Zodiac Sign · Jun 02, 2024

Criminal Minds is back for seconds, and the BAU is ready to dive back into the dark minds of serial killers. Season 2 of the Paramount+ revival, Criminal Minds: Evolution, promises even more thrills with a possible fan-favorite returning to the fold.

The original Criminal Minds captivated audiences for a whopping 15 seasons on CBS, leaving fans yearning for more cases and psychological battles with the BAU. Thankfully, Paramount+ answered those prayers with "Evolution," a spinoff that premiered in November 2022. Season 1 saw the beloved BAU team, almost entirely intact from the original series, hot on the heels of a single chilling figure: Elias Voit (played by Zach Gilford).

Criminal Minds: Evolution successfully scratched the itch for BAU fans in its debut season, and Paramount+ wasted no time in securing a sophomore run.

Thrilled by the show's performance, Tanya Giles, chief programming officer of Paramount streaming, announced the renewal in January 2023. "Loyal fans can expect even more twisted storylines," she enthused in a statement. "Criminal Minds: Evolution has consistently ranked among our top performers, and viewers have embraced the serialized format."

Giles' statement also hinted at a future filled with "many dark twists and turns" for the BAU. But perhaps the biggest twist fans are hoping for is the return of a beloved character – Dr. Spencer Reid, played by Matthew Gray Gubler. His absence from the first season was a major point of contention for viewers, and speculation is rife that season 2 might finally see his return to the BAU fold.

While the BAU successfully apprehended Elias Voit in season 1, his chilling legacy may continue to haunt them. Showrunner Erica Messer, in a February 2023 interview with Entertainment Weekly, hinted that Voit's influence will linger in season 2.

"We were completely captivated by Zach Gilford's performance as Voit," Messer shared. "He brought so much depth and complexity to this character. By the season finale, we knew we wanted to explore him further. The question became: how can we keep him involved in the next season? What kind of impact will he have on the BAU?"

Messer's cryptic comments suggest that season 2 will delve deeper into the network of killers Voit established. Did he leave behind a ticking time bomb, or has the BAU managed to dismantle his entire operation? One thing's for sure – the BAU's fight against evil is far from over.

The BAU may have closed the book on Elias Voit in season 1, but the question of Dr. Spencer Reid's return to Criminal Minds: Evolution remains wide open.

Showrunner Erica Messer has kept fans on the edge of their seats, offering little in the way of concrete promises. In a February 2023 interview with Entertainment Weekly, she acknowledged the fans' desires, stating, "I wish I could make a definitive statement, but it's not my decision to make."

Matthew Gray Gubler, the actor who brings Reid to life, has expressed nothing but enthusiasm for a potential return. "It would be an honor," he declared during a September 2023 interview. "Absolutely, I'd love to be back." He elaborated on scheduling conflicts that prevented his participation in season 1, but added, "Hopefully things will line up soon."

Eagle-eyed fans fueled the fire of speculation in May 2024 when they spotted Reid's nameplate in a social media post from the set. Messer, ever the master of intrigue, acknowledged the buzz in an interview with TVInsider. "While it didn't work out for season 17 [referring to the show's total episode count], there's no animosity," she clarified. "We all love each other. It's simply a matter of finding the right timing."

Adding to the mystery, Messer revealed that Reid's desk and nameplate remain untouched on set. "As far as I'm concerned, it's there to stay," she told the outlet, "and you might even see it pop up in the show itself."

With filming for season 2 underway, fans can only wait and see if the stars align to bring Dr. Spencer Reid back into the BAU fold.

Season 2 of Criminal Minds: Evolution promises a thrilling return for the BAU, but it won't be without its challenges. The team will not only grapple with the lingering effects of Elias Voit's network, but also welcome a new face to the table – Felicity Huffman, confirmed in April 2024 by Us Weekly, will guest star as Dr. Jill Gideon, the ex-wife of the late Jason Gideon (originally played by Mandy Patinkin).

Described as a "brilliant biological psychiatrist," Dr. Jill Gideon's expertise will be crucial in "investigating a murderous conspiracy theory," according to a statement from Paramount+. However, her return to the BAU won't be a walk in the park. The synopsis hints at a "complicated history" with David Rossi (played by Joe Mantegna) and the emotional weight of her deceased ex-husband.

While the specifics of the "Gold Star mystery" remain shrouded in secrecy, it's clear Dr. Jill Gideon's unique skillset will be instrumental in cracking the case.

Production for season 2 officially kicked off in April 2024, with filming wrapping up by the end of May, as confirmed by Mantegna himself via a behind-the-scenes video tour. Fans eagerly awaiting the BAU's return won't have to wait long – Criminal Minds: Evolution premieres its second season with a special two-hour event on Thursday, June 6, 2024. Mark your calendars and get ready for another season of chilling cases and unforgettable characters.

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