Criminal Minds: Evolution has been missing one of its main characters from the original show, but now it has set up a way for Dr. Reid to return.

Warning! SPOILERS for season 1 of Criminal Minds: Evolution!

Now that Criminal Minds: Evolution season 1 is over, it may have set up a way for Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) to return. Criminal Minds: Evolution reintroduced the police procedural with a strong story and villain tied to global events while also interweaving character development for some of the returning members of the cast, including David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) and Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness). But despite this strong showing for the season, one glaring absence is still very apparent: Dr. Spencer Reid. With the character’s popularity, it’s interesting to examine how Criminal Minds: Evolution plans to bring the fan-favorite character back.

Criminal Minds: Evolution is a continuation of the show that ran for 15 seasons from 2005. The revival saw the return of many of the original Criminal Minds cast members, including Luke Alvez (Adam Rodriguez), Jennifer Jareau (A.J. Cook), Tara Lewis (Aisha Tyler), and Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) as they faced off against a serial killer who created a network of others like him during the pandemic. As he was one of the biggest main characters of the original show, Dr. Reid’s absence was very noticeable, although the network narratively justified his absence by saying Reid was on an assignment with Matt Simmons (Daniel Henney), and that they could return once their case was completed.

Related: Criminal Minds: Evolution Cast & Character Guide

Criminal Minds: Evolution S1’s Ending Hints At A Possible Reid Return


However, it’s possible that Reid’s hiatus from Criminal Minds: Evolution is ending, as the cliffhanger conclusion of season 1 offered an opportunity for the character’s return. The mysterious person who enters the interrogation room to confront Elias Voit, aka Sicarus (Zach Gilford), could be all the setup Paramount needs to return Gray Gubler’s Reid to the series. This is especially true with Voit taken into custody, as he revealed he knows some classified information related to the mysterious phrase ‘gold star.’ Reid’s return would make even more sense in this context given that the stakes have been raised with Voit’s knowledge because the scientist would be a valuable asset for delicate negotiations.

How Spencer Reid Would Change Criminal Minds: Evolution Season 2


Reid’s return could mark an inflection point for Criminal Minds: Evolution’s narrative. Most critically, he could begin something of a cat-and-mouse game with Voit that could be key to the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) discovering more about ‘gold star.’ This could be especially important given that this plot thread involves the FBI itself, so Reid’s knowledge of human behavior and psychology could be helpful in terms of the subterfuge investigating the ‘gold star’ mystery could demand. Plus, Reid’s expertise could be necessary in dealing with Voit given the killer’s intelligence, calculating nature, and his knowledge that he has a bargaining chip in ‘gold star.’

As well as this, Reid’s return could also shift the BAU’s dynamics. Many of the characters have experienced significant trials or growth, including the death of Rossi’s wife and Garcia’s greater confidence and self-assurance. Adding Reid back into the mix and examining how he responded to the intervening years between the original show and the revival would be sure to make season 2 of Criminal Minds: Evolution more complex.

More: Criminal Minds Reboot Reveals What Happened To Matthew Gray Gubler’s Reid

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