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 love this show sooo much and I love "Derek Morgan"


Please explain to me what Seaver "brings to the table". Incompetence? An obvious and utter lack of experience? The chance to dumb down the show to insulting levels? An undermining of one of the show's principal conceits: that being a BAU profiler is an elite position one must earn? Also, I don't equate disobeying a direct order and stealing evidence so you can dump your personal issues all over people you think are the grieving family members of a murder victim with "spunk" - immaturity and idiocy, sure, but not "spunk". This character is useless and awful. She needs to go NOW.


I hate Seaver. She has no point to the show and is still a cadet. And she looks just like JJ. When i started watching it, I didn;t get a good look at her and got really excited because I thought they brought JJ back. why would they replace her with someone who looks just like her? And does anyone else think that they seem to be reducing the girls screen time on the show?


I thought the introduction was heavy handed with the back story, too much at once. The writers piled on a melodramatic, Mary-Sue-style back-story without us seeing the actual character yet. Also its hugely annoying she looks exactly like JJ, although I do like the actress. I would have preferred to hear more about JJs sisters death, and as they chopped Prentis's screentime to save money, it's also annoying they added a new character.


For those of you who really dislike Ashley Seaver, please sign this petition to remove her from CM! Remember to share the link with your friends!


I cannot stand the character of seaver...she is a pain and for a cadet just out of the academy she acts like she knows everything....she needs to go and go NOW!!!!!!!


I am guessing they hoped that she would bring more viewers but i don't get it they dropped a.j cook because they said financial. Not that the character of jj was my favorite it wasn't i just find her pointless. She is a dry actress in anything she does if they needed to bring someone in at least bring someone that is good not boring. I don't like her here and i didn't like her on alias i hope she does get somethig else and opts to leave. If an episode focus on her i probably won't watch but since she is just there i just wait till her scene passes


I think Seaver should leave. She is so pointless. I'm not all upset because JJ left, frankly she was not my favourite character on the show, but for the fact that she is a useless character. What does Seaver bring to the table? Nothing! She has no experience, is still a Cadet, and has no prolific experience. I mean come on producers, couldn't think of anything else? Honestly I will stop watching the show if she becomes a regular and Prentiss leaves. I mean I like the show to be tough and exciting and somewhat educational on psychology not about some stupid blonde whose to sensitive to be even near a crime scene let alone in the FBI. Get a hold of reality and cut her off soon. I like this show also not to be all lovey dovey in the BAU team, which I mean to say, I don't want her and Reid to fall in love. Cliche much? I mean CBS tried with JJ and it failed, now a new blonde comes so you try to see how Reid fits with her. I mean that is just really bad plot writing. All in all, Seaver got to go. I mean this show needs rating not the true die hard fans leaving. Listen to the viewers and get rid of her. Garcia is the only character that is allowed to be too emotional and we will love because of that. Seaver is useless and just not qualified enough to be part of the team. chatting123 is right, Criminal Minds viewers are not dumb. We can find lousy plot points like Seaver.


Go CBS! its ur lost anyway.. Just a Bad Luck for more episodes rating to come!


Sorry to say I have to say 'Thumbs down' on the new character. I don't doubt the actress did her best, but the character is so formulaic that Kate Hepburn would have difficulty making her credible. As someone else pointed out, a cadet joining an "elite" unit? Please. That's like having a Boy Scout seconded to the Green Berets. Having a father who was a serial killer gives you so unique a perspective you require little training and less experience in order to profile any and all types of rapists, pedophiles, kidnappers, murderers and their assorted disorders -- to limit the list very severely? Was her father a psychiatrist who gave her classes between murders?
All those plot holes aside, the 'young genius/near-genius rebel disobeys orders/finds murderer/displays unbelievable nerve/airs details from childhood trauma/displays understanding of Unsub more acute even than God's/isn't disciplined or fired because she's demonstrated how right she was and how wrong everyone else was' scenario has been done to death. If the writers want to add younger characters, fine, but please make any young female characters as intelligent and rational as the majority of young women actually are, and pass on the 'unique perspectives': there's already one genius on the team, and if there's anything more clearly indicative that the writers have burned out, it's when even the family cat has super-powers. To sum it up, imo this episode was Criminal Minds meets Crossing Jordan, and Criminal Minds lost.

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