As the saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens, and it’s certainly true in the case of Wednesday’s (March 30) episode of “Criminal Minds.”
Even as viewers are still reeling at the exit of Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) from the show, they were treated to a visit from an old and beloved member of the team, Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster). Her visit might not be as permanent as most would have liked, but it was still nice to see her back at the BAU for a short while.
After the BAU gets a call from Emily, begging them to help her chase down an international serial killer, the team heads to New York City and Chicago, hot on the trail of a copy-cat killer hellbent on recreating some of history’s most famous murders.
Meanwhile, Emily is haunted by this Unsub’s previous victims, one of which was an undercover police officer, whom Emily put directly in his path. Wracked with guilt over the girl’s death, Emily faces nightmares every night, which eventually hold the key to the killer’s identity.
Focusing so much of the episode around Emily’s hunt for the Unsub and her guilt over events that happened off screen normally would have felt a little strange, but the nostalgia factor saved the day.
The joy most fans felt at seeing everyone back together again, and the many reunions of the original team members was a great way to ease the pain of Moore’s exit.
While it might have been nice to see more of a reaction to the loss of Morgan — Emily and Garcia’s toast in Morgan’s office was great but just not enough — it’s understandable that the show would want to gloss over the topic. Since Moore doesn’t plan to come back, it’s probably best not to draw too much attention to his absence.
Still, Emily Prentiss won’t always be around to throw a deep-voiced “baby girl” around in his stead, so it remains to be seen if “Criminal Minds” will still feel the same without an exciting guest star to distract us.
In the meantime, go rewatch the family dinner scene a few times to fill up on those feel-good moments.
“Criminal Minds” airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS