she doesn’t get into specifics, the showrunner says that the new challenges posed by Deputy Director Bailey’s death and the burgeoning case regarding Gold Star would reference Prentiss’ “clandestine past” in a new interview with TV Line. Read her full quote below:

She does ! Last season’s premiere had Rossi in a pretty dark place, where he was in a grief-induced depression and became a workaholic. He kind of went back to his old ways of doing things by himself and not counting on the team. When this season opens up, you realize that in these two weeks [Prentiss] has kind of gone down that path of “I’m putting these puzzle pieces together and I don’t want to tell the team about it yet. One, because I don’t want anybody else to die. I know that Doug Bailey being killed wasn’t exactly my fault, but it wasn’t exactly not my fault.” She’s having a little survivor’s guilt over, “Was there something I could have done to stop him from going to talk face-to-face with Voit?” She’s struggling with that quite a bit. The deeper she digs into all of this, the more intricate the web becomes.

And to have [neighbor] Brian Garrity (returning Season 15 guest star Paul F. Tompkins) even mentioning names and code words when there’s no reason this person should have any idea what this is – How the hell does he know this stuff? — it’s a little nod to the Emily Prentiss of old who had a bit of a clandestine past. It’s kind of bringing up a bit of that in her character. She didn’t trade places with Rossi, because Rossi has his own trauma going on after being a victim of Elias Voit’s, so they both have a lot going on.


Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 2 Needs To Give Prentiss A Personal Arc
Prentiss’ Arcs Have Always Been Tied To Her Work

While the Paramount+ revival of the police procedural has some big changes from its predecessor, primarily its storytelling format, it is technically just a continuation of the CBS project. Because of this, Messer has a wealth of history to mine inspiration from for its professional and personal cases, and based on her aforementioned quote, they are doing that for Brewster’s character this upcoming year. That said, Criminal Minds: Evolution season 2 needs to go beyond Prentiss’ role as the BAU chief and a member of the FBI, which has been the focus of her revival arc thus far.

One of the perks of Criminal Minds: Evolution’s longer narrative format is its ability to interweave the profilers’ personal lives with what’s happening with their cases.

One of the perks of Criminal Minds: Evolution’s longer narrative format is its ability to interweave the profilers’ personal lives with what’s happening with their cases. That was the case for Dave Rossi in season 1, as he grappled with the death of his wife, Krystall at the height of the global pandemic. The same goes for Tara Lewis and Penelope Garcia, whose respective romantic interests posed more complications to their work at the BAU. Prentiss has yet to have any kind of arc outside her job, and that’s a disservice to her dynamic character who has an interesting background.

Based on Messer’s quote, however, the procedural’s sophomore year will include a peek into Prentiss’ life after she goes home. It’s uncertain if Brian Garrity, who makes his Criminal Minds: Evolution cast debut after being introduced in the original series, will be a friend or foe in her life, however. Nonetheless, his return to the show is certainly peculiar timing.

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