Criminal Minds: Evolution Brings Back Beloved Show

Haley Fahey, Reporter

On November 24th, 2022, the Criminal Minds revival season aired its first episode, introducing millions of viewers to a new and updated version of their beloved show.

Prior to news of the revival, fans of the show were devastated to hear that the long-running franchise was canceled in February 2020, shortly after its 15th season. However, when Paramount + announced its new action-packed sequel and revival, titled Criminal Minds: Evolution, viewers’ long-awaited hopes were realized. This new installment in the franchise, also considered as Season 16, began airing on November 24, 2022, and concluded ten episodes later on February 9th, 2023. 

The hit CBS show is centered on a group of profilers in the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI who catch serial killers by studying their behavior, with its first episode airing in September 2005. 

After watching the entirety of the original and new series, viewers have noted many noticeable differences between the two eras.The most obvious change was the actors themselves, who have all aged since the conclusion of the original show, most notably being Paget Brewster, playing Emily Prentiss, who explained that she desires to embrace her gray hair for the new season. 

Additionally, several cast members from Season 15, such as Matthew Gray Gubler playing Spencer Reid, decided not to reprise their roles. Although the new season alludes to Agent Reid multiple times, many were disappointed to see that he did not make a surprise appearance. 

Another major contrast between the two is the overall style of the show. In the original Criminal Minds, most episodes followed a different criminal case solved by the end of the episode. Although the series focuses on the motivations behind the crimes, intertwined in each episode were small insights into the characters’ personal lives. 

Within Criminal Minds: Evolution, the presence of a streaming platform allowed the producers to become more creative with the direction of the show. Instead of episodes that followed the same general format, the creators were able to branch out and craft 10 masterful episodes that were centered on different criminals, yet all connected under a serial killing network. 

A critical part of the original show was its heavy 2000s feel. This nostalgic feeling that viewers found most endearing in the original series was difficult to replicate in the 2022 adaptation which incorporated a more realistic portrayal of our current time period in the new season, with newer technologies and –. 

Though Criminal Minds: Evolution was drastically different from the original show, with its newer feel, deeper insights into the characters, and its increasingly visceral and cohesive plot, this new season is definitely worth watching.