Criminal Minds: Evolution Review – A thrilling season that we desperately needed

Season 16

Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 4/5


As soon as it was announced that it’s wheels up for the BAU team, with the destination being our small screens, hardcore fans of Criminal Minds were elated. Fans had been begging for a renewal of the show after CBS announced they were ending the show after 16 seasons.

It is not hard to see why the show has gained a huge following over the years. Every episode entails the BAU unit of the FBI doing its best to catch serial killers by understanding how and why they think the way they do. It makes for a fascinating show that delves into the darkest minds and how far evil in humanity can go.

However, what makes Criminal minds uniquely special is the cast. Over the course of the 16 seasons, fans have grown to love and care about all the members of the BAU team. We have watched the characters grow, and go through tumultuous losses in their lives. We have seen them love and lose; we have seen them love and win. Every character has been through the wringer and back. Viewers have been able to relate to the characters’ struggles and in a way be invested enough to enjoy their triumphs and losses.

Season 17 was greenlighted by Paramount+ who took over the series from CBS and announced a revival of the series. Paramount+ renamed the show Criminal Minds: Evolution and yes, there have been some changes. Season 17 picks up on what happened to the team from when we last saw them and the effects COVID-19 had on the characters’ lives and work.

Unfortunately, some of the show’s characters were unable to make it back for the new season. Matthew Gray Gubler who played the beloved role of the genius Spencer Reid decided not to return. And as fans, we understand his decision to want to do something else.

Matthew gave us a lot through the 16 seasons and we’re just grateful that he gave so much of himself to the character. Luckily, we still know that there is a possibility for him to return to the BAU, even through a cameo, and we hope it will be soon. The mere thought of hearing Spencer Reid rumble random facts about something related to a case is an exciting prospect!

Another agent who wasn’t able to return was Matt Simmons, played by Daniel Henney. Henney was unable to return to the series due to scheduling conflicts but the showrunner is adamant that there is room for their return should the opportunity present itself.

Season 17 doesn’t disappoint, presenting a story that sees the team fight against bureaucratic politics whilst also rushing against time to stop a group of serial killers. Apparently, COVID-19 was also hard on serial killers and forced them to evolve. One twisted serial killer formed a network to help them overcome the effects of a pandemic in their twisted world.

In this season, Rossi deals with the loss of his wife and still coming to terms with his grief. On the other hand, Garcia flourishes away from the BAU until the case forces her to come back. Jennifer and her husband try to balance their careers, marriage, parenting and health concerns. We also get to see Tara in a new relationship. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see much of Emily’s personal life but we do enjoy her being at the helm and maneuvering the bureaucratic pressure like the pro that she is. A little more disappointing however, is that we don’#t see much of Luke’s personal life.

Other than this, the show delivers another thrilling season that reminds us about the evil in our society and the heroic work law enforcement does to bring justice to the victims. The idea of focusing on how the pandemic affected these human predators, is pretty groundbreaking and a great creative choice. It is a question that we have never asked ourselves before.

It’s worth noting though that the series does end with a cliffhanger, and hopefully we will learn more in the next season. Either way, this season is a great reminder that Criminal Minds remains a classic show that will never get old. There is still so much to explore and to look forward to.

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  • Verdict - 8/10

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