Criminal Minds: Evolution Star Joe Mantegna Shares Image Update

With only a little more than a month to go until Paramount+'s Joe Mantegna, Adam Rodriguez, A.J. Cook, Aisha Tyler, Paget Brewster, Kirsten Vangsness, and Zach Gilford-starring Criminal Minds: Evolution returns for its 16th season after a bit of a "pause," we're getting an interesting visual update on how filming is going. Taking to Twitter, Mantegna shared a look at a production/filming card confirming that Tyler was directing. But it was the tiny doll-like hands that drove us to the internet to figure out why that reminded us of someone. And then we were reminded by Jennifer Hasty's Samantha Malcolm, a "collector" series killer with a doll fixation who appeared in Season 5 Episode 12, "The Uncanny Valley." Of course, there's a very real chance that we're way off the mark, so we'll leave it to you to decide.

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CRIMINAL MINDS – "Just Getting Started" – Joe Mantegna as David Rossi in Criminal Minds episode 1, season 16, streaming on Paramount+, 2022. Photo Credit: Monty Brinton / Paramount+

Paramount+'s Criminal Minds: Evolution returns with its first two episodes on Thursday, November 24th. Following that, new episodes will drop weekly on Thursdays until the midseason finale on Thursday, December 15th. After a break, the season returns on Thursday, January 12th, with all-new episodes dropping weekly through the finale on Thursday, February 9th. Now here's a look at Mantegna's tweet from earlier today:

Now, here's a look back at more previously-released preview images for the first two episodes (S16E01 "Just Getting Started" and S16E02 "Sicarius"):

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CRIMINAL MINDS – "Just Getting Started" – Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez and A.J. Cook as Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau in Criminal Minds episode 1, season 16 streaming on Paramount+, 2022. Photo Credit: Monty Brinton /Paramount+
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CRIMINAL MINDS – "Sicarius" – (L-R) Aisha Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis, A.J. Cook as Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau, Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez, Kristen Vangsness as Penelope Garcia, Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss and Joe Mantegna as David Rossi in Criminal Minds streaming on Paramount+, 2022. Photo Credit: Michael Yarish /Paramount+
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CRIMINAL MINDS – "Sicarius" – Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss and Aisha Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis in Criminal Minds streaming on Paramount+, 2022. Photo Credit: Michael Yarish / Paramount+

To help get viewers up-to-speed, the cast and showrunner, executive producer & writer Erica Messer sat down with EW for a pretty extensive preview of what viewers can expect. Messer addresses how some missing familiar faces like Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore), and Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) will be addressed. But first, Mantegna and Brewster offer some background on where David Rossi and Emily Prentiss are at in their respective lives when the series returns (along with their three-word teaser for what fans can expect.

Criminal Minds: Evolution
CRIMINAL MINDS (Criminal Minds – Image: Screencap

Rossi's Return Will Be "Under Odd Circumstances"- Mantegna: "We're going to find that Rossi came in under odd circumstances… in the sense that it's no secret that he was one of the guys who started the BAU back with Gideon [Mandy Patinkin]. You're going to find that because of what's happened over the past few years, and the fact that there's been this time off and things have happened [and] changed — not just in the BAU, but with the world — that there's been some drama. Quite a bit of drama. It's going to be apparent." ("Thrilled. We're. Back.")

Emily's Feeling the Pressure of "Trying to Protect Everyone in the BAU"- Brewster: "[Emily is] trying to go to bat with the FBI director to make sure the BAU has the resources it needs in order to operate effectively, but she's being shut down over and over again because of budget cuts. So she's in a really tricky position because she recognizes the help that the BAU needs, but how can she do it? And if she does it, is she crossing a line with her job responsibilities? She is feeling the anxiety of not being there and trying to protect everyone in the BAU. So that's sort of a question that we start to unwrap in the first couple of episodes: How is this going to play out? And who is this big, bad serial killer? ("Buckle up, folks"? I'm trying to think. "Wheels up, buddies"?)

Characters Who Couldn't Return for Revival Won't Be Forgotten: "So their desks will still have stuff on them. They haven't gone away. Shemar's character went away when his son was born. He stepped away from the FBI, so his desk has been empty for a while. But Dr. Reed's desk still has all of his books on it and all of his belongings. Almost that same time capsule that… I don't know if any of you have gone back to the office, but it's a weird experience because whatever was important to you in March 2020 is still sitting on that desk and must not have been that important because it's still sitting on that desk. So we want that connection still with Dr. Reed and Matt Simmons [Daniel Henney], who is on another assignment as well. It's something we can't really discuss. But if and when they return, it's up to them. It's dependent on their schedules. I can't promise anything right now. But it's the hope."- Messer

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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