Criminal Minds

Wednesdays 9:00 PM on CBS
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Criminal Minds Review: Let Me Go ...

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After weeks of ominous buildup, the time came for Emily Prentiss to deal with Ian Doyle once and for all. But would she survive this IRA villain's malicious intentions?

As the BAU profiled one of its own to prevent a terrorist from shattering the "family," Prentiss again took matters into her own hand as she confronted nemesis Doyle.

In what was a gripping final episode wrought with violence, emotion and suspense, Paget Brewster's character left Criminal Minds last night, but with a surprise twist.

Prentiss in Trouble

If this was her last turn as Prentiss, Paget Brewster left on a strong note.

Following a gruesome fight to the death with Doyle, we were led to believe Prentiss perished in Morgan's arms, pleading with him, "Let me go," with her final breaths.

Perhaps he did, but not in the way we thought.

In the episode's closing moments, Prentiss was shown (presumably) only from the rear at an outdoor cafe in Paris, implying she somehow escaped death by stake.

Unlike The Vampire Diaries, there are no mystical rules that could have saved her after being impaled. Yet there she was, living to fight another day, in a new life.

The episode title, “Lauren,” referred to the secret alter ego of Emily. Will she assume that alias again, or adopt a new one? And will we ever see Prentiss' face again?

As much as I like the character, the open-ended conclusion seemed a bit out of place. They even went as far as having a funeral for her? It was just a little bizarre.

Maybe Emily really will return? It was an awfully long buildup to her demise in any case, only to be faked out in the closing moments. But it was a strong episode.

Timothy V. Murphy’s Ian Doyle was as convincing as a bad guy gets on TV, and the climactic fight scene as gruesome as you'll see. Parts of it were hard to stomach.

A major highlight for me was Kirsten Vangsness’ Garcia showing so much emotion over these events, especially given how the BAU "family" is trained not to do so.

The possibility of losing their colleague definitely hit Garcia and Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler, who directed the episode) the hardest, and the actors played this well.

Matthew's direction was also excellent. Cutting between the past and present scenes could have easily been hokey, but it was done seamlessly and effectively.

Criminal Minds Scene

A.J. Cook returned to Criminal Minds last night.

While she obviously took a back seat to Brewster, it was great to see A.J. Cook back for this one episode as J.J. We can only hope it wasn't her last appearance as well.

It was J.J. who told the others Prentiss assumed the identity of Lauren, that Doyle was their last case, and that Prentiss went undercover on it because she's his type.

In France, it was J.J. who hooked Emily up with her new identity before she disappeared. A.J. playing a central role in Paget's exit was both bittersweet and compelling.

Brewster will be missed on Criminal Minds. I doubt I'll be the only one to say that. Her style was a nice counterbalance to some of the melodrama exhibited by others.

Her last episode really had the feel of a season or series finale, didn't it? That's a compliment to the cast and crew, but it had an air of finality. Certainly momentous.

It's hard to imagine the show just picking up with a standard installment in two weeks, but we'll be watching when it does, of course (and missing our favorite ladies).

What did you think of last night's Criminal Minds? Can the show be as good as it has been without these terrific female characters? Discuss below.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (257 Votes)

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

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the new bau show sucks and is really bad, liked the episode but they should have killed doyle. I dont think the show can survive with

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I have tried to give the new show a chance but it just is

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Cheap shot to get rid of JJ and then put a bad acting look alike in her place. She has no charisma and no appeal to me. Get someone totally different and interesting, or better yet, BRING BACK OUR 2 LADIES! Do NOT like CM Suspect Behavior, will not watch another episode. CBS, save your money for returning the two stars you made the HUGE MISTAKE of firing!

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Bring them back, use to be one of my favorite shows now I am having a hard time with it, not happy with the changes, What's the old saying if it aint broke why fix it.....very disappointed.

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Bring back JJ and Emily!! Get rid of Seavers! I'm terribly upset here! I really am. Criminal Minds is my FAVORITE show, and now this? Really? Come on!! GET RID OF THE NEW ONE...you can't replace 2 amazing female characters with THIS! LAME!

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I think emily and jj should come back its pretty messed up how they put emily in witness protection and then on the other hand they take jj off the show..i think that new girl should leave and emily come back on the show and jj also i love you jj and emily and i think there should be an episode that doyle comes back and morgan kill him which is called self-defence and them emily comes back and her and morgan get together as a couple:) them jj should already come back in the news ones:) and if emily and jj dont come back them no one will watch the show and reid your kinda cute:) lol..well i hope you come back guys and also i think morgan is cute too:)

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I agree !!! Please bring the old show back. I tried the new one and although I like the actors I just cant get into it. And I miss the old cast SOOOO much !!!!

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I'm sad to see JJ and Prentiss gone, but I think the new girl's OK. But since Doyle escaped I hope they bring him back and make sure his dead this time. Hopefully with the help of JJ and Prentiss, and why not Clyde?? I really like to see him again not to mention I think he had something to do with the faking of Prentiss death additionally to JJ and Hotch (who obviously seem to knows). Also wonder how the team will react if (which I really hope they do) find out Prentiss isn't dead and that JJ and Hotch knew??

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Why ruin a perfect show?? It will never be the same without JJ and Prentiss but expecially JJ!! I love all the other cast members but do NOT care for JJs replacement! Why replace her with someone who looks so much like her but cannot act? Criminal Minds is one of favorite shows and during the winter I watch reruns constantly! Bring JJ and Prentiss back!!

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Prentiss was not one of my favorite characters. I thought JJ was more interesting and important to the show providing honest emotion and professionalism. Garcia was interesting in the past but her histrionics are becoming as annoying as her changing hair color. The earlier effort to use her as a replacement for JJ was misguided. Joe Mantegna and his darkening hair brings too much heaviness to the show. Mandy P provided a good balance to Thomas G. What is with Morgan's eyebrows? The acting is wonderful and the characters, especially Reed and Hotch remain interesting and complex but I want JJ back. Doyle is a great villain and I hope that he is brought back several times. I also think it would be great if Reed killed him next season. Love the show and my husband is now addicted to the re-runs.

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