More like the glue of the franchise really, since she was the only character to appear on all three Criminal Minds series, the original and both of its shorter-lived spin-offs, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviors and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. In addition, she appeared in all but one episode of the original series. And her value to the team was obvious, according to one commenter: “They wouldn’t be able to solve any cases without her!”
Multiple fans actually mentioned how helpless the BAU team would be without her, citing episodes as old as the fourth season and as recent as the thirteenth to make their case. “That was irrefutably proven during the Linda Barnes arc in season 13,” wrote u/ReidsMyFavorite. “The guy they got to ‘replace’ Garcia was a complete dud who couldn’t hack his way out of a paper bag, and the team really struggled to get anything done without her.”
But many of the posters pointed out how the value Garcia brings to the show extends beyond her contributions to the plot and the mystery of the week. She is a breath of fresh air on the team, a refreshing counterbalance to the serial killers and the stone-faced law enforcement officers out to get them.