Criminal Minds Review: Meet Ashley Seaver

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This week's Criminal Minds episode featured the debut of Rachel Nichols as FBI cadet Ashley Seaver. Anticipating many viewers' preconceived hatred of Seaver after the dubious exit of popular J.J., the episode seemed tailored to make us NOT hate her.

As a result, the resolution of "What Happens at Home" was fairly predictable. You had a feeling from the onset that she would be in a pivotal situation at the end, showcasing her profiling and negotiating chops. Lo and behold that's exactly what happened.

Rachel Nichols on Criminal Minds

Seaver (center) with Prentiss and Morgan.

It's impossible to assess her on the basis of one episode, or predict how Ashley will mesh with the team over the rest of the season, but Nichols held her own in the episode.

The outpouring of love for A.J. Cook after J.J.'s final episode makes it hard to embrace the new character without some degree of bitterness and questioning of the network.

A lot of us wish there was no casting shakeup to begin with, but we are where we are right now, and after Wednesday, we're intrigued by what Seaver brings to the table.

In a gated New Mexico community - the kind of place people live precisely so they don't have to worry about this sort of thing - an UnSub has been slaying women at night.

In their homes. Security camera footage reveals that no one entered or left the community around the time of the murders, either, making for nightmares across the board.

Before re-joining the team, Hotch first stops by a training area to meet recruit Seaver, a young agent with a unique perspective. Ashley's father was a notorious serial killer.

With the case hinging on pinpointing the suspect in a community where everyone knows and trusts each other, he feels he needs her help profiling the families of UnSubs.

With Seaver in tow, the BAU organizes a town meeting to see if they can flesh out anything suspicious. It worked, tragically, when a fourth woman winds up dead during it.

This killer is so cocky that he just narrowed the suspect list to a few dozen no-shows. While the dust settles from that, Seager decides to speak with the family of victim #3.

A New Team Member?

The new-look BAU.

She's got spunk, disobeying an order and venturing away from the team for a little solo investigating. Naturally, this leads us to the night's killer, with Ashley on her own.

The breakthrough comes when Seaver mentions to the victim's husband that the killer's family will be very sorry for what he did. The husband, Drew, flies off the handle.

Ashley knows what the family will think because she was the family in a similar case. Predictable and a bit melodramatic for sure, but that is why Hotch brought her in.

Aware that she's now staring down the killer in a life-or-death situation, her own childhood is the weapon she uses to get out of it in a quick-thinking, soul-bearing scene.

She admits that she still loves her dad despite all the unspeakable things he did, and coming clean is the only way to salvage what's left of the relationships he holds dear.

This was not the best the show has to offer in terms of plot, but did serve as a strong introduction to the new team member. The rest of the season should be interesting.

The BAU has always been a family, so it's hard to embrace a new member overnight. These things can take years, lifetimes. But we can see the potential there for sure.

What did you think of last night's Criminal Minds? Discuss!


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (91 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


I CANT STAND SEAVER!!! it seems like their almost trying to make her replace j.j. she looks and dresses a lot like her and ALL she ever does is complain and ask way too many questions. She doesn't belong to the team at all and if she even comes close to reid, ill stop watching the show for good. She's completely inexperienced and has no clue what she's doing.


i ABSOLUTELY hate the character of ashley seaver! is this the criteria for joining the team?? disobeying direct orders, making a lazy stubborn face while being confronted.. proud of being the daughter of a serial killer. and questioning her seniors as if she is their boss. i hate her over confidence. everyone who said she doesnt fit in with the others is absolutely right. im not going to watch this show anymore till she is insulted and kicked off the team.


I HATE THAT ASHLEY SEAVER CHICK! its not fair that she can be apart of such an elite team all becuz her stupid dad was a serial killer! it just ruins the whole concept of being a profiler. you have to have an elite brain. All seaver does is get in the way and ask to many questions. she just takes lines away from the other characters. I REALLY HOPE CHEIF STRAUSS KICKS HER OUT THE TEAM AND TELL HER SHE'S TO INEXPERIENCED TO BE APART OF THE BAU! oan she better stay away from reid! i dont want her stuck up annoying sell any were near REID! all she does is be mean to him any way. SHE IS SO PATHETIC!!


Ashleu... I didn't liked. The character is too 'push in'. I just saw the first episode in which she apparears and can only talk about this, but ... Father serial killer, anterior relation with 2 members of the team, Rossi and Hotch, awesome in FBI academy, Morgan flirting with her, and Garcia concluded that Reid thought she was pretty, and I know she'll be Prentiss pupil. She's young, beautiful, sweet. It is a character very 'calculated', even more than usual in any series/show. I do not like that kind of character. Too forced And as actress, Rachel Nichols is a very good dummy.


i miss jj thats not faair that they take all the females off


I DO NOT LIKE SEAVER ONE BIT. She's awful, bland, and I swear if she gets together with Reid on the show I'll stop watching it. She's too young and inexperienced to be in the BAU, brings nothing to the table, and disobeyed Hotch's orders! I mean seriously, if she was a genius like Reid is I could understand bringing her in so young but she's not. Get rid of her, and keep her away from Spencer!


Paget and AJ were some of the best actresses around, and to supposedly cut them for financial reasons before bringing in a completely new actress, and a completely and utterly ridiculous character who has no qualifications for the position and blatantly disregards the te orders delivered to her by Hotch, WHO kindly let her on the case. She brings nothing to the show and the supposed relationship between her and Spencer is just stupid. Get rid of her and stop making stupid decisions!


shame that when Hotch shoots the unsub he missed Seaver...


She does NOT fit with the dynamic of the show at all. She is too young, too inexperienced. I have not missed a single episode of Criminal Minds since season 1 and I have held on so far without JJ but this show is really going to hell with all the changes. The writers are treating the actors horribly and both AJ and Paget deserved better. It is no way to treat a hardworking actress. Both served as rolemodels to young women; to show that women were good at their jobs, had brains and were able to do things as well as men. And they go around cutting them out because of financial reasons? yeah right... finacial my ass.. you can afford a new actress (blonde and she even dressed the bloody same as JJ!)... who did she sleep with to land this job?


Just watched the episode in the UK, prepared to hate Seaver, and I think she was so like Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs, the ep was very derivative. I really miss JJ, it's amazing how much difference a character can make. Why change a formula that was working??? But whatever it is not the actress's fault and will give her the benefit of the doubt

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