Criminal Minds: ‘Lauren’ Review & Discussion – Prentiss’ Final Episode

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 5:03 pm,

Six months ago, fans of Criminal Minds were saying goodbye to Supervisory Special Agent Jennifer Jareau (AJ Cook). Her unceremonious firing served to shine a light on the unfortunate direction that the series appeared to be headed. With only Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) and Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) left in the series’ male dominated cast, many wondered which one would be next to leave the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. Unfortunately, it didn’t take too long for that question to be answered.

With Cook gone from the series and Brewster’s episode count being reduced, everyone – including Brewster herself – could see the writing on the wall. Like any good cast member, the always wonderful Vangsness made sure that everyone knew how she felt about the studio’s decision to axe her fellow comrades.

With nothing left to do but accept the departure of another female cast member from Criminal Minds, the focus then turns to Brewster’s final episode. In the past few episodes, one could already see that Prentiss was receiving a far better farewell than what Cook received in her final episode. Delving deep into the past of the always secretive Emily Prentiss, we find out exactly what she was up to in her in the years before joining the BAU.

Ian Doyle, a criminal from her former life as Lauren Reynolds, is seeking revenge on Prentiss and her one-time colleagues. As the body count beings to rise, Prentiss makes the decision to leave the BAU. With Paget Brewster leaving the series and AJ Cook returning for her final episode, all bets are off – anything can happen.

“Lauren” Episode Description

Prentiss is ready to confront her nemesis, Ian Doyle, once and for all. Meanwhile, the BAU calls upon JJ to help them find Prentiss and capture Doyle before it’s too late.


As you can see, the review has not been posted yet. While we strive to provide reviews in advance, sometimes it’s not possible. Don’t worry, a review will be posted shortly. Until then, if you’ve seen Paget Brewster’s final episode of Criminal Minds, feel free to start the discussion below or check some of our previous articles:

Criminal Minds: Kirsten Vangsness Not Happy With Co-Star Firing

Criminal Minds Season 6 Review & Discussion: JJ’s Final Episode

A.J. Cook Returns to ‘Criminal Minds’ for Paget Brewster’s Final Episode

Paget Brewster Cast In NBC Pilot ‘My Life As An Experiment’


Criminal Minds airs Wednesdays @9pm, on CBS

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  1. While it is sad to see Paget leave, the writers and producers did right by her with the storyline. This is the best send off I’ve seen of all to leave the show, while also leaving it wide open for a return. One could only hope no more would be leaving (Matthew Gray Gubler)

  2. I thought it was a good send off .
    Nice episode.
    I wish Paget the best.

  3. Doing a whole arc just for her send off was nice. I think they did partly because knew AJ Cook’s departure was very sudden and wasn’t done as well.

    However, I disagree with the idea that her leaving the show now leaves it a sausage party. If everyone recalls, Paget Brewster came in to replace yet another female cast member. I have no doubt a new female cast member will eventually enter the fold. I kind of like the semi-fluid cast. Jobs in the real world have people come and go, just usually not this dramatically.

    And I like how the character’s departure was handled. Like A,J.’s, it opens the door for Paget to return for a guest spot.

    • Ok, I had to work last night and couldn’t watch the show. My Mother-in-law texted me and said they stuck a stake through the dark headed girls heart on Criminal minds. I thought “WHAT”?? Did she catch the end of something else and they did not kill emily off? I was really pissed. I love her more then El. Somebody tell me how to watch last nights episode on-line.

      • I had to work Wednesday night as well. I have watched Criminal Minds since the very first show and am a huge fan. I can’t miss an episode or it ruins the rest of my week, seriously. I was pissed when they let A.J. Cook go, but this had to be the kicker. I can’t see the show without here in it. I new when they started adding theses scenes to her other life before the BAU something was up, but I never expected this. I was glad to see how they ended it, but still. I’m very disappointed that this has happened. Paget Brewster will be missed greatly as I really don’t know see the show going on without her. Nobody can replace her, ever.

        • you can watch it at latestseasonepisode dot com

  4. I was upset when A.J. Cook was let go and now with Paget Brewster leaving the show, I’m not sure if the show will hold together. Although they did an excellent job on her “exit”. It held my interest and I was on the edge of my seat the whole hour.

    It does seem as though they are aiming for an all male show. I have to say that I enjoyed Paget Brewster’s acting. The fact that Emily had a “secret” was interesting and made for good episodes. She was distant, but yearned to be closer to her fellow agents. You seemed to be rooting for her to break through!

    I am hoping that no others are in the producers/writers cross-hairs, as it will be sad to not have the original cast. And I am not sure if it would hold the same interest as it did before.

    I really thought that the producers/writers had the right combination with the group of actors this time, including A.J. Cook.

  5. Was Ian Doyle killed or did he escape?

    • My guess is that he escaped. Why else would they have put Prentiss in hiding, with only J.J. and Hotchner appearing to know.

  6. I agree, Doyle escaped or why would they have set Prentiss up with 3 passports and 3 bank accounts in different countries. My best guess is that we have not seen the last of Doyle. Based on the last 2 shows, he will seek revenge on the entire BAU team just like he sought revenge on Prentiss and anyone else conencted with his Korean prison stay and his arrest. Remember, his goal is find his son and with Prentiss either alive or dead, he will continue to hunt. Is this show becoming the new “24″? If it is, what a waste.

    • I don’t think it’s becoming a “24.” They’ve done a recurring villain before. C. Thomas Howell played the guy who killed Hotchner’s ex-wife in a recurring role that last a season or two. I imagine that if they bring Doyle (and possibly Prentiss) back, it’ll only be for two or three episodes, and will end with Doyle dying.

  7. I loved the episode and it leaves the door wide open for another confrontation. I love that this is similar to ’24′ as I loved ’24′. It kept you on the edge of your seat and nobody was who they appeared to be. Love it. I’m not sure about the new blonde though. She doesn’t seem very ‘seasoned’ to me. But all in all, top notch episode.

  8. I had to watch a second time to assure myself that Doyle had not been captured and hence the shielding of the BAU team of Emily’s survival.

  9. I have to agree with Zet.
    What a show! Possibly the best Criminal Minds to be aired.
    I am very happy to see the return of A. J. Cook. She really adds a very positive element to the show.
    Regarding the other blond, looks too much like J.J.. Not sure she will work in.

  10. All I gotta say is do what you have to do which is obvious get around to letting emily put the bullet in doyle so that she can come out of hiding and get back to the bau which will begin in her first guest appearance I bet and after you bring her back leave the damn cast alone it works goodness!!! Don’t destroy the show I’m sure they seen how pissed fans were when you got rid of jj now at the fans request shes back take notes you’ll have the same issue if emily doesn’t get to come back. GREAT SHOW LAST NIGHT ALL TOGETHER

  11. One of the reasons I watch Criminal Minds is the chemistry among the casts (AJ, Prentiss, Garcia, Reid, Morgan and Dave). When AJ was removed from the show, I said there is still Prentiss and the rest of the cast. But when Prentiss was removed, I am considering going back to watching American Idol and forget Criminal Minds. I don’t think the addition of a new female cast can match AJ and Prentiss. Thanks for past episodes.

  12. Matthe Gray Gubler hinted in a recent interview that AJ Cook is in talks to return to the show.
    He indicated that he probably shouldnt have said anything,
    So its not official yet .
    As for Pagets replacement,
    I think thats why Rachel Nichols was hired .
    Remember, she was originally going to be a recurring guest star.
    She was bumped to a regular after Paget didnt accept the new contract offer from CBS .

  13. I had a renewed interest in the show with this very good story arc- I wanted to turn in every week to see how the Doyle story unfolded. I cried last night at her funeral (yes,I know ir is only a show) but was so glad they had the final scene leaving it open to a revisit in the future. I NEED strong women as part of the team- without them, I will stop watching and I HATE it is always the women being eliminated- what’s up with that????

  14. I am in a minority here. Totally lame episode. Lots of noise about AJ Cook coming back and she was barely visible throughout the episode (as a sidenote she is better looking than ever). As the episode was winding down my wife walks into the TV room, see the casket and says to me–watch, she’s not dead. Shortly thereafter we see Emily getting 3 passports and 3 bank accounts.

    The program is getting long in the tooth. Thomas Gibson is getting more and more strident, Joe Mantegna more and more self-righteous, and Shemar Moore more and more full of himself.

    I’ve just freed up an hour on Wed night.

  15. (Just read my stuff before posting and realized I went on and on… oops)

    Just finished watching the Lauren episode a day late b/c was tied up working last night. Have to say, like a lot of people, I’m ticked off and disappointed. I really like Criminal Minds but what they are doing to it this season is criminal. Getting rid of 2 main characters this year is wrecking the show.

    Between JJ and Prentiss, Prentiss was by far my favourite. She was extremely smart, confident, competent, intuitive and was a good strong female role as a counterpoint to balance out Hotchner (and unlike Hotchner, her character’s good sense of humour often came out.) Plus, she’s gorgeous.

    JJ’s role was a unique one as well and as liaison she was able to show a lot of other work that the team does beyond just the profiling.

    If they had to get rid of someone because the network is so cheap, they should have tossed Rossi (he doesn’t add much more that Hotchner and Morgan’s characters can’t already do except by being the old seasoned veteran.)

    One final rant…loved the storyline leading up to the Lauren episode (although I hated knowing that it would end up in her leaving).
    ….BUT the actual Lauren episode wasn’t that great… it felt really rushed. They had enough stuff that they should have probably made it into two episodes (it would have been worth it since they were kicking a major character off the show).

    Early in the episode when the team is mulling over her disappearance they cover way too much plot in too short a time and put way too many pieces together in a short period. How about showing us a little bit of the discovery that she’s gone (“Anybody seen Prentiss?” Where is she? call her page her? Is she suddenly sick.)

    In their meeting they go down the obviously logical path from her missing to “discovering” that there is a name missing from the computer printout and that all the names have the initials LR and then Reid remembers her mentioning that Lauren R is dead and then… wow… Emily must be Lauren and must have worked for the CIA!!!! Oh and lo and behold all this just happed and JJ just happens to immediately and conveniently show up (it all makes sense to me) I mean, I know that they’re good profilers and all but really! They really rushed it to fit it in one episode.

    They could have fleshed it out more with how Prentiss figured out where Doyle was and more time carefully planning her attempt to take him out. Also once Emily was caught they could have milked a lot more tension out of the mental fencing over the cover up of his son’s death, his desire for revenge while the team races to try to track him down and locate her. (Gee again, they do an amazing job of rapidly finding out just the right warehouse in Boston where Doyle would be … in this episode the profilers have developed amazing powers bordering on ESP).

    Very let down by this rushed episode with logical gaps as a wrap up to the whole Lauren plot line that got me hooked. And I miss Prentiss already.

  16. I LOVE Criminal minds.. Stop taking the Original Cast members away.! dont need and all male show.. really ..

  17. do the producers have a thing against woman or what? First they got rid of L, then Hodge’s wife( I get this one and that storyline is still by far my favorite of all time), JJ and now Prentice. Don’t get me wrong I don’t really want any of the men gone either but they do make it seem like the woman mean nothing to the show. Losing two woman in one season is just too much for me. I don’t like this new lady either, not a good actress at all.

  18. An excellent episode and a great showcase for the entire ensemble.

  19. am a huge fan and can’t seem to get my week right without watching this team works. “Lauren” was a great watch indeed! now the hunting continues for Doyle. wish it will be morgan to end it for him. welcome back JJ

  20. JJ isn’t back – she was only back for one episode, as a farewell to Paget Brewster, if you will.

    Also, as much as I wish Prentiss will be back, Paget Brewster has been cast as the female lead on NBC’s pilot, “My Life as an Experiment.”

    Apparently, CBS has given her the option to return to CM as a regular next season (hence the cliffhanger) but if the pilot of MLAAE is picked up as a series, I doubt she will return.

    So CBS, great job at destroying an amazing show.

    With Ian Doyle having escaped, I do wonder how they’re going to go about ending his storyline. If Paget does not return, will the team find him on their own? Or maybe we’re supposed to forget about him. You know, seeing as how the females on this show are so expendable…it probably doesn’t matter if Doyle is ever caught.

  21. I just figured they kept Doyle out there because he is the reason Emily has to stay hidden.
    As long as Doyle believes Emily is dead,He believes there is no one alive who knows where his son is.
    As long as Doyle is alive Emily has to stay “dead” to protect the boy.
    If they bring her back,I am sure Doyle will resurface .

    • Oh I get why Emily has to stay hidden – for her safety, the safety of the team, and Declan’s safety. But, if they don’t bring her back, then how will the Ian Doyle storyline end?

      Will the team go after him…after all they think Ian killed Emily.

      I kind of feel like finishing him off is Emily’s job…but if Paget doesn’t return, having the team find Doyle seems somewhat anti-climatic.

      • thats what i thought that they think she is dead but not really at the moment will bring her back when she heals from wound and what a great story line that turned out to be

  22. I just watched the first show since all the regular females have left. The show & cast need the strong women as part of the team.

    This was very disappointing, I did stay until the end of the show.

  23. I agree Rob, my wife and I were extremely dissapointed with the female characters. There is no personality what so ever. (Garcia excluded)They need to find a new female character and fast or bring Prentis back ASAP

  24. Last night’s episode was an abysmal disappointment. In no way does this new character (whose name I don’t even remember) replace JJ or Emily as a character. The episode was flat and boring, and even the tie-back to Reid’s headaches and fears of schizophrenia left me cold.

    This might be the last episode I watch.

  25. The creators of “Criminal Minds” seem determined to anienate and drive away female viewers with the exit of the women agents. It’s probably only a matter of time before Pentelope is also written out for a male geek in the computer room. BAD moves! Probable men made the decisions, so little wonder they are about men achieving success. I used to be a devoted viewer, but this male-domination is a joke, and I’ll watch something else until they come to their senses.

  26. i cannot believe that prentiss is also off the show. this used to be the best show on television. i guess cbs is tired on being the number 1 network. with swift moves like this, it won’t be long before fox is back on top.

  27. I was so happy when she came back and I’ve rewatched the episode like 10 times.

  28. Nothing against the new character but bring Paget back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every fan I talk to feels the same way. She was a perfect fit with the rest of the cast!!! The new character doesn’t have the warmth or connection with the rest of the cast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!