Criminal Minds: Mantegna, Brewster, Messer Offer "Evolution" Intel

Late last week, we learned that Paramount+'s revival series had undergone a name change, now going by Criminal Minds: Evolution. Not only that, but we also learned that Joe Mantegna, Adam Rodriguez, A.J. Cook, Aisha Tyler, Paget Brewster, and Kirsten Vangsness would be joined by Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights) in the recurring role of Elias Voit, an operations analyst for a global cyber-security firm with a dark side and obsession with death. Voit stands as the team's greatest threat yet — an UnSub who has used the COVID-19 pandemic to build a network of other serial killers, meaning the team must hunt them down, one murder at a time, if they have any chance at stopping Voit. 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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