Penelope Garcia, played by Kirsten Vangsness, was the team’s technical analyst, their computer wizard. Not only did she have the world at her fingertips, but she also had fans (and Derek Morgan, of course) wrapped around those stylish fingers. A decade-plus of dedication to the Behavioral Analysis Unit made saying goodbye a difficult task for Vangsness. In an interview with CBS’s Watch!, she described ending the show as “an ambiguous loss” that gave her a “feeling of losing something you love, and that everything’s about to change.” Veangsness added, “In this case it’s not a person, thank goodness. But still, in the middle of a scene, it hits you. But you can’t cry; you have all this makeup on.”
“Plus, what are you crying for? It’s been such an incredible experience…I love these people,” she says. Then, almost as if some part of her is still in character, she adds, “No, sir. I’m not crying. You’re crying.” She was, indeed, crying.
Unlike the rest of us, however, Vangsness will always have a piece of Garcia — 65 pieces, to be exact — with her. “I can tell you what I won’t miss,” she said. “Garcia’s glasses — because I have them all already. I’ve bought every pair she’s ever worn, so I have a collection of around 65 at home. They remind me to be confident like her, to see life through her eyes.” Fifteen years later, and Vangsness is still drawing inspiration from Garcia.