Criminal Minds Season 8: Who's Returning?

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Featuring one new cast member and at least two anticipated returns, Criminal Minds kicks off Season 8 on Wednesday, September 26.

What can fans of the CBS drama expect from upcoming episodes? Producer Erica Messer shared the following scoops and spoilers with EW at last week's Television Critics Association press tour...

Jeanne Tripplehorn as Alex Blake

Jeanne Tripplehorn's Alex Blake will share a history with Strauss, one that dates to a case during which Strauss allowed Blake to take the blame when things went awry.

Bellamy Young will appear on at least three episodes as Beth, with Messer saying she and Hotchner will engage in a "long-distance relationship."

Someone from Hotchner's past, who viewers have seen before, will show up for an episode. That's the only tease we get for this storyline.

Who could it be? Let the theories fly and visit EW's Spoiler Room for more on Criminal Minds and many other shows.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Criminal Minds Quotes

Hotch: A sniper can wait up to 72 hours without sleeping.
Mays: Seriously?
Rossi: That's part of their training. They can stay awake for 72 hours and remain completely focused on their target.
Mays: How?
Hotch: By using a mental exercise called "fantasy integration". A sniper creates a scenarios involving a target that keeps that person at the forefront of their mind.
Morgan: Often they'll imagine a place where they're with the target, doing something together that takes time. For example, building a car.
JJ: For some, the fantasy begins the minute they're assigned a target. Then nothing will distract them.

Don't you know there comes a midnight hour when everyone has to take off his mask - Soren Kierkegaard.

Hotch