Criminal Minds Season Premiere Review: Welcome Returns

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Awwwww yeahhhh, J.J.'s back.

Okay, so technically she was back for the season six finale, but still, it's nice to see her face again. Also returning, from the literal dead, was Emily Prentiss. And Hotch... from Pakistan of all places? This season premiere had everything a show could offer and more: murder, covert identities, Garcia in cat eye glasses, Morgan's biceps and Agent Rossi speaking unnecessarily slowly. Oh, it's so good to have new episode of Criminal Minds on my TV again.

Put Your Hands Up!

First things first: Thank goodness CBS heeded fans' cries and brought about the return of A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster after their untimely exit last season. Cook gave us the inside track on what fans could expect (well, what she was allowed to reveal) and if you're like me you weren't disappointed by "It Takes A Village."

The premiere finds the BAU team scattered about the globe, disrupting the chemistry that makes them the most (imaginary) badass team of agents on the planet. Hotch - looking damn fine with a little scruff - returns from Pakistan to inform the team that Prentiss is, in fact, alive and it's like all the air was sucked right out of that room. Garcia's shock ("She's alive?!?") was beyond endearing, even though it took Morgan and Reid a little longer to absorb the news.

Moments like these are what primetime television viewers live for. 

Testifying Trio

So with J.J. and Prentiss back in the fold, the BAU team was left to defend its actions in the investigation of Ian Doyle and the recovery of his son, Declan. The trial was a fabulous vehicle to move us through the action, and let's face it, everyone loves a good flashback. Best part of the proceedings?

When Reid corrects the Senator and says, "It's doctor." Owww, way to put him in his place, Reid. Speaking of which, they're clearly trying to set up Matthew Gray Gubler's character's upcoming health problems this season because the circles under his eyes were just sad to see. And don't even get me started on his new haircut, there are no words.

Prentiss, for her part, is left to be the one who ultimately saves the BAU from further suspension and from being considered a "rogue team" liability. She faces off with Doyle and we are reminded why even a half-episode absence of her character is totally unacceptable. I enjoyed how Strauss wasn't the villain for once, but I can't say that I particularly enjoy her character, nor that of Agent Rossi. What can I say? I'm Team Gideon and I always will be.

Director Strauss

Things that were surprising this episode were that it was let casually slip that J.J.'s home life may not be intact (the reference to possible marriage troubles was quick but I don't think I'm mistaken, am I?) and that, to a larger degree, we saw the team do something we haven't seen before: use a suspect as barter for another. Even though we'd watched Doyle wreak havoc on the team for months, it was a genuine moment when Declan watched his father die, and I may have even gotten teary eyed. Maybe...

Hotch and Prentiss

It's obvious that, if the writing alone is any indication of what we're in for this season, the premiere set the tone for us to be riveted in the coming months. What's equally compelling as the profiling aspect on a show like Criminal Minds is the personal connection between the characters, and this group has it pitch perfect.

Without Prentiss or J.J., the BAU is missing something. Without Hotch's stoic-faced instructions, they'd be lost. And without the Garcia/Morgan flirtation (which initially grossed me out but now I love) it wouldn't be the same. Ending this episode with Prentiss reciting her oath was a fabulous touch, and I cannot wait to see what more we have to expect from the BAU this fall.

Wednesday nights just got a whole lot cooler again. For a look at what's on tap next week, check out the official Criminal Minds promo for "Proof."


Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (332 Votes)

i am also team gideon and i always will be


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Season 7 Episode 7x01 "It Takes A Village" SSA Derek Morgan, Media Liason SSA Jennifer Jareau, TA Penelope Garcia, Section Chief Erin Strauss


I met all of the criminal minds cast Morgan was so nice he gave me a teddy bear and a puppy because my mum organised it and Emily is so sweet she gave me a cool key chain saying Leah loves dogs and criminal minds ,Garcia gave me one of her furry pens and a really nice handbag what she actually used in a show ,Reid gave me a whiteboard and a pencil case ,Hodge gave me a bullet fruife vest ,Rossi gave me a school bag and ,JJ gave me a doll and pram and a high chair and a car seat and food all for my doll and i called her JJ


I am SOOOOO happy both JJ and Prentis are back! I absolutely love Criminal Minds, but really missed them. Everyone on this show is fantastic...the stories are spell-binding. Thank you for keeping this program on the air. I would never miss it on Wednesday night!


Does anyone know what Garcia said to Prentiss at the end when Emily responded with "He's a love, isn't he?" ... I couldn't understand her and it's been bugging me lol


Criminal Minds starts in the UK next week at last. Then I can give my input lol


I finally watched the episode the other day, I watch tons of shows plus had to wait for my brother, and I thoroughly loved the unique story telling this episode had. It's nice to see the team in front of the Senate for their actions. Not every day you see a show where the characters get punishment, take L&O: SVU for example. I'm ecstatic to see JJ and Emily back. The show has definitely progressed since season one. My only negative comment about the episode was the three way shooting...really? I wish Doyle didn't die oddly enough, I too feel bad for him.


heh, I didn't mean Prime Suspect--I meant Homeland. I watched so much TV, in the last few days, that I confused them LOL


This episode blew me away. I was very disappointed with my two other shows, and how they went, and so I was kind of scared that this one wouldn't go so well, but I shouldn't have worried. Criminal Minds was really amazing! Reid is my favorite character followed by AJ. I always liked the fact that AJ's motherly side often slipped into the job. I think it makes her a better agent and more realistic. I loved Hotch's beard, and slight weight loss because of all the detail they put into it. Reid's maturity gets better with every season. I mean, I remember in the first season I thought he was such a cute little newbie, and now, he's so confident! It's nice to see a true transition with characters instead of just the same thing over and over. Rossi is adorable. He can smooth talk his way in and out of anything. I loved Gideon, but Rossi... his voice is what gets me. I love it! Emily. When she first came to the BAU. I did not like her. I was not her fan. Then again, I didn't like Elle's character either. I didn't like how stiff she acted. However, the episode where Reid and Prentiss went to that compound as Social Workers? THAT episode changed my mind completely, and now I'm so happy that she has returned. I feel bad for Morgan... he put so much anger and energy into her death only to find out that it wasn't real. I would feel betrayed too. All in all, the whole show was great!

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Criminal Minds Season 7 Episode 1 Quotes

Agent Rossi: Have you ever been in the field?
Senator Cramer: I have, but I'm not the one on trial here.
Rossi: Then maybe you can imagine what it was like to find Emily Prentiss dying at the hands of Ian Doyle. Now ask yourself, was it wrong for him to want to take him out?

Garcia: This would've been a heck of a lot easier had he gone digital.
Morgan: Garcia there's an art to this. This guy was meticulous, definitely a control freak.
Garcia: Yeah, he's dead. He couldn't control that.