Life in the Fast Lane


Now Why'd You Have to Do That?

By 4:50 PM , , , ,

I've been a follower of the show Criminal Minds for a while now. My fanaticism started a few years ago one Holy Week break (in the Philippines, we don't go to work the last four days leading up to Easter; instead, we contemplate its meaning and spend time with family in our hometowns). Armed with bags of chips and dip, my family and I parked ourselves in front of the TV and wondered what to watch. My dad suggested this "crime show" that he'd heard about, which none of us ever followed on TV. You can guess what we ended up watching.

Ever since, we were hooked. Until today, it remains to be one of those shows we watch together (FlashForward was another; but let's save my annoyance over the show's cancelation for another entry).

We were there when the show first said goodbye to Mandy Patinkin (I still don't think that the producers should've let go of Jason Gideon) then Lola Glaudini (who played Elle Greenaway). We gladly welcomed Paget Brewster (who played Emily Prentiss) and thought that, after a few episodes, she was a good replacement for Glaudini. Her story arc seemed interesting and she gelled with the other characters almost instantly.

Fast forward to years later. Before Season 6 premiered, I found out that they would only keep A.J. Cook for two more episodes, then it was goodbye to the media liaison known as Jennifer Jareau.

I didn't get it. Really. No one ever complained about her character being dull, boring or non-essential. In fact, it was just the opposite. I saw petition after petition, rant blog after rant blog. People were begging and practically groveling just so the CBS producers could keep "J.J." on the show.

But there was another problem. Paget Brewster's role would also be reduced within the season, paving the way for Emily Prentiss' eventual departure.


Dropping Emily Prentiss from the BAU would be like asking the older sister in a family to leave. The BAU acted and treated each other like family. How could you get rid of one family member? Prentiss was the femme fatale in the team. She had the right combination of mystery, femininity and power. She was the older sister that Reed never had. She was the third member of the J.J.-Garcia-Prentiss triumvirate. She was Morgan's partner on the field. Hotchner and Rossi always depended on her. I couldn't imagine how the team would ever fare without her.

Alas, Season 6 progressed. After the second episode, we tearfully bade J.J. farewell, without a clue as to what A.J. Cook's next professional move was. Episodes later, a new character, Ashley Seaver (played by Rachel Nichols, who also happened to be a straight-haired blonde) was introduced. For some reason, I just couldn't see her connection with the team; except for Rossi, maybe, since he recruited her. She seemed like a poor substitute, which made me miss J.J. even more.

Midway into the season, we started to see what Emily Prentiss' past was like; it could only mean that her end was near. True enough, we say au revoir to her and to Paget Brewster in this week's episode entitled "Lauren", directed by Matthew Gray Gubler (who also plays Dr. Spencer Reed). Thankfully, they managed to bring back A.J. Cook for this episode to tie some loose ends.

Rumor has it that CBS has since given Brewster the option to return to Criminal Minds in Season 7. But rumor also has it that she has signed on to play the lead in a comedy. As to whether or not she reprises her role as Emily Prentiss, this remains to be seen.

All I know is this: I genuinely think that CBS shouldn't have let go of A.J. Cook and Paget Brewster. Their characters were essential to the team.

And, as I always say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It didn't seem like these two caused the show's ratings to dip. Neither were or are they experiencing financial difficulty; after all, they hired Rachel Nichols right away.

Reading viewers' comments on Brewster's final episode, "Lauren", there seems to be a unanimous vote: we ALL want J.J. and Prentiss.

Jennifer "J.J." Jareau, played by A.J. Cook (left) and Emily Prentiss, played by Paget Brewster (right). Photo nicked off Google.

CBS, if there's a way to still fix things, I hope that you do. Bring back both actresses. Please.

Or await a dip in ratings.

I don't need to be an FBI profiler to foresee this happening.

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  1. The usual reasons I heard were budget cutbacks (they had 7 regulars in the show) and that Paget herself actually wanted to pursue other opportunities aside from CM. But I am still heartbroken. The whole cast was already perfect as it is. It's not right that you take out one character and expect everything to still be the same.

    Oh well, I hope she will still come back in the future. We can dream. :)

  2. I saw other articles that said that it wasn't so much about the budget; they (the producers) felt that these two were the weakest characters. NOT.

    Same here. When my fam and I watched "Lauren", we were all sad during the last few frames of Prentiss. Please come back, Paget Brewster (and A.J. Cook)!

  3. IKR?!

    I just got hooked recently, so I don't know what Elle was like on the show. But I've seen enough seasons with JJ and Emily to appreciate what they bring to the team. So sad to see them go. I hope CBS execs will change their minds.

  4. Me, too! I'm still hoping that the next season surprises us with either or both of the actresses' returns. :)


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