Criminal Minds: Evolution Airs Two Years After Original Series Ends


Photo by Paramount+

The Criminal Minds reboot, Criminal Minds: Evolution, began Nov. 24. The 10-part series airs exclusively on Paramount+. Photo by Paramount +.

With its pilot episode premiering in September of 2005, “Criminal Minds” quickly became one of the most well-known shows and one of the most watched on Netflix. It ended in February 2020, but continued to be streamed on Netflix until late this June. The show has a huge and well-deserved fan base, and rumors of a reboot became real when news of “Criminal Minds: Evolution” came out.  

The first two episodes of the 10-part reboot came to Paramount Plus on Thanksgiving day. A new episode will release every Thursday. “Criminal Minds: Evolution” includes the return of many main characters such as Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), JJ (AJ Cook), Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), and Rossi (Joe Mantegna). Many fans were disappointed when the cast didn’t include popular characters like Spencer Reid, but there’s speculation that one of the missing characters could make an appearance in later episodes. But just like with every new season, there’s the addition of some annoying characters that live to make the team’s lives harder. The FBI’s Deputy Director Doug Bailey, played by Nicholas D’Agosto, already fills this role perfectly. 

The plot of the reboot came with the release of the trailer on Nov. 4. The show is set in the present day, following the COVID-19 pandemic. Serial killers around the country used the quarantine to set up a digital network of criminals that share resources. The team members’ separate cases reveal physical similarities, such as “kill kits” that pop up at every crime scene. These similarities become the uniting force that brings the characters back together, hopefully for the rest of the season.

The first episode opens with the members of the BAU spread out across the country, working on different and seemingly separate cases. It was a little confusing because some of the characters were living very different lives, and there were obvious plot holes that took some time to fill in. I thought the changes that took place were disappointing, but that could just be because of an attachment to the characters. However, it seems like the confusion in the first episode sets up an interesting reunion later on. 

I had high hopes for the reboot after loving the first 15 seasons. The first episode of season 16 left me slightly disappointed because I felt like I missed important pieces that happened between the end of season 15 and the beginning of the reboot. However, after watching the next couple of episodes, things began to improve. Hopefully, they only go up from here.