For 15 seasons, Criminal Minds delved into the minds of serial killers. The show’s driving force is a team of behaviorists that hunt down and catch serial killers based on their behavior. The show ended in 2020, with the BAU team being spread out and the team’s future uncertain. With the return of the series for Criminal Minds: Evolution debuting on Thanksgiving day, the team saw themselves coming together again for their biggest case yet. Most of the main cast at the end of season 15 returned for the reboot. 

Criminal Minds Evolution title Card. Screenshot via YouTube by Melissa Rothman for the All rights reserved to Paramount/CBS 2022.

WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead. Proceed at your own discretion. 

Admittedly there was some apprehension for me to return to watching the show, as sometimes remakes can be lackluster or change too many things. Sometimes it is hard to recapture the magic of the original. However, the cast and their chemistry are a significant part of the reason this show did so well for so long. So if the original cast weren’t a part of the remake, I probably wouldn’t have bothered watching. 

Luckily most of them returned, and it is marvelous. Though Spencer Reid was one of my favorites from the original series, so it was disappointing to hear Matthew Grey Gubler wasn’t coming back. However, the fact that Paget Brewster (Emily Prentiss), AJ Cook (JJ), Joe Montenga (David Rossi), and Kristen Vangsness (Garcia) did return was a major plus. You cannot have the BAU without Penelope Garcia! 

Rossi, JJ, and Alvez work a new case. Screenshot via YouTube by Melissa Rothman for the All rights reserved to Paramount/CBS 2022.

The first of the two premier episodes sees the team in their new roles and living life in a new BAU dynamic. Rossi is struggling to grieve the loss of his wife, Garcia has left the BAU and is thriving and happy, JJ and her family are doing great, for the most part, Prentiss is now section chief,  Agent Alvez (Adam Rodriguez), and Agent  Lewis (Aisha Tyler) are struggling to solve cases with a scattered team. Unfortunately, their new Deputy Director, Doug Bailey, is not making it easy on them, seemingly working against them. 

At the same time, the team is in their new roles, and in Penelope’s case, thriving in her new life outside the BAU, even developing a safe social app called SOAR for young people, a couple of serial killers make themselves known. For Garcia, this means she is dragged back in because her app was used to pick victims. Alvez is the one to go and try to get her help and convince her she is the only one who can. On the west coast, Agent Lewis is working a case involving a storage locker that may be connected to the one on the east coast. 

Agent Lewis and Deputy Henson discuss the trailer case in Seattle. Screenshot via YouTube by Melissa Rothman for the All rights reserved to Paramount/CBS 2022.

The series brings together many serial killers that are working together to become better predators. The first two episodes are a setup of the whole season to track down the mastermind of the network of killers. The BAU is battling this network, who found each other during lockdown while also trying to keep their new director from destroying them from the inside. 

I enjoyed watching the first two episodes. The incorporation of the pandemic and how it affected the criminal mind is really interesting. I do already hate their new director, and I can’t wait for them to get rid of him….hopefully. Seeing most of the original cast back for this series is wonderful, and it feels almost like they never even went off the air. I admit I wasn’t expecting to like it because I am stubborn and loyal to originals, so I am pleasantly surprised at how good it is. Then, of course, there is the fact the show is rated TV-MA, and they are allowed to swear. It’s fun to see some characters swear that previously weren’t allowed. It will be interesting to see how the season unfolds. 

Overall I rate the first two episodes a 9/10. 

You can watch the first two episodes now on Paramount+, and the other eight episodes are available weekly every Thursday. Let us know what you think. Do you agree with my rating?